Holy shizz! Budweiser plugs Utah bottles—and Starbucks grapples with oat milk shortage: Trending
This week’s marketing winners, losers and newsmakers.
The Trade Desk scored an ad-tech win by getting buy-in from Publicis Groupe on its Unified ID 2.0, which is its replacement to the third-party cookie system being phased out as a method to track consumers across the web. The deal brings together Unified ID 2.0 with “CORE ID,” the solution from Publicis' ad tech unit Epsilon. Find out more here.
Jeni’s was not ready for the Dollyverse. The Columbus, Ohio-based craft ice cream brand this week came out with a Dolly Parton-backed strawberry pretzel pie flavor, but it wasn’t ready for the demand as its website crashed minutes before the noon Thursday launch. The brand was forced to run the following message on its site: “We realize this release was disappointing and we’re so sorry it’s been a frustrating experience. Strawberry Pretzel Pie won’t be back online today, but we’ll give you 48-hour notice via social media and email before we re-release the flavor.” So, it sounds like the brand’s tech team will be working more than 9-to-5 to get things right.
This post on Walmart’s move to hire Jean Batthany as its new senior VP-creative of Walmart U.S. was among our top stories of the week based on reader engagement. She had been the head of Disney Parks’ in-house creative agency. Also drawing eyeballs is this look at Google’s vaccination ad.
A beer to swear by
Utah residents are not the swearing kind. People living in the state, the home base of the Mormon faith, have a reputation for saying things like "Oh my heck,” or “holy shizz.”
Now Budweiser is playing with that rep in its latest push to become the “official state beer of Utah.” The brew is running a “Swear, Sip and Ski” sweepstakes for which the winner gets a helicopter ride to the top of a mountain “to swear their hearts out in a judgement-free zone.” The prize also includes a vacation to Snowbird, Utah. Budweiser is also out with limited-edition Utah-themed packaging in the state. As the Salt Lake Tribune notes, the label does not include Salt Lake Temple, which the newspaper reports was in an earlier proposal. It notes that “the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control typically does not approve labels that disrespect groups and entities—in this case, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the state’s predominant faith, which teaches its members not to drink alcohol.”
Quote of the week
“I don’t think centralization is the right word. If you were to ask me the right brand structure for WPP, I look at companies like LVMH and Disney—which are creative organizations that have brands inside. Louis Vuitton, Pixar, Marvel are all brands inside a strong parent company brand.”—WPP CEO Mark Read, when asked if the holding company will be centralizing to create more cross-agency solutions for clients. Read more from his interview with Ad Age here.
Tweet of the week
Hold the oats
Starbucks began selling its Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and Honey Oatmilk Latte in early March, and declared that “Oatly oatmilk will be offered as part of Starbucks core U.S. menu and available year around.” But it turns out even the world’s largest coffee company couldn’t have predicted how popular oat milk drinks would be. Plus, Oatly experienced supply shortages following a delay in the construction of a U.S. production facility amid a rise in demand, as Bloomberg reported in late March. Now, Starbucks has hit pause on allowing patrons to order oat milk drinks ahead of their visits, as some stores have run out. “We’re working hard to restock, and in the meantime, we’ve temporarily removed oatmilk from our app,” Starbucks wrote in an email to app users Friday. Oatly isn’t the only shortage irking restaurant operators and customers. The Wall Street Journal reported that restaurants are having trouble finding enough ketchup packets to keep up with all of the to-go orders they’re getting.
Number of the week
27%: The share of U.S. adults who say they are drinking more alcohol during the pandemic than they normally would, according to surveys conducted by audience targeting and consumer research company GWI.
On the move
Prudential Financial Inc. tapped Richard Parkinson as chief brand officer, a role that will begin May 10. He most recently served as global creative director at Archetype, a marketing agency formerly called Text100.
J. Crew promoted Derek Yarbrough to chief marketing officer. He spent the last eight years at the retailer’s smaller sister brand Madewell, where he was most recently CMO.
Phillips Distilling Co., whose brands include UV Vodka, Prairie Organic Spirits, named Kevin Fennessey to its board of directors. The liquor industry vet has held roles including exec VP for commercial operations at booze distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, and president and CEO at Absolut Spirits Company.
Contributing: Jessica Wohl, Adrianne Pasquarelli