Pokémon turns 25, Peppa Pig gets a theme park and weighted hula hoops searches surge: Trending
Fry’s is fried. The electronics retailer confirmed this week it would shut down after 36 years “as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.” While the pandemic might have been the death blow, The Verge points out that the chain has not exactly been performing at the top of its game in recent years, as it was “pushed to the brink of extinction by online retailers like Amazon, Newegg and more.”
Who’s winning the fast-food design wars? It’s Burger King, according to a new Ad Age-Harris Poll survey, which is our most-read post of the week. The home of the Whopper edged out McDonald’s, according to the poll respondents, who reviewed the new looks each chain is rolling out.
Dust off the Game Boy
Pokémon is all grown up—the gaming brand turns 25 this month, and plenty of stars are joining in the celebration. Post Malone headlines a virtual concert on Saturday, dubbed a Pokémon Day. It’s part of a program called P25 Music curated by Universal Music Group that also includes Katy Perry. The brand debuted in Japan in 1996 but did not come to the U.S. until two years later. Today.com has more on the anniversary here.
Peppa Pig get its own theme park
This week Hasbro announced several new strategic ways the toy company plans on driving growth. Along with announcing that Mr. Potato Head will go gender neutral, new shows for Transformers, My Little Pony and G.I. Joe and an extension of its contract with Fortnite, the company said it will also create a theme park around “Peppa Pig,” last year’s top-streamed kids show. Hasbro partnered with Merlin Entertainments for a Peppa Pig theme park at the Legoland Florida Resort, and it’s expected to open in 2022, reported CNBC. Peppa Pig is Hasbro’s top licensed franchise with more than $1 billion in merchandise sales.
Dunkin’ runs on Gen Z trends
Dunkin’ announced a few new products this week, including avocado toast. The item that’s likely to get the most attention, at least on TikTok, is an update on influencer Charli D’Amelio’s signature drink at Dunkin’. The “Charli Cold Foam” starts off like the “The Charli,” a cold brew with three pumps of caramel that Dunkin’ introduced in September. The new spin adds sweet cold foam and cinnamon sugar on top. Next week, a TikTok challenge will give 10 fans the chance to get their own signature drinks on their local Dunkin’ menu, plus a personalized video shoutout from D’Amelio.
Quote of the week
"As we stated previously, we paused the commercial until the facts were established. Now, that the matter has been resolved, we are unpausing the film”—Jeep on its move to restore its Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl ad to YouTube after DWI charges against the rock icon were dropped.
Tweet of the week
Number of the week
882,106%: increase in U.S. search rank for the term “weighted hula hoops” on Amazon for the week ended Saturday, compared with the year-earlier period, according to Profitero and likely the result of trending creative weight-loss videos on TikTok.
Tanqueray joins zero-alcohol trend
It’s coming too late for Dry January, but Tanqueray gin is getting in on the non-alcoholic booze trend. The brand this week debuted Tanqueray 0.0%, which it is pitching as having the same taste as the regular gin, including piney juniper, peppery coriander and aromatic angelica, without the kick. The brand is owned by Diageo, which has made a concerted push into non-alcoholic booze, including by taking a majority stake in 2019 in Seedlip, which makes a variety of non-boozy spirits.
While the liquor giant expands its zero-alcohol biz, PepsiCo is moving closer to the alcohol category, sort of. The beverage giant this week announced a new brand of mixers called Neon Zebra, meant to be blended with spirits.
On the Move
IHOP named Kieran Donahue as its new chief marketing officer. She was most recently VP of brand, marketing and digital at Marriott. IHOP’s prior CMO, Brad Haley, departed in early February.
MAC Cosmetics has tapped Aïda Moudachirou Rebois as senior VP, global marketing. She was most recently senior VP, global marketing at Revlon Inc.
JP Morgan Chase named Linda Arrington CMO of the commercial banking division. Arrington was global brand manager at Estee Lauder Cos.
Jim Sabia, executive VP and CMO for alcohol marketer Constellation Brands, will take over as executive VP and managing director for its beer division, which includes Corona and Modelo Especial. He had been CMO for the beer division before taking on the companywide CMO role in 2018.
Phillips Distilling Company, whose brands include UV Vodka and Prairie Organic Spirits, named Fernando Palacios as interim chief supply chain officer and Jason Connelly as chief revenue officer, reporting to CEO Andy England. Palacios is a former executive VP and chief operations officer at MillerCoors, where England served as CMO before departing in 2015.
Contributing: Ilyse Liffreing, Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl