A 2020 Resolution Pop-Up Resort; How Top U.S. Brands Spend on Politics: Friday’s First Things First

Plus, Shaq's treehouse doorbell

The "Read More" suite is tailored to bookworms.

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Booking.com Will Open a Pop-Up Resort Inspired by 2020 Resolutions

Looking for a place to hunker down and jump start your New Year’s resolutions? Booking.com’s got you covered. The travel company is launching a pop-up resort with 20 different rooms designed with popular 2020 goals in mind. They’ve got everything from a book lover’s room for those resolving to read more to a ballroom for folks who’ve decided that this is the year that they’ll learn to dance. Beginning Monday, Jan. 13, consumers can reserve two-night stays for their intended suite for $20.20 on Booking.com. Each stay includes custom programming related to the suite’s theme.

Read more: Open Jan. 17-19 at the Broad Exchange Building in Manhattan, the activation is an extension of the brand’s integrated marketing campaign by Anomaly.

How 10 of America’s Biggest Brands Divvy Up Their Donations to Democrats and Republicans

Using data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research entity in D.C., Adweek’s Robert Klara wrote about where 10 top brands are putting their dollar in the race to the White House. While it’s illegal for corporations themselves to donate to presidential candidates, their affiliates (employees and political action committees) are free to do so. By visualizing the data (thanks to Adweek’s Trent Joaquin), we came up with a picture that might surprise you. Big tech brands like Google and Apple tend to lean left, the infographic shows, but many brands “work both sides,” according to CRP’s director of research and strategy Sarah Bryner.

Read more: “Not all people donate based on monetary interests,” Bryner said. “People have ideological interests.”

Shaquille O’Neal Likes Ring Doorbells So Much He Has One for His Treehouse

For former NBA MVP Shaquille O’Neal, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas isn’t just business—it’s “Toys R Us,” he told Adweek. This year, O’Neal is on the floor promoting Ring, Amazon’s home security business. He’s been involved with the company since 2016, before it was acquired by Amazon. “Everyone knows that the Shaq brand is a fun brand, but what makes us ‘authentically’ authentic is that what you see on TV is what you see in real life,” O’Neal said.

Read more: Hooking up his first Ring doorbell was so easy he could do it himself—which is rare, O’Neal told Adweek.

P&G’s First Acquisition of 2020 Is a DTC Shaving Brand for Women

Less than two weeks into the new year, P&G has made a major acquisition in Billie, a direct-to-consumer shaving brand. The price wasn’t disclosed. Launched in 2017, Billie has garnered attention for showing body hair in its ads and marketing to all women, whether they shave or not. The startup has raised $35 million to date, with a Series A round in January 2019 of $25 million led by Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital Investing. P&G’s last acquisition occurred in February 2019 when it bought This Is L, a period startup, with reports putting the value of the deal at $100 million.

Read more: Billie’s co-founders will stay on and continue to lead the brand.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights

Ad of the Day: Progressive Won’t Be in the Super Bowl, So It Put a Halftime Show in Its New Ad

Progressive hasn’t had an ad in the Super Bowl for 20 years, and the last time it did, it flopped hard. But despite becoming one of America’s most omnipresent and well recognized advertisers in the two decades since, it’s showing no signs of wanting back in the Big Game. Instead, it’s created a Super Bowl-themed spot to run during playoff season, complete with a halftime show featuring Smash Mouth—a clever use of what CMO Jeff Charney calls “memory lane marketing.”

Marketers Share Tips on How to Succeed at a New Company

“Come in with an open mind. Have a voice—participate, share. Be willing to accept challenges. Immerse yourself in culture. Ask questions. Listen. Be prepared. Be present. Have fun and enjoy the opportunity to grow.”

—Tom Anderson, director of employee engagement, Doner

“Breathe. Get to know your coworkers, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being a new hire can be extremely stressful especially for people coming right out of college. It’s okay to not fully understand what you’re doing for a little bit. Everything you do is a learning experience and needs to be treated as such. You get out what you put in!”

—Nolan Fitch, account manager, Modifly

“Ask questions. Take notes. Be prepared. Show up ready to work and on time. Stay hungry. At Tombras we have lots of events, so we love to see those who are new to the workplace show up and join in. Being part of the agency or a group with the agency makes you part of it and you feel ownership that leads to success.”

—Ashley Bulszewicz, vp of human resources, Tombras

“Oftentimes, people are hesitant to ask questions because they want to come off as confident and knowledgable. Trust me, your manager wants you to ask tons of questions. It shows that you care and strive to produce your best work. Asking the right questions is important and necessary to your growth and development as a new employee. Remembering what you have learned and applying it to your work can help prove your value.”

—Jackson Bullman, manager of paid partnerships, Modifly

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@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.