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THE PULSE: Recent Top Reads, Feb. 2024

March 5, 2024
Pulse Roundup: Highlights from February 2024
The Pulse brings the latest and greatest in the marketing industry to your inbox every week — and a number of February’s trending topics centered around Super Bowl LVIII. (It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year for marketers. Our team tuned in and had lots to say.) 

We’ve noticed that brands committed to being authentic and approachable are moving the needle, especially with younger audiences. Gone are the days of superstar sponsorships driving consumer craze. In fact, that was one of this year’s biggest misses in Big Game ads. Instead, those prioritizing “human truths” are standing out, achieving relatability by prioritizing creativity, community and culture. 

Check out where a few brands found big wins — or blundered — in connecting with consumers in the most-read Pulse articles from last month:  

‘Advertisers tried too hard’: Few Super Bowl ads win as celeb takeover continues 

The Pulse: Dunkin's Super Bowl Ad starring Ben AffleckWhile a couple star-studded spots hit the mark — we’re looking at you, Dunkin’s Bostonian bunch — brands seemed to prioritize conventional celebrity appearances over intrigue and innovation during the recent Big Game. From lacking emotion to mixed-up messaging, ad experts were vocal on where spots fell short.  

“‘The Super Bowl this year was the Kitchen Sink Bowl,’ said Jason Harris, president and CEO of agency Mekanism. ‘It was overly complex and hard to even remember the brand for many of them.’” Read more in Marketing Dive. 

Inside Frito-Lay’s Super Bowl Experience in Las Vegas  

The Pulse: Frito-Lay’s Super Bowl Experience in Las VegasGoing to the Cheetos Chapel, and we’re gonna get married! Just one cheesy checkpoint on the city-block-length Chip Strip, Frito-Lay went all out in its Big Game stunts this year, also turning the iconic Luxor pyramid into a giant Dorito and gifting one lucky fan with a Toyota Tacoma.   

Snack brands really took over the town this year: Read more from Eater Vegas. 

How Brands Can Benefit from a Generation’s Desire for Connection 

The Pulse: Gen Z's passionate buy-in on viral TikTok aesthetics.Whether it’s the “clean girl” or the “mob wife” look, Gen Z is becoming characterized by their passionate buy-in on viral TikTok aesthetics. And tapping into the latest trends — and maximizing short-form videos within a holistic content strategy — can help brands excel. Young consumers are flexing their ability to drive culture, while hinting at their desire for belonging.  

“While these aesthetic trends may seem frivolous and surface-level to some, they hit home for Gen Z. Brands should use this desire to their advantage, investing in themes of community, togetherness and overall collectivism.” Read More in Ad Age.  

Brands Extend Inclusive Marketing Efforts Beyond Black History Month 

The Pulse: Brands are emphasizing DE&I beyond the month of February.Brands are moving past a one-month approach to celebrating diversity, with a number taking steps to elevate Black communities and perspectives year-round. Jack Daniel’s is three years into its campaign highlighting Black-owned businesses, and IPSY is distributing more Black-created cosmetics through its personalized Glam Bags, just to note a couple.  

Read more from Digiday about brands that are emphasizing DE&I beyond the month of February. 

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