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In this year's Super Bowl ads, brands are mostly playing it safe

Don't expect to see much political messaging in this year's Super Bowl ads. And definitely don't expect to see much on crypto.
BMW's commercial featuring actor Christopher Walken is among the funnier ads this year.
Screenshot via YouTube

Fewer Americans want brands to take a stand on controversial issues

Oct 10, 2023
A recent Bentley-Gallup survey says 41% of Americans think businesses should take a public stance on current events. That’s down from 48% just a year ago. What happened?
Maybe we don’t care what our toothpaste says about us. But we do care about what our shoes say as we walk through the world in them. Above, a 2018 Nike advertisement featuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Will inflation make consumers abandon their favorite brands?

Jul 28, 2023
Consumers have been sticking with Procter & Gamble. But if high prices make shoppers trade down, the company has products for them too.
Procter & Gamble, maker of Tide detergent and many other consumer products, is cautious about its outlook for 2024.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Can brands make it on BeReal?

Sep 29, 2022
The unfiltered, spontaneous nature of BeReal runs counter to how brands use social media, says reporter Chris Stokel-Walker.
Chipotle, which Chris Stokel-Walker says is "known for being at the forefront of lots of social media movements," is experimenting on BeReal.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

When consumers feel strapped, some brands do well anyway

May 27, 2022
Strong earnings from Nordstrom, Macy's and Dollar General suggest pent-up demand and a reframing of what people consider essential spending.
Dollar Tree said groceries made up a bigger part of its sales last quarter — which could spell trouble for retailers like Walmart and Target.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Higher-income consumers sticking with premium brands, like P&G's, despite price increases

Apr 20, 2022
P&G's earnings report beat Wall Street’s expectations, with net sales up 7%.
Why are we sticking with more expensive brands while inflation is high?
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Should brands bother with April Fools' Day gags?

Apr 1, 2021
With high anxiety over the pandemic and rising levels of distrust with the media, is it worth it for companies to pull pranks?
Context for the jokes matters, says International Marketing Partners CEO Allyson Stewart-Allen.
lakshmiprasad S via Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

Global brands address forced labor in China, but risk alienating Chinese consumers

Mar 25, 2021
A number of companies, though concerned about treatment of Uyghurs, appear to have tried to appease widespread consumer anger.
Some companies have protested the reported abuse of Chinese Uyghurs but face a backlash in the Asian nation.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Empty arenas not a game for sports and entertainment sponsors

Feb 15, 2021
Brands are having to rethink how to get home viewers' attention.
Attendance restrictions pose a problem for brands trying to reach fans.
Tim Smith/Getty Images

Quaker Oats is retiring the Aunt Jemima brand because of its origins in "a racial stereotype"

Up until now, Quaker hasn't been interested in changing the logo or even acknowledging the history of the brand.
The branding of Aunt Jemima actually goes back to the late 1800s, and was used to evoke a common racist caricature of Black women.
Mike Mozart/Flickr via Creative Commons