KFC partners with Crocs; Ryan Reynolds is showing at Westminster; MDC Partners has a new agency collective

KFC and Crocs have partnered to create a fugly shoe

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 11.01.39 AMKFC has long been accused of producing artery-clogging food, but the chicken chain has taken the idea to a literal conclusion by partnering with fugly footwear manufacturer Crocs on a line of branded clogs.

The “Kentucky Fried Chicken X Crocs Clogs” received their formal introduction on Tuesday, when South Korean rapper and Instagram artist Me Love Me a Lot wore what the company described as “sky-high, platform avant-garde” version of the new shoe during a New York Fashion Week appearance. The regular version of the shoe will go on sale in the spring for US$59.99.

The shoes feature KFC’s instantly recognizable red and white stripes on the soles, complete with fried chicken imagery on the top. They also come with two removable chicken-scented Jibbitz charms that resemble a chicken drumstick.

“Combining the unmistakable look of our world-famous fried chicken and signature KFC bucket, with the unparalleled comfort and style of Crocs, these shoes are what fried chicken footwear dreams are made of,” said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer for KFC U.S.

We don’t know about you, but we prefer the original recipe clogs.

Ryan Reynolds’ new dog of an ad for Aviation Gin

Our favourite celebrity spokesperson, Ryan Reynolds, is back with with another ad for his Aviation Gin brand, this time promoting a new partnership with the Westminster Dog Show and the event’s new signature cocktail, The Sensation.

The ad features Reynolds pulling a bottle of Aviation Gin around the event’s famous ring on a leash. The video was created by Maximum Effort, the content studio Reynolds co-founded. We can’t speak to the cocktail, but his marketing takes Best in Show.

MDC Partners introduces The Constellation

MDC Partners has introduced yet another bundled agency offering, this one with an emphasis on creativity supported by data, strategy, design, user experience, storytelling, and media.

The new five-agency collective, The Constellation, is comprised of the creative agencies 72andSunny and CPB, complemented by the digital shop Instrument, strategy and design company Redscout and the production house Hecho Studios. MDC said that the agencies will continue to go to market under their own brand, but will come together as a “creative powerhouse” on growth opportunities.

CPB’s global CEO Erik Sollenberg assumes chief operating officer responsibilities for The Constellation. “This is a modern, collaborative way of working that brings together the best of what each company has to offer while also continuing to grow our individual companies, harnessing our unique, respective offerings,” he said in a release.

Constellation is the latest in a growing universe of MDC created agency clusters, which includes the Anomaly-led “alliance” that debuted last month, and a Doner-led network introduced in December. It also debuted a new media, data and technology network in July.

Bloomberg offering micro-influencers $150 for content

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is reportedly offering micro-influencers $150 to create content that says “why Mike Bloomberg is the electable candidate who can rise above the fray, work across the aisle so ALL Americans feel heard & respected.”

The story, first reported by The Daily Beast late last week, said that Bloomberg posted to the platform Tribe, a marketplace to connect brands and social influencers, looking for influencers to produce content.

“Influencers are asked not to use profanity, nudity, or ‘overtly negative content,’ as well as be U.S. residents to participate,”  wrote reporter Scott Bixby.

A latecomer to the U.S. presidential race, Bloomberg is relying on an aggressive advertising strategy to make up ground on established candidates, including spending a reported $300 million of his own personal wealth.  “He has flooded TV, Facebook and Google with advertising that has improved his standing, even though he has not appeared in a single debate,” reported Time.

IAB project to reinvent digital marketing after cookies

The IAB has announced a new initiative to create new a new digital marketing model for the industry that will, in the words of CEO Randall Rothenberg, “at last put consumers in the safe, sane, exciting centre of everything we do.”

Dubbed “Project Rearc” the IAB is calling on brand, agency, publisher, platform, and technology industries to work together to create new standards of behaviour, codes of conduct, legal agreements, and enabling technologies to drive personalized marketing while respecting privacy. The project comes as a direct response to Google announcing it would phase out third-party cookies, as well as increasing privacy regulations by governments like the new California Consumer Privacy Act.

“The cookie’s death can lead to a better future for digital media globally. It’s an opportunity to change the practices, controls, and value surrounding personal data to favour consumers,” said Dennis Buchheim, EVP and general manager of IAB Tech Lab.


Chris Powell