Bublé’s new Super Bowl ad; new work from The Economist; and what’s your Sopranos nickname?

Michael Bublé makes his Super Bowl debut

Singer Michael Bublé is appearing at Super Bowl LIII next month, although he’s not joining the ranks of esteemed halftime performers like Prince, Justin Timberlake, The Rolling Stones and, er, George Burns (it’s true, you can see it here).

Instead, the Canuck crooner is appearing in the first Super Bowl ad for PepsiCo’s sparkling water brand, Bubly. Bublé. Bubly. Get it? That’s the premise of “Can I have a Bublé?” created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

A 15-second teaser for the spot unveiled this week shows a nattily-attired Bublé sitting in a store’s drinks aisle, using a marker to change the name on each Bubly can to his surname. The spot will promote four Bubly flavours: Strawberry, Lime, Grapefruit and Orange.

Questioning The Economist‘s new campaign

For years, The Economist’s iconic white-on-red advertising from U.K. agency AMV was a masterclass in simplicity and language, a testament to the sparkling prose contained within the magazine’s pages (among our favourites: “I never read The Economist – management trainee, age 42,” “Great minds like a think” and “Two thirds of the world is covered by water. The rest is covered by The Economist”).

The brand returned to TV for the first time in a decade this week with “Never Stop Questioning,” a forgettable, overly earnest ad that’s starkly different to the whip-smart work that preceded it.

Created by Proximity London, the 40-second spot chronicles the life of a young girl who never stops questioning everything around her. The ad is running alongside a direct-response ad on the U.K. networks Sky, Channel 4, Channel Five and ITV, and on the big four U.S. networks.

According to The Economist, the media campaign is built around high-reach programming. In keeping with the campaign’s theme, we have a question for The Economist: Why don’t you bring back the smart, witty advertising that’s your hallmark?

Cooler door advertising? Yep, it’s a thing

Just when you thought advertising couldn’t get any cooler. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, U.S. grocery chain Walgreens is testing technology that uses cameras, sensors and screens embedded in cooler doors to create a new advertising network of “smart” displays.

According to the report, the technology turns the cooler doors into a “digital merchandising platform” that showcases the products inside the cooler in their best light, while also serving ads to shoppers based on variables such as their approximate age, their gender and the weather.

In addition, internal cameras and sensors connected to face-detection technology can also determine which products consumers looked at or picked up, providing insight for advertisers about whether an on-screen promotion was successful.

According to the WSJ, 15 brands—including Nestlé, MillerCoors and Conagra Brands—have signed up to test the platform, which was developed by Cooler Screens, a Chicago-based company that claims it is “reimagining coolers for consumers, retailers and brands.” The company has raised US$10 million since it was established in 2017, with Microsoft leading its most recent financing round.

HBO plays the nickname game

A fun little Twitter campaign from HBO this week, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of the greatest TV show ever (fight us), The Sopranos, by handing out Soprano-related nicknames.

The initiative quickly spread through the entertainment, sports, media and business worlds, with HBO eventually bestowing nicknames on tennis superstar Roger Federer (“The Feds”), Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Lin the Man-uel”), Twitter’s Jack Dorsey (“Jackie No Edits”), casual-dining chain Olive Garden (“La Famiglia”) and,  of course, Wendy’s (“Square Patty”).

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For Nike, innovation means power lacing… and grassy shoes
On Tuesday, Nike introduced its new Adapt platform for basketball shoes. Gone are the old-fashioned shoe laces, replaced by “an intricate lace engine” that can be tightened or loosened by buttons on the shoe or by an app. “Shoelaces: you had a good run. But we think we may have finally bettered you,” said Michael Donaghu, Nike’s VP of innovation. Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum wore the shoes in a game versus the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night, so we know real athletes are interested in this innovation from Nike. Seems like a design slam dunk. On the other hand this seems like a design double bogey…. Nike is introducing a new line of Air Max 1 golf shoes with an upper that looks like thick grass.

David Brown