Celebrities brighten Super Bowl ads and we take you behind the Big Game tease: Tuesday Wake-Up Call

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you’re reading this online or in a forwarded email, here’s the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters. 

Going for laughs with celebrities

Good morning! After such a tough year (it still feels like 2020 to us), brands looking to strike a chord with their Super Bowl commercials are overwhelmingly leaning towards work that is refreshingly humorous and packed with celebrities—especially those known for their comedic chops.

Cheetos has released its Super Bowl spot with not only Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, but also Shaggy. General Motors is teasing its Super Bowl spot promoting its electronic vehicles with three videos featuring Will Ferrell. What’s with the actor’s beef with Norway? It’s hard to know yet. Meanwhile, John Cena will star in Mtn Dew’s ad, Tracy Morgan will command both of Rocket Mortgage’s spots, Dan Levy will have a cameo in M&M’s commercial and Mike Myers and Dana Carvey appear in a teaser for Uber Eats.

You tease

State Farm is there …. in the game with its first Super Bowl commercial. To promote its debut, the insurer will air a 30-second teaser from The Marketing Arm featuring the brand’s red-shirted spokesman Jake that hints at an undisclosed surprise guest.

It’s all part of the long-running Big Game conundrum: to tease or not to tease. Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl and Ann-Christine Diaz dig into the reasoning behind brands’ decision to give away part of their Big Game plays. As popular as it might seem though, brands are doing it less and less, according to iSpot data. Jim Nail, principal analyst on business-to-consumer marketing at Forrester, says the brands that do it right end up teasing their spots two to three weeks ahead of the game to capitalize on word-of-mouth and social media shares.

To keep score of the onslaught of Super Bowl news, check out all the ads that are planned for the Big Game so far here and all the brands that have released commercials so far here. WeatherTech, for instance, has confirmed that it will air two 30-second commercials during the game, a decision that Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi writes was made at the last moment. Shift4 Payments is also airing a Super Bowl commercial to promote its efforts in the first all-civilian mission to space.  

But for some real behind-the-scenes scoops on this year’s Super Bowl spots, join us for our Ad Age In-Depth Super Bowl event today starting at 12 pm EST to hear from top marketers at Mars Wrigley, Kimberly-Clark, Frito-Lay and more. With the pandemic, social unrest and political upheaval, it was not an easy year to strategize for by any means. It’s not too late to RSVP!

Charity Bowl

Several brands that are choosing to stay out of the Super Bowl this year and some of the marketers running ads (like Chipotle and DoorDash), are using the game as an opportunity to do good. With the pandemic still raging across the country and vaccine production low, it’s a needed strategy.  

Kraft Heinz is the latest company to announce its sitting out of the Big Game, a list that now includes Kia, Hyundai, Budweiser, Coke and Pepsi. Remember how Kraft Heinz’s Planters held a funeral for Mr. Peanut during last year’s Super Bowl? This year, Planters brand will take its ad spend and instead use that to “shell out” $5 million to support “unsung heroes.” Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl writes that it’s the first time Kraft Heinz has passed on the Super Bowl since 2017.

“We’re seeing brands decide that the best way to enhance their brand right now is to do something positive for the community,” Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, tells Wohl.

Highlighting Black creative excellence

In celebration of Black History Month, we will be sharing moments of creative excellence from the industry’s Black creators with the help of leaders serving as our guest editors each week.

Our first guest editor is Aaron Walton, co-founder and CEO of Walton Isaacson, who reflects on his agency’s work for Lexus that gave Black storytellers a platform. “Making change—that makes me proud,” he writes. Keep your eyes on our Creativity site for more work that reflects Black talent coming every weekday this month.

Just briefly:

New leadership: IBM has named Carla Piñeyro Sublett as its new senior VP and chief marketing officer. Sublett comes from sales and marketing positions at NI, Rackspace and Dell.

Putting food on the table: Farmers are a group in desperate need of some help as the pandemic continues to keep restaurants closed. Fast-food restaurants, however, have been doing better thanks to their drive-thrus. Burger King France is doing its part to help French potato farmers by buying 200 extra tons of potatoes and giving away one kilo bag of potatoes to each customer who visits a drive-thru. The effort comes from Buzzman Agency in Paris and is being supported by social media and print ads.  

Watch this: Northwell Health has a new campaign called “Raise Health” from Strawberry Frog that aims to lift New Yorkers’ perceptions of what a healthy lifestyle means to them. “Raise hell when the status quo makes us sick,” says one spot.

That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage. From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here. 

Subscribers make the difference. Individual, group and corporate subscriptions are available—including access to our Ad Age Datacenter. Find options at AdAge.com/membership.

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you’re reading this online or in a forwarded email, here’s the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters. 

Going for laughs with celebrities

Good morning! After such a tough year (it still feels like 2020 to us), brands looking to strike a chord with their Super Bowl commercials are overwhelmingly leaning towards work that is refreshingly humorous and packed with celebrities—especially those known for their comedic chops.

Cheetos has released its Super Bowl spot with not only Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, but also Shaggy. General Motors is teasing its Super Bowl spot promoting its electronic vehicles with three videos featuring Will Ferrell. What’s with the actor’s beef with Norway? It’s hard to know yet. Meanwhile, John Cena will star in Mtn Dew’s ad, Tracy Morgan will command both of Rocket Mortgage’s spots, Dan Levy will have a cameo in M&M’s commercial and Mike Myers and Dana Carvey appear in a teaser for Uber Eats.
You tease

State Farm is there …. in the game with its first Super Bowl commercial. To promote its debut, the insurer will air a 30-second teaser from The Marketing Arm featuring the brand’s red-shirted spokesman Jake that hints at an undisclosed surprise guest.

It’s all part of the long-running Big Game conundrum: to tease or not to tease. Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl and Ann-Christine Diaz dig into the reasoning behind brands’ decision to give away part of their Big Game plays. As popular as it might seem though, brands are doing it less and less, according to iSpot data. Jim Nail, principal analyst on business-to-consumer marketing at Forrester, says the brands that do it right end up teasing their spots two to three weeks ahead of the game to capitalize on word-of-mouth and social media shares.

To keep score of the onslaught of Super Bowl news, check out all the ads that are planned for the Big Game so far here and all the brands that have released commercials so far here. WeatherTech, for instance, has confirmed that it will air two 30-second commercials during the game, a decision that Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi writes was made at the last moment. Shift4 Payments is also airing a Super Bowl commercial to promote its efforts in the first all-civilian mission to space.  

But for some real behind-the-scenes scoops on this year’s Super Bowl spots, join us for our Ad Age In-Depth Super Bowl event today starting at 12 pm EST to hear from top marketers at Mars Wrigley, Kimberly-Clark, Frito-Lay and more. With the pandemic, social unrest and political upheaval, it was not an easy year to strategize for by any means. It’s not too late to RSVP!
Charity Bowl

Several brands that are choosing to stay out of the Super Bowl this year and some of the marketers running ads (like Chipotle and DoorDash), are using the game as an opportunity to do good. With the pandemic still raging across the country and vaccine production low, it’s a needed strategy.  

Kraft Heinz is the latest company to announce its sitting out of the Big Game, a list that now includes Kia, Hyundai, Budweiser, Coke and Pepsi. Remember how Kraft Heinz’s Planters held a funeral for Mr. Peanut during last year’s Super Bowl? This year, Planters brand will take its ad spend and instead use that to “shell out” $5 million to support “unsung heroes.” Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl writes that it’s the first time Kraft Heinz has passed on the Super Bowl since 2017.

“We’re seeing brands decide that the best way to enhance their brand right now is to do something positive for the community,” Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, tells Wohl.
Highlighting Black creative excellence

In celebration of Black History Month, we will be sharing moments of creative excellence from the industry’s Black creators with the help of leaders serving as our guest editors each week.

Our first guest editor is Aaron Walton, co-founder and CEO of Walton Isaacson, who reflects on his agency’s work for Lexus that gave Black storytellers a platform. “Making change—that makes me proud,” he writes. Keep your eyes on our Creativity site for more work that reflects Black talent coming every weekday this month.
Just briefly:

New leadership: IBM has named Carla Piñeyro Sublett as its new senior VP and chief marketing officer. Sublett comes from sales and marketing positions at NI, Rackspace and Dell.

Putting food on the table: Farmers are a group in desperate need of some help as the pandemic continues to keep restaurants closed. Fast-food restaurants, however, have been doing better thanks to their drive-thrus. Burger King France is doing its part to help French potato farmers by buying 200 extra tons of potatoes and giving away one kilo bag of potatoes to each customer who visits a drive-thru. The effort comes from Buzzman Agency in Paris and is being supported by social media and print ads.  
Watch this: Northwell Health has a new campaign called “Raise Health” from Strawberry Frog that aims to lift New Yorkers’ perceptions of what a healthy lifestyle means to them. “Raise hell when the status quo makes us sick,” says one spot.

That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage. From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here. 

Subscribers make the difference. Individual, group and corporate subscriptions are available—including access to our Ad Age Datacenter. Find options at AdAge.com/membership.Read MoreLatest News – Ad Age

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