Comcast’s Peacock faces new tests from advertisers, viewers

Hi and welcome to this weekly edition of Insider Advertising, where we track the big stories in media and advertising. I’m Lucia Moses, deputy editor here.

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First, senior reporter Lauren Johnson is hosting a webinar about how advertisers can navigate the death of third-party cookies on April 22 with execs from The Trade Desk, Mars, The Washington Post, and R/GA. Sign up here.

What we’re following this week:

Peacock’s big test

Recess takes on PepsiCo

Playboy’s NFT


Peacock Comcast NBCUniversal
Al Roker.

Peacock’s big test

Claire Atkinson took the temperature on Comcast’s streaming venture Peacock, which is facing more competition for viewers and advertisers as it enters year two.

Peacock is key to NBCUniversal’s effort to keep TV dollars as viewers shift online – and to Comcast’s plan to grow broadband customers by offering them a freebie.

From Claire’s story:

As Peacock nears its first birthday, NBCUniversal’s streamer is facing fresh challenges – and doubts.

Peacock has delivered in its first year, providing average active user guarantees to launch partners like Target, Capital One, State Farm, and Verizon.

“Peacock has definitely met or exceeded expectations,” Horizon Media’s co-chief investment officer David Campanelli told Insider. “They are outperforming their average active user estimates, which is good to see, and content has been high quality as expected.”

But as NBCUniversal enters one of the most transformational upfront negotiating periods in years, advertisers are ready to cite Peacock’s growing competition to squeeze out better prices, narrower targeting, and more data from the ratings-free black box that is streaming.

Read the rest here: Comcast’s Peacock is facing a tough test as competition heats up and advertisers seek more viewer data


Recess products

Recess takes on PepsiCo

Recess got its start making CBD beverages meant to help its buyers relax. Now it’s betting on another calming ingredient, with magnesium-based beverages, Alex Bitter reports.

It’s a way for Recess to grow without waiting for the federal government to rule on CBD – and capitalize on the success of CPG giants like PepsiCo and Danone have had with similar products.

CBD lacks regulation at the federal level, which effectively bans CBD brands from key national retailers.

But while magnesium is recognized as safe, the science connecting it with reducing anxiety is less solid.

Read the rest here: Recess scored a hit with its millennial pastel-hued CBD seltzer. Now its CEO is challenging PepsiCo with a move into magnesium-infused ‘relaxation beverages.’


Former playboy model Esté Swanepoel holding an mosaic framed picture of the iconic bunny at the Playboy publishing gala event
Former playboy model Esté Swanepoel holding an mosaic framed picture of the iconic bunny at the Playboy publishing gala event

Playboy’s NFT

Playboy is joining the growing list of media organizations launching non-fungible tokens, in this case to showcase its art and photography archive and to release original works from artists, Kari McMahon reports.

If that doesn’t jibe with your image of Playboy, consider Playboy’s roots. “In the first issue of Playboy magazine, there’s this line, ‘Picasso, jazz, Nietzsche, and sex, those are the four ideal conversation topics for any sophisticated person’,” said Rachel Webber, Playboy’s chief brand officer and president of corporate strategy. “Right in the core of Playboy’s DNA is appreciation for art and for great artists.”

Other things you might not know about the more woke Playboy today: It’s no longer associated with the Hefners. The magazine said in 2019 it would predominantly hire women photographers to shoot Playmates and that it would have intimacy coordinators on set.

Read the rest here: Playboy is the latest company to hop on the NFT trend. The company’s chief brand officer explains why the digital asset revolution is ‘an enormous business opportunity’.


Other stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading, and see you next week. And remember you can sign up for this newsletter here.

– Lucia

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mountain Dew is unveiling Frost Bite Zero Sugar at Walmart starting Monday

4734835_MD_FrostBite_Zero_Bott_20oz_RGB_FR (2)
  • Mountain Dew Frost Bite Zero Sugar will be sold at over 4,300 Walmart stores nationwide, the company said.
  • “This new offering leans into our steadfast commitment to consistently deliver flavor excitement,” said VP Marketing Nicole Portwood.
  • Comfort foods, like sodas, chips and pizza, have been popular with Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Mountain Dew is launching a zero-sugar version of its Frost Bite drink at Walmart starting Monday, March 22.

Mountain Dew Frost Bite Zero Sugar will be sold at over 4,300 Walmart stores nationwide, the company said in a statement.

“This new offering leans into our steadfast commitment to consistently deliver flavor excitement and variety of choice to DEW Nation – and we are thrilled to be able to do just that with Walmart,” said Vice President Marketing at Mountain Dew Nicole Portwood in the statement.

The PepsiCo-owned brand first launched the regular Mountain Dew Forst Bite in 2020.

Comfort food such as soda, pizza, chips and other snacks, were in demand during the pandemic lockdown. Last month, Pepsi said that it is expecting revenue to increase in 2021. The company’s net revenue increased 8.8% to $22.46 billion in the fourth quarter ending December 26.

Earlier this year, the company revealed a watermelon-flavored drink called Mountain Dew Major Melon that also came as a zero-sugar beverage. The new drink was Mountain Dew’s first permanent flavor offered in over a decade, according to the company.

In 2020, Mountain Dew launched a margarita flavored drink that was added to Red Lobster’s menu as the DEW Garita. The drink which received mixed reactions was the company’s first official cocktail, Insider previously reported.

Pepsi is also rolling out Pepsi Mango on Monday, March 22, its new permanent soda flavor. The beverage comes as a regular and a zero-sugar drink, the company announced on Thursday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Pepsi will release a mango-flavored soda next week, its first permanent flavor launch in five years

Pepsi Mango 1
Pepsi Mango

  • Pepsi Mango is the company’s first permanent flavor launch in five years.
  • Pepsi is promoting the new flavor through a national TV commercial with singer Jason Derulo.
  • Pepsi Mango will be sold nationwide as a regular and a zero-sugar drink.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For the first time in five years, Pepsi is unveiling a new, permanent soda flavor.

Pepsi Mango will roll out nationwide on Monday, March 22, the soda company said Thursday. Pepsi will be launching both a zero sugar and regular version of the new drink, the company said in a press release.

The soda brand is promoting the new flavor through a national TV commercial “Take You Dancing,” by singer Jason Derulo.

Pepsi Mango 2
Pepsi Mango

“Our team has created a surprisingly perfect match with Pepsi Mango, combining the delicious taste of Pepsi cola with the flavor of a sweet, juicy mango,” Todd Kaplan, Vice President of Marketing at Pepsi, said in the statement.

Pepsi said that it is expecting revenue to increase in 2021 as COVID-19 restrictions lift while vaccines roll out. Sales of comforting food, like soda and snacks, have been strong during pandemic lockdowns. The company posted a revenue increase of 8.8% to $22.46 billion in the fourth quarter ending December 26.

Earlier this month, Pepsi launched a line of cocktail mixers called Neon Zebra, as trends continue to show more consumers drinking at home. The product’s launch also signals that Pepsi is taking a different approach in appealing to consumers who are seeking alcoholic alternatives to beer and wine.

As per its Pepsi Mango promotion, Pepsi will launch a new campaign in April to help single people find their match by turning its advertising inventory on select social media platforms into real dating ads, the company said.

Read the original article on Business Insider