This week’s marketing winners, losers and newsmakers…
Culture Brands, a small agency that is only four years old, picked up some major momentum this week when Hyundai Motor America tapped it to be its African American agency of record. The Maryland-based shop will get a broad remit with a chance to weigh in on everything from marketing strategies and experiential to consulting on media buys. More here.
This week’s loser is the U.S. consumer. Not only did the economy create far less jobs than anticipated in April, but prices for just about everything are going up. That includes doughnuts. Say it ain’t so. But there is some frosting on top of that otherwise bad news, at least for Ad Age readers: Employment in advertising, public relations and related services rose by 1,900 jobs in April, the third straight month of growth. More on that here, and here.
Looking for some advice on how to bring workers back to your agency office? Check out this story, which was among our most popular posts of the week based on reader engagement.
Duh. Moms get burned out too
Plenty of workers are apparently burned out—at ad agencies, consultancies, and even tech workers and journalists are feeling the pain (at least, according to Business Insider). But moms could be suffering burnout as much if not more than anyone else, after a year that found parents juggling home schooling, child anxiety and working from home. Saucony highlights this in a Mother’s Day spot called “The Marathon That Never Ends.” In the 45-second clip, which was directed by Quinn Katherman and created with Hummingbird Content Studio, different pairs of sneaker-clad feet are shown navigating the pitfalls of motherhood. “Hear that? That’s the sound of you putting one foot in front of the other,” a voiceover says, noting “It’s not always pretty, it’s not always easy.” The spot concludes with “This is the marathon that never ends—this is motherhood.”
If the cool kids are wearing it …
Teen brand Hollister is tapping the ultimate teen influencers—Charli and Dixie D’Amelio—for a new clothing brand. Called Social Tourist, the new line will debut May 20 in Hollister stores and online. The Abercrombie-owned brand is partnering with the D’Amelio sisters exclusively on the offering, which is part of a multi-year agreement. The collection will include gender-inclusive items, trend pieces and everyday essentials like basics and swimwear, with new pieces debuting each month. The deal follows a pact the sisters struck last month with Simmons for a bedding line.
Quote of the week
“New York is getting hungrier and younger. What we hear from the realtor network and community is that because there has been such a glut of available apartments in the city at strong discounts, a lot of people are moving back into the city. We’re seeing it reflected in our growth over the last quarter.”—Jinal Shah, VP of marketing and growth at Feather, a furniture rental brand, on consumers once again embracing urban living after so many people fled big cities in the pandemic. Hear more from Shah on this week’s “Marketer’s Brief” podcast.
Number of the week
297%: IHOP’s rise in April U.S. same-store sales as the pancake chain, and the overall restaurant industry, sees diners returning as restrictions ease. Sibling chain Applebee’s posted a 237% gain.
But wait, there is more IHOP news …
The chain on May 10 is offering all-you-can-drink milkshakes at its 19 Long Island, New York, locations. The move comes after a hostess told Adam Sandler, not realizing it was the actor, he would have to wait 30 minutes for a table, and then posting a video about the incident on TikTok in late April. On May 3, Sandler tweeted “For the record, I only left the IHOP because the nice woman told me the all-you-can-eat deal didn’t apply to the milkshakes.”
IHOP is also donating $1 of each milkshake purchase on “Milkshake Monday,” up to $50,000, to the nonprofit Comedy Gives Back, which helps comedians struggling after losing all of their income when clubs shut down during the pandemic.
Tweet of the weekOn the move
The Wonderful Company named Margaret Keene as chief creative officer of the Wonderful Agency, its in-house advertising and marketing agency. Bobby Pearce left the role about two months ago. Keene joins May 10 and reports to the agency’s president, Michael Perdigao. Keene was executive creative director at MullenLowe until 2020, and previously held roles at Saatchi & Saatchi and TBWA\Chiat\Day.
Restaurant chain BurgerFi hired Henry Gonzalez as its first chief marketing officer. Gonzalez most recently founded Bigger Slice Consulting, a marketing consulting practice. His earlier roles included CMO of Costa Farms, and group account director at Zimmerman Advertising and CPB.
Contributing: Jessica Wohl
Read more: adage.com