Advertising Week Friday Roundup: Week Ending November 4, 2016

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By Natalie Munio

Brands celebrate the Cubs in big ways, Hefty thinks political ads are trash, someone named Angela becomes a necessary ally, Starbucks’ unifying message backfired, and Trump ads surge in the eleventh hour. Read below for this week’s top stories in marketing and advertising. 

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series after 108 years, and brands are having a field day because of it. From Nike to Budweiser, ESPN to Red Bull, social media was an advertising firestorm as brands unleashed their congratulatory campaigns, many employing the popular hashtag, #FlyTheW. Some tributes from companies based out of Illinois, namely United Airlines, Allstate Insurance and Motorola US, shared their support for their “hometown heroes.” Other brands, like Red Bull, took creative aim at the famed “Billy Goat Curse,” what was long believed to have been what started the 108-year World Series drought.

Many of us have just about had enough with political ads popping up virtually everywhere, whether we’re watching videos on YouTube or trying to catch up on world happenings on news sites. It also seems that as November 8th grows nearer and nearer, the ads have intensified in quantity and content. So Hefty decided to lend a hand. A recent campaign from the brand replaces all banner ads and pre-roll video ads across a variety of websites with a simple image or video that reads, “This political ad has been trashed thanks to Hefty.” After a poll revealed 80 percent of surveyed people said they were fed up with negative political ads, the digital political takeover was a modern way for the brand to demonstrate its “ultimate strength when it comes to trash.”

A county in England has come up with a clever campaign to help combat sexual violence. A series of ads were displayed in the women’s bathroom in a restaurant advising anyone who may feel uncomfortable or unsafe on their date to seek out bar staff and ask for “Angela.” In doing so, staff members will know that person is in need of help. The “Hi, I’m Angela” sign tells the readers staff “will know you need some help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly – without too much fuss.” A customer took a photo and shared it on Twitter, triggering almost 30,000 retweets, and attracting much needed attention to the cause.

Starbucks’ famed red holiday cups are no more (or at least not yet) and some people are very unhappy about it. Earlier this week, the coffee distributor introduced new green cups which are meant to promote “unity,” even including an illustration of hundreds of people drawn from one, continuous line around the cup. But the message didn’t take for some people, and instead, Starbucks has been accused of “brain washing.” Arguments range anywhere from green being an Islamic color, to the cup showing “liberal bias” in favor of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Luckily, the red holiday cups will make their return around November 10th and peace will once again be restored.

Throughout the majority of the presidential race, the Clinton campaign has dominated national ad spend, even outspending Trump nationally by more than $2 million for two weeks in October. Her national spots also aired roughly two and a half times as often as her opponent Donald Trump’s did. However, Trump is making up for it with a late surge in the eleventh hour. Recent data from iSpot.tv shows Trump spending upwards of $1 million per day starting Oct. 26. Trump’s most watched and most aired ad was “Change,” which centers around Clinton’s being more of the same after decades in DC. For Clinton, the “Measure” national ad, focusing on American children, was her most viewed. Demographically, Clinton reaches more women and younger audiences, while Trump’s national ads reach a much older audience than his opponent.