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The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, March 9-13

The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, March 9-13

Marketing News Staff

weekly roundup image, orange background

Coronavirus has dominated the headlines, but we’ve had our eyes on other stories, too

Modell’s Sporting Goods Says Game Over

Modell's Sporting Goods store

After incurring debt from vendors and amid sluggish sales of sports apparel, Modell’s Sporting Goods has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, leaving the future of the chain in doubt. This news carries with it the closure of 141 stores across the country, displacing 3,600 employees. Part of the reason for this move, says president and CEO Mitchell Modell, is the declining brand power of previously top-tier teams like the New York Knicks and Jets. Some critics feel this sort of blame simply passes the buck and hides a fundamentally flawed business model having trouble keeping up with Amazon. While the future of the Modell’s brand is still uncertain, Modell himself remains optimistic.

Read more: The New York Times

KFC Wants Customers to Stop Lickin’ Fingers

photo of KFC's finger lickin' campaign poster on street

The famous KFC tagline that its chicken is “Finger Lickin’ Good” seems unfitting amid coronavirus fears, so the chicken chain is pulling its latest series of ads that feature customers savoring the final licking moment when finished eating. The campaign has been running for two weeks, but after the UK’s advertising standards association received more than 150 complaints, the time had come to pull the plug. The chain had previously gotten into some hot water for campaigns that were deemed in poor taste, like their “What the cluck?” campaign last year, but this latest incident is the first time that world events have dictated how KFC presents its brand.

Read more: The Drum

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The Beverage Market Soaks Up New Influencers

Influencers who snap photos of alcoholic beverages and post their own cocktail recipes are building followings on Instagram that rival some television shows. These influencers have embedded themselves deep in the beverage industry to learn the stories behind the biggest brands, which positions themselves to serve as strategy consultants and beverage photographers outside of curating their social media presence. The appeal of these influencers lies in microtargeting: Every follower of popular accounts has already proclaimed themselves a fan of spirits and alcohol, which means that liquor brands see strong ROI when compared to scattershot strategies to a mass market. It remains to be seen what will happen next in this influencer market, as the playing field has begun to crowd.

Read more: Forbes

Free Streaming Service Ventures Into Paid Advertising

Pluto TV—a free, ad-supported streaming TV platform—is banking on the fact that consumers are once again willing to watch ads during television shows if it means paying nothing for the content, like they would for live cable. The company is spreading the word by running its first advertising campaign this year, planning to spend $30 million to run commercials during late night talk shows like “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and “Conan.” Those ad buys are miniscule when compared to those purchased by paid services like Netflix, who spent $2.65 billion on marketing last year, but as subscription service fatigue sets in, Pluto TV is hoping to position itself as an alternative to spending money on yet another subscription for streaming TV.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus Hiatuses Provide Athletes Digital Marketing Opportunities

With all major sports effectively postponed or cancelled, many athletes are left without the primary platform to showcase their talents. In lieu of playing under bright lights in front of fans or viewers on TV, many lesser-known athletes are turning to digital marketing campaigns to create entertaining content of their own. Anxious athletes looking to promote themselves have started to sign digital influencer marketing deals in the hopes that they can still build reliable fan bases.

Read more: Front Office Sports

“Modell’s” by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0