What advertisers should know about the Fortnite World Cup: Monday Wake-Up Call
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Takeaways from the Fortnite World Cup
Kyle Giersdorf, a 16-year-old from Pennsylvania, won the solo event Sunday at the first-ever Fortnite World Cup. Giersdorf, who goes by the online name "Bugha," will take home $3 million of the total $30 million in prize money from the championships for the uber-popular online video game. (Just for comparison’s sake, the Tour de France cycling race wrapped up Sunday after three weeks and 2,118 grueling miles, much of it uphill; winner Egan Bernal of Colombia gets a check for a mere $556,000. But we digress.)
Ad Age’s George P. Slefo has good details about sponsorship deals with teams competing in Epic Games’ Fortnite event, which was hosted at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens—also the main court of the U.S. Open. Grubhub, the food delivery app, and Wix, which offers tools for website-building, both sponsored teams.
But for such a big event with so many Gen Z fans, there were surprisingly few visible brands; The New York Times notes that Epic Games didn’t sell its own sponsorships or media rights for the event. The goal, apparently, was to keep the focus on one brand alone: Fortnite’s.
McDonald’s rethinks its model for agencies
Omnicom’s DDB created We Are Unlimited as a bespoke agency for McDonald’s in 2016. Now it’s under pressure as the fast-food chain re-evaluates its agency model, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz writes. “McDonald’s recently put a significant project out to bid with Wieden & Kennedy New York and TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles emerging as finalists,” Schultz writes, citing multiple people familiar with the matter. TBWA, like We Are Unlimited, is part of Omnicom Group. But if McDonald’s goes with Wieden & Kennedy, that would represent a more dramatic shift. As Schultz writes, Wieden & Kennedy already handles KFC from its Portland office, which creates a potential conflict. There are a lot of “ifs” involved, but given what W&K has done for Colonel Sanders, what would it do with Ronald McDonald?
Have we hit peak experiential marketing? Adrianne Pasquarelli writes:
This month alone, Baskin-Robbins teamed up with Netflix’s hit show "Stranger Things" on a scoop shop that saw lines wrap around the block; Adidas encouraged consumers to solve a maze while testing their new Boost shoes; and V8 hosted a class with SoulCycle and Spotify to jazz up attendee energy.
As more brands work on pop-ups and interactions, companies are wondering what they really get out of it. “Everyone is asking about the numbers,” says Matt Sincaglia, VP of strategy and analytics at marketing agency RedPeg. “People are starting to really plant their feet and cement themselves and say, ‘That’s well and good, but what does it mean to our investment?’” Consumers, too, run the risk of getting tired of branded events—especially if some are underwhelming.
Another one: “Regional sports networks owned by Walt Disney Co. have gone dark on Dish Network Corp.’s satellite and its Sling online TV service, marking the latest in a surge of contract disputes and channel blackouts,” Bloomberg News writes.
Back-to-school time (agh): “Flush from another blockbuster Prime Day, Amazon is turning its attention to younger consumers by rolling out its second-ever back-to-school campaign,” Adrianne Pasquarelli writes in Ad Age. The effort includes digital and TV spots done in-house.
Top 5: An extremely clever Burger King billboard in Belgium tops Ad Age’s list this week of the top 5 most innovative brand ideas; check out the full video here, courtesy of Ann-Christine Diaz and Max Sternlicht.
Quote of the day: “For so long we’ve been seen as probably the Kardashian of tequilas.” But “we are actually more the Lady Gaga,” says Adrian Parker, VP of marketing for Patrón. Listen to his full conversation with Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz here, and subscribe to the Marketer’s Brief podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
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