McDonald’s pushes Spam-Oreo burger and the NBA has a new sponsor: Trending
Anheuser-Busch has lured the most powerful endorser/influencer of 2021—Travis Scott, who took an active role in the development of the brewer’s new Cacti hard seltzer. “This is Travis’ vision,” Lana Buchanan, VP of marketing for AB InBev’s so-called Beyond Beer division, says of the agave-infused brand’s motif, which combines Mexican imagery with a cosmic ethos.
When will brands and agencies learn to balance their thirst for attention with a little bit of common sense? The latest marketer overreach comes from Tropicana, which pulled its campaign urging parents to sneak mimosas out of hidden mini-refrigerators after backlash from critics who said it encouraged irresponsible drinking. It comes not long after Kraft Heinz killed its suggestive “send noods” effort. There is of course, an alternative view: that people are a little uptight, and that stoking controversy leads to more attention. What do you think, Ad Age reader? Tweet us at @adage.
Don’t underestimate the power of Jamie Lee Curtis’s Twitter feed. The actress tweeted this Nov. 10 post about Burberry’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ ad, sending it back to the top of our most-read list.
Fast-food marketers have a history of pushing the taste envelope with crazy combinations like Marmite-stuffed pizza crust from Pizza Hut, or charcoal-infused burgers from Burger King. But we’ve never seen anything quite like what McDonald’s is serving up in China: An Oreo+Spam burger. The chain recently plugged it on Weibo, urging customers to see “what kind of fairytale taste will be brought about by the unique combination of real wheat and @Spam,” according to a Goggle translation of the post. We suspect this fairytale won’t have a happy ending, at least in the digestive tract.
It’s been a tough year for the sponsorship industry, as brands, teams and leagues attempt to execute deals that often rely on in-person game attendance. New sponsorship agreement announcements are down 42% in 2020, according to sponsorship consultancy IEG. “In addition to the slowing pace of new agreements, sponsorship deals are quietly going away without any fanfare; on the brighter side, many brands and properties are extending agreement term lengths to recoup value lost due to the pandemic,” says Peter Laatz, IEG’s global managing director.
But there is at least some new deal activity. The National Basketball Association this week announced that CarMax is its new “official auto retailer”—not to be confused with Kia, which remains its official automotive sponsor. CarMax replaces Autotrader, whose deal expired last season. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour inked a 10-year deal to make Workday the presenting sponsor of its Memorial Tournament, the Columbus-based event backed by Jack Nicklaus. Nationwide was the previous sponsor.
Number of the week
$4 billion: The amount of subscription revenue Disney+ will surpass by 2022, according to an eMarketer forecast. “Disney+ has grown rapidly, spurred by in-demand content and stay-at-home orders. In fact, the service will help The Walt Disney Co. reach Netflix’s share of the market by 2022,” according to the forecast.
Quote of the week
"I like to snack. Believe me, crisps have been a big thing in my life.”—Rick Astley to Ad Age during an interview about his forthcoming Frito-Lay ad. Read more here, where the pop star answers the question, has he ever been Rickrolled?
Eat Just’s recipe remakes
Plant-based egg alternative Eat Just is out with a “Start your tradition” spot that suggests old egg-based dishes could use a makeover. The first scene shows an Eggs Florentine recipe being created and written with a fountain pen. The dish evolves over decades, going from poached eggs to scrambled, and in the latest take, the eggs are eliminated altogether for a plant-based Florentine. The spot, with music by Emmitt Rhodes, comes as people may be cooking animal-free dishes for family members they’re home with during the pandemic.
Tweet of the week
On the move
Deb Hyun has left Headspace, where she worked as VP of global marketing since November of 2019 following posts at Uber and Taco Bell. Headspace will name a new top marketer in the new year, according to a spokesman. Information about Hyun’s next stop was unavailable.
Nick Kelly, a 6-year veteran of Anheuser Busch InBev, where he most recently oversaw sports, music and entertainment deals, has left for the Charlotte Football Club where he will serve as president of the Major League Soccer expansion team.