As if!
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Marketing Brew // Morning Brew // Update
Why brands are embracing the ‘90s.
April 08, 2024

Marketing Brew

It’s Monday. There will be a solar eclipse across much of the continental US today—and yes, the brands know about it. While free eclipse glasses from the eyewear brand Warby Parker are now all out of stock, the brand is offering a printable pinhole projector kit for anyone who wants to get their Galileo on.

In today’s edition:

—Katie Hicks, Josh Needelman, Alyssa Meyers


Be kind, rewind

90's patterns and shapes Francis Scialabba

In a way, the ’90s never really left us. But for fashion and beauty brands in 2024, the decade—and the women who helped define it—are undeniably back.

In March, Monica Lewinsky was revealed as the face of a campaign for clothing brand Reformation and Fran Drescher starred in fashion brand AMI Paris’s spring 2024 campaign. In the last year, Pamela Anderson has starred in campaigns for brands like Proenza Schouler, Smashbox, and Artizia, while Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra modeled for Skims.

Alicia Silverstone, who reprised her role from Clueless in a campaign for Rakuten in last year’s Super Bowl, was one of the celebrities included in skin-care brand Osea Malibu’s Leap Day campaign outreach last month, along with other celebs who were big in the ’90s, like Alyson Hannigan, Busy Philipps, and Drew Barrymore, Melissa Palmer, co-founder and CEO of Osea Malibu, told us. The campaign also included a temporarily ’90s-looking website and ’90s-inspired merchandise in celebration of its founding leap year, 1996.

Palmer said the Leap Day campaign was the “highest-performing campaign [Osea has] had in the history of the company” across both conversions and influencer posts. She said the positive response to the gifted merch, which included a vintage-looking sweatshirt, only demonstrated to her that the ’90s enthusiasm is real.

For Osea Malibu, the ’90s homage boils down to honoring its heritage and getting the message out about its 28-year history of “living the exact same truth” as a clean beauty brand, even though the term hadn’t been coined at the time of the brand’s founding, Palmer said.

Since 2016, the brand has run a Leap Day promotion where products are priced as they were in 1996, but this marked the first year it went all-in on the ’90s look. According to Palmer, “the reaction to the aesthetic and graphics was wild.”

Continue reading here.—KH



DM for collab

Trying to buy a house in this economy is no longer the hardest thing you’ll have to face. Not when the entire state of marketing is changing and making your job harder than it’s ever been before.

So we wanna put you on a certain li’l channel that can help: partnerships. Not sure exactly why you need ’em? breaks it down in their blog on affiliate and influencer partnership programs, hitting the key reasons for investing in collabs, like how:

  • Budgets are changing, and so should your priorities.
  • Key priorities for marketing teams tie into sales and revenue.
  • Collaborations with content creators provide deeper connections.

Dwindling budgets, the need to constantly innovate and drive ROI but also make sure you’re adhering to data privacy regulations…whew. It’s a lot for a marketer to handle alone.

Peep these insights on partnerships.


Take a seat

WWE performers Otis and Chad Gable hold the "chair phone" in a Cricket Wireless ad. Cricket Wireless

Every year, WWE fans around the world make a pilgrimage to WrestleMania, where its host city, brimming with fans, becomes a hotspot for corporate partners.

That’s why Cricket Wireless, WWE’s partner since 2016, planned something special for April 6, the first night of WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia. It’s where, earlier that day, the company’s “chair phone,” a cheeky reference to professional wrestlers’ weapon of choice, was featured during a promotional event at a local store.

The steel folding 5G chair, which is not for sale, can do anything a real phone can: make calls, send texts, play music, snap photos, and stream video. It also has a fog machine, a nod to the dramatics of a professional wrestler’s walk to the ring.

A commercial featuring the chair phone and WWE performers Chad Gable and Otis started to air nationwide April 4. In the ad, Otis and Gable sit at a board meeting beside executives. When the Cricket mascot asks the pair what else the company can power using 5G, they become entranced by a steel chair leaning against the wall.

The video pivots to Gable and Otis flaunting the chair phone inside a wrestling ring. Back in the conference room, they hold it aloft as the executives cheer.

“My God,” the Cricket mascot says. “It’s the most powerful chair ever made.”

Read more here.—JN



Kids these days

family watching football Rebecca Nelson/Getty Images

Today’s teens are very online. But what about the generation younger than them?

Gen Alpha, aka children ages 10 and younger, are already engaging with streaming and social media, according to Morning Consult’s second annual report on the generation, which is based on responses from thousands of US parents across two surveys.

Alphas are relatively new to social media and streaming platforms—and the athletes and influencers that populate them—but, despite their youth, Morning Consult found Alphas are already developing habits that marketers may want to note.

The kids are online: About half of Alphas stream video content daily, according to the report, and by age 8, most of them are on social media for up to three hours a day, according to their parents.

  • MrBeast, Blue Ivy Carter, Jake Paul, Logan Paul, and North West are among the influencers Gen Alpha tends to view favorably.
  • YouTube and Disney+ are the most popular platforms among Alphas: 30% of parents said Disney+ is the streaming platform their children use most, and 50% said YouTube tops the list in terms of social platforms.

Given the age restrictions on many social platforms, there are “a lot more children on social media than I would expect,” Joanna Piacenza, head of industry analysis at Morning Consult, told Marketing Brew.

“We have to be careful as brands and advertisers, not marketing specifically to 6-year-olds, to minors,” she said. “But knowing that they’re on those platforms, Alphas are going to catch your brand’s name.”

Alpha fan: Since some Alphas are on social and streaming platforms, according to their parents, it stands to reason that they’ve been exposed to sports content. Morning Consult found that 60% of the generation has watched a pro sports event on TV, and almost half (47%) have watched college sports on TV.

Continue reading here.—AM




Marketers, advertisers, strategizers—lend us your ears! Learn how to activate podcasts as part of your marketing campaign with this podcast playbook video series from Audacy. Get A’s to all your audio Q’s—from how to buy podcast campaigns to how to measure their success—with these short vids.


French Press Morning Brew

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

Scrub-a-dub: What’s AI-washing? A guide to the term, plus guidance on a crackdown by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Speaking of AI…Here’s a rundown on using it safely for marketing applications.

Start of something new? One ad agency exec weighed in on retiring the marketing funnel for a different approach.

Link up: Read’s blog on affiliate and influencer partnership programs to see how collaboration can make your job as a marketer a little easier. Connect with your customers + read the full blog.*

*A message from our sponsor.


football play illustrations on billboards on buildings Francis Scialabba

Executive moves across the industry.

  • Scott Donaton, a former Digitas executive who most recently served as SVP of marketing at Hulu, is the new CMO of VersusGame, a company that creates interactive content using AI.
  • Roberto Ruju, a former ad platforms exec at Google, joined analytics shop InfoTrust as VP of advertising platforms.
  • Blake Devillier, formerly SVP of field operations at Taco Bell, is the new president of Carl’s Jr.


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