New Year, New Plans: 100+ Brands Planning in Q1 2021

November 19, 2020

In Q1 2021, marketers and media buyers need to balance long-term goal setting with short-term planning. This year’s chaos threw our plans out the window as we focused on survival. Heading into December, many brands only have the energy to focus on Q4 goals, making up for earlier-in-the-year losses. However, we must do both to avoid negative, long-term impact.

Download 100+ Brands Planning in Q1 2021

It’s possible to craft long-term goals while also leaving room for strategic pivots. If we face more economic uncertainty caused by additional shutdowns and the continued rise in coronavirus cases (bleak, I know), have plans in motion that leave room for flexibility and reactive updates.

Above all, it’s important for agencies to know the planning periods of their ideal brand clients. Media planning is too often a reactive strategy, with agencies chasing after campaigns that are already live. Now is the time to evaluate their needs, determine if your audience matches up with their target, and offer up inventory that will be an attractive safe bet.

Stand out with a hyper-focused communications:

  • Know their demographic targets inside and out.
  • Review and evaluate their current campaigns. What works? What doesn’t?
  • Highlight how you will compliment (or elevate) their existing strategy.
  • Speak to decision-makers in the manner in which they’re most likely to respond. (Read about how here.)

Here are insider details/predictions for three companies on our list of 100+ brands planning in Q1 2021. Keep scrolling to access and download the complete list:

1)  Bacardi focuses on social under a new CMO.

The rum brand was relatively silent when the pandemic began, then came out strong in June with a COVID-focused campaign, developed by BBDO Worldwide, highlighting at home activities for Gen-Z and millennials. That same month, the brand hired Alex Tomlin, formerly a freelance marketing consultant, as the marketing SVP for its North American business.

Bacardi’s national TV commercials tend to air during male-centric programming. Keep an eye on how relatively low Bacardi’s overall spend is right now, it may stay that way until it resumes pre-pandemic operations. However, the company puts a lot of marketing power into social media, as well as print (magazines), OOH, and experiential.

  • Agency and martech readers: We haven’t heard of any shifts since the company named a new CMO of Patron and Grey Goose, so keep reaching out for potential work under SVP Tomlin.

2)  AARP may have more agency reviews coming.

AARP named BBDO creative AOR in September 2020. The agency’s first work is scheduled to be released in Q1 2021 and will help reach prospects who are in their 50s through family and community centered ads. The organization spent around $20 million on digital display ads this year, up from $9m the previous period. Most ads were programmatic on,,, and The second largest channel was YouTube, then native advertising.

  • Sellers: AARP targets Gen-X and Boomers, with a slight male skew, through digital display and national TV ads. It has been lowering TV ad spend over the last few years and adding dollars to digital channels. AARP places social media ads onto Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and invests in OOH, print, and radio ads.
  • Agency and martech readers: As you know, agency reviews commonly follow one another, so start reaching out soon to be top-of-mind.

3) Big Lots increases their Gen-Z appeal.

Big Lots had a successful fiscal 2020 Q2 with sales increasing four times compared to Q2 2019, likely due to consumers investing in new furniture while stuck at home. The company is also focusing on rewards. Their Heroes Program offers discounts to veterans, active military personnel, teachers, first responders, and medical professionals. Big Lots will continue this customer oriented marketing going forward.

The company mainly targets Gen-X and millennials through digital display and national TV ads. They’ve has increased digital ad investments while decreasing TV ad spend over the last year, so they may be trying to reach younger demographics. Digital spend should continue as it works on building its eCommerce business.

  • Sellers: Those with experience driving eCommerce growth may have the most success here. Big Lots also invests in OOH, print, and radio ads, so research where you may be able to provide local ad space. Reach out offering digital display and national TV ad space, too.
  • Agency and martech readers: Big Lots works with Ologie for creative and Media Storm for media. There are no signs of a potential review at the moment, but try offering digital and social media services for the best chance to win some of this company’s business.

Click here to download our list of 100+ brands planning in Q1 2021.

These opportunities are designed to fill your pipeline with qualified leads. We’ve included key decision-maker contact information to connect you with the right people at the right time. 

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If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. It’s the Final Countdown: 100+ Brands Planning in Q4
  2. 8 Sales Triggers Guaranteed to Convert More Leads
  3. Top 3 Tips for Identifying Key Decision Makers

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