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The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, Dec. 2-6

The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, Dec. 2-6

Marketing News Staff

weekly roundup image, orange background

This week’s roundup features the notable departures of Google’s founders, McDonald’s testing the chicken sandwich waters, a true-blue color winner and the Peloton ad that cycled out of control

Google Founders Step Down from Executive Roles

Google sign

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google more than two decades ago, are stepping down from their executive roles at Alphabet. The two will remain directors on Alphabet’s board and the company’s two largest individual shareholders, as well as retain a majority of the company’s voting shares. Google CEO Sundar Pichai will become the chief of both Google and Alphabet.

Read more: The New York Times

McDonald’s Joins the Race for the Best Fried Chicken Sandwich

McDonald’s is testing a new crispy chicken sandwich, featuring a fried chicken filet topped with butter and pickles on a potato roll (a deluxe version is also being tested with tomatoes, lettuce and mayo). The chain already serves a McChicken and has tested other chicken sandwiches, but the latest version will compete more directly with Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. The new sandwiches are only being tested in Houston and Knoxville, Tenn.

Read more: CNN


Reactions to Peloton’s Holiday Ad Snowball

Peloton released a 30-second holiday ad about a month ago in which a man gifts a woman one of the brand’s bikes. She then documents her workout journey and eventually shares it with her male partner. Social media exploded with negative hot takes on the ad (including a popular spoof video on Twitter), with some calling it sexist. The company responded that it was “disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial,” but continued by noting the support it received from fans.

Read more: The New York Times

Instagram Launches Reels to Compete with TikTok

It’s a dance-off! Instagram has launched a new video-music remix feature to go toe to toe with Chinese social media juggernaut TikTok and its 1.5 billion monthly users. Limited to Brazil, where it’s called Cenas, Reels lets users choose from Facebook’s enormous music catalog for their video content, or borrow audio from other video sources. With 500 million Instagram users already opening the Stories and Explore features each month, Reels opens up new potential for viral video content marketing.

Read more: TechCrunch

A Benchmark Achievement for Self-Driving Taxis

Waymo, a taxi service owned by Alphabet Inc., has logged more than 100,000 trips since launching in the town of Chandler, Arizona one year ago—a momentous achievement considering Waymo cars are self-driving. Many of these trips have included a “safety driver” who can take control of the car should the AI encounter an issue, but since last summer, the company has offered the full-service experience to a few hundred commuters. The advancement in self-driving technology promises an entirely new domain for marketers to explore, however at this point the technology hasn’t been fully adopted by the largest auto manufacturers including General Motors and Ford Motor Co., although the companies are confident they will rise to meet the challenge.

Read more: Bloomberg

Pantone Announces 2020 to Be Its (Classic) Blue Period

Pantone named Classic Blue its 2020 color of the year. The brand pointed to the state of the world as its inspiration. “We’re living in this time now where things seem to be, around the world, a little bit, I don’t want to use the word unstable, but let’s just say a little shaky,” said Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “Nothing is absolutely certain from one moment to the next.” Classic Blue, the company says, provides a refuge, calling it “nonaggressive,” “easily relatable” and “honest.”

Read more: The New York Times

Google photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash