Sunday, April 23, 2023

Marketing News of the Week: Partnerships, Brand Identity, and More

This past week, there were many news stories that reflected marketing strategies, branding campaigns, and brand storytelling.

Fashion brand The Gap partnered with toy brand Mattel for a series of collaborations inspired by Mattel's portfolio of brands including Hot Wheels, American Girl, Thomas & Friends, Masters of the Universe, and others.

The first will be an apparel collection for "Barbie" that will be available for the launch of the film in late May, available on Gap's website and in select stores globally. The "Gap x Barbie" collection will feature T-shirts, skirts, logo hoodies, denim, button-downs, and accessories as well as pet apparel - retailing for $24 to $69 and featuring Barbie branding and Gap's typeface.

According to Christopher Goble, Gap's head of merchandising, "Gap's partnership with Mattel presents two iconic brands collaborating on products that customers can wear as a family, pets included, and have fun."

Netflix partnered with fashion brand Lacoste for a new collection inspired by some of the streaming service's most popular shows. Polo shirts, tracksuits, and sweatshirts inspired by shows "Stranger Things," "Bridgerton," and "The Witcher," will also feature the Lacoste crocodile. The new items will be available online at and as well as in select Lacoste stores.

According to Josh Simon, VP of Consumer Products for Netflix, "We think products can be a powerful medium for storytelling, and partnering with Lacoste presents a unique opportunity to blend the worlds of fashion and entertainment."

Color brand Pantone announced its "Mrs. Maisel Pink" color in honor of the AmazonPrime television series' fifth and final season. According to Pantone, "From her first full look in Season One, glowing in a baby pink coat amid a crowd of New Yorkers wearing the 1950's corporate palette of cool grays and neutrals, to taking her last bow in Season Five. Midge's sartorial color choices meticulously depict her as the wise-cracking, unapologetic, and self-possessed woman she is."

According to the show's costume designer, Donna Sakowska, "Every color is another country, and every color choice another adventure in Wonderland." According to Pantone, "And what adventures they've had. [The clothing's colors] transported its characters from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side, from Paris to the Catskills, and from the late 1950's to the early 1960's, with countless personal revelations and reinventions along the way."

The Oakland A's finalized a deal to buy a 49-acre site to build a retractable-roof ballpark close to the Las Vegas Strip with a seating capacity of 30,000 to 35,000. The team hopes to break ground by 2024 with the plan to move to the new home by 2027. The team's lease at the Oakland Coliseum expires after the 2024 season, and the team has struggled for years to draw fans.

With an NFL team, the Raiders, and a NHL team, the Golden Knights, and a WNBA team, the Aces, baseball was the only major sport missing a presence in Las Vegas.

After six seasons as a co-host of the popular ABC morning talk-show made famous by Regis Philbin and his many hosts over the years, Ryan Seacrest said goodbye. Kelly Ripa welcomed her husband, Mark Consuelos, to join the show. The promotional tagline became "From Co-Stars in Life to Co-Hosts on Live." The show's name changed from "Live with Kelly and Ryan" to "Live with Kelly and Mark." Time will tell if viewers tire of the married couple's stories.

According to ABC, "Facebook users who had an active Facebook account at any point between May 2007 and December 2022 can now apply to receive a piece of parent company Meta's $725 million settlement related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal...The legal battle began four years ago, following an international outcry from the company's disclosure that the private information of as many as 87 million Facebook users was obtained by Cambridge Analytica."

However, while Facebook users can complete a claim form by August 25, 2023, to be included in the group to receive the settlement, the claim form requires information that the company never had before including a mailing address and additional email addresses. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to provide MORE personal info to Meta, so count me out for what may turn out to be pennies.

This past week, retail stores David's Bridals and Bed, Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy protection. David's Bridal, the leading bridal and special occasion authority, expects to continue operations. But if you're a bride, this news will definitely make you into a Bridezilla!

Bed Bath & Beyond sent an email to shoppers: "We appreciate that customers have trusted us through the most important milestones in their lives - from going to college, to getting married, to settling into a new home, to having a baby. We have initiated a process to wind down operations." The 360 stores will shutter over time.

While stamps featuring King Charles III's face are now officially on sale to the British public, the new stamps feature a significant break from the past: None of the stamps include a crown. According to royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams, "His preference for a simple image is more contemporary. The Queen wore a diadem and the image of her was internationally recognized. In a different age, the King has wisely chosen a more human image."

Less than four months after experiencing an unexpected cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game on January 2nd, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been "fully cleared" to return to play. Three medical specialists unanimously agreed that Hamlin can resume full activities on the field. All football fans became Buffalo Bills fans during that January game, and everyone wishes Damar a long and healthy career.

During Damar's recovery in March, he visited Congress to advocate for better access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools. His survival is widely credited to the rapid use of CPR and a defibrillator on the field.

Damar told Members of Congress, "For schools that have AEDs, the survival rate for children from sudden cardiac arrest is seven times higher. The Access to AEDs Act will help ensure that schools are just as prepared and trained to respond in a time of crisis as those on the sidelines on an NFL game."

While many in the comedy world will mourn the passing of Barry Humphries, most mainstream folks will miss Barry's alter ego known as Dame Edna. Who can forget the hilarious antics of Dame Edna? Truly one-of-a-kind! RIP Barry Humphries.

What other marketing news stood out to you this past week?

What will be the marketing buzz next week? Tune in to read all about it.

Image Credits: Live with Kelly and Mark and the Buffalo Bills.

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