2020 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Promo Stories From This Year
It’s always hard to play favorites. We can pretend all day long that we don’t really have favorite stories, and how our journalistic integrity forbids us from being particular the same way parents can’t pick favorite children, and blah, blah, blah.
Some stories are just more fun to write than others. Pouring through pages and pages of legalese to condense a groundbreaking piece of legislation into a few hundred words is vital work and we wouldn’t trade that responsibility for anything.
But sometimes we just want to riff, you know? We’re humans, too.
So, with it being so close to the holidays, we thought we’d have a little fun and count down our favorite stories from the year. Maybe they were especially fun to write. Maybe the subject matter just caught our eyes a little more than others. Either way, we thought they were fun and we want to share them again with the world.
Click the article titles to read each story.
OK, so this one had the feel-good factor of an apparel company rising to the challenge of helping out during the pandemic, sure, but it also had some local flavor. We loved the idea of our local frontline health care workers rocking our beloved Phillies pinstripes. (Conversely, we could do without having to be reminded that the Yankees exist. But, you know, this is still a good cause.)
2. 35,000 Orders Later, Four Seasons Total Landscaping Has Sold More than $1M in Branded Merchandise
Speaking of Philadelphia, as soon as this story started developing, we knew we were going to have some opportunities to cover it. It’s not every day that Northeast Philly is on the news at such a scale. And it’s even more rare that we have such a perfect promotional tie-in.
With concerts gone, there are no merch tables to shop after shows. But bands and artists have jumped into the e-commerce world with both feet during the pandemic, especially those who work the whole merchandise/album bundle angle to land higher on the Billboard charts. Lady Gaga, who is no stranger to an out-there idea, included branded jock straps in the merchandise bundle for her new album.
4. FC Barcelona, One of the World's Biggest Sports Teams, Might Sue Nike Over Botched Replica Jerseys
FC Barcelona (home to soccer deity Lionel Messi) is one of the largest brands in sports and in the world. When Nike delivered its new jerseys for this year, fans realized that the colors were bleeding, causing a drop in sales and loss of revenue for the club. Barca, already taking a hit playing in front of an empty stadium, considered suing Nike over the issue. Brendan tries to get a soccer story in whenever he can, so it's nice for him to have a PM-approved reason to write about it.
We love the push for sustainability. There are so many ways companies and customers alike can decrease their carbon footprint. Burger King’s decision to try out reusable packaging is just one of the many ways to limit waste in food service, and we hope to see more things like this.
While we’re on the topic of fast food, we’d be remiss to not mention one of our favorite headlines from the year. No, you cannot go to McDonald’s naked. This was about a branded outfit released to celebrate the McFlurry’s 25th anniversary. (Again, we are not lawyers, but we really must insist you wear proper attire to any public establishment.)
Why is a Linkin Park shirt commemorating an album from 13 years ago such a streetwear staple in China? Essentially, the Chinese bootleg market just ate it up. Like you’d see a Thrasher or “Rick and Morty” logo on T-shirts at any boardwalk in the U.S., this Linkin Park design just hit that cultural lottery.
8. The Brains Behind That Genius Avocado Super Bowl Ad Talk Storytelling Through Weird and Wonderful Merch
We’ve already mentioned that genius Avocados from Mexico Super Bowl ad campaign in other wrap-ups. It was a real treat for Sean and Brendan to sit down (virtually) with the brains behind the commercial to talk about its inception and how promotional products tell a story.
We're already looking forward to all the fun stories we'll get to write in 2021, but check back in tomorrow for our final 2020 Wrap-Up. Thanks for reading!