SpaceX blasts off into a commercial future, and TikTok deadline extended: Monday Wake-Up Call
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Four astronauts successfully entered space from Florida yesterday in a capsule made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, marking a milestone in the development of commercial space travel.
The launch of the Crew-1 mission was described by the New York Times as “a momentous step toward making space travel commonplace and mundane,” signifying that, in future, NASA astronauts and anyone else with enough money will be able to buy a ticket on a commercial rocket. According to the Times, Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, described the launch during a post-launch news conference as “truly a commercial launch vehicle.”
The lead-up to the launch had a few 2020-style twists, with drama over whether Musk did or didn’t have coronavirus, and both President Trump and president-elect Joe Biden tweeting their rival congratulations. Meanwhile, Disney also stole a seat on the spaceship; according to Business Insider, “the astronauts brought a secret companion onto their Crew Dragon spaceship—a baby Yoda doll from “The Mandalorian.”
The TikTok saga continues, with federal officials granting the social media platform and its parent company ByteDance a 15-day extension to complete its sell-off before a potential U.S. ban.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the deadline extension to Nov. 27 was granted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S on Friday. (The original deadline for the company to sell off its U.S. arm had been Thursday, but the Commerce Department backed down on that.)
But, despite the new deadline, it seems likely that the legal debate will stretch on “for weeks,” says the Journal. There are various legal challenges to the ban, including the preliminary injunction against the shutdown issued last month in a suit brought by three TikTok stars—comedian Douglas Marland, fashion guru Cosette Rinab and musician Alex Chambers. It's also unclear how president-elect Joe Biden will address the situation come January, if the Trump administration doesn't deal with it before then.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and this being 2020, we're not 100% sure what that will look like. But there’s one thing you can rest easy about: this year, nervous cooks can insure their turkeys against disaster.
Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz writes in this week’s “Trending” roundup that Progressive Insurance “has partnered with Whole Foods Market on a Thanksgiving Turkey Protection Plan, which offers insurance for dinner disasters with a $35 Whole Foods gift card.”
The brand, which has an ad out promoting the policy, is not the only one anticipating Thanksgiving fails; Campbell Soup is asking those with dinner disasters to submit a photo on Thanksgiving so it can “deliver a gourmet replacement, made in one of the company’s ghost kitchens, in time for dinner.”
If your dinner is a disaster, however, you can always spend more time on Zoom. The Verge reports that the videoconference platform is going to be lifting its 40 minute limit on free sessions for Thanksgiving day to allow for longer family hangouts.
Brandon Snow, senior VP, chief revenue officer of “Call of Duty” publisher Activision Blizzard Esports, will join Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi today in a live edition of “Remotely” to discuss the future of the gaming space. Snow will discuss brand opportunities in esports as well as how the pandemic is affecting gaming. Watch live here at 12 p.m. EST.
Meanwhile, in other gaming news, Ad Age’s Ethan Jakob Craft reports that “movie theater media giant Screenvision and esports streaming platform Mobcrush have teamed to launch a first-of-its-kind type of advertising inventory.” The ads will be initiated on an unscheduled basis by content creators themselves when they step away from their screens, such as when they take a bathroom break.
TBWA taps diversity chief: TBWA has appointed Aliah Berman as chief diversity officer of North America, writes Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse in this week's Agency Brief. Berman joins from global experiential agency GMR and replaces Doug Melville, who is leaving the agency network.
The week ahead: Major retailers, including Target, Macy’s and Walmart, have results out this week. And, on Thursday, HBO is hosting “The Fresh Prince Reunion,” anticipated to be the streaming event of the season as Will Smith reunites with cast members. Check out our calendar roundup.
Epic of craft: The John Lewis Christmas ad, always the most-anticipated of the U.K. holiday season, came out this weekend; this year it’s an epic of craft, tapping into the styles of nine different creative artists overseen by hot director Oscar Hudson, who helmed Apple’s “Bounce” spot. John Lewis deliberately reached out to a range of artists to help the creative industry during the pandemic. The ad by Adam&Eve/DDB is also one of Creativity’s Top 5 spots from the week; check out the livestreamed review here.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
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