Introducing Adweek 50; More Americans Buy DTC: Monday’s First Things First

Plus, a holiday delivery man from the future?

Popeyes' head of North American marketing, Bruno Cardinali, picking out a piece of chicken with tongs
Bruno Cardinali joined Popeyes at its head of North American marketing in March.
David Williams for Adweek

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new 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.

Popeyes Is Eating Its Rivals’ Lunch

Staying ahead of the curve as a major company has never been easy. But for those who manage to do so, we’re honoring them with the Adweek 50 list. Topping the list is Bruno Cardinali, the Popeyes marketing chief who launched the chicken sandwich that started a cheeky social media war. We caught up with the Adweek 50 honoree about goals and lessons we learned from the chicken sandwich. Meet the other stellar media, marketing and tech execs on the Adweek 50 who helped make 2019 a standout year for their brands.

Read more: How Adweek 50 honoree Bruno Cardinali is leading the fried chicken charge.

Infographic: Is Direct-to-Consumer Brand Loyalty Increasing in America?

What are your favorite direct-to-consumer brands? If your list of favorites is growing, you’re not alone. According to research, the number of Americans buying direct-to-consumer will grow nearly 20% in the next 5 years. But as more brands enter the DTC space, the lines are starting to blur between what differentiates a DTC brand.

By the numbers: 22% of Americans will be heavy buyers of DTC brands.

A Holiday Delivery Man From the Future?

What the dickens? Holiday treats transcending time and space? That’s exactly what’s happening in Tesco holiday’s ad as the U.K.-based supermarket chain celebrates its 100th anniversary. The 90-second spot follows a delivery truck driver who finds himself hurtling through various decades of British history via a series of time warps, placating the shocked inhabitants of each era with holiday sweets along the way.

Watch it: A Tesco driver careens through history delivering groceries in holiday ad.

Jeff Adkins Succeeds Tonise Paul as CEO of Energy BBDO

Energy BBDO’s new CEO is a familiar face at the agency as Jeff Adkins is succeeding Tonise Paul as CEO. As Adkins takes on the role, Paul will be moving into a chairwoman role. While plans for this transition have been in the works for around a year, according to Paul, Adkins was long intended to be her successor. Adkins has spent over six years as managing director of Energy BBDO.

Read more: Energy BBDO veterans discuss the transition and how they’ve built a strong agency.

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

Ad of the Day: Gillette Celebrates Puberty With an Ode to Scruffy Teenage Mustaches

In a charming new spot for Gillette, Proximity Spain takes on what is arguably the most awkward and confusing time of life: puberty.

What are you thankful for in your professional life?

Ryan Ku, head of strategy and brand innovation, Eleven

As we close out this decade, I’m thankful that this industry that was formerly known as advertising still remains a place where brilliantly talented and amazingly misconfigured-for-polite-society human beings can still find a place to do great work and achieve great things.

The people. The crazy, talented, frustrating, intransigent, visionary, irrational, daring people that seem to find themselves inexplicably attracted to this business. And for all of you, I am thankful.

Rebecca Lynch, director of communications, EP+Co

A company that truly practices what they preach when it comes to a work/life blend. Juggling kids and a life in advertising is not easy – more often than not the industry gets a bad rap for endless hours and limited personal time. I’m incredibly thankful that I work for a company that doesn’t force me to make either my professional or personal more important than the other. Flexibility, trust and compassion allow me to have a career and a professional life that I love and am proud of, but not at the expense of my personal life and family.

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