☕ That’s bananas
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Becoming TikTok famous.
February 13, 2023

Marketing Brew

Stella Rising

It’s the Monday after the Super Bowl. Let us reassure you—there’s no shame in eating chicken wings for breakfast.

In today’s edition:

—Alyssa Meyers, Maeve Allsup


The Savanah in Savannah Bananas

imagery from Savannah Bananas TikTok Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photos: TikTok/@thesavhbananas

The Yankees, perhaps the most famous baseball team on the planet, have a cool 1 million followers on TikTok.

But there’s a team that has them beat: the Savannah Bananas. With nearly 4 million followers, CNN dubbed them “TikTok’s favorite baseball team” last year.

The Bananas aren’t an MLB team, nor do they play in the Minor League; they’re an exhibition team founded in 2016 that plays “Banana Ball.” Think: the Harlem Globetrotters, but for baseball.

So how’d they gain millions of followers in three years? It started with an intern.

Match made in heaven

After starting seven years ago, the Savannah Bananas became known for their on-field antics, like performing choreographed dances at every game and playing in kilts, as well as giving post-game interviews in…nontraditional settings.

  • In 2019, during her sophomore year at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Savanah Alaniz was looking for an internship when she discovered the team’s Instagram account, which led her to its website, she told us. There, she found a digital marketing internship posting.
  • She applied, and at one point during the interview process, pitched the idea of a TikTok account. (And yes, she did also mention that “we share a name,” Alaniz said in an interview with Marketing Brew.)
  • A couple of days later, she said the team directed its Instagram followers to a brand-new TikTok page. Two weeks after that, in February 2020, Alaniz got the internship. The account gained a couple hundred followers over the next three or four months, but she got access at the start of her internship in June, and its TikTok following grew to about 200,000 by the end of summer.

One video she created that summer, when players were at home during those days of the pandemic, reached 30,000 views. “That was our first taste of something that started trending,” she told us.

A few weeks later, a video of a player dancing clocked about 100,000 views, according to Alaniz.

“We were like, ‘Oh yeah, this is gonna be something huge,’” she said. “Then we really put a lot of emphasis on TikTok, posting every day and creating really cool content for people to engage with.”

We talked to Alaniz, who is now marketing coordinator for the Bananas, about how she leads the team’s social strategy. Read the full story here.—AM



No cookies, no worries

Stella Rising

Change comes at you fast. And if you’re a digital marketer, it can be downright exhausting. Between platform restrictions, cookie deprecation, and iOS updates, reaching consumers and breaking through to success is harder than ever. Plus, media is straight-up expensive.

But Stella Rising has the solution: Spark. This tool is built to ignite insights so you can focus on boosting your brand beyond core channels, driving successful DTC, crushing retail goals, and increasing marketplace sales.

And the cherry on top? Stella Rising’s team uses a consumer-focused omnichannel approach, so they can “forward-think” for you. They’ll show you where and how to invest and how to make the most of your returns.

Adapt with Stella Rising.


Coffee beans and NFTs

A Starbucks cup coming apart against an abstract background Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Photo: Starbucks

At the end of last year, Starbucks started “ushering eager testers into the beta version of a Web3 rewards experience,” writes Retail Brew’s Maeve Allsup. She recently explored what the loyalty program looks like, what users think so far, and how it could impact the brand. Read some of her story below, or click here for the full piece.

Starbucks, as one of the first big brands to make a decisive move toward leveraging blockchain for loyalty, faces the problem of winning over both Web3 experts and a public whose interest in NFTs is still quite low. And the Odyssey beta, which is serving as a testing ground for the brand, highlights both the challenges and opportunities of being a first mover.


French press

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

Lesson learned: How Kia has “taken a major hit” from a TikTok trend and potentially lost consumer trust, explained by Fast Company.

The long and short of it: Here are some factors to consider when determining the length of a TikTok.

Start somewhere: Snapchat shared three ad formats for brands getting started on the platform.

Build a better brand: Companies that use Frontify’s brand management platform see 367% ROI, according to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ study. Check it out to learn how Frontify’s tools can help your teams thrive.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


  • Meta reinstated former President Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram after a two-year ban.
  • Yahoo is planning to let go of approximately 20% of its staffers as part of a restructuring of its ad-tech division, per Axios.
  • News Corp. intends to cut around 5% of its workforce this year.
  • Uber Eats is rolling out an ad unit that shows up post-checkout.


vintage ad Etsy

Joe Namath, football’s most iconic pitchman?


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Written by Alyssa Meyers, Maeve Allsup, and Ryan Barwick

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