What in the World—Week of February 1

Food delivery services to face off at Super Bowl
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reunited as their beloved characters Wayne and Garth for a Super Bowl commercial? No way. Way! Still long of hair, but also noticeably longer of tooth than in their 1990s heyday, Wayne and Garth are currently appearing in a teaser ad promoting a 60-second Uber Eats ad that will run during the Super Bowl. Uber Eats’ rival DoorDash will also run a Super Bowl ad featuring actor/performer Daveed Diggs alongside Sesame Street characters Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Grover. According to The Wall Street Journal, it will be the first Super Bowl appearance for either brand. It comes as food delivery services are poised to generate US$71.8 billion in revenues in the U.S. alone this year. Schwing, indeed!

LVMH plans to improve Tiffany
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is about to get even more luxurious. According to Reuters, French luxury goods company LVMH plans to overhaul Tiffany & Co’s product assortment, with a particular emphasis on “high-end, sparkling jewelry” such as gold and gemstones, after closing its US$15.8 billion acquisition of the famed retailer this month. Sources also told Reuters that LVMH plans to revamp its stores’ appearance—which Reuters described as “out-of-date, shoddy and in need of refurbishing”—and expand its footprint in Europe and Asia (more than two-thirds of its 320 stores are in the United States). Alexandre Arnault, Tiffany’s EVP, told employees during a recent town hall that he would focus on ad campaigns aimed at attracting younger consumers.

Duopoloy sued for ‘anticompetitive’ ad practices
U.S. publisher HD Media, owner of a group of West Virginia newspapers including Pulitzer Prize-winning publication The Charleston Gazette-Mail, is suing Google and Facebook, claiming that the tech giants are profiting from “anticompetitive and monopolistic practices” that are harming the newspaper industry. As reported by The New York Times, the lawsuit is the first of its kind filed by a newspaper company. The duopoly accounted for more than half of all U.S. digital ad spending in 2019, leading HD Media to state in the suit that “there is no longer a competitive market in which newspapers can fairly compete for online advertising revenue.” HD Media managing partner Doug Reynolds also invited other newspapers to join the cause. “We are fighting not only for the future of the press but also the preservation of our democracy,” he said.

Levi’s loosens up
By forcing a large percentage of the population to work from home, the pandemic has redefined work attire and fashion sensibilities. In short, comfort is very in. That dynamic is being felt at the most iconic denim maker: Levi Strauss & Co. “There’s definitely a trend toward more casual, looser-fitting clothes in general, and the same is true in jeans,” CEO Chip Bergh said on a conference call with analysts Wednesday. Levi’s launched a line of loose-fit jeans for men and women in the fall—it’s enjoying a “very fast start,” said Bergh—as well as a unisex sweats collection. However, the pandemic has not ended the double standard of fashion which often sees very different rules and expectations for men and women. While the trend may be toward looser-fitting clothing in general, Bergh noted that “I don’t think skinny jeans are ever going away on the women’s side of the business.”

Ryanair sees summer bounce back for beach travel
While airlines have been hit hard by the drop in travel over the past year, European discount airline Ryanair expects things will bounce back by summer thanks to vaccines. Ryanair said it will lose €1 billion this year, but CEO Michael O’Leary said the airline is expecting a boom in summer bookings and a return of beach holidays by the summer, reports The Guardian. “Ninety-three per cent all of the deaths arising from coronavirus are in people over 65. Once you eliminate that risk through vaccinations in the UK and in the EU, then frankly we don’t see any need for travel restrictions,” he told BBC Radio. The airline recently came under fire for an ad campaign that encouraged people to book flights now on the promise of the vaccine roll-out. The ads, some of which included the line “jab & go,” reportedly drew 1,600 complaints to the U.K. ad watchdog.

David Brown