Trending: Macy’s cuts Santa, Jay-Z debuts pot brand and cereal sales spike
Assessing the ups and downs of the past week.
It took 23 years, but Pepsi finally capitalized on Notorious B.I.G.’s freestyle rap about his love for the soda. The brand remastered the previously unreleased track—which includes lyrics like “other sodas taste the worst … nothing can beat the p-e-p-s-i, yes I drink it constantly”—and paired it with an animated ad. The move, timed to coincide with the late rapper’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame—got plenty of pickup in outlets that accurately hit the brand’s intended target, including pop culture sites like Hypebeast.
Pornhub can thank Toobin for getting its 'Wank-from-home PSA’ ad back in the news. Our original post on the spot, which originally published way back in May, was among the top-read stories this week. The Lincoln Project again claimed the top spot with its latest Trump takedown—“Mourning in Pennsylvania,” which puts a new twist on Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America.”
Now that the holidays are in full swing, retailers are grappling with the issue of the big man in the red suit. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Santa will not be coming to town at Macy’s this year, breaking with a nearly 160-year tradition of hosting the jolly one at its New York City flagship. Santaland, as Macy’s calls the visiting area, has been a boon to the brand, generating store traffic and sales. Yet other stores are attempting to make a visit with Saint Nick work—albeit with lots of restrictions and no laps. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s will use a glare-free protective barrier between families and Santa to offer free photos. Consumers will need to make online reservations for the privilege.
Which of these is a real product? (Answer at the bottom of this column.)
Normally, green beer is reserved for St. Patrick’s Day. But now a craft brewer is using the color for an entirely different meaning. Craft brewer HenHouse Brewing Company this week launched a brew called Vote for the Green New Deal—which is as literal as it sounds. It’s not a single beer (and it’s not actually green, we don’t think). Instead, the California-based brew is asking other brewers to slap the label on their most delicious India pale ale (or use a suggested recipe), as a way to support Democrat-backed climate change legislation.
Tweet of the week
Marijuana state of mind
Another celeb has a pot brand. Jay-Z, who last year inked a deal to become chief brand strategist at cannabis company Caliva, today unveiled the moniker of his brand—Monogram, which will launch “through a best in class e-commerce platform dedicated exclusively to its singular product line.”
Number of the week
$12 billion: The newly-projected sales of cereal in the U.S. this year, which spiked due to changing dining patterns prompted by COVID-19. The forecast, from GlobalData, is $1.2 billion higher than in 2019, and $1.1 billion higher than prior projections for 2020.
Quote of the week
“When I started in marketing you were in like 12-month, 18-month planning cycles. And now we operate in a world of a 48-hour news cycle. The big challenge is how do brands adapt and be agile in that kind of world.”—Molson Coors Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques at this week’s ANA Masters of Marketing conference.
On the move
Calvin Klein has tapped Linh Peters as global chief marketing officer. She starts Nov. 2. Peters was most recently VP, loyalty, partnerships and licensed stores product and marketing, at Starbucks.
Direct-to-consumer luggage brand promoted Selena Kalvaria to chief marketing officer, a new role, from senior VP of brand.
Answer: Sorry Natty Light fans, Natty Fright ain’t happening—except on Twitter—but Heinz Tomato Blood ketchup is real, at least for a limited time. Heinz will give away 570 limited-edition bottles of the ketchup (spoiler: it’s just the same Heinz, but dressed up for Halloween), to people who submit Halloween-themed videos featuring Heinz ketchup in a TikTok hashtag challenge.
Contributing: Jessica Wohl, Adrianne Pasquarelli