Thursday, December 7, 2023

Marketing News of the Week: Color of the Year and Person of the Year

This was a big week for marketing news. The week began with the official announcement by TIME Magazine of its Person of the Year for 2023; and later in the week, the Pantone color company announced its color of the year for 2024. With all the chaos in the world including the continuing effects of the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the conflict in the Middle East, and the holiday season, this news was welcomed by those of us in the marketing field.

According to Wikipedia, "The Person of the Year (called Man of the Year or Woman of the Year until 1999) is an annual issue of TIME Magazine, the American news magazine and website, featuring a person, a group, an idea, or object, that for better or for worse has done the most to influence the events of the year."

Wikipedia explained, "Taylor Swift is a singer-songwriter whose 2023–2024 Eras Tour is set to become the highest-grossing concert tour of all time - and then it was filmed and released as a movie! Accompanied by a fan frenzy called Swiftmania, the tour's social effects are considered an outcome of Swift's wider influence on 21st-century popular culture. The Eras Tour, as Swift's first tour following the COVID-19 lockdowns, caused an economic demand shock fueled by the public's increased affinity for entertainment. It recorded unprecedented ticket sale registrations across the globe. The first sale in the United States crashed [Ticketmaster] controversially, drawing censure from bipartisan lawmakers, who proposed implementation of price regulation and anti-scalping laws at state and federal levels."

According to Pantone: "PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz captures our desire to nurture ourselves and others. It's a velvety gentle peach tone whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul."

According to Leatrice Eisemen, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute, "In seeking a hue that echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection, we chose a color radiant with warmth and modern elegance. A shade that resonates with compassion, offers a tactile embrace, and effortlessly bridges the youthful with the timeless."

Do you agree with these choices? Should TIME have chosen a different person or persons? Should Pantone have picked a different color?

Here are some marketing implications of these choices. First, it appears that Swift-inspired courses focused on her music and impact on culture and the economy will be offered at major universities including Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, Arizona State University, Rice University, and the University of Florida. But is her popularity sustainable? Is she comparable to Elvis and Frank Sinatra in their generations of fame and star power? Can her personal brand continue to generate financial success for cities where she performs?

And what about the color peach fuzz? Is it the color of any well-known brand? Other than the Peach Bowl, Inc., the organization that owns and operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the annual college football game played in Atlanta, Georgia, every December since 1968, I cannot think of any peach logos. Will your brand add peach to its logo during 2024? And as for fashion, peach is not a good color on anyone!

I wrote about my choice for TIME's Person of the Year in November because one story dominated the news during 2023: America's Striking Workers. During 2023, labor strikes happened on a regular basis: TV writers and actors, hospitality workers in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, airline pilots and flight attendants, the United Auto Workers, healthcare workers, and public school employees. In addition, the BARBIE movie was big news during July 2023, and King Charles II began his reign in earnest during 2023.

In addition to these big marketing announcements this week, there were two other pieces of marketing news. First, in response to TIME's announcement, the Empire State Building's social media team playfully shared a post on Twitter/X naming it as "Building of the Year." And, for those of you who share my fondness for the MONK television series, the wonderful group of actors led by Tony Shalhoub have returned for a movie on Peacock.

What do you think the color of the year will be for 2025? And who do you think the Person of the Year for 2024 will be? Watch 2024 carefully for clues.

Image Credits: Pantone, TIME Magazine, the Empire State Building, and Peacock TV.

My Choice for TIME Magazine's 2023 Person of the Year on #DebbieLaskeysBlog:

Official Pantone link:

Official TIME Magazine link:

How TIME Chose Taylor Swift:

You Can Study Taylor Swift at These Colleges:

Ivy League Era: Harvard To Offer Course on Taylor Swift:

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