4 Insights Into Pop Culture's Latest News


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What Did You Miss?

Feeling a serious case of pop culture FOMO? In the age of the internet, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-evolving pop culture and entertainment news—even when you work at an entertainment marketing agency. Fortunately for you, I'm sharing a few important moments from this week.

Keep on reading if you want to stay in the know about what is happening in the wacky world of pop culture marketing. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares some insight about recent events happening in the entertainment landscape—everything from Kanye to Toys R Us to Red Bull.  

4 Insights Into Pop Cultures Latest News

Toys R Us Is... Back?

Macy's has created an in-store partnership collaboration with Toys-R-Us, opening toy stores strategically buried deep within Macy's walls to ensure parents have every opportunity to first purchase clothing for kiddos eager to escape into the fantasy world of toys-toys-and (you guessed it) more toys. It's an exciting collaboration as Macy's was not formally playing (hah!) in the toy space - so not something that is taking away rev share. The collaboration allows Macy's to leverage unused floor space and create great PR and social content opportunities where parents are eager to take their kids for Instagrammable moments.

The location buildout includes Carvel ice cream and Auntie Anne's. The future of department stores is a-changin'. 

With department and retail stores declining, I expect to see more collaborations where department store malls have to evolve and find new ways of attracting people by providing "experiences" to their shopping - versus giving up sales to Google and other online retailers. 

toys r us mascot geoffrey the giraffe with macy's logo

Photo Credit: adweek.com

Kanye Is In Retreat Mode

If you caught my blog last week, you know Kanye has self-imploded his brand to a level many feel is not recoverable. Since last week, Adidas bailed on their partnership, closing the door to 10% of their annual income and undoubtedly setting up a plan to axe jobs across their employee base. 

I'm still on the other side of the fence on his recovery as he will be back - after some time has lapsed where he has had an opportunity to showcase he's evolved. It's hard to turn away a guaranteed money-maker, even when they are polarizing. Some brand or another will be the first to cave at the possibility of leveraging that billion-maker.

Check out SNL's skit on Skechers if you have yet to see it. This is a brand in my backyard that I daily drive by their ever-expanding campus, taking over the neighborhood. They enabled our local Daily Breeze newspaper to break the news on Kanye's visit to their headquarters - which was then picked up globally. Talk about a PR opportunity falling in their laps (both the newspaper and Skechers!) Even if they don't want to launch a Skeezy line extension. 

I'm often asked if SNL's skits are paid for - and in truth, it's confusing to even me sometimes because there is often SO MUCH brand love given, but on the flip, much-making fun as well. A brand will rarely be open to having fun made at their own expense - and in those scenarios, you can be pretty sure that it's not paid and the brand just caught the eye of the show writers. With a few (rare) exceptions, if a brand can let its guard down, it won't be damaged by jokes that hit a little close to home. Instead, they can be part of the laugh - and gain some power in the process. We deal with this daily with product placement - where a writer/director has an idea they want to run with as part of their creative, and we have to balance the messaging based on how the brand may want to be positioned.

As I already shared - when his brand becomes less tarnished, partnership collaborations will begin again. It's going to take a beat. He's incredibly talented, can build true fans, and is just a disaster at this moment. But he will have to get a handle on his verbal and social outbursts, which have directly led to his breakdown of corporate relationships.  I do get it, he is offensive and nasty. I think what he is done is deplorable, made more so by the fact that he has tremendous influence to corrupt and be supported by the dregs of humanity. What he is saying and has said is horrid - but in our society of in-the-moment social, the long-term impact is questionable. He's being actively 'punished' right now, as he sees it. Now, will that punishment work and help knock sense into him? Perhaps. Loss of money is a significant game changer for many. He'd have far less sticking power if he weren't a global music powerhouse. 

A man wearing a black suit and a gold chain around his neck.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini | Invision

Me2 Movement In A Poster

As I was flying to Hawaii last week for an agency owner conference and flipping through the movie guide on a flight with no internet (come on, technology - I need my 'net even over an ocean, no downtime allowed!), I came across a movie poster image that I was a little surprised by.

Talk about something not lasting the test of time. The movie came out in 2013, eons before the Me Too movement had a chance to mar the fan-favorite minion franchise Despicable Me 2. In hindsight, Despicable Me, The Sequel might have been a better call. 

Despicable Me2

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal


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An Ode To Red Bull's Founder

This last week, Red Bull's genius co-founder and CEO Dietrich Mateschitz passed away, after having created one of the biggest beverage and sports entertainment companies in the world.  Because that's what he did - this is a man who was ALL IN on content marketing, before content marketing was even recognized as a marketing tactic.  

From naming rights across extreme sports inclusive of soccer and auto racing, as well as launching PR stunts heralded by the Red Bull name, Mateschitz took a new approach to building his brand by owning that which he advertised around, versus just sponsoring third-party activations - which they did massive spends there as well.

From F1 racing to cliff diving and soaring across the barrier of earth and space, Red Bull was built to celebrate taking risks and being loud, front and center. Red Bull is a brand that is truly built on becoming a lifestyle - appealing to consumers who are directly connected with the vibe of the brand and its extreme highs - and energy.  

In fact, Red Bull invented the category of energy drinks, opening the door today to hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth generated from sales of both energy and functional beverages, expanding within the category for many brand entrepreneurs.  

To give you an idea of the overall impact he had - today's market value for energy drinks is $91.94 billion - with a forecast of $177.58 billion by 2030. That's insane if you think about it.  Back in 1987 the category did not even exist.

Mateschitz's net worth was estimated to be $27.4 billion according to Forbes, Red Bull sold in 2021 9.8 billion cans worldwide — caffeinating more than 80% of the planet.  

Thanks to Jack Baer of Yahoo! Sports for pulling together the following list of Red Bull owned sports teams:


  • Red Bull Racing (Formula 1)
  • Scuderia AlphaTauri (Formula 1)


  • RB Leipzig (German Bundersliga)
  • FC Red Bull Salzburg (Austrian Bundesliga) and its reserve team
  • New York Red Bulls (Major League Soccer) and its reserve teams
  • Red Bull Bragantino (Brazilian Série A) and its reserve team

Ice hockey

  • EC Red Bull Salzburg (Austrian ICE Hockey League)
  • EHC Red Bull München (German Deutsche Eishockey Liga)

Motorcycle racing

  • Ten Kate Racing
  • Red Bull KTM Factory Racing


  • OG (various video games)

F1 News: Red Bull Founder Dietrich Mateschitz Has Died Aged 78 - F1  Briefings | Latest News, Rumours, Videos, and Standings.com

Photo Credit: Alex Harrington | SI.com

Want to Know More About What's Happening In Pop Culture Right Now?

Check out some of our other Hollywood Branded blogs below to stay in the know on what is happening in the entertainment and pop culture world:

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