Monday Wake-Up Call: Amazon's High-Tech Convenience Store Opens, and Other News

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Amazon Go
Amazon Go Credit: Amazon Twitter

Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related 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
In case you missed Sunday's playoffs (or if you're the kind of person who watches the Super Bowl just for the commercials) here's a cheat sheet for any conversations that might come up around the water cooler.
1. The Philadelphia Eagles will face the New England Patriots at Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2. That's the same matchup as in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Back then, the Patriots won 24-21.
3. Yes, Tom Brady played in that game, too.
4. For nostalgia's sake, here are the ads that showed in 2005, courtesy of Ad Age's Super Bowl archive, including's monkeys-in-the-office ads. One of them involved chimps, a conference table and a whoopee cushion.
Also: The Crisco brand was all over the news and social media ahead of the NFC championship game on Sunday. That's because police in Philadelphia used it to grease street poles so Eagles fans couldn't climb them. The @crisco account has never tweeted and had nothing to say about all this. But the Philadelphia police tweeted a photo of a Crisco can and urged everyone to celebrate responsibly.

Amazon Go
Until today, Amazon's futuristic checkout-less convenience store in Seattle was open only to employees. Starting Monday, the testing is over, and ordinary customers can visit the shop, called Amazon Go. When you enter, you scan a QR code, and then cameras mounted all along the ceiling record what you slip into your bag. A writer for the MIT Technology Review, one of a few who tested it, writes that "when we were ready to leave, we just, like, left." A New York Times reporter who also tried it says that "checking out feels like — there's no other way to put it — shoplifting." So what does this little shop mean for the future of retail? We don't know yet. Amazon "won't say whether it plans to open more Amazon Go stores, or leave this as a one-of-a-kind novelty," The Times writes. Amazon also told The Times it had "no plans" to use it at its Whole Foods stores. By the way: Despite all the fancy tech equipment and lack of cashiers, Amazon still has an actual employee in the liquor item to check IDs.

Gen Z
It's always millennials, millennials, millennials. But what about the post-millennials? For our latest print edition, Ad Age delves into Gen Z, the oldest of whom are turning 21 this year, according to the definition we're using. They're the most diverse generation in the U.S. And a whole, "they're financially literate and technologically savvy," as Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli writes. Gen Z saw what the 2008 financial crisis did to their parents and older siblings, and they're "wise to the perils of spending big and saving little," she adds. For marketers wondering how to talk to them, Ad Age's Brian Braiker and Jessica Wohl put together a handy glossary. If you've ever wondered what "TFW" means, this one's for you.

Just briefly:
H&M's bad ad:
After H&M faced protests – even demonstrations – over an ad that was widely panned for racial insensitivity, many retailers are turning to reputation management consulting firms to learn how to avoid similar controversies, as Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli writes.

'I'm Donald Trump, and I approve this message': Amid the U.S. government shutdown, President Trump's re-election campaign dropped a strongly worded ad that "could inflame tensions" in Washington, Reuters reports. The ad reiterates Trump's promise to build a border wall and says that "Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants." Watch the ad here.

Young turk: Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather, 86, is debuting a weekly show on The Young Turks Network, CNN reports. They're calling it an "untraditional evening newscast."

Facebook: Facebook has hired Peter Hutton, CEO of Eurosport, in "another strong signal of the social giant's appetite for live sports as a core part of its video-growth strategy," Variety reports.

SAG: The Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday "featured a roster of nearly all female presenters and Kristen Bell as its inaugural host," The Associated Press reports. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" was a big winner.

Creativity pick of the day: A few of the bold designs and statements on display at the Women's March came courtesy of The Taco Stand, a non-profit co-founded by Work & Co's Design Director Aleks Gryczon, along with director of talent Caitlin Lillie and director of marketing Lindsay Liu. Read more by Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz, and check out the work below.

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