Morning Update: Apple on agency hunt to support new and existing retail initiatives; YouTube chief pushes ahead with subscriptions

AdWeek: Ad of the Day: Cable Companies Are Playground Bullies in Hilarious Ads for Sling TV

Everyone knows cable companies can be total bullies, but pointing it out can still make for some pretty funny ads.

SlingTV, the small-bundle Internet TV offering from Dish, is out with its first national ad campaign—from agency Camp + King and Prettybird directors Tim & Eric—casting “Old TV” as a bunch of mean-spirited kids extorting adults with playground tactics like wet willies.

There’s even a bratty service rep character that—given the slew of horror stories about, say, Comcast—doesn’t really have to stretch the truth to evoke a striking sense of tragicomedy. She has a smug, hovering Bill Lumbergh wannabe of a supervisor—also pretty credible, and in a sense, a kind of nice, sympathetic nod to a certain class of worker bee. Maybe she’s not really awful; she’s just playing along to keep her job.

The New York Times: While Its Streaming Service Booms, Netflix Streamlines Old Business

It was just past sunrise on an early-spring morning at Netflix’s DVD operations here, where metallic arms whirred in a giant glass box and rolling carts holding millions of DVDs lined the walls. The company’s iconic red envelopes buzzed through an assembly line at the other end of the warehouse.

The machine sucked a returned Netflix mailer into the system then proceeded to slice open the envelope, identify and clean the disc inside, check that the DVD worked and reinsert it into the original sleeve. That disc was then returned to the storage carts or shipped out to another customer who had requested the title.

About 3,400 discs zip through the rental return machine each hour, five times as many as when teams of Netflix employees used to process the discs by hand. Called the Amazing Arm by engineers here, the machine symbolizes the way Netflix has managed to maintain a profitable physical DVD operation even as it transforms itself into a global streaming service.

AdAge: Apple on Agency Hunt to Support New And Existing Retail Initiatives

Apple is on the agency hunt as its retail team seeks support for new and existing initiatives, according to a request for information the Cupertino-based tech giant sent to a number of shops.

“The Apple Retail Marketing team is responsible for delivering a connected experience across the customer journey, ensuring that every interaction with Apple Retail increases engagement and affinity with our people, products, values and passions,” the company wrote in the RFI, which is 7 pages long. That team is now seeking support in “strategy and insights, experience design, creative ideation and seamless production.”

Among the asks of potential partners are global, creative retail and digital resources.

Campaign: Wieden & Kennedy wins global Nurofen business

Reckitt Benckiser has appointed Wieden & Kennedy London to handle the global advertising business for its ibuprofen brand, Nurofen, after a review.

The incumbent is Havas Worldwide, which pitched for the account along with McCann Erickson. Havas, formerly known as Euro RSCG, won back the business at the end of 2010 after losing it to Mother in 2009. It had originally picked up the consolidated £800 million RB account in July 2006.

AdWeek: Honey Maid’s Latest Wholesome Family Features a Disabled Aunt and Her Niece

Honey Maid’s campaign featuring inclusive depictions of American families moves forward today with a spot showing a disabled aunt and her niece making apple and cheddar melts together on their graham crackers.

It’s a simple, quiet 30-second spot, Cheerios-like both in its simplicity and its unspoken embrace of all types of families. Honey Maid has become one of the most famous brandsembracing such diversity in its ads with same-sex couples, mixed-race, blended and immigrant families, and more.

Wall Street Journal: YouTube Chief Pushes Ahead with Subscriptions Despite Questions

YouTube wants to get paid in a new way, and Chief Susan Wojcicki is pushing ahead despite questions about the plan.

Wojcicki, a veteran of Google advertising who took the reins at YouTube in early 2014,announced an ad-free, subscription version of the streaming video service almost a year ago.  Since then, critics have questioned aspects of the effort, especially a requirement that content owners make their videos available for both the ad-supported and paid versions.

Some content owners have videos that are already available exclusively on other online services, so they may not be able to put that material on a paid YouTube service, too. However, YouTube says that if content partners opted out of the paid service, their content would be nixed from the ad-supported version. That has upset some YouTube partners, and a few of the large ones, including some movie studios, are holding out.

AdAge: Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Cars After Jeep Is Hacked

Fiat Chrysler will recall 1.4 million vehicles to close the software loophole that allowed hackers to remotely take control of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

FCA US said it “has applied network-level security measures” to block hackers from the ability to remotely access its vehicles via their Internet-ready Uconnect radios.


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