TIME Advertising

No, Budweiser Isn’t Ditching Its Tear-Jerker Clydesdales Ads for ‘Jay Z and Zombies’

"Straight from the horse’s mouth: The Budweiser Clydesdales are here to stay"

What’s the only thing that will make you cry harder than Budweiser’s tear-jerker “Puppy Love” ad, in which a golden retriever and a Clydesdale horse form an interspecies friendship, set to a bittersweet Fleetwood Mac song? Reports that the beer titan is ditching its heartwarming Clydesdale campaign for Jay-Z, zombies, and other millennial-grabbing ephemera.

In a Monday piece about Budweiser’s reported millennial problem — 44% of 21-27 year-olds have never tried a Budthe Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s iconic “Clydesdales are out” and that “February’s Super Bowl ads will feature something more current than last year’s Fleetwood Mac.”

Luckily for you nostalgia lovers, that is actually not the case.

“Let me be clear,” Budweiser VP Brian Perkins said in a statement emailed to TIME. “Straight from the horse’s mouth: The Budweiser Clydesdales are here to stay and will continue to play a central role in our campaigns, including holidays and Super Bowl.”

Budweiser sent TIME its new holiday ad, which melds millennials and Clydesdales, which can be viewed above.

This isn’t just good news for puppy lovers. It benefits Budweiser, as well.

Currently clocking 53 million YouTube views and counting, “Puppy Love,” made by ad agency Anomaly, was a the most viral ad of the Super Bowl. And according to Unruly Media’s measurements, three of the four most shared Super Bowl ads of all time starred the Budweiser Clydesdale’s. (This includes “Puppy Love,” “Brotherhood,” and its 9/11 tribute.)

Co-founder and chief operating officer of Unruly Media, Sarah Wood, told TIME that when it comes to driving sharing and brand metrics, “It’s the strength of emotional connection, and the goal for all savvy advertisers in 2015 should be valuable virality.”

But if millennials aren’t drinking Budweiser, does the fact that the ads get shared even matter?

Let’s look at it this way. According to a 2014 Unruly report analyzing Super Bowl ad statistics, not only didn’t ads with celebrities drive online sharing, but they also didn’t provide for brand recall.

You might remember that Ben Kingsley was in a Super Bowl spot, but do you remember that he was selling a Jaguar? Chrysler might have made a beautiful ad starring Bob Dylan, but according to Unruly, only 7% of people who watched the ad realized that it was for Chrysler.

Budweiser’s Clydesdales, on the other hand, boasted 89% consumer recall.

“We are excited to see exactly how much the Clydesdales can still touch the hearts and minds of our passionate fan base,” Budweiser’s Perkins says. “There have never been any plans to remove our beloved Budweiser Clydesdales from our brand identity. In fact, we can confirm they will return to the Super Bowl in 2015.”

Of course, if Budweiser wanted to have Jay-Z and Beyoncé come in riding the Clydesdales in an upcoming tear-jerker Super Bowl ad, we won’t complain.

Here are some past Clydesdale Super Bowl ads:

TIME Video Games

Some PlayStation Vita Owners Will Get Refunds After FTC Settlement

Either a $50 voucher for select merchandise or a $25 cash or credit refund

Sony Computer Entertainment America will issue refunds to customers who bought its PlayStation Vita handheld video game system before June 2012 to settle false advertising claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the agency said Tuesday.

The FTC claims that Sony misled consumers about “game changing” features of the Vita, including the ability to seamlessly begin playing any PlayStation 3 game immediately on the handheld Vita. That feature only worked as advertised for certain games, the FTC acknowledged.

Customers who bought the Vita before June 1, 2012, are entitled to either a $50 voucher for select video game merchandise or $25 cash or credit refund. Given sales of the PS Vita in the U.S. at the time, total refunds paid out could reach $14 million. Sony will notify customers who qualify for the refunds via email.

The FTC also claimed that Sony’s advertising agency, Deutsch LA, deceived consumers by having its employees try to generate hype for the gaming system on Twitter without disclosing their association with the product. The agency is banned from such practices in the future.

Sony is the latest in a growing list of tech companies that have been accused of misleading customers by the FTC. Apple, Amazon, Google, AT&T and T-Mobile have all had to contend with FTC settlements or lawsuits this year. A Sony spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TIME Family

Old Spice’s Clingy Mom Will Make You Cringe

One small ad, one giant eye roll.

Old Spice sure has a low opinion of poor old mom.

In their new ad, mom has nothing to live for her, but her little baby boy. So when Junior starts hosing himself down in Old Spice-scented masculinity and becomes a man—which, of course, means dating attractive young women—in that straight-out-of-Sophocles way, mom just can’t handle it. She starts weeping and wailing her so-called “Momsong” like a Greek chorus in mom jeans and growing extra-long arms to cling to her precious baby boy.

“Where’s my little boy, I miss him so/Who’s this man living in our home?/My special guy has turned into a man,” she sings, before collapsing on the carpet in a heap of tear-swollen misery. That’s when good old dad comes rolling in on his riding lawnmower, as stereotypical suburban dads are wont to do, singing his ode to the joy that his son isn’t living in a van down by the river and is instead getting some action under the hash-marked tagline “#SmellcomeToManhood.” Hey ad: Gross.

The ad is actually a follow-up to another spot for Old Spice’s line of lady-luring body spray for young men. The first ad, titled “MomSong”, is more of the same, because apparently clingy mothers, wailing over the fact that their sons are developing at an age-appropriate rate, is never not funny. In “MomSong” the beleaguered mothers become creepy stalkers following their sons on dates while sniffing (literally) their former babies who now “smell like a man.” (Note to future self: Please refrain from sniffing grown son.)

It’s unfortunate that Old Spice and Weiden + Kennedy, the agency hired to make the ad, which features music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame, felt the need to peddle in stereotypes that would have been outdated even in the Mad Men era. (It’s also unfortunate that they think people want to “smell manhood.”)

While it’s clear that it’s all meant as one big joke, the whole ad is just a giant eye roll. While it’s clear that moms are not the target demographic for scented body spray with manly names like Bearglove and Lionpride, moms still have to live in a world where mothers are treated like nothing more than overbearing, emotionally unstable, clingy women, instead of, say, human beings wondering why their teenaged son spent his allowance on a male perfume called “Lionpride.” You can do better Old Spice.

Hopefully their own mothers will have a little talk with them over the Thanksgiving dinner table.

[H/T AdWeek.]

TIME Advertising

Watch the Sexist PlayStation Ad Sony Quickly Pulled From YouTube

Perpetuating all your least favorite stereotypes

Sony quickly and quietly pulled a PlayStation ad from its European YouTube account this weekend that bears a greater resemblance to soft-core porn than it does to a commercial for a piece of hardware.

“I know you’ve already done it today, and I bet you really enjoyed yourself, ” a sexy female British doctor coos, shortly prior to climbing on top of her office desk — you know, like serious doctors often do. “How many times did you do it yesterday? Are you afraid you’re doing it too often? In your bedroom under the blankets? Or perhaps you prefer the kitchen or the toilet? Or do you like it in the garden?”

The innuendo-laden ad is for a Remote Play feature rather than, well, you get the idea. While the world is used to blatantly sexist ads at this point, the Sony one is particularly depressing. And that is because, as the Verge puts it, “Sony might be trying to do a halfway good thing here.”

The ad ends with the revelation that the sexy doctor parody is actually a gamer, too. “You can even join me,” she says with a wink before pulling out her own gaming device.

But is the way to show that women also like to play video games to treat them as a sexualized fantasy for teenage boys?

While the ad is no longer on Sony’s official account, other YouTubers, however, have posted it.

Although Sony didn’t immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment, the ad does fall in line with past campaigns reportedly from 2012:

This isn’t the first video game ad that uses sexual innuendos. Business Insider references an XBox 360 ad that uses a similar “Everyone is doing it” mantra:

Somehow this new one feels different.

TIME Media

Google Takes Over North America’s Biggest Digital Billboard

Billed as Times Square's largest and most expensive digital billboard, a new megascreen is debuted in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel on Nov.18, 2014 in New York City.
Billed as Times Square's largest and most expensive digital billboard, a new megascreen is debuted in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel on Nov.18, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt—Getty Images

And it's even higher-res than 4K displays

The lights of Times Square just got a little bit brighter, as Google is taking over a massive new digital billboard that spans an entire city block in the heart of New York.

The new screen is more than 25,000 square feet in size and has a pixel density even greater than high-definition 4K displays. Clear Channel, the company that built the ad space, says it’s the largest digital screen in North America.

Google is taking over the space just in time for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season. The search giant will use the screen to present an interactive mobile game this week in which people can “Androidify” themselves, becoming cartoon characters similar to the ones in Google’s new Android marketing campaign. Google hopes to present 25,000 personalized Android characters on the screen each day. In addition to pushing products like Android, Chrome and Nexus, Google will offer some billboard screen-time to nonprofits such as Charity Water and Khan Academy.

The new screen is located on Broadway between 45th Street and 46th Street. The price of the ad wasn’t disclosed.

 

TIME Companies

Facebook Will Remove ‘Overly Promotional’ Posts From News Feed

Paid ads are still fair game, however

Facebook will reduce the volume of promotional material that appears in users’ news feeds beginning early next year, the company announced Friday.

“Our goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see,” said a statement on the company’s site. “People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

The effort will target promotional material posted by pages that a user likes, but not paid advertisements. The company said it would target three types of posts placed on the pages of companies and products: “posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app,” “posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context” and “posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.”

Facebook said that most pages will not be affected by the change, but provided a guide so that businesses with pages can adapt to the change. The move will force businesses to pay to reach Facebook’s 1.35 billion monthly active users and follows a previous News Feed tweak in September aimed at showing users more timely stories shared by their friends.

TIME celebrity

Anna Kendrick Makes Getting Locked Out Look Like Fun

The actress, who will play Cinderella in the movie Into The Woods, uses her Kate Spade shopping haul to kill time while she waits

Anna Kendrick, star of Pitch Perfect and Up in the Air, knows how to have fun, even when she’s locked out of her apartment. In a new ad for Kate Spade, the actress checks out her purchases while she waits to get back in. She tries on new clothes from the designer, chats on the phone and sips champagne with a straw. Finally, when she’s had enough, she uses the Kate Spade clothes to build a rope to access the fire escape.

TIME Advertising

Watch AirBnB’s Touching Berlin Wall Anniversary Story

The Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989

You know communism is really dead when the Berlin Wall is being used to advertise AirBnB, the site that allows people to rent out their homes and apartments. But the 75-second ad, which marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, is surprisingly touching.

Wall and Chain” is the story of an old man, Jörg, who served as a guard on the West side of the wall many years ago. He’s haunted by his experience, until his daughter Cathrine takes him back to Berlin to visit his old home. When they meet their AirBnB host, Kai, they find out that he was once a guard on the East side of the wall, and Jörg is finally able to let go of his past. And while few other companies saw an advertising opportunity in the dark past of a divided city, AirBnB was able to turn history into a heartwarming animated short.

(MORE: See an interactive timeline of the Berlin wall)

 

TIME Advertising

See How Facebook Sold Advertising Space Back in 2005

When way less than one-sixth of humankind used Facebook

One of the original 10 Facebook employees shared this week a glimpse into the social media giant’s early years: a pitch deck sent to advertisers back when the company was called TheFaceBook.

The document, dated April 18, 2005, focuses on how the 14-month-old company TheFaceBook plans to advertise Starbucks DoubleShot. The pitch says they’ll target college students—only students with a “.edu” e-mail could use TheFaceBook then—whose profiles contained keywords like “coffee” or “snowboarding,” the roots of a strategy that’s the reason why Facebook’s ads are now so eerily personalized. There was also room for old-school banner ads.

The pitch also reminds us just how fast Facebook has grown during its 10-year history. The document reports only 1.9 million monthly unique visitors, while Facebook said as of Sept. 30, 2014 it has 1.35 billion monthly active users, which is about one-sixth of the world’s population.

TIME Advertising

Turkish Company Accidentally Features 9/11 Terrorist in Hair Removal Ad

"We featured him for his hair, not terrorism"

A Turkish cosmetics company is defending itself after it accidentally used a picture of a former al-Qaeda leader in a hair removal ad.

The ad features a chest-up image of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as the “principal architect” of the 9/11 attacks, alongside Turkish words that translate to “The hair will not go away because you keep waiting!” according to Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s oldest English-language daily.

“We didn’t know that he was a terrorist. This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the Internet. The guy is quite hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad,” a spokeswoman for the company told Hurriyet. “We didn’t want to imply anything political. We didn’t know that it could become an international story. I repeat: We featured him for his hair, not terrorism.”

The spokeswoman said the company had discovered the memes using Mohammed on an online community website similar to 4chan. The photo had circulated around the Internet after its release by the U.S. government in 2003 when Mohammed was captured, according to Vox.

[Hurriyet Daily News]

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