According to McKinney’s latest annual food trends report, emerging products like personalized nutrition bars, at-home vertical farms, and even dried worms?!, may be breaking into the mainstream. The report also looks at issues like food insecurity, which has exacerbated during the pandemic, and ways companies are trying to reduce food loss so less is wasted. And while some of these products may be met with skepticism, the authors remind us that it was more than eight years ago when McKinney put plant-based burgers on the list. Far from a niche play, they’re now sold by major retailers and restaurants. (AdAge: 3/22/21)


COVID-19 has changed the way people shop. Shopify recently reported changes in shopping habits that are remaking the retail landscape. More consumers have turned to contactless, online shopping, leading to a 122% increase during the past year. Product categories also making an impact; with consumers going out less, they are focusing more on their skincare, haircare, and more comfortable clothing options. As we begin to go back to normal, Shopify expects support for local and independent businesses to continue to grow. (AdWeek: 3/22/21)



In a commentary for Sports Business Journal, TVB’s president and CEO reinforces the reach and engagement found in televised sports. Largely DVR proof with little ad-skipping, local sports continues to find elusive targets, not easily found across the TV landscape. Especially important for launches and first-time advertisers, local TV combines geographical targeting, trustworthy content, and an ability to quickly build reach and influence. (Sports Business Journal: 3/22/21)



TV tracking company, iSpot, has compiled their observations of the biggest shifts in TV advertising over the past 12 months. Included are “the rise of ad flexibility”, “a new emphasis on audience”, “the great creative adjustment”, and inclusion of “new industries, new advertisers”.  In general, marketers grew more nimble and became less reliant on tentpoles, for starters,” and with the lack of live sports early on, programming limitations, and more people at home, daytime took on increased importance as did streaming and addressable viewership. Bottom line, from iSpot, “the TV industry has certainly matured in the face of its challenges, becoming an even more useful, agile and data-driven medium for marketers in the process. (AdAge: 3/18/21)



Borrell Associates released their 2021 forecast for local businesses, projecting a 7.3% increase over 2020 to $127.3 billion, and a full recovery over 2019 coming next year. On a positive note, this increase is much higher than typical years which see ad growth in the 2% to 4% range. They also note that there was wide variation on a market level as some fared better than others through the pandemic. Online, TV and radio will again hold the top three positions, while categories seeing the biggest gains in 2021 include automotive, restaurants and real estate. (TVNewsCheck: 3/21/21)



Sting ET Online

During last Thursday’s episode of Jeopardy!, Sting closed out the show with original lyrics for the show’s theme song, “Think”. Performing with his acoustic guitar, he crooned, “Of all the things in my CV, everything in life from A to Z, but how I wish my ma could see, here I am on Jeopardy!”. He was also a special guest category presenter, presenting clues about his live and his music, so you can check out your knowledge with the contestants. (ETOnline: 3/19/21)