J. Lo and A-Rod get into the meal kit biz and Nationwide names a new CMO: Marketer’s Brief
Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to [email protected]
Celebrity couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have teamed up for love and … a line of pressure cooker meals sold at Walmart? Yep. The Tiller & Hatch Supply Co. meal kit line is also being sold via subscriptions on its own site, which at least for now doesn’t feature the entertainer or the former pro baseball star. “This is an option we wish had been available to our families growing up,” Rodriguez said in a statement. The meals include family-style dishes like pasta and stew.
The initial lineup has dishes such as farfalle with marinara and ground turkey and coconut chicken stew with vegetables and rice. A portion of the proceeds is said to be going to benefit shelters and charities working to fight hunger. Meals start at less than $3 per serving, making them a cheaper alternative than most meal kits on the market. For those who haven’t jumped on the electronic pressure cooker trend, the meals can also be cooked on the stovetop, with modifications. The name is meant to evoke a tiller, that tool used to prep soil, while hatch stands in for creation, new ideas and new beginnings.
Thinking outside the (square) box
A Pizza Hut test starting today brings two ideas to the market. The limited-time test of a plant-based protein topping—Morningstar Farms’ Incogmeato Italian sausage—would be buzzworthy on its own even though it’s only taking place at a single Pizza Hut in Phoenix. But the “Garden Specialty” pizza isn’t the only thing being proffered. The pizza arrives in a round box from Zume Inc. that uses less packaging than a typical pizza box and is industrially compostable. Pizza Hut is already thinking about using the round box more widely in the near future. And it took a moment to poke fun at its main rival, Domino’s, saying the round box ensures a smoother delivery. “In other words, no pizza insurance policy needed,” Pizza Hut said in a statement.
Back in the early 1990s, a Colonel Sanders candy dispenser was made for a potential promotional item. Only two are known to exist. Now, there’s a Pez dispenser depicting the KFC founder from pop culture collectibles company Funko. The Pop! Pez Colonel Sanders dispenser costs $5.99. And while there are an undisclosed limited number available, there are definitely more than two of them. This is the second time this year KFC has teamed up with Funko. A Colonel Sanders figurine sold out, they say, in 11 minutes. As far as Marketer’s Brief knows, there are no fried chicken-flavored Pez.
Banking on Monopoly
Life’s a game—or at least it is this month in an activation from Ally Financial. The Detroit-based bank teamed up with Hasbro to turn Detroit and five other cities into an augmented-reality Monopoly board game. Consumers—even those who aren’t Ally customers—are encouraged to play via their phones in the cities, which also include Charlotte, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Seattle, for the chance to win cash prizes or a Jeep Wrangler. Online, consumers can participate in a scavenger hunt. Along the way, consumers are taught about financial literacy and how to plan and save. Ally worked with Anomaly and MediaCom on the activation, as well as Missing Pieces on the AR.
REI cleans up
Four years after its #OptOutside campaign repositioned Black Friday from a day of consumerism to a statement on social activism, REI is again trying to change the narrative. The co-op retail chain made a statement in 2015 when it closed its stores and encouraged shoppers to spend time outdoors on the day after Thanksgiving rather than buying stuff. Now, it wants its 13,000 employees and 18 million co-op members to “opt to act” by cleaning up the outdoors on Black Friday. So far, REI employees have already begun the task by collecting more than 3.4 tons of trash.
Welcome to Chipotlane
No, that’s not a typo. Chipotle is ramping up openings of restaurants featuring “Chipotlanes,” its version of a drive-up pickup spot. Orders are placed online ahead of time, then customers drive up, get the grub and go, without exiting the car. “What we’ve seen is giving people the access through ordering ahead so that they don’t have to get out of their car is a nice unlock for the Chipotle business so that we don’t have to provide the additional complexity of running a traditional drive-thru,” CEO Brian Niccol said on a quarterly call on Tuesday. “And frankly, I think this is the future of how people will want to interact with restaurant companies.” Chipotle is so excited by the opportunity that about half of its more than 80 restaurants currently under construction will have a “Chipotlane,” bringing the total to about 60 restaurants with Chipotlanes by the end of 2019. And more than half of next year’s 150-165 new restaurants will have a “Chipotlane.”
Addition Elle adds more online
After naming a new designer earlier this year, Canadian plus-size brand Addition Elle is revamping its ecommerce experience. The label tapped Work & Co for the update, which includes style-driven photography and products. The work posits models in trendier, lifestyle-type settings similar to other trend-forward brands and also takes advantage of the seasonality of the brand’s apparel with fashion advice by season.
Dog's best friend
After appointing Yard NYC its agency-of-record in July, Crate & Barrel is running its first holiday campaign under the new relationship. The “Made for Each Other” push imagines the houseware chain’s products as objects seeking company. One ad shows a photo of an upholstered chair with a dog on it and text that reads, “Old soul seeks companion to relax with this holiday. I’m not picky; my four-legged friend is, though.”
Would you buy this?
Coca Cola Co., which released a stellar earnings report last week, is coming out with two new limited-time sodas as it seeks to keep the momentum going. Hitting stores for the holidays are Coca-Cola Cinnamon and Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry.
Number of the week
45 percent: The share of alcohol consumers who also consumed cannabis in the six months ending in March, according to data from cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics cited by Wine & Spirits Daily. That is up from 36 percent in the same period in 2018. Here’s a buzzword to watch: “Dualists,” which is what BDS calls consumers who drink and smoke pot. The firm says about 70 percent of dualists have not changed their alcohol consumption because of their marijuana use, Wine & Spirits Daily reports.
Tweet of the week
Comings and goings
Nationwide has a new CMO on its side. The company has promoted Ramon Jones to the top marketing gig. A 19-year veteran of the insurance brand, Jones was most recently financial services marketing leader. He replaces Terrance Williams, who is leaving the company next month.
Tommy Hilfiger Global has recruited Michael Scheiner as CMO, effective Oct. 28. Scheiner joins the PVH Corp.-owned brand from Hollister, where he was senior VP, global marketing.
JC Penney has hired Brooke Buchanan as senior VP, communications. She was most recently senior VP of corporate affairs at Whole Foods Market. The department store chain also announced Robin Beuthin as VP, creative marketing. Beuthin comes from the Walt Disney Co. where she was VP of retail brand and creative.
Contributing: Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl, E.J. Schultz