BrandSnark: Good Week/Bad Week for the Big Brands

Activist Week: Budweiser unveils a pro-immigrant Super Bowl ad telling the “story” of founder Adolphus Busch’s journey to America. Nike’s CEO issues a statement condemning the immigration ban and supporting global diversity. IKEA announces it will begin selling rugs handmade by Syrian refugees in 2019.

Mixed Week: Under Armour News that the athletic apparel maker has begun producing certain garments in its Baltimore facility as part of a new technology-driven “local for local” distribution strategy was tempered by a poor quarterly earnings report that resulted in a re-shuffling of the company’s executive team and a 25% drop in share price.

Worse Week: GNC – The nutritional supplement peddler had high hopes that its 30-second Super Bowl ad would help recast its image… until the NFL felt its own image in jeopardy and banned GNC from running it (or any ad), citing a policy prohibiting supplement advertising during games. That’s not sweat you smell coming from the commissioner’s locker: it’s hypocrisy.

Farewell: It’s “game over” for Pac-Man inventor Masaya Nakamura, who died at age 91. In recent months, BrandSnark has also noted the passing of the creators of the Big Mac and the plastic Solo Cup. Is it just me or is anyone else nostalgic for his or her misspent youth?