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AB InBev has signed on Publicis Groupe’s Epsilon as its data agency of record, with the goal of getting its brands closer to the consumer using analytics. “Epsilon’s input will play a critical role in shaping the brewer’s media and marketing approach as it looks to move away from using a channel-oriented process to an audience-oriented one,” writes E.J. Schultz. “Marketing will be less informed by what platform is used—TV or digital, for instance. Instead, the brewer wants to collect more granular data on drinkers, including from both third-party and first-party data sources.”
“It’s about who we want to talk to and where they are instead of what is the channel and who is available there,” said Luiz Barros, the brewer’s global VP of data and media.
Here’s the thing
Elsewhere on the Publicis front, the holding company is opening a new “creative center of excellence” called Le Truc, which translates in English to The Thing. Neil Heymann, whom Ad Age reported last week was leaving Droga5 for the French holding company, will serve as chief creative officer and a founding leader, alongside chief design officer Bastien Baumann; Leo Burnett Global Chief Creative Officer and Publicis Communications North America Chief Creative Officer Liz Taylor; and Andy Bird, Publicis New York Chief Creative Officer. Le Truc, writes Ann-Christine Diaz, will “unite more than 600 creatives, producers and strategists from the holding company’s New York agencies in a single space.”
Carla Serrano, Publicis Global Chief Strategy Officer, who assumes the president role at Le Truc, said the group is an outgrowth of the company’s Power of One philosophy. “This is a real focus on creativity, giving a sort of hub of creative excellence for our people in the New York office.”
Peanut flavored Spam, anyone?
Mr. Peanut will soon have a new employer. Hormel Foods is buying the Planters snack brand from Kraft Heinz, shelling out $3.35 billion in cash. The acquisition will give Hormel the leading marketer of nuts, seeds and trail mixes, and Hormel says it’s prepared to pump up investment in the $1 billion brand.
“Planters is way more than just peanuts in a jar,” Hormel executives said on a conference call explaining its move. But Hormel may have a tough nut to crack. Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio told analysts on a recent call “Planters is one of the brands most affected by private-label in our portfolio.”
Online creative marketplace Fiverr has acquired high-end creative talent platform Working Not Working. Justin Gignac and Adam Tompkins are the founders of WNW, which is a go-to for the creative community that offers job search, as well as other resources for creative talent, such a magazine and events.
The acquisition by Fiverr, which has $107 million in revenue, will give the 15-person WNW a lot more backend resources. “We’ve always had a small team, with just one designer, one developer,” Tompkins tells Ann-Christine Diaz. “I don’t know how many people they have in their tech department, but I bet it’s definitely more than one.”
No middle ground: Stellantis’ Jeep may have put the brakes on its Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl spot, pulling it from YouTube following reports of the Boss being arrested for driving under the influence, but E.J. Schultz reports that the brand damage may be limited. The spot will “result in short-term embarrassment for the brand rather than long-term harm, especially since Jeep moved quickly to take the ad down,” writes Schultz.
Righting wrongs: Interpublic Group of Cos. R/GA has a new global chief marketing officer. Ashish Prashar was an international justice reform activist, former press secretary for the Mayor of London, and one-time head of communications for Publicis Sapient. “At the end of the day, I’m a campaigner before I’m even a comms person or a marketer,” Prashar tells Ethan Jakob Craft. “And I’m never going to not call out the shit that’s wrong.”
Send me no flowers: Research company Numerator took a look at Valentine’s Day gifts for this year and found fewer folks are sending fresh blooms: Only 30%, down 15 points from last year. Clothes, accessories, jewelry, alcohol and candy were also down 10 points. The most popular ways to celebrate this year, says Numerator, will be by cooking at home and takeout—in other words, like every other day this year.
Please note: In observance of President’s Day there will be no Wake-Up Call on Monday Feb. 15. We’ll resume again on Tuesday the 16th.
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