Amazon Dating; Spotify Buys The Ringer: Thursday’s First Things First

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Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Amazon Dating, a Spot-On Parody Site, Offers to Help You Find Love in Your Prime

The tech giant’s new dating site offers up singles of all ages, at varying price points, available with free one-hour delivery for Amazon Prime members. It’s a joke, of course, but it’s so well done that a small part of me wasn’t convinced until I found the page that spells it out: “What is this? This is a joke.”

The site was developed by a team of emerging talents across a range of disciplines, including freelance content creator Ani Acopian, music producer Suzy Shinn, director/animator Morgan Gruer, and developers Pasquale D’Silva and Jacob Bijani.

Read more: Be sure to click the “Legal” tab so you can fill out a vital and binding “Non-Ghosting Agreement” to keep both parties from bailing on a date at risk of losing $50.

Spotify Picks Up Bill Simmons’ The Ringer to Stand Out From Music Streaming Rivals

The streaming giant announced this morning on an earnings call that it has acquired The Ringer, a sports and culture site founded by Bill Simmons in 2016. Spotify bet big on podcasting last year with the purchases of Gimlet Media and Anchor, and as The Ringer 30 of its own podcasts, this acquisition continues that same trend. In 2018, The Ringer was making more than $15 million in revenue from ad sales, just one facet of what Spotify chief content officer Dawn Ostroff called a “proven track record of creating distinctive cultural content as well as discovering and developing top-tier talent [that] will make them a formidable asset for Spotify.”

Read more: During this morning’s earnings call, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said, “What we really did with The Ringer, I think, is we bought the next ESPN.”

Barnes and Noble Pulls Diverse Book Covers Campaign After Online Backlash

The bookstore today pulled a line of classic reprints that were meant to commemorate Black History Month, after critics called the move a superficial stunt. The special edition books had reimagined covers for classic stories by white authors, like Romeo and Juliet or Moby Dick, featuring art portraying the protagonists as people of color. Shortly after the project was announced, however, several observers noted the missed opportunity: rather than elevate black voices, Barnes and Noble was essentially choosing to cover up the same white voices with a new dust jackets. One Twitter user called it an attempt to “find & replace race” and “literary blackface.”

Read more: Barnes and Noble issued a statement that it “acknowledged the voices who have expressed concerns” and was suspending the initiative in response.

3 Brands That Optimized Their Super Bowl Spots by Targeting the 50-Plus Demo

AARP’s national sales director, Peter Zeuschner, notes in an Adweek Voice piece that Facebook selected Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone to star in its 60-second Super Bowl debut, promoting the platform’s Groups feature. At ages 54 and 73, respectively, these two iconic celebrities both hail from a powerful consumer demographic: the 50-plus audience.

Facebook wasn’t the only major technology company to feature 50-plus stars in ads during the Big Game. In an emotional spot that some considered to be one of the game’s best, Google featured a widower asking his Google Assistant to recount favorite memories of his wife. In a more lighthearted ad, Amazon’s Super Bowl spot starred 62-year-old Ellen DeGeneres, who promoted voice assistant Alexa alongside her wife, Portia de Rossi.



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