WeWork's failed $5 million ad campaign, Peloton's brand-positioning deck, and star VC Fred Wilson invests in digital media
Adam Neumann, cofounder and former CEO of WeWork.
Hi! Welcome to the Advertising and Media Insider newsletter. I'm Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter filling in for Lucia this week. If you're new to this email, sign up for your own here. Send me tips or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, my colleague Patrick Coffee reported that WeWork was on the brink of spending at least $5 million on advertising just as its finances were collapsing.
- The now-battered coworking company sought out some of the hottest creative agencies - including Wieden and Kennedy, 72andSunny, McCann and Droga5 - to help define its brand.
- When WeWork's flashy initial public offering started falling apart, the review ended. WeWork hired Publicis Groupe Chairman Maurice Levy as interim chief marketing officer, and hired Publicis to oversee its advertising.
Peloton was another startup facing a public-relations crisis, and Patrick also obtained a deck it sent to agencies in May 2018. Key takeaways:
- The fitness company said it's not "snobby," "aggressive," or "a gimmicky fitness brand."
- It wanted to avoid "cheesy ads," which critics say contradicts the company's recent maligned holiday ad.
- Its target customer makes on average $100,000 to $150,000 and up per year.
Lucia spoke to Union Square Ventures' Fred Wilson about why he's investing $5 million in video media startup The Recount and why he thinks now is a good time to invest in digital media even as others are fleeing the sector.
Lucia also reported about martech firm Iterable raising $60 million in Series D funding to compete with cloud giants Adobe and Salesforce. Key points:
- Iterable is one of a handful of martech companies focused on helping brands send messages via email, text messages, in apps and on websites.
- It may face challenges cracking big legacy brands because they're often tied up in multi-year deals with marketing clouds.
Lucia also reported on the year in digital media deals and who will be the winners heading into 2020.
My colleague Ashley Rodriguez talked with Bleacher Report CEO Howard Mittman about his plan to build the digital brand into a sports media powerhouse, including content about legal sports gambling.
Here are the takeaways:
- Bleacher Report wants to woo casual sports gamers as a way to close the gap with competitors including ESPN.
- The brand will become the main digital hub for Turner Sports in 2020.
- Bleacher Report's B/R Betting vertical averages 13.3 million video views per month across platforms.
Here are other great stories from media, marketing, and advertising. (You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime; use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)
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