We Have Questions About HBO Max; Paris 2024 Logo Misses the Mark: Monday’s First Things First

Plus, a closer look at Johnson & Johnson’s media shift

GIF animation of HBO Max appearing in question marks
Illustration: Trent Joaquin; Source: HBO
Headshot of Kimeko McCoy

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.

We Have Questions About HBO Max 

There’s a lot of hype around the new streaming and OTT landscape, especially with WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service HBO Max. The company’s latest offering has already snapped up The Big Bang Theory, pulled Friends from Netflix and moved Sesame Street from HBO to HBO Max. But even with the streaming service shaping up to be one of the larger and more ambitious new entries in the streaming space, there is still a lot we don’t know.

Read more: The 8 biggest questions we have about HBO Max.

Designers Have Thoughts on the New Olympics Logo

The good news: Paris 2024 launched the new Olympics logo.

The bad news: Designers aren’t thrilled.

The Olympic Games are indeed an exciting time, but it seems the logo for Paris 2024 may have missed the mark and many don’t seem to be fond of the new look. We asked designers to weigh in from “The Ugh” to “We like it.” This might be of those logos that grows on people the more you look at it.

Read more: Paris 2024 launches new Olympics logo. Here’s what designers think.

What Johnson & Johnson’s Media Shift Means for MDC Partners, WPP and the Industry

In case you haven’t heard, Johnson & Johnson sent its U.S. consumer health business from WPP’s Wunderman to MDC Partners’ Doner earlier this week. Both agencies were in desperate need for a big win. MDC Partners needed to show its headed in the right direction following Stagwell Group’s $100 million investment. Wunderman is the crown jewel of Mark Read’s attempt to resurrect WPP.

Read more: What happens after Johnson & Johnson’s media shift?

A Creative Agency Surprised Travelers With a Trip to West Virginia

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of West Virginia? If the picture isn’t something similar to a Miami or Las Vegas, you’re not alone. To help the state’s tourism industry, a Milwaukee creative agency came up with a creative solution: Don’t tell travelers where they’re going. Digital billboards and city buses wrapped in pixelated ads around Washington, D.C. encouraged curious onlookers. Road trip to West Virginia anyone?

Read more: Travelers didn’t know they were going to…West Virginia

Just Briefly: The Rest of Today’s Top News and Insights

Ad of the Day: Danish Anti-Binge Drinking PSA Puzzlingly Asks: Are You Pushing the Sausage?

There are several analogies one could use for peer pressure related to binge drinking. Yet, using sausages as an example of why alcohol excess is bad isn’t one we would have considered.

Copenhagen agency Robert/Boisen created a two-minute PSA that shows nary a drop of alcohol, yet uses sausages (something one should binge on, if we’re honest) to make its point. One the one hand, it’s incredibly absurd. Yet, on the other, the wacky approach will likely break through to teens in Denmark and make an important point.

When Your Team Is Stuck, How Do You Brainstorm?

Jonathan Kenyon, founder and ecd, Vault49

We frequently run a full studio workshop called ’49 minutes’. This involves pausing all activity in the studio for a fixed period of 49 minutes (the duration being inspired by our agency name!) and asking everyone to focus their attention on a particular problem to solve, with everyone then taking a minute to present their discoveries to the full group afterwards. This includes every level of seniority and often takes place with our London and NYC studio combined. It democratizes where ideas come from and there has never been a strategic or creative roadblock that we haven’t been able to ride over by utilizing this approach.

Melissa Tischler, partner, Lippincott

One of my favorite techniques is to select a group of well-known and distinct companies, particularly those that do business in another category, and think about how they would come at the challenge I’m trying to solve. When you start thinking about “how Tesla would make a frozen meal” or “how Everlane would design a banking app” it gets the wheels turning in new ways.


@kimekom Kimeko McCoy is a freelance journalist and digital marketer, who focuses on social strategy, newsletters and audience development.
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