Future of Media Media

Future of Media: big change, inside Biden campaign, Shipchat


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 1, 2021 | 7 min read

This is an extract from The Drum’s Future of Media briefing. You can subscribe to it here if you’d want the full thing in your inbox once a week from John McCarthy (Twitter, Linkedin, email).


First thing's first, I'm proud to say I've been promoted to media editor at The Drum. And no, that's not an April Fool's Day announcement.

We're going to keep growing and improving The Future of Media vertical at The Drum. So thank you loyal readers who return week after week to glean some insight about how media's bought, sold and innovated, the patient ranks of experts who explain the business to me, and the swelling ranks of colleagues who write. Speaking of them...

  • Over in Apac, Shawn Lim continues to shine a light on innovations yet to travel west.

  • Back in Blighty, Chris Sutcliffe, co-host of the very good Media Voices podcast will explore a mix of media owners and media agencies so get your pitches in here.

  • And over in the United States of America, Kendra Clark's just joined and I've every confidence she'll be over all the big TV and privacy announcements in absolutely no time.

Anyway, that's enough of that. We're always looking for clever contributors and sponsors who want to talk to this cracking audience, so don't hesitate to get in touch.

Fooled me once, fooled me twice

It's April Fool's Day. Brands have predictably produced some funny campaigns. Some people have asked whether it is strictly necessary for brands to further muddy the INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY at a time when misinformation kills. It's far from my main concern, although I'm sure we all stopped to laugh at the car crash that was Voltswagen.

Every day, brands are propping up misinformation with their media spend, and sometimes, even crossing into it like with Amazon's tweets about piss bottles.

And that brings me to a video interview I had with the BBC’s Anna Doble on misinformation, safeguarding democracy and forward momentum. As digital editor of BBC World Service English she reflected on some of the major issues facing the media.

Read/watch it here.

Inside the Biden campaign

We wouldn't be talking about misinformation if the US elections didn't provide such a visible lightning rod for these issues.

Rebecca Stewart dug into the Biden campaign and asked ad agency Barbarian how it used media to flip vital states.

“We weren’t only in the midst of the pandemic. The country had just come through the Black Lives Matter protests, and so we asked ourselves how to best connect with people in what I believe is probably the strangest time to have lived through.”

Quite the brief indeed, and one facing many brands.

Lots of lessons for marketers in this one.

A weird use of Snapchat

This week we learned that shipping giant Maersk is running campaigns on Snapchat as part of a recruitment drive.

The centerpiece of the campaign was ’Together, all the way — an anthem’ music video, which features rap lyrics about “data, blockchain, chip and code” alongside choreographed dancing with shipping boxes. It's was not the typical talent recruitment video for a business-to-business brand - but the results speak for themselves.

More good stuff

How e-commerce might function on a cookie-less web [Columist Cadi Jones makes an insightful return.]

With cookies on the way out, adtech could be free to create its best work yet [what if this was the fresh start adtech needed?]

As trust in social platforms erodes, F&N looks to create meaningful DTC relationships [Brands want to own their journeys again]

How Ikea created a ‘ScrapsBook’ that turns kitchen waste into culinary wonders [Ikea's done a cool print thing]

Major League Baseball makes its pitch to Gen Z on TikTok [Is it hype, or can these platforms build young audiences?]

What you need to know about DCM’s outdoor ad deal with Hideaway Cinema [We'll have more on cinema's big(?) return next week]

When two agencies become one: all the things nobody tells you about marketing mergers [A brilliant piece about agency mergers. Not strictly media, but I think you'll get a kick out of it.]

That's all for this week. If you missed the last issue, read it here. And you can subscribe to our other briefings here.

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