Kantar Media Newsroom: It’s a Little Late for April Fool’s, IHOP

Welcome to this week’s Kantar Media Newsroom, your weekly summary of the news that matters in the media and marketing industries. To learn more about how we can help you monitor both paid and earned media and make informed decisions, please contact us at info-us@kantarmedia.com.

Who's Hungry?!

International House of…Burgers?

I don’t know about you, but when I have taste for a burger, IHOP doesn’t make the short list for my dining options. Perhaps IHOP knows that and that’s why they’re trying to drum up attention by changing their name – albeit temporarily – to IHOb, where the “b” stands for burger. When the news was leaked last week, people assumed the pancake chain was spreading its wings by having the “B” stand for breakfast (for those eggs-and-bacon fans), but when it was revealed the “B” was to promote their new burger menu, customers promptly lost their collective minds. At a business level, what is IHOP doing and will it interfere with its original appeal? “IHOP owner Dine Brands (DIN) is also the parent company of Applebee's. Is Rebelez [President of IHOP] worried that he's competing more directly with his corporate sibling? Not really. Rebelez said IHOP will remain family-focused, while Applebee's will still be a place to go with friends to get a beer and watch a game. ‘They have a bar,’ Rebelez said. ‘If you want a burger and beer, you are not going to come to IHOP.’ In other words, the B in IHOb clearly doesn't stand for booze.”

In somewhat-related news…

Sonic launched a pickle-juice slush drink! No comments regarding the decision or taste, however, as I refuse to even entertain the idea of slurping on frozen pickle juice. Good news (?), you can get your hands on this monstrosity for half price during their happy hour. Moving on.

Whole Foods is getting slightly cheaper for some

Get your shopping list ready! If you are an Amazon Prime member, you might be able to access even further discounts at Whole Foods locations – if you are in these ten cities – as Amazon announced an expansion to its discount program. There are already discounts in place and have been since Amazon purchased the primo-priced grocery chain nearly one year ago. The announcement included this statement, “’We’re excited that Prime savings will be available at nearly half of our Whole Foods Market stores this week, giving more Prime members access to great deals just in time for summer,’ said A.C. Gallo, President and Chief Operating Officer at Whole Foods Market. ‘Based on the positive customer feedback and successes we’ve seen over the past month, we’re accelerating our timeline to expand these savings to all of our U.S. stores.’”


Trump and tariffs, not a good combo for Canada

The G-7 summit didn’t go well for many parties, including our president who insists on ruffling feathers whenever it suits him. The GOP is treading this issue carefully, aware of the midterms, understanding of local implications if tariffs come to be. “The tariffs aren't any more popular at home than they are abroad. Several Senate Republicans are pushing a measure that would roll them back. And Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who support numerous GOP causes and candidates, are pouring money into anti-tariff advertising and lobbying campaigns.” Of course this is an opinion piece, but the uproar after this meeting is palpable across North America. “To justify these tariffs, Trump has cited national security concerns. But how does picking a fight with America’s most important geopolitical allies make any sense from a security point of view? It does just the opposite, in fact. Adversaries, particularly the Russians, are now wooing Europeans in a bid to exploit the divisions emerging between Washington and its closest friends.”

CLF ad budget grows to $60 million

The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) has been busy securing funds for ads to keep or gain Republican seats in 33 districts. Of course, we at Kantar Media are aware of the importance of these 2018 midterm elections, and both sides of the aisle are preparing significant budgets for the most contentious races across the country. “The new ad reservations demonstrate how the midterms are being fought on Republican turf. The new buy includes California’s 39th District, New Jersey’s 7th District and New York’s 19th District. The California seat, which backed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign by 8.6 points, pits a former Republican state legislator against a Democratic recruit who can self-fund his campaign; the New Jersey and New York seats are held by Reps. Leonard Lance and John Faso, who opposed Ryan’s signature achievement, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” The Democrats are busy too, “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which had poured millions into three southern California races (including the 39th district, where Young Kim will be the GOP nominee) found itself competing with the CLF, which had directed $1.5 million into a super PAC that ran pro-Republican ads. Both efforts were designed to get candidates into the November runoff, and to avoid the sort of ’lockouts’ that can result from California’s system.” Well, it didn’t work and no lockouts occurred.

Is “suicide” the new “opioid epidemic” for the midterms?

Both are terrible subject matters, but they matter nonetheless. When politics can identify and claim to combat issues that impact our national consciousness, it should be exercised with caution. It has shown in recent elections, however, that vowing to combat issues like opioid misuse and mental health have been a boon for those candidates. New Hampshire is a pivotal example of the power of addressing these issues from a political standpoint. Trump attached himself to the opioid discussion, especially in NH and claimed to have won the state because of his stance. “New Hampshire's struggles are part of a national narrative. From 1999 to 2014, the number of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. rose by around 400 percent. According the CDC's new report, suicide rates in the United States have risen nearly 30 percent since 1999, rising in every state except Nevada. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and, like New Hampshire, the second-leading cause among young people.” Thinking of the recent news regarding celebrities like designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, now is as good of a time as any to announce positions on this growing problem. “The overlap between the opioid epidemic and suicide doesn't end there. Just as fentanyl and heroin have disproportionately ravaged rural, white communities, a recent report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine finds that suicide rates are rising faster in those communities as well.”

The Law, Internet and Media Collide

Net neutrality is gone for real this time

We’re just waiting for the real bottom to drop out. What is going to happen now that net neutrality is officially dead? “The repeal of FCC net neutrality regulations removes the ban that keeps a service provider from charging an internet service, like Netflix or YouTube, a fee for delivering its service faster to customers than competitors can. Net neutrality supporters argue that this especially hurts startups, which can't afford such fees.” As internet customers, we’re not expected to notice a difference just yet, but changes could come with a higher price tag or limited content. “As companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast acquire more online content like video, they could give their own services priority on their networks, squeezing out competitors and limiting what you can access. This might mean fewer startups get a shot at becoming the next Facebook, Netflix or YouTube. Ultimately, it could lead to your internet experience looking more like cable TV, where all the content is curated by your provider. Some critics also fear this control could lead to higher prices. And groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union say it could affect your First Amendment right to free speech as big companies control more of what you experience online.”

AT&T, Time Warner deal D-Day

A judge’s ruling this week could forecast the future for some major-big media deals. “Judge Richard Leon's ruling on the Department of Justice lawsuit to block AT&T Inc.'s purchase of Time Warner Inc. will be an antitrust landmark. Much more than the sale of Time Warner for $85.4 billion, or $108.7 billion including debt, is in the balance, however. Leon's order will likely determine whether Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Get Report) starts a bidding war with Walt Disney Co. for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. Depending on the ruling, a Comcast bid for Fox could come as early as Wednesday.” The shrinking independents and growing conglomerates will help to define the biggest stories of 2018, and all depend on the ruling set for this week.

Kantar Media’s Dimension 2018 is out!

DIMENSION 2018 explores four of the largest issues facing the media industry from improving creative standards and relevance online and achieving greater channel integration. Explore and download here!

Who's on Top? May 28-June 3, 2018

Domino’s counts on technology for 150,000 new locations

National TV ad spend bounced back during the week of May 28th. Overall national TV spend reached $912 million, an increase of 27% week over week, while spend on new ads rose 35% compared to the previous week, totaling $124 million.

With ever growing competition in the QSR market, Domino’s is looking for ways to stand out. With that, say hello to Domino’s Hotspots. The pizza chain spent $4.1 million on new commercials this week to promote the launch of its new Hotspots program, allowing you to have Domino’s delivered to the great outdoors. Whether you’re enjoying a picnic in the park or relaxing at the beach, Domino’s has you covered with delivery to 150,000 parks, beaches and other outdoor locations.




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