Snack Brands Look For A Marketing Sack This NFL Season

The NFL season officially kicks off on Thursday, signaling a new start for brands to get off the sidelines and begin their football-themed messaging, targeting fervent and frenzied fans for the fall and winter.

Brands have forever used football to sell everything from soda to soap, cars, video games and beer—you name it—in order to score with a highly engaged audience.

NFL programming occupied 10 of the top 25 most-watched prime time television programs of 2016—and fans love watching while firing off scorching hot takes on Twitter. Such Belichick-like ratings dominance—which is only projected to grow—allowed for the league to command and claim a record $3.5 billion in ad revenue last year.

Brands like PepsiCo are trying reach new and younger audiences who consume sports on the second screen just as much (if not more) than on TV screens.

PepsiCo is gamifying its line of beverage and snack products for the football season and leveraging platforms like Snapchat with the programs “They Win, You Score” and “Tostitos Lucky Bags.” The digital-first campaigns integrate interactive content and creativity in order to deliver results by allowing consumers to get an inside look at their favorite teams and participate in weekly games with the potential to win prizes like Super Bowl tickets and NFL swag.

“Gamification of NFL watching is a huge trend that we wanted to tap into,” Christina Clarke, senior director of marketing of Frito-Lay North America, told AListDaily. “We’re working even harder on making these efforts even more personal for consumers. We’ve often created large engagement programs and we will continue to do that, but having an ongoing dialogue with our consumers—especially millennials—is appealing for them and for us.”

The NFL isn’t bulletproof to millennials, which have proverbially been the plague of everything in existence. The sport is increasingly losing the demographic as well, and brands are game-planning appropriately to avoid a punt. Dawn Hudson, the NFL’s chief marketing officer, is the former CEO and president of Pepsi and might perhaps be the right executive primed for the challenge.

Clarke said both programs are unique to Snapchat—a platform the consumers they’re targeting use regularly—citing that 82 percent of millennials use Snapchat while making purchases in stores. The brand is applying gamification learnings from last year’s Doritos #MixArcade E3 activation into their two NFL programs as they continue to explore new areas of marketing technology.

“We’re always looking for the latest technology that helps us connect to our fans, but still makes business sense for the brand,” Clarke said. “With younger consumers, there has always been a sense of competitiveness and gaming, but now it’s evolved in the digital age.”

For the upcoming season, 24 league sponsors across 37 brands are activating their NFL rights with more than 40 television and 55 digital spots using 55 current or former players, according to Sports Business Daily.

Football fans are such a sought-after consumer group that Amazon is now reportedly promising that it’ll track how many viewers see sponsors’ in-game ads and then browse or buy products on its site. That means makes like Pepsi can now track to see if TV ads like “The Fun Doesn’t End Zone” starring Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown have an actual effect among consumers.

Networks like Fox are also maximizing the millions of live eyeballs glued to TV screens each Sunday by allowing brands to get creative and test a new kind of marketing with bite-sized six-second ads.

Fresh off of a Super Bowl ad from February featuring Ernie the Elephant and Seahawks star Richard Sherman, consumer packaged goods company Wonderful Pistachios is taking another crack at their sports marketing strategy by launching “Put a Smile on Your Snackface,” the largest national campaign to date for the brand.

The snack brand, which contributed 14 percent of all snack category dollar growth last year, is again tapping Sherman and Packers linebacker Clay Matthews to appear in comedic ads throughout the season. In addition to digital efforts, it will be supported by print, in-store displays and point-of-sale material up until the Super Bowl.

“More than half of Wonderful Pistachios consumers eat pistachios while watching sports. It’s an opportunity where consumers can mindlessly graze on junk food, and Wonderful Pistachios wants to be a healthy salty snack alternative consumers feel good about when munching on during game time,” Adam Cooper, vice president of marketing for Wonderful Pistachios, told AListDaily. “Wonderful Pistachios is the fastest-growing major snack brand based on actual consumer purchase data since November 2016. This beats out major snack brands that usually dominate the snack aisle.”

The $55 million campaign for the upcoming season was made by The Wonderful Agency, its in-house creative team. Cooper said the snack company’s shift in strategy largely stems from consumers currently demanding more fresh and healthy options.

“Adapting to this can be a challenge for traditional snack companies,” he said. “This is proven by our huge growth this past year. A person has an average of 2.7 snacks per day. They are snacking more than they ever have before. In fact, there are now more snacking occasions than meal occasions each day. Eating has changed tremendously in the US.”

Cooper said the success of their Super Bowl campaign, which costs a cool $5 million for brands just to play ball for 30-seconds on TV, led to more consumers reaching for Wonderful Pistachios than ever.

It also put the company on a path to re-up its pigskin messaging and bring the newly created odd superlatives featuring Sherman and Matthew.

“More than three million new households were choosing Wonderful Pistachios and we increased the association between Wonderful Pistachios and football by 52 percent,” Cooper said. “These are clear indicators that Super Bowl was a smart marketing avenue for our brand . . . We don’t have another Super Bowl commercial planned at the moment—but never say never.”

Geolocation Game Spreads Message Of Inclusion At PAX West

The Ad Council’s Game for Good (a gaming industry collaboration to benefit social causes) and the Emmy-award-winning Love Has No Labels campaigns returned to PAX West this year with an interactive twist. The League of Extraordinary Humans is a mobile geolocation game that celebrates “everyday superheroes” fighting for love and inclusion.

“To really have an impact on social issues, we need to meet people where they are spending their time. For millions across the country, that’s playing games online, on mobile or on consoles,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “The League of Extraordinary Humans is just the first step in bringing our message of diversity to the gaming community, and we hope that it will help all gamers recognize their role in making the world a more accepting place.”

Created by Artifact Technologies (Battlekasters), The League of Extraordinary Humans is a collectible card game available on both iOS and Android devices. The app uses beacons strategically placed across the convention center to create a location-based experience and users received messages from the app that led them to six partner booths around PAX West—Twitch, Rooster Teeth, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Capcom and Xbox—where they completed two challenges designed to “deepen their understanding of implicit bias.”

Completing each challenge unlocked a digital trading card featuring the likeness and story of an “everyday superhero” who is fighting implicit bias. Each card was drawn by a comic book artist and overseen by industry veteran Dave Elliot (Maximum Force). Upon completing the game, select players won an exclusive Love Has No Labels official Pinny Arcade pin.

“Our challenge was to create a geo-gaming experience that would not only do justice to the Love Has No Labels campaign, but also to properly showcase the extraordinary group of real-life heroes we have transformed into collectible superhero cards,” said Brent Friedman, co-founder and chief creative officer at Artifact Technologies. “The end result feels like the perfect convergence of medium and message.”

Individuals featured on the cards are:

  • Jazz Jennings, an influential transgender teen and star of the hit TLC show I Am Jazz
  • Mike Begum, aka ‘BrolyLegs,’ a competitive gamer with a bone-muscle deficiency
  • Diana Nyad, a swimmer who completed a 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida at age 64
  • Grace Dolan-Sandrino, a transgender advocate
  • Anne Munition, a vocal LGBTQ gaming influencer
  • Benjamin Williams, co-founder of the PAX Diversity Lounge
  • Hana Mangat, a teenager who started a Sikh club at her school
  • August De Los Reyes, an advocate for inclusive design for people with disabilities
  • Marley Diaz, the 12-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks
  • Giana Glantz, creator of the app Gender Avengers
  • Matt and Jack, two brothers who co-founded an inclusive production company to spread information about Special Olympics Kansas
  • Isabella Catarina, a fashion designer who created specialized clothing to help aging Americans dress themselves
“With each ‘everyday superhero’, we looked to identify ordinary people who have each done something extraordinary to change the lives of individuals within six discriminated classes (race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or ability),” said Steven Lai, vice president of talent and content strategy at ION and advisor to the Game for Good committee. “We were thrilled to include Mike Begum aka ‘BrolyLegs’ as a shining example of determination and a strong influence in driving inclusion within the competitive gaming landscape.”

“When I was first contacted about this game, I was thrilled about sharing my story and being involved with so many extraordinary people,” said BrolyLegs. “I’m so excited to be a part of this opportunity at PAX and want to show everyone that Love Has No Labels!”

In addition to the game, Love Has No Labels hosted a booth in the PAX Diversity Lounge and two panels on implicit bias and the role of diversity in gaming.

‘Forge of Empires’ Campaign Proves Pinterest Is Strong Game Marketing Platform

Mobile and web browser game developer InnoGames, which has reported strong and steady growth over the past few years, isn’t averse to experimenting with promotional campaigns.

Although the company still relies heavily on traditional social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it has made the unconventional move to the Pinterest platform—where people go to share and find ideas and “pin” them to custom boards—to promote the mobile version of Forge of Empires.

Mathias Wuerdemann, performance marketing manager at InnoGames

Pinterest attracts over 150 million active users a month, largely from people looking for inspiration or to sell their goods, and millennials use it about as much as Instagram, but marketers often overlook the fast-growing platform.

“What makes Pinterest so interesting and distinguishes it from other social networks is the high female share and the fact that shopping is a large part of the user experience,” InnoGames’ performance marketing manager Mathias Wuerdemann told AListDaily. “At InnoGames, we are constantly looking for new channels to reach untapped audiences, so Pinterest became an option due to what it offered advertisers. Unlike other networks, promoted pins last forever and continue to engage people. According to Pinterest, advertisers receive an average of 20 percent more free clicks in the month after launching a promoted pin.”

Wuerdemann added that InnoGames began creating promoted pins for Forge of Empires at the end of last year, and its decision to try Pinterest was based on a number of reasons, with the first being the platform’s growth, especially with female users.

“First, the high female share of the fast-growing social network represents a good opportunity for our upcoming mobile games, which we will target at both genders,” said Wuerdemann. “Second, we expect Pinterest to be a good addition to our Facebook campaigns to find untapped audiences. Furthermore, we assume shopping being a large part of the Pinterest UX to be a good indication for a high share of valuable players among the user base.”

Wuerdemann then went into detail about why InnoGames was tuning its campaign for both genders instead of focusing more on the predominantly female (about 81 percent) user base.

“When we launched our first campaigns on Pinterest, we decided to start with a mix of all reasonable targeting types,” Wuerdemann explained. “To establish a basis for optimization, we set up gaming related keywords, interest and act alike campaigns with a broad targeting. To our surprise, the network gave us similar performance for [both] male and female audiences despite the high share of female users. The click-through rate and conversion rate were at a comparable level, which indicates that Pinterest can be used as other networks to target potential players.”

Wuerdemann also went into detail about engaging with Pinterest users.

Forge of Empires Pinterest campaign performance over three months. (Credit: InnoGames)

“At its most basic level, Pinterest differs from other platforms due to its users’ motivation,” he said. “Advertisers need to think of how to make their product stand out. Having said that, like Facebook, Pinterest is a content-driven social network. Meaning that besides targeting the right audience, using the right creatives is crucial. If you want to decrease the [cost per click] for your campaigns, you should work on your creatives before you adjust the bids. Be aware that your campaigns compete against the content of the user’s friends, celebrities and your [business] competitors.”

According to Wuerdemann, the Pinterest campaign is paying off, and the company broke even after one month of launching it. He also explained that InnoGames scales its campaigns step-by-step instead of going all in at the start, and it is currently optimizing it toward customer lifetime value.

Ultimately, Wuerdemann believes that Pinterest is a promising social network for performance advertisers, particularly for games.

“It’s a relatively new platform with less competition than Facebook and Instagram,” said Wuerdemann. “[Also], the user behavior differs from established networks. Instead of connecting or communicating with friends, people’s motivation is to look for inspiration. In this context, recommending new games makes perfect sense, and for us, is a worthwhile platform for advertising mobile games.”

Don’t Touch That Dial: AM/FM Radio Is Still Safe For Marketers

It’s no secret that digital is moving in on terrestrial radio. A recently published report by Musonomics claims that the medium will be dead within a decade thanks to a myriad of factors that range from smart speakers to Gen Z preferences, but Nielsen and the National Association of Broadcasters disagree. Should marketers be worried about advertising on AM/FM stations? Let’s take a look at the data.

Trust In Traditional

Consumers like and trust traditional advertisements more than digital, according to a study by MarketingSherpa. Out of the 2,400 US consumers interviewed, 71 percent say they usually trust radio advertising when making a purchasing decision. In fact, the top five most-trusted types of advertising were all traditional, including television and print.

Unaided brand recall is five times higher for those on the air than brands not advertising on AM/FM radio, according to a study by Local Ad Recall. Fielding 27 local ad recall studies with 8,377 consumers, the company also found that 78 percent of respondents trust on-air personalities like a friend.

While streaming music integration is commonplace for modern vehicles, Edison Research reported that 90 percent of commuters still listen to AM/FM radio. If given only one choice of audio to listen to, 43 percent of the total sample would choose traditional AM/FM radio. To underscore the point, when BMW and Tesla removed or disabled the AM radio function in some of its electric models, there was a considerable backlash from consumers.

“For any doubters out there, AM/FM is here to stay and has a larger than some may expect listening base,” Henry Bzeih, managing director of connected and mobility for Kia Motors America told Insider Radio in an August 2017 interview. “Therefore, until we see a different trend, we will protect the tuners in our head units for terrestrial radio.”

Yes, Young People Are Still Listening

Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report 2017, Q1 data shows that Gen Z spent over 35 hours per month listening to AM/FM radio and 88 percent of Gen Zers use terrestrial radio each week.

In fact, the report finds that AM/FM radio reaches 88 percent of Generation Z in the US each week and 93 percent of millennials.

“Nielsen data affirms radio’s continued vitality,” a spokesman from the analyst film told Variety. “In the face of a constantly shifting media landscape, radio continues to have the broadest weekly reach among all media.”

Nearly 88 percent of Americans between the ages of 12-17 turn to radio each week, and they spend nearly 10 hours a week listening to local radio, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.

It Pays To Tune In

It’s not enough to know that consumers still tune in, so let’s take a look at how ad spending performs in terms of ROI.

Nielsen’s sales effect study found that radio exposure led to a significant return on advertising investment for department stores, mass merchandisers, home improvement stores and quick-service restaurants.

Department stores saw the highest return of $17.00 to $1.00 and experienced a 10 percent increase in sales. Mass merchandisers saw a $16.00 to $1.00 return. Home improvement stores experienced a $9.00 to $1.00 return while the return for quick-service restaurants was $3.00 to $1.00.

According to Media Ecologist Jack Myers’ 29th Annual Marketing & Advertising Data and Spending Forecast, radio revenue will increase from $15.9 billion in 2016 to $17.8 billion in 2020. Terrestrial radio is expected to see a 12.3 percent increase in ad spending over the next three years. Its total share of the ad revenue pie will grow from 2.8 percent to three percent by 2020.

It sounds like radio isn’t going off the air anytime soon.

Reyka Vodka Wants To Take You To Iceland In VR

Reyka Vodka dove into virtual reality using MonsterVR technology to create a new interactive VR experience that challenges two players to scale a virtual mountain in Iceland. The experience, which features the glaciers, volcanoes and lagoons Iceland is known for, connects to the ingredients of the vodka, which is made using Iceland’s glacial spring water, lava rock filtration and geothermal energy.

Reyka Vodka brand manager Will Orsburn told AListDaily that this new marketing campaign connects with the brand’s messaging “Made of Iceland.”

“Iceland is a remarkably unique place, in terms of the land itself, but also the people and culture,” Orsburn explained. “This is what being ‘Made of Iceland’ is all about, and we strive to bring that to life for our audience at every touch point; that means how we design events and branded items, how we develop cocktails, and of course, how we engage our consumers in the digital space.”

In the past, the brand has launched quirky campaigns through its social platforms to visually showcase its story, provenance, and people. Orsburn said VR presents a great opportunity to bring people to Iceland—virtually—and take them through the production process for Reyka Vodka, in a way that is fun and engaging.

“We have received great feedback on the program at events where we’ve activated, and, through the program, we look forward to bringing many more people to Iceland,” Orsburn said. “We’re still at the beginning of testing our VR at festivals and large-scale sampling events, so it will be interesting to see what the feedback is as more and more consumers have the opportunity to try it.”

The VR experience takes you through the Reyka Vodka distillation process through a two-player competition that presents players with challenges and obstacles. The competition involves a Carter-Head Still, arctic spring water, lava rocks, geothermal energy and making a Reyka cocktail.

“Iceland is the land of fire and ice and is filled with charming characteristics and natural beauty—lava rocks, glacial spring water, volcanoes, towering waterfalls and geothermal energy,” Orsburn explained. “Many consumers have not had a chance to visit Iceland and see these wonders first-hand. VR allows us to share our homeland and gives consumers the chance to experience the Reyka Vodka process. It’s educational, engaging and entertaining.”

MonsterVR reached out to the brand to work on this VR experience, which was created using their cameras. The traveling experience, which is used at events and festivals, also features MonsterVR headsets for consumers to enter into this Icelandic adventure. It’s often a first hands-on with the MonsterVR hardware, as well as a virtual journey to Iceland.

“Working with MonsterVR allowed us to tap into their expertise in technology and VR,” Orsburn said. “They’ve helped us bring our distillation process to life in an original way for our consumers here in the US.”

Reyka Vodka’s VR experience is still in its beta stage, targeting events in key markets. The plan is to roll out the experience to more events and markets throughout 2018.

“Reyka Vodka’s demographic is someone seeking to experience new adventures, who has an inventive spirit and who enjoys quality spirits and cocktails,” said Orsburn.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Toy Frenzy Begins With Force Friday II

It’s Force Friday II—a global three-day fan celebration spanning across thousands of retailers—launching new products inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The event runs September 1-3 and it is expected to top its 2015 predecessor.

“This campaign is on a bigger scale than the first Force Friday, both in terms of geographic scope and the number of retailers,” Paul Southern, a senior vice president at Disney’s Lucasfilm, told Yahoo.

We No Longer Find Your Lack Of Rey Disturbing

In addition to galaxy-sized retail efforts by Disney and Lucasfilm, there are notable differences between this year’s Force Friday and the original, which promoted Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

A combination of underestimated demand and spoiler concerns resulted in a lack of toys based on Rey, the female main character of The Force Awakens. Learning from its mistakes, Southern said that Disney put Rey “front and center” this time, from action figures to collectible holiday ornaments.

Witness The Power Of This Fully Functional Toy Line

Retailers and fans also appreciate the addition of high tech toys unveiled ahead of the holiday season. App-enabled droids, droid inventor kits and augmented reality toys are a common theme this year for Star Wars merchandise.

Jedi Challenges, available for pre-order features a smartphone-powered Lenovo Mirage AR headset, tracking beacon and lightsaber controller. It works with iOS and Android and will be available this holiday season.

In the meantime, fans can “Find the Force” by participating in a global augmented reality event at 20,000 participating retail locations over the weekend. Through the official Star Wars app, AR characters and creatures (including the adorable porgs) can be seen and photographed around stores. Each day will unlock new characters to encourage repeat visits.

By sharing photos or videos featuring the in-store AR characters on Twitter or Instagram using #FindtheForce and #Sweepstakes throughout the Force Friday II weekend, fans in select global markets can participate in a sweepstakes for the chance to win the ultimate fan experience: tickets to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere in December.

These Are The Droids You’re Looking For

Perhaps the most notable new character revealed in toy form is BB-9E—BB-8’s evil twin—whose role in The Last Jedi remains a mystery for now.

Toys ‘R’ Us stores in the US and select stores around the world hosted special midnight celebrations to kick off the event, giving customers the opportunity to be among the first to purchase hundreds of new Star Wars items, like the Toys ‘R’ Us-exclusive Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder from Radio Flyer.

Fans: “I Love You.” Star Wars: “I Know.”

Sales of Star Wars toys in the US totaled $618 million from August 2016 to July 2017, according to NPD Group. The theme was also number one for the last twelve months in the total toy industry.

The first Force Friday promotion in 2015 for The Force Awakens sparked a sevenfold increase in online sales of Star Wars toys for the month of September, according to Financial Post. The studio drummed up excitement for new action figures and toys with a global unwrapping of Star Wars merchandise on YouTube and coverage on ABC’s Good Morning America. The movie went on to become the top-grossing US movie ever.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in US theaters on December 15.

Mercedes-Benz Drives Esports Forward By Partnering With ESL

Mercedes-Benz is one of the latest non-endemic sponsors to enter into the esports space. The luxury car maker is partnering with ESL to sponsor several of its flagship events, including ESL One Hamburg 2017, a Dota 2 Major tournament that features a €1,000,000 ($1,188,160 US) prize pool.

“The esports engagement is part of Mercedes-Benz’s sponsoring and marketing portfolio’s new strategic direction,” a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson explained to AListDaily. “After its entry into Formula E, the company thus gives another impulse in a future-oriented field. Double-digit growth rates, sold out stadiums across the globe, yearly prize pools of over 100 million euros and almost 500 million streaming hours watched per month all show the increasing significance of esports.”

Mercedes-Benz stated that it chose to partner with ESL because it’s owned by the media company MTG (Modern Times Group) and it operates high-profile branded international and national stadium-sized tournaments such as the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL National Championships, in addition to grassroots amateur cups and leagues.

“ESL covers a broad field of services in gaming technology, event management, advertising and television production, fully catering to the needs of the esports ecosystem,” the spokesperson said. “With offices in North America, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Spain and China and partners in many other countries, it has a truly global footprint. As a result, we have identified ESL as the perfect partner to enter the esports segment.”

Bernhard Mogk, senior vice president of global sales and business development at ESL, described to AListDaily about what the involvement of a brand like Mercedes-Benz means for the continued growth of esports.

“The partnership with Mercedes represents an important next step for the esports market, and as such, this development marks a crucial step for the growth of esports and ESL,” said Mogk. “Mercedes and other major non-endemic brands we’re working with are starting to recognize esports as a valid strategy to engage with one of the most attractive and valuable communities in the world: the esports fans. We’re definitely excited to see what kind of activations and engagement Mercedes will bring to the fans, and are looking forward to inspiring more non-endemic partners to follow this example.”

Mercedes-Benz said that it has been following the growth of esports for some time.

“Fans of esports are between 18-and-34-years-old on a global average, and thus a very interesting target group for Mercedes-Benz,” said the spokesperson. “Esports is the perfect tool to reach these millennials. Through esports, we win access to future customers to make them aware of the brand, products and services.”

According to Mogk, the partnership will primarily focus on ESL One tournaments, which are ESL’s flagship tournaments. The most recent event was ESL One Cologne, which attracted over 14,000 visitors and recorded over 62 million online sessions.

“It’s safe to say that events like that offer an incredibly attractive platform for brands to reach and interact with the fans of the world’s fastest growing sport,” said Mogk.

He also added that Mercedes-Benz and ESL have a common heritage, being two brands born in Germany but are growing and expanding to reach a fully global presence.

Discussing how a luxury car brand fits into an esports setting, Mercedes-Benz said, “Our wide-ranging international commitment to sports allows us to accommodate the interests of our diverse target groups. As a brand, we maintain close contact with our customers, are able to build up empathy and to become an accepted part of their world. We are firmly of the opinion that this new involvement will complement our existing sports sponsoring activities with an eye on the future and allow us to make contact with a very interesting, new target group.”

“The key word here is ‘sports,’” said Mogk. “Mercedes is committed to sports, and that commitment has always been an integral part of their DNA. Over the years, the brand has shown an incredible commitment to delivering quality engagements and memorable activations. They can be credited with a long and rich experience in sports sponsoring, with partnerships spread across multiple areas, ranging from football to tennis, sailing and F1. Through those engagements, the brand has always been the partner of the very best in each class.”

Spotify Goes ‘Upstream’ With Brands For New Podcast Series

In yet another attempt to diversify its offerings as they prepare to go public later this year, Spotify has announced “Upstream,” an original podcast centered around one-on-one conversations with brand executives focusing on the future of their industries.

The first seven episodes are already available on the “Spotify for Brands” platform and feature discussions on open-ended questions facing the economy at large with such influential figures as Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times Company, Jon Iwata, IBM’s chief brand officer, as well as leaders from brands like Dropbox and Airbnb.

Spotify’s chief marketing officer Seth Farbman hosts the show, which is the company’s first foray into the swiftly growing podcast market. As high as 10 percent of American adults have downloaded and listened to a podcast in the past month, a growing trend that the music-streaming service hopes to capitalize on.

“It’s never felt more vital to talk about culture: where it’s headed, and what it means for all of us,” Spotify wrote on its site.

Launched in July, Spotify for Brands is a service that provides marketing insights based on user data. With 75 percent of Spotify’s revenue going to licensing deals with major records, the shift to original content could see the brand achieve higher profit margins.

Apple has so far dominated in the podcast market, forcing other brands that break into the audio game to play ball. However, as other services have started hosting popular shows as well, Apple’s market share has declined recently from 70 percent to just 55 percent.

Learn how Dropbox is helping to define the future of work from their CMO, Carolyn Feinstein on our new podcast series #Upstream. Start streaming:

Posted by Spotify for Brands on Monday, August 28, 2017

Jack In The Box’s Crave Van Satisfies Consumers’ On-Demand Lifestyle

Jack in the Box is continuing its push for delivery with the video game Crave Crasher.

For a limited time, anyone older than the age of 13 can jump behind the virtual wheel of the quick service restaurant’s Crave Van and deliver one of three new Munchie Mash+Ups (Wakey Bakey Hash, H’angry Chicken Hash and the Jack’d Jalapeño Hash) to whoever is craving it. In addition to the three missions—one for each featured meal—players can sign up for special offers through email so they can try the new menu items themselves.

“By gamifying our recent Crave Van ads with the launch of the Crave Crasher mobile and PC game, we hope to bring to life our extreme, ‘if you crave it, we serve it’ crave-crashing mentality which is characteristic of our core millennial audience—who’ve undoubtedly adopted an on-demand lifestyle,” Adrienne Ingoldt, marketing communications director for Jack in the Box, told AlistDaily.

The Crave Van is Jack in the Box’s comical way of educating hungry consumers about its recent partnership with DoorDash. Completing missions in Crave Crasher is harder than it looks. Luckily, ordering food from Jack in the Box is much easier. The entire menu is now available in more than 830 locations across 229 US cities as late as 1 a.m. (and 3 a.m. in select locations).

“The inspiration for Crave Crasher stemmed from the retro look and feel of our Crave Van advertising campaign,” said Ingoldt. “The humorous campaign reinforces the brand’s new platform by highlighting its reputation for having a menu with unique and unexpected products available around the clock. The campaign incorporates this brand truth—delivering on customers’ cravings no matter what they are and when the craving strikes—into a series of funny situations that show just how far Jack is willing to go to give customers what they want.”

Jack in the Box has been testing DoorDash delivery robots in San Francisco to explore even more ways to deliver.

Consumers were first introduced to Jack’s dedicated “Crave Squad” in television spots this April, aimed at both millennials and gamers. The company hopes that playing the new video game will inspire consumers to try delivery for themselves, but also have fun.

“With his brand new Crave Van, Jack crashes through any obstacle to satisfy cravings all over the world. No obstacle—not a pile of neatly stacked boxes, not a solid wall, not even the laws of physics—will stop the Crave Van from reaching a craving,” said Ingoldt. “This game is an opportunity for fans to join the Crave Squad and sit side-by-side with Jack as he crashes cravings. They can engage with the brand directly, by means of bringing the new Munchie Mash+Ups directly to hungry, 8-bit fans in need.”

In its 2017 outlook for food service, analysis firm NPD noted that price and convenience are changing the restaurant landscape.

“The importance of millennials and Gen Z will accelerate the industry’s need to be more innovative, as these cohorts are always looking for that ‘experience’—something new and different,” said NPD. “Without innovation, operators will fall out of the consideration set and risk being overlooked by a large portion of the US population.”

Jack in the Box has embraced the challenge through influencer partnerships, VR ads and infusing a sense of humor into the political landscape by “leaking” secret files from Jack.