Marketer's Brief: Amazon Opens Inside Kohl's

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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]

The first September edition of Marketer's Brief includes an update on which liquor companies don't plan to take advantage of new rules permitting NFL advertising, as well as some new puke-proof shoes Adidas is pitching (just in time for Oktoberfest). Find out about that below, along with what new coffee drink Coke and McDonald's have planned. But we'll start with the letter A, as in Amazon …

Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo Dot Credit: Amazon

Coming to a Kohl's near you
Recognizing the sales potential, brick-and-mortar retailers are starting to team up with the competition—which is usually just Amazon. Kohl's announced Wednesday that it will be testing a series of Amazon shop-in-shops offering an array of smart-home devices including the Echo, Dot and Fire tablets. The 1,000-square-foot shops will be in 10 Kohl's locations in the Los Angeles and Chicago areas beginning next month. On a recent earnings call, Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said that physical stores, where customers can touch, feel and interact with products, have been very popular.

Coke and McD's brew up new coffee drink
McDonald's will start selling ready-to-drink McCafé Frappé beverages (caramel, vanilla, and mocha) early next year in a partnership with its longtime soft-drink buddy, Coca-Cola Co. The line sounds a bit like Starbucks bottled drinks (sold in partnership with PepsiCo) and Dunkin' Donuts bottled iced coffees released in February (Coca-Cola and its bottling partners make and distribute the Dunkin' drinks as well). McDonald's is also stepping up its in-restaurant coffee game, with new coffee makers, a new McCafé logo, the addition of drinks including caramel macchiato and Americano, and new ads.

Sit or Squat
Sit or Squat Credit: Procter & Gamble

Charmin "Sit or Squat" gets spritz of fresh air
Branded mobile apps have become a bit passe, as marketers piled mobile budgets into Facebook or programmatic buys in recent years. But Charmin's "Sit or Squat" is alive and well, with the Procter & Gamble Co. brand having just launched a refreshed version. The app, downloaded 321,000 times to date, began with a 2009 website and has user-generated, brand-moderated reviews of more than 100,000 public bathrooms across the U.S. with ratings of Sit (good) or Squat (bad). Improvements include a better Google map interface to search for bathrooms by location or address, quick filters to find all nearby bathrooms or only those "Sit" rated, and ability to add photos to reviews. You can also add profile pictures (your favorite Charmin bear) during a registration process.

Survey: Put your CEO out there
You may or may not want to take marketing advice from journalists and social-media influencers. But for what it's worth: 74% of these folks say having an accessible CEO makes a brand seem more authentic, according to a survey from D S Simon Media. Notably, the influencer-marketing firm doesn't suggest hiring influencers. And the same survey found third-party spokespeople were seen as least authentic. So, unless your CEO is, say, Travis Kalanick, maybe it's time to trot her or him out on social media. The firm's CEO, Doug Simon, points to media-accessible (if not friendly) Donald Trump's victory over less-accessible Hillary Clinton as an example of this approach working. That doesn't necessarily mean 3 a.m. tweets from the CEO are a good idea.

Jack Daniel's bypasses the NFL
As Ad Age reported last week, Patron is jumping into NFL in-game advertising, taking advantage of new rules that permit liquor ads for the first time (with some serious restrictions). But Jack Daniel's is staying on the sidelines. A Brown-Forman spokesman tells Ad Age that the liquor marketer has no plans to run in-game ads this season. Pernod Ricard, maker of Absolut, Jameson and Malibu, also isn't planning any ads, a spokesman confirms. Beam Inc., meanwhile, looks to be taking a wait-and-see approach. "We find the opportunity intriguing and are assessing how it fits into our sports strategy," says a Beam Inc., spokeswoman.

Adidas pitches puke-proof sneakers
Looking for the perfect shoes to match your Lederhosen? Adidas just might have the answer. The brand is out with special Oktoberfest shoes as part of its Originals line. The sneakers, available for sale here, are geared for Munich's Oktoberfest. Here's the best part: They're puke & beer repellent.

Number You Need to Know
$698.5 million: The value of U.S. liquor exports for the first half of the year, up 10.6% from last year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. Other countries might not like our politics, but they love our whiskey.

Would You Buy This?

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye Credit: Jack Daniel's/Business Wire

Speaking of booze, Jack Daniel's is out with a new rye whiskey, hitting stores nationally in October.

Tweet of Week:
Make that tweets of the week. The NFL's social media manager apparently had too much coffee this morning and is tweeting every team's name continuously…

Hertz has hired 30-year Procter & Gamble Co. veteran Jodi Allen as chief marketing officer, effective Oct. 2. She's most recently been VP-general manager North American Hair Care at P&G, before that heading North American marketing and baby care. RB (Reckitt Benckiser's) top global marketing executive, Roberto Funari, exec-VP category development, has announced he's leaving the post at year's end. He's one of four of the top 10 company executives departing amid slowing sales, though all the departures were voluntary. The company has yet to name a replacement.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Jack Neff, Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl

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