How Independent Publisher Food52 Used Email to Handle Thanksgiving and Cyber Weekend

Food52, a site known for its recipes, community and carefully selected products, wants people to eat thoughtfully and live joyfully. In order to accomplish that, the content and the commerce halves of the company must work together.


Black Friday, Cyber Weekend and other holiday sales represent about 35 percent to 40 percent of the company’s total revenue for the entire year, according to brand president and co-founder Merrill Stubbs.

“We all love this time of year because it’s so buzzy and fun,” Stubbs said, “but there’s a fair amount of pressure. It’s our moment to shine and to be creative and helpful. We don’t want to let anything fall through the cracks.”

The brand redesigned their Shop pages the week before Thanksgiving and invested in back-up servers that could handle any wild traffic increases; with lessons learned from previous years (on Black Friday 2016, the site’s sales tax calculator broke down, making it a “tax free weekend” for shoppers) and additional marketing support from Agency Within, the many teams of Food52 were as prepared as they could be.

Most emails, especially those including marketing messaging, had backup plans in case sales weren’t hitting their goals; editorial franchises and creative imagery shoots had been planned in advance to provide both fresh content and much-needed advice; and, with the help of online services like Google Drive’s products and Slack’s messaging service, the company was ready to enjoy the holiday, be there for its readers and direct them to its hundreds of unique products.

“We’re not a discount company,” said CEO and co-founder Amanda Hesser. “While there’s a focus for us on Black Friday and the whole weekend, we know we’re a trusted resource for our readers. It’s important for us to stay true to ourselves as a company.”

Adweek spent several hours over multiple days with the team, including in their Slack channels, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Read the entire article at AdWeek:



Cheerios’ Failed Case for Yellow Shows Why It’s So Hard for Brands to Trademark Colors

It’s bad enough for General Mills that Americans have been losing interest in breakfast cereal for the past decade or more, but the brand got more bad news last week when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board rejected its application to trademark the use of yellow on Cheerios boxes.


The problem for the packaged-foods giant wasn’t so much that consumers didn’t recognize Cheerios’ famous yellow box; it was that too many other cereals were already using yellow on their boxes. Shoppers who are “accustomed to seeing numerous brands from different sources offered in yellow packaging are unlikely to be conditioned to perceive yellow packaging as an indicator of a unique source,” wrote Judge Anthony R. Masiello in his decision. “Rather, they are more likely to view yellow packaging simply as eye-catching ornamentation customarily used for the packaging of breakfast cereals generally.”

Read more at AdWeek:


Yelp Tries Custom Audiences Push in Bid For Facebook, Google Ad Dollars

Marketers can now reach Yelp users on apps and websites that aren’t operated by Yelp.

The business-review site partnered with data management platform LiveRamp to make the location and search activity for its 100 million users available to advertisers. The move allows marketers to create custom audience segments in similar fashion to Facebook and its Audience Network.


With Yelp Local Audiences, advertisers will now be able to isolate data segments based on categories like brand interest or attributes as well as geographical data, said Drew Canniff, regional VP of agency sales at Yelp. People who search for car dealerships, or restaurants based on price, for example, can be carved out into segments.

Read more at AdAge:


The New Rules of Fast Food Marketing

Facing steep competition from health-focused fast-casual chains and increased advertising restrictions from governmental bodies, fast-food marketing is changing tack. Stylus highlight the strategies brands are deploying to stay relevant.


Read more & download the full PDF version at Stylus:

The new rules on junk food ads: What marketers need to know


The new ASA rules, which come into force tomorrow (1 July), will ban ads for high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products in all children’s media including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Continue reading