Tuesday Wake-Up Call: All about the #TrumpKimSummit, 'The Bachelorette' and Dennis Rodman

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Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore wearing a PotCoin T-shirt
Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore wearing a PotCoin T-shirt Credit: Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

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: President Trump met North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore, an event of such historic import that ABC interrupted "The Bachelorette" to show the two men shaking hands. The interruption sparked endless Twitter memes and some complaints from "Bachelorette" fans. "i just wanted trash reality shows to distract me from trash reality and u Interrupted it," someone tweeted.
The brand angle: Did brands have something to say about the summit? They did. Coca-Cola made a video of people holding cans bearing the message "Here's to peace, hope and understanding," with the "Hilltop" theme song as background music ("I'd like to teach the world to sing…") Ikea was irreverent. It ran a full-page ad in Singapore's The New Paper showing an Allen key, the twisty metal doodad you use to build Ikea shelves and tables, with the caption, "Weapon of mass construction." The tagline: "Today of all days, let's make furniture, not war."
'Peak 2018': Dennis Rodman's trip to the summit was reportedly sponsored by the cryptocurrency PotCoin. The former NBA star gave an interview to CNN and shed tears of joy about the summit while wearing a PotCoin T-shirt and a MAGA hat. As one Twitter user said, "We've reached peak 2018, people."

Um, yeah
This "worked out better than we dreamed," IHOP's chief marketing officer, Brad Haley, told Ad Age's Jessica Wohl. He was referring, of course, to the much-discussed teaser campaign in which the pancake chain announced that it was flipping its name to "IHOb," without revealing what the "b" might stand for. In case you missed the reveal (and if you did, are you living under a rock?) the "b" stands for "burger." The whole "IHOb" thing is just temporary, a way to draw attention to its burgers. And the campaign is from Droga5.
The riposte: Wendy's tweeted: "Can't wait to try a burger from the place that decided pancakes were too hard."

450 pages
Remember Mark Zuckerberg's congressional testimony in April, and all the questions he promised he'd answer later? He just did, and there are 450 pages of answers. Which is a book. A tome, even. But as Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes, "The responses Facebook sent to Congress did not provide much in the way of new information." Here's one example Sloane cites: Sen. John Thune of South Dakota asked how much consumers would likely have to pay if Facebook sold an ad-free version of its service. This was Facebook's carefully crafted non-response:

"Like many other free online services, we sell advertising space to third parties. Doing so enables us to offer our services to consumers for free," Zuckerberg wrote. "This is part of our mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."

Also: Are you a marketer who's feeling weirded out by Facebook's recent data privacy issues? Ad Age's Simon Dumenco has a few thoughts about that. "For years before the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there were warning signs (to ignore) and Rubicons to cross (that we crossed) regarding Facebook's use and misuse of personal information," he writes. "Every step of the way, marketers responded by saying, basically, "Here, take even more of our money!"

Just briefly:
Toning it down:
For many, Snapchat's yellow Ferris wheel outside the Cannes Lions has become a symbol of the promotional excesses of tech giants at the ad world's premier festival. This year, writes Ad Age's George Slefo, digital players will "attempt to balance the creative spirit of Cannes with technological prowess, without the heavy-handedness found at recent events." And ICYMI: Ad Age will have an evening newsletter during Cannes, and you can sign up for it here.

Creatives You Need to Know: Ahead of Cannes, Ad Age caught up with some of the creatives behind the year's buzzy campaigns, including the trio from Saatchi & Saatchi New York that dreamed up Procter & Gamble's running Super Bowl gag, "It's a Tide ad."

'Combat pay': The Financial Times has a long, long read about the events leading to Martin Sorrell's departure from WPP. It quotes a few of his former executive assistants (without naming names) about what it was like to work for him: "One EA referred to her salary as 'combat pay'; another as 'battle pay.'"

Moving on: Bozoma Saint John is leaving her job as Uber's top marketer after about a year, although she tells Ad Age: "I'm still very much a fan of the company, there's no issue there." She's joining Endeavor, the entertainment conglomerate.

ModCloth: The e-commerce brand "gained a following with its spirit of eclectic individuality before its acquisition by Walmart last year." So what's next? A campaign highlighting female musicians wearing fun, colorful clothes, writes Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli.

Pickle Juice Slush: That's an actual product, from Sonic Drive-In. As Megan Mowery writes in Ad Age, Sonic describes it as "sweet yet tart." We'll leave the taste tests to you.

Creativity pick of the day: The new ad from French Champagne house Moet & Chandon is full of beautiful people looking really, really happy. And sometimes, let's face it, we're in the mood for that kind of thing. The ad wants to remind people that "only its prestigious brand will do for the big moments in life," Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine writes. The cast includes a ballerina going on stage, a man celebrating the birth of his baby and a female astronaut lifting off into space. The ad, sadly, does not show us how to consume Champagne in zero gravity. Maybe next time.

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