Morning Brew - ☕ Bulk impressions

Inside Costco’s retail media plans.
June 10, 2024

Marketing Brew


It’s Monday. The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department struck a deal in early June that paves the way for them to proceed with antitrust investigations into Microsoft, Nvidia, and OpenAI. Will this be bigger news than OpenAI’s Scarlett Johansson voice-clone controversy? We’ll let you, dear reader, decide.

In today’s edition:

—Ryan Barwick, Alyssa Meyers, Jasmine Sheena


Advertising in bulk

Costco earnings Cris CantóN/Getty Images

Advertisers could soon be targeting hot-dog-combo enthusiasts who buy toilet paper by the truckload.

Costco is building out an ad network built on its trove of loyalty membership data, using its 74.5 million household members’ shopping habits and past purchases to power targeted advertising on and off its website.

The wholesale retailer is still testing such capabilities, and it’s fielding offers from potential ad-tech vendors, but the move signals that the third-largest retailer in the US could become a formidable player in the already deeply fragmented retail media space, which is estimated to reach $166 billion by 2025, and responsible for 20% of all digital media spend this year, according to eMarketer.

“Not only will we help you reach a Costco member, we will help you reach the right members in the right context based on past behavior,” Mark Williamson, AVP of retail media at Costco, told Marketing Brew.

Williamson, who previously held roles at Sam’s Club and Ahold Delhaize, joined Costco in September to fill a newly created retail media position, and is spearheading the push. The company is currently doing beta tests using its audience data to target users on other websites, he said, and it will eventually test targeting on its own site.

Because of the company’s membership cards, which are, unlike other major retailers, required to shop, Costco can tie individual purchases to shoppers’ households, both online and on Costco’s e-commerce site, Williamson said. This could theoretically help advertisers reach potential customers, and, if shoppers make a purchase, tell them whether they saw an ad for the product beforehand.

Continue reading here.—RB



Strength in numbers


We know marketers are driven by digits. So here are a few from Tubi we thought you’d find interesting:

  • Tubi has over 75m active users.
  • As of March 2024, it sits at 1.6% on The Gauge™ from Nielson.
  • It reaches one in four US TV households, per VideoAmp.

Those numbers are dripping with potential. Since Tubi is one of the few free streaming sites, it’s no wonder it has such a broad reach.

And JSYK, Tubi’s fans go hard. They love the platform’s library of content and accessibility, both of which support its mission to give everyone access to the world’s stories.

Find out what Tubi can do for your brand.


In the lead

Boston Celtics v. Dallas Mavericks 2024 Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

Much like this year’s conference finals, the NBA Finals are proving to be a blowout.

At least on the advertising side, that is: On Thursday, Disney sold out of inventory for Games 1 and 2 of the series between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics, according to Jim Minnich, SVP of revenue and yield management at Disney Advertising. Game 3, meanwhile, was expected to sell out before the end of the day Thursday, when Game 1 tipped off, with limited availability in Games 4 and 5, Minnich said.

“The league in general had emerging stars across many, many markets,” Minnich told Marketing Brew. “We believe that for this year, this was the best possible match that we could have gotten. We believe the series will go long. All of those elements, I think, support the advertiser demand.”

With 95 total brands—up 7% year over year—in almost 40 categories, new and returning advertisers have fueled the early-game sellouts from last year’s upfront into the scatter market, Minnich said.

Legacy players: Tech and financial services are popular ad categories in the finals, which is par for the course, according to Minnich.

  • Tech companies advertising in the finals include Adobe, Apple, Dell, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Samsung, and YouTube.
  • Financial services advertisers include American Express, Capital One, Charles Schwab, Chime, and Prudential Financial.

From the alcoholic-beverage category, advertisers include Anheuser-Busch, Bacardi, Diageo, Molson Coors, and Patrón. Automakers like Ford, General Motors, Genesis Motor, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Volkswagen will also have a significant presence.

Keep reading here.—AM



Raking it in

A left hand holding out a stack of money and the right hand pointing a remote control at a retro TV Amelia Kinsinger

Netflix’s big push into advertising is attracting big investment.

The streaming platform, along with rivals like Disney+ and social platforms like TikTok, have attracted considerably more media ad spend in Q1 compared to a year ago, according to market intelligence firm Guideline, which measures ad agency media investment using data from Standard Media Index.

The growth at Netflix and other streamers, which Guideline measured in the fiscal quarter ahead of this year’s upfronts, came amid a push to build out advertising across several platforms, including on Prime Video, and as streaming platforms raise prices on ad-free viewing and crack down on password sharing, which could stand to help their ad-supported tiers.

Crunch the numbers: Disney+ saw the most growth in the timeframe, clocking a 210% YoY jump in gross media ad spend in the US in Q1, followed by Netflix with 135%, according to data Guideline pulled for Marketing Brew. TikTok clocked in at 100% growth, and Amazon Ads and Fire TV saw an 84% surge in online video ad spend growth, while advertisers spent 14% more on Amazon’s OTT ads.

Other platforms grew more modestly: Gross media ad spend for YouTube Select and YouTube TV’s online video ads grew 38% YoYin Q1, while OTT spend grew 10%, Guideline found. Peacock, meanwhile, saw a 12% bump in spend.

Some platforms had a tougher time wooing advertisers: Hulu and Roku both saw 6% YoY declines in gross media ad spend in Q1, according to Guideline. Overall, total digital video gross media ad spend in Q1 grew 20% YoY.

Read more here.—JS




Your data-backed growth guide. Email and SMS are two marketing tools you don’t wanna underestimate. Need some growth tips? Klaviyo analyzed a whopping 143k brands to rack up data-backed best practices, checklists of essential actions, and case studies to serve as inspo and direction. Tap in based on your marketing focus + business size.


Swim with style

Morning Brew Event

Join us in New York on June 25 for an insightful session with Melanie Travis, founder and CEO at Andie, as we explore the unique dynamics of influencer marketing versus traditional celebrity endorsements. Discover how niche audiences and authenticity are shaping digital marketing landscapes. Learn from industry leaders and their influencer partners about striking the perfect balance between brand authenticity and influencer creativity. Grab your ticket now!


French Press Morning Brew

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

Listen up: A crash course on creating a social listening strategy.

Q&A: Jason Manningham, the CEO of the data firm Blockgraph, weighed in on the state of TV measurement and multiple currencies.

Shoot ’em a note: Examples of re-engagement emails designed to bring customers back into the fold.

Give us your word: Take this short survey to help us keep our content A1, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $250 AmEx gift card.*

*A message from our sponsor.


football play illustrations on billboards on buildings Francis Scialabba

Executive moves across the industry.

  • Pepsi CMO Todd Kaplan, who spearheaded the soft-drink’s rebrand last year, is stepping down.
  • Fanatics, a sports-merchandising company, hired Gucci executive Selena Kalvaria as the CMO of its betting and gaming division.
  • Shoe retailer DSW has a new CMO: Sarah Crockett, formerly global CMO of Nature’s Sunshine Products.
  • X’s head of business operations, Joe Benarroch, a former NBCUniversal executive and close adviser to X CEO Linda Yaccarino, is leaving the company, per the WSJ.


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