May 18

Monday’s First Things First – Adweek


Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

State Farm Wraps Up Its MVP Performance in The Last Dance Doc With New Ad

When ESPN’s The Last Dance premiered a month ago, State Farm shocked viewers with a deep-fake ad starring legendary SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne. The campaign came to its conclusion last night with a similar ad with an iconic duo taking center stage. Set in 1998, Keith Olbermann and Linda Cohn deliver a few flawless predictions during SportsCenter about Phil Jackson’s coaching career, only to reveal once again that it is a State Farm ad. Agency Translation, along with Optimum Sports and ESPN Creative Works helped State Farm create the spots.

Watch it: Revel in 1990s SportsCenter nostalgia.

The Race to Build the Perfect Streaming Service

During one week in April, U.S. consumers streamed twice as much TV as they did the year prior. To capture that growing audience, networks—both the old guard (Netflix, Hulu and CBS All Access) and the new guard (HBO Max, Peacock and Disney+)—have lined up extensive libraries filled with shows people desperately want to binge. Only Apple+ and Quibi debuted without catalogs of classics, which have instead relied on top tier original programming. Of course, they’re following in the footsteps of Netflix, which really ratcheted up its own content to revolutionize the streaming business.

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Read more: Where does this all lead? In this Adweek feature, streaming editor Kelsey Sutton looks at the strategy behind every piece of the industry: libraries, original content, marketing strategy and the UX of the various platforms.

Related: Speaking of Quibi, the streamer is off to a rocky start. It has just 2 million daily active users despite spending $2 billion on its creation and release. What went wrong? A misunderstanding of how people consume short content could be to blame.

As the Meat Industry Stumbles, Here’s How Plant-Based Brands Are Stepping Up Their Game

I’ve been with Adweek for over four years now, and some of the data in this story might be the most eye-popping I can ever remember in an Adweek story. Here’s a taste:

  • Data analytics firm Lotame found massive spikes in consumer interest and purchasing around pescatarianism (a 50,910% increase) and vegetarianism (a 4,133% jump) when comparing March 2020 to March 2019.
  • In the week ending March 21, sales of meat alternatives grew 454% compared to a 100% bump in real meat sales.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have upped their reach over the last three months as demand for their products has skyrocketed. And instead of going PETA’s route of attacking the meat industry, they’ve taken the marketing high road to become top of mind for consumers looking to ditch beef and pork.

For Adweek Premium members: Plant-based brands explain how they’ve navigated the booming interest in their products.

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3 CPG and Wellness Takeaways From Adweek Presents: The Way Forward

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On the latest episode of Adweek Presents: The Way Forward, WW CEO Mindy Grossman and PepsiCo CMO Greg Lyons discuss how their businesses have adjusted in recent months. The duo touched on a number of topics, including how they’ve been using data to inform their decision-making on the fly. For instance, Grossman’s team noticed members were pivoting from cooking with a lot of fresh foods to making meals with more accessible, nonperishable pantry products. As a result, WW shared new recipes that accommodated this new form of meal prep.

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