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Disney, Marvel ad buys could make for a Superhero Bowl

4 hours ago

With two weeks and change until CBS broadcasts its 20th Super Bowl, the in-game advertising picture is coming together nicely.

We already know that perennial Big Game marketer Anheuser-Busch InBev is heavying up for Super Bowl LIII, committing to a slate of eight ads that will clock in at five minutes and 45 seconds. Five automotive marques have confirmed that they'll be suiting up for the NFL title tilt, while usual suspects PepsiCo (Pepsi, Doritos), Mars (M&M's) and Avocados From Mexico are also prepping new creative to air during the great national advertising showcase.

As in years past, however, the movie buys are a bit harder to pin down. CBS and the studios are keeping mum on how that particular category will shake out, which isn't terribly surprising. The network itself is beholden to binding non-disclosure agreements, while the moviemakers don't necessarily have their final game plans in place. Studio marketing heads often aren't entirely sure which creative they'll present until the zero hour; in fact, it's not unheard-of for the networks to receive the final cut of a teaser just a few hours before the opening kickoff.

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Netflix crowns itself king of TV, but loses to 'Fortnite'

4 hours ago

Netflix claims to command 10 percent of America's TV time in its latest quarterly report on Thursday, which also called out "Fortnite" as its biggest competitive concern.

The streaming behemoth said fourth-quarter earnings increased 27.4 percent to $4.19 billion, which was slightly below Wall Street analyst forecasts. However, subscriber growth was 8.8 million, beating expectations and bringing its subscriber base to 139.3 million.

"In the U.S., we earn about 10 percent of television screen time," Netflix announced in its shareholder letter, "and less than that of mobile screen time."

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Moonves will fight CBS for $120 million severance package

8 hours ago

Former CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves is demanding arbitration over the broadcaster's decision to withhold his $120 million severance following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Moonves notified CBS that he is demanding binding arbitration, according to a company filing Thursday. In December, the media giant concluded there were grounds to fire Moonves, 69, for cause and said its former CEO wouldn't be entitled to any severance payments.

Considered one of the most-successful executives in TV, Moonves was felled by sexual misconduct accusations from a dozen women. The broader corporate culture at CBS is also under scrutiny, following allegations of misconduct by Charlie Rose, the well-known on-air personality, and others in the news division.

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Watch the newest TV commercials from TGI Fridays, Chase, Spectrum Mobile and more

8 hours ago

Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than eight million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time yesterday.

A few highlights: HBO promotes "Brexit," a new film starring Benedict Cumberbatch that debuts on the network on Jan. 19 (and already aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 on Jan. 7). Spectrum Mobile hypes the iPhone XS and its "breakthrough dual-camera system." And TGI Fridays graciously offers you "zero judgment" if you've decided to forget about your New Year's resolutions.

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GM pulls disputed 'Real People, Not Actors' TV ad

11 hours ago

Chevrolet will stop airing its most recent "Real People, Not Actors" TV ad that claims the brand has better reliability than Toyota, Ford and Honda, among other brands.

The commercial has been pulled nationally and is being phased out in local markets after each brand featured in the spot Toyota, Ford and Honda challenged the claim.

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Blue Diamond taps TBWA/Chiat/Day LA to lead creative duties

2 hours ago

Blue Diamond Growers apparently went nuts for TBWA/Chiat/Day LA's pitch, choosing it to lead creative duties after a review.

The appointment entails creative work across the California agricultural cooperative and marketing organization's product portfolio, which includes almonds, almond milk and nut-based crackers, the agency says. Blue Diamond couldn't be immediately reached for comment. The review was run by Select Resources International.

The marketer had worked recently with Publicis Groupe shop Riney, which also could not be immediately reached for comment.

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AB InBev's big Super Bowl buy just got bigger

6 hours ago

Ticket to ride

Cargo, the miniature convenience store found inside Uber vehicles that sells candy bars and breath mints to passengers, is now entering a new arena: digital sales. The company said Wednesday that it's partnered with SeatGeek to offer Uber riders deals on digital tickets to concerts and sporting events; the move marks Cargo's first expansion beyond the sales of physical goods.

Passengers will have to use their mobile phones and enter a unique code found inside the Uber vehicle to save money on tickets, the company said. Cargo's business model revolves around turning what some Uber drivers already offer for free mints, candy into a side hustle to earn extra cash. A typical Cargo box includes items such as Rice Krispies Treats, Pringles, Advil, stain removal napkins and Extra spearmint gum.

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So long Marriott Rewards, it's time for Marriott Bonvoy

7 hours ago

Marriott is saying ahoy to Bonvoy. The global hotel chain announced Wednesday that it is rebranding its rewards program as Marriott Bonvoy and retiring its exisiting loyalty brands Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. The repositioning follows the disclosure late last year of a data breach at Marriott's Starwood brandaround 383 million customer records were hacked in what the New York Times reported as the largest breach in history.

The new Marriott Bonvoy is not just a loyalty program, according to Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer at Marriott International, but also unifies the hospitality company's portfolio, which is in 129 countries and territories. The new logo and branding will begin appearing in consumer-facing materials on Feb. 13. The rebranding comes after Marriott folded its namesake, Ritz-Carlton and Starwood brands into one loyalty program in August.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott has been working with Mother Design for two years on the rebranding.

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Sinclair joins streaming war with launch of free service 'Stirr'

7 hours ago

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. becomes the latest entrant to join the budding streaming video war with the launch of its own direct-to-consumer platform, dubbed Stirr.

The rollout of the service begins with 20 networks, including Cheddar and the Dove Channel, with plans to grow to more than 50 channels by year end. Users can also access national and local news channels where Sinclair has existing stations. The introduction of Stirr underscores the growing necessity to catch up to changing viewer habits as digital and mobile media emerge as go-to options.

The ad-supported platform comes to market free for viewers, and Stirr general manager Adam Ware doesn't anticipate any changes to pricing for at least a year. Roku stands as Stirr's most-direct competitor, Ware says, with an honorable mention to CBS's All Access offering.

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Leo Burnett has two new presidents

8 hours ago

Leo Burnett Chicago chief creative Britt Nolan and chief strategy officer Emma Montgomery are stepping up as co-presidents of the Publicis Groupe shop's flagship office, the agency told staffers today. Both will also maintain their current roles.

Nolan and Montgomery will continue to report to Andrew Swinand, CEO of Leo Burnett Group in North America. Swinand will still have responsibility for Leo Burnett Group's initiatives and financial delivery, with Leo Burnett Detroit and Arc Worldwide continuing to report to him.

Under the new structure, Nolan will oversee product leadership, including the agency's vision, culture and product standards, as well as oversee creative and production functions. He joined the agency in Chicago in 2009 and was promoted to the chief creative role in 2016, working on Allstate's "Mayhem," Samsung's "Ostrich" and the "VanGogh BnB," which gave people the chance to rent a reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's bedroom for a night for the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Watch the newest commercials on TV from Metro by T-Mobile, State Farm, Parsons Xtreme Golf and more

8 hours ago

Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than eight million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time yesterday.

A few highlights: State Farm shows how family station wagon "Beige Betty" becomes a rite of passage when handed down to the next generation. Parsons Xtreme Golf promotes the "explosive power" of its 0811 GEN2 drivers in an operatic ad. And Metro by T-Mobile makes otters the stars of two new spots, with voiceovers imagining conversations between the cute animals on how much they've saved since switching to the phone network.

Today's TV Ad Highlights

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Super Bowl Alert: Girl power!

10 hours ago

Good morning Super Bowl junkies,

I'm Jeanine Poggi, Ad Age's senior editor, here with the latest edition of our Super Bowl Alert. In the weeks leading up to the game, Ad Age will bring you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes, big-game commercialsall in our Super Bowl Alerts newsletter. Sign up right here to get them in your email.

That's nuts

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Lampert wins bid to keep Sears alive

10 hours ago

Eddie Lampert won a bankruptcy auction for Sears with a plan that will keep the retailer in business and seek to save tens of thousands of jobs, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.

Lampert's bid prevailed over competing proposals from liquidators that would have forced the 126-year-old department store chain to shut down and sell its assets. The bid is valued at over $5 billion and represents an improvement of more than $150 million over the hedge fund manager's previous offer, the person said, asking not to be identified because the talks are confidential.

The agreement, reached in the wee hours of Wednesday, caps two days of discussions behind closed doors in New York to determine whether Sears would be worth more dead or alive. Sticking points during the talks had included whether Sears Chairman Lampert should be insulated from lawsuits over his previous turnaround deals for the company, Bloomberg previously reported. The final agreement doesn't include such a release for Lampert, the source said.

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adage TEST 2

16 hours ago

Snapchat CFO departs after less than a year on the job

2 days ago

Snapchat is losing its chief moneyman, the latest in a string of high-profile departures in the past year that dented the company's stock price on Tuesday.

Tim Stone, Snapchat's chief financial officer, was on the job less than a year when he handed in his resignation on Tuesday, Snapchat announced in a regulatory filing required of public companies. Snapchat was careful to note that Stone's departure was not an indication of any malfeasance.

"Tim Stone, our chief financial officer and principal financial officer, notified us of his intention to resign to pursue other opportunities," Snapchat's filing said. "Mr. Stone has confirmed that this transition is not related to any disagreement with us on any matter relating to our accounting, strategy, management, operations, policies, regulatory matters, or practices (financial or otherwise)."

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Former NBC Sports sales boss Seth Winter to join Fox

2 days ago

Former NBC Sports ad sales chief Seth Winter has been tapped to tackle an analogous role for the new-look Fox. In doing so, he'll be reunited with former NBC colleague and recently-named Fox ad sales president Marianne Gambelli.

Winter, who relinquished oversight of NBC's sports sales in September 2016, just a few weeks after he'd booked a record $1.2 billion in national ad revenue for the Rio Summer Olympicsan effort that resulted in a profit in excess of $250 millionwill report directly to Gambelli. Winter and Gambelli worked together in NBC's sales organization for the better part of a dozen years, an association that ended in 2013, when she left 30 Rock to serve as chief investment officer and executive vp of Horizon Media.

Gambelli returned to the supply side of the negotiations table in May 2017, when she was hired to succeed longtime Fox News ad sales boss Paul Rittenberg. After some 15 months, Gambelli took on even greater responsibilities, inheriting the lead ad sales role for all sports, news and entertainment assets from Joe Marchese.

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Hyundai punts on NFL sponsorship deal

2 days ago

Hyundai Motor America isn't striking a new sponsorship deal with the NFL when its four-year partnership ends after this season, clearing the way for another automaker to take the mantle.

Hyundai Motor America CMO Dean Evans confirmed during the Detroit auto show that the automaker doesn't have any plans to re-engage with the league on a new deal. But Evans made clear that NFL programming will still be a key piece of its marketing strategy going forward.

Some dealers questioned the effectiveness of the sponsorship over the years because it didn't offer much direct advertising exposure during NFL games on mainstream networks such as Fox, CBS and NBC. While Hyundai carried the official vehicle and SUV moniker, and Genesis was the official luxury vehicle, rival brands such as Ford and Toyota still filled the airwaves on game days.

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Electronic Arts puts global media business up for review

2 days ago

Video game company Electronic Arts which develops and publishes games like FIFA, Madden NFL and The Sims handles a large chunk of its media capabilities in-house. But the marketer just launched a review to find a strategic external media agency partner as it "seeks to re-imagine its media operations."

The Redwood City, California-based marketer, a self-proclaimed "vocal constituent of the 'in-housing' trend over the past 18 months," according to a company statement, said it has recently consolidated its internal media disciplines across channels, regions and business units. But it is still seeking a "strong external partner" for media work, according to the statement.

EA's leaders have said having certain media capabilities in-house ensures that the company can "quickly map new opportunities in the marketplace" and have made the flow of information and feedback with internal teams "obstacle-free."

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NFL ratings rebound not a fluke

2 days ago

The NFL heads into Championship Sunday with a spring in its step as ratings for the first two rounds of the playoffs suggest that the league's season-long ratings rebound hasn't been a fluke.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the four Wild Card and four Divisional Round broadcasts averaged 30.4 million viewers and a 17.2 household rating, which works out to a 10 percent improvement compared to last year's analogous games. Seven of the eight postseason showdowns put up higher numbers than their year-ago counterparts, with only CBS's coverage of the Chargers-Patriots blowout failing to deliver a larger audience than the comparable game in 2018.

The biggest draw of the two early rounds came courtesy of Fox's coverage of Sunday evening's hotly contested Eagles-Saints matchup, which averaged 38.2 million viewers and a 20.9 rating, up 8 percent compared to last year's Saints-Vikings window. Philadelphia's hopes of defending its title evaporated with 2:01 left on the clock when a Nick Foles pass sailed through receiver Alshon Jeffery's hands and was picked off on the Saints' 19-yard-line.

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First two rounds of playoffs deliver 10 percent NFL ratings boost

2 days ago

The NFL heads into Championship Sunday with a spring in its step as ratings for the first two rounds of the playoffs suggest that the league's season-long ratings rebound hasn't been a fluke.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the four Wild Card and four Divisional Round broadcasts averaged 30.4 million viewers and a 17.2 household rating, which works out to a 10 percent improvement compared to last year's analogous games. Seven of the eight postseason showdowns put up higher numbers than their year-ago counterparts, with only CBS's coverage of the Chargers-Patriots blowout failing to deliver a larger audience than the comparable game in 2018.

The biggest draw of the two early rounds came courtesy of Fox's coverage of Sunday evening's hotly contested Eagles-Saints matchup, which averaged 38.2 million viewers and a 20.9 rating, up 8 percent compared to last year's Saints-Vikings window. Philadelphia's hopes of defending its title evaporated with 2:01 left on the clock when a Nick Foles pass sailed through receiver Alshon Jeffery's hands and was picked off on the Saints' 19-yard-line.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

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