TIME Advertising

The New Apple Watch Ad Will Break Your Heart into a Million Tiny Pieces

It's about love—and a smartwatch

The Apple Watch launches today. And the company is ramping up its marketing campaign with three new ads. Titled ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us,’ the spots highlight everyday activities enhanced by the Watch. The ads are distinctly more style-focused than the firm’s other product-focused marketing.

‘Us’ (above) is about couples, love, and what’s likely a first, the soupçon of sex. It highlights the Watch’s communication features such as Digital Touch sketch, tap and heartbeat sharing features, and animated emoji.

The other two spots, ‘Rise’ and ‘Up’ (both below), focus on daily routines and working out.

TIME Food & Drink

Cadbury Just Won the Chocolate War

This is chocolate shock and awe

Can’t decide on your favorite Cadbury chocolate bar? No matter. With the Cadbury Dairy Milk Spectacular 7 you get seven bars in one.

There’s just one thing, though. The company made only 50 of these behemoths, which means chocolate lovers will have to pay attention to the company’s Twitter feed to win a bar by retweeting posts about the promotion.

The bar contains fillings of caramel, Daim (crunchy almond butter bar), Oreo, Turkish Delight (a soft, rose-flavored jelly), Fruit & Nut, whole nuts and simply original milk chocolate.

As Willy Wonka once said, “Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple!”

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The Trouble With Foods Kids See Advertised on TV

TIME.com stock photos Food Snacks Chips Cheetos
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

More than half the foods advertised to kids do not meet federal nutrition guidelines

A new study shows that 53% of food products approved for advertising on TV programs that cater to kids do not meet U.S. recommended government nutrition guidelines.

Kids see 10 to 13 food-related TV ads every day, says the study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, and about half of those ads air during programs that specifically cater to children. The researchers looked at two sets of nutritional guidelines designed specifically to recommend whether a food should appear in a commercial aired during kids’ programming: one set is from a food-and-beverage industry group called the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), and the other is from a government group that represents the Federal Trade Commission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, called the Interagency Working Group (IWG).

The study authors looked at the 407 foods approved by the CFBAI to see how they matched up to the recommendations from the IWG. More than half of the foods fell short of the IWG standards, they found.

The researchers evaluated the foods based on the IWG’s “nutrients to limit” list, which includes caps for things like saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium. They found that 32% of the CFBAI-approved foods were above the suggested limit for sugar, 23% were above the limit for saturated fat and 15% were over for sodium. Fewer than 1% were over the limit for trans fat.

These are the foods that appeared most often on television commercials, they concluded. “Companies manufacture food and beverage products that meet IWG recommendations; however, these are not the products most heavily marketed to children,” the study reads. “Evidence shows that 96% of food and beverage product advertisements (excluding those for restaurants) seen by children on children’s television programs were for products high in nutrients to limit.”

“A viable solution to this would be for companies to choose to advertise food and beverage products on children’s programming from the 47% of products from their approved list that do meet the IWG recommendations,” says study author Rebecca Schermbeck, a research specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Until then, the study suggests, kids who watch TV are probably still seeing ads for foods that don’t square with recommended national nutritional guidelines.

MONEY Advertising

Under Armour Wants You to Wear ‘Avengers’ Underwear

UnderArmour Under Armour's Alter Ego line, the quickest way to get six-pack abs

The sports apparel company that some think will be the new Nike is on quite an amazing run—partnering with Masters champ Jordan Speith, Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, and now, the Avengers.

At long last, it appears to be acceptable for grown men to wear Underoos. That’s essentially what Under Armour’s new Alter Ego line of Avengers-theme shirts and leggings is, isn’t it?

The product line includes polyester T-shirts, as well as skin-tight “compression” shirts and leggings that make the wearer resemble superheroes such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and others from the new film Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first Alter Ego products from Under Armour were released in 2013 featuring Super Man and Batman gear, and a new roster of items has been timed to coincide with the latest Avengers movie hitting theaters on May 1. The options include a $59.99 shirt that makes you look like the Hulk, complete with faux six-pack abs, and unlike the original Underoos for kids, Alter Ego gear is made in adult sizes and is intended for the world to see rather than serving as mere undergarments.

Avengers’ costume designers actually worked with Under Armour for the new film, and in what seems to be some brilliant product placement the company’s “tactical gear” is worn by superheroes in the movie. If a shirt is good enough for Captain America, Thor, and Tony Stark, after all, it must be more than adequate for your workout at the gym, right? Here’s a little about how Under Armour was incorporated into Age of Ultron:

The partnership with the surefire blockbuster hit movie is the latest in an incredibly hot streak for Under Armour. When 21-year-old golfing phenom (and UA client) Jordan Speith recently won the Masters, it was estimated that the exposure was tantamount to $33.6 million in advertising. Meanwhile, another high-profile Under Armour athlete, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, is on everyone’s short list for regular season MVP in the NBA, and yet another (New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady) started the year by grabbing the Super Bowl MVP while leading his team to the championship.

Oh, and about the same the Patriots were winning the Super Bowl, Under Armour was releasing a product line featuring one of the greatest and most famous athletes of the 20th century: Muhammad Ali.

To recap, Under Armour has got some of the best and most popular players in sports on their side, as well as “The Greatest” period. And now, with the Age of Ultron partnership, the company has teamed up with the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. No wonder Under Armour seems capable of convincing grown men that they want to dress up like superheroes, and pay $60 for T-shirts while they’re at it.

To be fair, Under Armour isn’t the only apparel company playing the superhero card to an adult audience. Sets of actual adult-sized Underoos (briefs and T-shirts) in varieties like Batman, He-Man, and Captain America went on sale last fall and promptly sold out in a few hours.

Call us crazy, but we’re partial to the original, just-for-kids Underoos like the ones advertised in this classic commercial:

MORE: 12 Things Made for Kids That Are Now Marketed to Adults

TIME Australia

Aussie Supermarket Chain Tries to Brand War Memories, Upsets Everyone

Maybe leave death and suffering out of future marketing plans

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths pulled a controversial Anzac Day campaign Tuesday evening after it drew sharp criticism and ended up being hijacked by social-media satirists.

Woolworths created a website that allowed people to upload images of people affected by war and attach the phrase “Lest We Forget, Anzac 1915–2015.” This was accompanied by the slogan “Fresh in Our Memories” and the Woolworths logo.

The use of the word fresh was none-too-subtle branding. Woolworths brands itself the Fresh Food People, and its regular consumer magazine is called Fresh.

For Australians, the ham-fisted marketing was too much, and Woolworths became the target of public backlash, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“We regret that our branding on the picture generator has caused offense, this was clearly never our intention. Like many heritage Australian companies, we were marking our respect for Anzac and our veterans,” a Woolworths spokesperson tells TIME.

The slogan was predictably hijacked by social media with the hashtag #FreshInOurMemories going viral and netizens contributing mocking posts.

Anzac Day is celebrated on April 25 in Australia and New Zealand and honors soldiers who died serving in the military. The remembrance day was created to recognize the sacrifices made during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, which began on April 25, 1915. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the infamous battle.

TIME Advertising

This Ad Is Making Italian Pizza Makers Very Mad

A stock photograph of pizza
Getty Images

Don't mess with the True Neapolitan Pizza Association

McDonald’s has besmirched the reputation of Neapolitan pizza, and Neapolitan pizza — as a whole — is fighting back. A TV commercial in Italy shows a young boy rejecting the gooey goodness of the traditional Italian grub in favor of a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

Amusing? Sure. But actionable? Maybe. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) — or True Neapolitan Pizza Association — is threatening a lawsuit, calling the Italian-language TV spot a “dishonorable attack against one of the symbols of the Mediterranean Diet.”

That claim may also be problematic: the Mediterranean Diet (the caps are AVPN’s) is perhaps the most healthy in the world, but it’s a stretch to credit cheese pie with that distinction. A better symbol might be a fish, or a head of lettuce.

The commercial depicts the boy and his parents at a fancy pizzeria. The waiter asks the kid what kind of pizza he wants, and he yells, “Happy Meal!” The family, apparently powerless under the spell of the boy’s unsophisticated palate, is suddenly transported to a McDonald’s, and all is well because, as the commercial informs Italian parents: “Your child has no doubts.”

This amounts to the “American colossus” that is McDonald’s “discrediting” the whole Italian diet, AVPN explains. And although the campaign is already over, the group might yet file a lawsuit. One pizza chef in Naples told The Telegraph that the commercial amounted to “blasphemy.”

McDonald’s reportedly hasn’t heard directly from the AVPN.

Legal action seems like overkill, but that doesn’t mean McDonald’s didn’t err culturally. Imagine Taco Bell running a commercial in Baton Rouge declaring that its burritos are better than the local gumbo.

The backlash shouldn’t come as a surprise to McDonald’s. If it wasn’t already obvious, Italians, and especially Neapolitans, take their pizza very seriously, and the AVPN is serious about protecting its reputation. The group has created a “certification” program that requires any pizza anywhere in the world calling itself Neapolitan to adhere to a strict set of criteria.

MONEY Food & Drink

Mr. Burger and Ms. King Are Getting Married. Guess Who’s Paying for the Wedding?

Joel Burger and Ashley King are getting married for free, thanks to...you guessed it...Burger King

TIME Advertising

These Super Creepy Rob Lowe Ads Are Causing a Major Problem

They're weird—and hilarious—which is part of the issue

Comcast has a problem with “Super Creepy Rob Lowe,” and the cable giant now has the backing of the Better Business Bureau in its fight against the impossibly handsome actor and all his alter egos, also including “Crazy Hairy Rob Lowe” and “Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe.”

The BBB’s National Advertising Division, acting on a complaint from Comcast, says that DirecTV’s commercials featuring Lowe and his mutant versions make misleading claims on DirecTV’s behalf in their commercial spots. The ads started appearing late last year and have caused a big splash—mainly because they’re really weird and most of them are hilarious.

But the NAD now says the ads must be changed. For instance, it says DirecTV’s claim that it offers picture quality of “up to 1080p” is misleading because only a few programs with such high resolution are available.

The polished, confident Lowe is meant to represent DirecTV in the spots, while his alter egos are meant to represent the company’s cable competitors. “Don’t be like this me,” the “real” Lowe tells viewers. “Get rid of cable and upgrade to DirecTV.”

Even that line, which seems like standard-issue puffery, was too much for Comcast and the NAD, which said it improperly implies that DirecTV is superior to cable and should be dropped from the spots.

In its statement, the NAD said: “Although humor can be an effective and creative way for advertisers to highlight the differences between their products and their competitors, humor and hyperbole do not relieve an advertiser of the obligation to support messages that their advertisements might reasonably convey.”

That’s not the easiest sentence in the world to parse, but it seems to suggest that every statement in an advertisement — even one that simply claims the advertised product is better than other products — needs “support.” If universally applied, such a standard could take every third commercial off the air.

DirecTV plans to appeal the ruling, which isn’t binding, but if ignored could lead to a referral to a government agency.

DirecTV said in a statement to the NAD that it “the various Rob Lowe advertisements are so outlandish and exaggerated that no reasonable consumer would believe that the statements being made by the alter-ego characters are comparative or need to be substantiated.”

Maybe DirecTV should make new spots casting the alter egos as horrifying cable customer-service agents. That would be easy enough to “support.”

MONEY Kids and Money

YouTube Kids App Accused of Sneaky Advertising

Consumer groups want the FTC to investigate Google over what they consider deceptive advertising toward kids.

TIME Advertising

YouTube Is Targeting Kids With ‘Deceptive’ Ads, Advocates Say

Groups have filed an FTC complaint over ads on new video app

Google’s new child-friendly version of YouTube has too many ads that target kids, consumer advocates say.

The new app, YouTube Kids, offers a streamlined version of the massive video site with a focus on kids’ content. But consumer advocates say the large number of ads and ad-like programming in the app run afoul of rules that regulate how advertisers can market to children on television.

In a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission, advocates say YouTube Kids ignores television advertising safeguards that prevent businesses from jamming kids’ television shows full of marketing messages. For example, YouTube Kids hosts branded channels for corporations such as McDonald’s and Fisher-Price that feature programming that could be thought of as commercials, which is a practice that is limited on traditional TV, according to the complaint. Advertising and programming are too intermixed within the app for developing children to distinguish between the two, the complaint says. “There is nothing ‘child friendly’ about an app that obliterates long-standing principles designed to protect kids from commercialism,” Josh Golin, associate director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said in a press release that calls YouTube Kids “deceptive.”

YouTube has pushed back against the complaint, arguing that an ad-supported, free platform is a great offering for kids. “We worked with numerous partners and child advocacy groups when developing YouTube Kids. While we are always open to feedback on ways to improve the app, we were not contacted directly by the signers of this letter and strongly disagree with their contentions,” a YouTube spokesperson said in an email.

Signatories of the complaint included the Center for Digital Democracy, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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