• Our experiential team partnered with Amazon Care to launch the new service and encourage sign-ups among Amazon associates at its US fulfillment centers. The team brought a branded Amazon Care smoothie truck to centers throughout Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Diego where bilingual brand ambassadors then educated and encouraged associates to check out the Amazon Care app via QR code. Alongside the truck, a branded tent and highboys offered a shady lounge for employees to relax while they enjoyed their smoothies. Bilingual signage with QR codes and info about app were placed throughout the footprint to give employees an at-a-glance overview of the offerings. Over 800 smoothies were served at each location, and downloads were plentiful.

  • Our multicultural team partnered with Major League Soccer (MLS) to host a VIP ALL-ACCESS MLS experience in Atlanta, GA. Top national and local press such as Complex, Essence, Baller Alert, Global Grind, Rolling Out and more experienced a 2-night stay at the Kimpton Hotel where they received branded MLS x IHG Hotels welcome amenities, lunch, happy hour drinks, dinner and diamond status breakfast the next day. There was also an exclusive tour topped with champagne on the rooftop of Mercedes Benz Stadium with views from the field right before the Atlanta United game against Austin FC. MLS surprised press with custom jerseys, special guest appearances from B.O.B. during lunch and Jermaine Dupri during half-time. The experience was a huge success, and press pickups to date include BET and EURWeb.

  • Leaders from our Strategic Consulting, Creative, Paid Media, Earned Media, Owned Media, and Latin American teams developed and led a Streaming symposium for 50 Univision marketing and creative executives last month, as the company prepared to launch its new SVOD ViX+ in the US and Latin America. The four-hour (!) interactive workshop covered the competitive landscape; balancing streaming with linear; smart creative to drive engagement; innovative formats for paid and organic social media; D2C conversion strategies, and AVOD/SVOD.


Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Google has launched the Ad Creative Studio, which lets advertisers customize video and display ads aimed at multiple audiences. (Search Engine Land)

  • Local TV ad spending is expected to rise 6.9% YoY in 2022, more than double the 2.6% YoY increase for national TV ad spending. (eMarketer)

  • Disney Advertising has partnered with The Trade Desk to integrate Disney’s Audience Graph with Unified ID 2.0, allowing advertisers to activate their first-party data against Disney’s content. (Marketing Dive)

Awards / Festivals

  • HBO’s Succession garnered the most Emmy nominations with 25, while The White Lotus and Ted Lasso each scored 20 nominations. (USA Today)

  • Making Emmy Awards history, Squid Game became the first non-English language series to be nominated for outstanding drama. (Variety)

  • Apple earned a third of the Outstanding Commercial Emmy nominations with their commercial “Detectives” for the Apple 13 Pro and “Everyone but Jon Hamm” for Apple TV+. (AdAge)

  • The 2023 Grammy Awards will be held on February 5th at Los Angeles’ Arena. Nominees will be announced this November. (Variety)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • Thor: Love and Thunder earned $143M over its opening weekend in North America, taking the top spot over "Minions: The Rise of Gru," which earned $45.6M. (AP)

  • About 48% of US adults who went to a movie theater in June watched video streaming services daily during that month, showing that theatergoing and streaming are closer to coexisting than competing. (Morning Consult)

  • Top Gun: Maverick has raked in $601.9M at the US box office since its release, making it Paramount Pictures' highest-grossing movie of all time. (IGN)

Gambling / Casinos

  • Though Las Vegas saw a 15% decline in air travel in 2021 compared to 2019, the average daily traffic on I-15 at the Nevada and California border rose 7.5% in 2021 compared to 2019. (CDC Gaming Report)

  • Oly Sports and Betswap have partnered to create the first NFT horse racing game. Players can place bets or watch live races on Betswap’s platform without needing to own a horse in Oly’s metaverse. (Gambling News)

  • Gambling hub Macau closed all its casinos for the first time in more than two years after a coronavirus outbreak. (BBC)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Heading out of North America for the first time ever, SXSW is launching a new iteration in Sydney, Australia beginning in 2023. (THR)

  • Lizzo hosted an immersive experience called “Lizzoverse” set to her new album, Special. The cosmic light show took place at NYC's Cipriani 25 Broadway. (Billboard)

  • Drake announced a concert series called October World Weekend. The three-day event features artists like artists like Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Baby and will take place July 28th-29th and August 1 at various venues in Toronto. (Pitchfork)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Spotify has acquired Heardle, the Wordle-inspired music trivia game. The look and feel of Heardle will stay the same and will remain free to play for everyone. (Variety)

  • 1990's is the most popular decade for music among Americans, followed closely by 2020's and 1980's. (Axios)

  • Spotify is expanding video podcast publishing to creators in six more countries: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico. (Tech Crunch)

  • Spotify rolled out support for real-time lyrics on the Google Nest Hub. Users can now listen to music on Spotify while progressing lyrics are displayed on-screen. (The Verge)

NFT / Blockchain / Crypto

  • In the first half of this year, Web3 projects lost more than $2B to hacks and exploits — more than in all of 2021. (The Verge)

  • Amidst the crypto crash, NFT sales hit a 12-month low in June, with sales totaling $1B. (The Guardian)

  • GameStop is beta testing its own NFT marketplace. Users can store their NFTs in the newly released GameStop Wallet or any other digital asset wallet. (CNBC)

  • Elon Musk’s construction startup The Boring Company now accepts Dogecoin as payment for trips on its Las Vegas transport system. (Inside Bitcoins)

OTT / Streaming

  • Netflix downloads globally are down 5% YoY, with APAC and North America having the largest decreases. Meanwhile Paramount+ downloads are up 19% YoY. (NextTV)

  • Paramount+ has the second-largest slate of original SVOD titles in the UK so far in 2022, ranking only behind Netflix. (THR)

  • Discovery and Amazon may bring HBO Max back to Prime Video Channels less than a year after it was removed from the platform. (Streamable)

  • YouTube TV has surpassed 5M paying and free trial subscribers, topping competitors Hulu (4.1M live TV tier subscribers) and Sling TV (2.25M). (THR)

  • OTT service-stacking is at an all-time high, with 50% of US households subscribing to 4+ OTT video services. (PR Newswire)

  • Netflix has chosen Microsoft to be its global advertising and sales partner for its ad-supported tier. Microsoft has promised to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as provide strong privacy protections for Netflix members. (THR)

  • YouTube's major vMVPDs currently have a combined 12.4M subscribers, about 20% of the active pay TV market. (THR)

  • ESPN+ will increase its subscription prices beginning in August to $9.99/mo or $99.99/year, up from its current price of $6.99/mo and $69.99/year.

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • 17% of US adults who plan to travel in the next year have plans that involve a cruise, the same as in October 2021 before the omicron variant. (Morning Consult)

  • While more say they plan to travel this summer compared to last year, the percentage of US adults who would travel multiple times has dropped 5 points YoY to 23%. (Morning Consult)

  • London Heathrow Airport has asked airlines to stop selling summer tickets and has instated a cap of 100K passengers departing per day. (Yahoo)

  • Amazon Prime Day sales increased about 20% YoY, with shoppers buying 300M+ items and spending almost $12B this year over the two-day event. (Adweek)

Social Media

  • WhatsApp is developing a feature that lets users hide their online status, a follow-up to the recently added “my contacts except” setting. (Engadget)

  • Instagram is testing a new Live Producer tool that allows broadcasters to go live from desktop using streaming software, such as OBS, Streamyard and Streamlabs. (Tech Crunch)

  • Telegram has rolled out Telegram Premium, giving users access to extra features like faster downloads and larger file sizes maximums for $4.99/mo. (The Verge)

  • TikTok is facing multiple lawsuits from parents whose children died attempting the “blackout challenge,” after the app showed them videos of other people trying it. (The Verge)

  • TikTok will soon roll out content filters and maturity ratings to make the app safer and give users more control over their scrolling experience. (Tech Crunch)

  • Thanks to Instagram Reels, the average engagement rate for IG feed posts has decreased by 44% since 2019. (Later)

  • Reddit has partnered with Giphy to bring gifs to any subreddit that allows them. New subreddits will automatically opt in for GIFs in the comments, leaving mods the choice to opt out. (The Verge)

  • Instagram has added more features to its creator subscriptions test including subscriber group chats, reels and posts for subscribers only, and a subscriber-only tab on a creator’s profile. (Tech Crunch)

  • Snapchat is testing a feature that lets artists import NFTs as lenses. To participate, artists must create and mint NFTs on another platform first. (Tech Crunch)

Video Games

  • Fortnite has added a new Zero Build Arena mode for a limited time. Players can compete in the new space to gain “hype” and earn rewards until August 30th. (Gaming Intel)

  • Supermodel Karlie Kloss has partnered with Roblox to create five in-game pop-up shops. Each shop will be filled with virtual fashion pieces that players can purchase. (Vogue)

  • Burberry has partnered with Roblox to launch a virtual collection of handbags influenced by the brand's “longstanding affinity for nature and the outdoors.” (Yahoo)

  • Soccer Mommy hosted a listening party for her new album, Sometimes, Forever, on Roblox. Soccer Mommy fans were able to participate in different events alongside Sophie Allison’s avatar. (Pitchfork)

  • Nintendo will acquire visual content company Dynamo Pictures. Once the deal closes, Dynamo will be renamed Nintendo Pictures Co. and become a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. (THR)

Interesting Campaigns / Creative

  • To celebrate National Nude Day, Peloton partnered with Ryan Reynolds' company Maximum Effort for a spot that features a naked Christopher Meloni saying "Apparently, some people think the way I work out is strange." (THR)


  • The UK government published its national AI strategy, which outlines its long-term vision for the technology and its impact on society.

  • Rodney Brooks, the creator of the Roomba, throws cold water on the idea that AI will surpass human intelligence in the near future.

  • A unique look behind the curtain at how one VC fund increased returns.

  • How Peloton uses design and gamification to keep people on the exercise platform.

  • If you think gentrification is about new coffee shops and high rents, you are missing an essential aesthetic element.

  • Watch out for the Trisolarians! Scientists might have found the first-known planet orbiting three stars at once.

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