Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The end of Facebook’s blue period. Plus, bad news (again) about TV ratings: Wednesday Wake-Up Call | Advertising Age

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; sign up here.

What people are talking about today
Certain colors make brands instantly recognizable, like Coca-Cola’s red, Tiffany’s pale turquoise and Facebook’s deep blue. Soon we’ll be seeing less of that blue. At Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the company laid out an ostensible roadmap for more privacy controls as well as the plan to unify the platform so people on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp can message each other, and unveiled an overhaul of its main social network, including a new look, Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports.

The blue banner on Facebook pages is going away to make room for more white space and minimalism. Basically, Facebook is going for something more Instagram-y.

More F8 news: In Canada, Facebook's Instagram will test a feature that hides users’ public "like" counts on videos and photos, The Verge reports.

Still more F8 news: On Instagram, it's going to be easy to shop directly from celebrities’ posts, Olivia Raymond reports on Ad Age. So "users who want to own that denim jacket Kim Kardashian West wore in her latest Instagram story can now directly purchase it from her posted content."

NewFronts news
Three things to know about Tuesday’s happenings at the Digital Content NewFronts, where digital publishers have been pitching new ad products to advertisers:

1. Condé Nast is casting itself as the new TV; it even has a new deal with Nielsen to measure its content, Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi writes. “We are the new Thursday night and we are always on,” Pamela Drucker Mann, Conde Nast’s chief revenue and marketing officer, says.

2. Verizon Media is emphasizing speedy 5G mobile internet as it negotiates with advertisers. The carrier is launching "a series of programs around shopping, news, finance and sports that revolve around the faster connectivity,” Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports.

3. Studio71’s presentation “included a man with a python wrapped around his head,” per the Ad Age live blog. Guess you had to be there?

Reality check
After the NewFronts come the upfronts, the TV networks’ May song-and-dance shows to woo advertisers. Before we get distracted by the hype, Ad Age’s Anthony Crupi wants us to face some cold hard data about TV ratings. And they’re...not good. Nielsen says broadcast C3 ratings--a rough estimate of live views and three days of delayed views--fell 17 percent in the first quarter compared to the year-ago period. Crupi’s take on the upfronts festivities: “All the liquor and tiny snacks in Midtown won’t make anyone forget that they’re essentially attending an Irish wake for commercial impressions.”

Just briefly:
Say cheese:
Business news streaming network Cheddar is getting bought by cable operator Altice USA for $200 million, Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing reports. “Legacy media companies buying new media companies to stay relevant is going to be common pattern for the next several years,” says Jason Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer at Publicis.

Goodbye: ESPN The Magazine is ditching print and going online-only. Read about that and other publishing news from Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco.

Big Tobacco: CVS Health is the first major brand to join in a “pledge to cut ties with any agency that counts tobacco and e-cigarette companies as clients,” Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse reports. And the drugstore chain “has begun rewriting its existing and future agency contracts to include the new restriction.”

Peloton: “One month after a group of music publishers sued it for copyright infringement, Peloton is firing back,” Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli reports. The fitness brand filed a countersuit accusing the music publishers of anticompetitive conduct.

Podcast of the day: Allyson Witherspoon, VP of marketing communications and media at Nissan North America, talks to Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl in this week’s Ad Age Marketer’s Brief. After working overseas, her advice to anyone thinking about an international role is, “Run, don’t walk, to the opportunity.”

Product of the day: “Samsung thinks millennials want vertical TVs,” The Verge writes. Actually, the TV in question (a 43-incher called the Sero) can switch between horizontal and vertical, since vertical videos on social media are so popular now. But do people really want to gaze at their life-size selfies in high definition? Um...maybe?


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