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Genesis praised for saving Tiger Woods, Burger King redesign beats McDonald’s in poll: Wednesday Wake-Up Call

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you’re reading this online or in a forwarded email, here’s the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.

Woods’ car wins praise

As news of Tiger Woods’ horrific car crash in California shocked the world on Tuesday, his battered automobile became an unexpected protagonist. Woods was driving the Genesis GV80 crossover, a new midsize model that arrived at dealers in December, as a courtesy vehicle after serving as host for the Genesis Invitational golf tournament last week.

As Automotive News reporter Laurence Iliff reports, “law enforcement officials said the crash integrity of the vehicle — and Woods’ use of a seat belt — may have saved his life.”  As images and videos of the damaged GV80 dominated social media, Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first officer on the scene of the crash, called the overall integrity of the GV80 “a marvel of modern automobiles” and said he’d seen similar accidents over many years where the vehicles and passengers had not fared so well. 

Woods’ Twitter account posted an account of his injuries late last night, including “open fractures affecting the tibia and fibula bones” in his lower right leg and injuries to his foot and ankle. But the golfer was “awake and responsive” after surgery.

BK redesign beats McDonald’s in poll

Rivals Burger King and McDonald’s have both unveiled packaging redesigns in the past few weeks. And while both have won industry praise, an early survey of consumers reveals that Burger King’s new look has the edge.

According to an Ad Age-Harris Poll survey conducted this month, 54% of respondents said they preferred Burger King’s packaging, while 46% chose McDonald’s. Meanwhile 56% said Burger King’s new look, from Jones Knowles Ritchie, made the food look more appetizing, while 44% picked McDonald’s, created by Pearlfisher, as having the more appetizing design.

But as Jessica Wohl writes, the good news for both chains is that the overhauls show signs of potentially helping sales: More than 40% of those who like the new looks presented by Burger King or McDonald’s say they are more likely to patronize the chains.

Facebook backs down in Australia

Facebook backed down from its news blackout in Australia yesterday after the Australian government agreed to amend legislation forcing it and Google to pay local publishers for content. As reported by Bloomberg News via Ad Age, the Australian government said it would take into account commercial deals Facebook and Google reach with news companies before deciding whether they are subject to the law, and would also give them one month’s notice.

But although the immediate Australian face-off looks to be over for now, the issue isn’t going away any time soon; publishers are lobbying in the EU to make Facebook and Google pay for content while in the U.K., the Evening Standard reports that Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden will meet with Facebook’s executives this week to discuss the issue. 

Staples prepares for back-to-office

It may seem hard to imagine after a year of WFH, but the coronavirus vaccines roll out, people may be returning to offices across America some day. And Staples is getting ready. Daniel Reilly, Staples VP of brand and product management, joins Adrianne Pasquarelli on the latest edition of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast to discuss how the retailer is preparing, and how it’s going to compete with direct-to-consumer brands that have forged new links with consumers in the pandemic. Listen here

Just briefly

Somewhere over the Rainbrow: Pinterest chief marketing officer Andréa Mallard joins Ad Age’s Garett Sloane in today’s live episode of Remotely to discuss some hot 2021 trends including the makeup craze “rainbrows,” the appetite for “getaway cars,” and the latest foodie obsession, “epic charcuterie.” Listen here at 1PM EST. 

Final countdown: Tuesday, March 2 is the final deadline to enter the 2021 Ad Age A-List and Creativity Awards. The awards celebrate the most accomplished agencies, standout work and forward-thinking leaders and talents in the industry. Details here

Fearless Ray: A new commercial from State Street Global Advisors and McCann New York—the team behind the award-winning “Fearless Girl” statue—is now turning to another “fearless” icon, boxing hero Sugar Ray Leonard. The spot celebrates the resilience of mid-sized business in the pandemic through the metaphor of Leonard in the ring. It’s narrated by the real-life Leonard, who was recreated as his younger self using CGI and a lookalike actor. See it over at Creativity. 

That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter:@adage. From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here. 

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