The Squeeze: January 2019 Edition

January 23, 2019

Thirsty for knowledge? Get a taste of the juiciest marketing news with The Squeeze! We deliver industry highlights straight to your inbox to get your creative juices flowing. From Gillette shaving away toxic masculinity to the WWE MacDown and more, this is the latest for January.


When you need to shave away the toxic people in your life…


Gillette is saying “same.” In the age of #metoo, the company is taking a stand against toxic masculinity and sexual harassment with its new “We Believe” ad. Of course, the ad packed a polarizing punch, garnering both praise and outrage in its reception.


As comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan, said, “It’s like an anti-masculine commercial. It makes every man look like a misogynistic piece of sh*t.” Other critics maintain that the ad itself is toxic and that advertisers should avoid politically-charged language.


On the flipside, supporters of the ad say that it indicates “signs of real change” in how we portray masculinity. After all, advertisements can serve as powerful barometers of the social climate. Even Gillette’s brand director Pankaj Bhalla acknowledged that the company wouldn’t have made this ad a decade ago:


The insight that ‘I am not the bad guy but I don't know how to be a great guy,’ that insight wouldn’t have come 10 years ago, because this wasn’t in our ether. It wasn't in our society at the time.


Testing the waters is never not a risk for advertisers who want to stay relevant. Whether or not you believe brands should get political, one thing is certain: The fact that ads like Gillette’s exist show that these issues are at the forefront of the public consciousness.


WWE MacDown


Alleged “trademark bully” McDonald’s might be the biggest contender in the ring, but not even that could save its beloved Big Mac burger trademark in Europe.The EU Intellectual Property Office deemed the fast food behemoth’s use of its trademark as illegitimate.


The case was presented to the regulator two years ago when Irish burger restaurant chain Supermac’s sought to trademark its own name and expand beyond its Ireland and Northern Ireland territories. McDonald’s isn’t clowning around though. The company intends to have the decision repealed and get its precious trademark back.


As one of its spokespeople said, “We are disappointed in the EUIPO’s decision and believe this decision did not take into account the substantial evidence submitted by McDonald’s proving use of our BIG MAC mark throughout Europe.”


Sometimes the hamberder business can be saltier than a side of fries.


What to say when your social media game is #lit…


Don’t play with Fyre. After Netflix and Hulu dropped their documentaries within days of each other, everyone is talking about the notorious music festival that never happened.


The Fyre Festival was advertised as the festival to end all festivities, like if Burning Man and Coachella had a baby, and that baby wore Prada.


What was supposed to be a luxury cultural event ended being a post-apocalyptic nightmare that endangered hundreds of thousands of people who ended up stranded on an island with minimal food, water and shelter. Oops.


There’s much to be learned from such a disastrous scam, but what lies at the heart is a cautionary tale on the power of social media.


Sensational influencer marketing, creative content in the form of the cryptic orange tile and a serious emphasis on FOMO were the strongest components of Fyre’s marketing strategy. However, the very tactics that ignited people’s news feeds like a wildfire are what burned the event in the end.


When MacKenzie Bezos isn’t the only one who’s experienced a breach of trust…


France and Google are on the rocks, as well. France’s National Data Protection Commission hit Google with a $57 million fine in one of the first major GDPR violation cases we’ve seen since the laws were implemented last May.  


In case you need a little refresher, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the European Union’s body of legislation that dictates how companies collect, protect and apply user data.


These laws apply to any business that markets its services and/or products online in a way that’s accessible to international, yeah, basically any company with an online presence.


The Commission in France cited Google for two violations: The first was the company’s convoluted method of providing users with information on how they manage data, and the second addressed insufficient user consent.  


Of course, Google is far from the only offender on this front, and we predict many more high-profile cases to come. Mais c’est la vie, mon amie.


Love, Oregon


We wrote a love letter about our state in this latest video project for our parent company ICON Medical Network. The purpose of the video is to encourage traveling doctors to move to Oregon, but we thought it’d also be fun to share with all you Oregon natives out there!


And if you don’t live here, then we feel bad for you. No, just kidding—kind of. But now you can see for yourself what you’re missing!



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ASA Genius Award 2017
ASA Genius Award 2017
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