Advertising Week Friday Roundup: Week Ending October 14, 2016

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Natalie Muni

CoverGirl gets a brand makeover, Discovery dives into digital, 2016 makes a big splash in US ad spend, the ANA creates a “blueprint” for multicultural marketing, and Ronald McDonald goes on a hiatus… sort of. Read below for this week’s top stories in marketing and advertising. 

James Charles, a 17-year-old high school student and makeup protégé was announced on social media yesterday as CoverGirl’s newest spokesperson, making him the first male CoverGirl in the brand’s history. Charles has amassed a social following of over half a million on platforms like Instagram in the last year thanks to his flurry of aesthetically pleasing posts with makeup tips and transformations. His feed reveals everything from the shocking Halloween inspired to the standard everyday contour.  CoverGirl has said the decision mirrored the values of the brand – “boundary-breaking, expressive, unapologetically individualistic.”

When you think of the Discovery, you often think of its popular television network shows, like SharkWeek, The Deadliest Catch or Naked and Afraid. On Thursday, Discovery Communications became the latest in a line of TV companies moving to target millennials and expand into digital when it announced it would invest $100 million in digital content through a partnership with Group Nine Media. The new holding company will combine some Discovery owned assets with digital media brands, like Thrillist, NowThis and The Dodo. Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer will now become CEO of Group Nine Media. Roughly 60 percent of Group Nine’s audience are people ages 18-34.

Magna predicts that 2016 will show the largest increase in US ad spending in six years, according to a forecast released Wednesday. The forecast estimates ad revenue in the US will increase to $179 billion, representing a 6.3 percent increase. 2010 showed the last highest growth rate, with a revenue increase of 6.6 percent. So what does this mean? For the first time ever, digital advertising will match TV ad sales, with social media as the biggest contributor to the tie between the digital and TV ad space.

On Monday, the Association of National Advertisers announced the launch of a new alliance focused specifically on multicultural marketing. The Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing will have the goal of bringing African American, Hispanic, Asian and LGBT industry leaders together to create a sort of “blueprint” for multicultural marketing in the US. Specific goals include discovering new ways to address diversity in advertising and marketing industries, establishing “best practices,” investing in research, and eventually creating a knowledge center.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, scary clowns are terrorizing small communities all around the nation. Since mid-summer, people with clown masks have been spotted around the country trying to lure children into wooded areas, sometimes with knives. As result, Ronald McDonald, America’s favorite clown and the brand’s mascot since the 1960s, has been forced into hiding. McDonald’s announced on Wednesday it would “cut back on Ronald McDonald’s appearances at events” out of respect for the current climate resulting from the creepy clown craze.