A look at the trending articles we’re tracking this week.

Carl’s Jr. And Hardees Bring Adult Swim Toys To Combo Meals

Ad Age

Timed to Adult Swim’s 20th anniversary, the network, Carl’s Jr. and Hardees have teamed up to include specialty toys in combo meals, including the restaurants’ mascot Happy, Space Ghost from Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Robot Chicken from the show of the same name, Nathan Explosion from Metalocalypse and more. Available from September 22 to November 7, the toys will add $1 to the price of a large combo meal.

Why it matters: Patty Trevino, senior vice president of marketing at CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees, says she can’t recall ever seeing a meal targeted at adults that included a figurine or a toy. 

News of the collab follows McDonald’s announcement that it will reduce its use of plastic toys for its Happy Meals.

Why A DTC Shoe Brand Spends Big On Instagram And Facebook


Fulton, a New York City-based DTC footwear brand targeting millennials, currently allocates 60 percent of its total ad spend toward Facebook and Instagram. Despite Apple’s data privacy crackdown and an oversaturated marketplace, the brand has yet to reduce its Instagram budget given 65 percent of its sales are attributed to Facebook and Instagram. Instead, the brand has dedicated 20 percent of the total ad budget to experiment with incremental channels like TikTok and newsletters.

Why it matters: As per Fulton’s co-founder Libie Motchan, Instagram’s retargeting, conversion, performance measurements and optimization capabilities are the reason the platform is a crucial part of the brand’s media mix. “We see it as a tool to help us destigmatize the category. [Shoe insoles] could not be a less cool product or category, but it was very critical for us to develop a curated Instagram,” said Motchan.

The Market Minute: Consumer Brands Are Capitalizing On The IPO Market

Crunchbase News

This year, VC-backed consumer brands that have gone public include FIGS, The Honest Company and Poshmark. Other consumers brands in the IPO pipeline include Brilliant Earth, Dutch Bros, Olaplex, Allbirds and Warby Parker.

Why it matters: According to Rick Batenburg III, a venture capitalist at Cliintel Capital Management Group, consumer-facing companies are going to do well because people know what they are, and people like what they understand. That, and deals are much more accessible thanks to platforms like E-trade, Robinhood and Public.

Why Digital Video And Influencers Are Shaking Up Travel Marketing


According to a Morning Consult report, 63 percent of people engage with travel influencer content more now than they did before the pandemic.

Why it matters: Amid the meteoric rise in digital video consumption, travel brands have a rare second chance to make a first impression; video and influencers are two powerful mediums to accomplish that. Adding an influencer campaign to business-as-usual ad strategies is expected to become the gold standard in travel advertising as it’s been shown to improve sales lift.

Climate Week Kickoff Sees Brands Pledge New Ambitions But Is It Too Late?: Short Takes


Several companies have announced renewed sustainability pledges ahead of the United Nations Assembly and Climate Week in New York City. In addition, Amazon’s Climate Pledge added 86 new businesses to its roster, including Asos, Selfridges and Procter & Gamble.

Why it matters: ASOS and Primark’s sustainability ambitions have been met with backlash over their vague or open-ended goals. Primark is committing to increase its recycled materials and has been working with its partner CottonConnect since 2013 to develop its sustainable cotton program, which now counts 3,000 farmers and aims for a 100 percent transition rate for uptake of regenerative practices by 2030.