25 Things that happened last month that you should know about

We know your social media feeds are constantly being flooded with the latest trends, newest products and, yes–endless celebrity gossip. So we put together a list of some cool, ridiculous and/or unfortunate stories in the creative and pop culture worlds you might have missed that we think you should know about.

Trust us, you’ll want to keep reading!

  1. TikTok beats out Facebook to become the top app worldwide by downloads
    “…even increasing its cross-app usage with major video streaming players like Netflix, indicating that TikTok is not only blurring the lines between social and streaming but is a force to be reckoned with in the streaming world in its own right and is set to break into the 1 billion monthly active user club in 2021.” –Fast Company
  2. The Best Ads of 2020
    “But the advertising that emerged after Covid-19 struck global markets was born from a completely different era than that of January and February, with brands and agencies adapting in real time to challenges absolutely no one had been trained or prepared for.” -AdWeek
  3. 21 Social Media Data Points for 2021
    “The year transformed many parts of our businesses even in those organizations that were resistant to change in the previous decade as the world was turning digital. Now, nearly everyone has adapted.” -Social Bakers
  4. Microsoft’s best commercial features dogs frolicking in Halo, Minecraft, and Flight Simulator
    “Microsoft has had some memorable holiday commercials over the years, but this year’s is the best yet because it features dogs.-The Verge
  5. Wyndham Destinations Bought Travel + Leisure for the Brand, Not the Product
    “On first look, it may seem odd that one of the largest timeshare operators in the country is now the owner of Travel + Leisure, a glossy tome dedicated to luxury travel.” -AdWeek
  6. Prime time: Amazon is now Earth’s biggest advertiser
    “The pandemic punched a hole in budgets for even the most successful marketers, but the Ad Age World’s Largest Advertisers report found a few that ratcheted up 2020 spending.” -AdAge
  7. Burger King unveils its first major rebrand in 20 years
    “It’s the fast food company’s first brand redesign in 20 years, and it includes a new logo, packaging, restaurant merchandise, menu boards, uniforms, restaurant signage and decor, and social media, digital, and marketing assets.” -Fast Company
  8. Salesforce buys Slack in a $27.7B megadeal
    “Every worker at every company needs to communicate, something that Slack can ably empower. What’s more, it also facilitates external communication with customers and partners, something that should be quite useful for a company like Salesforce and its family of offerings.” -TechCrunch
  9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Admin Planning Meeting
    At the end of each year, the TJA  Admin team gets together for an all-day planning session. This meeting consists of building out all the cultural initiatives for the upcoming year, plotting them on a calendar and brainstorming for those events.
  10. Delivery by jet: Amazon buys 11 Boeing jets for first time to ship orders faster
    “Amazon said Tuesday that it bought 11 jets from Delta and WestJet airlines to boost its growing delivery network and get orders to shoppers faster. The company said it’s the first time it has purchased planes for its delivery network. Over the past couple of years, Amazon has been leasing planes to build its fleet.” -USA Today
  11. How The Queen’s Gambit and the Pandemic Turned Into a Perfect Storm of Sales for Chess
    … findings are in step with retail data from NPD, which shows that sales of chess sets rose by 87% overall in the weeks since the Netflix series debuted.” -AdWeek
  12. Warner Bros. CEO defends 2021 film release model, in talks with talent‘“We’ve been trying to figure out the best way forward for the last eight months, since we first went into lockdown,” Sarnoff told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin on “Squawk Alley.” “We have many movies which are ready to go, and they’ve been sitting on shelves. So we thought this was the most creative and win-win situation to bring them not only to theaters but simultaneously for 31 days on HBO Max.”’ CNBC
  13. Ciara and ex-Lululemon CEO launch new clothing brand with ‘more to it than fashion’“In addition to an emphasis on environmental sustainability, 3% of each purchase goes to the Why Not You Foundation, which Wilson founded in 2014. It supports efforts on education access, poverty reduction and children’s health.” -CNBC
  14. The end of a dream: Uber sells its autonomous car and flying taxi division
    “After years of trying to get their air taxi business off the ground, Uber finally chose to leave the project to focus on what has worked for them: passenger transport and food delivery.” -Entrepreneur
  15. This Class Thanked Their Teacher In The Cutest Way On Zoom This has been a tough semester for teachers across the country, and Adam Shrager is no exception. But a very sweet gesture from his students made it so much better. Shrager, 54, teaches in New Jersey at Hopewell Valley Central High School by day, then at the College of New Jersey in the evening. On Wednesday, he taught his last statistics class of the semester at the college, and it’s one he’ll never forget. -Buzzfeed
  16. Google’s Year in Search was as bleak as 2020But in case you needed more proof how bleak this year was, Google’s Year in Search could provide that data. Google released the data on the top trending searches for the year in the United States — meaning queries that had a high spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2020 compared with 2019. -Mashable
  17. Discovery Launches Streaming Service as It Looks Beyond the Cable BundleDiscovery Inc. said it would launch a new streaming service that will include shows from all of its major cable networks, a move that follows the media company’s earlier strategy of offering smaller, thematic plans catering to groups from foodies to home-improvement enthusiasts. -Wall Street Journal
  18. McDonald’s Happy Meals could get more expensive next year“The chain told franchisees the subsidy is “no longer fueling growth in the way it once was” and that franchisees could opt to increase the price of a Happy Meal by 20 cents next year to offset. McDonald’s doesn’t set the prices of its menu items, but rather lets franchisees decide depending on location.” -CNN Business
  19. Barstool’s Dave Portnoy raises $16.8M for 59 small businesses – and counting
    “The restaurant owner said it was “humbling” to see merchandise featuring his restaurant’s logo on the website, and people from all over the country have been purchasing hats and t-shirts. The funds will help pay his employees and keep his restaurant afloat, he said.” -Fox News
  20. Apple Made an Otherworldly, Hypnotic Ad About Lying on Your Couch With Its New Headphones “When Apple bought the Beats by Dre headphone line in 2014 for $3 billion, it was clear the move was more about brand ubiquity and style than hardware quality.” -AdWeek
  21. GlobalData: Five Trends Expected to Shape the Lodging Industry in 2021“Increased privacy and flexibility are two of the stand-out trends that data and analytics company GlobalData recently noted will shape the lodging industry in 2021, alongside longer stays, improved hygiene procedures, and more no-touch technology.” -Lodging Magazine
  22. How a Gender-Neutral Marketing Strategy Makes Proper Wild The Latest Hot Shot Energy Drink Company
    “After learning there was a lack of clean energy shots on the market, Bradley developed a line of products, which he later named Proper Wild that uses high-quality organic caffeine, and L-theanine extracted from different types of green tea to provide people with long-lasting energy, as well as increased focus and productivity.
    But it wasn’t until his meetings with several energy drink manufacturers and venture funds in the consumer space that Bradley realized his business would likely hit the wall due to its colorful and light-hearted packaging.” -Forbes
  23. MacKenzie Scott Has Donated More Than $4 Billion In Last 4 Months
    MacKenzie Scott, the author and philanthropist, says she has given away more than $4 billion in the last four months. The gifts are to 384 organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico – all are unrestricted gifts, with no strings attached.” -NPR
  24. Ryan Reynolds creates a lovestruck, dating Satan for Match’s devilish take on 2020“The dating site enlisted the help of board member Ryan Reynolds and his agency Maximum Effort in creating the ad, and, as usual, the ubiquitous Hollywood star puts a hilarious spin on it. The film, set to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” depicts the whirlwind romance of the devil, who finds his love on Match.” -AdAge
  25. Taylor Swift Drops Surprise Donation Of $13,000 To Two Struggling Moms
    Nikki Cornwell of Nashville and Shelbie Selewski of Michigan were recently featured in The Washington Post. Swift just so happened to read their article and wanted to act. She donated $13,000 (notice the 13?) to both women.” -TanksGoodNews
25 Things that happened last month that you should know about
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