Super Bowl Onslaught Begins; Fox Wants You to Skip Work on Monday: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, agencies remember Kobe Bryant

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

The Super Bowl Onslaught Begins

Entering Tuesday, only a handful of brands released their full ads ahead of the Super Bowl. On Tuesday, over a dozen brands revealed their full ads and the blitz will continue today, as we’re expecting brands will release about 10 more ads throughout the day (follow us on Twitter to get the latest ads as they go live). In total, we’re tracking about 50 ads, of which about 20% won’t be pre-released before the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Ad News:

  • Exclusive: After famous fictional cars arrived at Walmart to pick up groceries during last year’s Super Bowl, the brand continued the campaign, but took it to new heights—literally. Iconic spacecraft and characters from out of this world like Flash Gordon, Buzz Lightyear and the Aliens from Mars Attacks are among the 12 characters who make appearances. Watch it here.
  • As Man in the High Castle ends on Amazon Prime, the streaming service is turning to a new show about Nazis: Hunters. Amazon Studios will air a 30-second spot touting the show that stars Al Pacino. Watch it here.
  • Avocados From Mexico spoofs the Home Shopping Network with accessories for your avocados. My favorite is the avocado yurt, which sadly only exists in the extended version. Watch it here.
  • Cheetos is back in the game for the first time in over a decade to pitch its new product, Cheetos popcorn. MC Hammer plays a starring role in the spot. Watch it here.
  • Chrissy Teigen and John Legend star in the Hyundai Genesis spot, where the power couple say good-bye to “old luxury” in hilarious fashion. Watch it here.
  • Google returns to the game with a beautiful love story about a man trying to hold onto every little tidbit about his late wife. Watch it here.
  • Little Caesars thinks its new delivery service is the best thing since sliced bread. AND RAINN WILSON IS NOT HAVING IT. Watch it here.
  • Microsoft’s 60-second spot honors Katie Sowers, the first woman and openly gay coach in the NFL. She’ll be on the sidelines for the 49ers in Super Bowl 54. Watch it here.
  • It’s really hard to commit to a workout routine if you’ve historically not been into fitness. That’s why John Cena goes to great lengths to make working out fun for Jimmy Fallon in Michelob Ultra’s spot. Watch it here.
  • Bryan Cranston might be the most terrifying part of Super Bowl LIV. He pulls off a pretty convincing Jack Nicholson in The Shining for Mountain Dew. Watch it here.
  • New York Life goes the serious route to celebrate the company’s 175th anniversary. In the brand’s first spot in 30 years, New York Life focuses on the different types of love. It’s basically Modern Love, if Modern Love was a Super Bowl ad. Watch it here.
  • Rick from Rick and Morty has a Truman Show-like realization when he suddenly determines that he’s in a Pringles commercial. Calamity ensues. Watch it here.
  • Winona Ryder needs to build her new website using Squarespace. What better place to do so than her home town: Winona, Minnesota. Watch it here.
  • If you’ve never heard of Reese’s Take 5, Hershey is ensuring you will on Super Bowl Sunday. The brand brings to life a number of idioms about being clueless. Watch it here.

Fox Tells Super Bowl Viewers to Take Off Work the Next Day for ‘Super Monday’

Until a petition to move the Super Bowl to Saturday is successful, brands will continue to push to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a holiday. This year, it’s Fox working the angle with a new campaign that offers a $10,000 prize to folks who tweet #SuperMonday in observance of the unofficial holiday. The campaign features Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell and Paul Lieberstein, better known as Toby from The Office.

Watch it here.

‘Careful What You Wish For,’ Ad-Tech Firms Respond to Privacy Mandate

Despite studies suggesting consumers would opt-out of sharing data under CCPA at extreme levels, consumers so far haven’t exercised their rights to protect their data. Thus far, opt rates according to Teads were at a mere 0.3%. Companies are grappling with the legislation, but the government hasn’t provided the guidance needed to quell the confusion. As everyone scrambles to become CCPA compliant, it’s opened the door for bad actors, with one form of malware surging 600% since December.

Read more: Programmatic editor Ronan Shields’ takes a deep dive into what marketers need to know about the first month of CCPA.

The Agency Perspective on How Kobe Bryant Made His Mark on Advertising

Kobe Bryant made an impact on everyone—from the basketball court to agency veterans. Here’s a small dose of what a few had to say about him.

“There simply aren’t any words. Some people seem invincible, immortal, almost extra-human. Kobe was like that.” — Zambezi president and founder Chris Raih.

“I’ve spent 20 years working with marketing icons, celebrities and athletes. And not once did any of those legends so thoroughly [dress me down] and inspire me at the same time like Kobe.” — James Bray, executive creative director at Arnold.

Read more: Agency veterans explain what it was like to work with Kobe.

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

What can managers do to help new parents?

Lindsay Young, vp brand leader, Doner

Coming back to work after a long period away can be difficult. You worry about your capability as a parent away from your new baby, but even more so, you worry about your capability as a co-worker. It’s important to have candid conversations with your manager to reset work expectations (how much do you think you can travel, what are your in-office hour parameters, etc.) and understand the state of the business you are coming back to. I made sure to ask all of these questions in the weeks leading up to my return to ease myself back into office life, as well as balance being a mom to two small children.

Nicole Pellegrino, business development director, Outbrain

Since my managers and I worked closely to prepare for my leave, I knew that coming back wouldn’t be overwhelming since my business for the last quarter had been covered. What concerned me most about my return was leaving my 3-month old baby, how could I hand her off to a childcare provider and not be with her 24/7? Terrifying. My fears quickly disappeared because what I found at Outbrain was flexibility by my managers and senior leadership; all wanted to be certain I was transitioning successfully for our clients AND me personally.

On my first day back (last week), I was asked to present an in-office flex plan which was reviewed and responded to within 48 hours. Not only was I heard but Outbrain understood and offered me a short term arrangement that was perfect for me and my family. The experience was simple and the implemented plan was good for everyone involved. This helps me stay focused on my business and goals regardless of where I am when I’m working with clients—either in the office or remotely from my home.