Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists

  • Grimace McDonald's
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    Courtesy of McDonald's USA
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    How the best marketing campaigns of 2023 mastered pop culture nostalgia

    Brands faced a preponderance of global challenges this year and opted for a familiar playbook as the industry arrives at a crossroads.

    Chris Kelly, Sara Karlovitch and Jessica Deyo • Nov. 29, 2023
  • A customer walks by a Pride Month merchandise display at a Target store on May 31, 2023 in San Francisco,
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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Brand backlash: Are 2023’s epic marketing fails part of a bigger problem?

    High-profile controversies have sent a chilling effect across an industry facing down another contentious election year and crusades against “wokeness.”

    Peter Adams • Nov. 28, 2023
  • Sam's Club holiday campaign
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    Courtesy of Sam's Club
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    Sleigh the season: Will caution stifle the holidays or can marketers win?

    Consumer spending is expected to surpass pre-pandemic figures, but brands are proceeding carefully as uncertainty looms.

    Jessica Deyo • Nov. 16, 2023
  • A person holding a Stanley Quencher tumbler.
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    Permission granted by Stanley
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    The rise of the Stanley tumbler: How a 110-year-old brand achieved viral success

    Historically marketed to workmen and outdoorsmen, the brand unlocked the power of women selling to women with the help of a group of influencers.

    Caroline Jansen • Nov. 14, 2023
  • Shopper carries purchases
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    Sean Gallup / Staff via Getty Images
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    Retail media’s standardization race is heating up — what’s at stake?

    Calls for industry unity are growing as marketers stamp their feet about its fragmentary state, but the push for shared best practices faces an uphill battle.

    Peter Adams • Aug. 17, 2023
  • American Eagle Back to School 2023 Campaign featuring Maddie & Kenzie Ziegler.
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    Courtesy of American Eagle
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    Back-to-school 2023: Can marketing transcend the turbulence?

    Top marketers from American Eagle and Amazon weigh in on strategy as the season’s spending forecast paints a gloomy picture.

    Jessica Deyo • Aug. 8, 2023
  • Actor Ben Affleck, wearing a blue plaid shirt and dark coat, stands in front of a Dunkin' sipping a coffee.
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    Permission granted by Dunkin'
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    6 campaigns that broke through the creative rut of H1 2023

    Though tightened advertiser budgets have spurred a sense of dullness, bets on buzzy tech, experiential displays and major refreshes seized the moment.

    Peter Adams and Jessica Deyo • July 11, 2023
  • City of Miami police officers keep an eye on protesters outside of a Target store on June 01, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
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    Joe Raedle/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Culture wars rage on, forcing marketers to decide whether to reevaluate or retrench

    The dual forces of the backlash to inclusive marketing and the rapid rise of generative AI could lead marketers to reconsider the role of brands and how to advertise in H2 and beyond.

    Chris Kelly and Shaun Lucas • July 11, 2023
  • Blank paste-up posters on a wall.
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    Shaun Lucas/Marketing Dive
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    Marketing in 2023: H1 by the numbers

    Measurement uncertainty, budget changes and platform shifts were top of mind.

    Jasmine Ye Han • July 11, 2023
  • A store display shows a person looking off to the side and tossing their hair, and the words "take pride."
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    Daphne Howland/Marketing Dive
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    How Target went from loud and proud — to silent

    The retailer remains quiet after pulling some Pride merchandise due to safety concerns. LGBTQ+ groups and marketers say that sends the wrong message.

    Daphne Howland • June 7, 2023
  • Maybelline's first-ever CGI avatar, May, which the brand is launching alongside its Falsies Surreal Mascara.
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    Courtesy of Maybelline
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    How legacy beauty brands are aging down to reach Gen Z

    Ever-changing trends and flashy brands like E.l.f. Cosmetics are challenging giants like Estée Lauder and L'Oréal to draw from a new playbook.

    Jessica Deyo • June 2, 2023
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    Retrieved from Unsplash on July 22, 2021
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    Mythbusting the JIC, weaponizing the MRC: What’s up with measurement?

    Execs from a new industry consortium focused on persistent measurement issues have been touting their rapid progress and Nielsen's potential role.

    Chris Kelly • May 15, 2023
  • A logo of Bazooka gum is overlaid on a comic strip.
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    Photo illustration: Bazooka Candy Brands; Industry Dive

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    How Bazooka Gum uses nostalgia to drive sweet success

    More than 75 years after the iconic pink bubble gum first launched, it’s still popular for the flavor, texture and comics that made it famous — and that isn't likely to change.

    Megan Poinski • April 19, 2023
  • Metaverse city concept
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    Kinwun via Getty Images
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    Will metaverse marketing survive the current tech rout?

    Brands remain active despite a lot of doomsaying, though experts agree they must prioritize compliance as platforms like Roblox tighten their policies.

    Peter Adams • April 5, 2023
  • Serena Williams in Rémy Martin's “Inch by Inch” campaign
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    Courtesy of Rémy Martin
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    A new era for alcohol advertising gets a slow start

    AB InBev ended its 33-year hold on alcohol advertising for Super Bowl LVII, inviting new entrants like Crown Royal and Rémy Martin to capitalize on the hype.

    Sara Karlovitch • Feb. 17, 2023
  • Maya Rudolph in  M&M's Super Bowl ad
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    Retrieved from M&M's on February 13, 2023
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    ‘Safe, lazy, boring’: How Super Bowl LVII ads mostly fumbled

    Celebrity fatigue was prevalent in a night overly reliant on famous faces doing goofy humor, while a handful of emotionally driven spots hit the mark.

    Peter Adams and Chris Kelly • Feb. 13, 2023
  • A hand holds up a remote in front of a television screen.
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    RainStar via Getty Images
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    Has TV ad measurement’s day of reckoning finally arrived?

    Major industry players have come together to push for alternative currencies, but Nielsen has proven resilient, even amid challenges to its monopoly.

    Chris Kelly • Jan. 30, 2023
  • Person walks past grocery store
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    Spencer Platt / Staff via Getty Images
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    9 marketing trends to watch as 2023 tests transformation bets

    Pivots to ad-supported streaming, alternative measurement currencies and new social platforms all face challenges as consumers simplify their choices. 

    Peter Adams, Jessica Deyo and Sara Karlovitch • Jan. 18, 2023
  • Casey's
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    Permission granted by Casey's General Stores
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    C-store chains are betting on retail media in 2023. But at what cost?

    On the heels of 7-Eleven announcing its first venture into the space, retail media promises to bring new growth and opportunities — as well as challenges — for c-stores.

    Brett Dworski • Jan. 13, 2023
  • Old Spice's deepfake ad starring Dolph Lundgren
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    Retrieved from Old Spice on February 24, 2022
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    9 campaigns that boosted the mood in 2022

    Amid persistent economic woes, an ongoing war and a series of controversies, efforts by McDonald’s, Old Spice and Chipotle found a way to cut through the noise.

    Peter Adams, Jessica Deyo and Sara Karlovitch • Dec. 12, 2022
  • 7-Eleven
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    Retrieved from 7-Eleven media kit.
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    Behind the making of 7-Eleven’s retail media network — and what c-store operators can learn from it

    The chain’s Gulp Media is the first of what will likely be many retail media enterprises in the industry as companies wrestle with higher costs and an evolving digital landscape.

    Brett Dworski • Nov. 28, 2022
  • A person on a video call/filming/taking photos of a family toasting for a holiday dinner at home.
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    FG Trade via Getty Images
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    Gift giving meets revenge living: Why experiences are so important this holiday season

    Consumer spending this year could meet last year’s totals, but with fewer gifts expected to be given, landing the sale just got harder.

    Jessica Deyo • Nov. 14, 2022
  • A person looking at product listings on a computer.
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    AndreyPopov via Getty Images
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    As retailers sell more ads, marketers’ frustrations and fears grow

    Old tensions with CPGs resurface amid whispers that retail media is unprofitable and increasingly a cost of doing business with merchants.

    Peter Adams • Nov. 8, 2022
  • A person stands in front of a camera recording themselves
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    Phynart Studio via Getty Images
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    How an empowered creator economy is challenging marketers

    Likes no longer equal success, authenticity sells and TikTok’s highest paid contributors just launched their own enterprise, leaving marketers on a continuous pivoting loop.

    Jessica Deyo • Sept. 20, 2022
  • Molson Coors, beer, Coors Light, packaging
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    Courtesy of Molson Coors
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    Cold beer, hot planet: How two very different beer brands respond to climate change

    Coors Light and Corona have become more environmentally friendly in ways that remain true to each brand's positioning.

    Sara Karlovitch • Sept. 13, 2022