Welcome to Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, our data-obsessed newsletter for marketing and media professionals. Reading this online? Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox here. This week we’ve got insights on Sha’Carri Richardson’s social media and marketing sprint, how to find out what data Apple has on you, making sense of the latest jobs data and more.
What’s under the HOOD
Ad Age Datacenter’s Bradley Johnson takes a look at the marketing strategies of investing app Robinhood, whose shares began trading Thursday following its initial public offering (ticker: HOOD). In its debut, the stock closed at $34.82, down 8.4% from its $38 IPO price. “Robin laid an egg,” Johnson says.
From his story:
Robinhood Markets is a winner (growth in revenue and users) and a loser (a history of operating losses), and the investing app’s fate is now up to stock traders today... How apt.
On the marketing front, Robinhood (Nasdaq: HOOD) has shown the ability to grow its business recently while spending less on digital and paid marketing.
Read more here.
Jobless claims in context
“Initial jobless claims declined by 24,000 to 400,000 in the week ended July 24, the government said Thursday,” Jeffry Bartash and Greg Robb of MarketWatch report. “Requests for benefits had surged by 56,000 in mid-July, but the increase largely appears to have stemmed from seasonal swings in employment in the auto industry.”
Essential context: “The weekly applications have fallen more or less steadily this year—from a peak of 904,000 in early January,” the AP’s Paul Wiseman notes. “But they remain high by historic standards: Before COVID struck the United States in March 2020, claims were coming in at about 220,000 a week.”
Previously: “U.S. advertising employment scores record job increase in June,” from Ad Age.
It’s worth noting that both Fox News and The Washington Post are calling out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a lack of data transparency right now: “CDC yet to release COVID data behind mask reversal,” from Fox News, and “CDC reversal on indoor masking prompts experts to ask, ‘Where’s the data?’,” from The Washington Post.
“Among big tech companies, Apple pitches itself as being one of the more privacy-focused—helping you protect your data from undesired uses like targeted advertising,” CNET’s Adam Benjamin and Jason Cipriani note. “However, Apple is still keeping some data on anyone who uses its products. And if you want to know exactly what that information is, Apple offers a way to find out.”
Benjamin and Cipriani note that anyone with an Apple ID can put in a data request, though it’s “not a speedy process (expect to wait up to a week for the results).”
Keep reading here for simple guide to requesting the data Apple has on you.
Sha’Carri Richardson’s social media and marketing sprint
On July 9 Ad Age ran a story headlined “Why Sha’Carri Richardson’s brand appeal could actually grow after Olympics ouster.” As DeArbea Walker reported, the United States Anti-Doping Agency ...
... gave her a 30-day suspension when it was determined that THC, a substance in marijuana, was found in her drug test. That effectively ended her chances to compete in the 100-meter dash in the Olympics. And her Olympic dreams were officially crushed when ... she was not selected for the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team.
What’s happened since then? Some insights:
• Richardson is currently starring in the latest campaign from Beats by Dre, an Apple subsidiary. In a stirring, cinematic spot, the track and field sprinter wears Beats Studio Buds and helps hype new music from Kanye West. (Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz has the ad and the backstory: “Sha’Carri Richardson fronts Beats by Dre ad promoting new Kanye West album.”) The spot debuted on July 20 during the NBA Finals, and according to TV ad-tracking company iSpot.tv, it’s the No. 1 Beats ad across the past 30 days in terms of exposure; it’s racked up 9.8 million TV ad impressions to date.
• The version of the Beats ad that Richardson posted on her official Instagram page has more than 1.2 million views, more than 450 likes and nearly 10,000 comments, which, according to influencer marketing platform CreatorIQ, has helped give her IG presence an average engagement rate of 51.32%—a level that puts gives her “exemplary” engagement status by CreatorIQ’s standards.
• Richardson is also one of the athletes featured in Nike’s current “Best Day Ever” ad, which has garnered 52 million views since its release on YouTube on July 11, and has racked up more than 150 million TV ad impressions, per iSpot.
• As Walker notes in the July 9 Ad Age story, Richardson’s social following “ballooned” in the wake of the Olympics controversy. Specifically, on Instagram, per CreatorIQ, she more than quadrupled her follower count—going from 420,000 pre-ouster to more than 2.2 million as of this writing.
• On Twitter, per social media tracking service SocialBlade, Richardson (@itskerrii) has been gaining nearly 10,000 followers per day across the past several weeks, and added 293,195 followers during the past 30 days. In fact, she hit the half-million follower mark this morning (and she’s at 500,619 as of this writing).
• According to digital video measurement company Tubular, in the run-up to the Olympics, Richardson-related video content drew more views on Facebook—8.9 million over a 90-day period through July 22 (the day before the opening ceremony)—than video content about any other U.S. athlete.
• Richardson has been using social media in a way that connects to the larger conversation surrounding the Olympics right now—particularly in the wake of Simone Biles’ decision this week to drop out of some of the Tokyo gymnastics competitions, citing mental health concerns. (See “What Simone Biles’ Olympics exit means for sponsors,” from Ad Age.) On Wednesday, for instance, Richardson tweeted,