Kantar Media Newsroom: Old School Crock-Pot Teaches us a Lesson in 2018 Crisis Management

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Social Media

‘This is Us’ *spoiler alert*

Sorry if this messes with your DVR schedule, but truly, you’ve probably heard by now that the beloved character Jack Pearson of ‘This is Us’ fame, passes tragically after a Crock-Pot malfunctions and sets the family house ablaze. Fans from all over the country needed something to blame, and their lovable Crock-Pots were the target. Of course, Crock-Pot took it in stride, and used the tragedy as an opportunity to connect with its customers. “Crock-Pot acted fast, taking to social media and creating its first-ever Twitter account – @CrockPotCares. The company, owned by Newell Brands, posted this message to Facebook, complete with broken heart emojis and a photo of a Pittsburgh Steelers-branded Crock-Pot: THIS IS US SPOILER ALERT. We're still trying to mend our heart after watching This Is Us on Tuesday night. America's favorite dad and husband deserved a better exit and Crock-Pot shares in your devastation. Don't further add to this tragedy by throwing your Crock-Pot Slow Cooker away. It's hard to pass something down from generation to generation if you throw it away (grandma won't be too happy). Spending time with his family while enjoying comfort food from his Crock-Pot was one of his favorite things to do. Let's all do our part and honor his legacy in the kitchen with Crock-Pot.” This long-standing company has given us a great example of how to respond to a crisis, even when it wasn’t originally set up to do so. And, don’t worry; your Crock-Pot is actually extremely safe.

Twitter’s day has finally come…sort of

Not since its IPO in 2013 has Twitter ever posted a profitable quarter. Not until now at least. Funny thing is, usage is stagnant; in fact, the increase in revenue was completely due to foreign usage, and that the US witnessed an 8% decline. “Twitter was living proof on Thursday, posting the first-ever profit in its 12-year history — albeit one that was a result of Chief Executive Jack Dorsey swinging the cost-cutting ax and not from business actually growing.” Other adjustments were made as well, “Twitter said revenue was helped by the company’s use of data to make the targeting of ads more individualized. The company also cited higher video ad sales and redesigned ad formats as helping to build revenue.” This news isn’t wholly positive, but puts the pressure on the CEO to prove its sustainability.

Snap’s Q4 results impress

With the youth of the country fleeing Facebook in favor of Snapchat, it’s no wonder Snap is reporting healthy gains. “Snapchat’s daily users grew 18% year-over-year to 187 million. Snapchat's daily users increased by 8.9 million from the third quarter, exceeding the 6 million-person increase anticipated by analysts. Daily active users increased 5% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, up from a 3% increase from the second to third quarter.” It has struggled since its IPO, but has introduced self-service ad buying – increasing the number of marketers and ad views, accounting for 90% of ad impressions in Q4. Of course it can’t all be unicorns and rainbows, “While the results impressed, it remains unclear as to whether Snap can become a major alternative to Facebook and Google as a digital advertising behemoth.” Its efforts to make both Android and iPhone versions of its app has certainly made an impact and only time will tell.

Unilever calls out social media platforms, threatens to pull ad spend

Now it’s not just the government going after networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google, it’s the companies funneling significant ad dollars that are calling them out. Unilever’s head marketer Keith Weed is set to speak regarding the divisiveness on these platforms, saying his company does not want to partner with sites that do not “make a positive contribution to society.” The speech will go on, “he will say that with the rise of “fake news, racism, sexism, terrorists spreading messages of hate and toxic content directed at children”, parts of the internet have become toxic.” Furthermore, Weed is planning on calling out Facebook, Twitter, Google, Snap and Amazon by name, asking them to take a stand where it counts. He’s critical of  the ad industry as well, stating. “’Consumers don’t care about third-party verification. They do care about fraudulent practice, fake news, and Russians influencing the US election. They don’t care about good value for advertisers. But they do care when they see their brands being placed next to ads funding terror, or exploiting children,’ he adds. ‘They don’t care about sophisticated data usage or ad targeting via complex algorithms, but they do care about not seeing the same ad 100 times a day. They don’t care about ad fraud, but they do care about their data being misused and stolen.’”

Olympic Fever

#OlympicsSoWhite – but getting more diverse

“Cool Runnings” wasn’t just a fun John Candy comedy of the 90s, it represented the sheer racial disparity the Winter Games experiences every 4 years – it caters to the areas with cold, snow and mountains, which also happen to be predominantly Caucasian, European and wealthy. You wouldn’t necessarily know it from advertising and social media favorites – many including Jamaica’s and Nigeria’s first female bobsled teams and American speedskater Maame Biney, all early fan favorites. It remains to be the case, however, that the games are dominated by its deep Scandinavian roots. For 2018, “Thirteen athletes from eight African nations will be competing in South Korea, the largest representation of athletes from African nations in any Winter Games. There has yet to be a Winter Olympics medal awarded to any athlete representing an African nation.” Perhaps the marketing of successful diverse athletes at this year’s games will inspire the future athletes around the globe, and get Olympic delegations to pursue athletes and sport outside of the norm. “For nations without Olympic delegations, much of the [financial/funding] work that normally falls on organizing bodies instead falls on the athletes. Nigeria had no bobsled federation until the women on the team created one. Adigun raised a total of $150,000 on GoFundMe, a crowdsourcing website, to help fund her team’s training and gear. The team is now featured in Beats by Dre ads and is a part of Team Visa promotions. They, along with the team from Jamaica, will take their first Olympic run on Feb. 20.”

Politics, drama and snowboarding – it must be the Olympics!

There’s always a hint of drama at the Olympics, and with the tough political climate we face, this year’s edition is sure to be full of it. In fact, a lot has changed since Sochi – most notably the previous host’s country was banned from Pyeongchang, “Russia is officially banned from the Olympics because of a state-sponsored doping scheme the country carried out in Sochi. But 168 Russians will still compete under a neutral flag as ‘Olympic athletes from Russia’ and 45 others could win last-minute appeals and make their way onto the snow and ice.” North and South Korea will enter as a unified team, with nearly two dozen North Korean athletes projected to participate.

More numbers, in case you’re curious

It takes more than just a village to keep the Olympics running, especially when you look at the numbers just for broadcasting the games 24/7. Here’s a peek at the numbers, including $10 billion – the price tag for the Winter Games (which is a fifth of what was reportedly spent in Sochi just four years ago).

In Other ‘News’

Los Angeles Times sold to local billionaire

The LA Times is under new management – after a hefty $500 million purchase price by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Encouraged analysts view this sale as a shift from the struggle of converting paper subscriptions to digital ones (the Times has an over 100K subscriber base, tops for a regional pub) and the dawn of a new newspaper age. Critics are confused at the primo price tag, calling the acquisition “odd” at a time of great personnel turmoil at the paper. At the end, analysts believe, “Soon-Shiong might have been willing to pay a premium for the L.A. Times and Union-Tribune if he sees value beyond the papers' balance sheets,” calling Soon-Shiong a “self-promoter” looking for a soapbox.

Who’s On Top? – January 29 - February 4, 2018

CoverGirl's New Look

Advertising spend on new national TV placements reached $144 million during the week ending February 4th, 2018. This figure does not include expenditures during Super Bowl LII, which totaled $414 million according to our preliminary estimates.

As promised in 2017, CoverGirl's iconic "easy, breezy, beautiful" tagline has been replaced with their new "I am what I make up" slogan. The updated messaging and product overhaul was introduced in a commercial released January 29th, accounting for $3.9 million (93%) of CoverGirl’s total ad spend for the week ending February 4th.

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