Exclusive: Tide Is Back in the Super Bowl; Google’s Latest Restrictions: Friday’s First Things First

Plus, what we learned from creating a Super Bowl AI bot

Tide's Super Bowl ad starring David Harbour was a major hit in 2018.
Headshot of Jameson Fleming

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Exclusive: Tide Returns to the Super Bowl

During the ANA Masters of Marketing in 2018, I asked P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard about Tide’s Super Bowl plans for last year’s game. His response surprised me: He said he’ll listen to pitches from any of the agencies they work with for any of P&G’s brands. If the right idea pops up, they’ll deeply consider executing the ad. He said that process was the genesis of Tide’s epic 2018 Super Bowl campaign.

After sitting out the game last year, Tide is back again, but the brand wouldn’t reveal whether it has any tricks up its clean sleeves again.

More Super Bowl ad news:

Exclusive: Google’s Latest Measurement Restrictions Will Make Life Harder for Mobile Marketers

Programmatic editor Ronan Shields has extensively covered Google’s plan to rid Chrome of cookies. In its latest move, the online advertising giant will start implementing changes this month to Google App Campaigns (formerly known as Universal App Campaigns) within its Google Ads platform that make it significantly harder to independently track conversions.

The new restrictions will affect a number of things, including iOS app installs that were driven by search traffic on Apple devices can no longer be reported by third parties.

Read more: Shields goes into great detail explaining how this change will impact mobile marketers.

What’s Happening Around the Super Bowl

Outside of the in-game ads, brands are trying to leave their mark on the game. Stella Artois isn’t advertising in the game, but will bring a luxe European port to Miami with Port de Stella. Lowe’s is creating a hometown village for each of the 32 teams. Burger King is tweaking its signs in Miami to reflect its connection to Super Bowl LIV. The NFL is working with Bud Light to distribute 50,000 recyclable aluminum cups during the game in an effort to make the game a hair more sustainable.

Here’s What We Learned by Teaching an AI to Write Super Bowl Ads

In our AdFreak newsletter, creativity editor David Griner provides some additional commentary on our coverage. Here’s an excerpt from that newsletter (which you can subscribe to here).

Obsessed with war and a dystopian apocalypse. “Lewdly sexual” behind the scenes.

These are not necessarily the things we were hoping to find in the AI that we at Adweek trained to pitch Super Bowl ads. But it’s probably better to learn them now with an ad-writing bot rather than after it’s been given the nuclear codes.

We write about the creative impact and potential of AI quite a bit, but to change things up a bit, emerging tech reporter Patrick Kulp and I decided to have a one-on-one chat about what we’ve learned training our Super Bowl Bot, which you can follow on Twitter at @SuperBowlBot and on Instagram at @adw.ai (I know, not the catchiest handle, but Insta is apparently not down with trademarks or bots in user names).

Here’s a quick excerpt from the chat:

Patrick Kulp: You and I have had conversations about the topics it touches on surprisingly often that are absolutely off-limits: domestic violence and racism, mostly. At other times, it gets over-the-top lewdly sexual. The problem is that the bot takes these topics from ads and expands on them out of context. So for example, it will take the theme from an NFL PSA on domestic violence and apply it to, say, a Doritos commercial in some horrible way.

Read more: Check out the full conversation about our Super Bowl ad bot.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights

5 Ways Managers Can Prevent Employees From Burning Out

Jonathan Kenyon, executive creative director, Vault49

1. Ensure that all employees have role clarity. If an employee has lost sight of what they are doing and the purpose of their role, it is impossible to be motivated and burnout becomes inevitable.
2. Ensure that management is candid when improvement is needed and supportive in helping guide the employee towards a shared ambition.
3. There must be a culture of fairness and equality.
4. Abandon a culture of pitching and all-night work sessions. Be more organized with agency resources and feel pride when your team leaves on time.
5. Rotate your team on projects as often as practical to bring fresh challenges to them (and to your clients).