LeBron James

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

As Gen Z starts to dominate the consumer landscape, will celebrity endorsers lose their status? Quizzing my Gen Z college students about brands they’re loyal to and brand influencers, I find that they’re more focused on social media and peers than they are on advertising and celebrity endorsers.

Nike just did it. The shoe giant is trending on Twitter in a big way for its #JustDoIt campaign, but not just because @Nike retweeted Colin Kaepernick. It’s the content of that tweet and what it represents — Nike is taking a stand on protests against injustice that Kaepernick led while he was in the NFL. No longer employed by the NFL, Kaepernick is still the face of those protests — which may begin again as football resumes this week.

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is the story of a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who takes matters into her own hands by putting up three billboards (hence, the name) to question local law enforcement when it doesn't adequately investigate the murder of her daughter.

Every day of this month, NBA fans around the world have been obsessing over a handful of questions: Which team is LeBron James going to sign with? [UPDATE: IT'S THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS.] Will Carmelo Anthony stay in New York? What's going to happen to the Big Three in Miami? And during that time, those same diehards have been obsessively checking Hoopshype's rumors page, driving a traffic bonanza that marketers try to take advantage of in a variety of ways.

"What in the world is WhatsApp?" Reuters echoed the question many in the U.S. were asking when Facebook acquired the mobile messaging app in February for a stratospheric $19 billion. WhatsApp was more familiar to the rest of the world, where it had built a bulk of its estimated 450 million users—and where other competitors were gaining steam. Each began as "over-the-top" applications to avoid texting charges, but they've quickly blossomed into vibrant social media portals that are robbing users from Facebook and Twitter

Samsung got a lot of attention, not to mention video views, for its funny send up of the Apple iPhone faithful in its Galaxy ads in 2012. But humor and celebrity users like LeBron James weren't enough to unseat Apple as the most effective mobile phone advertiser in 2012, according to ad effectiveness research firm Ace Metrix. Samsung did win the hard-fought tech category overall—which includes PCs, tablets, phones and TVs—by producing numerous high-quality spots for its myriad products. "It's one thing to create a great ad. It's another to do a consistent good job over 45 or 50 executions,"

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