3 Humorous Holiday Promotions; Conan to Leave TBS: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, highlights from the Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit

The new flavor will be available in PepsiCo's newly designed two-liter bottles. Pepsi
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

Plus, highlights from the Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit

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

3 Silly Holiday Promotions You Didn’t Know You Needed

Some brands, notably Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola and Disney, have chosen an emotional, heartwarming approach to their holiday promotions. But others seem to be under the impression that all we really need in “these unprecedented times” is a good laugh and some sweet swag. Check out these more irreverent takes on promoting holiday cheer:

  • If you suck at baking, Pepsi has just the treat for you. Don’t try (and inevitably fail) at that apple pie—just drink it instead, with the seasonal Pepsi Apple Pie. The confection-flavored soda debuted along with a faux cooking tutorial video from VaynerMedia.
  • Snack-themed stocking stuffers? A new line of Frito-Lay apparel features knit scarves “to keep your neck warm or wipe your mouth” and fuzzy socks “so no one will hear you sneaking into the pantry for a midnight snack.”
  • Many people want an XBox or PlayStation for Christmas—but instead, you could get your hands on a ‘Philly Series 5’ cheesecake kit, a parody product from cream cheese brand Philadelphia.

How 3 Pro Sports Teams Are Keeping Fans Engaged During the Pandemic

Yesterday at the Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit, athletes, leagues, brands and experts assembled to discuss the present and future of sports marketing. In one particularly compelling session, we learned how the San Francisco 49ers, the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers dealt with unforeseen complications when the pandemic brought their seasons to a screeching halt. Marketers from these teams explained how they kept fans engaged and supported throughout a difficult year. 

Watch: One team held simulated games, covering them just as they would real games.

Also from the Summit today:

  • During today’s summit, Danone unveiled its latest sports-oriented partnership: a three-year tie-up with FC Barcelona that will exclusively cater to Americans. Danone USA’s Manos Spanos said partnering with athletes helps bring its message about health and food to life.

Register for Day 3 of the Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit to learn about Sports for Social Good, when we hear from athletes, leagues and brands who have come together in the fight against injustices and showcase resilience in response to Covid-19.

Conan O’Brien’s Late-Night TBS Show Will End After 11 Years

After 10 seasons, Conan’s TBS series will be drawing to a close in June 2021. But fans need not fear: O’Brien is heading over to HBO Max with a new variety weekly series, and his travel specials Conan Without Borders will continue on TBS. Nonetheless, it’s the end of an era for linear late night, where O’Brien has appeared for almost 30 years.

“A monumental achievement”: Conan O’Brien has made himself a TV icon.

Airbnb’s IPO Filing Proves How Little It Needs to Advertise

Airbnb’s IPO prospectus, filed Monday, shows that the company turned a profit in Q3, and 91% of its online traffic comes from brand-owned or unpaid channels, a significant boost compared to 2019. It also has room to grow, with an estimated market worth of $1.5 trillion. Plus, as Adweek pointed out back in May, there’s further growth potential for the segment of Airbnb guests who stayed in rentals for 28 days or longer—which could be worth up to $162 billion and represented 24% of its customers so far in 2020, up from 14% in 2019.


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