'SNL' mocks macho marketing, and Twitter's CEO pulls a 'tone-deaf' move: Monday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app.
What people are talking about today
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ran an amusing fake ad for GE Appliances skewering tropes about how products are marketed to men versus women. The premise: Now that so many American women are the main breadwinners for their families, GE has a line of appliances targeted at stay-at-home husbands. It's called "GE 'Big Boy' Home Appliances." The fake ad makes good use of guest star Jason Momoa of "Aquaman" and "Game of Thrones;" he portrays the muscle-y, manly-man type who might need to be reassured of his masculinity as he washes the dishes. Thrillist sums it up:
"Because ads think men can't even buy body wash unless the product comes in a bottle that looks like it was forged out of an iron meteorite by Thor himself, the home appliances in this sketch come equipped with 70-pound steel dishwasher doors and jackhammer spot removers for those pesky carpet stains that just won't come out."
There's also 240-horsepower "ride-on" vacuum cleaner, which Momoa straddles with a bottle of beer in hand. Watch it above.
'The Olympic gold medal in tone deafness'
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is getting blasted for tweets about his visit to Myanmar for 10 days of silent meditation. He raves about the country's people, food and sights, and he wraps things up with a plug for traveling there. But Dorsey made no mention of human rights violations in Myanmar, which struck many people as seeming ill-informed and tone-deaf. Particularly because, as Gizmodo writes, the Myanmar military has been "terrorizing hundreds of thousands of Muslims in a genocidal campaign enabled in part by social media platforms." One commenter tweeted: "This @jack thread is peak Silicon Valley: prioritising mindfulness spiritual blather over any concern for human rights." Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, tweeted: "I see that @jack has taken the Olympic gold medal in tone deafness. Bravo."
The stocking ad that's stalking us
Have you been seeing an online ad for socks with a message on the soles that reads: "If you can read this, leave me alone, I am watching Hallmark movies"? The writer of this wake-up call is seeing it all over the web. Apparently, so are the folks at Vox. Some people can't figure out why they're being targeted -- including a Harvard University curator of early modern manuscripts named John Overholt. "I don't have cable, so I haven't seen any Hallmark movies," he told Vox, perplexed. These socks are apparently not affiliated with the Hallmark Channel (and Vox said the channel didn't respond to a request for comment). Vox surmises that the socks are the work of dropshippers, which are businesses that sell goods without ever carrying them in stock. The products are shipped directly from the wholesaler. Tip: Before you click on the ad and buy the socks for your favorite fan of sappy Hallmark Christmas flicks, know that they're available via China's Alibaba for 80 cents.
ICYMI: "Liquor giant Diageo is putting more heat on its agencies to share gender equality information after a similar effort earlier this year was met with a mixed response," Ad Age's E.J. Schultz reports.
Kevin Hart + Nike: Comedian Kevin Hart, who dropped out of hosting the Oscars after old homophobic tweets of his resurfaced, is a Nike endorser, and "some on social media are wondering what Nike's stance is on Hart, whose voice is even part of the Nike running app," Quartz writes. Nike told Quartz that "Hart's comments are not aligned with Nike's support of the LGBTQ community." But also, Nike says, Hart "has sincerely apologized for the insensitive comment from his past."
Instagrammers not welcome: A huge and spectacular cave has been discovered in Canada, but researchers are not divulging where it is, "partly to discourage Instagram tourists," The New York Times reports.
Ad of the day: What does this banking commercial from Germany have to do with banking? We're not sure, but it's sweet. As Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine writes, the animated ad from banking group Erste "tells the sad tale of a hedgehog who's ostracized because of his spikes -- nobody wants to sit next to him on the bus, play with him or even kick a football around as they always get in the way." But in the spirit of the holidays, he gets some help, and the hedgehog is lonely no more. Watch it here.
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