• Allied secured a variety of partners to promote the launch of NCSOFT's Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons, a major, highly anticipated expansion to the highly acclaimed MMO game Guild Wars 2. Partners included Butterfinger, HyperX, Amazon Prime Gaming, Intel, O2 Mobile, Alienware, Crucial, and most notably, Carl's Jr./Hardee's, which included Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons branding on 3M+ large soda cups distributed in 2.8K restaurants across the US.


Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • As of December 2021, the number of US users that have seen the AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) prompt and opted into tracking is relatively low, at just 37%. (eMarketer)

  • Pinterest is positioning itself as the positive alternative to its reputationally-challenged social platform rivals citing research that Pinterest led the list for inspiring users with new ideas against any other digital platforms. (CMO)

  • CF Entertainment, owner of The Weather Channel, is suing Nielsen for fraud, arguing it provides a fundamentally defective service that has caused networks to lose billions of dollars in ad revenue. (THR)

Awards / Festivals

  • Netflix dominated the 49th annual Annie Awards, with The Mitchells vs. the Machines winning Best Feature and the video game adaptation Arcane winning 9 trophies including General Production, TV. (Deadline)

  • At the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards, Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” and “Ted Lasso” led the night’s winners with four trophies apiece. “Succession,” “Belfast” and “Dune” each took home three awards. (Variety)

  • At the 75th British Academy of Film Awards, "The Power of the Dog," won best film, and the sci-fi film "Dune," which led nominations going into the night, won five awards. (CNN)

  • The Cannes Film Festival has announced TikTok as its official partner for this year's festival. TikTok will be airing exclusive content and providing the festival with financial support. (THR)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • Amazon has officially gained EU antitrust approval for its $8.5B acquisition of MGM movie studio, which will help it compete with Netflix and Disney+. (Reuters)

  • AMC Theaters has introduced a dynamic pricing model in which the theater will charge more for blockbuster Hollywood movies. (Morning Consult)

Gambling / Casinos

  • As sports betting apps like Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet reach advertising agreements with universities around the US, concerns are growing surrounding gambling addictions. Under the marketing deals, the betting apps are paying to have their names mentioned during radio broadcasts, highlighted on schools' mobile apps and displayed inside arenas and stadiums. (Bloomberg)

  • An estimated 44M Americans plan to wager $3.1 billion on March Madness. That's more than 17% of the entire adult population. (Daily Herald)

  • DraftKings has introduced the Primetime NFT Series as a celebration of sports' biggest moments. The first Primetime NFT Series drop will be the 2022 College Hoops Collection just in time for March Madness. (Draftkings)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Earlier this month, 64% of consumers said they were comfortable visiting a museum, the highest share recorded since the start of the pandemic. (Morning Consult)

  • Dolly Parton launched “Dollyverse,” at SXSW last week which was the first ever SXSW performance on blockchain. (Variety)

  • Olivia Rodrigo, BTS and Billie Eilish will be performing at this years Grammys, and Trevor Noah will be the host. (Variety)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Amazon launched a new app called Amp, which allows people to create live “radio shows” where they can act as a DJ by taking callers in between playing tracks. (Tech Crunch)

  • Spotify subscriptions can now be bundled with Soundtrap's audio creation tool. (Engadget)

  • About 50% of people reported being comfortable with going to concerts, the highest since the start of the pandemic. (Morning Consult)

  • FC Barcelona's iconic stadium will be renamed as the Spotify Camp Nou after the La Liga club agreed a multi-year partnership with audio streaming service Spotify. (BBC)

  • Spotify is adding new levels of control for collaborative playlists, including the ability to share collaborative mixes with large public groups or keeping them private. (Engadget)

  • New and existing Walmart + members are receiving six months of Spotify Premium for free. (Streamable)

NFT / Blockchain / Crypto

  • A surprising number of Aussies are very interested in receiving their paycheck in crypto rather than the Australian dollar. Among Aussie Millennial men, 39% are “extremely” or “very interested” in receiving their paycheque in crypto. (Motley Fool)

  • Former file-sharing site LimeWire is relaunching as an NFT marketplace, more than a decade since shutting down. (CNBC)

  • Shake Shack will offer cash-back rewards in the form of Bitcoin to customers who pay for their order using Cash App. Qualifying orders will receive 15% of the cost of their order back in Bitcoin. (CNBC)

  • Warner Bros. announced they will be launching DC Comics hybrid trading cards with redeemable NFTs. (Mashable)

  • Crypto lobbying spend has jumped 3x, from $2.8M to $9M YoY. Efforts were fueled by big names like Coinbase, Ripple, and the Blockchain Association, with each dropping $2M+. (The Hustle)

  • AmEx is prepping for the metaverse by filing a trademark to let people to use its payment cards in virtual worlds. (Business Insider)

  • Livestreaming app Fireside is selling NFTs created by Mark Cuban, Charlie Sheen, and the creators of ‘Entourage.' The NFT will serve as membership cards for superfans to access the production process as it happens. (Fast Company)

  • Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta plans to introduce NFTs into Instagram in the “near term." More details will be released over the next several months. (Tech Crunch)

OTT / Streaming

  • CNN+ is working to secure distribution deals ahead of its 3/29 launch, approaching Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV. (Bloomberg)

  • Verizon announced it will be launching +play, a service that helps customers manage their streaming subscriptions through Verizon. (Streamable)

  • Both Rakuten TV and Samsung TV Plus are adding more free ad supported TV channels to their platforms in Europe including The Guardian’s FAST channel. (The Guardian)

  • Discovery confirmed plans that once it officially merges with WarnerMedia, Discovery+ will be combined with HBO Max into one app. (Variety)

  • Netflix is expanding its relationship with Dr. Seuss in a deal for five new animated preschool series and specials. (THR)

  • Pluto TV is launching in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway on May 18th. (Digital TV Europe)

  • Netflix is testing out a new fee structure that will allow subscribers to add up to two additional users outside of their households for $2.99/month. (THR)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • Travelers are slightly more open to paying a premium for both flexibility and safety in accommodations than for transportation. 16% of travelers are willing to pay an additional $20-49 for a hotel company that prioritizes pandemic safety. (Morning Consult)

  • Saks Off Fifth has rebranded to attract a younger fashion-loving audience. Their Spring 2022 campaign emphasizes inclusiveness, diversity, and cultivating self-expression. (Yahoo)

  • eMarketer ranked eBay Ads as the best retail media network. The ranking was developed by ad buyers who ranked major retail media networks based on traffic, first-party data, return on ad spend, and ease of use of the platform. (AdAge)

  • International cruise ships will finally be allowed back into Australian waters after more than two years of being banned due to COVID-19. (9News)

  • Silicon Valley Tech Company Tortoise has introduced a remote-controlled robot that can sell a variety of products from chocolates to AirPods from tap-to-pay containers on its back. (Yahoo)

  • Retail sales are expected to grow between 6% and 8% this year, down from 2021's growth rates as consumers spend less on goods to cope with inflation. (CNBC)

Social Media

  • Instagram is now letting Live creators appoint moderators during their streams. Mods will have the ability to report comments, remove viewers from the stream, as well as turn off comments for a specific viewer. (The Verge)

  • Russia has banned Instagram following Meta’s decision to allow users to engage in hate speech against Russian soldiers. (The Verge)

  • HBO was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that it shares subscribers’ viewing history with Facebook. The suit alleges that HBO provides Facebook with customer lists, which allows Facebook to match customers’ viewing habits with their Facebook profiles, violating the Video Privacy Protection Act. (Variety)

  • Discord, a popular social media platform for gamers, is interviewing investment bankers about going public as soon as this year. (Yahoo)

  • Following significant pushback from those who prefer to see latest tweets first, Twitter rolled back its decision to force an algorithmic timeline. (The Verge)

  • Facebook now has a TikTok which has already amassed about 15K followers, despite not having posted any public videos. (Tech Crunch)

  • Vimeo is hiking the annual price for content creators, who are suddenly asked to pay thousands of dollars for Vimeo's premium service. (The Verge)

Video Games

  • Magic Leap is releasing a new augmented reality (AR) headset, the Magic Leap 2. (Fortune)

  • Meta will allow Horizon Worlds users to turn off their avatar's personal safety boundary or update when it's activated. (Tech Crunch)

  • DeepWell Digital Therapeutics, a video game company that will develop games to help treat health conditions like depression and ADHD, is preparing for launch. (The Verge)

  • Riot Games has bought a stake in Fortiche, the animation studio behind Arcane. (Yahoo)

  • Google unveiled Stadia’s new B2B offering called “Immersive Stream for Games" which will allow companies to take advantage of Stadia’s platform technology and deliver games directly to players. (Tech Crunch)

Interesting Campaigns / Creative

  • Marketing agency DDB Athens launched an ad campaign for McDonald's which places the golden arches of McDonald’s into historical impressionist paintings for its latest “Meant to be Classic” ad campaign. (WERSM)


  • 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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