Morning Brew - ☕ The real deal

Product placements, the old-fashioned way.
May 29, 2024

Marketing Brew


It’s Wednesday. If there are still leftover hot dogs in your fridge, you’d better eat them soon.

In today’s edition:

—Katie Hicks, Alyssa Meyers, Ryan Barwick



a Subway product placement in the film To All the Boys I've Loved Before To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before/Netflix via Product Placement Blog

In a world where ads can be superimposed onto Hollywood content, some companies are opting to stick to the old-fashioned route.

Virtual product placements, where ads are inserted into shows, movies, and social media content after filming, are a hot topic of discussion as AI companies emerge with options to add custom products and signage to everything from TikTok and YouTube videos to podcasts.

But even as virtual placements start to creep into Hollywood productions and make it even easier to put ads just about everywhere, some executives in marketing and production told us they’re still banking on the sometimes higher-effort option of manual product integrations.

Back to basics: Proponents of old-school product placements include Matt Kaplan, CEO of the production company Ace Entertainment, which has produced films like Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Harley Block, CEO and co-founder of Gen Z consultancy IF7. Together, the two work on what Block calls “deep integrations,” which integrate products and brands into the story rather than just placing them in certain shots.

“It starts with the creative first,” Kaplan said. “We work on the scripts, we build out [the characters’] backstory…then we’re going out to a couple of brands that could fit the needs of the film.”

Continue reading here.—KH



Streaming should always be this easy


Tired of paying the big bucks for ads that never reach the right audience?

Perk up and join in-the-know marketers who are moving to Tubi—the free streaming service with 75m users and counting. That’s more people than pickleball players in the US. Interested in tapping into this audience? Partner with Tubi to reach 1 in 4 US households. Talk about an ace.

With Tubi, you’ll align with high-quality content that’s completely free for TV and movie lovers everywhere. You’ll also reach a dedicated, diverse, and loyal fan base.

They’ve got fans in high places, too. Like Nielsen, where Tubi is currently sitting at 1.6% on Nielsen’s Gauge—and that’s just as of March.

Wake up and start streaming.


Wheelin’ and dealin’

Washington Wizards v. Miami Heat game 2024 Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The most sponsored teams in the NBA did not necessarily have the most successful regular seasons.

The Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors, who both finished the regular season toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, had the highest number of sponsorship deals, according to a new report from SponsorUnited. The team with the third-most sponsors, the New Orleans Pelicans, finished in the middle of the Western Conference.

Of the four teams currently playing in the conference finals, only two made the top 10 in terms of total number of sponsorships, according to the report, which is based on data pulled from SponsorUnited’s platform from April 2023 to April 2024.

As the league evolves, and interest in both men’s and women’s basketball grows, brands across categories may find success working with NBA teams regardless of their conference ranking and players from rookies to veterans.

Read more here.—AM




Jen Wong Jen Wong

Everything is an advertising business, even Reddit. According to the company’s S-1, 98% of its revenue comes from advertisements, and while the company was founded in 2005, it wasn’t until 2018 that it says it “meaningfully” invested in its ads business.

It was around that time that Jen Wong joined the company as chief operating officer, overseeing Reddit’s business strategy, including its ads business.

Marketing Brew sat down with Wong to talk about her vision for advertising on Reddit, as well as the platform’s new shoppable ad inventory.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

In 2018, shortly after you were hired, you told Digiday that ads would be a big business for Reddit. How has your strategy evolved since then?

We have always been a community platform. Six years ago, the word “community” was not quite the buzzword it is today. It took some time to establish what community is, even though we’ve been doing it for 19 years...Social [media] is transacted based on demographic profiles. And we’re not that. It took a while for us to establish [that] our proposition is about being the best in context and interests.

Some media buyers have told us that Reddit is a nice-to-have and not a need-to-have. What are your goals for the ads business?

Well, we are going to be a need-to-have, and I would argue we are a need-to-have because we already have users and people and customers that you can’t find anywhere else. Our goal is, obviously, to be a must-buy for thousands of advertisers…We cover every topic on the planet. There’s no reason why you can’t be an advertiser on Reddit.

Read more here.—RB



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French Press Morning Brew

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

Dashboard: Read up on TikTok’s new management platform called TikTok Studio, which is designed to help creators track uploads and analytics.

Podcast: How search advertisers got their groove back, thanks to generative AI.

Explainer: What the heck does “federate” mean, and why are publishers investing in it? Digiday has the answers.

Free flicks: Partner with Tubi, the fan-fave free streaming service, and reach 75m+ users. Tubi offers high-quality content to their very loyal fan base with absolutely no subscription required. Join them here.*

*A message from our sponsor.


Stat: 170 million. That’s the estimated number of ad-supported streaming subscriptions in the US since the debut of Amazon’s ad-supported Prime Video tier earlier this year, up from around 93 million at the end of 2023, according to industry analyst Brian Wieser and Antenna data cited by the New York Times.

Quote: “Now we go and find these things, and they’re like treasure.”—Charles Coristine, CEO of the snack-food brand LesserEvil, to Retail Brew about the machines the brand uses to make its organic popcorn

Read: A journalist used reverse image search to demonstrate the complexity of retailers and third-party sellers, and explain why every retailer seems to be selling the same lamp.

Another read: Or look, actually: A photo essay of counterfeit luxury fashion in Southeast Asia (The Guardian)


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