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. Enough is enough?
After the murder of eight people in Georgia on Tuesday, six of them Asian American women, the outcry against the rise in violence and vitriol directed at the Asian American community since the start of the pandemic seems to have reached a tipping point. While victims and community members have been outspoken for months, mass murder is harder to ignore.
Seemingly prompted by technology blogger Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter created a hashflag for five trending hashtags—#ProtectOurElders, #StandForAsians, #StopAAPIHate, #StopAsianHate and #StopAsianHateCrimes—which now automatically appears in tweets that use the terms. On Wednesday, J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon sent an internal memo expressing solidarity with Asian Americans and acknowledging that many of the company’s own employees have been targets of discrimination, too.
Whether concrete action materializes from the business community is another matter. In the midst of the groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement last year, many companies pledged support but did not follow through. Time will tell if history repeats itself.What goes down …
Travel advertising fell 60% in 2020, but a rebound may well be in the cards. “Industry executives and analysts expect leisure travel to rebound first, with a slower recovery in business travel,” according to Ad Age Datacenter’s Bradley Johnson.
“Airline traffic is growing again, but the industry still faces turbulence,” he writes. “The number of travelers passing through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints on March 12 reached 1.36 million, the highest count since the early days of the pandemic. But that’s little more than half the number of TSA screenings done on the same day two years ago (2.50 million), before COVID.”
Car rentals face a similar trajectory to airlines, while the leisure-focused casino industry has been leaning into online gaming amid easing restrictions on sports betting. Theme parks expect to see quicker gains from pandemic-weary visitors (Disneyland is reopening at limited capacity April 30), but hotels and particularly cruise ships are likely still facing low occupancy and revenue for the foreseeable future.For tomorrow, we diet
If there’s one thing everyone has become better acquainted with during lockdown, it’s food. Hear marketers in the category speak on topics including launching a brand during COVID, leaning into streaming services and e-commerce, and the future of the industry post-pandemic, at Ad Age Next: Food & Beverage, next Tuesday, Mar. 23.
The virtual conference features speakers like chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, Buffalo Wild Wings Chief Marketing Officer Rita Patel, General Mills Senior Manager of Media Strategy Shannan Cranbrook and Lana Buchanan, VP of marketing beyond beer at Anheuser-Busch.Podcast of the day
Over the next few months, vaccine availability is set to become less of an issue in the United States, likely replaced by the intransigence of some Americans to get vaccinated. “This is not a time to pause or not be communicating with patients and the population right now,” Chris Paquette, CEO and founder of health care advertising technology company DeepIntent, tells Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast. “There’s a lot of uncertainty and there’s a lot of fear out there.”
As distributors like pharmacies get more doses in hand, they’ll begin marketing efforts. Standardized efforts like those from the Ad Council, Paquette says, do well to focus on facts. “There are some basic primitive questions that we need to answer—the safety, efficacy, these are things that don’t change.”Just briefly
Call me maybe: The Federal Communications Commission levied its largest fine of all time—$225 million—against telemarketers who made 1 billion robocalls in 2019, trying to sell short-term health insurance, CNBC says. Turns out they’re lucky. New legislation passed that year raises the fine to $10,000 per call.
Offsides: Justin Long is a Mac no more. He’s just Justin, and he’s pitting Macs and PCs in head-to-head competition in new Intel spots from VMLY&R. Apple announced its move away from Intel processors last year, and the chip maker has Long take digs at MacBook styling (gray) and accessories (a dongle?).
A little off the top: Pizza Hut sold pixelated pepperoni for what turned out to be a steal. The brand’s Non-Fungible Token of a digital pizza slice originally sold for 18 cents, but the new owner then flipped it for $8,824.07. Not to worry. Due to the blockchain-based nature of NFTs, Pizza Hut rakes in 1% of that purchase price, as well as all future purchases. How many times can you eat the same slice of pizza?
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.
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