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Travis Scott makes a boozy debut, and Pepsi puts cocoa in cola: Friday Wake-Up Call
Travis Scott is everywhere these days, from Fortnite to your McDonald’s menu. Now beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is bringing him to happy hour, in the form of spiked seltzer Cacti, named for Scott’s Cactus Jack brand and the agave that sweetens the drink.
“While the McDonald’s deal—which was pushed with a national TV spot—was a limited-time play, AB InBev is playing the long game with Scott, setting up the Cacti brand for possible extensions beyond the seltzer category,” Lana Buchanan, VP of marketing for the brand’s Beyond Beer division, tells Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz.
Scott was involved in the formulation of the drink itself, and his branding is literally all over it. Cactus Jack will also work on the marketing with AB’s in-house agency DraftLine to promote the new drink, which is almost guaranteed to be a hot seller. Scott's McD's collab caused a run on ingredients in some locations.
The battle between Epic Games and Apple may have begun with a cheeky reshoot of Ridley Scott’s “1984” ad, but the actual antitrust lawsuit filed by Epic against Cupertino is winding its way through the legal system. On Wednesday, a judge ordered Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi to testify in defense of the company.
Epic has asserted that the App Store is anticompetitive because Apple take a 30% cut of revenue, and companies that want access to iPhones have no alternative platform. Apple tried to limit the amount of time Cook would need to testify and offered a lower level replacement for Federighi, but a judge denied both requests.
The company will also need to provide most of the documents Epic is demanding in discovery. The next hearing is set for July 2021, though, so there’s still plenty of time for legal maneuvering.
Pepsi’s latest flavor is a nod to coziness—though in 2020 a gravity blanket might be a more apt comparison. “Cocoa” Cola has a hint of chocolate and marshmallow in addition to the regular soda flavor. Mmm.
“Pepsi aims to create a flurry of interest for the new beverage by saying it will roll out ‘a batch’ of the new flavor if its Twitter post reaches 2,021 retweets as a way to herald the start of the new year,” writes Ad Age’s Mike Juang. There are plenty of cocoa lovers out there (or flavor masochists?), because Twitter hit that threshold in just a few hours.
Vice will be the first publisher with a verified account on OnlyFans, the streaming site that caters to NSFW amateur content. Its “Munchies” vertical will be releasing food porn videos (as in, not actual pornography but heavily stylized videos of food), and viewers can whet their appetites for $4.99 a month.
OnlyFans has seen stellar growth this year as people turn to every revenue stream they can think of. But this move signifies the increased mainstreaming and corporatization of the site. Many creators who use the platform, especially adult streamers and other sex workers, complain that the presence of celebrities and brands on the platform makes it harder for low-profile and amateur content creators to amass a following and make a living.
Survey says: Three years after the resurgence of the #MeToo movement, not much has changed. A new survey from Women Who Tech finds that 44% of women founders in the sector have been harassed—43% in just the last year. That figure rises to 47% for women of color and jumps to 65% for LGBTQ founders. Investors were responsible for 40% of the harassment, and 6 in 10 of the founders who were harassed were “explicitly propositioned for sex in exchange for investment funding and introductions.”
Cola cuts: With movie theaters and sports stadiums shuttered, the pandemic has hurt soda sales. Coca-Cola announced it is cutting 2,200 jobs, including 1,200 in the U.S. This follows a nearly 40% reduction in North American staff back in August.
Not naughty, nice: P&G isn’t stopping the good deeds once Santa's not looking. The brand is promising 2,021 of them next year (expect to see that number a lot over the next 12 months). The good deeds are mostly corporate donations—money or goods to charities or hospitals. We’ll see if any of them go unpunished.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading, and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
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