Movin’ back the midlife crisis

December 21st, 2023

Together with

Wrapper’s delight. If you’re like us and terrible at wrapping gifts (seriously, why is cutting a straight line with scissors so complicated?), then you might wanna check out this tutorial with Sophie Liard — aka “The Folding Lady.” From easy to complex, she shares a variety of ways you can elevate your gifting game this holiday season. Just don’t forget the double-sided tape.

In other news… WBD courts Paramount Global, living longer poses new societal challenges, and anthropomorphic brand mascots make a comeback.

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Too big to merge? // Illustration by Kate Walker

Warner Bros. Discovery explores a merger with Paramount Global

The Future. WBD CEO David Zaslav has spoken to both Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish and National Amusements Inc. president Shari Redstone about a merger. While WBD is one of many parties vying for the entertainment conglomerate, a deal could get past regulators since WBD doesn’t own a broadcast network — one of the reasons why Disney also wasn’t blocked from purchasing 20th Century Fox. That is, if all of this isn’t a ploy to juice up WBD’s own value for a potential merger with NBCUniversal next year.

Studio black hole
A tie-up between Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global would be a major Hollywood shakeup that would absorb yet another legacy studio.

  • The deal would combine two studios (Warner Bros. and Paramount), two news giants (CBS and CNN), and two sports powerhouses (CBS Sports and Turner Sports), among many other assets.

  • Additionally, it would combine Max/Discovery+ (95 million subscribers) and Paramount+ (63 million subscribers) to form a streamer that could compete with Netflix and Disney+ (which is in the process of adding Hulu).

  • But, BET will likely not be a part of the deal — Byron Allen and BET CEO Scott Mills are in talks to buy the brand.

It’s still early days, and WBD can’t make a deal until April per the terms of the agreement that merged WarnerMedia and Discovery. Still, WBD execs felt like they had to engage in talks with Paramount after other bidders started circling (Skydance with RedBird Capital, outgoing Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick).

No matter what, it looks like Shari Redstone is entertaining as many offers as she can — hoping the interest boosts the stock as much as possible before she settles on a suitor.

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Out of candles // Illustration by Kate Walker

Regularly living to 100 is going to stretch society

The Future. The Stanford Center on Longevity has put together a report on what life would be like in a world where most people lived to 100. The findings stress that society must prepare for the inevitable long-term economic, environmental, and cultural implications. In the short term, organizations could start re-organizing teams to account for age diversity.

Centennial celebration
With studies from both the CDC and UN predicting that half of today’s 5-year-olds will likely live to 100, society is not yet prepared for a world filled with elderly people… but we should start, writes Karen Breslau for Bloomberg.

  • For the first time, Americans over 65 will “account for the largest and fastest increase in the labor force,” per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And many knowledge workers can stay productive until their 80s.

  • Americans over 50 hold 83% of household wealth and command 50% of consumer spending —  making older Americans a huge and largely ignored market.

  • And new technologies and cutting-edge therapies could help keep older Americans healthy and intellectually vibrant even as they push triple digits (just think of a legion of Norman Lears).

The Stanford Center on Longevity says that this phenomenon may require societies to think differently about the classic education, work, and retirement lifecycle. Instead, we may need to consider intervals of work and non-work throughout a person’s adult life to take care of kids or study for a career change…

…which could leave countless opportunities for companies to service a new rhythm of life.

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Consistent growth and reliable CAC? That’s a gift.

Nift specializes in finding incremental net new customers for DTC products and services, reliably delivering growth at or below target CAC. And here’s the holiday miracle: Nift is quietly outshining social media ads.

💍 “Nift’s customers are net new, cost less, and have strong buying behavior. We see 3x better conversion than other top social channels.”

— Samantha Taslim, Director of Acquisition Marketing, Rocksbox

“25% of our customer acquisition is now coming from Nift.” 

— Louis Amoroso, President, Wine Insiders

The magic? Nift turns DTC brands into “thank you” gifts designed to maximize conversions and revenue. Join the hundreds of DTC brands using Nift to drive incremental net new customer growth. Ready to see for yourself? Book an intro call with our team or explore Nift’s case studies.

Tis’ the season to explore Nift’s case studies.


Courtesy of Adult Swim

Brand mascots are becoming irreverent

The Future. Brands old and new are bringing back the colorful, anthropomorphic, personality-driven mascots popularized a century ago, but marketing them more towards adults than kids. With nostalgic products ruling the wallets of consumers, the weird exploits of these new mascots may cook up a little entertainment ecosystem in their own right.

Retro vibes, modern jokes
The anthropomorphic brand mascot is making a comeback… but with a little more bite.

In the case of Pop-Tarts, the re-branding makes a ton of sense — 17% more adults have started eating them as snacks since 2019. 

We’re clearly nostalgic for the breakfast of our childhoods.

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We ask the hard-hitting questions.

Are you celebrating the winter solstice today?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

50.6% of you voted for Die Hard in yesterday’s poll: What’s your favorite holiday movie that isn’t really a holiday movie?

“We started this tradition when the kids were teens and never looked back! It is a classic family Christmas movie. Bang! Bang!”

“It IS a Christmas movie. But my favorite not-a-normal-Christmas movie is The Ref.”

“I’m picking Die Hard, but actually it’s Batman Returns.”

Carol is my actual favorite!”

“My actual favorite is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

“My REAL favorite Christmas movie is Less Than Zero.”

“All fine movies but why wouldn’t it be Die Hard?”


The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • The power of global streaming: the independent, low-budget Nigerian movie The Black Book hit #3 on Netflix’s worldwide film chart. Read More → thr

  • SCP Merchandising, which handles merch sales for acts like Father John Misty and Mitski, surprisingly shut down over the weekend. Read More → billboard

  • Tommy José Stathes seems to have the most extensive collection of early, silent animated movies in his storage unit in Queens — more than even the Library of Congress. Read More → nyt

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Tommy Hilfiger is launching an AI-powered, community-focused mobile video game titled FashionVerse. Read More → hypebeast

  • Snoop Dogg is getting in on the beverage market with a drink called Do It Fluid — hemp-infused, of course. Read More → complex

  • Customers tricked a Chevy dealership’s newly launched AI chatbot into offering them cars for $1. Read More → insider

Tech, Web3, & AI

In partnership with GroupTogether

  • Crypto investors are now literally rolling the dice on FTX’s bankruptcy claims — a market built on the hope that FTX’s new owners will retrieve and distribute the funds lost under Sam Bankman-Fried. Read More → nyt

  • Bird, the once high-flying e-scooter company, has filed for bankruptcy… only two years after going public. Read More → engadget

  • NASA streamed a cat video to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, from 20 million miles away — a benchmark moment for space-laser communication. Read More → nyt

Say goodbye to the traditional way of organizing group gifts and cards. With GroupTogether, you can effortlessly invite people via WhatsApp, email, or SMS and share a safe link for them to pay and sign the card. No more chasing people for money or dealing with multiple cards — it's all online with GroupTogether. Start gifting smarter this holiday season and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Get started today and make your holiday shopping stress-free.

Creator Economy

  • Claim has raised $4 million to build a social platform around sharing coupons, discounts, and other rewards. Read More → techcrunch

  • The FTC is proposing sweeping new changes to laws that regulate kids’ use of the internet and digital apps. Read More → nyt

  • Verified accounts on X are apparently the worst offenders in spreading misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war. Read More → propublica


Explore a weekly curated list of the latest and greatest opportunities in business, tech, and entertainment. For more listings, check out the complete job board.

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Electronic Arts
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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Nick Comney. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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