01: The Olympics, Gen Z, and TikTok

The necessity to engage Gen Z in the Olympics is beginning to show, as signaled by the addition of contemporary sports such as skateboarding and surfing. The brand hopes to bring new life to the games by speaking Gen Z’s language. With pressure to drive traffic to Peacock, NBCUniversal is leveraging its social media partnerships with SnapchatTwitch, and Twitter to advertise and appeal to younger generations.

However, no one anticipated Olympic content making waves on TikTok. Vox calls the phenomena “one of the best parts of the Games." Recent trends include: users poking fun at team uniforms, pretending wrongful disqualification from events (12), and joking about how difficult it is to watch recaps.

Athletes on Tiktok have become influencers in their own right. USA Rugby’s Ilona Maher saw her fastest growth reaching 160,000 followers and 4.3 million likes in 24 hours, and rower Kendall Chase has taken to the platform to support and inspire LGBTQ+ athletes and paralympic hopefuls.

Takeaway: Secondary screens can't be ignored! Everyone has the opportunity to engage in the most prominent sports competition in the world via digital platforms that are adding a fun interactive layer to this summer's games. Brands—take note of emerging social stars rising to new heights this summer.

Read On: AdWeek, AdAge, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, NY Times

02: Social Influence + Cannabis Products

After last year’s massive 562% growth, the CBD industry is still expected to grow by 15% in 2021. As we’ve seen through our gifting campaigns with CBD brands, the demand for innovative advertising approaches to promote CBD products is on many CBD marketer’s minds.

The stigma behind cannabinoid product usage has come under fire after Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension from The Olympics. More than 595,000 people rallied their support for Richardson on the “Let Sha’Carri Run” petition. Signers note the hypocrisy of the media and Olympic Committee championing some for cannabinoid usage and disgracing others.

Martha Stewart CBD has recently become the first celebrity-endorsed CBD brand to enter the top 20 sellers, primarily due to increased brand awareness in an emerging space, her appeal to older consumers, and an aggressive entrance into brick and mortar stores (previously being solely direct-to-consumer).

Takeaway: Once again, prominent celebrity and influencer voices are impacting generationally fixed preconceptions. Dissenting voices from the status quo can find visibility as trusted voices, given these new platforms. Look for evolutions in FDA regulations that will open the influencer channel to more CBD marketers and lead to more influencers launching boutique labels.

Read On: NY Post, AdWeek, AdAge, Yahoo Finance

03: Purpose Driven Campaign Round-Up

With 71% of consumers choosing purpose-driven companies over competitors when product cost is equal, companies continue to strive to use their voices for meaningful change while adapting products to meet consumer preferences.

From Megan Thee Stallion teaching “hot girls” about investing to Dick’s Sporting Goods supporting women athletes and Dove’s Crown Act, here are our favorite purpose-driven campaigns of the month:

- Do Dogs Run on Dunkin'? The Chain Is Expanding its Charitable Partnership With Bark

- Starbucks Highlights Commitment to Feeding Local Communities

- HP and Hearst’s Seventeen Partner to Share the Story of an Inspiring Girl Coder

- Entreprenista and Shopify Join Forces to Help Women Entrepreneurs Grow Their E-commerce Businesses

- Megan Thee Stallion and Cash App Educates Fans About Stocks

- Dick's Sporting Goods Aims to Empower Women Athletes Across America With Olympic Tie-In Ad


Takeaway: Campaigns intended to make change continue to gain traction and receive positive results when executed with intention and backed by measurable contributions. These marketing efforts resonate with creators, audiences, and brands, making them some of the most memorable, as well as socially significant!

04: Additional Stories We're Following

Snapchat’s Bounceback:

- Snapchat Posts Strong Results in Q2, Including a Record Increase in Revenue

Snap Stock Soars 13% On Blowout Quarter; Daily Active Users Hit 293 Million

Content Suppression and Auditing:

- As Twitter kicks off its brand safety audit with the MRC, Facebook’s finally starts

- TikTok Gains TAG Brand Safety Certification Worldwide, Providing More Assurance for Advertisers

- Twitter, Facebook Take First Step to Give Marketers an Audit of Brand Safety

- Twitter Adds Ability to Designate Who Can Reply to Tweets in Mid-Conversation

- Instagram Users Worry a New Sensitivity Filter is Censoring Their Work

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