Whole Foods readies for national rollout of Daily Shop format

July 17, 2024

Whole Foods Market is gearing up for a national rollout of its Daily Shop concept, which will begin after the opening of several New York City locations under the small-store format, reports Grocery Dive.

The grocer also announced plans to open its second Daily Shop at 301 W. 50th St. in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. A Whole Foods spokesperson confirmed that the grocer has five leases in the New York City area for upcoming Daily Shops.

A third New York City Daily Shop will be announced soon, according to the spokesperson, and a national rollout “will follow.” The grocer did not specify a timeline or what other cities the national rollout will include.

The first Daily Shop, originally announced in March, is slated to open this fall at 1175 Third Ave. on the Upper East Side. Whole Foods did not specify an opening date for the Hell’s Kitchen location.

Like the Upper East Side location, the Hell’s Kitchen Daily Shop will include Amazon One payment technology, self-checkout kiosks and traditional checkout stands, grab-and-go meal options, and private label goods, the spokesperson confirmed.

The grocer added that both upcoming New York City locations will feature Juice & Java, which serves coffee, tea, fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, sandwiches, soups, and desserts.

Whole Foods’ Daily Shops will span between 7,000 and 14,000 square feet—no more than about half the size of the grocer’s traditional stores—and aim to bring fresh, quality food and ingredients to customers with “fast-paced urban lifestyles.”

The expansion of Daily Shop is Whole Foods’ latest attempt at a small-format store and comes several years after the company abandoned its 365 store concept.

Whole Foods’ focus on New York City as the launch site for Daily Shop builds on the grocer’s 17-store store footprint in the metropolitan area.

Research contact: @GroceryDive

‘Armchair Expert’ podcast host Dax Shepard Signs $80 million deal with Amazon

July 15, 2024

Comedian Dax Shepard has signed a roughly $80 million podcasting deal with Amazon, shifting his popular “Armchair Expert” show to its Wondery platform from Spotify, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Wondery will exclusively distribute and sell ads for “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard,” as well as co-produce two new podcasts. The agreement also includes a livestream of the show each year with Shepard and a first-look option for any new podcasts he creates.

The deal is part of a wave of new podcast deals being forged after a boom-and-bust cycle for the format over the past five years. It underscores how the format is evolving in its new, more sober era, and the new ways in which platforms are trying to monetize hot shows and their stars.

Amazon plans to launch video episodes—a new feature for “Armchair Expert”—and create translated versions of the podcast to distribute globally.

New episodes of “Armchair Expert” will be available a week early and without ads to customers who pay for Amazon’s Wondery+ subscription service before being distributed widely across platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Amazon plans to exclusively create and sell all merchandise related to the show.

Under Amazon’s deal with Shepard, it will distribute and sell ads for the full back catalog of “Armchair Expert” podcasts, starting in September. Launched in 2018, the show has featured more than 600 interviews with big names—from celebrities to artists, scientists, politicians and authors including former President Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Research contact: @WSJ

Coke’s Summer Olympics campaign celebrates the unifying power of hugs

July 11, 2024

Coca-Cola debuted its Summer Olympics campaign with a theme around hugs—a gesture the soft drink brand described as a universal sign of acceptance and inclusion, reports Marketing Dive.

The lead spot for “It’s Magic When the World Comes Together” shows swimmers Lilly King, Kaylene Corbett, Annie Lazor, and Tatjana Schoenmaker embracing—a nod to a moment at the last summer games. Casual viewers take a cue from the athletes and begin hugging people around them as the commercial continues.

Limited-time Olympics packaging displays illustrations of one half of a hug, creating a full embrace when two Coke cans are paired together. Out-of-home ads, social and digital content round out the effort, which champions unity, amid a time of heightened divisions.

Coke’s latest Olympics campaign feels far removed from the past two games, when close physical contact was strongly discouraged amid the spread of COVID-19.

The brand’s emphasis on inclusion, embodied through expressions of affection for sports rivals and strangers alike, comes at another fragile moment for society.

France, the host for the games this year, just underwent a contentious snap election, as did the U.K. Other countries, including the United States, are only just entering the thick of the political campaigning season, putting the public on edge.

Creative concepts like Coke’s will test whether brands can ameliorate consumer anxiety as the world comes together in competition. Special-edition cans further push people to gather and share a drink and a hug.

The lead ad for “It’s Magic When the World Comes Together” takes inspiration from a heartwarming scene from the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, which took place in 2021 due to pandemic-related delays. After South African swimmer Schoenmaker broke the 200-meter breaststroke world record, teammate Corbett and U.S. rivals King and Lazor rushed to congratulate her with a hug in a display of uplifting sportsmanship. Coke’s commercial recreates the moment in Paris, which sets off an infectious wave of hugs across the globe as spectators embrace fellow fans, friends and even strangers on the subway.

The effort is part of Coke’s larger “Real Magic” brand platform that focuses on encouraging human connection. The soft drink company is an official Olympics and Paralympics sponsor.

“Our differences are what make us unique, but when we come together, that’s when the ‘Real Magic’ happens,” says Islam El Dessouky, global head of Content and Creative Strategy for Coca‑Cola. “Sports rivals embrace differences as a mindset. Olympic athletes train hard for four years with the goal of winning the gold. So, when you see them hugging, it’s a truly powerful symbol of human connection.”

The Olympics campaign was developed over the course of 18 months with aid from WPP Open X, a bespoke unit supporting the brand. Additional elements include outdoor ads appearing in France that underscore the hugging motif, along with special packaging exclusive to the country that was designed in collaboration with French artists Laura Normand, Aurelia Durand, and Bruno Mangyoku.

Research contact: @marketingdive

Hoka’s latest avian-themed ads look to shore up favor among runners

July 9, 2024

Hoka is ramping up its avian-themed marketing targeted at runners with a new global ad campaign titled “We Are All Born to Fly,” reports Fashion Dive.

The effort launches with a 60-second anthem spot, “Bird’s Eye,” that shows a raptor gliding over mountains, forest trails, and open roads in the French Alps—providing aerial POVs on the runners below. The full campaign, slated to run through the fall, will span broadcast, over-the-top TV, out-of-home, digital channels and social media.

“We Are All Born to Fly” expands a “Fly Human Fly” platform Hoka introduced on the back of strong sales momentum. Another branding play around running comes as legacy rivals, including Nike, have seen their foothold in the running community slip.

Tying the euphoria of running to birds in flight remains a key branding touchstone for Hoka in its latest ads. Developed with agency Anomaly, the campaign builds on a “Fly Human Fly” platform that previously featured creative inspired by murmuration, a visually striking bird-flocking behavior that Hoka used

Carrying similar themes, “We Are All Born to Fly” depicts a raptor taking wing over the French Alps, a locale that nods to Hoka’s roots in Annecy, France. While in the air, the bird spots runners of all levels of intensity, from those climbing high-altitude trails to people taking a casual jog on the road. The campaign’s rollout lands ahead of the Summer Olympics, a major sporting occasion, and will extend throughout the fall 2024 season.

Founded in 2009, Hoka has won over picky performance runners thanks to its comfortable, chunky shoe designs and active outreach to running clubs, which have soared in popularity since the pandemic.

The company, which is owned by Deckers Brands, surpassed $1 billion in sales last year and is frequently cited as a disruptor to Nike, which has seen some of its favorability among runners slip.

Nike, a dominant force in sportswear, has struggled in a broader sense after prioritizing direct-to-consumer channels over wholesale retail relationships and failing to produce eye-catching marketing in recent years.

Nike is currently pushing its Pegasus 41 sneaker with a program executives have described as the brand’s “most comprehensive running campaign in years.” The firm is also doubling down on its on-the-ground game to reconnect with the running community.

Research contact: @FashionDive

Pfizer’s Paxlovid flunks ‘long COVID’ study as researchers uncover the condition’s deep toll

July 8, 2024

For a while, Pfizer’s flailing blockbuster Paxlovid seemed like a promising option for patients with long COVID. Now, that hope has been once again dashed, reports PharmaVoice.

After a 15-day course of Paxlovid in 155 patients, researchers from Stanford Medicine reported this month that the drug was no more effective than a placebo at reducing long COVID’s six “core” symptoms.

In theory, the antiviral should be a good candidate for treating the condition’s constellation of woes that can include brain fog, shortness of breath, body aches, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress, and more. In acute COVID-19, Paxlovid’s antiviral punch has been shown to slash the likelihood of hospitalization and death by 89% in high-risk adults.

Evidence has pointed to persistent antiviral replication or molecular debris from the virus as potential culprits, which would lend itself to an effective antiviral approach.

But studies have shown otherwise, and the latest trial follows other disappointing results from researchers attempting to thwart long COVID with Paxlovid. One study published earlier this year found that the antiviral failed to prevent long COVID in vaccinated patients experiencing their first bout of the illness.

As these studies come up short in the clinic, other researchers have built mounting evidence on long COVID’s deep toll.

About 7% of U.S. adults have grappled with the condition, according to a report released this month from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—a group of nonprofits that provides policy advice and guidance.

The report noted that long COVID has now been linked to over 200 symptoms impacting “nearly every organ system.” Although patients with a severe bout of the infection are more likely to develop long COVID, it can also be triggered by mild cases.

With no FDA-approved treatments on the market for long COVID, the report noted patients are left with therapies targeting specific symptoms, which generally “improve over time.” But even though 18% to 22% of patients with symptoms at the six-month mark recovered after a year, the condition worsens for many others and often mirrors chronic and complex multisystem illnesses such as fibromyalgia.

The data supports recent findings by the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component that also estimated that 7% of Americans have had long COVID. The survey indicated women are more commonly affected than men (8.5% of all females surveyed compared to 5.1% of males), and that it was more prevalent among white and Hispanic Americans.

The rates of long COVID were similar among Americans who’d been vaccinated (8.4%) and those who hadn’t (8.7%), but were markedly lower in those who’d gotten a booster (5.8%). Adults with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and obesity were more likely to report dealing with long COVID.

While researchers zero in on the prevalence of long COVID, the quest to find an effective therapy could be a long way from paying off.

There are fewer than 20 late-stage studies listed on clinicaltrials.gov assessing various treatments for long COVID. In addition to other studies for Paxlovid, researchers are trialing the SSRI Luvox, aspirin and an FDA-approved heart failure drug called Ivabradine.

Research contact: @PharmaVoice

Moderna gets U.S. funding for bird flu vaccine development

July 4, 2024

The U.S. government has awarded $176 million to vaccine maker Moderna for development of an mRNAbased bird flu shot, reports Biopharma Dive.

The funding was awarded through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, and will support late-stage testing of a vaccine targeting H5 influenza virus. This type of virus is also known as avian, or bird flu, and includes the H5N1 strain that’s currently spreading among livestock in the United States.

The agreement—made through BARDA’s Rapid Response Partnership Vehicle— also includes options for large-scale production and pandemic response.

There have been four cases of H5N1 bird flu in humans in the United States since 2022, including three from exposure to dairy cattle presumed to be infected. H5N1 is highly infectious among birds, and outbreaks have occurred in commercial poultry as well as in livestock herds across the country.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s no evidence of person-to-person spread and the overall public health risk remains low.

Still, there are growing concerns about the outbreaks in animals and governments in the U.S.A. and Europe are taking steps to prepare. The U.S. government has previously been in talks with vaccine manufacturers, and is discussing vaccination strategies with European authorities.

Compared to other vaccine technologies, an mRNA shot could offer advantages in how quickly it can be manufactured and adapted.

“… mRNA vaccine technology offers advantages in efficacy, speed of development, and production scalability and reliability in addressing infectious disease outbreaks, as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.

Moderna started testing pandemic influenza vaccines in adults 18 years and older last year—including candidates covering the H5 and H7 virus families. Results are expected this year and will inform further development in Phase 3.

Research contact: @biopharmadive

Calvin Klein’s Jeremy Allen White ads turned heads, but the biggest impact may be to the brand’s image

July 1, 2024

Just days into the new year, Calvin Klein released its Spring 2024 men’s underwear collection with an ad campaign that inspired a string of admiring TikToks and think pieces, reports Fashion Dive.

The resulting surge in social media impressions was worth about $74 million, according to the brand’s holding company PVH.

The images featured actor Jeremy Allen White in his hometown of New York City, sporting classic Calvin Klein underwear styles, such as white cotton boxer briefs. Images included photos and a video of White exercising on a rooftop, scored by Lesley Gore’s song “You Don’t Own Me.”

White is the star of the buzzy FX on Hulu series “The Bear,” which debuted its third season on Wednesday, June 26. The actor and the series received honors at this year’s Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, which were both held shortly after the campaign launched.

White wore a black suit and sheer black shirt by Calvin Klein at the Golden Globes. White wore Calvin Klein again to the series’ season premiere in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 25, in an oyster white bespoke suit with a black tie.

Calvin Klein is a 56-year-old brand known for head-turning, and at times controversial, ads starring popular celebrities. However, the campaign starring White was unique in the amount of attention it drew.

Within the first 48 hours of its debut, the media campaign generated $10.4 million in media impact value, and generated $699,000 in MIV for the Calvin Klein brand itself, according to data from Launchmetrics. By PVH’s own metrics, the campaign generated $12 million in media exposure within the same time period.

By comparison, Calvin Klein campaigns starring Michael B. Jordan and Carlos Alcaraz netted $3.8 million and $827,000 in MIV, respectively, within 48 hours of their launches, per Launchmetrics.

The campaign debuted as PVH is in the midst of a multi-year plan to boost Calvin Klein’s desirability and consumer loyalty. In an April earnings call with analysts, CEO Stefan Larsson said the Calvin Klein brand was “driving some of the highest consumer engagement” in its history, “fueled by cut through campaigns with globally relevant mega-talent.” When asked by analysts about the overall health of the Calvin Klein brand, Larsson pointed to these campaigns.

“We saw the impact of this work earlier this year with the launch of our spring campaign featuring Jeremy Allen White, and we are excited to build on this strong momentum as Calvin’s global product engine takes hold,” Larsson said.

Research contact: @fashiondive

Ikea launches textile collection for home and fashion

June 25, 2024

Ikea has introduced a new 20-piece collection of textiles, reports Fashion Dive.

The collection, called Tyg, which means fabric in Swedish, features pre-cut fabric in 3-meter lengths (approximately 10 feet), created by 13 designers. The fabric will launch across all 51 Ikea U.S. stores in July with a second drop slated for the second half of 2024. The collection also will be offered at Ikea stores worldwide and through its e-commerce platform.

There will be 16 patterns available during the first 24 months, with four additional patterns in the second drop later this year. Prices for each cut piece of fabric range from $9.99 to $14.99, per the spokesperson.

The Tyg collection is designed to be used by customers to create either clothing or home decor. However, Ikea stated that the fabric patterns are “unique and legally protected, prohibiting commercial reproduction without permission

“The fabrics in the Tyg collection are easy to sew, tie, cut and stitch—all great qualities needed in a textile when designing clothing,” a spokesperson told Fashion Dive in an email. “We’re creating countless opportunities for design, whether that’s crafting a bespoke skirt, tailoring a pair of pants, or assembling a unique jacket. It’s all about unleashing creativity with the minimum means.”

The company says that the process of caring for and repairing products can encourage ssustainability, because it gives “new life [to] existing items—there is no need for a complete replacement.”

“At Ikea, our identity is deeply intertwined with the textiles,” Marie Olsson, range area manager, Home Textiles and Rugs says. “Historically, we are recognized for our patterns and textiles, which have a long-standing heritage of bold expressions that tell stories. The new Tyg collection continues that journey with many inspirational expressions from the 13 designers involved in the project. In the meanwhile, we also found some old, timeless modern patterns in our treasure chest to reuse.”

Research contact: @fashiondive

Skincare company Galderma sees opportunity in ‘Ozempic face’

June 24, 2024

Speedy weight loss from drugs used to fight obesity and diabetes has left some users looking gaunt and aged. The boss of Swiss skincare group Galderma thinks treatments for what has been dubbed “Ozempic face” could give the company a lift, reports The Wall Street Journal.

With millions of Americans taking blockbuster drugs like Ozempic and Zepbound to slim down—and more looking to get hold of them—the side effects of the popularity of the medications are rippling through the business world.

Investors are searching for winners and losers from weight-loss—also known as GLP-1 because of the appetite-suppressing gut hormone they mimic—in sectors ranging from medical devices to food to clothing.

Galderma Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov pitches the company, which houses skincare brands Cetaphil and Alastin, as a potential beneficiary of the weight-loss boom.

“If you have that kind of weight loss, not only do you have body transformation, but you also have facial transformation and they [users] are flocking to aesthetic treatments,” Ornskov said in an interview.

One of the downsides of obesity drugs is that some users have developed what they call “Ozempic face,” an aged appearance that leaves them with saggy skin on their faces. Doctors say the changes result from speedy weight loss, and the associated reduction in facial volume, and that the drugs themselves don’t target the face.

Fillers or longer-acting biostimulators, included in some of Galderma’s products, can help counter those side effects, Ornskov says. “Weight-loss products are rapidly changing aesthetics practices,” he added.

Analysts are also bullish on the demand potential of “Ozempic face” treatments for the Swiss company. The growing use of GLP-1s could help reinvigorate growth of the fillers market over the coming years, since they can address potential sagging and aging of facial skin resulting from the use of these drugs, Jefferies analysts wrote in a note to clients.

About 3.5 million patients use GLP-1 treatments in the United States, which has boosted demand for treatments to address the slimmed-down facial volume caused by weight loss, according to UBS estimates.

A recent Gallup poll showed 6% of the U.S. adult population—an estimated 15.5 million people—tried the drugs to lose weight. The poll was based on a survey of more than 5,500 people conducted in March.

Beyond products that target GLP-1 patients looking to rejuvenate their skin, Galderma sees growth potential in “injectable aesthetics,” or skin-smoothing injections. Demand is particularly high for neuromodulators, wrinkle-relaxing injections of botulinum toxin that Galderma sells under the Dysport brand. Dysport competes with AbbVie’s Botox.

“In the [United States], we have seen most of the growth comes from injectable aesthetics,” Ornskov said. Galderma expects its injectable-aesthetics products to continue to fuel growth domestically and everywhere else, its CEO said.

“We always wanted from the beginning a three-legged stool with three very strong and independent interlinked businesses,” Ornskov said. “By having this integrated story, we probably should be adding versus subtracting to our portfolio over time.”

The company expects to bolster its therapeutic dermatology business through the launch of nemolizumab, a drug for the treatment of skin disorder prurigo nodularis and for atopic dermatitis, a common type of eczema that causes itchy skin.

Galderma filed applications for both indications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, and expects to launch it in the United States next year. Analysts at Bank of America estimate the drug could reach $2.1 billion in annual peak sales.

Research contact: @WSJ