AdAge: The Media Guy

Advertising Age - The Media Guy
Advertising Age - The Media Guy

Introducing Dumenco's Cannes Play-at-Home Edition

Everybody in marketing and media is doing Cannes this year -- just like everybody did SXSW in March and everybody did CES in January, and so on.

Upward of 30,000 guests are expected to crowd the Cte d'Azur for what's properly known as the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which means that, uh [taps spastically at calculator keypad, Colbert-style], yes, 100% of the marketing and media world -- plus or minus 99% -- will be attending.

Except me. I'm sitting out Cannes this year, but I'm determined to not miss out. That's why I've developed the revolutionary new Cannes Play-at-Home Edition, which is designed to allow me to indulge in the Cannes experience from the comfort and sanity (and cheapness) of my own apartment. Even better, the Cannes Play-at-Home Edition has a social media activation that will make it seem like I'm at Cannes without ever explicitly stating that I'm in the South of France (i.e., I won't technically be lying).

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Burger King, Nissan, American Express and More

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.

Among the new releases, John Mellencamp's '80s hit "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." serves as the soundtrack for a Nissan sales event ad. A British lady helps two American dudes grasp the royal etiquette involved in properly consuming a Burger King Mushroom & Swiss King. And American Express Open celebrates the sheer joy of getting a "yes" -- from a boss, on a project, from a client, etc.

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The Secret Megyn Kelly Tapes Alex Jones Released Are, Uh, Not Good for Megyn Kelly

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Friday, June 16:

Today's unlikely cast of characters: an embatttled conspiracy theorist (Nos. 1 and 2), a prominent fan of said conspiracy theorist who also happens to have access to the nuclear codes (No. 3), a devoted but possibly increasingly nervous servant of that fan (No. 5), an embattled broadcaster (Nos. 1 and 2), and, of course, a wedding planner (No. 4). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Oh dear. So this happened last night:

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See the Animated Cover: Time Shows Uber as a Flaming Pile-Up

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, June 15:

Today's accidental theme, dear reader, is soul-searching -- at Facebook (see No. 3, below), in Silicon Valley (No. 7) and across America (No. 2). And, actually, a lack of soul-searching in one particular famous American residence (No. 6). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. The morning-after media coverage of Wednesday's shooting at an Alexandria, Va., baseball field has a certain common theme, as seen on the front pages of New York's tabloids:

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Watch: Kate McKinnon and Bugs Bunny Reenact Jeff Sessions' Senate Testimony

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, June 14:

Let's jump right to today's breaking news ...

1. A helpful summary: "Rep. Steve Scalise, others shot at Alexandria, Va., baseball practice: Here's what we know," via USA Today. Among the latest details:

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This Brilliant Trump-Inspired Strategy Could Make All Your Awful Meetings a Total Joy

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Tuesday, June 13:

Lots going on in today's media scan -- only some of it is Russia-related (see Nos. 1 and 2, below) -- but I'm guessing you're maybe here for the meeting tip? In that case, skip ahead to No. 7. Anyway, let's get started ...

1. USA Today, among other media outlets, will be livestreaming Attorney General Jeff Sessions' testimony before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee starting at 2:30 p.m. ET this afternoon. As Vox's Dara Lind notes, the stakes are particularly high for Sessions today because,

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Man Sentenced to Death for Posting 'Blasphemous' Content on Facebook

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Monday, June 12:

Today's themes are theater and violence (see Nos. 1 and 2, below), theater (No. 3), violence (No. 5), theater (No. 6) and theater and violence (No. 7). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Hey hockey fans: FYI, on Sunday night "Dear Evan Hansen" won the Tony Award for Best Musical, which is sort of the Stanley Cup of theater. (See "Tony Awards: Big winners, surprise losers and what it all means for the theater," via The Los Angeles Times.) Hey theater fans: FYI, on Sunday night the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, which is sort of the Tony Award for Best Musical for hockey. (See "This Pittsburgh Penguins title was a spectacle of survival," via ESPN.)

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Wait, There Are Vending Machines Where You Can Buy Instagram Likes?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Friday, June 9:

The (entirely accidental) themes of your media scan this week have included friendship and rejection. Today's theme is simply foreigners -- as in voting Brits (see No. 1, below) and cunning Russians (Nos. 2, 5) and horny Brits (No. 6) and singing Brits (No. 7). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. So what the hell just happened in the U.K.? Let's turn to the Beeb (the BBC): "Hung Parliament: Q&A guide to what happens when no-one wins the election." (Meanwhile, in case you're wondering, here's what the Biebs is up to.)

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Watch: Colbert's Amazing Attack Ad Against an Audience Member Inspired by That Comey Attack Ad

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, June 8:

Welcome to the Comey Testimony Day edition of your daily media scan! Let's get started ...

1. "Twitter Will Live-Stream James Comey Testimony in Exclusive Bloomberg TV Pact," per Variety.

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Oreo, Gatorade, GMC and More

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.

Among the new releases, an Oreo spot deploys a hypnoptic graphic motif to hype Oreo Thins to the soundtrack of, yes, Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize." A GMC ad asks "How do you wanna live?" -- and then answers the question by suggesting that you wanna live "like a pro," in the spirit of GMC (tagline: "We are professional grade"). And an announcer for Gatorade opens by saying "So you love your game? So does he." The idea is that your competitor might be training and fighting just as hard as you are -- and that maybe you can get an extra edge by rehydrating with Gatorade, a point that Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt is on hand to make.

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No Hugs for You! Imagine That Viral Seinfeld-Kesha Moment as the Perfect Lost 'Seinfeld' Episode

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of June 7:

Yesterday's accidental theme, dear reader, was friendship. Today's equally accidental theme is rejection -- of certain Twitterers by President Trump (see No. 1, below), of Trump by James Comey and vice versa (No. 2), and especially of Kesha by Jerry Seinfeld (Nos. 3 and 4). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Or maybe he could just block everyone? "The Knight First Amendment Institute, a nonprofit advocacy group based at Columbia University, threatened to take legal action against President Trump if he does not unblock critics on Twitter," per Benjamin Mullin of the Poynter Institute. "The demand, made in a letter to President Trump, was sent on behalf of Holly O'Reilly and Joseph M. Papp, two Twitter users who were blocked by the president's account after criticizing him on the social media network." Knight argues that Trump's Twitter is something called a "designated public forum" and that the president has no legal right to just banish his critics in such a forum.

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Is It Time for 'Fox & Friends' to Rebrand Itself as 'Fox & Our Friend Donald'?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Tuesday, June 6:

Today's theme is friendship -- between the U.K. and the U.S. (see No. 4, below), between the White House and the Kremlin (No. 3), between a senator and an embattled HBO star (No. 6), and between the president and "Fox & Friends" (No. 5). It's all so, you know, heartwarming. Anyway, let's get started ...

1. The New York Times sent out a "Breaking News" alert last night (it arrived in my inbox at 9:15 p.m. ET) titled "A contractor faces espionage charges for giving a classified report about Russia to the news media, the first leak case of the Trump era." The story by Charlie Savage that it links to tells the remarkable story of a rather simple cat-and-mouse game:

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And Here's the View From Paris ...

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Friday, June 2:

In a major victory for the White House, people have momentarily stopped saying "Trump" and "Russia" in the same sentence, instead substituting a certain French city for the Eurasian country. In a rare occurence, your media scan today is about a single topic (President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement), its aftermath and the media storm surrounding it. (In this parenthetical, though, a provocative headline from Newsweek just in case you still crave some Russia-related news: "Putin Vows Military Response to 'Eliminate NATO Threat' If Sweden Joins U.S.-Led Alliance.") Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Here's today's front page of Paris-based newspaper Libration (with a subhead that translates to "Despite the warnings, Donald Trump has decided to release the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement"):

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Ezra Klein: Trump Is 'Recklessly, Impulsively Endangering His Own Presidency'

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of June 1:

Your executive summary in one sentence: Jennifer Garner is mad at People magazine (see No. 6, below), Chlo Grace Moretz is mad at her own movie's marketing (No. 3), Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are still mad at each other (Nos. 1 and 2), and Ezra Klein is exasperated by Trump (No. 7) ... but, hey, at least Vladimir Putin is still a fan (No. 2). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. So, last night this happened:

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Marketers, What's Your Covfefe Strategy?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, May 31:

One of the running in-jokes at Ad Age among the editors and reporters has to do with the fact that whenever something stupidly viral happens in the culture, random publicists will quickly email to suggest why the CEO they represent is an expert on it, or why the product they shill is relevant to it, or why Ad Age should be doing a story about how "savvy" marketers can "leverage" said stupidly viral thing. Now that President Trump has unleashed covfefe (see No. 1, below), I've actually already decided on my own personal covfefe strategy -- with a little help from the Merriam-Webster Twitter account (see the last line in the tweet embedded in No. 7, below). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Covfefegate! "And on the 132nd day, just after midnight," Matt Flegenheimer of The New York Times writes, "President Trump had at last delivered the nation to something approaching unity -- in bewilderment, if nothing else. The state of our union was covfefe." Flegenheimer's piece is a wry tick-tock of the social media reaction to Trump's now-deleted 12:06 a.m. tweet ("Despite the constant negative press covfefe") -- including the president's own 6:09 a.m. folllow-up tweet.

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Who Wore It Best? The Daily News or the New York Post?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Tuesday, May 30:

What keeps you awake at night? The whole Trump-Russia thing? (See No. 1, below.) The United States' deteriorating relationships with its European allies? (No. 3.) A stomach ache and/or headache from eating too many champagne popsicles? (No. 2.) If you anwered "yes" to any of the above ... WRONG. The correct answer is nothing. Nothing keeps you awake at night (see No. 7). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. It never ends. "Russian government officials discussed having potentially 'derogatory' information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides in conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election, according to two former intelligence officials and a congressional source," per a CNN report by Pamela Brown, Jim Sciutto and Dana Bash. The information was "financial in nature and said the discussion centered on whether the Russians had leverage over Trump's inner circle. ... But the sources ... cautioned the Russian claims to one another 'could have been exaggerated or even made up' as part of a disinformation campaign that the Russians did during the election."

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Ballad of the Sad White Alpha Men

Sean Hannity's current advertiser drama is obviously reminiscent of what his Fox News colleague Bill O'Reilly went through recently, but it's also a lot like what Donald Trump is going through right now.

To bring you up to speed, in case you've only vaguely been paying attention:

Trump booster Hannity, on his Fox News show "Hannity," has been deep-diving down a rabbit hole by pursuing the conspiracy theory that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered (a hit, presumably, ordered by Hillary Clinton) for leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The theory is catnip to Trump supporters because if a DNC staffer did the WikiLeaking, rather than the Russians, then, in Hannity's words, "the entire Russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread."

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From M&M's, Taco Bell, Jeep and More

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.

Among the new releases, Taco Bell says it might be giving away Doritos Locos Tacos -- provided a certain NBA-related thing happens (watch the ad to find out what). Jeep serves up a summery music-video-style spot with a beach performance by Marc Scibilia (singing "On the Way"). And in an ad from candymaker Mars that celebrates its sponsorship of Red Nose Day, the red M&M proves that he's kind of an idiot.

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Are You More Tempted to Buy This Issue of People Because It's Half-Price?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Friday, May 26:

1. "Remember when Ronald Reagan body slammed a reporter to the cheers of the conservative grassroots? Neither do I," Michelle Fields writes in "Journalism in the Age of the Body Slam," a New York Times guest opinion piece. "Yet in the aftermath of the assault on Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, by Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for a special House election in Montana, too many conservatives are either doubting the event occurred, despite audio evidence and witness testimony by a Fox News crew, or praising Mr. Gianforte for giving the press what it deserves."

Michelle Fields is a former reporter at Breitbart News, who, as she notes, "was grabbed and bruised by one of Donald Trump's campaign managers, Corey Lewandowski, during the Republican primary."

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Watch Cartoon Pope Francis Roast President Trump

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, May 25:

The first rule of Political Fight Club: don't body-slam a reporter while other reporters are watching (See No. 3, below). The first rule of Cable News Blowhard Club: When the going gets tough, the "tough" go on vacation (No. 4). The first rule of Donald Trump Club: I'm first -- this is my photo op (No. 2). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Because of course: "AG Sessions did not disclose Russia meetings in security clearance form, DOJ says" -- a "First on CNN" report from Manu Raju and Evan Perez. Flashback to March: "Al Franken: I think Jeff Sessions committed perjury."

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Wait, What? The FCC Let Colbert Off the Hook and the Parents Television Council Is OK With It?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, May 24:

Yes, Virginia, there are still magazine launches (see No. 5, below). Does the Trump administration understand basic math? No (No. 1). Yes, iris authentication sounds cool. Is it foolproof? No (No. 2). Yes, President Trump is still doing that weirdly aggressive shake-and-pull handshake -- but finally someone was prepared for it (No. 7). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Something something 101. The top story on New York Magazine's website this morning is titled "Trump Budget Director: We Didn't Make a Childish Math Error! (They Did.)" Jonathan Chait's post begins,

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'She's Such an Idiot': Does Your Boss Know You Said That About Her on Slack?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Tuesday, May 23:

1. Via The Guardian: "'Terror at the Arena': how the papers reacted to Manchester attack," which rounds up front pages from late-edition U.K. newspapers. Here's the Manchester Evening News' cover:

The same image appears stateside on the front page of the New York Daily News:

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Saying 'Let's Beat Up Fat Kids' Is OK on Facebook, According to Leaked Moderator Guidelines

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Monday, May 22:

Crunched for time? Here's your executive summary in one sentence: Drake won some more awards (see No. 5, below), President Trump touched an orb (No. 1), Jared Kushner is touching a few nerves (No. 4) and "President Trump" & Friends sang "Hallelujah" on "SNL" (No. 7). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. So this happened:

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Should Johnny Depp Take Over for Alec Baldwin as Trump on 'SNL'?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Friday, May 19:

I came thisclose to being able to make this a Trump-free edition of your daily media scan, but then, well, see Nos. 5 and 6, below. (Sorry!) Anyway, let's get started ...

1. More evidence that Jeff Bezos & Co. know everything about us: "Amazon has introduced a weekly best seller list that ranks books by what readers are actually reading -- not just what they've bought," USA Today's Elizabeth Weise reports. "The new list, called Amazon Charts, also has a most-sold component that incorporates sales of its Kindle e-books and audio, as well as print books."

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Who Wore It Best? Mad Magazine or Time?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, May 18:

Strapped for time? Here's your executive summary in one sentence: Roger Ailes is dead, Alex Jones is sorry, Donald Trump is not sorry and Mad Magazine is mad -- or at least annoyed. Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Fox News founder and former CEO Roger Ailes has died at age 77. Here's why it's weird to say "RIP."

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The Ailes Factor: Sizing Up the Legacy of the Fox News 'Warrior' and King-Maker

But look closely and most often the "RIP" sentiments are ironic:

Either way, regardless of how you feel about him, "peace" is exactly the wrong word to use in regard to Roger Ailes.

He was anti-peace. Media to him wasn't some polite, reasonable forum for considered discussion of the events shaping our democracy -- it was a goddamn battlefield where blood would be, should be, shed.

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Colbert: 'I Completely Agree With Donald Trump'

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, May 17:

In our current media-about-media-about-media moment, the big dogs of inky journalism are looming larger than ever. Can you imagine the first 118 days of the Trump administration -- let alone the last week or the last few days -- without The New York Times and The Washington Post? Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Yes, please, make all of this go away.

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Watch Seth Meyers Valiantly Try to Explain Every Trumpy Thing Going on Right Now

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Tuesday, May 16:

So, uh, the president of the United States has reportedly done another rather astonishing thing, and by now we all know the lather-rinse-repeat media drill: the flat-out denial and/or non-denial denial from Trump surrogates followed by a prompt reversal from the president himself. What instructions should we put on this particular political CPG? Maybe just this: Shock, deny, confirm. Anyway, let's get started ...

1. The story dominating the front page of The Daily Beast this morning is a team-written post (Lachlan Markay, Tim Mak, Asawin Suebsaeng and Jana Winter) headlined "White House Staff 'Hiding' as Russia Chaos Engulfs West Wing."

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I Worship TV, But I Don't Need It Everywhere

An admission: I haven't been a cable TV subscriber since 2008.

Another admission: I'm just an average guy who just wants to watch his shows (i.e., if you think I'm some sort of canary-in-the-coal-mine harbinger of doom for traditional, ad-supported linear TV, you're way overthinking it).

The truth is, I didn't really consciously decide to get rid of cable. It's just that nine years ago I moved (solo, from one New York City apartment to another) and, though I immediately signed up for broadband internet access, I somehow avoided settling on a cable package. And then I quickly realized I could more than make do with various streaming options on my laptop and on a repurposed big-screen iMac. (In 2008, Hulu was celebrating its one-year birthday and Netflix was a year into layering streaming on top of its old mail-order-DVD business model.) Well, that and the occasional mooching off of friends' and loved ones' TV+cable.

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'Go FCC Yourself' 2: Watch John Oliver Update His Net Neutrality Rant

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Monday, May 15:

The leader of the free world is expected to, you know, lead ... but according to a new Politico report (see No. 2, below), members of President Trump's staff have found that they can lead him in one direction or another simply by making him read news, or "news," they think will help make their case. Meanwhile, other staffers are making it their business to lead the leader away from where he's been led, which probably has something to do with him being "frustrated" and "angry at everyone" (see No. 1, below) and contemplating the ouster of some of those leading him astray. Got all that? Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Day Trump vs. Night Trump: Per a Sunday Mike Allen scoop at Axios, "At the urging of longtime friends and outside advisers, most of whom he consults after dark, President Trump is considering a 'huge reboot' that could take out everyone from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, to counsel Don McGahn and press secretary Sean Spicer, White House sources tell me. ... 'He's frustrated, and angry at everyone,' said one of the confidants."

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