Adweek’s Expanded Politics Coverage; Lay’s Redesign; A Gut-Wrenching PSA: Thursday’s First Things First

Plus, analyzing the effectiveness of Peacock

Adweek is expanding its coverage of politics ahead of the 2020 election. Getty Images

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Adweek’s 2020 Political Tracker

This is a note from Sara Jerde, our recently anointed publishing editor and leader of our politics coverage.

We’re in the middle of a great brand race—the 2020 election. As we get closer to November 2020, Adweek will be closely watching how the contenders for the White House are posturing themselves as brands. We’ll be reporting on how their messaging evolves in their advertisements and campaign materials. To kick things off, we asked marketing and branding experts to evaluate each candidate’s logo and slogan.

They told us that the 2020 hopefuls have a big obstacle to overcome. In all (so far), there are 24 candidates running for the White House, and they’ll need something splashy to stand out from the crowd and to have messaging that can compete against President Trump’s Make America Great Again brand. The candidates also need to use language that appeals to the widest possible swath of Americans but is specific enough to energize voters and encourage them to head to the polls.

Take a look at what else the experts had to say: We’ll continue to update this post as the landscape changes closer to the election. And check back in—we’ll be covering 2020 much more aggressively, examining how it intersects with advertising, marketing and media.

Read more: You can see all of Adweek’s coverage of politics and race for 2020 by visiting

Inside HP’s Investment in Reducing Ocean-Bound Plastic in Haiti

Since 2017, HP has manufactured ink cartridges made from over a million pounds of plastic bottles recycled from Haiti. And for the past 19 years, overall, the company has converted a staggering 199 million-plus pounds of plastic into 3.9 billion printer cartridges. In total, HP has created more than 1,000 jobs in Haiti.

Read more: Agencies editor Doug Zanger walks through how HP developed a sustainable supply chain in Haiti.

The rest of our Covering Climate Now stories:

Why It Took Lay’s 2 Years to Redesign a Bag of Potato Chips

It takes only two minutes to get to the bottom of a bag of Lay’s chips, but PepsiCo’s house of crunch recently gave Adweek an exclusive look at its new redesign that was two years in the making. The iconic brand is still the category leader in chips, but even a famous bag of chips like Lay’s needs to stand out to stay relevant. With some 25 different Lay’s flavors in the mix, redesigning all the bags took a while, but fret not.

Read more: Adweek’s resident brand historian gives you a peek before you find them on the shelves of your local grocery store next week.

Peacock Stands Out—for Better or Worse

Finally, a streaming service that avoids adding a + or Max to its name. Design experts were split on the name of NBCUniversal’s streaming service. (Our Twitter followers weren’t as kind.) Let Hayes Roth, founder and principal of the brand consultancy HA Roth Consulting, sum it up best:

“It’s unlike anything else that is out there now, and no one else can—or would—use it. It can only be an NBC brand.”

Read more: Streaming editor Kelsey Sutton spoke with a number of branding experts about the pros and cons of the name.

Just Briefly: The Rest of Today’s Top Insights

Ad of the Day: Sandy Hook Promise Darkly Flips the Cheery Back-to-School Ad in New Gun Violence PSA

Back-to-school ads are always upbeat, product-packed affairs in which kids can’t wait to return to school with new gear. And although this spot starts down a similar path, it soon veers off into a much darker place.

It’s the newest PSA from BBDO for nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise, which has spent years creating compelling content that helps highlight the warning signs of potential violence. And this time, the group certainly pulls no punches.

5 Dos and Don’ts to Creating Sustainable Activations

By Jamie Shaw, creative director, Cogs & Marvel

  • DO build activations with repurposed materials. On a recent project for Bank of the West, we created a whole eco-event to tell their story, using 100% repurposed materials for fabrication, printing with water-based ink on compostable board and sourcing food for edible installations through local, sustainable purveyors.
  • DON’T build a single-use set.
  • DO use AR and VR to create experiences. We’re pushing into more mixed media and multisensory experiences because things like AR and projection mapping have no physical footprint.
  • DON’T create swag that will end up in landfills.
  • DO create digital takeaway souvenirs. We’re proposing digital takeaway souvenirs from drone photo shoots to curated playlists or things that can be planted, consumed or otherwise used up.

@kimekom Kimeko McCoy is a freelance journalist and digital marketer, who focuses on social strategy, newsletters and audience development.