Doodle Inspirations – September 18

At NDP, we pride ourselves on staying on top of the industry – what’s new, what’s trending, what’s surprised us. Here are a few things that caught our attention and got us talking this past week: 

Apple announced their Apple One package service – a new bundle service including TV, music, news, games, cloud and a new fitness service for $30/month. If purchased separately, these subscriptions would run $50 per month. The new fitness service – Fitness Plus – puts Apple in direction competition with the likes of Mirror and Peloton pursuing the home-workout enthusiast. While we appreciate Apple watching out for the “consumers’ wallet,” we are curious about future user experiences and media partnerships as there has not been a lot publicized regarding the business details of these new offerings.

Our beer-drinking brethren are sad to hear that Oktoberfest celebrations are officially cancelled. Despite the celebration’s cancellation, brands are trying to find innovative ways to still engage this would-be audience. Samuel Adams and Auntie Anne’s pretzels are partnering to develop a limited edition “Oktoberfest At Home” kit including DIY pretzel-making supplies, Oktoberfest lager, lederhosen, steins and more for a reasonable $89 per party pack. Bavarian travel companies are opting to change tours from in-person drinking focused to virtual excursions promoting the history of the event and learning traditional beer hall songs. While event cancellations like this can be disruptive, we’re encouraged to see brands pivoting to keep consumer engaged in ways that wouldn’t have existed without the challenge of removing the in-person angle.

Macy’s announced the first major change to their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade since WWII. The normal 2.5-mile parade route will be scrapped opting for the 1-block TV coverage area only. This change is an effort to discourage larger gatherings along the traditional parade route and encourage those interested in viewing to watch on TV instead. The parade will feature giant balloons anchored to specialty vehicles, lack high school marching bands, and no one under the age of 18 will be able to participate in any elements of the parade. We are happy this tentpole of the holiday season will exist at all.

NDP employees were down after these last 2 articles hit the news wire, but we found a few moments of joy when Netflix announced the premier date of Season 11 of The Great British Bake Off” (it’s September 25). This spurred the team to talk about other great “maker” content we’ve been binging on the platform to cheer us up including Chef’s Table: BBQ and Blown Away. While we can’t speak to advertising opportunities or marketing angles to this content, we are thrilled to see new content coming from streaming platforms on a continued basis as traditional network shows have had production delays due to COVID’s impact throwing a wrench in what would normally be “sweeps week” and “premier season” on the traditional television channels.