Gif Peanut Butter Befuddles the Internet; Coronavirus Impacts Retail: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, the CEO of Disney steps down

A jar of Jif that says GIF on it
Jif's "Gif" edition went on sale via Amazon today. Jif
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Jif Partnered With Giphy to Make a Limited-Edition Peanut Butter No One Can Pronounce

Jif peanut butter unveiled a limited-edition jar labeled “Gif” as part of a clever partnership with GIF repository Giphy. The stunt, created by Publicis’ PSOne agency in New York, reignites a long-running debate about the correct pronunciation of GIF. The special Gif edition of otherwise normal Jif peanut butter—which also has the original label on the opposite side—went on sale via Amazon Monday and promptly sold out in a matter of hours. In addition to the limited-edition label, the campaign also includes a video and a series of branded GIFs that will fuel social media arguments for years to come.

Watch: A totally real professor of “linjuistics” explains why GIF is so obviously pronounced Jif.

5 Ways Coronavirus Is Changing Retail in China

As U.S. officials say the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. appears inevitable, authorities in China have been working for weeks to contain the outbreak, including such measures as closing businesses and limiting transportation in some areas, which, in turn, has disrupted the nation’s supply chain. Cities like Shanghai are “almost semi-shutdown” as social media drives awareness and fear.

Read more: As a result, shopping habits in China are changing. Here’s how exactly.

Bob Iger Steps Down as CEO of Disney, Named Executive Chairman Through 2021

Longtime Disney CEO Bob Iger will step down from the helm of the media and entertainment giant but will remain at the company as executive chairman through the end of 2021, the company said today. Bob Chapek, who most recently served as the chairman of Disney Parks, experiences and products, will take over as CEO, effective immediately. In Iger’s new role, he will direct Disney’s creative endeavors and lead the Disney board through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021.

Iger oversaw a radical transformation of Disney, bringing in the Star Wars, Lucasfilm and Marvel franchises, as well as pulling the trigger on the landscape altering 21st Century Fox deal. Most recently, Disney expanded its entertainment empire with Disney+, which has already scored 28 million subscribers.

Read more: Iger led the company through a period of expansive growth, especially in its media divisions.

On top of Iger’s departure as CEO, it was a wild day of news in the TV business:

Jo Ann Ross on ViacomCBS’ Ad Sales and Upfront Strategy—and Why She’s Not Retiring

When CBS and Viacom announced their plans to merge last August, some in the industry speculated that Jo Ann Ross, who had presided over CBS ad sales since 2002, might take it as an opportunity to retire. Instead, settled into her new corner office high up in ViacomCBS’ Times Square building two and a half months after the merger was completed in December, Ross finds herself busier than ever (“there’s not enough hours in the day!”), juggling meetings with company execs, her expanded ad sales team and clients. Some of her first key moves? Simplifying ViacomCBS’ go-to-market strategy for clients, keeping the Viacom agency dinners, as well as the traditional CBS presentation at Carnegie Hall.

Read more: In her first interview since the merger, she talks about her new role at the combined company.

The Limits of Mike Bloomberg’s Massive Ad Spend

Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been on a record-shattering ad blitz, projected to spend $528 million on advertising since kicking off his presidential bid in November through Super Tuesday on March 3. While other candidates are shifting their ad spend to digital, Bloomberg has dominated the airwaves, spending 77% of his total outlay on broadcast and cable TV ads. After Bloomberg, the next highest ad spender has been billionaire Tom Steyer at $183 million, followed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders at $46 million and former South Bend, Ind., mayor Peter Buttigieg at $33 million.

Read more: But while Bloomberg’s ad spend has helped propel him in the polls, it’s clear that advertisements alone cannot secure him the Democratic nomination.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights

The Story Behind Clorox’s Mystery Recording Artist CLRX

Despite all appearances to the contrary, CLRX isn’t the up-and-coming independent artist she seems to be. The online persona known as CLRX came to be through a partnership between The Clorox Company and Brand Synergy Group, a creative agency that focuses on talent procurement and event production.

Agencies Explain Why They Value Environmentalism

“Environmentalism is important to us at T3 as not only do we need to take care of our planet, but we also need to take care of our future generation’s planet. Our carbon emissions are out of control, and if we look at it as if it’s too big of a problem for just one person, or one company to make a difference, nothing will ever change. Many of our employees have approached us with their own efforts, such as using reusable plates and cutlery instead of disposables for our catering events. We even reach out to CPG companies when they have packaging with excessive plastics. Every single effort matters.”

—Kasey Mitchell and Kylie Kowalski, office mangers, T3

“Environmentalism is important to Doner because what we do today will affect future generations. The efforts made in one area of our agency influence the entire agency’s outcome. Everyone plays a role in this, in and out of the working environment.”

—Tom Anderson, director of employee engagement, Doner

More of the Latest:


@JessZafarris jessica.zafarris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.
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