Happy pre-Leap Day! We’re jumping into today’s roundup with some political advertising news, marketing fake meat during Lent and KFC’s napkin receipts
Bloomberg Startup Hawkfish Uses Memes, Edited Video
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg created Hawkfish, a startup filled with former executives from Silicon Valley, months before launching his bid from the Democratic presidential nomination. The business employs more than 270 people and injects millions of dollars in digital ads to test different campaign messages and use data to target voters. Hawkfish was involved in the tweets that showed Bloomberg’s face superimposed inside a meatball and the video edited to suggest an awkward pause (which never happened) during the Las Vegas debate.
Read more: The Wall Street Journal
Can You Eat Fake Meat During Lent?
Catholics and other Christians who observe the no-meat rule during Lent are wondering whether it’s OK to eat meat replacements like the Impossible Burger. The Washington Examiner reports that some restaurants are offering Lenten specials on meat-flavored substitutes, similar to the way McDonald’s often offers deals on its Filet-O-Fish during Lent. The Society of Saint Pius X, a Catholic organization, published an explainer in November saying eating fake meat is not technically a violation of the church’s meat abstinence rules. Others disagree. “I would propose that asking the question misses the point of the discipline, which is to offer up something delectable and desirous up as a form of penance in union with the suffering of Jesus Christ,” says Thomas Petri, academic dean of the Dominican House of Studies.
Read more: Washington Examiner
Future’s Uncertain for the Tokyo Olympics and its Advertisers
The coronavirus may claim the Tokyo Olympics as one of its victims this summer. Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and Discovery Inc. have deals to broadcast the games, with NBCUniversal having agreed to pay $1.1 billion, part of a long-term deal covering U.S. rights. Discovery agreed to pay $1.45 billion for European rights to the games from 2018 to 2024, but it would not have to pay rights fees should the games be canceled. NBC Sports had no comment on the rights deal. NBCUniversal had promoted its upcoming streaming service, Peacock, would carry the Olympics, and it secured $1.1 billion in ad commitments for the Olympics as of January.
Read more: The Wall Street Journal
KFC Prints Receipts and Menus On Napkins in UAE and Lebanon
The fried chicken brand has “napkinized” some of its restaurants in the Middle East, creating menus, food bags, posters, flyers, placemats and even receipts in restaurants in Beirut and Dubai, UAE, out of an ink-resistant and eco-friendly tissue paper that customers can use as a napkin.The initiative will eventually be rolled out to 87 KFC restaurants in the UAE and Lebanon.
Read more: AdAge
Jif Reignites the GIF Pronunciation Debate
The proper pronunciation of the acronym for “graphics interchange format” has long been a point of contention for ardent internet users. Programmer Steve Wilhite created the GIF format in 1987 and has since insisted that it’s presented with a soft ‘g.’ In a new marketing partnership with major GIF database Giphy, peanut butter brand Jif has released limited edition jars of spread with labels that read both “GIF” and “JIF” to either settle the debate or hopelessly drive it into perpetuity.
Read more: Wired
TikTok Marketers and the Pursuit of Billions of Views
Here’s your weekly reminder that TikTok is just about the biggest thing in social media. While still a relatively new platform, some brands have been able to harness TikTok’s user base with viral videos that have seen enormous reach. As it matures, TikTok should work to build more targeting options and controls for advertisers, according to Meghan Myszkowski, head of North American social media advertising at ad agency Essence. But with high reward comes high risk–perception over the app’s Chinese ownership can scare brands away, what with its eventual need to gather more detailed information about user behavior.
Read more: Bloomberg