Cadillac, WWE, McDonald’s Hire CMOs; ESPN Names New President

Cadillac has a new global CMO in Deborah Wahl. Previously the CMO of McDonald’s for three years, Wahl will be tapped to lead the strategic marketing for the automobile manufacturer around the world.

“Deborah’s diverse experience, as well as her proven track record of building successful global brands, makes her a natural addition to our leadership team,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “Cadillac has made incredible progress over the past several years in our long-term journey to regain our position as the pinnacle of premium luxury brands. Deborah’s experience and strategic vision will build on that progress and help propel Cadillac forward during our next phase of global growth.”

Wahl is a 20-year marketing veteran with several stops across the automotive industry, including roles as the VP and CMO at Chrysler, VP of Marketing at Lexus as well as multiple marketing and communications roles at Ford. Prior to her stint at McDonald’s, Wahls also served as CMO for homebuilder PulteGroup.

Brian Flinn has been promoted to chief marketing and communications officer for WWE.

In his new role, Flinn will oversee all marketing and corporate communications functions, including global consumer marketing, WWE Network marketing, creative services, special events, publicity, media relations and corporate communications.

“Brian has been an instrumental part of our company’s leadership team and I’m thrilled to announce his much-deserved promotion,” said Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO. “In this new role, we are confident that he will continue to expand the opportunities for WWE, and further enhance visibility, brand reputation and audience engagement.”

Flinn will report directly to WWE co-president Michelle Wilson, who was promoted last month to her new role after previously serving as the CMO for WWE.

McDonald’s has promoted Alistair Macrow to oversee marketing strategy in nine high-growth markets, including China, Hong Kong, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Netherlands.

“Alistair has been part of the UK business for more than a decade and during that time he has been an integral member of our team,” said Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald’s UK. “As UK chief marketing and communications officer he has spearheaded bold advertising campaigns, launched numerous new menu items and has led our work in challenging the myths around our business—leading his team and our agency partners to win numerous industry awards.”

Macrow has worked for McDonald’s since 2007. Before that, he was a managing director at Blockbuster.

James Pitaro has been promoted to president of ESPN and the co-chair of Disney Media Networks. He will be tapped to lead ESPN+, the conglomerate’s push into a new direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service.

“Jimmy is a talented and dedicated leader with the right strategic vision, relentless drive and passion for sports required to lead the stellar ESPN team at this incredibly dynamic time,” said Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Jimmy forged his career at the intersection of technology, sports and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking ESPN into the future.”

Before his new post, Pitaro served as chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media since 2016.

Discovery Communications has named TLC president Nancy Daniels as the chief brand officer for Discovery & Factual. Rich Ross, the head of the flagship Discovery Channel since 2014, will be leaving the company.

The moves were part of a larger leadership shake-up and come just as Discovery Communications nears its $11.9 billion merger with Scripps Networks Interactive.

“[The] announcement is another major milestone in combining these two fantastic companies into a new kind of media company with the most trusted portfolio of real-life entertainment brands in the world,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 9. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.)

As it looks to scale its content operations, Facebook has announced a pair of new hires to its video team. Matthew Henick will be tapped to lead video content strategy and planning for the social network, and Mike Bidgoli will lead the Facebook Watch product team.

Henick leaves his position at BuzzFeed Studios, where he was making TV shows and films as the head of its division for the past three years. Bidgoli previously plied his craft at Pinterest as the advertising product lead for the photo-sharing service.

“Facebook is just setting out on its journey to become a new kind of video platform for the world, and the opportunity to tag along was just too good to pass up,” Henick wrote in a Facebook post.

“Facebook Watch is a challenging and ambitious attempt to solve a problem that personally and professionally captivates me,” Bidgoli wrote in a Medium post. “With more opportunities than ever for creators to distribute content, Facebook will play a huge part in unlocking this creative energy and connecting creators with their fan communities.”

Alex Coslov has been appointed VP of marketing for Republic Records.

He will be tasked with handling marketing for artists like Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Lorde and Pearl Jam, who are just some of the artists signed under the Republic Records label. Coslov most recently was the head of marketing for Ultra Music.

“As an executive, Alex brings a new energy and fresh perspective to music marketing,” said Jim Roppo, executive VP and general manager for Republic Records. “He’s a young visionary whose potential is boundless, and he’s going to prove instrumental to the expansion of Republic’s influence throughout 2018 and beyond.”

Open source AI platform has brought on Ingrid Burton as its new CMO.

Burton was previously the CMO for Hortonworks, where she led the brand’s marketing shift and created ecosystem programs that positioned the company for growth.

“Our ambitious vision to make all of software and hardware intelligent and to make AI accessible to everyone will get a shot in the arm with Ingrid’s marketing and revenue machine behind us,” said Sri Ambati, CEO at “She will propel the magic marketing behind the bustling H2O movement to the next level.”

Aventus, a London-based Blockchain ticketing platform, has hired Rob Edwards as COO. The ticketing-industry veteran has previously worked for software suppliers, ticketing companies and live entertainment organizations.

“Blockchain technology and ticketing are a perfect fit and the incredible team behind Aventus who are building a bridge to the blockchain for the ticketing supply-chain through the delivery of tools and blockchain API connectivity make this one of the most exciting opportunities of my career,” said Edwards.

Last week Aventus also named Andrew Ford as CMO.

J.C. Penney is shaking up its leadership team by eliminating 360 jobs, including 130 at corporate headquarters. The cuts, which also include 230 positions from within stores, are designed to save the company $25 million a year. The announcements were made just as the retailer reported earnings that missed expectations from analysts.

“As the company continues to make progress on its strategic framework and implement new processes and organizational efficiencies, it is imperative that we maintain a thoughtful approach to managing expenses, while effectively supporting the needs of the business,” said J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison.

Pac-12 Networks has announced the hires of a pair of veteran sports media executives to lead its digital teams. The first wholly-owned collegiate conference media company named Larry Meyers as EVP of content and Sam Silverstein to VP of editorial.

“Larry Meyers brings a wealth of media company management and creative multi-platform content experience, along with a track record of success in driving audience engagement and growth to Pac-12 Networks,” said Mark Shuken, president of Pac-12 Networks. “As we continue to leverage our ownership model to innovate on behalf of our fans and drive value for our members, the addition of Larry and promotion of Sam will enable us to continue to grow and showcase the very best of the Pac-12 to our fans across the country and around the world.”


Job Vacancies 

Manager – Brand Strategy United Airlines Chicago, IL
Senior Creative Content Manager (China) Riot Games Los Angeles, CA
Sr. Manager, Global Strategic Marketing Johnson & Johnson Several Locations
Global Brand Marketing Manager Hasbro Burbank, CA
VP, Communications and Marketing Warner Music Group Burbank, CA
Sr. Manager, CMO Strategy Electronic Arts Redwood City, CA

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

ABC Taps Viewer Nostalgia With ‘Roseanne’ Subway Car

ABC hopes to stir up viewer memories of watching Roseanne in the 80’s and 90’s, continuing a trend of nostalgia-driven marketing within the TV industry.

To promote the sitcom’s upcoming revival, a New York City commuter train has been made to look like the Connor family’s famous living room. Running between Grand Central Station and Times Square, the subway car features seats that resemble the Connor family’s couch, complete with an afghan over the back. Family portraits hang on the walls and each end of the car is made to resemble a fireplace. Promotional images wrap the exterior of the train.

While subway advertising is an effective way to reach millions of commuters in New York each day, not all campaigns are so well-received.

Amazon fell under scrutiny for decorating a subway car with Nazi imagery to promote The Man In The High Castle in 2015. Subway commuters in New York were surprised to find one car decked out with a Nazi version of the American flag, as well as a stylized flag inspired by imperial Japan. Residents were so disturbed by the imagery that Mayor Bill de Blasio requested they be removed and Amazon complied within hours.

In October, Fox Sports decorated a subway car that called the New York Knicks players Tim Hardaway Jr. and Joakim Noah “hopeless.” Complaints from the team’s owner resulted in the ads’ prompt removal.

Responses to this activation have been positive on Twitter, where ABC spread images of the train and invited commuters to share their own experiences with the activation. Fans were nostalgic and excited for the show’s March 27 return.

Nostalgia also seems to be inspiring much of TV network strategy lately, from Will and Grace to Gilmore Girls and The X-Files. As cord-cutters spend less time on traditional TV programming, networks are falling back on what worked in the past by bringing back fan favorites. The rise of OTT services costs networks billion in lost ad revenue, according to estimates, so networks are competing to host the next—or return of—” must see TV.”

Facebook Watch Turns To Creators As It Attracts New Shows

Facebook Watch may soon include creator content similar to YouTube, a move that would help ensure the platform’s competitiveness in digital video. In the meantime, Facebook’s social video platform continues to draw TV networks and motion picture studios hoping to reach young, digital consumers.

Despite only being a few months old, Facebook’s original programming channel is gaining traction with US consumers—especially teenagers who are otherwise leaving the site. According to Morgan Stanley, 40 percent of people using Watch on a daily basis are between the ages of 16-34. Unfortunately for Facebook, this happens to be the same age group leaving the social network in droves—two million of them, according to eMarketer predictions.

Facebook Watch is designed to compete with social networks like YouTube and Twitch that both offer live interaction during livestreams. Even Twitter is investing in live video content to keep users tuned in. During the fourth quarter, Twitter announced approximately 22 deals and streamed approximately 1,140 live events with 60 percent of those reaching a global audience.

Facebook is in a strong position to lure creators away from YouTube, which has changed or removed monetization options altogether for many users. The company hopes to offer ad revenue-sharing to online creators, a source told CNBC. Facebook’s ultimate goal, the source said, is to create a sustainable ad-supported video platform, where it won’t have to pay for the majority of content. The company invested $200 million in hundreds of shows for its new video platform, which can be accessed through a separate tab from the News Feed.

Entertainment awards offer the highest TV ad revenue of the year for many networks. So as traditional viewership declines, online streams help to keep consumers engaged. Case in point, The Golden Globes red carpet show was also streamed on Facebook Watch.

ABC aired “The Oscars: All Access” on Facebook Watch Sunday evening. The program included red carpet and backstage interviews. Fans were also able to request “digital autographs” from celebrities, as well. The companion stream also aired on social networks Twitter and YouTube Live, in addition to official websites.

Lionsgate is the latest to announce original programming for Facebook Watch. You Kiddin’ Me will be an unscripted series hosted by Kim Kardashian West that features children pranking their celebrity parents. Indie studio Big Beach TV has also announced a dark comedy, “Sorry For Your Loss” starring Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi). These programs join a growing roster of around 50 shows currently airing or announced for Facebook Watch.

Microsoft Appoints Cortana Head; Discovery Channel President Departs


Javier Soltero has been promoted to corporate vice president overseeing Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, Axios reports.

“If I was to leave Microsoft and start another company I would be doing something related to voice,” Soltero said. “It’s exciting. It’s challenging.”

Before heading the Cortana team, Soltero was in charge of Microsoft’s mobile versions of its Outlook software.

Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive have merged, leading to a slew of executive shakeups. Rich Ross, group president of the Discovery Channel and Science Channel, will depart the newly merged companies. Additionally, Kathleen Finch, formerly chief programming, content and brand officer for Scripps Networks, will assume the position of chief lifestyle brands officer for the new conglomerate.

Consumer packaged goods giant Del Monte Foods has appointed Bibie Wu as its newest CMO.

“Bibie’s wealth of knowledge will bring a fresh perspective in helping us unlock growth for our great brands,” said Greg Longstreet, CEO of Del Monte Foods. “By organizing R&D under her direction along with marketing and innovation, we will create improved synergies in bringing our products to market.”

Wu most recently served as vice president of marketing and head of laundry conditioners and home care at Henkel, leading omnichannel marketing efforts for Snuggle, Renuzit and Soft Scrub.

Calvin Klein has finally filled its empty CMO seat, tapping Marie Gulin-Merle for the role. The previous holder of the title, Melisa Goldie, resigned in 2016, and at the time the company reported it would not be seeking a replacement.

Gulin-Merle joins the clothing line from L’Oreal USA, where she has served as CMO for the past four years.

Karl-Heinz Maurath, chief revenue officer at Under Armour, has announced his upcoming retirement in March.

“Under [Karl-Heinz’s] direction, we have grown from an American company selling product in other countries to a successful international business of more than $1 billion in revenue,” said Patrik Frisk, Under Armour president and COO. “With an incredibly strong foundation, we look forward to building on his great work as this team continues to grow our global footprint, delivering the Under Armour experience to athletes around the world.”

Maurath has been with Under Armour since 2012, reaching the position of CRO in 2015.

Google has poached Ashwin Ram, former senior manager and lead for Alexa AI, from Amazon. His new title will be technical director of AI for Google Cloud.

“Google arguably has the best AI on the planet; my role will be to help make that AI even better and broadly available to everyone,” Ram wrote in a post on LinkedIn. “I’ve had an awesome couple of years at Amazon Alexa working with some of the smartest people I know. Delighted to have had the opportunity to create and lead Alexa Prize and to experience this legendary Day 1 company from the inside.”

Pinterest has brought on its first-ever chief operating officer—Francoise Brougher will manage and grow the social network’s worldwide sales, marketing and corporate operations.

“We are really excited that Francoise is joining Pinterest as our first Chief Operating Officer,” said Ben Silbermann, CEO and co-founder of Pinterest. “She is a world-class manager and a sharp strategic thinker. Francoise’s experience is going to be an incredible asset for our company and our mission of helping people discover and do what they love.”

Most recently, Brougher served at Square as its business lead and before that was vice president of SMB global sales and operations at Google.

David Flynn has joined Paramount Television as executive vice president of international strategy, where he will track and acquire intellectual property for Paramount’s library.

“David has a keen eye for identifying ambitious content from premier content creators worldwide,” said Amy Powell, president of Paramount TV, to Deadline. “He will be a tremendous asset to our team as we work to disrupt the global content creation model, bringing the unique voices and storytelling of local creators to television audiences worldwide.”

Flynn joins Paramount from UTA, where he worked as a literary agent for over 10 years.

Accenture has hired a new managing director for its cybersecurity practice in Canada, Ahmed Etman.

“In today’s marketplace, cybersecurity is critical to any business, and I am excited for the opportunity to help our clients create and run leading-edge security strategies aligned specifically to their industry and unique business goals,” Etman said. “Now, more than ever, organizations must be proactive in addressing cyber risks, and I look forward to helping our clients tackle these challenges putting in place strategies and technologies that result in effective security capabilities.”

Etman joins Accenture from Cisco, where he led the company’s business in emerging markets.

Engagement marketing software provider Marketo has tapped Arun Anantharaman for the role of chief product officer, filling a gap created by the promotion of Manoj Goyal to chief technology officer.

“Arun has a customer-obsessed mindset, which is one of our core values. That, combined with his decades of experience in building high-scale enterprise marketing solutions, will drive profound benefit for our customers,” said Steve Lucas, Marketo’s CEO. “Arun’s vision for the future of MarTech will further establish Marketo as the de facto platform for marketers.”

Anantharaman joins the company from Adobe, where he spent 17 years, most recently as senior vice president of products and operations for its Experience Cloud product.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 2. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.)

Michael Minter has joined DC Shoes as it global head of marketing, where he will attempt to broaden the skateboarding apparel brand’s appeal to general audiences.

“We are excited to have Michael join the DC family in this capacity,” said Mike Jensen, DC Shoes global general manager. “He is passionate, forward thinking and strategic with a proven track record in invigorating brands and aligning organizations for growth.”

Minter previously served as vice president of creative at KEEN, another footwear company.

Hertz has hired Paul Stone as executive vice president and chief retail operations officer for the North America region.

“Paul is a proven leader with experience from arguably the top retailer (Walmart) and has success driving process excellence, developing top talent and building high-performing teams,” said Kathryn V. Marinello, president and chief executive officer of Hertz. “His sincere passion for people and his depth of operations expertise will be a tremendous asset to our already strong bench of talent.”

Stone worked with Walmart for almost 30 years before joining Hertz, reaching the level of Western US divisional senior vice president.

Jonathan Adashek has been promoted to global vice president of communications at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.

Adashek has been with the company since 2015, when served as chief communications officer for Nissan alone.

Aventus, a blockchain-based ticketing startup, has appointed Andrew Ford as its CMO.

“Hiring a world-class leader in technology marketing like Andrew represents a milestone for our initiative,” said Annika Monari, cofounder of Aventus. “Andrew is the perfect person to lead the effort of shaping and bringing our brand and blockchain protocol to market.”

Before joining Aventus, Ford held the same title at Red Box Software, and before that was vice president of marketing and communication for Pitney Bowes.

L’Oréal has appointed Jean-Claude Le Grand as executive vice president of human resources, succeeding Jérôme Tixier, who is stepping aside.

“He has excelled in his missions of detection, recruitment and development of L’Oréal’s talents in all countries and across all functions,” the company said in a statement to WWD.

Le Grand first joined L’Oréal in 1996, becoming human resources director for the company’s active cosmetics division six years later.

Geoffrey Covert, CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores, has announced his retirement, appointing Jack Sinclair as his replacement.

“I am privileged to serve with a team that has laid a solid foundation for success and that delivers unparalleled value and a unique customer experience.=, Sinclair said. “We look forward to continued growth, welcoming new customers to our existing stores and introducing our stores to new communities. We have ambitious goals and our growth trajectory is just beginning.”

Sinclair has been with the company since 2015, when he joined as its chief merchandising and marketing officer.

Job Vacancies 

Product Manager – APIs Ayzenberg Pasadena, CA
Chief Communications Officer Columbia University New York, NY
SVP, Cobrand Partner Chief Decision Management Officer Citi Elk Grove Village, IL
VP, Marketing Strategy, Planning & Analytics Pandora Oakland, CA
Director, Global Creative Marketing (Global Series) Netflix Los Angeles, CA
VP, Sales & Marketing The Washington Times Washington, DC

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

Google, Amazon Vie To Gain IoT Attention From Marketers

With the purchase of IoT provider Xively, Google will be armed with an established platform that connects businesses with global devices and all the data that comes with it.

Google’s growing position as an Internet of Things (IoT) provider may signal a connected future for digital marketers, but it has a long way to go before catching up to Amazon.

According to a blog post, Google Cloud IoT and Pub/Sub product manager Antony Passemard said that through Xively, Cloud IoT Core will gain device management, messaging and dashboard capabilities.

As the world’s largest ad seller, Google is poised to bring in $40 billion or roughly 43 percent of US ad revenue this year. Advertising may be the company’s bread and butter, but its combined cloud service is already generating $1 billion per quarter.

Business Insider predicts that there will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025—up from about nine billion in 2017. With the launch of Google Home smart speakers, the advertising giant is poised to help marketers analyze IoT data through a range of offerings like Analytics 360 and SalesForce.

“Our customers will benefit from Xively’s extensive feature set and flexible device management platform, paired with the security and scale of Google Cloud,” said Passemard. “With Google Cloud’s deep leadership in data analytics and machine learning, our customers will also be uniquely positioned to build turnkey IoT solutions and focus on business value creation.”

Google’s late start to the IoT market will make it difficult to reach or surpass Amazon in terms of cloud revenue. Amazon Web Services (AWS)—which includes IoT—topped $17.4 billion in 2017 and continues to grow at a staggering 45 percent year over year. Amazon dominates the smart speaker market and has been a pioneer in consumer IoT from one-touch ordering through Amazon Touch Wands to its self-serve Amazon Go convenience store.

The same audacity that earned Amazon the top spot on Brand Finance’s “Global 500” rankings for 2018 may also be holding it back. Google has one major advantage—brands are more likely to support a company that isn’t trying to put them out of business.

From groceries to health care and home security, Amazon has set its sights on a number of industries, and competing brands are in no hurry to help. Supermarket chain Kroger, for example, uses Google cloud products but not Amazon’s.

“It doesn’t make sense for us to do a ton to help grow that business for them,” a Kroger executive told CNBC.

Gimlet, Oral B, Crest Kids Collaborate On Branded Alexa Podcast

With both podcasts and smart speakers emerging as dark-horse media platforms, it was only a matter of time before someone found a way to pair them. Enter Gimlet Media, Crest Kids and Oral B, who have created a kid-friendly tooth-brushing Alexa podcast designed foremost as a smart-speaker “skill.”

“Make tooth time easy with this morning and night tooth brushing show for kids. When it’s time for your family to brush teeth, say “Alexa, start Chompers,reads the announcement for the show.

Though the Alexa podcast is also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, the smart-speaker version carries additional features, “count[ing] the times you brush and celebrat[ing] your streaks.”

“The way I think about Gimlet is that we’re trying to build a new kind of modern media company where everything begins in audio,” Matt Lieber, co-founder and president of Gimlet Media to The Wall Street Journal. “This is our first go at it, but we’re making real investments.”

Though branded podcasts are nothing new, especially for Gimlet, the company’s latest offering blurs the lines between podcast and interactive feature, brand advertising and content marketing. Or rather it would, if not for limitations set by the online-retail powerhouse.

Although the program is sponsored by Oral B and Crest Kids, Amazon’s rules prevent Gimlet from mentioning the partnership during the Alexa podcast itself. This means that actual advertising messages are limited to pre-roll mentions on the standard podcast version of the show, which, as professed on Chompers’ site, isn’t the first-choice listening method.

Current forecasts predict smart-speaker adoption will reach 45 million in the US alone this year, yet Amazon’s offerings still lack major functionality that marketers need. Despite predictions that half of all searches will be done with voice, the Echo does not offer paid search products for marketers, nor does it let shoppers fully explore shopping options, meaning that brands are at the whim of Amazon’s algorithms.

As it stands, Chompers is a bit of an odd duck, a piece of branded content in a format that tends lends itself to direct-response advertising, on a platform that won’t allow it to mention its brand and lacks options for brands to capitalize on voice-shopping calls to action.

Brands Test Limits Of Facebook 3D Posts After February Updates

Way back in October, Facebook introduced support for interactive 3D objects onto its news feed with basic functionality. But updates made to the platform just last week—including higher-quality visuals and easier sharing—have enabled brands to adopt the tech for their campaigns.

Some of the brands already adopting this tech include Lego, which posted a parrot made from toy bricks; Sony, which created a 3D photo of a real-world object using an Xperia XZ1 phone and its 3D Creator software; Supercell’s Clash Royale, which showed a 3D model of its new Magic Archer character; and Wayfair, which showcased three real-life furniture pieces in a single “virtual living room” post with a link to purchase them.

Using Facebook 3D posts, artists, developers and businesses can give users detailed virtual objects that can be rotated, examined and shared from computers and mobile devices directly from their news feed natively instead of relying on third-party applications. Brands benefit by engaging Facebook audiences using creatives that audiences can potentially collect and share.

The 3D posts are separate from Facebook’s augmented reality camera effects, which work similarly to Snapchat lenses to superimpose objects onto the real world, because interaction occurs directly from the news feed—which doesn’t support AR yet.

NBCUniversal’s campaign shows how these two features can work together. The network posted a 3D model of the famed velociraptor to promote Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which links to a complementary AR camera effect where the dinosaur can be placed into the real world and roars at you.

Shrenik Sadalgi, Wayfair’s director of next gen experiences, said that the home goods seller was attracted by the feature because users can discover, visualize and interact with 3D models of its products from their news feeds.

“Shopping for home is highly visual, and 3D posts allow us to create a visually rich and interactive experience, while enabling our customers to engage with our products and brand in a meaningful way,” said Sadalgi. 


Sadalgi added that the use of 3D posts will be in line with Wayfair’s current social and marketing efforts, and as an early adopter, the company continues to explore new ways to leverage 3D posts to enhance the shopping experience using engaging content.

As brands develop more 3D content for the news feed, user feedback will likely shape products and the way brands engage with them. But for the time being, 3D posts have some significant limitations.

“Currently, 3D is being distributed and consumed in simple small bites, but as technology and usage evolves, the content will get richer and more complex, leading to more visually rich and interactive posts,” Sadalgi said.

Ara Parikh, product marketing manager at OmniVirt, an VR/AR advertising platform, explains that there are a number of benefits Facebook 3D posts brings to brands. Parikh said that brands view the feature favorably and are embracing 3D models and AR to help increase engagement as opposed to having users passively scroll past banner ads. As more creators make use of the feature, “brands can take advantage of Facebook essentially training users to embrace and champion this format, without having to do that work themselves.”

Parikh also notes a current limitation: brands are beholden to advertising on that platform, which goes against Facebook’s recent algorithm change demoting brand posts. But opportunity to have users view 3D experiences without having to download a separate application may be too great for brands to overlook.

“Overall, it’s a positive shift towards the new wave of immersive media and brands are going to the lead the way in pushing this medium,” said Parikh.

Offering virtual objects is an an emerging form of engagement, exemplified by platforms such as Quidd, an online marketplace where users can pick up and trade virtual goods such as licensed 3D toys from Funko to connect with TV shows such as Star Trek, Rick and Morty, Game of Thrones and others. The company’s CEO and co-founder Michael Bramlage told AListDaily in a separate interview that the platform mainly appeals to millennial females, many of whom have grown accustomed to interacting with each other digitally using GIFs and stickers.

Facebook 3D objects can also be brought into Facebook Spacesan experimental VR social platformwhere users can interact with them. That is the extent of its cross-platform capabilities for now, but there are more enhancements being developed. Eventually, 3D posts will support higher-quality 3D models, interactive animations and having objects placed in the real world using augmented reality.

Lucy Bradshaw, product manager of Facebook social VR, told AListDaily that 3D posts will eventually open the way for objects to be shared across multiple platforms including AR, VR, mobile and web. Facebook regards 3D posts as an additional medium, evolved from photos and videos, that allows people to share the things that they care about.

“With 3D posts, we ultimately want to enable people to tell a mini-story on Facebook, with interactive three-dimensional objects and even whole scenes,” she said. “We envision a future digital world where people can share these immersive experiences across VR, AR and Facebook news feed seamlessly.”

5 Major 2018 Mobile World Congress Takeaways For Marketers

While Mobile World Congress 2018 draws to a close, its prevailing themes—from the ethics of AI to the possibilities of 5G—leave mobile marketers with much to think about over the coming year.

Augmenting Our Reality

Google launched its ARCore platform during MWC that works on 100 million Android smartphones. A preview version of Google Lens was introduced for English-language users.

Verizon-owned media company Oath rolled out mobile AR ad offerings that can be embedded directly into mobile apps like Yahoo Mail. Selecting the ad allows consumers to visualize products within their surroundings.

“The rise of mobile AR provides a valuable new medium for marketers to create experiences,” Carter Rogers, senior analyst at SuperData told AListDaily. “Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore have expanded the addressable audience for high-quality mobile AR into the hundreds of millions.”

5G Connects The World

“As smartphones and 4G have become commonplace, mobile technology has lost some of its magic, and 5G looks unlikely to set the consumer world on fire,” predicts Rob Gallagher, research director of consumer services for Ovum.

Sprint plans to roll out 5G networks in select US markets this year, with plans to bring the service to the rest of the country in 2019.

Higher connection speeds are being considered for uses other than smartphones. Huawei brought a prototype robot to MWC that is controlled by a human user via 5G. The robot is designed to replace humans in hazardous workplace situations.

AI Should Help, Not Hinder

As AI becomes a core component of digital marketing, ethical approaches become a pressing topic. Douglas and IBM’s Jay Allen led a workshop that addressed the differences between compliance and ethical business. The goal was to make sure clients consent to and are comfortable with data practices.

Robots are here, but they haven’t rebelled against their creators yet. Experts stressed the importance of making AI helpful rather than a replacement for humans altogether.

In a panel, Google technical lead manager Behshad Behzadi predicted that many jobs will be complemented by AI, while new jobs will be created.

The Future Is Female

Unilever has partnered with UN Women and 22 other companies to form the Global Innovation Coalition for Change. Unilever vowed at 50 percent of the start-ups it invests in by 2023 will be female-founded, but has no plans to give preferential treatment. Businesses have to be deserving, according to Unilever VP of marketing Aline Santos.

“It will trigger action from accounting companies to incentivise young women . . . and scouring companies to bring us a more balanced slate,” Santos told The Drum. “It will affect the whole supply chain of startups. Every time a big company like Unilever says something like that it has lots of positive effects.”

Customer Experience (CX) Is King

When you look between the lines of shiny new gadgets and this year’s hottest buzzwords, the underlying theme of Mobile World Congress was delivering a quality experience to customers.