Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.
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:
- Budweiser is flipping American stereotypes on their head with its one-minute spot. The ad highlights the best America has to offer by juxtaposing those images with a voiceover describing how Americans can be viewed by others.
- Brand reporter Ryan Barwick put Heinz’s plans perfectly: Not many brands can afford four Super Bowl commercials. Neither can Heinz, which is why it’s running four ads at the same time.
- Sabra’s ad features an odd combination: Real Housewives of New Jersey, RuPaul Drag Race contestants and T-Pain.
- Discover is running just its third Super Bowl ad since the 1980s.
- Winona Ryder will travel back to her hometown for Squarespace’s Super Bowl ad. Why is that special? Well, she’s from Winona, Minnesota.
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.
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.
Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights
- The (Twitter) Story of How a Writer Was Laid Off in the Middle of a Geico Shoot
- JPMorgan Chase Promotes Leslie Gillin to CMO
- AnalogFolk Is Closing Its Portland Office and Placing More Emphasis on NYC and Other Markets
- New York City Grocery Chain Fairway Market Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
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).