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The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, Jan. 20-24

Sarah Steimer

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We’re saying goodbye to a nutty legend this week and applauding Kotex for finally ditching its blue demonstration liquid

RIP Mr. Peanut

Planters has, quite literally, gone in for the kill. The snack brand released an ad Tuesday showing Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself to save actors Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes after getting into a Nutmobile accident. “It’s with heavy hearts that we confirm Mr. Peanut has passed away at 104 years old,” Samantha Hess, Planters brand manager at Kraft Heinz, said in a press release. She went on to say a funeral for the mascot will be aired during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. Planters has asked fans to share their favorite Mr. Peanut memory on social media using the hashtag #RIPeanut, and those who spot the Nutmobile prior to game day can receive a commemorative pin celebrating Mr. Peanut’s life, the news release said.

Read more: Adweek

Netflix Changes its Watch Metrics

Netflix missed its forecast for U.S. subscriber growth in the fourth quarter, but surpassed its expectations for overseas growth. It also stopped offering numbers on households that viewed 70% or more of a title, choosing instead to provide the number of households that started watching a show or movie and remained with it for at least two minutes. Netflix said it opted for the new methodology because the 70% metric favored shorter-form content. But the new two-minute metric also boosts its numbers by 35%. The company said it doesn’t doesn’t want to introduce an ad-supported version because CEO Reed Hastings said, “There’s not easy money there.”

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

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Britain Demands Privacy Protection for Children

New rules unveiled in Britain earlier this week require companies to substantially change how they treat collected data mined from minors. Known as the Age-Appropriate Design Code, these regulations are specifically geared toward services heavily used by children under 18, which includes gaming apps, connected devices and social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. While these protections are an attempt to shield children from sexual predators, in the chance their data leaks, many tech companies oppose these new rules, arguing that the new landscape would be particularly harsh on start-ups aimed at children. Ultimately, Britain hopes to offer the same sorts of protections to minors as they would experience in the analog world, outside of digital.

Read more: The New York Times

Plans for Global Satellite Internet Emerge After Much Secrecy

Skylo Technologies, a startup out of Silicon Valley, unveiled a device earlier this week that  can affordably connect all users to the internet via a global satellite network, regardless of location. The device, offered at $100 and roughly the size of a personal pizza, can be mounted to boats, trucks and other vehicles traveling through remote areas of the world, enabling the tracking of cargo or the sending of important weather updates. The internet itself is quite affordable, with plans starting at only one dollar. Should the technology pick up steam, marketers would gain the ability to reach consumers that would otherwise have remained inaccessible.

Read more: Bloomberg

Kotex Campaign Stops Using Blue Fluid

Kotex introduced a new ad campaign that ditches the antiseptic-blue liquid for a realistic-looking red fluid to represent menstrual blood. The move follows efforts to destigmatize women’s health and grooming needs. Although some startups have used red liquid in their advertising, and Procter & Gamble used a pink fluid in Facebook ads for its Always maxi pads this month, The Wall Street Journal reports that Kotex may be the first major brand to show blood-red fluid on its products in marketing. “Blood is blood. This is something that every woman has experienced, and there is nothing to hide,” said Sarah Paulsen, creative and design director for Kimberly-Clark’s North American feminine-care brands.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

Sarah Steimer is managing editor of Marketing News. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.