‘Clash Of Clans’ Celebrates Anniversary With Facebook By Turning Character Into Star

Hit mobile game Clash of Clans is celebrating its fifth anniversary by recounting all the destruction its players have wrought throughout the years, and by launching a campaign where its Builder character (the one who builds the structures that are subsequently destroyed) is let loose into the world.

In the “Builder Has Left” campaign, the character leaves the Clash of Clans world—because he’s tired of having all of his structures torn down by giants and goblins—and enters ours. Game developer Supercell has even listed a job vacancy for the Builder’s post, with requirements including speaking fluent barbarian and being comfortable working hands-on with molten lava.

The Builder has already left his mark on Huntington State Beach in California, where a 12-foot statue of a giant from the game and four water cannons are there for attendees to interact with until September 3. Fans can keep track of the Builder’s adventures in the real world through social media, including an Instagram takeover and an augmented reality camera activation on Facebook, where users can dress up as the Builder for a selfie or turn the camera around to place the Builder anywhere in the real world.

“We love giving developers the platform to be creative and connect with their fans in a way that only they could dream up,” Leo Olebe, Facebook’s director of global games partnerships, told AListDaily, discussing the AR camera effect. “When Supercell came up with the idea to have the Builder leave the game as part of the fifth anniversary of Clash of Clans, we knew we had to do something for its Facebook community to be a part of that mystery. Tapping into AR made perfect sense—it gives fans a chance to bring the Builder into their own world. It’s great to see this fun character interacting in people’s worlds outside the game. People are really having fun with it.”

“The Builder’s AR debut is being promoted within the Clash of Clans app and on the game’s various social channels so players can easily access it from their phones and share their experiences,” Jessica Yuan, a brand marketer for Supercell, told AListDaily.

The Clash of Clans app notifies players through its news feed that the Builder has been sighted on Facebook. Tapping on the notification takes players to a Facebook post where the AR camera effect is promoted, and the AR effect will remain live indefinitely.

“There’s no end in sight for the Builder’s adventures on Facebook at this time,” Yuan said.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Supercell for several years—we love how Supercell is so devoted to its community,” said Olebe, discussing how the partnership between Facebook and Supercell came together. “They’re constantly coming up with fun and surprising ways to connect with their fans, and they’re willing to experiment with new tools. In fact, they’ve been an early closed beta partner for AR Studio since we launched it at F8. We’re always on board to help them tap into the power of the Facebook platform to bring something new to Facebook and Supercell’s committed fans.”


Introducing AList Sessions, A New Master Class Event Series

AList Sessions, a new invite-only event series that will provide an intimate atmosphere for curated, focused discussions about the most pressing challenges marketers are facing today, is coming to Los Angeles beginning October 26.

The unique master-class format, organized and curated by the AListDaily staff, will be geared specifically for marketing executives to discuss strategies and address solutions in a quickly shifting media landscape. 

AList Sessions will kick off with the Insights Track, which will dive deeper into state-of-the-art tools, technologies and insights that drive a greater understanding of paid, owned and earned media—and how it impacts the bottom line.

The Insights Track is designed for attendees to come away with the knowledge to track and unveil the value of earned media, and why it’s critical to recapture the direct one-to-one relationship with customers in an increasingly fragmented digital landscape.

If you are interested in attending an upcoming session, please complete our Application Form. Attendance is limited.

Upcoming Sessions

Turning Insights Into Data
Thursday, October 26, 2017 

With greater access to data comes greater insights, right? But with the enormous amount of data collected daily, how do you keep up with the pace of the data, see how it all interconnects and transform it into something to can act on? This session will unite prominent industry experts who are turning data into action, mapping out the data landscape and pioneering the future of audience measurement to arm you with the knowledge to craft effective strategies, implement tactical planning and track performance.

Reaching Consumers Where They Are
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Television is no longer the king of screen time. As audiences have splintered their media consumption across platforms, where are consumers now, and how is their behavior changing? Brands are faced with a bigger challenge to reach consumers across various touchpoints in the most effective way possible. This session will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of where their audiences live now, and how to best communicate with them.

Staying Competitive In A World Ruled By Walled Gardens
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Marketers are demanding more from their data, but walled gardens from behemoths like Facebook and Google are limiting the amount of information that’s shared. As part of growing a holistic and direct relationship with their customers and their data, this session will dive deeper into how brands can stay competitive and successfully integrate the data and insights from external platforms into their own branding and sales platforms.

Google Is Issuing Refunds For Fake Traffic, Steps Up Its Transparency

As Google issues partial refunds to victims of ad fraud, a lack of transparency in the programmatic ad industry has been called into question once again. The company is still recovering from brand safety concerns on YouTube and to add insult to injury, Google’s refunds are being issued just months after the company received its “Certified Against Fraud” seal from The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. is not only reimbursing select marketers costs but Google’s director of product management, Scott Spencer told The Wall Street Journal, they’re developing a tool to provide more transparency moving forward.

“When people talk about [ad fraud], there’s a big specter to it and a big concern about invalid traffic in digital,” Spencer said. “It’s not that large in terms of a percentage of what people are buying, but it can be a little bit scary to buyers, and our goal is to remove that to improve the trust overall in the ecosystem.”

Forrester estimates that ad fraud cost marketers $7.4 billion in 2016 and if not addressed, could grow to $10.9 billion by the year 2021. This aligns with the 2016 ANA/White Ops Bot Fraud study, which estimated that advertisers lose $7.2 billion per year globally to bot-generated, non-human traffic. That’s the same amount that Proctor & Gamble spent on advertising last year alone.

Ad fraud occurs when purchased ads are displayed on sites that produce traffic artificially through bots, or when malware programs repeatedly “click” advertisements to simulate engagement. A program called Methbot, for example, siphons between $3 to $5 million in video ad revenue from premium publishers every day by posing as sites like ESPN, Vogue and Fortune. Once marketers pay for ads, the bot creates fake impressions and hikes up the price of CPMs.

Google says it’s “entering discussions” with over 100 exchanges, ad networks and publishers that DoubleClick Bid Manager plugs into—asking them to disclose to ad buyers whether they’re willing to refund the entire media spend if ad fraud occurs. Buyers could then use filters to avoid sources without a refund policy.

This isn’t the company’s first attempts at curbing ad fraud. Google joined the “Ads.txt” project through the Interactive Advertising Bureau in March. The new tool provides a mechanism to enable content owners to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory.

Fraudsters continually adapt to deterrents, and guaranteeing marketers that zero fraud will occur is unrealistic. Efforts being taken by Google and other ad sellers to promote transparency, however, may help heal the wounded ecosystem and put control into the hands of marketers in order to make educated decisions.

The Drive Behind Formula 1’s New Esports Series

Add Formula 1 to the growing list of traditional sports that are using esports as a way to connect with a younger gaming demographic. The NBA, NFL and FIFA also have esports game plans to target millennial and younger fans. Now F1 has partnered with esports league Gfinity to turn Codemasters’ bestselling F1 2017 game into a virtual sport.

Frank Arthofer, global head of digital and new business at Formula 1, told AListDaily that the 2017 F1 Esport Series will be the first year of an annual competition, highlighting a long-term investment in esports and gaming as well as a continued ambition to build a greater connection with wider audiences, especially younger fans.

Arthofer has watched as the NFL worked with EA Sports to use Madden as a hook to attract younger NFL fans and he believes that same formula will work for F1.

“There’s no better way to invest in a gaming platform than to bring a competition element to it,” Arthofer said. “Although adding a steering wheel to a gaming console doesn’t replicate the physical and mental challenges of real Formula 1 racing, it does nicely mimic the racing experience.”

Arthofer believes this commitment to esports over the coming years will help F1 drive commercial value for the sport, providing real long-term opportunities for TV audiences and broadcast rights holders, as well as existing and new sponsors interested in esports.

The launch of this first season coincided with the release of Codemasters’ critically-acclaimed F1 2017 game, which received the highest Metacritic score in the franchise. Arthofer said F1 has worked more closely with Codemasters in the game’s development in an effort to grow the video game audience. So far, he said the new game’s sales are well outpacing last year’s title at around the same time period.

“We’re still determining esports plans for 2018 and beyond, but next year, Codemasters is working to release the game earlier in the season in an effort to better align the F1 season with the esports season,” Arthofer said.

As for the inaugural season, qualification events will take place throughout September to determine the quickest 40 drivers. These will progress to the live semifinal events, to be hosted at the Gfinity Arena in London on October 10th and 11th. The top 20 will progress to the Finals, which will take place at the Yas Marina as part of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 24 and 25. At the end of a three-race event, the first Formula 1 Esports World Champion will be crowned on the same weekend as the final 2017 Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The winner will automatically qualify for the semifinals of next year’s Formula 1 Esports Series. In addition, he or she will also be offered the opportunity to live the full experience of a Formula 1 race by attending one of the 2018 Grands Prix, as well as becoming a character in the F1 2018 game.

“Long-term prizes will focus on sustaining our esports ecosystem,” Arthofer said. “We want these virtual drivers to be able to make a living competing in this game.”

While F1 is still working out all of the details, Arthofer said there’s been a lot of outside interest from new potential partners interested in this esports series.

“Our first priority is always to deepen our sponsor relationships with existing categories, but esports might open up brand new sponsor categories,” Arthofer explained. “And then those new brands could expand beyond esports to other aspects of F1.”

Arthofer said F1 has received both broadcast and online platform interest for this esports series. While details are still being finalized, he acknowledged the success Twitch has had in aggregating online fans in general, and pointed out the success Turner has had with esports through its ELeague initiative in the US.

“Sky is a big partner of ours, and across the globe, others will follow as the US and Europe lead in that area of esports broadcasts,” Arthofer said.

When it comes to traditional esports like Riot Games’ League of Legends and Valve’s CS:GO, Arthoder believes a key to those successes has been in facilitating the community around them.

“We’re investing in an online community of gamers to connect with them on f1esports.com, which will link players to one another,” Arthofer said. “We want to connect fans with us, but also create an ecosystem for the fans. There’s a lot we can borrow from what League of Legends has done successfully.”

There’s also an opportunity to grow F1 esports in new ways. McLaren recently launched its own esports tournament, which will reward a winner with a full-time job as a McLaren F1 simulation driver.

“What McLaren is doing is smart and cool, but given our position as the commercial rights holder around marketing and sponsorship, and our ability to monetize these opportunities, we believe other teams will be chomping at the bit to participate in esports with us,” Arthofer said.

‘The Tick’ Returns With Marketing That Captures His Trademark Personality

The Tick is back in his second live-action comedy TV series, this one available exclusively to Amazon Prime members. The comic-book-hero-turned-TV-star first appeared in 1986. Since then, he became a popular cartoon character in the 90s and the star of a live-action show starring Patrick Warburton (Venture Brothers) on Fox. For the hero’s risky return to live-action—especially in a time when superhero shows are everywhere—Amazon catered its marketing around Tick’s trademark catchphrases and naivete.

Hype surrounding the show includes standard fare such as billboards, teasers and a sponsored hashtag (Tweeting #TheTick will add an image of the hero to messages), but with a twist. For example, billboards were strategically located so that their messages would make the most impact. One located in Los Angeles reads, “You nail the callback, I’ll nail evil,” catering to Hollywood’s huge population of aspiring actors.

While it’s nothing new for a film or show to create specially marked packaging for restaurant promotions, cups from Hardees and Carl’s Jr. include a Snap code to unlock exclusive content. Amazon used Snapchat for a number of promotions, including a sponsored filter that turns users into The Tick. An exclusive game on the app lets users beat up bad guys and features a music track from the show—a cover of Green Day’s “Basket Case” by Bastille.

The Tick lives in a world where superheroes are part people’s daily lives and are loosely regulated. To help immerse fans into his world, Amazon is inviting them to register as a superhero in the AEGIS database—a fictional organization from the series. In addition to creating their own identities and super powers, users can contribute fan fiction, call a special phone number for more information and explore the files of other heroes. Adding backstory to The Tick’s adventures, users may notice some heroes were killed by The Terror—a villain from the show.

Back in the hands of its creator, Ben England (Supernatural, Gotham), the title character of Tick is portrayed by Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy) in the new series. The series has been a comic book, a cartoon and another live-action show, but the character has always remained larger than life. At San Diego Comic-Con, Amazon took this phrase literally and brought a giant 24-foot replica of the top of The Tick’s head, complete with towering antennae, with them to the show.

Responding to Twitter posts tagged with #TheTickSDCC, along with specific emoji, participants received responses from the official Tick account with videos of the antennae moving in response to the requested emoji (happy, sad, etc.). The 24-foot replica of The Tick’s head was visible from “all major landmarks” at the event, and special access to a lounge was granted to Amazon Prime members.

The Tick takes a slightly different approach than previous iterations, in that the main character is actually Tick’s sidekick, Arthur, played by Griffin Newman (Draft Day). Struggling with mental illness and depression, Arthur is an accountant who suspects that his town is owned by The Terror. Without super powers, he is hopeless to take any action until he meets The Tick and becomes The Moth.

A special live Q&A with Griffin Newman was held on Facebook Live August 21 to delve deeper into the character and what viewers could look forward to on the show.

The first six episodes of The Tick are available now on Amazon Prime, with six more dropping in early 2018.


Fake News And Disinformation Are Central To Arcade Fire’s Latest Album Campaign

Arcade Fire has always been a band with a message, from Neon Bible’s commentary on post-9/11 hysteria to The Suburbs’ criticism of the suburbs. Their latest album, Everything Nowis no different. The indie-rock group has set their sights on the pervasive perversion of branding on the artistry of music, alongside commentary on the instant gratification and lack of verification omnipresent on the internet.

To promote the album, the band wove a bizarre narrative, signing on to a “360-degree arrangement” with fictional company Everything Now and creating a phony social media coordinator, Tannis Wright. While Arcade Fire is no stranger to out-of-the-box promotion for their albums, their pre-release campaigns have never been quite so elaborate or multifaceted.

Here’s a breakdown of their campaign:


On April 2, 2017, one “Rafael Derras,” likely fictional, created the blog “Arcade Fire Expat.” Nobody noticed.

Phase 1: Teasers

The consumer-facing campaign began on May 31, in much the same manner as their previous album, Reflektor, with posters going up surreptitiously around the world.

However, Arcade Fire added additional layers, creating two new Twitter accounts. The first, @EverythingNowCo, the “official” account for a content marketing company, retweeted a short video featuring a clip from the album’s title track, posted by second new account @AF_0ff1c1al, a.k.a. Masha S—which was designed to look like a Russian spambot.

The band’s official twitter account posted a new logo on the same day:

The band began selling official Everything Now merchandise at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, including a vinyl recording of the album’s title track. Their Instagram account was also wiped, further teasing new content to come.

Finally, YouTube channel Arcade Fire Expat posted a 13-second video containing the opening chords to “Everything Now” and linked to a blog post about a secret show in Barcelona.

Phase 2: Materialist Marketing

On July 1, Everything Now revealed the official Everything Now website and music video, and, in three typo-ridden tweets, announced their new “Content Division” and that their first music signing was “The Arcade Fires.”

Starting June 3, Arcade Fire began manufacturing disagreement with their marketing partner after Everything Now tweeted out the new album’s song titles in anagram form. The band’s official Twitter account responded:

Later that month, infighting continued as the Arcade Fire Facebook page released fake ads for tie-in products and followed up with a new music video on June 16. Everything Now responded the same day, calling the release “a clear sec. 9 violation.” Six days later, the Arcade Fire Facebook page was updated:

Everything Now Corp entered into what’s called a “360 degree arrangement” with Arcade Fire late last year. It was…

Posted by Arcade Fire on Thursday, June 22, 2017

The post also includes an updated music video for “Creature Comfort,” which includes “fun fact” overlays and eventually advertises products to tie in with each track on the album, poking fun at commercialism in modern music.

The band’s promotional efforts begin in earnest here, posting an announcement of a limited-edition fidget spinner. The band’s Twitter account continued to announce fictional tie-in products for the next month, causing a stir when involving actual brands.

Revealing the true message behind the campaign, the Arcade Fire Twitter account posted about how  “shady” the music business has become, calling out other band-brand partnerships as hypocritical and contradictory with their art form.

Phase 3: #FakeNews

On July 1, the Arcade Fire campaign pivoted away from its ironic commercial approach, “turning over” the reins of its Twitter account from Tannis Wright to Sarah Huckabee Sanders and mocking Donald Trump’s comments on the size of his inauguration crowd.

Beginning on July 14, the band began a widespread disinformation campaign, creating slightly altered versions of popular websites, including “Entertainment Weakly”, “StereoYum,” “Billlboard,” “Fact Company” and “The Hollywood Reported,” all spinning the same plausible meta-commentary about the commercialization of music as relates to their album’s rollout.

Controversy about the fake news strategy reached a head when screenshots of an announced dress code (“HIP & TRENDY”) for a pre-release concert of the album were published on Brooklyn Vegan, leading to backlash, a statement from the band on the lack of a dress code and a scanned “fax” from Tannis Wright:

All this led to a final clarifying post on The Sharables: an interview with the infamous and elusive Tannis Wright, wherein all of the controversial statements and false information are blamed on the (fictional) social media intern, adding further layers of falsehood.


The album released on July 28 to 100,000 week-one sales, enough to put it at number 1 on Billboard’s top 200 albums, which would certainly indicate the success of the campaign. However, as The Outline points out, the band hit the figure partially because they packaged a copy of the album with every concert ticket sold. Additionally, the band is bigger than it’s ever been, but their last album, Reflektor, also topped the Billboard 200 with 140,000 first-week sales.

Dell Enters VR Hardware Space With ‘Visor’ Headset

Dell is forging its own path in the virtual and mixed reality world with Monday’s announcement of the Dell Visor.

The compact device is scheduled to launch in October and will cost $349.99 for the headset alone. Dual motion controllers can be added for $99.99 or users can buy everything together as a bundled package for $449.99. It will also be offered as a featured add-on accessory for Dell’s Inspiron Gaming and XPS brands.

“Whether through Inspiron Gaming, XPS or Alienware, we will have a say in VR. At Dell, we believe that VR has applications that are limitless,” Ray Watkins, technical marketing manager for Dell Gaming, told AListDaily. “So, instead of being told how and when it’s going to happen, we will help set that pace. We have a lot of people that we work with on a consistent basis and we want to make sure that we’re giving them a device that they can use to help us bring to more applications to market.”

Watkins describes the Visor as an entry-level virtual and mixed reality device costs less than an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, and even though it might bear some aesthetic similarities to the Samsung Gear VR, the Dell Visor is not a mobile device. It connects to Windows PCs using a single cable and features front-facing cameras for augmented and mixed reality capabilities. The cameras are also used to track head movement and the two Bluetooth VR controllers, which removes the need for external sensors that other VR headsets use. Furthermore, the front visor can be flipped up, so users can switch between the real and virtual world without having to take the headset off.

Ray Watkins, technical marketing manager for Dell Gaming

According to Watkins, the Visor is for “folks who are interested in VR but want to get in at a lower price point. The companies that are currently pushing VR in the PC space—HTC and Oculus—both have products that are fairly expensive. We know through all of our market research and data that there’s definitely a sub-$400 audience, and that’s who we want to bring in to VR for the first time.”

Watkins said that the company will be taking advantage of its traditional vehicles to get the word out about the Dell Visor, including reviews, marketing activities and online advertising. The primary focus will be on gaming, and the device will be offered as an optional accessory alongside keyboards, mice and monitors for computer orders. Although there’s no word yet on whether there will be bundled pricing for systems, Watkins believes that, judging from Dell’s past practices, it is a strong possibility.

“Gameplay is obviously on the forefront because games drive most of the innovation in the consumer space,” said Watkins, discussing how the Visor will be presented to consumers. “Beyond that, there are abilities for education by having virtual classrooms, social media through virtual meeting rooms. There are a ton of possibilities for VR, and gaming and social will be the two pillars of the consumer space.”

Dell is partnered with Microsoft to host Visor-supported software exclusively on the Windows Store as opposed to selling software directly on the Dell site or through platforms such as Steam. Many of the launch titles are ported over from other platforms and they include Superhot and the zombie shooter Arizona Sunshine, with a possibility for HoloLens applications to be brought over, too.

Despite its passing resemblance to a Gear VR, Watkins pointed out that the Dell Visor is a truly a premium device.

“I don’t consider the Gear VR to be a real VR device,” he said. “It’s basically 360-degree video that’s mobile. Where I find Gear VR to be a huge benefit is on flights, where folks can watch Netflix movies and block out the outside world. We fit more in the premium space. We don’t have the same tracking abilities as the HTC or Oculus because of the way the sensors work, so the Visor sits between PlayStation VR and Oculus/HTC, but we’ll close that gap over time.”

Despite having a strong gaming focus, the Dell Visor will not be related to the Alienware brand.

“That comes down to the broadness of the Visor,” Watkins explained. “When we choose things for the Alienware brand, it specifically targets gamers and uses premium materials. By doing that, we would drive costs up way too high. By putting it into the Dell brand, it aligns with Inspiron Gaming and it can work with Dell’s general consumer products so we can all get behind it and support it. Anything you throw an Alienware moniker on is going to be gaming first, and that’s not what we want the Visor to be. We want it to be for all.”

Watkins also shared what VR means to the Dell brand.

“Dell and Alienware, as brands, always push gaming to the forefront,” said Watkins. “VR, unlike 3D TVs and glasses, is not a fad. It’s here to stay. So, instead of sitting back and allowing HTC, Oculus and other partners dictate to us how we do our own business, we’ll be able to get in and help drive innovations from our own point of view.”


Teens And Tweens Fleeing From Facebook; Customers Complain On Social

Facebook’s monthly user base among 12-to-17-year-olds will fall 3.4 percent from 2016 to 14.5 million people—the second consecutive year of expected usage declines by this group, according to updated forecasts by eMarketer. Facebook-owned Instagram, however, will see an 8.8 percent increase in users from the same age group.

“We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco. “Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate—that is, using visual content.”

Social media can be a powerful tool for brands to engage their audiences—however, those same audiences feel very comfortable using the platform for complaints. According to the Sprout Social Q3 Social Index, 46 percent of consumers surveyed have used social media to “call out” brands. Of those, 55 percent did or continue to do so in order to get a response or resolution to a problem.

Forrester’s US Consumer Experience Index for 2017 explores how leading brands build—or lose—loyalty across 21 industries. Ninety-one percent of retail customers who felt valued said they plan to stay with the brand, 89 percent plan to increase their spending with the brand and 90 percent will advocate for the brand. While Forrester didn’t divulge which brand customers were referring to, the top-ranked retailer was PetSmart.

Of all the industries studies, TV service providers had the largest percentage of customers who felt annoyed. Just 17 percent plan to stay with the brand, 12 percent plan to increase their spending with the brand and 11 percent will advocate for the brand. The top-ranked TV service provider was Suddenlink Communications.

Wearable devices will generate revenue of $30.5 billion in 2017, according to forecasts by Gartner. Of that, $9.3 billion will be from 41.5 million smartwatches sold. By 2021, sales of smartwatches are estimated to total nearly 81 million units, representing 16 percent of total wearable device sales. Revenue from smartwatches is bolstered, Gartner added, by relatively stable average selling prices (ASPs) of Apple Watch.

“Smartwatches are on pace to achieve the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2021, reaching $17.4 billion,” Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.

E-commerce in Germany is on the rise for both smartphones and tablets, according to a survey by Mintel. As many as 93 percent of German consumers have shopped online in the last year. 

Twenty-nine percent of internet users in Germany ages 16 and older had used their smartphone for shopping online in the 12 months ending in June 2017—up from 23 percent in the corresponding study in 2016. Likewise, the share of respondents who had turned to tablets for e-commerce reached 20 percent, up from just 12 percent a year earlier.

Editor’s Note: This story will be updated daily until Friday, September 1. Have a new report, study or tip? Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Arby’s, Jack Wills Taps New CMOs

British fashion retailer Jack Wills has brought on Claire Waugh as their first-ever chief marketing officer. Waugh comes on board after Jack Wills reported their return to profitability this year, after several years of record losses.

“I wanted to hire an inspirational individual to lead our marketing function globally,” said Peter Williams, CEO and founder of Jack Wills. “The caliber of talent which we are attracting at Jack Wills is evidence of the revival of the brand over the past two years and the pace of momentum across the business.”

Waugh previously worked at luxury fashion brand Burberry, ascending to global marketing director for menswear, leather and softs. Beforehand, she spent 10 years at Starbucks Coffee.

Williams also hinted at announcements of future hirings, claiming a “very exciting year” ahead.

Arby’s has a new president and chief marketing officer, tapping Rob Lynch and Jim Taylor for the roles, respectively.

Lynch, who previously served as CMO for the roast-beef specialist chain will retain his title as president of the Arby’s Franchise Association. Prior to his promotion, Taylor held the position of senior vice present of marketing.

The leadership changes come after 27 straight quarters of same-store sales growth.

Mary T. Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors, has been elected to the Walt Disney board of directors. Barra has held her current position at the auto conglomerate since 2014, prior to which she served as executive vice present of global product development, purchasing and supply chain.

Advertising standards-setting organization the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has appointed John Frelinghuysen as their new publisher-in-residence. In the position, Frelinghuysen will advise IAB and its Digital Video Center of Excellence on possible innovations in the digital advertising field.

Formerly, Frelinghuysen was executive vice president of digital media for Disney/ABC Television, and before that as senior vice president of strategy for AOL.

“Digital video—with $9.1 billion in US advertising spending in 2016 alone—is perhaps the single greatest opportunity for industry revenue growth, and it is a privilege to team with IAB to spur the medium even further,” said Frelinghuysen. “We need to coalesce around these critical areas in order for video to deliver on its tremendous promise.”

Intel has replaced its departing vice president of their sales and marketing group with Michelle Johnston Holthaus. The change comes after the departure of six upper-level executives leaving the chip manufacturer since 2015, including sales and marketing president Stacy Smith.

Holthaus, who has been with the company since 1996, most recently served as general manager of the PC Client Group’s central marketing and operations division.

Online investment start-up Ellevest has brought on Lisa Stone as chief marketing officer, where she will attempt to expand the brand’s efforts to demystify investing for women.

Previously, she founded BlogHer and served as CEO from 2005 until 2014, when the female-focused blogging platform was acquired by SheKnows Media.

Nestle’s global head of integrated marketing Michael Chrisment has ditched the company, joining French media group Konbini as chief marketing officer.

Working for Nescafe, Chrisment was responsible for shifting the digital side of the coffee brand’s outreach to Tumblr to create a more conversational tone with consumers.

In an interview with The Drum, Chrisment said, “Something is broken in advertising and we can’t do it the same way as before,” a problem he hopes to solve at his new position.

Retail chain Macy’s announced the hiring of Hal Lawton as company president. In the position, Lawton will head efforts to improve data analytics and simplify merchandising organization at the company.

“Hal has deep expertise at the intersection of retail and technology, a diverse set of business experiences that give him a unique perspective, and a track record of successfully driving a change agenda at scale,” said Jeff Gennette, CEO of Macy’s.

Lawton joins the company after leaving eBay North America, where he served as senior vice president. Previously, he spent 10 years at Home Depot, ascending to the level of senior vice president of merchandising, where he established the company’s website.

The Los Angeles Times has replaced its publisher and CEO, installing Ross Levinsohn as the paper’s new leader. Tronc, the L.A. Times parent company, announced that the shift comes with increased investment into the paper to adapt it more quickly to the digital age.

Several senior-level staff members have left the company as well amid the swift changes, including former publisher Tim Ryan, advertising executive Ken DePaola, marketing executive Joseph Schlitz, L.A. Times publisher and editor Davan Maharaj and three other senior editors.

Levinsohn most recently was co-founder and partner at consulting firm Whisper Advisors, and has held senior-level positions at News Corp. and Yahoo, and played an integral role in creating the TV-streaming site Hulu.

Cox Media Group has named a new senior vice present and chief human resources officer in Mary Ellen Marcilliat-Falkner.

A longtime Cox employee, Marcilliat-Falkner most recently led the company’s client-facing HR business team, where she provided consultation services to Cox’s business partners. Prior to the role, she was director of finance operations for the West region.

Jeff Jones joined has tax preparation services company H&R Block as their new CEO, replacing the recently retired Bill Cobb.

Formerly the president of ridesharing app Uber, Jones left the company in March, after only six months in the position. Beforehand, he served as chief marketing officer at Target for four years.

Sports analytics provider Nielsen Sports has promoted Glenn Lovett to the role of global managing director, after his fellow global co-managing director Danny Townsend left the company to become CEO of Australian soccer team Sydney FC.

Prior to his position at Nielsen Spots, Lovett held the position of global president of strategy of sports measurement and evaluation company Repucom, which Nielsen acquired in 2016.

Trisha Espinoza has been promoted by entertainment conglomerate Viacom to head of planning and content strategy for MTV, VH1 and Logo Group.

Espinoza most recently held the position of senior vice present of planning and content strategy for VH1 and Logo, and has previously led programming strategy for BET, NBC and MTV2.

Andrew Hotz has joined production monolith Warner Bros. Pictures as executive vice president of worldwide digital marketing. Hotz will head both domestic and international teams to market and support both Warner Bros. and New Line Cinemas releases.

Prior to this position, Hotz served as head of industry at Google, where he worked extensively with NBCUniversal on digital marketing.

The UK branch of car manufacturer Volvo has appointed Mike Johnstone as their new marketing strategy director. Johnstone will oversee efforts to draw a younger audience to the brand.

Johnstone previously worked as the international director of marketing for Harley-Davidson and head of business customer quality at Skoda UK.

Multinational media conglomerate NBCUniversal has created the position of executive vice present of digital sales and strategy, and has recruited Trevor Fellows to work in the role. Fellows will be responsible for driving revenue across all digital and social media properties.

“As linear and digital media markets converge and viewer consumption patterns continue to change, Trevor will help create the next generation of scaled media opportunities for our marketing partners,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships. “Trevor has an extensive background in building teams and developing new business models to stay ahead of the industry’s rapidly changing ecosystem.”

Fellows is leaving financial information firm Dow Jones and Company, where he was the executive vice president and chief revenue officer and drove nine consecutive quarters of revenue growth.

Sony Pictures has promoted Jaime Blanc to senior vice president of marketing, advertiser sales. Blanc has been with Sony for four years, and has previously held positions at New Line Television, Plum TV and Martha Stewart Living.

Esports company ESL has hired Jonas “bsl” Alsaker Vikan as their new global tournament director. In the role, he will oversee the organization and execution of all of the company’s esports tournaments, including ESL One and ESL Pro League.

“We are excited to welcome Jonas as the new tournament director to our product team,” said Ulrich Schulze, senior vice president of product at ESL. “With his extensive expertise in the esports industry, resulting from a variety of job experiences, Jonas embodies the natural fit we were looking for.”

Vikan most recently was a journalist for the Norwegian paper Andresseavisen and has worked in the esports industry as a competitor, a team leader, a desk host and a general manager of the team Berlin Allianz.

(Editor’s Note: This post will be updated daily until Friday, August 25. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.)

Job Vacancies 

Head of Brand Marketing Eventbrite San Francisco, CA
Director, Marketing Razer USA, Ltd. Irvine, CA
Director, Digital Marketing Warner Bros. Entertainment Group Burbank, CA
Director of Strategy, Marketing Starbucks Seattle, WA
Director, Marketing Sony Music Entertainment New York, NY
Brand Manager BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. Santa Clara, CA
Director, Product Marketing Facebook Menlo Park, CA
VP, Brand Marketing MGM Resorts International Las Vegas, NV

Make sure to check back for updates on our Jobs Page.

Why WWE Is A Slamming Gaming IP

With wrestlers like John Cena doubling as celebrities and practically being household names, the WWE brand is hot right now, and mobile game developers have caught on.

In April, Sega announced a partnership to develop WWE Tap Mania, which released in July. The pro-wrestling-themed mobile title combines idle game mechanics similar to AdVenture Capitalist with gacha gameplay—meaning that players can collect characters and upgrade them.

At around the same time in June, Glu Mobile announced a multi-year partnership with the WWE, and its first game is expected to release in 2018. The game is being developed by the same studio that made Glu’s highly successful mobile baseball game Tap Sports Baseball, which received a major upgrade earlier this year with the addition of the official MLB license.

AListDaily united Joseph Kim, chief product officer at Sega Networks (Sega’s mobile division) and Chris Akhavan, chief revenue officer at Glu Mobile, for a tag team event discussing the incredible strength of the WWE brand in the mobile gaming space.

Why The WWE Brand Stands Out

Chris Akhavan, chief revenue officer at Glu Mobile

“When we talk about the WWE, we’re talking about sports entertainment, but we’re also talking about a roster of personalities,” said Akhavan. “So, we think that a lot of what we learned with Tap Sports Baseball is going to carry over to creating a great WWE product.”

Akhavan also stated that the Tap Sports team happens to be big WWE fans themselves, which will benefit the game greatly. “We’ve always seen a great correlation between a team being truly passionate and knowledgeable about a particular IP leading to success,” he added. “They’re really going to do the franchise justice and bring a lot of authenticity to it that you wouldn’t be able to do if you weren’t a hardcore fan.”

“I think that there is a strong emotional attachment to the WWE brand,” said Kim. “I believe that what WWE has done better than any other professional sports franchise is to weave in narrative and story. Today, we’re starting to see that happen with other professional sports, with the press conference tour of Mayweather-versus-McGregor being an example in terms of narrative and story.”

Kim believes that storytelling is one of the WWE’s greatest strengths.

“There’s something inherent within our psyche—within our DNA—that just resonates with story and narrative,” said Kim. “I think that’s what the WWE has done powerfully. When we launch a game with this brand, what we see in our metrics is that exact phenomenon, where strong fans of the WWE are engaging with our product.”

Although narrative storytelling is the key, it’s the WWE superstars that bring it all together and draw in audiences from all over the world.

“There’s also a massive character roster of both current wrestlers and past superstars—everyone from The Macho Man Randy Savage, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin to current stars such as Roman Reigns and John Cena,” said Akhavan. “That provides a huge opportunity to create a lot of depth for this game. There are only a few other IPs like the WWE, which have a rich character universe to tap into.”

Kim agrees with the importance of superstars, especially since WWE Tap Mania lets you collect them. In fact, some of the characters will talk to players throughout the game, challenging them to matches.

“It’s a cast of characters that people truly identify with,” said Kim, discussing how WWE fans all have different favorites and how no one fixates on just one person. “One thing I think they (the WWE) do effectively is create this universe of characters that allow a very diverse group of people to identify with. That taps into that inner aspiration of being a hero or superstar. I think that’s what makes the IP very special.”

The WWE Is Always On

Joseph Kim, chief product officer at Sega Networks

Kim observed that another strength of the brand is that it’s not as seasonal as football or basketball. Instead, it has near continuous TV exposure.

“While football has the Super Bowl and the NBA has the Finals, the WWE has more events such as Summer Slam, Smackdown and Raw, which help promote the game because we can tie in-game events to them,” said Kim.

“The WWE is keeping the audience engaged 365 days a year, offering constant turns, new stories and new characters to continue deepening that emotional connection with their audience,” Akhavan explained. “They reach 650 million homes worldwide in 20 languages and there’s a constantly evolving storyline. A mobile game developer couldn’t ask for anything better than something that’s always on, always relevant and always evolving.”

A Fully Engaged Audience

“We actually validated the power of the WWE IP before this deal,” said Akhavan, referring to the multi-year partnership with the WWE. “A couple of years ago, we did a limited-time event with the WWE in our Racing Rivals title, and that actually produced the biggest revenue the game has ever had. In that particular event, players are able to chase after WWE wrestler-themed cars. That was an opportunity for us to see firsthand the power of the WWE IP and how passionate the audience is about WWE content.”

Additionally, Akhavan said that beyond a massive TV reach, the WWE has a huge social media following across its channels. “It’s a very digitally savvy company,” he explained. “The WWE digital network is doing very well and has millions of people subscribing to it. Between its digital channels, its TV channels and real-world events, the WWE has so many touchpoints with its audience that it can promote content through.”

Kim also has firsthand experience with the dedicated fan base through WWE Tap Mania. “There was a TV spot that ran on the WWE network, and we saw a huge spike in users,” he said. “It speaks to that fanatical WWE audience. When they learned about the game, they just jumped on it. We not only saw a massive spike in downloads, but we also saw that user acquisition became a lot easier after that promotion.”

It’s An Open Market

Both Akhavan and Kim agreed that there is a great deal of untapped potential in the WWE market from a mobile gaming perspective.

Akhavan explained how EA dominated the football and soccer spaces with Madden and FIFA, respectively.

“When you look at the WWE on mobile, there isn’t a top-grossing WWE title today,” he said. “There are a couple that are successful, but they’re not really dominating and owning the market. The opportunity that we see is that no one has quite cracked the nut of delivering a mobile game around the WWE IP that has captured fans’ engagement and attention to the level we think is possible.”

Further comparing wrestling with other sports, Akhavan said that the WWE IP has true global appeal while baseball remained very North American-centric.

Sega saw the same opportunities in the pro wrestling space, and for Kim, the WWE’s global appeal circles back to the superstars.

“There’s something about narrative and story and being able to follow along with these superstars at a more personal level,” said Kim. “I think that’s what attracts people more broadly to these kinds of brands.”