Ben Young
Ben Young
July 21, 2023

Edition #409

Because isn’t everything Barbie this week? On Threads, will it make it and something from us.

Been a couple of weeks between notes – with school ending and then a family break – I am about. In fact from the other side of the pond this week!

As always, a lot has happened.

Last week I shared a little PDF I created – mainly after enough people asked me about it. It’s called the New Growth Handbook and gets into how to rebuild your growth handbook in the new advertising landscape. Short, to the point and practical. What you’d expect from me 🙂 More here.

The last time I sent a note was in ‘pre-Threads’ days, yes the days of not so long ago. In fact some are already calling it out for dropping engagement. Despite attracting over 100m users faster than anyone else in history. Two things, 1) will they have cracked it by now? No, so let’s not lose ourselves whether engagement is good/bad – they don’t even know what good or bad is yet. 2) 100m isn’t enough to qualify for ongoing support at Meta. They need to crack 1b users to make it a viable product. Twitter itself generated $4b-$5n in revenue at its peak. And it churned 1b users. Threads doesn’t want to be a #2 to Twitter, being #1 doesn’t support it. It wants every one of those users that EVER tried it, and more, to be users.

And if they can, it will make for an interesting product from a marketers perspective. Instagram for selling the dream, Facebook for helping convert, Threads for somewhere in between, retention, education.

And maybe that’s a problem, the fact that the ad solutions are so obvious, might mean internally they don’t push to find the something better. Even Twitter is trying different things as they don’t believe their ‘best ad format’ is the best yet.

Finally, Barbie, or Barbenheimer? This summer has felt like the return to the blockbuster, Mission Impossible, Indiana Jones – and Barbie. Barbie marketing team employing more of the traditional movie launch tactics. And good on them, why not get back to the cinema. Mattel partnered with over 100 companies for the launch!

Notable stories this week

  • A billboard for the living room? How Telly wants advertisers to pay for your TV set.
  • Robinhood-owned Sherwood’s pitch to advertisers.
  • Vox Media drops its own CMS.
  • Do marketers need to allocate more dollars to Meta?
  • TikTok launches ad transparency, a searchable database of advertisers.
  • After cutting open-market programmatic Bloomberg Media sees efficiency gains, revenue losses.
  • We asked a marketing expert if ‘Barbie’ is just branded content.
  • And it’s Barbie’s world and consumers are living in it.
  • Finally, your brand is Barbie.
  • How Headspace is capitalizing on the halo effect from partnering with Netflix.
  • From Barbie to Pop Tarts, how brands became the new Hollywood stars.
  • What Barbie can teach content marketers.
  • Hello Barbie Let’s Go Strike.
  • Taylor Lorenz talks with Hamish McKenzie.
  • Snap’s push to tempt Creators seems to be working.
  • Branded content tools coming to Threads.
  • Netflix adds more subscribers than expected.
  • OpenAI strikes $5 million-plus local news deal.


Campaign of the week

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “If you look at your website like a math equation, you lose the magic of what readers are coming for…we know readers are coming for journalism first, so monetizing that through ads and subscriptions has to be our second priority”Julia Beizer, Chief Digital Officer, Bloomberg

Datapoints of note

  • Twitters platform usage was up 3.5% week on week when Threads launched.

That’s it for this week.