How Jeff Bezos obsessed over consumers but missed community, plus more Super Bowl ads: Thursday 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.

Bezos’ legacy

Ad Age explores the departure of Jeff Bezos from the Amazon CEO role this week. The tech innovator certainly made his mark on the world, creating a company that pretty much fulfilled his vision as the “everything store.” But, as with everything, it’s complicated.

“[Amazon is] steamrolling ahead into new business opportunities and markets,” Ad Age writes. “At the same time, Bezos has become a focal point for the company’s detractors, which have criticized part of the cutthroat culture that made Amazon a force to reckon with, and also one to fear.”

Bezos’ legacy will be about how he had a singular focus on the consumer, but fell short when it comes to community, says Salim Holder, CEO of 4th Ave Market.

So what’s next? Well, Andy Jassy will become CEO in July as Amazon enters its next phase of business development, which will include dominating in Amazon Web Services and advertising.

Super Bowl car troubles

The auto industry will have a smaller presence this year in the Super Bowl commercial lineup. So far, only three automakers—General Motors, Toyota and Jeep—have spots announced, reports Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. In 2020, six car brands bought ads at the game.

The reason? Schultz writes: “Auto brands faced the same challenges confronted in other categories, including COVID-related ad production challenges and determining if putting out a big-budget, celebrity-filled Super Bowl spot would fit the mood of a country still hunkered down in the pandemic. That is a special consideration for automakers, which are often pulled into big debates on politics and policy, and whose production facilities are now being used to make personal protective equipment during the COVID fight.”

Mission to space

The ad agency Known produced a Super Bowl ad this year, marking the firm’s one-year anniversary, and it wants to celebrate in space, writes Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi.

“The marketing company, which is the result of the coming together of Schireson, Stun Creative and Blackbird, is behind the campaign around the first civilian mission to space,” Poggi says. Known is working on the marketing around the mission, which is getting off the ground thanks to Elon Musk’s SpaceX program.

“The 30-second Super Bowl commercial will invite the 100 million or so viewers who are expected to tune into the game the chance to be a part of the mission. It showcases the SpaceX suit set to a take of the classic children’s song ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ from emerging artist Celeste. The adult spin on a child’s song is meant to capture a sense of hope and inspiration, which the mission is all about, says Brad Roth, president, studios, Known.

Honda review

Honda is looking for new partners for a sizeable chunk of its U.S. media account, reports Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. The automaker’s move could shift $550 million in ad spending to new partners.

“RPA currently handles Honda’s national creative and media business, including some Tier 2 media work. Other agencies involved in Tier 2 media include Horizon Media,” Schultz writes. “Honda Motor Co. spent $1.39 billion on U.S. advertising in 2019, including the Honda and Acura brands, according to the latest figures from the Ad Age Datacenter. (The figure does not include the entirety of dealer association spending that is a part of the review.)

“A person familiar with the review suggests the Tier 2 account could represent as much as $550 million in spending,” Schultz says.

Just briefly

YouTube measurement: Kantar has joined a program to measure how ads perform on Google-owned YouTube, Ad Age’s Mike Juang reports.

Ad show: NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, will host an advertising developer conference in March for the first time. “The company plans to announce new technology, data and digital partnerships at the event,” Ad Age reports.

Instagram revamp: TechCrunch reports on Facebook-owned Instagram’s plans to adopt more style features that resemble one of its biggest rivals, TikTok.

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.
Bezos’ legacy

Ad Age explores the departure of Jeff Bezos from the Amazon CEO role this week. The tech innovator certainly made his mark on the world, creating a company that pretty much fulfilled his vision as the “everything store.” But, as with everything, it’s complicated.

“[Amazon is] steamrolling ahead into new business opportunities and markets,” Ad Age writes. “At the same time, Bezos has become a focal point for the company’s detractors, which have criticized part of the cutthroat culture that made Amazon a force to reckon with, and also one to fear.”

Bezos’ legacy will be about how he had a singular focus on the consumer, but fell short when it comes to community, says Salim Holder, CEO of 4th Ave Market.

So what’s next? Well, Andy Jassy will become CEO in July as Amazon enters its next phase of business development, which will include dominating in Amazon Web Services and advertising.
Super Bowl car troubles

The auto industry will have a smaller presence this year in the Super Bowl commercial lineup. So far, only three automakers—General Motors, Toyota and Jeep—have spots announced, reports Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. In 2020, six car brands bought ads at the game.

The reason? Schultz writes: “Auto brands faced the same challenges confronted in other categories, including COVID-related ad production challenges and determining if putting out a big-budget, celebrity-filled Super Bowl spot would fit the mood of a country still hunkered down in the pandemic. That is a special consideration for automakers, which are often pulled into big debates on politics and policy, and whose production facilities are now being used to make personal protective equipment during the COVID fight.”
Mission to space

The ad agency Known produced a Super Bowl ad this year, marking the firm’s one-year anniversary, and it wants to celebrate in space, writes Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi.

“The marketing company, which is the result of the coming together of Schireson, Stun Creative and Blackbird, is behind the campaign around the first civilian mission to space,” Poggi says. Known is working on the marketing around the mission, which is getting off the ground thanks to Elon Musk’s SpaceX program.

“The 30-second Super Bowl commercial will invite the 100 million or so viewers who are expected to tune into the game the chance to be a part of the mission. It showcases the SpaceX suit set to a take of the classic children’s song ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ from emerging artist Celeste. The adult spin on a child’s song is meant to capture a sense of hope and inspiration, which the mission is all about, says Brad Roth, president, studios, Known.
Honda review

Honda is looking for new partners for a sizeable chunk of its U.S. media account, reports Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. The automaker’s move could shift $550 million in ad spending to new partners.

“RPA currently handles Honda’s national creative and media business, including some Tier 2 media work. Other agencies involved in Tier 2 media include Horizon Media,” Schultz writes. “Honda Motor Co. spent $1.39 billion on U.S. advertising in 2019, including the Honda and Acura brands, according to the latest figures from the Ad Age Datacenter. (The figure does not include the entirety of dealer association spending that is a part of the review.)

“A person familiar with the review suggests the Tier 2 account could represent as much as $550 million in spending,” Schultz says.
Just briefly

YouTube measurement: Kantar has joined a program to measure how ads perform on Google-owned YouTube, Ad Age’s Mike Juang reports.

Ad show: NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, will host an advertising developer conference in March for the first time. “The company plans to announce new technology, data and digital partnerships at the event,” Ad Age reports.

Instagram revamp: TechCrunch reports on Facebook-owned Instagram’s plans to adopt more style features that resemble one of its biggest rivals, TikTok.
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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