The Week Ahead: SXSW is here and March Madness tips off

the week ahead sxsw is here and march madness tips off

March 15

An “America’s Most Wanted” reboot debuts on Fox tonight at 9 p.m. EST; Elizabeth Vargas hosts.

WarnerMedia’s head of advertising JP Colaco will join Ad Age Remotely at 11:30 a.m. EST. This will be Colaco’s first time leading WarnerMedia’s upfront efforts after taking the reins in October. He will discuss the state of the TV marketplace heading into the spring ad haggle, the streaming wars and HBO Max’s upcoming ad-supported tier. 

March 16

Bloomberg holds its annual Equality Summit, where leaders including Calvin McDonald, CEO of Lululemon; Al Kelly, CEO of Visa; and Bo Young Lee, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Uber, will discuss creating a more-just business climate. The event, now in its fourth year, runs until March 18.

SXSW kicks off today and runs through Saturday. Last year, the Austin-based festival was the first major event to shut down in the pandemic, and it’s gone virtual this year. SXSW Online XR even gives attendees a virtual reality replica of downtown to explore. Review a schedule of speakers and exhibits here. And check this out to learn how to make the most of the event.

March 17

Univision named Donna Speciale as its ad sales chief in January. She will join Ad Age Remotely at 11:30 a.m. EST to discuss the new role, her priorities for the Hispanic media giant and her outlook for the 2021 upfronts. 

March 18

Petco reports fourth-quarter earnings after going public in January. Sellers of pet products have reaped the benefits of an uptick in animal adoptions during the pandemic. In November, Petco tapped Droga5 as its new creative agency.

March Madness begins with the “First Four” games on TBS and truTV. With limited fan attendance and all games played in Indiana, the tourney will look a lot different this year, forcing brands to adapt. But CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus told reporters last week that CBS and Turner Sports were “just about” sold out of ad inventory for the two-and-a-half-week event.

March 19

Friday Flashback

Thirty-eight years ago today, Nancy Reagan took her “Just Say No” campaign to the NBC sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes.” The episode, as described by IMDB, showed Arnold (Gary Coleman) as a reporter for his school newspaper learning that drugs were being sold at his school, drawing the attention of Reagan who visits.

March 21

Nat Geo’s “Genius” anthology series chronicles the life of Aretha Franklin (Cynthia Erivo) for four nights in a row, starting Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. Watch the trailer here.