Trump picks a fight with retailer Nordstrom, ads pull support from Breitbart News, we weigh in on the best of the best from Super Bowl 51, Snickers apologizes for its live ad gone wrong, and this year’s Super Bowl game had the lowest viewership since 2013.
Here are this week’s top stories in advertising and marketing.
Outside of the Super Bowl, a lot has been going in the Ad world this week. Perhaps most notably, Nordstrom recently announced it would drop Ivanka Trump’s brand from the department store chain. The retailer said last week it would stop selling the brand this season, citing poor sales, though it’s unclear whether that’s because of a natural sales decline or result from consumer’s boycotting efforts. In a statement, the company said that “based on the brand’s performance, we’ve decided not to buy it for this season.” Nordstrom had recently received pushback from the “Grab Your Wallet” campaign, a group that encourages shoppers to boycott retailers carrying products associated with the Trump name. Donald Trump, who is obviously no stranger to taking to Twitter to air his opinions, tweeted this week that daughter Ivanka “has been treated so unfairly. She is a great person – always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” Other public figures, like comedian Chelsea Handler, shared their sentiments in other ways.
As reported by The Independent over the weekend, “Hundreds of advertisers are pulling away from the ultra-conservative news website Breitbart, and campaigners are confident the backlash is snowballing.” In total, 935 companies have already pledged to remove the far-right website from their media plans, including big-time names like Kelloggs, BMW, Visa, T-Mobile, Nordstrom and more. For background, Breitbart news was previously run by founder Steve Bannon, who is now one of President Trump’s top aides and chief White House strategist. Grassroots campaigns are now calling on other big players like Amazon and Google to cut ties, as a petition for Amazon has been circulating and now has more than 300,000 signatures and counting.
The biggest day for the ad-world took place over the weekend for Super Bowl 51. As with each year, some big questions leading up to Sunday’s broadcast on Fox included just how political some brands would get, and who, of course, would be the weekend’s big winner. Many experts have their top picks – a few with some overlap – while the internet better revealed which ads resonated most with viewers, either for sentiment or otherwise. By measurement of which spots dominated the internet in the days after the Super Bowl, there were obvious favorites, ranging anywhere from the tear-jerking to the side-splitting. One favorite starred Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake for Bai, and was endearing in both its simplicity and comic timing. Another featured comedic-queen Melissa McCarthy as a do-gooder gone wrong, with a slight political undercurrent, for Kia. Other spots left viewers with goose-bumps (or was it just me?), such as Audi’s all-the-feels ad “Daughter,” and 84 Lumber’s “Journey,” which received a lot of backlash for its pro-immigration script. The spot was originally rejected by Fox, and so had to be split into two – half showing during the game, and the finale airing only online.
Snicker’s live commercial for the Super Bowl with BBDO New York was among the most anticipated of the year. But many viewers were left confused when it appeared the stunt had gone wrong, as commercial front-man Adam Driver misses his mark and the entire spot – and set – fell to pieces. It’s only until the brand’s “you’re not you when you’re hungry” positioning comes into play after the fact that the spot makes more sense. Snickers followed up with a faux apology on Twitter, further extending the gag and clarifying for those who didn’t seem to realize the spot was a joke in the first palce, writing “The #SNICKERSLive #SB51 commercial did not go as planned. We apologize.” Monday, the brand released a press release to further explain that “hunger was the root cause of an off-the-field fumble” during the live commercial and that the “mishap demonstrated once more the effects of what can happen when you’re hungry and off your game.” You can watch Adam Driver’s apology here.
Despite some winning spots, a historic over-time win, and Gisele Bündchen’s viral enthusiasm for hubby Tom Brady, Nielsen data released by the Fox network found Super Bowl 51’s total 111.3 million viewers as the smallest audience for the game in four years, according to Reuters. Viewership surged during overtime, topping out at about 117 million between 10:00 – 10:15 p.m. EST, suggesting that without the Patriots final push, ratings would have been much worse. Still, though viewership was less than in past years, SB51 drove a whopping $500 million in ad revenue for the Fox Television network. On Monday, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch said that “the power of sports can’t be overstated.” For the 2017 bowl game, each 30-second ad cost companies roughly $5 million, or about $166,667 per second. Wowza.