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As we enter the Holiday season, we are seeing a rise of holiday-themed ads and specials. In the same vein of new releases, Netflix’s latest hit ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is crushing the charts, as well as the cast of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reuniting on HBO Max. Additionally, brands like PlayStation and Pantene are creating innovative campaigns to reach and connect with a broader audience.



Celebs & Entertainment

The Queen’s Gambit: Netflix’s Latest Sensation


One of Netflix’s newest hits where the plot revolves around the game of chess, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is rising on the charts over the past few weeks. After the release, the International Chess Federation posted via Twitter the analytics revolving around Google searches for “The Queen's Gambit” and “Learn Chess” which are substantially up compared to previous months. In addition to the Google searches, according to NPR, Mary Higbe, director of marketing at Goliath Games said, “Our October sales for chess were up 178% over the same period last year. That's a big increase. But something else unexpected happened at the end of the month, our chess sales are up 1,048%."


Cast of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reunites on HBO Max


Over the span of 2020, some of the audiences’ favorite shows have come together for reunion episodes, and most recently, the cast of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ graced our screens. Not only were fans excited to see the cast all back together in a similar setting, but the show brought in Janet Hubert who played Aunt Vivian before leaving after a longtime feud between herself and Will Smith. This tactic became the talking point of the reunion and not only allowed for Smith and Hubert to reconcile but also as an incentive for more people to tune in.


Mariah Carey Teases Apple TV+ Christmas Special


It’s the holiday season and with that comes a new variety of festive movies and television shows. Mariah Carey is taking it one step further with her recently announced Apple TV+ project, ‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’. According to the HollywoodReporter, the special will mix music, dancing, and animation driven by a universally heartwarming story that brings the world together. After dropping the news back in October on Twitter, Carey has since announced that she will be joined with an array of special guests including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Tiffany Haddish, and more. As if the special wasn’t making all of our holiday wishes come true, Carey, Grande, and Haddish teamed up to collaborate on a single and music video to “Oh Santa!”. It is clear to see that fans are excited to tune in as the hashtag #Mariah’sMagicalChristmas instantly began trending after Carey’s announcement.


Jimmy Fallon Impersonates Harry Styles in a Vogue-style 73 Questions


Late night talk shows have seemingly had a smooth transition to the digital world. Transferring their broadcasted television content onto digital platforms like Youtube allows them to reach a larger audience. In addition to this, late night hosts like Jimmy Fallon have also incorporated new content that has similar styles to ‘Youtube’ produced videos. In light of Harry Styles Vogue Cover, Fallon parodied the singer in a Vogue-styled ‘73 Questions’ video where he is dressed up as Styles while taking on his persona. The Youtube video and Fallon’s Instagram post promoting the video has accumulated over 300 thousand views.



Brands & Industry

Rise of Holiday Themed Ads


As the holiday season rolls around every year, brands often use this to their advantage. Whether that be new digital campaigns to increase audience engagement or the creation of customized merchandise, brands like Pepsi and Dunkin’ are paving the way for successful holiday strategies. As a fun tactic to align with the chaos of 2020, Pepsi ruled out a giveaway of their new product that is not available in stores yet, Pepsi Apple Pie, to the first 1,500 fans that share their baking fails via Twitter or TikTok. Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts has not been shy about sharing their new merchandise on social media platforms. With a variety of products like sweatshirts that are able to be personalized, bathrobes, and even duvet covers, it is clear that this strategy was effective seeing that the majority of products are already sold out.


Youtube Will Start Implementing Ads into Non-Monetized Content


As YouTube continues to be the leading video sharing app, it has seen massive changes and growth in the past decade. From strictly monetizing videos that were only part of the YouTube Partner Program, to the app now announcing that they will start inserting advertisements into non-monetized content. This move can benefit creators in which large amounts of revenue can come from these videos. With a new update to their Terms of Service, even if the content is not part of the YouTube Partner Program, they will be subject to having ads. There can be no estimate of the amount of non-monetized content that will be affected, but it is clear that YouTube is pushing for eligible creators to monetize their videos. An example of a creator not participating in the monetization is Australian musician Gotye who refused to put ads in his videos which would have supplied him with over $10 million in revenue, according to SocialMediaToday.



Campaigns

Pantene Celebrates LGBTQ+ Parents in National Adoption Month Campaign


Pantene took a natural and authentic approach when cultivating their campaign this November, which represents National Adoption Month. Pantene created three short films showcasing LGBTQ+ parents and their experience with adopting a child. Each short video provides the message that small and sometimes overlooked gestures can be impactful to a child. In addition to this campaign, according to TrendHunter, Pantene is also hosting an Instagram TV series in partnership with Family Equality, a non-profit that's dedicated to advancing equality for LGBTQ+ families. The brand will donate $1 for every family photo that's shared through the platform using the #BeautifuLGBTQ hashtag, up to $100,000.


PlayStation Replaces London Underground Signs with Its Controller Icons


Marketing campaigns are continuing to become more elaborate and interactive with their audiences. The recent release of the PS5 has encouraged PlayStation to amp up their game and in doing so, they teamed up with London’s underground transportation stations, Transport for London. PlayStation transformed the iconic signs to resemble the console’s signature shapes such as the square, the triangle, the X, and the circle that is seen on their controllers. This innovative campaign aligns with the success that the launch of the PS5 had, which sold out within hours of release day.


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