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What people are talking about today
Yesterday’s industry news was all about Apple, Apple, Apple (see below). But Samsung did what it could to grab people’s attention: It turned Monday’s broadcast of “The Tonight Show Starring Jiimmy Fallon” into an extended Samsung ad.
The NBC show launched with Fallon delivering a monologue outside Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center. “I asked NBC if we could possibly do a whole show shot on a phone, and they said yes,” Fallon said. “And then Samsung heard about our idea and gave us a bunch of Galaxy S10+ phones to play with.” Certainly Samsung also gave NBC a whole bunch of money too? Fallon didn’t mention that part. (Variety reports that the collaboration is part of “a broad ad deal Samsung has struck with NBCUniversal.”)
The phone was used to film Fallon and guests at various New York locations, shaking up the usual format and tone. The move was an attempt to “break through the noise and get people to engage in a way that best communicates the benefits of your products,” Patricio Paucar, Samsung’s VP of marketing, told Variety.
What’s pretty funny about this: As tech expert Dave Zatz pointed out on Twitter, Fallon is an iPhone user, to judge from his tweeting. Oops.
Samsung, as we mentioned, was not yesterday’s big story. Apple had its “It’s Show Time” event, announcing a new ad-free video streaming service, Apple TV Plus, as well as Apple News Plus, which includes access to 300 magazines.
Though Apple CEO Tim Cook often trashes digital advertising, there are actually ways for advertisers to reach readers on Apple’s online subscription service for magazines. Doug Olson, president of Meredith’s magazines, tells Ad Age’s Garett Sloane, “Every ad from the print edition will be in the digital edition. We think this is a great opportunity to bridge traditional magazine experience to the digital future.” Read the whole story here.
But in keeping with Apple’s new marketing presenting itself as a champion of user privacy, those digital magazine ads, the company says, won’t allow advertisers to track consumers.
It’s not over yet
The probe into U.S. media-buying tactics is moving forward. Ad Age’s Jack Neff reports that “a federal grand jury has subpoenaed records from a large marketer as part of an investigation into U.S. media buying practices.” The investigation is probing allegations that agencies engaged in shadowy practices like collecting cash rebates from media vendors and not passing it along to clients.
Which large marketer was subpoenaed? We don’t know. One of Neff’s sources “described the client as having a mid-nine-figure media budget and [said] that the subpoena seeks two years of financial records, e-mails and other communications between the client and its agency.”
Big macs + big tech: McDonald’s Corp. is making its largest acquisition in 20 years. Bloomberg News reports that it’s spending more than $300 million on Dynamic Yield Ltd., a move that will help it personalize digital menus.
Huh: Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Los Angeles charged attorney Michael Avenatti in two different cases; in one of them, he’s alleged to have tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike. Read more from Bloomberg News.
Agency M&A: San Francisco indie agency Duncan Channon has acquired a social and experiential shop, A2G. Read more in Ad Age.
Sexploitation?: In Australia, ads for AirAsia airline put the slogan “Get off in Thailand” on the side of a bus, sparking complaints the ads seemed to be promoting sex tourism, the BBC reports. The ad has been pulled, and the airline apologized.
The end: Now that the Mueller report is out, all those those T-shirts, beer mugs and merch bearing the slogan “It’s Mueller time” are already vanishing off the internet, Vox reports. The catchphrase nods to the time-honored beer slogan “It’s Miller Time,” introduced in 1971 by McCann Erickson, New York, and reused periodically since then.
Ad of the day: Apple launched its big event Monday with a colorful, trippy, show-stopper of a trailer; it pays homage to some of the great ’60s movie title sequences (think “Charade”), but also to Apple’s own products, ads and legacy. What better way to introduce Apple’s new Apple TV Plus streaming service? It’s over-the-top but is also a “veritable feast for the brand’s fans,” Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz writes. Check it out here.
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