BMW Shatters Giant ‘Like’ Statue For X2 Reveal In Milan

BMW revealed its new X2 model in Milan this weekend by bursting out of a giant “thumbs up” statue and spurring a debate about vying for social media attention.

By allowing visitors to speculate about the statue’s meaning and origin, BMW invited conversation which allowed the campaign to go viral organically.

A giant white thumbs up statue mysteriously appeared in Milan without any branding aside from an inscription that read, “L’importante nella vita è avere like,” which translates to “The only thing that matters in life is getting likes.”

BMW placed the installation a few blocks away from Milan’s controversial “L.O.V.E.” statue that depicts a hand holding up its middle finger.

News and photos of the thumbs up statue quickly spread across social media using the hashtag #LikeGigante (Giant Like), alongside debates on whether the inscribed statement was true. The hashtag became a trending topic in Italy over the weekend.

Meanwhile, a board in front of the statue allowed visitors to give the installation a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” On Sunday afternoon, the sound of sirens, music and special effects culminated in the side of the statue being destroyed. A group of people wearing welding masks stepped out of the statue and behind them stood the new BMW X2.

One of the men spray painted “BMWX2. Rompi I Tuoi Schemi” over the statue’s inscription, meaning literally “Break your conventions.”

The BMW X2 reveal followed a theme of “breaking out of conventions” by literally bursting forth from a thumbs up—the universal symbol for approval online.

BMW’s new SUV is a new model for the brand, so marketing has focused on a theme of being proudly different. In New York, BMW is promoting the X2 by sponsoring “David Bowie Is,” a personal archive of the musician’s song lyrics, consumes and memorabilia on display at the Brooklyn Museum. The partnership extends to an AR-enhanced article in the New York Times, allowing users to view Bowie’s costume collection on their smart devices.

In the UK, BMW is taking an adventure-themed approach to the X2 launch. Five urban climbing centers will host BMW X Climb, an event focused on bouldering and mountain climbing. Running March 23 to April 15, each event culminates in the BMW X Night, in which bouldering influencers perform demonstrations and tricks against a backdrop of lighting and UV projections. DJs from BMW’s Global Radio partnership also make an appearance.

These performance art-like installations created an air of mystery around BMW for the X2’s big reveal in Milan, especially when it provokes controversy.

Such was the case for “Fearless Girl” by State Street Global Advisors. For International Women’s Day last year, a bronze statue of a small girl appeared on Wall Street facing down the famous charging bull.

Unlike BMW, however, the identity of the statue’s creator didn’t become known until Cannes Lions, during which the activation won three Grand Prix, a Glass Lion and more.

Casual Connect Europe 2018 Coming To London This May

On May 29-31, join 1,800 games industry professionals in London—the gateway to Europe—at the deal-making event where creativity meets business.

At Casual Connect Europe 2018, you’ll have unlimited access to the Pitch and Match meeting system to network with games industry professionals like yourself. All attendees get access to three days of lectures, official networking parties, and 100 of the world’s best indie games with developers.

The venue will also feature a large expo area where you can talk one-on-one with industry-leading companies like Appodeal, Product Madness, Vungle, Mopub, Game Insight, Aarki, Applovin, Phunware, G5, App Samurai, GamePoint, KamaGames, IronSource, Unity and other industry leaders.

You will be able to learn from panels and presentations – featuring experts from Zynga, Sports Interactive Netmarble, Small Giant Games, Space Ape Games, Epic Games, London Venture Partners, Oculus, Playtika, Murka, Disruptor Beam, Unity Technologies, Flaregames, NaturalMotion, FGL, Creative Mobile and more speakers to be announced.


Submit your game for the international Indie Prize London 2018 scholarship program before March 31—more details in the submission form here.

Join industry leaders as an established developer with the Developer showcase here, or support this great event as a sponsor with 50% off Gold, Silver and Bronze.


Sign up for a Publishers Pitch and review 40 of the world’s best indie games during three hours pitch on May 29. Get more exposure at the expo area with a booth or meeting table with 50% off Gold, Silver or Bronze sponsorship packages—more info here.


CGA has recently launched a new program that will make it simpler for government and non-profit organizations or just a group of up to 10 developers to join Casual Connect with a special Delegation package rate. More details here.

About Casual Connect

Casual Connect brings together the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the gaming field to further the industry with the best learning and networking opportunities for gaming professionals since 2005 four times every year. See the full schedule of Casual Connect events for 2018 at

Register here for your conference pass before prices go up on April 30.

Location: The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London, UK

Dates: May 29-31, 2018

Attendees: 1,800 gaming professionals

Speakers: 150 executives and experts

Indie Prize Showcase: 100 games


For any questions, please contact Yuliya Moshkaryova at or contact on Facebook.

Brand CMOs Closing Gender Gap, Leaving Other Gaps Still Wide

A new survey released by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) revealed significant progress in increasing CMO diversity, indicating a closing gender gap among top marketing executives.

The study, which interviewed chief marketing officers (or their equivalents) at 747 different ANA member companies, found that 45 percent of CMOs identify as female, while 55 percent identify as male.

This statistic departs significantly from a different study done by Equilar just last year, which put the percentage of high-level female marketing executives at public companies at just 19 percent in 2016.

Even with a closing gender gap among C-suite marketing roles, the industry has enormous steps to take to give equal representation to people of color.

“Despite the acknowledgment of and significant emphasis on the necessity of having more marketers of color occupying the top ranks, the data suggests a material shortfall in fulfilling diversity objectives,” the ANA added in a statement.

Only 13 percent of the survey’s respondents claimed to be non-white, with 5 percent identifying as Asian, 5 percent as Hispanic/Latinx and just 3 percent as Black.

The consumer packaged goods industry had the closest parity between male and female CMOs, with exactly a 50-50 gender split, as well as proportionately the highest number of ethnic-minority CMOs, at 24 percent.

The banking/finance industry had the worst record for minority representation, with only 6 percent of its CMOs not being white. Additionally, the food and beverage sector had the highest gender split, with more than double the number of male CMOs than female.

The marketing industry still has a ways to go in championing CMO diversity, but the shrinking gender gap is a step in the right direction. In any case, it’s not an issue that will be solved without active efforts by marketing executives themselves.

TradeStation Pop-Up Barbershop Is A Play On Brand’s Redesign

Online broker TradeStation is hosting a pop-up barbershop/salon in New York City’s Oculus designed to draw attention to its recent rebranding.

From March 27-29, visitors to transportation and entertainment center Oculus can visit TradeStation’s “Fresh New Look” activation to receive a “new look” by way of free haircuts, blowouts, blue dye jobs, blue wigs and other salon offerings. Dye jobs and wigs are colored blue to coincide with TradeCenter’s logo. Employees manning the event also dyed their hair blue.

To encourage social sharing, a “selfie wall” is available along with the hashtag #TSFreshLook.

TradeCenter’s experiential marketing campaign is designed to capture the attention of around 250,000 daily commuters and tourists visiting Oculus, which was built on the former site of the World Trade Center towers. Oculus also happens to be near NYC’s financial district.

Over the past year, TradeStation has rebranded itself with a new design, simplified pricing and updated user interface. The activation includes an iPad station where visitors can try TradeStation’s newly-redesigned desktop, mobile and web trading interface. A simulated trading competition challenges guests to make the most virtual money and win $50 Amazon gift cards. Visitors can also enter to win a $1,000 Amazon gift card.

TradeStation partnered with live financial news network Cheddar to film live coverage of the experiential marketing event. Trading social network StockTwits also made an appearance.

New York’s bustling train system makes it popular advertising real estate for brands hoping to reach millions of eyes each week.

Earlier this month, ABC transformed a NYC commuter train into the living room from Roseanne to promote the show’s upcoming TV revival.

In February, Greek yogurt brand Chobani created an experiential installation inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Last fall, Behr Pain unveiled its first “color of the year” in the Grand Central Terminal with a pop-up house decorated in “In the Moment T18-15.” The activation also included VR cardboard headsets and 360-degree videos that featured Behr’s 20 newly-introduced paint colors.

Live Sports Drove National TV Ad Revenue Growth In February

National TV advertising revenue grew 12 percent year over year (YoY) in February 2018, according to reports provided by Standard Media Index.

February was a significant month for live TV events that included Super Bowl LII and the Winter Olympics. Even without a big advertising push for the Olympics, Grammys and Oscars (both awards shows aired outside of their usual February spots), national TV advertising revenue experienced growth of 7.6 percent.

Both cable and broadcast TV ad revenue grew 12 percent in February 2018, Standard Media Index observed. The increase in ad spend for National TV was driven by live sports—mainly, major broadcasters changing their programming as not to compete with the Olympics, said Standard Media Index CEO James Fennessy.

“We saw ESPN’s revenue jump significantly with big increases in the NBA, College Basketball and Sportscenter,” said Fennessy. “Fox Sports 1 also saw big gains in NASCAR and College Basketball.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang earned NBC a whopping $903 million of revenue across TV and digital platforms, approximately 10 percent higher than the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Super Bowl LII generated in-game television revenue of $337 million, a 3.4 percent jump over last year. Total ad revenue for all Super Bowl programming exceeded $400 million across both linear and digital TV.

Cable news experienced growth in ad revenue last month—the “Big Three” cable news networks including FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC increased ad revenue a combined 9.4 percent YoY. The cost for a 30-second prime time spot on the Big Three grew significantly in February, as well. FOX News grew 16 percent, CNN grew 19 percent and MSNBC grew 37 percent YoY.

Across all advertising categories in February, Digital experienced the highest growth at 18 percent YoY, followed by radio at 15 percent. Out-of-home (OOH) also experienced a boost of nine percent, but print dropped 26 percent YoY in February.

Carl’s Jr. Renames Sliders ‘Spielburgers’ To Capture ‘Ready Player One’ Hype

Carl’s Jr. renamed its charbroiled sliders “Spielburgers” and released a series of short videos that pay tribute to the films of director Steven Spielberg.

Quick service restaurant Carl’s Jr. released a series of videos on Monday that parody some of Steven Spielberg’s most iconic films by inserting hamburgers into them. Five tribute videos have been timed with the Monday release of Ready Player One and although “Spielburgers” are not official promotions for the film—nor an official partnership with Spielberg—Carl’s Jr. says they “assume [Spielberg is] cool with it.”

Update: Spielberg isn’t “cool with it.” He issued a video statement Tuesday asking them to cease and desist.

Jurassic Park, Jaws, ET: The Extraterrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind are presented with a burger T-Rex, a burger attacking a swimmer, a burger replaces ET in a basket and a giant burger spaceship. There is even a preview for Ready Player One that reveals a burger wearing a VR headset.

Over the past year, Carl’s Jr. has transitioned from sexualized ads to adopting a tongue-in-cheek persona online. The brand continues a trend of quick-service restaurants that make light of marketing on social media. Carl’s Jr. joins brands like Wendy’s and KFC which have adopted similar strategies to win over young consumers.

Earlier this month, Carl’s Jr. hosted “The Thickies” to coincide with the 90th Academy Awards and promote the restaurant’s Thickburger. Fans could enter to win in categories like Best Selfie, Best Carl and Best DM.

The brand has also experimented with live advertising that offered real-time consumer interaction. In 2016, Carl’s Jr. partnered with Vice’s new site Waypoint and Twich to stream live ads during a 72-hour gaming marathon.

Hamburgers are the most popular quick service option in the US, according to Grand View Research. According to estimates, the US fast food and quick service restaurants market will be worth $263.8 billion by 2025.

At GDC 2018, Virtual Takes A Back Seat To Augmented Reality

Meeting in San Francisco all this week, the Game Developers Conference has been a sort of vitals-taking by the games industry as a whole, reflecting on where it has been this year, and, ideally, where it will be in the coming years. GDC 2018 brought a number of interesting announcements, trends and aspirations for developers and consumers alike.

Virtual Reality Pushes Forward

That VR featured prominently at GDC 2018 should come as a surprise to few, given its many applications in the gaming field.

A number of non-gaming properties have dipped their toes into the virtual reality waters, attempting to bridge the gap between video game worlds and reality.

Survios showcased Creed: Rise to Glory, a virtual reality boxing tie-in to 2015’s critically acclaimed Rocky film that hopes to train its players to box rather than just showcase events from the movie. On a less action-packed note, contemporary board game sensation Catan received a VR adaptation, recreating the experience of playing the game, but with strangers wearing masks.

But outside of the hardcore gaming space, VR has had little luck finding popular adoption among a more casual crowd. Facebook and Oculus are attempting to find a mainstream audience with the Oculus Go, a $200 wireless headset that needn’t be tied to a phone or PC. Disney has also invested in virtual reality, creating a tool to automatically create three-dimensional storyboards from film scripts, that, ideally, will ease the burden of turning flat text into VR imagery.

Wider use cases for VR could not come at a better time, as a January survey of game developers administered by GDC revealed that interest in making VR games is steadily waning.

“I just don’t think the install base in most cases has been quite there for them to make their investments back, unfortunately,” said Simon Carless, a GDC 2018organizer, to Mashable. “People will continue to work in VR, I just think it will potentially be more indie studios, or maybe more things funded by hardware companies who want examples of the games to showcase.”

This waning developer interest showed itself in the “Best VR Game” award GDC presented: Superhot VR took the grand prize, despite having been originally released (and considered for the same award) in 2016.

The State Of Mobile Games

Google dominated much of the conversation around augmented reality at GDC 2018, announcing that it would be releasing its Google Maps geographic data for developers using the Unity platform. Instead of painstakingly recreating environments by hand, a gargantuan task for outdoor games such as Pokemon Go or the upcoming Ghostbusters World, developers will be able to use the same satellite maps many consumers trust sight unseen.

“We help you design gameplay around real-world locations so you can choose places that are appropriate, unique, and fun to play, no matter where your players are,” said Google product manager Clementine Jacoby.

This data will make it easier for smaller developers to jump on the Pokemon Go bandwagon, offering the potential for lower-budget titles that aren’t tethered to existing properties.

On the non-AR front, Facebook Games has been facing difficulties in drawing users because of recent privacy issues on the platform at large.

“Thinking about the context of where we are and saying, ‘Look, obviously privacy is extremely important, not only to Facebook but to the developers we’re working with,’” Leo Olebe, Facebook’s global director of games partnerships, told Polygon. “It’s mostly about our mission on the games team and that’s to try and build incredible experiences for people and help developers be successful.”

Additionally, HBO revealed another promotional tie-in to Westworld Season Two at GDC 2018, though one slightly less immersive than its presence at SXSW. Described by Polygon as an “economic strategy sim,” the game lets players take control of the shadowy corporation running the theme park, letting them experience the same difficulties in managing potentially sentient robots that the show’s characters do.

Social Responsibility And Player Behavior

Game developers at GDC took special note of its effects on the world at large, especially relevant after recent comments by world leaders on the dangers of video game violence.

“As a veteran, I routinely find that people have a deep appreciation for the military, but a shallow understanding of what war is and does,” Andrew Barron, a game writer and veteran, said at a GDC 2018 talk.

Which is a problem, as, according to Barron, video games have become “society’s teachers when it comes to war.” Its greatest problems come from its erasure of the consequences for civilians in armed conflict, something Barron urged developers to change.

Inclusion likewise featured heavily, with events focused on the representation and treatment of both Muslim and Black people.

“Solely portraying us as victims justifies the wars that make us victims,” said Osama Dorias, game designer and GDC 2018 speaker. ““Muslims have a public image problem. And it’s sometimes dangerous to be Muslim. So we need help addressing the public image problem.”

Similarly, the Blacks in Gaming mixer addressed a variety of issues regarding inclusion both in game characters, game developers and game players, addressing not just the need for more representation but better tools to address toxic, racist players.

Online-only games have brought the issue of toxicity to the forefront of many discussions, with League of Legends, Fortnite and Sea of Thieves developers all discussing the importance of preventing other players from ruining the fun they spent so long trying to create.

“There’s always going to be the one percent that’s out there and disruptive,” Kimberly Voll, a senior technical designer at Riot Games, told Polygon. “Our first goal is to the player that’s being hurt by them. The problem with one disruptive player, and a severely disruptive player, is that they’re potentially affecting nine other people. It doesn’t take very long for that to explode.”


British Airways Brand Head Departs; TheRealReal Expands C-Suite


Alice Comber, global head of brands and marketing for British Airways, has departed from the company after 26 years there.

“Abigail Comber decided to leave BA and goes with our thanks and much to be proud of including leading the relaunch of the brand promise ‘To fly. To serve.’; the success of BA’s Olympics campaign; as well as the delivery of customer programs such as Buy on Board and New Club World,” a BA spokesperson told Campaign.

Comber first joined British Airways in 1992, moving into the marketing department ten years later. She had been promoted to her current role in August of last year.

Jewelry reseller TheRealReal has made a pair of C-suite appointments, bringing on Jun-Sheng Li and Len Eschweiler as chief operating and revenue officers, respectively.

“As the company has grown, so has the demand for a level of management who have had instrumental roles in growing and shaping multi-billion dollar businesses,” said The RealReal CEO and founder Julie Wainwright. “Our new chief revenue officer Len Eschweiler and chief operating officer Jun-Sheng Li bring that expertise to The RealReal.”

Li most recently served as senior vice president of e-commerce supply chain at Walmart, and Eschweiler held senior sales roles at both Affirm and Amazon.

Media conglomerate Meredith Corporation has promoted Klarn DePalma to executive vice president of MNI Targeted Media, a role in which he will lead the company’s targeted digital and print advertising business.

“His leadership will expedite the integration of MNI into the Meredith Local Media Group, and provide the opportunity to expand the digital reach of our 17 local television stations,” said Patrick McCreery, Meredith Local Media Groups’ executive vice president.

DePalma has worked at WFSB-TV, a CBS-affiliate station, for a quarter century, serving as vice president and general manager for the past 12 years.

After Terry Savage, chairman of the Cannes Lions announced his retirement in December, the creativity festival has found a replacement in Philip Thomas, who will absorb the position’s duties into his current position.

“The role of creativity for growth and for change has never been so critical, and Cannes Lions exists to help people and businesses become more creative,” Thomas said to Campaign on his new role.

Thomas currently serves as events head of the Cannes Lions parent company, Ascential. According to Duncan Painter, Ascential’s CEO, Thomas was the “obvious choice.”

Musa Tariq, Ford’s vice president and chief brand officer, will be leaving his position at the company, leaving his duties to CMO Joy Falotico.

“Musa is a proven leader of brand transformation, having led similar work at some of the world’s most admired brands before coming to Ford, and he is a leader known for creativity and social media expertise,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO, in a statement obtained by AdWeek.

Tariq has been with the car manufacturer for just over a year, first joining the company in January of 2017.

TruTV has hired Joe Hadari as senior vice president of brand marketing and strategy, a newly created position at the network.

“It is crucial to our growth that we focus on becoming experts in data management and media attribution, and with his experience and strategic approach, Joe is the absolute perfect addition to our team,” Puja Vohra, TruTV’s executive vice president of marketing and digital, said in a statement.

Hadari joins the network from Horizon Media, where he served as its senior vice president and managing director.

After controversies over personal data breaches and disinformation, Facebook’s chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, will depart the company later this year, The New York Times reports.

“It’s true that my role did change,” Stamos stated on Twitter. “I’m currently spending more time exploring emerging security risks and working on election security.”

According to NYT, Stamos will remain in his current position until August to facilitate the transition of his responsibilities, but has not addressed what his future plans may be.

Chipotle has appointed a new chief marketing officer, Chris Brandt, who will assume the role beginning in April.

“Having worked with Chris in the past, I have seen first-hand his ability to generate sales overnight and build brands over time,” said Brian Niccol, Chipotle’s CEO. “His experience and expertise make him an ideal fit for our leadership team at Chipotle as we look to reinvigorate this exceptional brand, and build sales, transactions and profitability.”

Brandt most recently served at Bloomin’ Brands as executive vice president and chief brand officer for restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill.

Ricky Ray Butler has risen in the ranks of Branded Entertainment Network, assuming the role of CEO.

“Ricky Ray is a great leader, operator and proven performer. He built Plaid Social, which as BEN Digital, has now evolved into the leading influencer marketing company,” said Gary Shenk, the previous CEO of BEN. “He’s an inspirational and empowering team builder, whose passion and work ethic are infectious—he’s bold!”

Before his promotion, Butler served as BEN’s Global CCO after it acquired his influencer firm Plaid Social Labs in 2015.

Charter Communications, the second largest cable operator in America, has created the position of chief mobile officer, tapping Danny Bowman to fill the role.

“Danny possesses deep mobile expertise and will be an invaluable asset to Charter and its growing team of experienced professionals dedicated to successfully designing, developing, launching and growing Spectrum Mobile,” said Rich DiGeronimo, Charter’s executive vice president of product and strategy.

Bowman joins the company after a quarter-century in the mobile communications industry, previously holding executive titles at Samsung, Sprint and Nextel. Most recently, he served as chief revenue officer at LeEco North America. is expanding its marketing leadership staff, bringing on Sachin Gadhvi as vice president of growth marketing, a new role in the organization.

“Sachin brings extensive experience in building performance marketing channels from startups to established technology companies,” said Brooke Skinner Ricketts, chief marketing officer for “We are pleased to bring his deep expertise in driving sustainable growth at two-sided tech-enabled marketplaces to our team as we continue to focus on taking our SEO optimization, customer acquisition and analytics infrastructure to the next level.”

Previously, Gadhvi was chief marketing officer for Everything But The House, an online-auctioning startup.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 23. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at

Supply-chain software provider Kinaxis has tapped Jay Muelhoefer for chief marketing officer.

“We are thrilled to have Jay join the executive team as we begin to accelerate our investments in expanding our business through Europe and Asia,” said John Sicard, Kinaxis CEO. “Jay’s experience in leading global marketing teams and his deep intellect in product marketing will be instrumental in generating maximum demand for our revolutionary supply chain and sales and operations planning product.”

Muelhoefer most recently served as CMO for Intralinks, and has in the past held the same position at IBM and Platform Computing as well.

Jimmy Iovine, Beats headphones co-founder and untitled Apple Music executive, will be stepping back from his current role to an advisory position, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Campbell’s president of Americas simple meals and beverages, Mark Alexanderleaving, has announced he will be the company to pursue other opportunities.

“Mark has been an influential leader, and we are grateful for his many contributions during his nearly three decades with Campbell,” said Denise Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company. “During his career, he has had a meaningful impact on our business and culture. We wish him the best in his future endeavors and thank him for his leadership.”

Just after renewing his contract to continue on as CEO of MGM for another five years, Gary Barber has left the studio for reasons unspecified.

“Over the past eight years, MGM has successfully built a world-class company and talented team,” said Kevin Ulrich, chairman of MGM’s board of directors. “Now is the right time to enable the next generation of leadership who can help drive the creativity, collaboration and partnership needed to continue the Company’s positive trajectory.”

Barber had been with MGM for eight years.

Andy Bird, international chairman at the Walt Disney Company, will leave the corporation as part of an executive restructuring plan unveiled last week.

Bird has been with Disney for 14 years, joining the company from TBS International, where he served as president.

Publicis.Sapient, the digital business arm of Publicis Groupe, has appointed Teresa Berreira as its CMO.

“Teresa has a tremendous track record as a senior leader with large technology and consulting firms, building strong market leadership and differentiation as well as leading high-performance global teams,” said Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis.Sapient International.

Barreira joins Publicis from Deloitte Consulting, where she served as its own CMO.

Consumer-intent information provider V12 Data has hired Jason Webby as chief revenue officer.

“Jason is an inspiring and proven leader with a deep expertise in executing high-growth company strategies,” said Anders Ekman, CEO of V12 Data. “He has demonstrated incredible aptitude for creating and enhancing revenue streams, and we are thrilled to have him join the team as we position V12 Data for sustained growth in 2018 and beyond.”

Webby joins V12 from programmatic media firm Xaxis, where he served as senior vice president and managing director.

Job Vacancies 

Associate Director, Insight & Analytics Ayzenberg Pasadena, CA
Sr. Enterprise Account Manager Adobe Chicago, IL
Sr. Product Marketing Manager (Prime Video)  Amazon Seattle, WA
VP, Brand Marketing TOMS Los Angeles, CA
VP, Digital Marketing Channels Capital Group Los Angeles, CA
Sr. Manager, Digital – Marketing Technology & Analytics Deloitte Various Locations

Make sure to check back for updates on our jobs page.

HBO Lets ‘Silicon Valley’ Fans Interact With Characters In VR

Alongside the Season 5 premiere of Silicon Valley, HBO is releasing a VR experience called Inside the Hacker Hostel that lets users explore—and trash—the show’s infamous home and workspace.

HBO’s comedy series Silicon Valley follows the antics of five tech entrepreneurs as they attempt to build a decentralized internet. Much of the action takes place in the “Hacker Hostel,” where the main characters work and play.

Silicon Valley: Inside the Hacker Hostel takes users into a 3D recreation of the house, which has been filled with 750 interactive items. Video challenges from the show’s characters Dinesh and Gilfoyle send users on missions ranging from destroying old hard drives to solving a code crisis.

Users can follow a series of tasks or have free reign to do whatever they like in the virtual environment, such as playing Foosball, making toast or hitting a virtual bong.

The interactive VR experience launches March 25 for HTC Vive and was developed by Rewind, a studio that has created branded VR experiences for Red Bull, Jaguar, Lexus, Paramount and others. According to Fast Company, Rewind recreated the Hacker Hostel using 360-degree imagery of the show’s actual set, as well as set blueprints.

HBO has integrated VR into its marketing strategy before, beginning with Westworld. Presented at Disrupt 2016, the app combines interactive VR—allowing users to handle objects in the virtual world—and passive, 360-degree video.

“We recognized the role that technology was going to play for our service and how we tell stories,” Ryan Wilkerson, vice president of experience design at HBO told Digital Trends. “As a result, we made the decision to make a substantial human capital investment by assembling a best-in-class technology team.”

The network launched HBO Go VR in 2016 for Google Daydream devices, allowing users to view its programming in a virtual environment. The app will reportedly be available for the new Oculus Go headset, as well.

Nike’s Acquisition Shows They’re Serious About Marketing Personalization

Nike’s acquisition of consumer data analytics firm Zodiac is another step toward the brand’s goal of creating personalized marketing campaigns. The strategic move, announced Thursday, is part of Nike’s Consumer Direct Offense initiative set into motion last year.

“The acquisition of Zodiac demonstrates our commitment to enhancing our ability to serve consumers 1:1, powered through a deep understanding of their goals and needs,” Ilana Finley, Nike’s senior director of North America communications told AListDaily.

Access to Zodiac’s analytics tools and data science talent will allow the company to “power 1:1 relationships with consumers through digital and physical consumer experiences,” the company said.

Nike has already poured significant attention and financial investment into creating these experiences.

The brand’s mobile SNKRS app uses GPS and augmented reality to create geo-located experiences and hidden “stash spots” that give surprise alerts for dedicated users to find. Users can buy the sneakers directly through the app or at their nearest Nike or wholesale store.

For the drop of the Nike SB Dunk High Pro “Momofuku,” consumers were given the opportunity to purchase by scanning an image of David Chang’s Fuku East Village menu.

After the NBA All-Star Game last month, fans attending the Jumpman afterparty got the chance to scan special Snap codes, allowing them to pre-purchase new Air Jordan shoes and have them delivered later that same night. The shoes sold out within half an hour.

Nike’s New York “By You” studio opened in September that allows guests to design a custom pair of shoes and have them manufactured in around 90 minutes.

The Consumer Direct Offense initiative was created last June to drive growth in 12 cities across 10 countries: New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Barcelona, Seoul and Milan. These key cities and countries are expected to represent over 80 percent of Nike’s projected growth through 2020.

Nike credited the initiative with driving double-digit international growth in the third quarter of 2018.

“We now see a significant reversal of trends in North America as momentum accelerates through the scaling of new innovation platforms and differentiated Nike consumer experiences expand across the marketplace,” Mark Parker, chairman, president and CEO of Nike said alongside the Q3 earnings.

Trevor Edwards, former president of the Nike Brand, was in charge of the Consumer Direct Offense program and led Nike’s direct-to-consumer teams. Since his resignation on March 15, Edwards’ responsibilities will be split between Elliott Hill, former President of Nike Geographies and Michael Spillane, who will continue to lead all categories, design, product and merchandising.