These toys are winning the holiday: Marketer's Brief
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Black Friday is still two days away, but already we have a good sense of what toys and games are winning the holiday when it comes to online sales—and, not surprisingly, Frozen is owning the season so far. Toys inspired by Disney’s “Frozen 2” are among the top-selling products, according to the latest retail report from Adobe Analytics, which bases its findings on analysis of more than 1 trillion visits to retail sites.
Other hot-sellers include L.O.L Surprise Dolls, and Nerf. Adobe does not identify a specific Nerf product, but CNBC in a recent report identified the dart-shooting Ultra One Blaster as doing well. Adobe says the top video games are Pokemon Sword/Shield, Jedi Fallen Order and Madden 20, while hot-selling electronics include Apple AirPods, Samsung TVs and Apple Laptops. Overall, Adobe reports that the full holiday season is tracking at 15 percent year-over-year growth with more than $50 billion spent online from Nov. 1 through Nov. 26.
Some other takeaways from the report:
Mobile is winning: More than 34 percent of ecommerce purchases have been made via smartphones, up 24 percent year-over-year. On Thanksgiving Day, Adobe projects that one in five online consumers will shop via smartphones “so that friends and family won’t notice them shopping.”
Cheap TVs: TV discounts are “twice as deep as expected,” Adobe says, with more than 17 percent average savings.
Email still works: Promotions sent via email are accounting for nearly 17 percent of online sales revenue, up 10 percent year-over-year. Paid search accounts for about 24 percent of sales revenue.
All done: Adobe says a quarter of shoppers have already completed their online shopping for the season.
And now for some good news: The average cost of a classic Thanksgiving meal is up only a penny this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 34th annual survey of certain items. The Farm Bureau says the cost of a meal for 10 people—including turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee with milk—came to $48.91, up just one cent from 2018. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports the cost of this year’s dinner is actually down 2.3 percent, thanks largely to lower turkey prices. Aldi came in with the least expensive Thanksgiving meal, based on its analysis of a basket of 20 items across 15 chains in New Jersey.
Speaking of Thanksgiving
Not everyone sits down to a standard Thanksgiving meal like the one suggested by the Farm Bureau. And brands are here to showcase diverse palates. DoorDash shot an “All-American Thanksgiving” video featuring chef Eddie Huang preparing his Taiwanese Thanksgiving recipes, including General Huang’s Spatchcock Turkey. It continues the “all flavors welcome” theme in the delivery platform’s ads, which come from The Martin Agency. And there are others promoting a bird-free holiday. Nearly 30 percent of Americans are willing to consider skipping a Thanksgiving turkey, according to research that—not surprisingly—was conducted for plant-based brand Meatless Farm.
Beware of CBD food
While cannabidiol-infused anything is a trend, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on CBD food products, saying that based on “the lack of scientific information supporting the safety of CBD in food,” it cannot conclude that it is generally recognized as safe to be used in food for humans or animals. The FDA on Monday also issued warning letters to 15 companies it says illegally sold products containing cannabidiol, a chemical component in cannabis that doesn’t cause a high.
“We remain concerned that some people wrongly think that the myriad of CBD products on the market, many of which are illegal, have been evaluated by the FDA and determined to be safe, or that trying CBD ‘can’t hurt,’” Dr. Amy Abernethy, FDA principal deputy commissioner, said in a statement. For now, the FDA has only approved a single CBD drug for the treatment of two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. Stay tuned: the FDA plans to give an update on its approach to CBD products in the coming weeks.
But, for now...
What’s a CBD brand to do when they want to get in on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but aren’t allowed to advertise on social media? They get crafty, of course. Sparkling water brand Recess, which infuses each drink with hemp, is paying customers to share its brand on Instagram. Starting on Nov. 29, for every repost, direct message or Instagram Story someone shares, the brand will send $3 to that user’s Venmo account. Users have to direct message the brand a screenshot as proof along with their Venmo handle. The brand is promoting the campaign on Instagram with a 20 percent off code beginning on Friday, and plans to shell out $3,000.
The smart diaper is here
Folks who got on the waiting list last summer for the diaper/video monitor/app combo that Procter & Gamble Co. developed with help from Google can now buy the whole getup for $359 (less a $30 offer code that expires at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 27). What you get for that includes a reusable sensor that detects "No. 1," but not necessarily "No. 2," and works with specially designed Pampers Swaddlers diapers that have a cutout for the sensor. There’s also a Logitech video camera and two-way audio monitor that also tracks room temperature, humidity and movement, feeding data to the app. Your baby need never live an unmeasured moment, assuming she graduates from smart diaper to smart watch, nor endure a wet diaper. Refills of the Lumi diapers are available for delivery direct from P&G at $59.95 per month, with each specialized diaper costing only 4 cents more than ordinary Swaddlers, according to Pampers.
For all the attention direct-to-consumer startups have gotten in recent years, traditional brands still beat them easily on most loyalty measures in a new survey by research firm Survata. The loyalty gap, however, narrows significantly or even disappears in many categories among Gen Z consumers ages 18-24. The survey looked at Casper vs. Sealy in mattresses, Gillette vs. Dollar Shave Club in razors, H&M vs. Bonobos in apparel, Ray-Ban vs. Warby Parker in eyewear, and Purina vs. BarkBox in pet food. For the general population, incumbents won by 4-1 or 3-1 margins on such questions as loyalty, trust and which brand people would buy if prices and everything else were the same. But for the 18-24 year olds, on that last question, Gillette won by only a 51 percent to 49 percent margin, and Sealy by only 55 percent to 45 percent.
Michael Bublé is back for Bubly. The crooner, who first appeared for the PepsiCo sparkling water brand in a Super Bowl ad, is lending his voice to a Christmas-themed spot. But the cans, not the singer, play a starring role in this ad, which was handled by The Mill and Direct Focus.
Would you buy this?
At $200, the 6-foot-tall Taco Bell fire sauce packet inflatable airblown holiday decoration is the priciest item in the fast feeder’s latest gift lineup. On a tighter budget? A greeting card with an image of sauce packets is only $2.50.
Number of the week
1,438,560: Number of people tweeting about Frozen 2 over the Nov. 22 opening weekend, according to Sprout Social
Tweet of the Week
Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl, Ilyse Liffreing