Wednesday Wake-Up Call: 'Modern Family' producer blasts Fox, Comedy Central's satirical Trump 'library' wins at Cannes
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: As President Trump's immigration policy and the border separation of families dominates the headlines, senior entertainment figures who work with the Fox empire are turning on the company over Fox News' support of White House policy.
"Modern Family" co-creator Steve Levitan threatened to leave 21st Century Fox's TV studio, saying that he's "disgusted" by the company's ties to Fox News. Although Levitan later softened his stance, his outburst follows those of "Family Guy" co-creator Seth MacFarlane, who said Fox News made him "embarrassed to work for this company," and the film director Paul Feig, who has made two films for Fox but also slammed Fox News.
Meanwhile criticism of Fox also has implications for a potential Comcast-Fox deal. As Ad Age's Simon Dumenco notes, a Comcast shareholder recently complained to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts about Seth Meyers, whose "A Closer Look" commentaries air on NBC's "Late Night" (Comcast owns NBC Universal), calling his comments about President Trump "un-American and borderline treasonous." Myers said of the current crisis on Monday night: "Trump is trying to gaslight the country into thinking it's actually the Democrats' fault that this policy exists."
Also: Tuesday night saw more high-profile outbursts over the border policy. Bruce Springsteen interrupted his Broadway show, as the Guardian reports, to condemn "senior people in government" who he said had blasphemed in suggesting that they had a duty to separate families. Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow broke into tears over on MSNBC while reading a report on child migrants.
Trump satire wins at Cannes
Even on the French Riviera, you couldn't escape Trump. Among the Cannes Lions awarded yesterday was an Outdoor Grand Prix for Comedy Central's Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, a satirical museum experience showcasing Trump's relationship with Twitter. The free pop-up, created via Pop2Life and situated around the corner from Trump Tower, offered interactive installations and decor inspired by Trump's taste.
As Ad Age's Megan Graham reports, there was debate over whether the work was too New York-centric, but jury president Chris Garbutt, Global Chief Creative Officer at TBWA, said voices from other markets found it inspiring to use satire to work through tension. (Plus, surely, the whole world knows about Trump's Twitter habit.)
More Cannes Grand Prix
Big brand winners at Cannes yesterday included Budweiser, which won the Grand Prix for Print and Publishing for "Tagwords," a campaign by Brazilian agency Africa that encourages people to Google search different images of Bud's place in musical history throughout the years. McDonald's minimalistic "Follow the Arches" campaign by Canadian agency Cossette also scooped an Outdoor Grand Prix.
Elsewhere, many of the winning campaigns were cause-driven. "Trash Isles," by LADbible and Plastic Oceans, took the Grand Prix for Design after encouraging young people to lobby the United Nations to acknowledge the plastic in oceans as its own "country." (The campaign by AMV BBDO has already picked up several other awards, including a One Show Green Pencil and D&AD Yellow Pencil.)
Ogilvy Cape Town took the Grand Prix for radio and audio with "Soccer Song for Change," a campaign for Carling Black Label beer that highlighted domestic violence, and Grey Brazil won in Mobile for "Corruption Detector," an app created for client Reclame Aqui that leverages facial recognition to highlight Brazilian politicians' corruption.
See a complete list of Grand Prix winners so far here, and for all the latest news from France, catch up with our daily live Cannes blog.
Gawker for good? Kevin Lee, executive chairman and co-founder of Didit, a full-service digital agency that specializes in search, is considered to be a leading candidate to purchase Gawker once it goes up for auction later this summer. But, reports Ad Age's George Slefo, it's his plans for it that are amazing: Lee intends to flip Gawker upside down and rename it "Gawker for Good." The website would feature positive stories about celebrities and sports personalities and, in an interview with Slefo, Lee says his dream first interviewee would be Hulk Hogan.
Disney names animation chiefs: Disney named "Frozen" director Jennifer Lee and "Inside Out" director Pete Docter as the successors to John Lasseter at Pixar, after he resigned over complaints about his behavior. As chief creative officers, Lee will lead Walt Disney Animation Studios and Docter will run Pixar Animation Studios, reports The New York Times. Lee is the first woman ever to lead Disney's animation studio.
The pick of Pinterest: Pinterest is teaming up with women's lifestyle brand FabFitFun on the "Pinterest Box," which includes products from Pinterest's top-rated trends in beauty, wellness and apparel, reports Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli. Debuting at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the $49.99 box includes sweatproof mascara from beauty brand Tarte -- something that should prove useful at all those beach parties.
Facebook Messenger ads: Facebook might be making its news feed more clutter-free, but it's now adding autoplay video ads to Facebook Messenger. As Ad Age's Garrett Sloane reports, the ads will appear in the inbox section, where people see a list of their messages from friends and other contacts.
Creativity pick of the day: Hey kids, if you can't get a job after college, why not dress up as a chicken salesman? KFC's Colonel Sanders, in the guise of his latest incarnation George Hamilton playing the Extra Crispy Colonel, was the guest speaker last Friday for the 2018 graduates of the Art Institute of Portland. Dressed in full regalia, Sanders/Hamilton actually gave a full commencement address, full of gems on his own education and inspirational words. You can watch some of the video over at Creativity Online.