BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #14: MCDONALD’S NEW FAMOUS ORDER, MESSI & TWITCH AND THE YOUTUBE SHORTS CAMPAIGN

In the latest edition of the Insights Round Up, we explore McDonald’s new partnership with music sensation Saweetie and evaluate the impact of the famous orders strategy by the fast-food company. We will also jump into the latest influencer news that includes some huge influencers making some new signings with various agencies. Finally, we will explore the latest platform updates, including how YouTube is looking to maximise engagement with YouTube Shorts!

The Saweetie Meal

McDonald’s recently debuted ‘The Saweetie Meal’ in the latest ‘famous orders’ collection. The meal includes a Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, Fries, Sprite, Tangy BBQ Sauce and Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce.

To launch ‘The Saweetie Meal’, McDonald’s released a commercial featuring Saweetie and how she combines different foods and sauces with her meal. Saweetie and McDonald’s also launched ‘Saweetstakes’, a competition allowing participants to win two themed handbags by Brandon Blackwood, Saweetie’s favourite designers, and a five-day trip to Las Vegas with two tickets to see Saweetie live. To enter the ‘Saweetstakes’ fans simply order the meal from McDonald’s from September 5th.

Following the announcement of ‘The Saweetie Meal’, the internet exploded with memes with humorous content referring to the size of the meal and how hard McDonald’s employees will have to work to sort just one order.

The last McDonald’s famous order programme was with K-Pop group BTS, which helped boost McDonald’s sales internationally. South Korean news outlet, The Fact stated that the BTS meal caused sales of McNuggets to skyrocket, with the daily average increasing by 250% in four weeks after launch.

ByteDance Plans To List On The Hong Kong Market 

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, is planning to list on the Hong Kong market, after pausing plans on an offering on the New York Stock Exchange. ByteDance was founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming, with nearly $10 billion raised in funding over nine years, and in a recent round raising $5 billion, resulting in a final valuation of $180 billion.

Now the Beijing-based company plans to list in the final quarter of 2021, however, ByteDance’s Hong Kong IPO has been held up by cybersecurity concerns from Chinese regulators. In addition, a reason behind the pause on a New York listing was down to Chinese regulators requiring any company with one million users to not allow user information to be accessed by overseas regulators.

The Messi Effect 

Footballer Lionel Messi completed his move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in what is considered a shock signing.

In 2011, Qatar Sports Investments took over ownership of PSG, investing heavily in turning the club into one of the richest football franchises in the world. The impact for Qatar was an increased global presence through the association with PSG. Messi does not mark the first big signing for the club, PSG have already attracted big names in football, thanks to the financial support of Qatar Sports Investments, making PSG no match for state-sponsored teams. PSG have already spent well over $1 billion before the Messi signing. 

Following the signing announcement, Spanish influencer Ibai Llanos chatted with Messi in an interview on Twitch, more than 317,000 people watched the interview live – showing opportunities for Sport on the live streaming platform, away from traditional broadcasters. According to GlobalWebIndex, sports viewing is shifting online to streaming platforms, even overtaking traditional broadcast TV in the Asia Pacific Region – a sign of what may come to fruition in the Western market!

Bella Poarch Signs With A3 Artists Agency 

Bella Poarch was able to amass a huge following on TikTok through lip-syncing and musical content, which resulted in the creator being one of the fastest-growing on the platform – at one point gaining 1 million new followers per day. Bella also released her debut single ‘Build a B*tch’ earlier this year and achieved 42 million views on the music video in just three days.

In the latest update, Bella has signed with A3 Artists Agency, providing representation within the agency’s alternative programming, digital media, licensing and branding division. The creator and artist is also signed with Warner Records and is a prime example of how TikTok stars can find huge success within the music industry through a strong digital presence, and a legion of loyal fans, authentically grown on TikTok.

Bella has also teased a second single named ‘Inferno’, which featured some huge digital creators in the gaming space in a teaser clip. These creators included Adin Ross, Disguised Toast, TommyInnit and Ludwig. Featuring other influencers in her music videos has been a common practice, as Bella utilised some of the biggest US creators in her last music video including Bretman Rock, Larray and Valkyrae.

Arcade Media Signs The Sidemen

Arcade Media is a London-based digital talent management company that has recently formed. The first client for Arcade is The Sidemen – a hugely popular collective of creators that include KIS, Wroetoshaw, Miniminter, Vikkstar123 and Zerkaa, Behzinga and TBJZL.

Arcade Media was co-founded by Sam Uwins, Aaron O’Neill and Jordan Schwarzenberger and aims to serve traditional talent management services, while also moving forward The Sidemen business opportunities. Upload Agency, led by Stuart Jones will work alongside Arcade to secure brand deals for the group, since the agency specialises in influencer marketing.

Nelk Launches ‘Full Send’ Podcast

Nelk launches the next creator-led podcast named ‘Full Send’, where Nelk members talk about how they’ve grown their empire, other business ventures and reflecting on key moments of their careers. Nelk named the podcast after their merch brand and will rotate hosts to include various members of the group that include Kyle Forgeard, SteveWillDoIt and Salim. The podcast will also feature comedian Bob Menery and drop episodes weekly. 

Nelk, for those who do not know the channel on YouTube, is a collective of creators who participate in extreme pranks and party antics – and as a result have had their fair share of controversy, especially during the pandemic. 

In the first episode, Kyle Forgeard and Bob Menery talked with Dana White, the UFC president on a new YouTube channel, specific for the podcast which has already amassed over 315,000 subscribers. The podcast will also be run under Shots Studios, which signed two other podcasts including ‘I Am Athlete’, hosted by former NFL stars and ‘Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson’.

Instagram Adds New Audio Tab

Instagram now has an Audio Tab, adding the ability to search for audio within the search tab – facilitating the discovery of trends driven by music. A user once searching for music tracks can tap on any track showing on the search, showing a display of Reels that have been recently created utilising the audio track. 

This new feature is very similar to the experience of audio discovery on TikTok, but Instagram is looking to add this new tab to maximise Reels creation and usage, knowing how vital music trends are in driving engagement across TikTok.

To note, this new feature coincides with YouTube launching a campaign, highlighting how the Shorts feature on the platform has a similar audio discovery feature, allowing users to watch music content and see a Shorts button to go straight to Shorts creation using the audio of that video.

The YouTube Shorts Global Campaign

YouTube Shorts has launched a global campaign featuring huge music artists such as BTS, The Weeknd, Camila Cabello and Doja Cat. The campaign aims to maximise awareness of Shorts – YouTube’s TikTok competitor product and encourage the use of the format. 

The campaign will run across most of the major social platforms and is titled ‘Introducing the shorter side of YouTube’, a 35-second ad showcasing how users can create Shorts, with a new feature of heading to your favourite musicians’ videos and finding a ‘create Shorts” button to instantly be taken to the Shorts creation flow.

The campaign follows the launch of the $100 million Shorts Fund, allowing creators of popular videos to monetise the short-form video content on the platform. Furthermore, many creators are finding that posting regular Shorts has stimulated platform growth and increased monthly views – especially when moving over from TikTok and struggling to pull existing followers across to YouTube.

Shorts appear to be a success for the platform at present, with YouTube saying in the Q2 earnings report that Shorts generates more than 15 billion views a day.

Instagram’s New Anti-Hate Feature

Instagram is allowing users to hide comments with a new feature called Limits and Hidden words, which is designed to reduce hate comments on the platform.

The new feature is designed to protect the platform’s users, particularly creators and well-known individuals, from seeing any type of harassment, racist, homophobic or sexist comments or DM requests.

“Creators tell us they don’t want to switch off comments and messages completely; they still want to hear from their community and build those relationships,” said Instagram head Adam Mosseri in a blog post. “Limits allows you to hear from your long-standing followers while limiting contact from people who might only be coming to your account to target you.”

This is yet another step the platform is taking in protecting its users, with only recently Instagram adding further protections for younger users.

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Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency