The 10 Most Popular Op-eds We Published in 2019

While we at Adweek focus on breaking news and analysis around every facet of advertising, marketing, media and tech, we also give industry executives a platform to share their opinions and advice around these topics in our Voice channel. We feature a range of contributors, from our Advisory Board of C-suite leaders to professors who belong to our Academic Council to other executives who have a perspective to offer.

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As we close out 2019, we’re looking back at some of our most popular op-eds and analyzing why they were such a huge hit with our readers.

10. What Marketers Can Learn From the Fyre Festival Fiasco

Who can forget about the disaster that was the Fyre Festival? And who can forget when we were all reminded about that disaster when both Netflix and Hulu released documentaries on how said disaster came to be. Right after those documentaries were released, LinkedIn Marketing’s Keith Richey shared some takeaways on what marketers can learn from watching a PR nightmare unfold in a very public way.

We’ve seen a lot of op-eds tied to specific cultural moments, like Fyre Festival, do well with readers, especially when there are takeaways marketers might find valuable. Even though it seem to be a stretch to equate something like the Fyre Festival to marketing, there are parallels. And identifying them is what helps the article really shine.

9. Cannabis Brands Put Too Much Focus on Women Who Want CBD Without a High

As the cannabis industry continues to boom, Kimberly Dillon points to how we’re seeing a rise in certain stereotypes in brands’ advertisements. Specifically, a lot of brands are focusing heavily on women who only want CBD but don’t want cannabis or any product that will get them high. But, frankly, Dillon pointed out, this just isn’t the case because plenty of women do want to use cannabis for more than just self-care or wellness.

“We imagine the woman who, at the end of a long day, hits the bathtub with a CBD bath bomb and tags it #SelfCareSunday,” Dillon wrote. “I’m not saying that women don’t want that experience, but a lot of women also want a joint—and they don’t need to justify it with a bathtub.”

Readers are looking for opinions on specific niches in the industry. And when it’s about a topic that some still consider taboo and we’re watching grow up in real time, it’s fascinating to get these perspectives from those who are fully immersed in it.

8. How These ‘Second-Best’ Brands Capitalized on Chance the Rapper’s SNL Shoutout

Chance the Rapper monologue cue cards at SNL

If you’re a fan of Chance the Rapper or Saturday Night Live, you probably saw his monologue where he listed off a bunch of the “second best” brands, inspired by his roots in Chicago and the city’s infamous Second City improv. And even if you didn’t see it, you might’ve seen how some of the brands he mentioned capitalized on the moment by tweeting about it and interacting on social. Some brands ignored it, some posted too late, but those that timed it right saw great engagement.

Vivid Seats’ Stephen Spiewak used data and discussed capitalizing on a timely moment, two elements that we’ve seen really resonate with readers, to make this piece work so well.

7. How Gillette’s New Ad Flipped a Narrative and Challenged Men to Live Up to Different Standards

Unsurprisingly, an opinion piece on Gillette’s “The Best Men Can Be” spot is on this list. The ad called on men to step up and be better advocates and allies for women in a variety of situations, starting with helping guide their own sons. Alaina Shearer wrote about how much she loved the spot, which was a controversial take for some consumers who felt the razor brand was out of line, because she felt it could push the dialogue further for women in ads and in general.

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