Morning Brew - ☕ Consider us influenced

Our best social marketing stories.
March 22, 2024

Marketing Brew


It’s Friday. From the great Pop-Tart sacrifice to the sleepy girl mocktail, this year has already been a memorable one for viral marketing moments—so we wrapped up some of our favorite social and influencer stories from the quarter for you in a special send. You’re welcome.

In today’s edition:

—Katie Hicks, Alyssa Meyers


Looking a gift horse in the mouth

TikTok creator @olivialmarcus holding a lipstick-shaped PR package from MAC cosmetics, and TikTok creator @darcymcqueenyyy sitting in front of dozens of packages she said were from brands. Screenshots via @olivialmarcus/TikTok, @darcymcqueenyyy/TikTok

When creator Olivia Marcus was surprised with a giant, lipstick-shaped PR package from MAC Cosmetics filled with confetti and 19 lipsticks, her reaction was not one of delight.

Instead of posting what the makeup brand may have hoped would be a fun unboxing video, Marcus instead posted about how “wasteful and gluttonous” unprompted influencer gifting can be, along with the annoyances of “glitter bombing.” (MAC did not respond to Marketing Brew’s requests for comment; Marcus declined to comment.)

Conversations around influencer gifting and wastefulness have been ongoing for years, but they have perhaps found even greater resonance at a time when people are being told to eat cereal for dinner and when “winter heat waves” are happening. Brands are also concerned about the costs and waste from sending products that don’t get posted or resonate with creators, Holly Jackson, global professional services director of influencer strategy and measurement at influencer marketing platform Traackr, said.

“It’s almost like the creators and the brands are questioning the strategy around product seeding and gifting that has been in play for years now…but from different angles,” she told Marketing Brew.

Continue reading here.—KH

PS: One brand we recently spoke to, Nuuly, found success reaching out to an influencer first, leading to a partnership with creator Sabrina Breyer.



A new age of personalization


We know it, you know it: Marketers have been trying to make personalization a real thing for years. But the tech wasn’t quite there—at least not enough to power true 1:1 personalization.

But the future is here. Attentive launched AI Journeys and AI Pro, two tools that can help you create hyper-personalized experiences that’ll level up your marketing.

AI Journeys automatically tailors every aspect of your messages for you in real time based on subscriber behavior, so no two are the same. Huge stuff.

And AI Pro dives deep into customer interactions to automatically optimize audience targeting, message tone, and send time, helping you max out revenue while increasing your ROI.

Wanna learn more? Register for Beyond the Message, the only virtual event dedicated to SMS and email marketing.


Bad but good

Bad typography and 90s computer generated word art graphic ironically that says "Graphic design is my passion". Alyssa Nassner

Remember the “graphic design is my passion” meme? It’s been nearly a decade since the original image, featuring a red Papyrus font and a clip-art image of a frog, first started circulating as a tongue-in-cheek way to respond to less-inspired design choices.

Now, it seems to be serving as a source of marketing inspiration:

Aubrey Burrough, a social media strategist at Dentsu Creative who works on Nutter Butter, said it’s now “becoming more commonplace for brands to start experimenting” with the form. Blake Pleasant, an art director and content creator at Dentsu Creative who has worked on social posts for the same account, considers the rise of the deep-fried brand post as a natural reaction to the ultra-polished looks that once dominated the internet.

“We see it as almost like a response to the overly curated Instagram aesthetic,” Pleasant told us. “We just feel like perfect curation feels fake, so we’ve moved beyond that, culturally, as Nutter Butter.”

Low-effort look, high-effort reward: Many of Nutter Butter’s social posts, which are geared toward Gen Z, can appear low-effort or inexplicable on their own, but they require more work than meets the eye. One post, which Pleasant described as a “cursed dollhouse” and which recently performed well on Instagram and TikTok, took him a week to create.

The creative effort has paid off in engagement and loyalty, they said. According to Burrough, Nutter Butter has more than doubled its Instagram followers in the last year and curated what she described as a cult-like following complete with inside jokes about everything from a vintage Nutter Butter ad to a superfan named Aidan.

“It’s just become this very absurd, strange community who is leaning into this big inside joke that doesn’t really make any sense,” Burrough said.

Keep reading here.—KH

Oh, and be sure to read our story on how Josh Wines returned to Instagram—and got a little weird—to capitalize on a viral meme.



Was it worth it?

Money emerging from a television with a football sitting on top Francis Scialabba

Is anyone even watching the Super Bowl anymore? This year’s telecast was the most-watched in history, averaging more than 123.4 million viewers across all platforms, up about 7% from last year’s record—reason enough for some brands to pay the $6.5 million–$7 million required for 30 seconds of ad time in last weekend’s game.

Still, the Big Game isn’t getting any cheaper, and for other advertisers, it’s just not worth it.

“The Super Bowl decision by a marketer is a fraught decision,” Kevin Krim, CEO of the measurement company EDO, told Marketing Brew in January. “You’re not just spending seven-ish million dollars for 30 seconds…You’re often spending well over $10 million or more to produce the 30-second spot all in.”

So how do marketing execs decide and demonstrate that investing all those millions in a Super Bowl ad is a sound choice? We spoke to several about why they opted to jump in this year.

We also spoke to Melanie Vidal, global brand manager for CeraVe at L’Oréal, about that viral campaign featuring Michael Cera, and why they opted to go all in on the big game.

“It’s the biggest, most anticipated, and most disruptive advertising stage in the world, and we felt like we were at that level of audience and engagement that would make us legitimate to get to that stage because we already have 1.4 million TikTok followers, on #CeraVe we have 9 billion views,” Vidal told us. “Where could we meet an even wider audience in a disruptive way? It felt like the Super Bowl was the perfect rendezvous for that.”—AM, KH

Find all of Marketing Brew’s Super Bowl coverage here.




AI powered marketing = monetized marketing. Ready to boost rev and improve ROI? Attentive just dropped AI Journeys and AI Pro, two tools built to help you level up. In fact, companies like Forever 21 and Reebok are already unlocking incredible results—like 115% more revenue. Learn more by registering for Attentive’s game-changing virtual event.


French press Morning Brew

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

The cost of influencing: Here’s a roundup of average influencer marketing costs, plus factors that may affect prices.

Back to basics: Tips on writing a killer social media marketing strategy.

Feeling Meta: Facebook ad image sizes, all in one place.

AI evolution: Attentive just changed the game with two new AI tools that can help you hyper-personalize your marketing and crush the numbers. Want the scoop? Attend their seriously awesome virtual event.*

*A message from our sponsor.


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