Breakfast Briefing: HTC apes Apple's '1984' ad, Disney talks up 'Star Wars' earnings, Facebook M

Welcome to Marketing's morning briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos. In today's news, HTC has its own take on Apple's famous '1984' ad, Disney posts record earnings, and Facebook expands testing of its M digital assistant.

HTC's Apple send-up: spot the obvious fruit reference
HTC's Apple send-up: spot the obvious fruit reference

HTC mocks Apple's '1984' ad for smartphone spot

Taiwanese phone maker HTC has sent up Apple's '1984' Super Bowl spot for the first Macintosh, with a version that suggests iPhone owners are all clones.

In the original ad Apple mocked IBM for being the obvious but boring choice in enterprise computing. HTC turns the tables on Apple in the new work, which features a pair of rebels defying an army of automatons to "be different" and "be free".

It also riffs off Google's long-running "be together not the same" campaign for Android.

HTC posted $139m in losses off revenues of $660m for its third quarter. Apple posted "record" earnings over the same period, with revenue of $51.5bn and a net profit of $11.1bn.

Source: HTC

Facebook rolls out testing for its 'M' digital assistant

Facebook is beta testing M, a digital assistant that can answer questions and complete tasks – with the help of humans.

Part artificial reality, part PA, Facebook M is available through the Messenger app to 10,000 users in San Francisco, and can make restaurant bookings, or, apparently, send your friends a parrot.

Scale remains the key issue for the assistant, with Facebook needing to hire "human trainers" to complete more advanced requests.

Source: WSJ

Disney talks up 'Star Wars' on strong profits

Disney CEO Bob Iger has pointed to the Star Wars franchise as a bright spot in the company's future, after it posted record earnings.

The firm posted a net income of $8.4bn on revenue of $52.5bn for its full fiscal year, helped by a strong performance from its networks.

While the majority of the firm's income comes from TV, Iger pointed to Star Wars as an ongoing revenue generator. There will be three films released before the end of 2017, kicking off this December with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In case you missed it...two longer reads

Winners revealed: A night of celebration at the Marketing New Thinking Awards

Always #LikeAGirl, the powerful campaign that captured the female empowerment zeitgeist, has swept the board at the inaugural Marketing New Thinking Awards in association with Sky Media, scooping the Grand Prix and three category gongs.

Diversity marketing needs to be more than skin-deep

As marketing – and the world at large – continues to face rapid change, marketers will need to reframe the issues of diversity and inclusion, transitioning from a moral matter of representation to a problem-solving necessity. Time for the #DiversityRevolution, writes Rebecca Coleman.

If you watch one video today...

Rather than a video, this week we're pointing you towards our new podcast. Listen to the second episode below and find out more here.

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1 Publicis Groupe withdraws from marketing and awards to focus on AI-powered platform Marcel

Publicis Groupe is pulling out of all marketing activity for the next 365 days - and won't be entering awards at Cannes next year - as it focuses its resources on developing Marcel, described by chief executive Arthur Sadoun as a ground breaking new platform.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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