Airbnb hires Droga5 as shares surge on IPO, Disney+ debuts movies: Friday Wake-Up Call

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you’re reading this online or in a forwarded email, here’s the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters. Airbnb hires Droga5

Airbnb, whose shares soared yesterday on its first day of public trading, also has a new lead creative agency. Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse reveals that the vacation rental firm has hired Droga5, marking yet another win for the agency.

Droga5 and Airbnb have yet to comment on the win, but one person close to the matter said it happened without a review. Wieden+Kennedy, which previously handled global creative for Airbnb, also declined to comment. 

Although Airbnb, like all travel brands, has suffered significantly in the pandemic, its shares surged yesterday as it made its IPO debut on the Nasdaq. Stock closed at $144.71 per share, up approximately 112.81% from its original price of $68 a share. The company has responded to the changing ways travelers are booking trips in the pandemic by focusing more recently on long-term rentals as people look to escape locked-down cities.

For Accenture Interactive-owned Droga5, it’s the latest in a streak of wins that has included picking up Petco’s creative account from Anomaly without a review last month and earlier this year, Maserati’s global creative business and Allstate’s creative account.Disney’s streaming boost hits theaters

Disney has become the latest company to deal a blow to the struggling movie theater business, with the announcement that it’s further reorienting its film and TV business toward home entertainment.

Disney executives yesterday outlined aggressive plans to stock the Disney+ service with new programming including 10 series from the Marvel division, 10 Star Wars TV series, and another 15 programs from Disney live action, Disney animation and Pixar. The plans also include feature-length films such as “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which will debut for purchase on Disney+ at the same time as in theaters.

Although the company did say its biggest films, such as “Black Widow,” will be saved for theaters exclusively at first, coming after Warner’s decision to premier its 2021 movies on HBO Max, it marks yet another significant shift away from physical cinema-going.Kaepernick-flavor ice-cream

Nike’s use of Colin Kaepernick in its advertising has won the company many creative plaudits over the past couple of years. Now, Ben & Jerry’s is partnering with the former NFL player too.

As Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing reports, the Unilever-owned ice-cream brand has debuted a vegan ice-cream brand called “Change the Whirled” dedicated to Kaepernick. Packaging features an image of Kaepernick holding up his fist, a symbol of the Black Power movement. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the athlete’s Know Your Rights Camp, which educates Black and Brown youth about social justice issues. As for the flavor, it’s caramel with fudge chips, graham cracker swirls and chocolate cookie swirls, made with sunflower butter to keep it dairy free.CPB’s new chapter

It’s been a tough year for CPB, with the agency losing Domino’s last month and with the departure of Alex Bogusky in January. But now the MDC Partners agency is set for a new chapter. 

It’s tapped agency vet Jorge Calleja, currently VP of marketing and executive creative director of esports at Activision Blizzard, as its new chief creative officer. His background includes creating notable campaigns for Oreo, including the “Wonderfilled” push. The agency is leaving its Boulder headquarters for a new office in Denver; read more here from Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz. Just briefly

Facebook ad dilemma: Facebook’s upcoming antitrust case could strike at the heart of its ad business if it’s forced to sell Instagram, reports Ad Age’s Garett Sloane; Instagram accounted for 48% of its ad revenue in 2020 and has become “intertwined” with its ad buying system.

Movers and shakers: Mindshare has promoted Adam Gerhart to global CEO; Havas New York poached Dan Lucey, executive creative director of independent agency Joan, as chief creative officer. And CarLotz, a used car and consignment dealer, has hired Michael Chapman, a longtime exec of The Martin Agency, as its chief marketing officer.

‘Only Here’: With the NBA season restarting on Dec. 22., it’s banking on recapturing fans used to tuning in over the holidays. Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports that part of its effort will be a new campaign via Cartwight called “Only Here,” that attempts to define what makes the NBA different from other sporting events.

Fry Hard: McDonald’s new holiday season campaign showcases go-to orders for the likes of Rudolph, Scrooge, Frosty the Snowman, Buddy the Elf, and, of course, Santa Claus, writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl. And the ad finally ends the debate around whether “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie: there’s also a tray for John McClane.

That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter:@adage. From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here. 

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