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].
A surprising number of men are using fragrances, and consumers are encouraged to drink rum while participating in esports. Read about that and more in this week's edition of Marketer's Brief. But first, find out which fast-food restaurant created the world's smallest ad.
Arby's record-setting smallest ad
Arby's has made the Guinness World Records for having the world's smallest ad, one etched onto a bun's sesame seed. The ad is a teaser that reads, "A big announcement is coming. This isn't it." No word yet on the supposedly "huge" news. The marketing comes from Moxie, while Arby's worked with Georgia Tech's Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology to create the ad measuring 38.3um x 19.2um, or 735.36 square micron in area. It's on display at a Manhattan Arby's (for those who care, it's located at 32 E. 23rd St.). There's also a video on the making of the seedy message.
The nose knows
Ahead of Father's Day, market research firm NPD Group sniffed out some data. Sales of men's prestige fragrances grew 21 percent in U.S. sales last year, compared with 2016. A recent NPD survey found that 89 percent of men use scent, while 46 percent try new or different scents.
Another place to shop for sports jerseys
JC Penney hopes sports fans will help the beleaguered retailer in the same way cosmetic enthusiasts have. The struggling brand, which just lost its CEO to Lowe's, has opened 325 Fanatics shops, for sports apparel and merchandise, in JC Penney stores, with another 325 planned for the back-to-school season. The retailer has had success with its Sephora shops, which it first introduced in 2006.
L'Oreal owns an AR company, but Wunder2 still gets AR
L'Oreal's acquisition earlier this year of augmented-reality specialist Modiface raised questions about whether new rivals without similar access to the technology could pull off virtual makeup tryouts. Well, they can. New proof comes from Wunder2 Cosmetics, which has teamed with YouCam Makeup to create an AR tool on the brand's website that uses facial recognition, 3-D renderings, skintone analysis, texture and lighting to simulate the in-store experience for folks buying cosmetics online.
What to drink while watching Esports
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is now the "official distilled spirits partner" of ELeague, the esports brand run by Turner and IMG. Part of the marketing team-up includes the Eleague Kraken Boss Battle, where players and fans can compete; content will air on TBS and online.
Look out, Venmo
It happened quicker than many could have predicted, but it's hard to compete when you don't have the backing of 30 big banks. Zelle, the peer-to-peer payment provider backed by institutions such as Chase and Bank of America that launched in 2017, is poised to overtake rival Venmo this year, according to eMarketer. The market research company predicts that Zelle, which aired its first campaign last year, will grow by more than 73 percent this year for a total of 27.4 million U.S. users, compared with Venmo's 22.9 million users.