Taylor Swift put Travis Kelce on the map.
The pop star’s budding relationship with NFL star Travis Kelce has taken over the internet. Swift has attended three of the last four games in support of the Kansas City Chief’s tight end, proving to be quite the good luck charm. A stat that ran during last week’s game noted that Kelce has more than double the receiving yards per game when Swift is in the house versus when “he’s left to his own devices.”
The TikTok gods ran fast and hard with this one. A trend quickly emerged with women filming their significant others’ reactions as they declared that “Taylor Swift put Travis Kelce on the map.” You can imagine the general response from these guys. Annoyance, disbelief and even outrage. It’s fantastic.
In case anyone is unclear, let’s set the record straight. Kelce’s talent on the football field stands wildly independent of his relationship status. He’s considered one of the greatest tight ends of all time. He’s a two time Super Bowl champ and holds the NFL record for most consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards. If you’ve watched a quarter of professional football, you know exactly who Travis Kelce is.
But still… you can’t deny the Taylor effect. Kelce’s jersey saw a 400% spike in sales following Swift’s first game appearance at Chief’s Kingdom. And for those looking for something more figure flattering (just me?), merch supporting the new couple has overtaken the market. Is a Swiftie a Swelce now? Or a Kelftie? LMK.
Nonetheless, the romance has given the NFL a major boost in ratings- and the organization is happy to play along. Recent Chief’s games’ broadcasts have featured ads for Swift’s forthcoming concert film, and on several occasions, the live feed cuts to Swift, who is seen cheering from her box seats. After their win over the Jets, the NFL’s Instagram bio read “Chiefs are 2-0 as Swifties,” while its bio on X read “NFL (Taylor’s Version).” Talk about zero chill. And to add to the hysteria, color commentators are having all kinds of fun with the trend. ESPN’s Adam Schefter gave a Taylor inspired report of Kelce’s performance, using several of the artist’s song titles in his summary. Dad joke level perfection.
And while many are googly eyed for the new couple, critics argue too good to be true. Or, to take it a step further, plenty claim the duo is a complete phony. Instagram journalist Jessica Kraus breaks it down well in her story series, Faux Swift. “Anyone who can’t see how fake this new PR power couple is, has not graduated to senior level pop culture analytics.” Harsh, but she has a point. The timing, the onslaught of publicity, the ad placements and the celebrity appearances. The questions aren’t totally out of left field.
A few coincidentally convenient timings to consider. On September 12, rumors first broke that Kelce and Swift were coupling up. Also on September 12? The Kelce brother documentary dropped on Prime Video. On September 24th, Swift attended her first Kansas City Chiefs game, and her presence went viral. Days later, Kelce announces his paid partnership with Pfizer, appearing in their latest COVID vaccine campaign. And a few days later, Gavin Newsom- seemingly out of nowhere- applauds Taylor Swift in a very publicized speech, acknowledging her importance in the upcoming presidential election. (FYI, Newsom’s vying for the democratic presidential nomination.) October 13th? The Eras Movie concert tour is released worldwide. The weeks that follow: more football games, more commercials, and then a surprise appearance by the couple on SNL.
And it’s been a whopping month? Usually at this phase in dating, it’s mini golf and selfie sticks. Not pharmaceutical campaigns and “surprise” late night TV cameos. But what do I know.
War in Israel
The war overseas continues to escalate. At least 2,000 children have been killed in Gaza over 17 days, among more than 5,700 people killed in the Israel bombardment.
The latest reports detail the humanitarian crisis deepening for millions in Gaza. The Israel Defense Force stated the military will not allow fuel to enter the enclave because it alleges Hama needs it for its operational infrastructure. Meanwhile, US military advisers are urging Israel to avoid an all-out ground assault in Gaza. Israel, however, has vowed to wipe out Hamas in response to its deadly October 7 attacks. They’ve ramped up airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, and are expected to launch a ground invasion soon.
Last week, Yocheved Lifshitz was one of two Israeli hostages released by Hamas. Lifshitz was abducted with her 83-year-old husband from their home at the Nir Oz kibbutz. While Lifshitz’s horrific capture was detailed in violence, she described being treated “well” during captivity. The Hamas group is still holding more than 200 people hostage.
Halloween marketing trends
Halloween spending is expected to surpass $12.2 Billion this year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Total spending on decor will reach a staggering $3.9 billion. This one is not surprising. It seems like every other yard has a 12-foot-skeleton or a giant blow-up black cat. Apparently, Clark Griswold is now really, really into Halloween.
Of course, social media has influenced the holiday for years now, but there’s been a significant shift as of late. Rather than someone spotting a cool display and putting it on social media, Halloween decorations are made with the intention of putting them on social media. Target’s $180 “Halloween Ghoul” sold out for this very reason. Target manufactured the blow-up to go viral, encouraging people to share images of him via a press release. TikTok flooded with videos of people walking into Targets, filming the 8-foot-tall pumpkin-in-a-robe delivering his catchphrase “I am not a jack-o-lantern. My name is Lewis.” Don’t ask me why this one took off. I certainly don’t make the rules.
As expected, a top costume this year for adults is Barbie. Prepare to see a lot of people walking around in pink boxes. And for the kids, Mario, Luigi and Spiderman will most likely dominate the streets. Which is super fun when you’re trying to find your Spiderman dressed son in a sea of Spidermen trick or treating.
Spooky season marketing is never overly impressive, but a couple campaigns caught our eye this year. The favorite ad hails from Reese’s and Kit Kat. A commercial featuring both candies suggests “this Halloween, choose both.” Don’t mind if I do. And M&Ms introduced their Halloween Rescue Squad to help Americans who are at risk of running out of candy on Halloween night. The squad will be on call starting at 3PM on October 31st, ready to deliver free Mars candies within the hour. Adds to favorite contacts.
Tips & Tricks
Later Blog’s top tips for writing social media captions that will capture and engage your audience. Did your last post include the phrase “dance like no one’s watching”? Then this one is definitely for you.
The More You Know
Why brand assets are so important in B2B Marketing, and how to take them to the next level. An insightful piece from Adweek.
What to Watch
The 21 Best Halloween Movies Ever, according to Variety. Charlie Brown is nowhere on this list, which does put the entire publication in question- but it’s still a decent roundup.
Whether you’re passing out candy, chasing after your own trick-or-treaters, or turning off the porch light and hiding in your room, we’ve got the playlist covered. Enjoy some spooky Halloween tunes.
More News from the Week.
- A TikTok artist got a review, and he really, really didn’t like it. An article on modern art, the social media mob, and a ridiculous case of jumping to conclusions.
- The rise and fall of Cameo. Has the Tegan team purchased multiple Ryan Cabrera cameos? It’s possible.
- Trade in that Honda. They’re now making Teslas for the average Joe.
- Uber now offers hot air balloon rides. My last Uber to the airport was dicey, so this one isn’t all that appealing.
- A man is arrested for faking a heart attack to avoid paying a restaurant bill… over twenty times. Impressive.