February 2, 2022: Janu-who? We don’t know them. Cozy up with some piping hot S-Tea-C.

In this edition: 

    • Foot Locker and Meta champion Black creators
    • TikTok’s good news/bad news situation
    • NFTaking over the big game


How Brands Are Honoring Black Creators

The Story

More brands are making it their mission to amplify Black voices and artists every month — not only in support of the Black community but for all underrepresented people. 

All Eyes On Artists

Foot Locker is celebrating innovative Black photographers and creators who are making waves in fashion, particularly in sneaker culture, with their 2022 Sole List. This list showcases standout artists and their show-stopping imagery of Black life in motion. Also celebrating Black creators and supporting Black-owned businesses is Meta, whose Black365 events put small businesses in the spotlight. The 10 participating business owners were nominated by singer and philanthropist, Ciara, and will receive education and resources for their businesses, along with strategy and insights from industry experts.

SI Takes a Stand

Sports Illustrated (SI) is putting its foot down. The magazine announced that it would no longer partner with advertisers who fail to drive gender equality. Each brand will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to “prove they are creating change for women” before being given the green light to purchase ad space in any issue. Overall, SI is making a conscious effort toward spotlighting underrepresented individuals; last year, they featured their first trans model, Leyna Bloom, on their swimsuit issue cover. 


We already know there is a significant pay gap between white and underrepresented creators. For Black creators, that difference is a whopping 35% less than their white counterparts. It’s clear that there’s a lack of representation within media, art, advertising, marketing, and so many other industries that would benefit from more inclusivity and equity. We’re glad that more brands and publications are eagerly giving underrepresented talent the platform they deserve to be seen and heard. And we hope that more brands continue to or start to support diversity, equity, and inclusion within all marketing efforts and beyond. 


Yes, We’re TikTalking About TikTok Again

The Story

While marketer education, monetization, and system upgrades show that TikTok is happily evolving with its industry, creators are holding platforms accountable for pay model shortcomings. 

More Like TeachTok Amirite

For marketers who are on the hunt for more platform education, our favorite viral video giant has you covered. TikTok Tactics offers a series of online courses designed by TikTok to educate marketers on how to utilize its platform for strategies that rake in that money, honey. The courses focus on four key elements in a fun, colorful, gamified learning experience and come with a 19-page guidebook for more detailed learning. But is it addictive enough to give Wordle a run for its money? Sorry, but nothing is.

Can We Get a “Yee-Haw” For Lower Bounce Rates?

Brands and creators can say a collective hooray because they’re getting better TikTools added to the Creative Center. What might they be? Ask and you shall receive: 

We’re always going to champion innovation and improvement. But as good as it looks on the outside, it’s not always as pretty on the inside — which is why creators are speaking out about problems with TikTok’s payment model.
Hank Green, author, TikTokker, and YouTuber, has been vocal about the pitfall of TikTok’s Creator Fund, whose $200M in funds were intended to be paid out to creators of top-performing clips. Green comments that the rules of the Creator Fund actually hurt creator revenue. Why? Because as more creators become eligible for the static Creator Fund, all creators overall are earning less cash per view.  


It feels like TikTok is always making headlines for improvements to its platform and ways to support creator endeavors. Its new functionality rollouts are great news for both creators and marketers and show that it’s been working hard to alleviate users’ pain points, but will the payment model get the same attention? We sure hope so — because creator pay needs big improvements all around, and the social platforms that champion creators (and benefit directly from their content) should be first in line to address their needs. 


NFTs Are Going Ape At The Big Game

The Story

NFTs have had A Year — and when it comes to football’s big night, you best believe they’re going to show up in style. 

But First, The Ads

Everyone loves a good Super Bowl ad and this year the brands you know are ready to shine. From Miller Lite swerving around alcohol marketing exclusivity rules and Crypto.com bringing the metaverse to your television screen, it’s safe to say that this year, even football can’t save you from NFT exposure.

NFTaking Over The World

While many Americans are going to be glued to the big game, others will be indulging in games of a different kind. NBA All-Star Ben Simmons has joined forces with Perion DAO, a new gaming platform, as a brand ambassador. Perion DAO’s play-to-earn format rewards skilled players with, what? You guessed it: NFT prizes. 

And yes, NFTs are a prize indeed — something Meta knows a lot about. It’s making moves with an NFT Marketplace that is still in the works and is planning to launch a whole virtual landscape where users can browse and trade NFTs. It’s yet another move towards harnessing NFT power, not the least of which is also championed by alcohol brands like Bud Light. No big deal, but Bud Light has some super casual Super Bowl plans this year, to the tune of dropping thousands of NFTs right before kickoff. Just keeping it humble.


It’s a wild world. NFTs and the metaverse rely on brand and creator collaboration, and now it’s all expanding into our day-to-day lives via major events and industry moves. The Super Bowl is known for its quirky advertising and far-out commercials that delight and perplex viewers. With NFTs joining the party, it’s safe to say that brands can add a nifty new tool to their brand arsenal for major events such as this one.