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Delay of game
The death of Kobe Bryant, the massive pop-culture figure and basketball legend who died in a helicopter accident with his daughter this week, has led to a number of marketers pausing their promotional programs, particularly around the Super Bowl. “At least several brands that intended to release their Big Game creative [yesterday] are holding back,” write Jeanine Poggi and Jessica Wohl, including Procter & Gamble’s Olay, Pop-Tarts and Avocados From Mexico. Given that the morning-show circuit on which many of these brands preview their ads has been devoted to the deaths, many segments were canceled anyway; Mtn Dew’s NBC’s “Today” spot was postponed due to the show’s news coverage of the tragedy.
The most-affected advertiser is Planters, whose Super Bowl campaign centered around the death of Mr. Peanut in an accident, and his planned game-day funeral. Writes Poggi and Wohl: “Planters received some backlash on social media on Sunday, following the helicopter crash, for promoted tweets memorializing Mr. Peanut, who is being killed off in a car crash. The company has since paused its online marketing campaign." For its part, Planters said it “will evaluate next steps through a lens of sensitivity to those impacted by this tragedy.”
Bryant was, of course, a prolific endorser and a master writer, appearing in—and helping create—numerous campaigns. Here, Ann-Christine Diaz recalls some of his greatest work off the court, while Icaro Doria, a creative leader at Arnold, DDB and Wieden & Kennedy, shares his remembrances of Bryant as a collaborator. “As a creative mind, he wanted to inspire in new ways that he hadn’t before. He was all about inspiration. He was in absolute love with those who inspired him to become who he was, and he wanted to share that with the world.” Read Doria’s full tribute here.