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: Apple announced over 70 new emoji to enhance our texting pleasure. We'll be seeing more emoji with red hair, gray hair, curly hair and no hair. A llama and kangaroo emoji have been added to the virtual menagerie of iOS 12.1. The update introduces a few icons of culture and cuisine, including a Chinese mooncake and a bagel. The bagel, with a rather soulless and plastic appearance, stirred the most controversy. "What Midwestern bagel factory did this bagel come out of?" Grub Street complained. "The bagel emoji should only be used to illustrate what kind of bagel you don't want your friend to pick up on the way over."
Following the money
What are the top five most expensive TV programs for advertisers? As Jeanine Poggi writes, Ad Age's annual pricing chart puts NBC's "Sunday Night Football" on top, followed by "Thursday Night Football" on Fox, "This Is Us" on NBC, "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS and "Empire" on Fox.
Crunching the numbers based on data from media agencies, Poggi found that the price of buying an ad during many top TV shows is going down year-on-year. "Out of the 66 returning series on the big four broadcast networks and The CW, 41 saw the cost for a 30-second ad decrease in the 2018-19 season," she writes. That goes for the top-rated program too, Poggi notes: "After two years of price hikes for a 30-second commercial in NBC's 'Sunday Night Football,' those increases have stalled this season. Advertisers are paying $665,677 on average for a 30-second spot in the broadcast, about $30,000 less than the $699,602 advertisers paid last year." Get the full picture here.
Advertising Week thought of the day
We've just hit the halfway point of Advertising Week New York, where there are 1,216 speakers in four days. (If you're there, maybe you should reward yourself with an extra shot of espresso this morning.) Here's a quotable stat you might have missed: Some 85 percent of consumer products purchases are influenced by women, yet 40 percent of women do not identify at all with the women they see in advertising. Those statistics come from The Female Quotient CEO Shelley Zalis, who also helps guide the #SeeHer initiative. Read more coverage of Advertising Week in Ad Age's daily recap.
Walmart has been amassing a collection of trendy, digitally savvy clothing brands. Last year it bought meanswear brand Bonobos and vintage-inspired womenswear brand Modcloth. Now it's buying plus-sized online retailer Eloquii; the pricetag is $100 million, Recode reports. What's the strategy? Differentiating itself from Amazon, as Recode writes. Walmart believes one way to do that is by "acquiring digital-native brands that have direct relationships with customers and appeal to younger generations of shoppers — and won't be sold on Amazon." Amazon, of course, has its own tactics on branding: It has created dozens of its own private-label brands, including clothing lines with cute names like Lark & Ro, Essentialist and Paris Sunday.
Meanwhile in Cincinnati: After Advertising Week New York, the other big marketing event this week is Cincinnati's Brandemonium conference. Ad Age's Jack Neff profiles Cincinnati, home of companies including Procter & Gamble, Macy's and Kroger, as well as quite a few ad agencies. And a sex toy company.
Wait a second: It looks like Toys R Us might survive after all. The lenders that control the retailer now "are now working on resuscitating the brand, according to new court documents," Bloomberg News reports.
Huh: PepsiCo shares dipped after its chief financial officer said the company doesn't have any plans for cannabis investment, Bloomberg News reports. Coca-Cola Co., on the other hand, has said it's looking at possible use of CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabis ingredient.
Out: "A Dunkin' Donuts employee was fired after he was filmed pouring a pitcher of water on a homeless man who appeared to be sleeping in a store in Syracuse," The New York Times reports.
Hack: Facebook's massive user data breach may have affected other sites that let people log in using their Facebook passwords. "Several large internet services rely heavily on Facebook logins, including Spotify, Airbnb, and Tinder," The Verge notes. "Anyone who had full access to a user's account would have been able to log into those services as well, possibly undetected."
$15: Amazon just raised its U.S. minimum wage to $15. The backstory is that Amazon has faced months of political pressure and bad press about its labor practices. Wired notes: "One report published in April documented how some Amazon workers were forced to pee in water bottles to meet workplace demands, and another from July found some employees have suffered from workplace accidents that left them homeless."
Another one: CBS Television Studios has fired Brad Kern, former showrunner on "NCIS: New Orleans," The Hollywood Reporter writes. The report says Kern had been "the subject of internal investigations and faced claims including harassment, unprofessional conduct and vindictive behavior."
Creativity pick of the day: Fiat's running an unusual ad in the UK for its 500X model -- Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine calls it a "longform dark comedy sketch." It portrays a woman having a funeral for her 20s, dumping the remnants of her 20-something life into the grave, including ridiculous glittery stilettos, bad cocktails to creepy ex-boyfriends. What's the reward for turning 30, besides getting rid of a lot of baggage? Being able to afford a better car, of course. Check it out here.