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The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, Feb. 3-7

The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, Feb. 3-7

Marketing News Staff

weekly roundup image, orange background

This week, we highlight the big brand winners of Super Bowl LIV, Spotify’s major media company purchase and revised standards for video advertising

Jeep’s ‘Groundhog Day’ Spoof Wins USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter

USA Today released its Super Bowl LIV Ad Meter results, with Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” commercial featuring Bill Murray in the top spot. At No. 2 was Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” ad with John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch and Chris Evans, followed by Google’s “Loretta” ad. The Donald Trump Campaign’s “Criminal Justice Reform” spot came in last, and the other political campaign ad of the night—Michael Bloomberg’s “George”—was only two spots higher. Fox reported 102 million Super Bowl viewers on its network, digital platforms and its Spanish-language channel, up from 99.9 million viewers last year.

Read more: USA Today

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McDonald’s Branding Goes Minimalist

Ad agency Leo Burnett London and American designer David Schwen have created a new outdoor branding campaign for McDonald’s called “Iconic Stacks.” Using the fast food giant’s brand colors, the pieces contain simple lists of ingredients of some of McDonald’s classic sandwiches, with no mention of the brand name on the ads. The spare visuals are a bet on brand equity with established customers, and stray from unnecessarily busy messaging.

Read more: Fast Company

With Its Eye on Podcast Domination, Spotify to Purchase The Ringer

Spotify and The Ringer logos

Spotify has demonstrated its dedication to establishing itself as a podcast brand when it purchased Gimlet Media and Anchor, two podcast players acquired last year. The streaming music and podcast service has continued its efforts by announcing an upcoming purchase of The Ringer, a culture site founded by Bill Simmons that currently hosts nearly 40 podcasts ranging from sports to television recaps. No financial details have been disclosed, but Spotify’s previous purchases totaled $340 million. Simmons will remain at the helm, and a representative from Spotify has said that the company is excited to curate a top-tier editorial team and develop new talent.

Read more: Business Insider

KFC Apologizes for Ad Aired in Australia That Angered Women’s Groups

The New York Times writes that the boundaries of acceptable depictions of women in advertising have gradually changed amid the #MeToo movement. The backlash to a recent Australian KFC ad was so strong that the company was forced to apologize and pull it off air. Social media pressure has increased dramatically in the past couple decades, training brands to better represent their subjects in ads meant to reflect a greater diversity of people. Gender representation has certainly improved, but KFC’s commercial is a reminder that the work—and learning—has yet to be finished.

Read more: The New York Times

YouTube Ad Revenue Disclosed For the First Time

Google’s Q4 report included a surprising figure: the first official look at YouTube revenue in its history. According to the report, which outlined revenue over 2019, YouTube collected $15.1 billion in ad sales along with $3 billion in combined subscription costs to its video, music and television services. These numbers demonstrate that YouTube is seriously competing against other giants such as Amazon, Hulu and Facebook as far as digital content. While the numbers are impressive, YouTube continues to provide 55% of this revenue to individual content creators. And surprisingly these numbers failed to meet Wall Street expectations, causing Google stock to fall five points during after-hours trading on Monday.

Read more: AdAge

Coalition for Better Ads Announces New Standards for Video

The Coalition for Better Ads released a new set of standards for ads that show during video content, based on research from 45,000 consumers worldwide. The group identified three experiences that were found to be particularly disruptive for videos shorter than eight minutes long, including:

  • Ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video cannot be skipped within the first five seconds
  • Mid-roll ads of any duration that interrupt the user’s experience
  • Image or text ads appearing on top of a video that is playing and take up the middle third of the video player window or cover more than 20% of the video content

The coalition mandated that websites stop showing such ads over the coming four months or risk losing advertising entirely. Google Chrome enforcement will begin Aug. 5, and YouTube is expected to be reviewed for compliance while AdSense and DoubleClick will update product plans to conform to the standards.

Read more: 9to5Google

YouTube photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash.