Machado quits Burger King, and NBC, Walgreens partner for star-studded vaccine TV special: 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.

The Burger King steps off his throne

Good morning! Fernando Machado has resigned after seven years at Burger King’s parent company Restaurant Brands International, with the past year spent as its chief marketing officer and previous six as Burger King’s head of brand marketing and CMO, reports Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl.

The company will promote Popeyes global CMO Paloma Azulay to global chief brand officer. Machado, meanwhile, says he has taken a new role but did not give details. The news comes a few weeks after Burger King saw a strong backlash against its International Women’s Day campaign, and on the heels of its first brand revamp in 20 years. Machado was named Ad Age’s 2020 brand CMO of the year.Get vaccinated!

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available across the country (by next week, anyone 16 and older can get a vaccine in New York), the marketing around them is beginning to take off. NBC has announced that it will air an hour-long vaccine special on April 18 at 7 p.m. EDT, presented by Walgreens. The special, created by ATTN, aims to raise awareness and encourage people to get vaccinated.

Called “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” the show will feature a slew of celebrities and health care professionals working to help dispel misinformation around vaccines, with hosts like Michelle Obama and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and performances, comedy acts and “heartwarming surprises.” Matthew McConaughey is set to interview Dr. Anthony Fauci about the vaccine and what consumers need to know.

“Bringing together trusted voices, including celebrities, community leaders and our pharmacists, we can help answer questions and dispel myths surrounding vaccinations and ensure that the U.S. emerges from this very challenging time as quickly as possible,” said Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, in a statement.GM to increase spend on Black-owned media

Last weekend, the leaders of seven Black-owned media companies took out full-page ads in the Detroit Free Press and the Wall Street Journal accusing General Motors CEO Mary Barra of ignoring requests for meetings to discuss the company’s ad spend.

Although a resulting meeting, scheduled to take place Thursday, was postponed, GM announced it does plan on increasing its spend with Black-owned media and will have a series of meetings with Black-owned media groups, currently being scheduled, reports Automotive News. GM said it plans on increasing its spend to 4% by 2022 and 8% by 2025. Currently GM’s spend sits at 2%, which doubled this past year. GM says it works with Black-owned media companies like Allen Media Group, Ozy and Revolt Media.Amazon considers more physical stores

While many retailers have had to close their brick-and-motor locations this year, Amazon is considering opening up more stores, this time potentially selling discount home goods and electronics. Bloomberg reports that the new outlets or pop-up locations would carry unsold Amazon inventory that had been sitting in its warehouses, at high discounts. Today, Amazon already runs 96 stores and seven mall pop-ups, including its Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores and Amazon Fresh locations.Just briefly

Podcast of the day: The future is looking more and more electric, and Volta Charging, which operates a network of more than 1,700 vehicle charging stations, is ready. Drew Lipsher, Volta’s chief strategy officer, joins Ad Age on the latest “Marketer’s Brief” podcast to chat about the company’s strategy and the digital ad network it is building with its charging stations. Lipsher says the ads target anyone passing by and not just the driver charging.

When April Fools’ becomes real: Here’s proof that April Fools’ Day pranks can have a longer shelf life than a day. Language learning app Duolingo has converted its April Fools’ idea into an actual product consumers can buy online. The product? Toilet paper with foreign-language phrases printed on them so people can continue to learn as they go. The rolls, available in several languages, have already sold out online and WeWork is placing them in 18 restrooms in China. Duolingo says if the product is a success, expect to see them roll out on a wider scale.  

Watch this: Ikea Canada’s latest sustainability ad depicts people living on their own planets and taking steps like recycling and riding bikes to make sure those homes remain healthy places. The brand says it reflects how the pandemic has made “our little worlds become our entire worlds.” For more great creative brand ideas, don’t forget to tune into our weekly Top 5 rundown today at 11.a.m. EDT.

No small undertaking: Small, independent shops are the backbone of the ad industry. Tell us how your agency adapted last year by entering this year’s Small Agency Awards at 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. 

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