Why the Bill Murray Jeep Ad Almost Didn’t Air; Adobe’s Trippy Ode to Creativity: Friday’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.

Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl Crowd Pleaser Nearly Didn’t Air

Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl spot with Bill Murray has consistently been named an audience favorite, topping Adweek’s list of the 10 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2020 as well as our Instagram follower’s picks, plus USA Today’s annual Ad Meter. But the last-minute production could easily have never aired, considering the brand began shooting 10 days before the Super Bowl—shortly after Bill Murray agreed to it a mere two weeks before the game. Several other elements were up in the air as well, including the actual product the ad would focus on, and the fact that Jeep didn’t even have a guaranteed in-game slot.

Read more: Discover how all the pieces fell perfectly into place, one by one, to make the popular ad come to life.

Janelle Monáe Narrates New York Times Ad for The 1619 Project

Actor, singer and producer Janelle Monáe will narrate a 30-second commercial for The New York Times highlighting The 1619 Project. Released last year and overseen by The Times Magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, The 1619 Project examined the time when enslaved Africans first came to the colonies 400 years ago and how slavery has shaped American society ever since. This is the second time the paper will have an ad during the Academy Awards after purchasing an ad slot during the 2017 Oscars for its “The Truth Is Hard” campaign.

Read more: Find out how the ad came together and why the Times chose the Oscars as a strategic backdrop for these campaigns.

John Cena and a Herd of Talking Purple Cows Ride to a Car Buyer’s Rescue for Experian

Actor-wrestler John Cena stars in a new campaign from Experian that has him leading a surreal charge of talking purple-spotted livestock to help a driver stranded in the middle of nowhere thanks to his low credit. In the ad, which promotes an Experian product called Boost that instantly increases customers’ credit scores, the cows don’t say “Moooooo,” but “Booooost,” a mnemonic tactic intended to make the product name stick in the minds of viewers. This is just the latest in Cena’s long and illustrious march through the advertising landscape, one that’s set to continue with more ads from Experian in the coming months.

Read more: Watch the full ad and learn why Cena was selected for the ‘Boost’ campaign.

Edie Falco on Returning to TV and How Trump Prompted Her to Film the Avatar Sequels 

Edie Falco returned to TV Thursday night in her first ongoing TV series role since Nurse Jackie ended in 2015, now starring in the CBS drama Tommy as an NYPD officer who becomes L.A.’s first female chief of police. Still best known for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos, Falco is the only actress to win Emmys in both the drama and comedy categories (for The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie). She spoke with Adweek about returning to TV, how close she came to not auditioning for The Sopranos, why she doesn’t appear in ads and more.

Read more: Falco explains how Donald Trump prompted her to film the upcoming sequels to James Cameron’s Avatar.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights

Ad of the Day: Adobe’s Trippy Ode to Creativity for the Oscars

Adobe’s mixed-media campaign, timed to the 92nd Academy Awards, is themed around democratizing creativity and making its suite of programs accessible to everyone. The spot, created by agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, takes viewers on a colorful, hypnotic journey through the company’s slate of graphic design, video and photo editing, and web development tools set to “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It features imagery made by more than 1,000 creatives using Adobe tools, such as a Make Art Not War piece by Shepard Fairey and a psychedelic illustration of Frida Kahlo by Victoria Pavlov, as well as a appearance by activist Malala Yousafzai and a cameo by Grammy-winning musician Billie Eilish, who will perform at this year’s Oscars. Read more about the creation of the ad and the elements that appear in it.

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