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Budweiser, other brands urge people to get COVID vaccine

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Budweiser, other brands urge people to get COVID vaccine

Budweiser and other brands are urging customers to get the COVID-19 vaccine — a move they’re betting will also give their businesses a shot in the arm.

Budweiser released an ad Wednesday called “Good Times are Coming.” At the start, a screen flashes the words “Remember this?” The ad goes on to show a series of still photographs of people drinking beer together and having a good time.

The ad ends with a screen that says, “Good times are coming. Now we have a shot,” as Jimmy Durante’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” plays in the background.

The Bud spot is part of a larger push from the nonprofit Ad Council, which launched one of the largest public education efforts in US history to get people comfortable with taking the vaccine. 

The campaign includes a series of commercials featuring former presidents, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Companies like Google, Walgreens, Target and NBCUniversal are likewise getting into the act with their own Ad Council spots.

Earlier this week, Google released a now-viral ad called “Get back to what you love,” which has been viewed more than 6.5 million times on YouTube. It opens with emotional piano music, showing a Google search box with terms like “quarantine,” “lockdown” and “school closings” being typed, with the now-familiar sounds of cheering for first responders in the background.

The ad then transitions to deleting the “sweat” part of “sweatpants” and changing the “virtual happy hour” to just “happy hour,” as the piano music speeds up. It ends with someone typing “covid vaccine near me.” 

Google’s ad, which was created in-house by its Google Creative Lab, aired on national TV during the March Madness Final Four games and premiered on YouTube in March.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Walgreens launched its campaign dubbed, “This is Our Shot,” with singer John Legend. The ad is meant to “remind Americans that the vaccine is the nation’s opportunity to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Walgreens said in a statement.

NBC News also launched a public service announcement, helping Americans see if they are eligible and helping them locate a vaccination center through a website, PlanYourVaccine.com. Discount retailer Target said this week that it will donate $1 million to nonprofits offering free and discounted rides to vaccine appointments through Lyft.

This year, brands have been more tentative and cautious about the kinds of ads they run during the pandemic. This year’s Super Bowl saw a host of big-name perennial advertisers including Budweiser opting out due to the environment and the difficulty in striking the right tone.

But the vaccine rollout gives brands a chance to communicate purpose and optimism, according to Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“There’s a big focus right now among companies and brands around the idea of having a bigger purpose than just making money,” Calkins told CNBC. “If you want to be seen as giving back and contributing to society, this is a pretty safe place to go.”

Once vaccine rates ramp up, Calkins added that the shift in advertising will go from informative to celebratory.

“It’s going to be all about celebration; the resumption of life. There’s going to be another big pivot coming up,” he said. 

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Disneyland fans forced to wait hours to buy a ticket online

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Disneyland fans forced to wait hours to buy a ticket online

Disneyland fans who have been waiting over a year for the popular theme park to reopen are being forced to wait hours to snag a ticket online as demand heats up.

The Anaheim, Calif.-based park started selling tickets again on Thursday ahead of its planned April 30 reopening. But within a few hours of the ticket window reopening, the website was overwhelmed — creating a backlog that continued into Friday, according to social media posts.

“Remember when we were Annual Passholders and we didn’t have to deal with this queue bulls–t,” tweeted one fan.

The company on Friday acknowledged that guests may have to wait “several hours of more” for a ticket.

“We are experiencing high demand given the historic nature of the Disneyland Resort’s reopening,” a spokesman from Disneyland told The Post. “To deliver a strong guest experience, we are deliberately pulsing guests through the system. Wait times may be several hours or more depending on when you joined the queue.”

On Friday morning around 9 a.m. ET, the queue’s wait time was only around 20 minutes before ballooning to more than an hour just two hours later.

“We still have plenty of reservation availability, and we plan to keep the system open to accommodate the demand,” the spokesman added. “Please don’t refresh and we will get you through the queue as soon as we can. We know you are just as excited to return to the Disneyland Resort as we are to welcome you back, and we thank you for your patience as we work to accommodate as many guests as possible.”

While some Mickey fans were able to book tickets, others griped on Twitter that Disneyland’s site timed out or they landed on a webpage with the Seven Dwarfs that read: “We’re Working on It. This page is temporarily unavailable. Rest assured, we’ll fix the issue soon, so please try again later.”

Frustrated fans took to Twitter to air their grievances Thursday and Friday.

“For those of us trying to get #Disneyland tickets this morning,” read a tweet that included an encouraging “Star Wars” gif that read “May the Force be with us.”

Another weary customer tweeted: “I have a feeling this image will haunt me for the rest of my life… #Disneyland.” The tweet a cartoon image of the park’s ride “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” that was accompanied by the Mouse House’s boilerplate message to “Please Sit Tight” wait on line.

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Dogecoin jumps again to double record rally price

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Dogecoin jumps again to double record rally price

Dogecoin has doubled from its Wednesday morning rally to reach prices of more than $0.30 Thursday night.

The dog meme-inspired cryptocurrency — that began as a joke — is up 400 percent over the past week, according to Coindesk.

The surge came a day after Wednesday’s stock market debut for the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which was considered a sign of Wall Street’s acceptance of crypto. However, Dogecoin is not listed on Coinbase.

Doge was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter Thursday night, and at least one user told The Post they were unable to purchase the currency on Robinhood, due to the app crashing as its value skyrocketed.

“Doge Barking at the Moon,” tweeted SpaceX’s Elon Musk, who once said Dogecoin is his favorite Bitcoin rival.

“Me on Robinhood checking if #dogecoin has reached the moon every 2 seconds,” another user tweeted.

“There is fixing to be a lot of Meme Millionaires,” one user posted.

Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban began accepting Dogecoin for payment for NBA tickets and merchandise last month.

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Robinhood sues Massachusetts over regulatory clampdown

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Robinhood sues Massachusetts over regulatory clampdown

 Online brokerage Robinhood on Thursday sued to invalidate Massachusetts’ recently-adopted fiduciary rule and block state regulators from proceeding with charges it encourages inexperienced investors to place risky trades without limits.

Robinhood in a lawsuit filed in state court in Boston said the fiduciary standard of conduct for broker-dealers that Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office adopted last year violates state and federal law.

A spokeswoman for Galvin did not respond to a request for comment.

Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator, in December filed an administrative case accusing Robinhood of using aggressive tactics to attract inexperienced investors and failing to prevent outages on its platform.

He accused the app-based service of using strategies that treated trading like a game to lure young, inexperienced customers, including having confetti rain down for each trade made on its app.

The case is the first enforcement action brought under a state fiduciary rule adopted in September that raised the investment-advice standard for brokers.

Regulators are seeking a fine and order requiring Robinhood to engage a compliance consultant to review its platform and policies. Robinhood has denied wrongdoing.

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