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Six out of Ten Americans will be celebrating Friendsgiving in 2023 & Big Lots’ Big Bet.

week in review

Marketing campaigns, influencers, brands, and competitive strategies in the world.

New Campbell's State of the Sides Report; Big Lots Bargains to Turn Around Sales; & Three Design Trends to be Aware of.

November 15, 2023

Welcome back to another Week In Review. In anticipation of upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations, Campbell’s released their new ‘State of the Sides’ annual report showcasing consumer trends for the holiday tradition across the US.

The report’s most remarkable insight may be the growing custom of celebrating ‘Friendsgiving,’ a separate Thanksgiving with friends and colleagues. Conducted by research company OnePoll, the survey found that 6/10 Americans will be participating in a Friendsgiving this holiday season. It also found that 67% of respondents preferred side dishes to the entrée, up by one percent from last year, and 66% say that sides are a way to bring cultural heritage to the Thanksgiving table.

What businesses should take in from the report is the evolving nature of holiday celebrations and the value that brands can form by capitalizing on early innovators in new practices.

For instance, Friendsgiving presents a unique opportunity for food companies to appeal to a young and open audience that’s forming new practices and mixing their heritages with common traditions. We often equate value to particular foods, and sides, as we would brands, attributing to them deeper sentimental value than they at times deserve. Now is the time to begin developing long-standing bonds with consumers who want to branch out and create new traditions that carry with them their values and practices.


Up Next...

Big Lots makes massive bets on bargains this holiday season as it aggressively competes against other retailers to fight the critical slowdown in sales.

Big Lots makes massive bets on bargains this holiday season as it aggressively competes against other retailers to fight the critical slowdown in sales.

Big Lots CEO, Bruce Thorn, Columbus Dispatch
Big Lots CEO, Bruce Thorn, Columbus Dispatch

After two quarters of drastically shrinking market share and the closing of four forward distribution centers, Big Lots looks to the holiday season to regain critical lost ground to other large retailers.

In an August earnings call, Big Lots CEO Bruce Thorn attributed the company’s hardships to the impact inflation is having on low-income customers. Its ongoing struggles have put the company at risk for bankruptcy, according to the credit reporting agency CreditRiskMonitor.

Amid tightening consumer prices and economic slowdown, Big Lots understands their customers are the ones feeling it the hardest and are looking to cater to their needs. It’s vying for customer loyalty in the face of mounting competition and looking to turn their slowdown into a steady stability through the months long bargain campaign that has costs of items at more than 50% off. Only time will tell if the campaign creates the positive momentum to turn back the tide for Big Lots, but it’s clear that they understand in times of rising consumer prices, it pays off to be cheap.



Let’s review three different design that are taking brand visuals and graphics to the next level.

hand-drawn illustrtions

Joe Dator, buy shoes, targeted advertising
Joe Dator,

To start there’s a growing popularity and behavioral connection with audiences and hand-drawn illustration. As can be seen with the New Yorker cartoon below, hand-drawn illustrations create a uniquely human perspective on everyday issues. They feel innately more personal as the human touch can be seen with every stroke and open up the field of copy and words to be more playful and comedic. Hand-drawn illustrations also allow for the imagination to roam with any given brand brief. Let’s say your audience is in the market for buying shoes, with hand-drawn illustrations, artists can create catchy, personal, and comedic representations of the experiences your customers go through to generate an emotional bond with your brand.

Speaking of engaging design; surrealism serves as one of the most captivating and thought-provoking forms of brand design. Loewe (Spanish luxury fashion house ) created a surrealist showcasing “Between Reality and Illusion” for its fall winter 23 campaign. With designs that combine unlikely combinations and illusions of product’s visual representations. It highlights the power of creative ideas with impactful designs can be; confusing and inviting the audience in for a brain game that leaves them irrefutably marked by the brand.

Lastly, as AI becomes more and more entrenched in our everyday lives, designers have had to think of new creative forms to work with technology. Artificial Intelligence is reshaping the design landscape, with a notable surge in the adoption of generative and algorithmic design. The profound impact of AI is evident in the ability of designers to craft intricate designs that were once deemed impossible manually. Anticipate a wave of designs in 2024 that bear the imprint of AI, be it through the utilization of generative design tools or employing AI to enhance and optimize existing designs.

The fusion of creativity and artificial intelligence is set to redefine the boundaries of design, ushering in an era of limitless possibilities.

RDLB Agency offers a marketing communication triad, a service made up of three pillars of support to strengthen and bolster your brand's engagement and market impact.


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