Ken Poliziani Joins PGIM As CMO, And Other Hires

Ken Poliziani has joined asset management firm PGIM as its first-ever chief marketing officer.

“Ken’s extensive experience in leading comprehensive brand and marketing efforts with an eye toward institutional audiences will serve to reinforce PGIM’s reputation as the manager of choice for sophisticated investors and support our robust international expansion,” said Taimur Hyat, PGIM’s chief strategy officer.

Poliziani most recently served as CMO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Institutional and Retirement divisions.

Mimo Monitors has appointed Michael Campagna as its chief marketing officer, a newly created position.

“We’re delighted to be bringing Michael Campagna on as our first CMO. He’s been deeply entrenched in the industry for many years and shares our philosophy of putting customer service at the forefront,” said David Anderson, president and founder of Mimo Monitors. “Mimo is continuing to grow but we want to ensure that we’re optimizing future opportunities and guiding the company in the right direction both in terms of product and customer support, in which Michael will surely be a huge asset.”

Campagna joins the company from Peerless Industries, where he held the title of president and chief operating officer.

Marks and Spencer’s executive director of customer, marketing and digital, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, will be departing the company at the end of May, he announced on Twitter.

“Extremely proud of the accomplishments of an amazing team of talented marketing, digital and sustainability colleagues that I have been privileged to lead over the past 6 years,” he writes. “You all gave it a purpose!”

Bousquet-Chavanne stepped down from M&S’s board on April 18, leaving the marketing department unrepresented on the company’s board of directors.

McArthurGlen has tapped Shaeren McKenzie for the role of chief brand officer, a new position for the fashion retailer.

“Shaeren has a deep appreciation of our customers. She knows how to communicate with them,” said Julia Calabrese, McArthurGlen’s CEO. “She understands how we should evolve our customer proposition, in all our markets and across all platforms. Shaeren will be key to us driving continued growth and success for our business and our brand partners.”

McKenzie has been with the company since 2009, and has served as its group marketing director since 2009.

Energy-conservation firm Cenergistic has hired Samantha Foley as vice president of marketing.

“We are elated to have Sam join the Cenergistic executive team . . . She is a savvy tech marketer with a deep understanding of digital strategy, branding and product positioning,” said Ray Hood, Cenergistic’s CEO. “Bringing her onboard is confirmation of our commitment to and investment in sales and marketing as we look to extend our product offering and market share within schools, colleges and universities, municipal government and healthcare, and expand into new, adjacent markets.”

Foley most recently worked at Entouch as chief marketing officer.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, April 20. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

H&R Block has announced tapping Vinoo Vijay as its newest chief marketing officer.

“Vinoo is exactly the right marketing leader to help transform Block and modernize our approach to marketing,” said Jeff Jones, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer. “He’s an innovative leader who’s very skilled strategically and analytically. Vinoo has a great track record of repositioning brands and uncovering new business opportunities. He will play a crucial role in shaping our enterprise strategy, and helping Block achieve sustainable growth.”

Vijay joins the company from TD Bank, where he held the title of executive vice president, chief marketing officer and head of corporate and public affairs.

Maggie Fox has joined Globoforce as its chief marketing officer, signing on with the human resources technology provider from Aeroplan, where she served as CMO.

“For more than a decade, Maggie has been an established voice and thought leader in the digital marketing space,” said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. “With a wealth of global marketing leadership experience and a vast understanding of digital transformation, Maggie’s knowledge will prove invaluable as we enhance our leadership position in the HR technology space through the human applications category.”

Andersen Corporation has hired Annie Zipfel as senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

“We are excited to welcome Annie to Andersen,” said Jay Lund, Andersen chairman and CEO. “Annie brings valuable experience and passion that will be pivotal in optimizing our marketing channels and driving continued digital transformation across all customer touch points.”

Zipfel joins the company from Starbucks, where she served as its global vice president of category and brand for its Roastery and Reserve lines of coffee.

IIoT platform developer ThoughtWire has appointed Franco Castaldini as chief marketing officer and vice president of business development.

“We are excited to have Franco join the ThoughtWire team,” said Michael Monteith, ThoughtWire’s CEO. “His deep understanding of the IIoT platform and application markets and successful track record growing early-stage companies make him a perfect fit.”

Castaldini most recently led market strategy at GE Digital, joining the company from Bit Stew when it was acquired in 2016.

Antoine Andrews, Nike’s head of diversity and inclusion, will depart the company, CNBC reports.

Andrews first signed on with the company in 2015, joining from Symantec, where he served as its global diversity and inclusion director.

The Hudson’s Bay Company has appointed Bari Harlam to the role of chief marketing officer, spearheading efforts by the company to completely centralize its marketing leadership to one department.

“I see a real integrated approach here,” Helena Foulkes, HBC’s CEO, told WWD. “Bari is a real pioneer in data-driven performance. She will harness the power of consumer data and analytics. She has been innately able to translate complex data and digital insights into breakthrough marketing strategies that put the customer first.”

Previously, HBC’s research, call center, loyalty and campaigns departments did not report to the office of CMO, but will be fully integrated upon Harlam’s arrival. Before joining HBC, Harlam served as executive vice president of marketing and analytics for BJ’s Wholesale Club for four years.

Mike Verdu, senior vice president at EA Mobile, has resigned from his position, GamesBeat reports. Verdu had only been at the mobile-games giant for two months, joining the company in February after his previous employer was bought by Netmarble and FoxNext Games.

Verdu most recently served as chief creative officer at mobile game developer Kabam, and prior to that held the same title at Zynga.

Sir Martin Sorrel, chief executive of WPP, has announced that he will be stepping down, with Roberto Quarta to serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement can be hired.

“Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services,” Quarta said in a statement. “On behalf of the Board I would like to recognise these achievements and thank Sir Martin for his commitment to the business over more than three decades.”

This announcement follows an internal investigation into misconduct, which the company reports found no wrongdoing and is not related to Sorrel’s departure.

CBS has announced the creation of a new branded-entertainment division, dubbed CBS Eye Max, to be led by Linda René, current executive vice president of primetime sales and innovation.

“We are constantly pushing to elevate the level of creativity for clients and audiences, and we are always looking to do more and more outside of the box,” said Jo Ann Ross, president and chief advertising revenue officer for CBS. “CBS Eye Max combines the creativity and expertise of our branded integration daypart leaders, under a proven innovator like Linda, and is designed to maximize the clients’ relationship with CBS and to maximize their reach, effectiveness and investment.”

Ladders has appointed Jordan Cohen as its vice president of marketing.

“We are delighted to welcome Jordan to the Ladders team as part of our continuing executive leadership expansion,” said Cenedella. “Jordan brings nearly two decades of diversified experience managing leading brands and driving breakthrough marketing initiatives, which will help further strengthen Ladders’ position.”

Cohen joins the premium job-hunting site from Fluent, a data-driven marketing services firm, where he held the role of chief marketing officer.

Scout RFP has hired Grant Shirk as its first-ever vice president of marketing.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Grant to the team,” said Stan Garber, president and cofounder of Scout RFP. “His experience building unique brand positions in the enterprise, combined with his passion for design and his focus on making customers wildly successful will dramatically accelerate our ability to deliver on Scout’s long-term vision.”

Shirk joins the company from Vera, where he worked as vice president of marketing.

Patrick J. Guido has joined Lululemon Athletica as its latest chief financial officer.

“With an impressive track record at major retail and consumer companies, PJ has deep experience guiding businesses during periods of substantial economic expansion,” stated Stuart Haselden, Lululemon’s chief operating officer. “Our momentum remains strong and we’re thrilled to have PJ join the team and look forward to his important contributions.”

Guido joins from VF Corporation, where he served as treasurer and vice president of corporate development.

FremantleMedia has appointed Kevin Blanchette to the position of senior vice president of marketing and communications.

“Our decision to hire one of the best marketers in the business clearly demonstrates our commitment to supporting our broadcast partners by engaging consumers and driving both on and off-air conversations,” Rick Glankler, FremantleMedia president of commercial operations, said in a statement.

Blanchette most recently worked at Hulu, where he led its marketing efforts for its original programming.

Payments-processor i2c has hired Joseph DeRosa as executive vice president of global sales and marketing.

“We are investing in strengthening our sales and marketing organizations as we continue on our path to $1billion in revenue,” said i2c CEO Amir Wain. “Joe’s deep understanding of sales and marketing functions, intense focus on customer success, and track record of delivering high-growth results make him a perfect fit.”

DeRosa previously served at Sales Benchmark Index, a marketing and sales management consultancy firm.

Mudit Shekhawat has joined as its CMO, managing both branding efforts and consumer marketing.

“We are delighted to have Mudit come on board with us,” said Sharat Dhall,’s COO. “As a veteran of the industry, he brings with him vast experience in digital and consumer marketing, which will spur additional growth for us and cement our position as India’s travel planner.”

Shekhawat joins the company from Ola, where he served as head of marketing.

Job Vacancies 

Events Producer AList Pasadena, CA
Marketing Senior Manager PepsiCo Chicago, IL
Women’s Brand Marketing Director Nike Seoul, South Korea
Senior Product Marketing Manager Bleacher Report San Francisco, CA
Brand Marketing Manager Foot Locker New York, NY
Head Of Consumer And Brand Marketing (Instagram)  Facebook Menlo Park, CA

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

GLOW Season 2 Announcement Lip Syncs To ‘Flashdance’

To announce the release date of period-piece wrestling drama GLOW Season 2, Netflix smashed together such 1980s mainstays as big hair, neon effects and, most importantly, the song “Maniac” from 1983’s hit movie Flashdance. Which promptly blew up on social media.

The promotion consists of a 90-second lip-sync extravaganza, complete with the awkward dancing one tends to expect from that era of human history, with accompanying videos on Instagram and a synchronized Tweet storm from members of the show’s star-studded cast.

To measure consumer engagement with the GLOW Season 2 campaign, we calculated the earned media value from Netflix’s posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on April 18, the day the video was released.

“Earned media” is the value of engagements a brand receives across channels as a result of their marketing efforts. To help quantify what the value of those engagements is worth, Ayzenberg Group established the Ayzenberg Earned Media Value Index (AEMVI) and assigned a quantifiable dollar amount for marketing gains a brand receives from a campaign or individual engagement that includes social media networks and similar digital properties.

GLOW‘s Tweet was liked almost 9,000 times in the eight hours after it was posted, as well as garnering 250 comments and 3,300 shares. On Instagram, a snipped version of the announcement netted 3,500 likes and 335 comments over the same time frame. The post saw its greatest reach on Facebook, earning 603,000 views, 7,000 reactions and 2,800 shares. Based on the lastest EMV values, Netflix earned almost $25,000 in user engagement on April 18 alone.

Netflix must be comparing notes with 20th Century Fox: promotional material for Deadpool 2 parodied Flashdance just two weeks ago.

(Editor’s note: AListDaily is the publishing arm of [a]network and a sister site to Ayzenberg. To read the updated AEMVI report reflecting the rapid changes in social, click here.)

Top 10 Game Marketing Trends To Watch This Year

Video game marketing continues to employ tried and true methods like demos and pre-order bonuses, but here are ten emerging trends that are shaping consumer engagement.

Creators Are King (Or Queen)

Gaming video content—livestreams, how-to videos, trailers, etc.—has become a $4.6 billion market, according to SuperData Research.

“The biggest trend we’re seeing right now is the rising importance of streamers and YouTubers in game marketing and PR plans,” SuperData senior analyst Carter Rogers told AListDaily. “In a recent talk, PUBG‘s community manager revealed they had virtually no marketing budget and relied on gaming video content creators to promote the game.”

Rogers went on to say that creators on sites like YouTube are already more likely to influence the purchasing decisions of US PC and console gamers than traditional game critics, at 38 percent versus 23 percent, respectively.

To promote Sonic Forces Academy, Sega enlisted the help of popular YouTube creators Matthew Patrick (MatPat), Jirard Khalil (The Completionist) and Tom Cassell (Syndicate) to navigate a parkour gym. The campaign included a video, cross-promotion across each creators’ respective channels and the Sonic-inspired obstacle course was made available to the public.

The Voice Of Engagement

When Microsoft introduced the Xbox Kinect, several games including the remastered version of Halo: Combat Evolved allowed gamers to use their voice, gestures and controller in a synchronized effort.

That concept has now evolved with the prevalence of zero UI in the home. Beginning with Destiny 2, Activision introduced voice integration with Amazon Alexa. Gamers can use Alexa to open menus in the game, change load outs, get information and more.

Activision is continuing that trend with Call of Duty: WWII. A newly introduced Alexa skill was designed to help gamers improve their first-person shooter skills.

Experience Equals Emotion

Other publishers are offering hands-on time inside a video game world through experiential marketing. Bethesda has been a major player on this front, offering scavenger hunts and a Dishonored-themed dinner party.

The publisher introduced its Bethesdaland attraction at E3 last year, turning franchises like Doom and Fallout into rides and interactive activations ready to share on social media.

To promote Rise of the Tomb Raider, Square Enix hosted a survival course that included building survival shelters and making a survival bow.

Fun With Film

Destiny 2 trailer, directed by Kong Skull Island‘s Jordan Vogt-Roberts look more like a film promo than one for a game.

Earlybird ESports

Several brands like Bandai Namco aren’t waiting until a game is published to promote its competitive potential. Tekken 7 was featured in the publisher’s King of Iron Fist Tournament several months before the game was released.

Gran Turismo Sport hosted an esports tournament a full year before its retail release, selling out the Copper Box Arena in London.

While not all tournaments make the mainstream headlines, Newzoo sees the benefits of early esports adoption.

“Some publishers host a big esports event quite soon after releasing a game,” Newzoo head of esports Jurre Pannkeet told AListDaily. “These events almost never generate a lot of viewership and buzz, but mostly get picked up by the media and community platforms. Despite the low impact, in a way it still works as a marketing tool to generate awareness.”

Short Films, Big Impact

Short films have become a growing trend in video game promotion, serving as a prequel or offering backstory for key characters that players will encounter later. Sega released three live-action video shorts ahead of Yakuza 6: Song of Life that provided insights into a character named Kiryu.

Games Get Chatty

To promote Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Activision created an interactive chatbot on Facebook Messenger that offered tours of outer space.

Famous And Familiar Faces

Whether they are voicing a main character or starring in a Super Bowl commercial, video game publishers have gained a reputation for unique celebrity team-ups. On Tuesday, action star Danny Trejo lent his voice, name and likeness to a campaign for mobile shooter Guns of Boom.

Showing Off With Sports

To promote God of War,  PlayStation took over the halftime of a basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Spurs, where a 3D gameplay presentation was projected on to the hardwood.

Keep Them Coming Back

By consistently adding new content, games like Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Black Ops II continue to stay relevant long after their initial release dates. Treating a game as a service rather than an initial investment helps publishers market the game to new and existing players while enjoying a continuous revenue stream.

60 Percent Of Organizations Still Unprepared For GDPR Compliance Deadline

Despite ample time to prepare and numerous compliance tools made available by trade organizations like the IAB, the GDPR compliance deadline of May 25th is barely a month away and, according to a new report by Crowd Research Partners, the majority of businesses are on track to fail the law’s privacy standards.

Of the 531 organizations surveyed, only 7 percent claimed to be in full compliance with the law. A full 60 percent admitted that they are likely to be in breach of the law by the GDPR compliance deadline, and close to a third have not even started the compliance process.

“While this is an improvement over last year’s survey results, where only 5 percent indicated compliance readiness, it is still an alarmingly low number,” the report reads.

The majority of companies—53 percent—see the “right to be forgotten,” allowing data subjects to request their information be deleted from company servers at any time, as their largest concern.

Several organizations have announced working on tools to help companies comply with consumer data requests, including, unsurprisingly, one that takes advantage of the blockchain. However, external tools aren’t enough—the law mandates that data protection measures be “baked in” to a company’s processing operations from the bottom up.

Part of this unpreparedness may stem from ignorance of the law itself. While 80 percent claimed that GDPR compliance is one of their organization’s top priorities, only half attested to having significant knowledge of the law, and a quarter admitted to having either limited familiarity or no knowledge at all.

For those making efforts to comply, lack of staff and resources represent a major burden to meeting the GDPR compliance deadline. Forty-three percent of respondents claimed that they do not have employees with the necessary skills to get them on track to comply with the law, and 40 percent do not have the money they need to make necessary changes.

For most companies, complying with GDPR in time will not be a close call: 53 percent of those surveyed expected to need six or more months to fully follow the law. A full 26 percent of companies will need two or more years to get their affairs fully in order.

The penalties for violating provisions of GDPR can be as much as €20 million or 4 percent of global revenue for the year, whichever is higher.

See our rundown of the law and what it means for you here.

It’s Not Just You—Attracting Qualified Marketing Talent Is Getting Harder

Demand for marketing talent in the last year has greatly outpaced supply, a new report released by McKinley Marketing Partners today finds.

“There are more open positions than qualified marketers to fill them,” said Michelle Boggs, McKinley Marketing Partners president and CEO. “This is true across industries, and we can see it specifically in marketing hires.”

American companies hired an average of 3.8 marketing professionals in 2017, a 32 percent reduction from 2016’s figure of 5.6. While this growth was less than expected, McKinley suggests it is the result of a healthy industry.

“At full employment, businesses have an extremely difficult time finding available, qualified workers to fill job openings,” the report reads.

According to McKinley’s findings, this lack of growth is not likely to continue: 69 percent of marketing leaders anticipate that they will expand their team roster, up from just 25 percent last year. Just 3 percent of respondents anticipated any kind of shrinkage whatsoever.

Digital marketing and creative services are the expertise in highest demand, with 59 percent and 43 percent of respondents seeking new marketing talent in the fields, respectively.

However, digital marketers and creative professionals were some of the least likely to be on a job search. Just 19 percent of digital marketing talent claimed to be actively searching for a new job, and creatives were close behind at 18 percent.

Generally, while 97 percent of the marketers surveyed reported a willingness to move on from their current position, only 24 percent are actively seeking new employment.

According to McKinley, these low marketing talent supply figures bode well for existing teams hoping to hang on to their people. “Fewer people even occasionally looking for new roles suggests a lift in job satisfaction,” the report reads.

“This year marks one of the best years ever to be a marketer,” the report declares. “In a hiring landscape in which there are fewer qualified candidates than there are positions to fill, how do you attract talent?”

To reach its findings, McKinley surveyed 329 different marketing professionals in October of last year.

PassionFlix’s Tosca Musk Aims to Find Niche OTT Success Without Ads

Research from Parks Associates found that more than one-third of US broadband households subscribe to multiple OTT video services, with 15 percent subscribing to three or more. In a 2017 report, the analytics firm predicted that as competition ramps up, streaming services will begin to focus on niche segments in order to capture any remaining untapped portions of the market. As far as niche OTTs go, there are success stories like WWE Network, Fandor and Crunchyroll, who were able to balance ads and subscribers. But, there are also niche streaming services that failed to get over the hump—like Seeso and Vessel. The difficulty for any niche streaming service is trying to gain a large enough audience while also finding a monetization model that keeps them in business.

PassionFlix has positioned itself to benefit from one of the current voids in the market: a lack of OTT services catering directly to women. For co-founder Tosca Musk, choosing the balance of subscription and ad-supporting was easy; she hates advertising interrupting content.

“I find it annoying and I lose sight of the story,” Musk (yes from the Musk family) told AListDaily about the decision. “If I’m paying for something, I really don’t want ads, I don’t care how much I’m paying.”

PassionFlix raised $4.75 million in seed money, which it is using to produce original content based on popular romance novels like Matchmaker’s Playbook. Musk, a filmmaker by trade, says she is prepping for a fifth movie developed exclusively for PassionFlix.

“We are not broad, we are very specific. I know who my audience is and I know what they like for the most part because it’s a very niche audience,” said Musk. “The niche OTTs that are popping up need to know their audience.”

Crunchyroll, which was founded in 2006, represents one of the success stories for niche OTT services. They primarily offer anime but also Asian dramas, music and mangas. In February 2017, Crunchyroll surpassed one million subscribers, and 20 million registered users. The service offers ad-supported streaming, but also a premium $6.95/month ad-free subscription.

For Crunchyroll, the most important thing in finding a balance between subscriber base and ad-support was inclusion. Henry Embleton, head of ad products and revenue at Ellation (which owns Crunchyroll) told AListDaily, “We never want to turn anyone away, so if a fan is not willing to pay for a subscription we have an ad-supported option.”  He continued, “fans can either support the content creators with their money in the form of a subscription or with their time and attention in the form of ads. Our objective is to create an experience that our fans fall in love with. We want fans to see more value than the subscription price and convert to being a subscriber from ad-supported.”

While PassionFlix has avoided ad interruptions so far Musk said they are open to brand partnerships such as product placement within a film.

“Advertising is necessary,” she said. “It offsets the costs dramatically on a film and it allows you to do so much more on a movie. There’s a definite need to have those conversations [with brands] but we all need to work together to create great content and get brands that work for that specific audience out there.”

Musk stressed the importance of seamless integration of a brand within the context of a film.  “[T]here’s a brand that works well for these characters,” Musk said, hypothetically, “and it makes sense to have these brands in their home. That, to me, is a great way to integrate a brand into a movie without it affecting the storytelling.”

Chiefly, niche OTTs and streaming services finding a base audience and profiting–regardless of the avenue through subscription or ad-support–will be good for all media consumers. It will diversify the options and allow the consumer the power to choose.

Meanwhile, Netflix has become the figurehead for OTT and continues to surge, allegedly costing TV networks between $3 billion and $6 billion per year by luring viewers away from ad-supported programming, according to estimates by nScreenMedia.

“A company like Netflix doesn’t need to fill that niche because they are everything to everyone,” she said. “We need a Netflix out there that’s going to give us a little bit of everything. We’re always going to need the bigger ones.” Musk confirms.

Musk knows that the world will always need a Netflix to offer a bit of everything, but in the meantime, she and her business partners hope that PassionFlix will become a source of “me time” for women everywhere.

Upfronts 2018: 3 Trends Impacting This Year’s TV Ad-Buying Season

TV Upfront season is officially underway, and trends are already starting to emerge that will shape TV programming and marketing over the coming year.

Citing the acceleration of cord-cutting and OTT viewing, eMarketer predicts that US TV ad spending will drop slightly this year, from $70.22 billion in 2017 to $69.87 billion in 2018.

Engagement Beyond TV Sets

ESPN recently unveiled details about its upcoming ESPN+, which will be integrated into a redesigned mobile app this spring. The sports network is placing an emphasis on both traditional and digital content this year, hosting an Upfront presentation May 15 and then off to NewFronts for the first time.

Cartoon Network has long adopted multiple touchpoints for consumer engagement from online viewing to video games—something the network continues to tout during the 2018 TV ad-buying season.

The network is adding more than 30 new games and apps to its mobile and web offerings, which includes podcasts and AR/VR experiences.

“Cartoon Network continues to see growth in time spent on video and gaming platforms as kids are enjoying our content across a vast array of environments,” said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Ad Sales during Cartoon Network’s Upfront presentation. “The best way for brands to reach and engage our fans is through a total audience approach that captures all of these relevant spaces.”

Empowering Women

Fueled by #TimesUp and #MeToo feminist movements, several networks are placing a special emphasis on how they empower women through TV programming this year.

A+ E hosted a 50-minute show called “A+E: Women Up Front.” Led entirely by female presenters, the Upfront event featured emotional testimonies from show talent such as Olivia Munn, Queen Latifah and Toni Braxton about why they are proud to be associated with A+E.

Nickelodeon touted its dedication to empowering young girls during Women’s History Month—the month of its Upfront presentation—as well as women within its corporate culture.

“We have a long-standing history of creating strong female characters in leading roles and at Nickelodeon, our workforce is 60 percent women,” said Nickelodeon group president Cyma Zarghami. “Not only is that fairly unique today, but I believe it is a very valuable asset.”

Beginning March 1, Nickelodeon launched a new campaign called “That’s Me,” designed to celebrate diversity. The first round of spots highlighted history-making women, alongside some of the network’s female characters.

Data For Dollars

Viacom is offering more than TV programming this year—it wants to offer marketing services as well. The company, known for cable networks like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET, has been busy acquiring agencies to fuel its marketing efforts.

In January, Viacom purchased WhoSay, an influencer-marketing agency, and event agency VidCon in February.

“This is a complete marketing solutions approach, rather than just an ad sales approach,” Sean Moran, head of marketing and partner solutions for Viacom, told Variety.

Last year, AMC Networks launched its own Agility data-driven advertising division that offers audience segmenting, targeting and TV planning. Ahead of its Upfront presentation, AMC formed its own data sales group to oversee its offerings to clients.

“The strong response to Aurora Video Targeting Solutions in the marketplace over the last year, and the expanded availability of this fully transparent planning tool in the 2018 Upfront, convinced us that the time was right for a dedicated data sales team,” said Scott Collins, president of advertising sales for AMC Networks, in a statement.

Zara AR App Hopes To Draw Teens In-Store

In a bid to engage younger audiences with retail locations, Zara has released an augmented reality experience, called Zara AR, that displays a virtual fashion show to interested shoppers.

Zara AR allows users to “shop the look,” placing virtual models in three-dimensional space that twirl and walk to show off clothes that app users can then purchase directly through the app.

Unlike many branded AR apps, especially those pertaining to the beauty industry—which strive to be available according to the whims of their users—Zara AR trades in exclusivity. To use any of the app’s features, users must first travel to a physical Zara location or visit its website.

For online purchases, the app features alternative clothing displays on delivered packages, breathing a little life into the inescapable “recommended item” box on ecommerce sites.

The app also includes social media support, with a press release touting “a tool for sharing the experience on social media, encouraging users to take and submit photos of the holograms, establishing a virtual connection that appears remarkably real.”

Even so, since the app requires users to already be shopping at a Zara location, it focuses much more on closing sales than spreading brand awareness.

Though the fashion brand promises to fully roll out the AR experience in the future, there are currently only 120 Zara locations worldwide that support the new app, of which only seven are in the United States. In the AR-supported locations, Zara has done away with mannequins entirely, replacing them with blank walls and podiums bearing the message “Experience the Look.”

Zara AR bears the greatest similarity to Wayfair’s AR activation, which likewise gives users the opportunity to get a sense of how their purchases will look on bodies as opposed to the tightly controlled two-dimensional space on their computer screens.

Danny Trejo Partners With ‘Guns of Boom’ For Mobile Gaming Event

Mobile developer Game Insight has enlisted action star Danny Trejo to promote a new mode in shooter game Guns of Boom.

Guns of Boom‘s new free-for-all mode kicks off with “Trejo Tournament,” starring Danny Trejo’s likeness and voice. This is the first time that Game Insight has partnered with a celebrity at this scale.

Trejo Tournament runs April 17 to June 15, after which free-for-all mode will continue. While the actor is not officially participating in his namesake tournament, Game Insight told AListDaily that they’re “sure” he’ll participate on a personal level.

“[Trejo is] an existing member of the Guns of Boom community, making this the best possible opportunity we could have hoped for,” said Game Insight CEO Anatoly Ropotov in a statement.

Trejo, known for his work in a long line of films—including the Machete franchise—appears in a number of promotional videos for the event, alongside a campaign that will include social channels for both Trejo and Guns of Boom. Shorter promotional videos will also run on a variety of internet-based ad platforms.

Guns of Boom released a teaser image on Twitter Monday, revealing that someone with the initials “D.T.” would be claiming “his event” and inviting fans to guess his identity. Several fans guessed correctly—and early—after Portuguese fans spotted an official announcement released ahead of the US.

Trejo has a long history of appearing in video games, beginning with Def Jam: Fight for NY in 2004. Since then, he has lent his likeness and/or voice to several video game characters, from Call of Duty: Black Ops to Taco Run!an app designed to promote Trejo’s Tacos restaurants.

Celebrity spokespeople have become common for marketing mobile games. Some more notable examples include Arnold Schwarzenegger for Mobile Strike and Jason Statham for Sniper X.

Other celebrities simply create their own apps and games as an extension of their personal brand. Chef Gordan Ramsey, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Brittany Spears and DJ Khaled are among recent stars to incorporate mobile games into their marketing strategies.

Nielsen’s Activision Blizzard Partnership Revamps Esports Metrics

In the next 12 months, brand marketers will be able to track the same data on Activision Blizzard esports viewer engagement as they can for traditional sports events, thanks to a partnership between the game publishing giant and Nielsen announced on Monday.

“As esports continues to mature and reach its potential as a stand-alone business, we’re determined to lead the way and develop best practices for brands and advertisers,” said Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.

Nielsen will begin tracking brand exposure, performance benchmarks and viewer sentiment on several Activision Blizzard esports events this year, using its existing research methodology. The partnership will begin with Overwatch’s three esports tournaments, Overwatch League, World Cup and Contenders and Call of Duty World League, with unspecified plans to expand to other titles in 2019.

“Esports is booming and there’s huge market potential,” said Nicole Pike, managing director and head of Nielsen Esports. “We’re thrilled to be working closely with Activision Blizzard, who has taken initiative in leading the market forward.”

These measurements will support the brand’s attempts to use traditional sports strategies for its esports efforts, including opening an arena devoted entirely to competitive gaming back in October of last year.

“We’re thinking a lot about how to incorporate sponsorships and brands within the broadcasts in different ways,” Adam Rosen, senior business operations manager at Blizzard Esports told AListDaily. “Brand integrations on our esports shows will mostly consist of content integrations like you see on traditional sports shows.”

With Nielsen data backing up its ratings and viewership figures, Activision Blizzard will find it less of an uphill battle to rope in sponsors, and it’s doubtful that brands will complain about having more data available.

The partnership will Nielsen marks one of Activision Blizzard’s less zany marketing efforts, which have previously included special-edition Amazon Echos and cross-over content between its games.