Thursday Wake-Up Call: In time for #TBT, Budweiser's goofy catchphrase is back ('Whassup?')

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Credit: Burger King and Budweiser

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: In case you're in need of something to laugh at this week, we recommend a new ad for Playtex tampons. It stars D'Arcy Carden, from NBC's "The Good Place" and HBO's "Barry," and it's so giggle-inducing it's "SNL-worthy," as the Ad Age headline says. (Watch it and read more here, in our Marketer's Brief.) The online commercial pokes fun at all the fancy-schmancy new tampon offerings out there. Do you need a tampon with a Chilean alpaca fleece core? How about uplifting affirmations printed on your tampon wrappers ("Bleeding is leading")? What about an app that allows you to auto-eject your tampon, "so you never have to search for that string again, ladies"? No? The ad was made by Edelman, and the point is that Playtex Simply Gentle Glide has "simply what you need, without all the extra." It's a commercial spoof and an actual Playtex ad, all wrapped up in one. Which is a pretty neat trick.

Budweiser's famous "Whassup" advertising catchphrase has returned, ready to whisk you back in time to the year 2000. But there's a twist, since "Burger King has crashed the party," as Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz writes. A new commercial advertises Bud and Burger King at the same time, and Burger King's mascot joins the Bud drinkers in shouting "Whassup?" The concept is that Bud and BK's American Brewhouse King Sandwich are a perfect summer pairing. Although, as the ad's fine print notes, the beer is not actually available for sale at Burger King. If this is too much to wrap your head around, maybe just re-watch the original "Whassup" ads, available via Ad Age's Super Bowl ad archive.

There's been a lot of coverage already about news publishers feeling burned by Facebook algorithm changes that prioritize posts from friends and family. But Slate's new deep dive on the issue is worth reading partly because it offers specific numbers about how the changes have affected Slate. Here's one passage getting attention:

"For every five people that Facebook used to send to Slate about a year ago, it now sends less than one. 'Every time Facebook traffic would go down, we'd think, OK, maybe this is the low point,' said Slate's editor in chief, Julia Turner. 'And then it would go down even further.'"

Slate also points out that very large publishers seem to be doing better in terms of of Facebook engagement, "with Fox News especially flourishing since the company began trying to prioritize 'trusted sources'" of news.
Also: The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is facing some issues as it tries to probe potential misuse of user data: "The company can't track where much of the data went after it left the platform or figure out where it is now," the Journal says.

Yesterday brought a lot of news on agency business wins. Here's the super-abridged version of the Ad Age coverage:
-- Interpublic's Initiative captured Revlon's global media account after a review. Things have been busy at Revlon, which "has a new CEO, has been relaunching its flagship brand with a new campaign from WPP's Grey and is expanding its Almay cosmetics brand at Ulta," Jack Neff and Megan Graham write.
-- Dunkin' Donuts handed its U.S. media agency account to a bespoke team of Publicis Media including Digitas and Blue 449 for media buying and planning, Graham and Jessica Wohl report. The incumbent was IPG's Trilia.
-- Horizon Media won media duties for off-price retailer Burlington Stores. The business had long been handled by Initiative, Graham reports.
-- H&R Block says Deutsch Los Angeles is its new creative and advertising agency of record, Adrianne Pasquarelli writes. It had spent years working with Minneapolis-based Fallon.
Like we said, it was a busy day on the agency beat.

Just briefly:
Mouse and Fox:
U.S. antitrust authorities cleared the way for Walt Disney Co.'s $71 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets. As Bloomberg News writes, Disney says it will sell Fox's regional sports networks to resolve one of the Justice Department's concerns. But this isn't quite over yet: Comcast is still thinking about whether to challenge Disney's offer, Bloomberg says.

Battle of the brands: After seven years, Apple and Samsung have finally settled their patent dispute, Reuters reports.

Streaming: "Roku is opening up its viewer data to TV networks and video publishers so they can offer marketers better-targeted ads on the streaming-video platform," Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi writes. Fox, Viacom and Turner will try it first.

The West Wing: Bill Shine, a former co-president of Fox News, "will take on a senior communications role for President Donald Trump," Fox News reports. Shine, who is close to Fox News host Sean Hannity, left Fox News last year as the company faced controversy over its handling of sexual harassment cases.

Frozen: Conagra Brands is set to buy Pinnacle Foods for around $8.2 billion, and The Wall Street Journal calls the deal "a critical bet on the recent resurgence of the freezer aisle." The combined portfolio would include Orville Redenbacher's, Healthy Choice and Hunt's, along with Birds Eye, Duncan Hines and Aunt Jemima.

What?: Chipotle's CMO says he wants the company to be a "purpose-driven lifestyle brand." The company is also going to get a new tagline and some new food. Read more by Ad Age's Jessica Wohl.

Ad lib: Ad Age Editor Brian Braiker talks to Brian Stempeck, the Trade Desk's chief client officer, for the latest edition of the Ad Lib podcast. And yes, Stempeck knows his industry baffles a lot of people. "Sometimes in the ad tech space, we try to make things as confusing and inaccessible as possible," he jokes.

Creativity pick of the day: The Supreme Court upheld President Trump's travel ban targeting people from several mostly Muslim countries, and Airbnb is making a pointed commentary about it. In a new ad, a montage plays clips of voyages in reverse, to make it look like travelers are going backward, Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine writes. In a world where "everyone built walls and no one left home," the United States would not even exist, the ad says. "To limit travel is to turn back progress," the ad says, as an image of the Statue of Liberty flickers across the screen. Watch the spot here.

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