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Trump fires shots at another brand, and moviegoers look for themselves on screen: Thursday Wake-Up Call
Yet another brand has been unwillingly dragged into politics with unfounded aspersions by the president of the United States. “They throw it. It’s the perfect weight, tuna fish, they can really rip it, right? And that hits you. No, it’s true. Bumble Bee brand tuna,” President Trump told a rally near Pittsburgh this week. (And now the song is in your head. No, not that one. This one.)
Bumble Bee responded quickly, tweeting: “Eat em. Don't throw em.” But this is a position brands increasingly find themselves in after Trump repeats a fallacy or conspiracy theory. Goodyear came under fire last month, and the president regularly lambasts media companies and tech brands as being biased against him. On the flip side, brands like Goya, whose CEO praised Trump in August, are lavished with endorsements from the Oval Office.
Diverse representation among the actors on screen in a film affects the audience that pays to see that film in theaters, according to a new report from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Turnout increases among racial and gender groups when they can see people who look like themselves in a movie.
Data from Movio shows that the gender split in roles in the top 100 films of the last two years is even between men and women, though only 30 percent of leading roles go to women—an increase of just 7 percent over 10 years. And in most movies, more than 50 percent of the roles go to white actors, so filmmakers may be leaving money on the table by not including actors that look like much of the country. One need only point to films like “Black Panther” or “Crazy Rich Asians” to see that BIPOC audiences are eager to pay for film experiences that reflect their own, across multiple genres.
At the same time, the failure of films like “Mulan” serve as a warning. Despite an all-Asian and Asian American cast, controversial statements in support of the Chinese Communist government by one of the leads and an uninspired script led to flat turnout, even with the marketing might of the House of Mouse behind it.
The most-visited tourist attraction in South Dakota is a pharmacy-cum-amusement-park, driven to greatness by thirsty travelers looking for the free water advertised on highway billboards.
“Wall Drug now welcomes as many as 2.2 million tourists in an average year,” writes Ad Age’s Ethan Jakob Craft. “The monolithic store's billboards speak volumes for the out-of-home ad industry, which GroupM says will hit $7.1 billion in revenue next year. They're simple, painted wood, and they can be shockingly frequent in some parts of the state. On the 50-mile stretch of highway between regional hub Rapid City and Wall alone, there’s an average of one Wall Drug billboard every 4,000 feet.”
The $300,000 annual ad budget is handled in-house and pays for bumper stickers, signs and their repair. Interest is so high, even during the pandemic, that its restaurant, doughnut factory and souvenir shops—complete with animatronic singing cowboys—are still nearly at capacity.
The familiar mated strawberries of the J.M. Smucker logo are old news, replaced by a multihued suggestion of fruit as part of a revamped image for the brand.
“The typeface used for the company’s name has a sharper look, and the word ‘Company’ has been replaced with ‘Co.’ Without the Smucker name, the logo could signal almost any kind of company—not necessarily a food marketer,” writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl. “It’s forward momentum and it’s energy,” [CEO and president Mark] Smucker says of the new look, created by brand strategy and design agency CBX.
The more generic feel is intentional, since the largest part of the company’s portfolio is now pet food. It also owns Folgers, Jif and Crisco, only one of which makes a decent sandwich filling. At the same time, the brand won’t replace the old logo on jam and jelly jars—it’s just too well-known. Instead, the new mark will get prominent placement at the company’s Ohio headquarters, on the corporate website and in PowerPoint presentations for investors, not store shelves.
Move over Impossible and Beyond, the next meat-free protein food disruptor could come from a microbe found in Yellowstone National Park. Like any beef alternative that doesn’t actually involve livestock, Nature’s Fynd is better for the environment, requiring 99 percent less land and 87 percent less water than traditional beef production, according to the company.
Chief Marketing Officer Karuna Rawal, a lifelong vegetarian and veteran of P&G and Leo Burnett, talks about the company’s plans to launch its first products next year on the latest episode of the “Ad Lib” podcast.
Tune in: Check out DDB’s new North American CEO, Justin Thomas-Copeland, on a live episode of Ad Age Remotely today at 10:30 a.m. ET. He’ll talk about how the agency is handling the loss of several clients in the last year, its plans to improve diversity and inclusion, and the ways he plans to use data to inform creative.
Mask up, map up: Google Maps can already predict the fastest route to a destination and help travelers avoid congestion and accidents. Now it will also display the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases, as well as whether infections in an area are trending up or down.
Emissions impossible: California announced a plan to move to an entirely emissions-free automotive economy by 2035. Sales of gasoline-powered passenger vehicles would be barred in the state, followed by heavy-duty trucks 10 years after that. As California’s fleets go, so does the nation, since automakers don’t want to design models that can’t be sold in the largest market in the country. Of course, the planet may not have 15 years left to reduce carbon emissions.
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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