TikTok declares love for (almost) everyone, and McCann preps for a return to the office: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
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TikTok unleashed its biggest-ever TV ad campaign yesterday, styled as a love letter to its community, as it faces yet more pressure from the Trump administration. Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports that the ad celebrates TikTok creators, with footage of a diverse cast of users set to a mellow song by Walter Martin (featuring Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), with the catchy refrain “I like all of you.” It’s the first spot to emerge under Nick Tran, TikTok’s head of global marketing, who described it as a “brand anthem.”
As Sloane writes, the spot “offers a rebuttal of sorts to the storm swirling around the company” and also serves to warn “wannabe” apps like Instagram Reels, that it has the best grasp on digital culture. Its title, “Celebrating You,” presumably doesn't include Trump, who yesterday indicated he would support a rumored Oracle bid for TikTok’s U.S. operations.
Oracle Co-founder and Chairman Larry Ellison is a Trump supporter who has hosted a fundraiser for the president and, according to the Wall Street Journal, when Trump was asked if Oracle would be a good buyer for TikTok, he replied: “Well I think Oracle is a great company and I think its owner is a tremendous guy, a tremendous person. I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it.”
September is almost upon us, and with it the thorny question of when the industry might start returning to offices. Increasingly, it’s looking like any attendance might be voluntary, at least for the foreseeable future.
Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse obtained details of an email sent by McCann Worldwide Chairman-CEO Harris Diamond and Chief Operating Officer Bill Kolb detailing the agency’s plans for its U.S. offices to begin reopening in September. The executives wrote: “First: Everyone’s health and safety is our primary concern” and that “any return to office in the U.S. will be completely voluntary for the foreseeable future.”
In a follow-up interview, Diamond added that he anticipates that the first wave of employees to return will be “a small percentage.” He also said that the details of the return-to-office plans are dependent on individual local offices leaders, noting how McCann’s main U.S. hubs in California, Utah, Michigan, New York and New Jersey “are all in different places right now.”
Fortnite’s key demographic of kids and tweens are fully up to speed on the battle, and it seems they’re firmly on the side of Epic Games, with the “Free Fortnite” hashtag trending on Twitter. As Slefo writes: “While Apple has thrived on its hip, youthful image, it may now find itself on the defensive against a key constituency who likely believes the iPhone maker is old, authoritarian and perhaps even uncool.”
When Fortnite flipped Apple’s famous “1984” spot by depicting Apple as “Big Brother,” some felt the reference would be lost on its younger players, but it seems that isn’t necessarily the case: kids are looking up the Big Brother references after seeing the Fortnite version. “When my 9-year-old asks what happened in 1984, that tells me the spot worked,” says Chris Erb, CEO of gaming-focused agency Tripleclix.
(Side note: If all this encourages kids to read Orwell, Fortnite might just find itself more popular with parents.)
Today is the one-year anniversary of Popeyes' famous “y’all good?” reaction to Chick-fil-A on Twitter, which, you might remember, almost broke the internet and shifted over 200 million chicken sandwiches for the fast food brand. As Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl reports, Popeyes is marking the date with a new campaign in which it looks forward to bidding goodbye to 2020 (a year that, as we all know, frankly sucks.)
The campaign by Gut, which includes a full-page ad in today's The New York Times as well as a video, looks forward to 2021 and suggests the chicken sandwich “can help soften the blows of 2020, from toilet paper shortages to school and sports shutdowns, the potential demise of TikTok, concerns about the postal service, and who knows what may come next.”
As Wohl points out, Popeyes is not the only chain to play on the premise that people want to bring 2020 to a close; its Restaurant Brands International sibling Burger King already tried to fast forward to Christmas in July.
Moving on back: The Martin Agency Chief Creative Officer Karen Costello is rejoining IPG’s Deutsch Los Angeles as its new chief creative officer, reports Lindsay Rittenhouse. Costello was executive creative director there for 12 years before moving to The Martin Agency in 2017.
Forbidden fruit: Dole’s latest campaign is encouraging families stressed out by “quaran-tension” to say “fruit bowls” whenever they feel like cursing. As Jessica Wohl writes, the ads suggest people substitute the words in moments when more colorful phrases won’t do.
'Bud4Utah': Budweiser is making a pitch to be the official beer of Utah, writes E.J. Schultz. The brew says it will create a special can just for Utah if the #Bud4Utah hashtag gets circulated 84,899 times on Twitter by Sept. 13. It’s the latest attempt by AB InBev to seize on the state’s action late last year to permit beers as high as 5 percent alcohol-by-volume to be sold at stores.
Cheers, Cliff: Actor John Ratzenberger, who played mailman Cliff Clavin in "Cheers," has posted his own message of support for the beleaguered United States Postal Service. In a Twitter video, he suggests people do all their holiday shopping at the USPS online store in August, writes Ad Age's Ethan Jakob Craft.
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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