Morning Update: Morgan Freeman on GPS; Heineken obsessed with millennials; Maxim loses $39m; BBDO India fights sexism

Morgan Freeman

Slate: Voice of God Morgan Freeman Can Now Be the Voice of Your GPS Thanks to a Pretty Genius Movie Marketing Ploy

Google’s navigation app Waze has signed on another celebrity to its voice navigation roster—but not just any celebrity. The voice of God himself, Morgan Freeman, has brought his voice to the app for a limited time as a marketing tie-in for his new movie, London Has Fallen. Given the limited time, and sample lines like “the world awaits your commands,” time is naturally of the essence.

The London Has Fallen tie-in also explains why Freeman will be addressing users as though they are the U.S. president. (In the movie, which comes out March 4, Freeman plays the vice president.) This could be the role of a lifetime for all of us—but it’s hard not to wish we could have been given a less dorky name than “President Wazer.”

Ad Week: Yahoo Exec Calls Out Mobile Ad Blocker for ‘Destroying the Ecosystem’

A panel discussion about ad-blocking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, showed just how high the tension is getting between advertisers, tech companies and ad blockers.

Speaking to a packed room full of marketers, execs from Google, Shine, Nestle, AOL and Yahoo talked about why consumers use mobile ad blockers and what marketers can do to improve the quality of online ads. Much of the talk specifically revolved around mobile ad blocker Shine and how it is working with carriers to remove ads.

Heineken lit up logo

Digiday: Heineken CMO: ‘We spend all our energy trying to understand millennials’

The Drum: Odeon backs the ever elusive DiCaprio Oscar with Leodeon rebrand

Cinema chain Odeon has altered the signage of its Leicester square outlet to pay tribute to Hollywood great Leonardo DiCaprio as he hopes to hunt down his first ever Best Actor Academy Award.

With the 88th Academy Awards close approaching, Odeon feels DiCaprio’s performance in The Revenant warrants his first Academy Award, buying into the popular web meme often showing the actor chasing after the elusive award.

It shared the publicity stunt on Twitter.

Maxim website

Ad Age: Maxim Has Already Lost Biglari Holdings $39 Million

Maxim magazine, which was purchased by Biglari Holdings in early 2014, has already lost the holding company an aggregate pre-tax sum of $39 million, according to a Feb. 18 letter to shareholders from CEO Sardar Biglari.

Maxim lost $21.5 million in 2014 and $18.1 million in 2015, according to the letter. Overall, the after-tax impact of the magazine has been a loss of $25 million.

Patrick Stewart Strongbow

Creativity Online: Patrick Stewart Is Back Promoting Strongbow – But Only as Second Choice

Despite getting unceremoniously fired in last year’s Strongbow campaign, Patrick Stewart is back again being insulted in a new set of spots for the Heineken-owned hard cider.

Once again, the The X-Men actor is the subject of some witty put-downs as he does his best to promote the brand. He’s apparently been re-hired to show off Strongbow’s “award-winning range” – but only because another “award-winning actor” cancelled. In another spot, we’re told that the brand hired an actor with a range that’s “almost” as impressive as Strongbow’s.

Campaign India: Ariel awakens father to harsh reality of gender stereotypes, gets him to #ShareTheLoad

Ariel has launched a second film as part of its #ShareTheLoad campaign, conceptualised by BBDO India. It opens with a small boy playing with his grandfather. His mother returns from office and reminds him about his homework, admonishing him for some stains on his clothes. She hands her father his ticket to return home.
While doing so her phone rings, and she tends to some official work. Her husband is busy watching a match and working on his laptop, as she hands him a cup of tea. As she talks on the phone, she continues with her chores at home. Her father looks at her, and starts narrating a letter in his head.


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