Snapchat Users Get More Location Controls; Facebook Talks Politics

This week in social media news, Snapchat rolls out additional privacy controls for sharing user locations, Facebook defends its political advertising policy and activists wasted no time in filing GDPR lawsuits.

In other news, Snap is investing in future content creators and Facebook explains why it’s easier said than done to stop the spread of misinformation. Meanwhile, Twitter is labeling US election candidates for easy identification and Facebook users can book home service professionals through the Marketplace. Earlier this week, Instagram began offering a way to mute friends, Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by European Parliament, Facebook began testing the influencer marketing waters and Cardi B partnered with YouTube Music for its biggest marketing push yet.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 25. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at

Snapchat Adds “Share And Request” To Map Location Options

Snapchat has begun rolling out additional controls for Snap Map, allowing users to request, grant or deny other users the ability to see their geographic location. A new “Share and Request” feature can be accessed by pressing and holding a friend’s name or from the menu inside a chat thread. The option will only be available to friends, mutual friends or no one at all, depending on which setting a user chooses.

The new request feature adds a way for friends to share their exact location privately—helpful for outings but bad news for those just getting in the shower but claiming they’re “on the way.”

At launch, Snap Map automatically showed exactly where a user was—down to the address and part of a building—every time Snapchat was opened. This raised a number of safety concerns, especially for children. Since then, users have been able to broadcast their location to all friends, select friends or no one at all.

Facebook Will Label, But Won’t Ban Political Ads

Mark Zuckerberg’s media social super power began labeling political advertisements on Friday, including “Paid for by” disclosures designed to help users “follow the money” behind polarizing topics. This may also help raise red flags if a Page name doesn’t match the name of the company or person funding an ad.

“We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but advertisers as well,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management explained.

All election-related and issue ads on Facebook and Instagram in the US must be clearly labeled, the company announced, and all advertisers interested in such products will have to verify their identity and location. Users can click on a label to view an archive of information about the advertisement such as campaign budget and how many people have viewed the ad.

Happy GDPR Day: Have Some Lawsuits

Well, that escalated quickly. Facebook and Google are already being sued for violation of GDPR regulations on its very first day of enforcement. Filed by Austrian activist Max Schrems—a long-time critic of the companies’ data collection practices—the lawsuits accuse Facebook and Google of an all-or-nothing approach to privacy settings. In other words, users must accept all the privacy policy stipulations or are not allowed to use the service. Schrems’ complaints seek to fine Facebook 3.9 billion and Google 3.7 billion euro (roughly $8.8 billion in dollars).

Snap Launches Content Creation Incubator ‘Yellow’

On Wednesday, Snapchat parent company Snap, Inc. announced Yellow, an incubator program for mobile content creators. The company is accepting applications for creators interested in augmented reality, narrative storytelling and interactive through July 8.

“In an ecosystem that’s rapidly evolving, we’re excited about the future of storytelling and the creators who will push the artistic boundaries of what’s possible with mobile content,” Snap wrote.

Creators chosen for the program will be invited to Venice, California in September, where they will take part in an intensive three-month program. Snap says it will invest $150,000 in each team that is accepted into the Yellow program, and possibly more for “exceptional cases.” The program will culminate in a demo presentation and the opportunity for distribution on Snapchat.

Facebook Creates Documentary About Battling Fake News

It’s no secret that Facebook has been under a tremendous amount of global scrutiny about its data collection practices and unwitting tool for spreading propaganda. In an attempt to reassure users, Facebook partnered with documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville to create a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s efforts to fight misinformation.

Facing Facts” is an 11-minute short film that takes viewers inside Facebook headquarters, where team members explain the challenges of balancing free speech with determining whether content is designed to spread misinformation or hate speech.

“We wanted to try something different with this project,” says John Hegeman, head of News Feed. “The challenges the News Feed team faces are complex, but it’s critical that people outside the company understand what we’re doing and why. So we need to keep trying new, different ways to give people that context.”

Twitter Will Now Label US Midterm Candidates

To help prevent misinformation around US elections from floating around its platform, Twitter has announced that it will now label certain candidates, beginning with the 2018 US midterm general election. Beginning after May 30, Twitter accounts identified as midterm election candidates will receive a label that can be seen on the profile page, tweets and even retweets, even those embedded outside of Twitter.

Labels will be indicated with the icon of a government building and contain information such as the office the candidate is running for, the state the office is located in and district number when applicable.

“[…]Twitter has become the first place voters go to seek accurate information, resources, and breaking news from journalists, political candidates, and elected officials,” wrote Bridget Coyne, Twitter’s senior public policy manager in a blog post. “We understand the significance of this responsibility.”

Twitter will continue to roll out candidate labels as states hold primary elections and candidates officially qualify for the general election ballot.

Home Services Added To Facebook Marketplace

Those who use Facebook’s Marketplace feature can now find professionals to provide services inside the home such as plumbing and cleaning. On Wednesday, Facebook announced a partnership with Handy, HomeAdvisor and Porch to recommend professionals and help facilitate business transactions.

Marketplace users will be able to search for a service provider and see reviews, credentials and location. From there, users can communicate with them, get estimates and book appointments.

The new feature began rolling out immediately and will be available across the US in coming weeks.

Instagram Users Can Now Mute Accounts

Instagram has added a mute option for users that want to control what they see in their timelines without unfollowing an account altogether. Users can choose to mute an entire account, just posts or posts and Stories. Muted users are not notified.

“We’re aiming to make feed the best place to share and connect with the people and interests you care about,” Instagram said in a Tuesday blog post.

Parliament Wants Answers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with European Parliament president Antonio Tajani on Tuesday to discuss data privacy. After a lengthy 90-minute session with Tajani and other Parliament leaders, no concrete answers or solutions were offered to address concerns about data collected and sold by Facebook. Zuckerberg patiently answered all questions with broad strokes and promised to cover specifics in writing later on.

He did, however, deny any political bias on the platform and indicated that the site would be GDPR compliant by the May 25 deadline.

Facebook Tests Influencer Search Engine

As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook has confirmed the existence of an influencer search engine that is not yet available to marketers. Dubbed “Branded Content Matching,” the search engine lets advertisers search creators on Facebook based on factors like gender, interests and top countries where they are popular. Once an influencer is selected, marketers can contact them and make a deal.

Facebook is not taking any revenue cut during the testing phase, but likely will in the future. For now, the Branded Content Matching search engine will only help brands find creators on Facebook.

In November, Facebook launched its Creator app as part of an ongoing strategy to attract influencers with monetization.

YouTube Pours Its Hopes (And Money) Into Music Service

On Tuesday, YouTube will unveil a new version of YouTube Music that offers multiple subscription tiers and a massive campaign starring hip-hop star Cardi B. The campaign represents YouTube’s largest marketing spend to date and will include spots across TV and YouTube.

Google is offering a number of bundled subscription services ranging from free to $11.99 per month. Consumers can get YouTube Music for free, pay $9.99 a month for YouTube Music Premium or sign up for YouTube Premium, which includes the music service and ad-free video viewing.

Starting Tuesday, Google is rolling out early access to the new YouTube Music experience in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea with additional locations in the coming weeks to include Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Carhartt Hires Janet Ries, Guitar Center Hires Erica Moran As Marketing Vice Presidents, And Other Hires

This week: Carhartt and Guitar Center find new marketing vice presidents, BET CEO Debra Lee steps down and Massive Interactive poaches talent from Verizon’s Go90.

Carhartt Taps Janet Ries For Vice President Of Marketing

Seeking to align brand management, communications, strategic partnerships and community affairs, Janet Ries has joined Carhartt as its vice president of marketing.

“Janet’s strong track record of championing successful brand-building ideas and bringing them to market through cross-functional teams makes her the ideal person for the position,” said Tony Ambroza, the company’s chief brand officer. “As the key connector inside and outside of marketing, Janet will be responsible for ensuring the Carhartt brand is meaningful across every consumer experience. We’re extremely excited to have her on board.”

Ries previously worked at Rockport, where she held the title of vice president of global marketing.

Guitar Center Brings On Erica Moran As Vice President Of Marketing

Musical instrument retailer Guitar Center has appointed Erica Moran to the position of vice president of marketing.

Moran joins the company after serving as a retail and digital marketing consultant for ACIRE Consulting Group, and serves on the board of the CRMC Retail Advisory Council.

Debra Lee Steps Down As BET CEO

After thirty years at BET Networks, Debra Lee is resigning from her position as chairman and CEO.

“Debra’s vision and creativity have cemented BET Networks as a premier network for African Americans and lovers of black culture,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom’s CEO. “As BET continues to move forward, we will always be grateful to Debra for her leadership and commitment to creating top-notch entertainment that both entertains and empowers. Her passion for the BET brand has resulted in countless wins and has allowed BET to stay competitive in a growing media landscape.”

Lee first joined the TV network in 1986, serving as its vice president and general counsel. She reached her current position in 2005.

Chip Canter Joins Massive Interactive As Chief Revenue Officer

Set to manage the company’s sales, business development and marketing growth strategy, Chip Canter has signed on with Massive Interactive as its chief revenue officer.

“Few people understand our market landscape and technology environment like Chip does,” Massive CEO Ron Downey said to Variety. “He has dealt with the pressures faced by OTT businesses and has firsthand experience working with global media companies.”

Previously, Canter led Verizon’s Go90 mobile video service.

Canadian Marketing Association Elects Aldo Cundari Chairman

Chairman and CEO of Cundari Group Aldo Cundari has been elected to the position of board chair for the Canadian Marketing Association.

“CMA’s Board of Directors continue to elevate the marketing profession across this country,” said John Wiltshire, CMA’s president and CEO. “Our new Board Members broaden our regulatory and corporate perspectives while enhancing the association’s profile.”

The Rest Of The C-Suite

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 25. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Porsche Taps Colas Henckes For Marketing Director

Porsche Cars is passing executives around the world, sending Canadian marketing director Margareta Mahlstedt to perform the same task for its Great British office, and bringing Colas Henckes from France to replace them.

“We are delighted to welcome Colas to Canada,” said Marc Ouayoun, president & CEO of Porsche Cars Canada. “We’ve had the opportunity to work together several years in France and he is very well positioned to tackle this new challenge. With his expertise in Motorsport, experiential events and social media, he is poised to pursue the excellent work that Margareta Mahlstedt has executed in this role.”

Henckes has held the position of marketing director for Porsche France since 2008, previously working as the company’s press and public relations officer.

Vince Sadusky Reportedly Joining Univision As CEO

According to reports by the Wall Street Journal and BloombergVince Sadusky is set to replace Randy Falco in the driver’s seat at Univision. The move comes as the company reversed its decision to file for an IPO in March, following Falco’s planned retirement after seven years as CEO.

The company has declined to comment on the story.

Sadusky has previously served as CEO of Media General, as well as CFO of Telemundo Communications.

TMS Hires Laura Kirchner As Marketing Senior Vice President

Financial services company TMS has brought on Laura Kirchner as senior vice president of marketing strategy and innovation.

“Laura is going to propel our team to even greater heights. She’s a one-of-a-kind digital superstar,” said TMS chief marketing officer Barbara Yolles. “She’s adept at leading everything from re-architecting business models to digital go-to-market strategies. She can even roll up her sleeves and code websites!”

Kirchner previously worked at Perficient, where she held the role of managing director of client services.

Hulu Brings On Ryan Crosby And Nick Tran As Marketing Vice Presidents

Hulu is expanding its stable of marketers, appointing both Ryan Crosby and Nick Train to the executive positions of vice president of content marketing and vice president of brand and culture marketing, respectively. While Crosby will focus on promoting the streaming service’s slate of programming, Tran will take charge of more broad-reaching branding campaigns.

“During a critical time for Hulu, we’re excited to bring in two new vice presidents to anchor our brand and content-marketing teams,” Kelly Campbell, Hulu’s chief marketing officer, said to Variety. “Ryan Crosby and Nick Tran are tremendous leaders with proven track records, who will join Hulu’s talented marketing team to lead the next evolution of our Hulu brand promise and content marketing campaigns.”

Crosby joins Hulu from Netflix, where he served as its director of global creative marketing. Tran most recently served at Samsung Electronics as head of brand culture.

Luis De La Camara Joins Outplay Entertainment As Vice President Of Global Marketing

Formerly a marketing director for King’s Candy Crush Saga, Luis De La Camara has joined fellow mobile game developer Outplay Entertainment as its vice president of global marketing. In the role, he will work on the studio’s projects from the ground up, as well as handle customer support.

“Traditionally marketing is seen as an effort that lies at the end of the development process of a product, but to me marketing should be an integral part of the product’s design, especially in the games-as-a-service business,” De La Camara stated. “Understanding your customer, designing optimal experiences, and creating products they fall in love with, should be the focus of any business.”

De La Camara has worked in the video games industry for over a decade, and at King he led the team’s CRM and social media marketing efforts.

“I’m looking forward to having his experience, talent, and leadership help propel us to our next level of growth and success,” said Outplay CEO Douglas Hare.

Constellation Brands Promotes Jim Sabia To CMO

Adult beverage company Constellation has created the role of executive vice president and chief marketing officer, tapping Jim Sabia to fill the position.

“Our company’s core mission is to build brands consumers love and Jim has been a driving force behind the success of our beer brands over the years,” said Bill Newlands, Constellation’s president and chief operating officer. “It is critically important that the voice of the consumer and brand-building principles have strong representation on our executive leadership team. In this new role, Jim will help ensure that consumer perspective and marketing strategy remain front and center at Constellation Brands across our entire beverage alcohol portfolio.”

Previously, Sabia served as chief marketing officer for the company’s beer vertical, a role he has held since 2009.

Repsly Hires Peter Billante As Chief Product Officer

Marketing software provider Repsly has appointed Peter Billante as its chief product officer, and will lead both the company’s software and marketing teams.

“Repsly has been on the fast track for growth for several quarters now, and we’re thrilled to build on that momentum by having Pete’s product innovation skills and tactical leadership capabilities”, said Mat Brogie, Repsly’s CEO. “Pete’s track record at multiple high-growth companies is the perfect complement to the rapid acceleration Repsly is experiencing right now.”

Billante has spent 25 years in the software industry, most recently serving as senior manager and head of marketing for Autodesk’s BIM 360 product.

Accruit Appoints Larry Drury As Marketing Lead

Financial technology firm Accruit has hired Larry Drury to lead the company’s growth marketing efforts.

“We are pleased to have Larry join us as we enhance our marketing capabilities and chart the next chapter of growth for Accruit,” said Accruit CEO Brent Abrahm. “Larry is initially focused on marketing efforts related to our most recent acquisition, PaySAFE, a service that helps buyers and sellers confidently complete financial transactions.”

Drury most recently served as chief marketing officer at Vantiv, and prior to that worked at First Data, again as CMO.

Kimberly-Clark Names Giusy Buonfantino Chief Marketing Officer

Consumer packaged goods conglomerate Kimberly-Clark has appointed Giusy Buonfantino to the role of chief marketing officer.

“Giusy has a tremendous track record in brand building, product innovation and customer development, and her insight on consumers has helped us to build our trusted brands across multiple categories,” said Palmer. “In the role of chief marketing officer, Giusy is well positioned to lead our global marketing organization and drive enduring and profitable share growth.”

Buonfantino has been with Kimberly-Clark since 2011, first joining as vice president of global adult and feminine care brands.

Sundial Brands Appoints Kimberly Evans Paige Chief Operating And Brand-Building Officer

Skin- and hair-care manufacturer Sundial Brands has created the position of chief operating and brand-building officer, tapping Kimberly Evans Paige to fill the role.

“As we continue to experience and plan for future robust growth, it became clear that we needed to create a role that would help ensure that we are appropriately positioned and resourced for our next phase,” Richelieu Dennis, Sundial Brands executive chairman. “It was even more clear to us that the right partner to help scale the work we have done is Kimberly Paige. Her unique combination of analytical and creative prowess, cultural sensibilities and her passion for people and purpose-driven companies make her a natural fit for Sundial.”

Paige joins the company from Coty, another cosmetic company, where she served as chief marketing officer. Hires Sam Day As Chief Marketing Officer

Financial services website has brought on Sam Day as chief marketing officer, following the departure of previous CMO Paul Troy.

“Sam has a proven track record for delivering successful and profitable marketing strategies and his appointment is critical to our success for communicating that is the place for drivers to save money on motoring,” Louise O’Shea,’s CEO, said to The Drum“We’ve planned our route, we know where we’re going, and Sam’s appointment will strengthen our leadership team and help us to win the race.”

Day most recently served as director of customer acquisition for RAC, an insurance firm.

Interstate Hotels And Resorts Appoints Mike Wylie Head Of E-Commerce

Hotel management firm Interstate has hired Mike Wylie as its head of e-commerce, seeking to expand its digital presence.

“Hiring thought leaders such as Mike is a crucial strategy to give us a competitive advantage,” said Mike Deitemeyer, president and CEO of Interstate Hotels and Resorts. “With 20-years in digital marketing, his experience will propel us ahead of the industry, driving innovative growth and impacting global distribution.”

Wylie most recently worked at Standing Dog Initiative, a digital marketing agency.

Viacom Names Pamela Kaufman President Of Global Consumer Products 

Currently Nickelodeon’s chief marketing officer, Pamela Kaufman is being promoted to the role of president of global consumer products, where she will oversee Viacom’s conglomerate of media brands’ licensing and merchandising operations.

“Expanding and diversifying our consumer products businesses around the world is a key strategic initiative that will help drive Viacom’s future growth,” said Bob Bakish, Vicaom’s CEO. “The exceptional leadership and vision Pam has demonstrated at Nickelodeon make her a natural fit for this exciting new position, and her appointment will accelerate our efforts in building this important global business.”

Kaufman, in addition to serving as CMO for Nickelodeon, worked as president of consumer products as well.

NCC Media Appoints Nicolle Pangis President And CEO

Comcast, Cox and Turner have collectively announced the appointment of Nicolle Pangis as president and CEO of its joint media sales firm NCC Media. In the role, Pangis will oversee the company’s efforts to grow its roster of brand partnerships.

“NCC has an excellent reputation in the linear ad space, and will now extend that leadership position into the advanced ad business,” said David Kline, executive vice president and president of media sales at Charter Communications. “Nicolle, now armed with premium multi-screen television content, great viewership insights and the scale required to deliver on advertisers needs combined with her past experiences in programmatic digital is the perfect combination needed to drive NCC to great heights.”

Prior to joining NCC Media, Pangis served as global chief operating officer at GroupM’s data unification initiative, [m] PLATFORM.

Barnaby Dawe Retires As Just Eat’s Chief Marketing Officer

After three years at the helm of Just Eat’s marketing department, Barnaby Dawe has announced his departure from the company.

“Barnaby has transformed the Just Eat brand and our approach to marketing, enabling us to become the category-leading company we are today,”  a company spokesperson told The Drum.

Before his tenure at Just Eat, Dawe worked with such brands as Harper Collins, News UK and Turner.

Job Vacancies 

VP, Partner Marketing  Pandora Oakland, CA
Head of Global Product Marketing Jagex Cambridge, United Kingdom
Head of Partner Marketing, UK Netflix London, United Kingdom
VP, Marketing Disney New York, NY
VP, Product Marketing Salesforce San Francisco, CA
Brand Marketing Manager Foot Locker New York, NY

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

Netflix Passes Comcast in Market Value, Inches Closer To Disney

Originally published at VideoInk.

Netflix is now worth more than Comcast. The streamer blew past the cable provider in market value yesterday, signaling another milestone for the streaming industry as it continues to successfully compete with Pay-TV.  Currently, the company’s market cap is around $149 billion while Comcast is sitting at $147 billion. Netflix’s next target is Disney, which leads the three companies with a market cap of $153 billion.

Netflix’s stock has gone up more than 70 percent since January. Confidence in the streamer is generated partly by its ability to create and acquire successful original content like “Stranger Things,” “Black Mirror,” “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and animated comedy “BoJack Horseman.”  This growing library of original content has been key to attracting and retaining subscribers. In order to keep up with the demand, Netflix plans to spend $8 billion on original projects this year, producing a mix of approximately 700 movies and “TV” series.

Netflix’s ultimate goal is for its original content to make up at least 50 percent of its library. In September 2016, Netflix’s CFO, David Wells, said the company was “one-third to halfway” there. Netflix executives feel there is greater opportunity (and safety) in the company owning its content, rather than licensing. One of the concerns is that as more companies launch OTT services they will no longer want their content (or at least the good stuff) streaming on rival platforms. This has already been the case with Disney. The multimedia conglomerate plans to launch a Disney-branded service in 2019, when it will also remove its content from Netflix.

With Disney having rights to blockbuster hits like Marvel’s Avengers, “Star Wars,” “Coco,” and its long list of classic and current cartoons, Netflix isn’t going to be looking as attractive for some, especially those who turn to the service for its licensed content. A recent study conducted by 7Park Data suggested that it’s actually licensed titles like TV show reruns that form the core of the company’s streaming business. The study found that 80 percent of Netflix US viewing is from licensed content with 20 percent from original shows.

Lean Cuisine’s #ItAll Campaign Goes An Unexpected Direction

Lean Cuisine asked women on Twitter what “having it all” means to them. Last week, Lean Cuisine launched a new campaign called “It All” that claims that women set higher goals for themselves when they are in the presence of other women. Participants were asked to take a survey about what they wanted in life from categories including family, career, finances, health, education and others.

The diet frozen food brand then invited the same women to a mock store, where, in the presence of female friends or family, were asked to select life goals off a shelf as if they were grocery shopping. Lean Cuisine claims that 89 percent of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women, and 77 percent chose greater aspirations in the aspects of life they deemed most important.

Lean Cuisine took its campaign to Twitter with a promoted Tweet of the video and invited women to share their views on “having it all” with the #ItAll hashtag.

While many users responded positively, it appears the #ItAll campaign struck a nerve for some consumers who felt that the feminist message of the campaign was not sincere coming from a weight loss brand.

“Having #ItAll means not having diet food directly targeted at me because I’m a woman,” wrote one Twitter user. “What year is it again?”

“This isn’t empowering—it’s demeaning and insulting. Go back to your marketing team and try again,” wrote another.

Others questioned the brand for targeting only women with the campaign.

“How about not being asked about having it all. You know, like men,” one angry user responded.

Not all responses were angry, however. Some Twitter users expressed gratitude for the brand’s role in their life, praising Lean Cuisine for its lower calories and price.

Interestingly, several Twitter users called out Lean Cuisine for attempting to get “free marketing” with the hashtag, even though the campaign used a promoted Tweet.

Amid the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, an increasing number of brands have responded with campaigns centered around female empowerment and the body image revolution. Lean Cuisine’s #ItAll campaign may give some marketers pause before jumping in on the trend.

Effie Index: Pepsi Wins Most Effective Brand, Unilever Most Effective Marketers

The over 45 separate global Effie Awards competitions have concluded, and with their decisions comes the eighth annual Effie Index, ranking the most effective marketers and brands of the last year.

“Despite a rapidly changing landscape, Effie winners continue to create exceptional work, deliver results in all forms and drive growth for their businesses,” said Traci Alford, president and CEO of Effie Worldwide, in a statement. “The top ranked teams represent the very best of our industry, and we offer them our sincerest congratulations.”

Unilever won big this year, taking home the gold as Effie’s most effective global marketer. The consumer packaged good conglomerate won first prize five times since 2011, meaning that throughout the history of Effie Effectiveness awards Unilever has been in first place more often than not.

PepsiCo took second prize, a significant jump from last year’s showing of fifth place. According to Effie, the gain came mostly from its campaigns in Latin America, over any major improvement in its US marketing. Nestle and Coca-Cola took third and fourth place, respectively, and Mars broke into the top five for the first time in the competition’s history.

“Global FMCG companies continue their dominance of the most effective marketer ranking. Procter & Gamble ranks six—falling out of the top five for the first time since 2011,” the organization stated in its announcement. “Global brewers AB InBev and Heineken, along with McDonald’s and mobile phone leader Vodafone round out the Top 10.

In the category of Effie’s most effective brands, Pepsi and Coca-Cola appear again in the top five.

“Pepsi moves up three spots to replace Vodafone as the most effective global brand in 2018. Consistently ranked in the top five since 2011, it is the first time that Pepsi holds the top spot,” the organization stated.

McDonalds and Coca-Cola switched places for the second and third position, respectively, and Vodaphone dropped to number four. Spanish mobile phone operator Movistar remained in fifth place, its position from last year.

“A diverse range of industry sectors continue to populate the top 10,” Effie stated. “Technology giant IBM, along with Chevrolet, MasterCard and fast food leaders KFC and Burger King all rank in the top 10. They are joined by two Colombian beverage brands—Poker from Bavaria Brewery and Sr. Toronjo from Postobón.”

The Effie Effectiveness Index is sourced from the more than forty Effie Award competitions held during the 2017 calendar year, awarding points based on what prizes brands and marketers won for their work. For instance, a Platinum-level winner is awarded 12 points, while an unawarded Finalist is granted just two.

KFC Wants You To Bask In The Sun With A Pool Floatie-Sized Colonel

KFC has long been on the cutting edge of “out there” marketing activations, and its Memorial Day weekend strategy is no different from its policy of being very, very different. Enter the KFC Colonel floatie.

“In our marketing programs, we like to find places for KFC to show up in unexpected ways, whether that’s through the use of technology, pop culture moments or unique products and experiences,” said Andrea Zahumensky, KFC’s US chief marketing officer, to AListDaily.

The poultry-based restaurant is hosting a giveaway in which a few hundred fans can win a larger-than-life inflatable reclining Colonel Sanders for their pool, pond, lake or any other body of water they wish to plop a debonair Southern gentleman into.

“The best things in life are free. Like air, which you can use to fill this Colonel Sanders Floatie, which could also be yours for free,” the sweepstakes entry form reads. “Unless we run out. In which case, please accept our free apology.”

The KFC Colonel floatie exists to promote the company’s summer theme of “extra crispy,” paired with the launch of the Extra Crispy chicken sandwich last month.

“We saw that the over-the-top pool float trend was taking over social media and thought it would fit perfectly,” said Zahumensky in a statement. “Summer is about making fun memories, and what better way to do that than drifting on the water in the arms of the one and only Colonel Sanders?”

The activation focuses heavily on generating organic social reach, as the floaties will not be sold outside of the giveaway, keeping the product scarce and coming out ahead of a rising trend.

“Our goal was to provide something fun and relatable that’s authentic to our brand,” Zahumensky said. “We want our customers to build an affinity and connection for KFC that they share with friends and family.”

To help social spread, KFC is also partnering with Snapchat to release an augmented reality World Lens featuring their “Extra Crispy” Colonel, and will release a second batch of KFC Colonel floaties for lucky Lens users.

The floatie was originally featured in a TV spot introducing KFC’s Extra Crispy Colonel, “famously tanned actor” George Hamilton.

Gamers Spent $9B In April; ‘Fortnite’ And ‘God of War’ Top The Charts

Consumers spent $9.09 billion globally on digital video games in April, an increase of 23 percent year-over-year (YoY) according to the latest figures by SuperData Research.

Console and mobile digital game revenue were the primary drivers of growth in April, according to SuperData, offsetting relatively flat growth on other platforms.

Epic Stays In The Fight

Fortnite not only continues to thrive in the Battle Royale genre, but it broke another record last month. The popular title earned $296 million in April across Console, PC and Mobile, compared to $223 million in March.

Once again, Fortnite: Battle Royale was the top-earning game in the console category for digital game revenue.

The rise of Fortnite is good news for Epic Games, but Rock Star is feeling the pinch as players shift their attention away from Grand Theft Auto V. After an amazing streak of 12 consecutive months with YoY growth, GTAV Online declined nine percent YoY in April. The loss of player attention may not all be attributed to Fortnite, however. SuperData noted a “dearth of significant content updates” from Rockstar may also be attributing to the game’s slow decline.

Either way, Grand Theft Auto V slipped one spot on the digital console charts down to number six.

Sony Slays Records

God of War sold an estimated 2.1 million digital units at launch in April, becoming the largest console exclusive digital launch to date. To put things into perspective, God of War sold more than double that of the second-largest Sony exclusive launch, Uncharted 4.

Sony’s monster-slaying, father and son epic took home the number two spot for digital console revenue in April, bumping Far Cry 5 down to number five.

Tencent Maintains Its Honour

Honour of Kings is the top-grossing mobile title in the world, having earned another $185 million in April. The MOBA generated its highest month to date in April, up from $171 million in March and $149 million a year ago.

Tencent’s mobile mogul continues to defend its top spot on the digital revenue charts month after month.

With The Pint Shop, Target Helps The Museum Of Ice Cream Dive Into Retail

After more or less single-handedly inventing the concept of the “Instagram museum,” the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) has set its sights on shaking up a different experience: grocery shopping. Partnering with Target to launch The Pint Shop, the MOIC offers a pastel pink, social-friendly take on frozen food aisles, stocked with an original line of ice cream to boot.

“I set out to create The Pint Shop as a place where you can curate your own experience to share in real life, and among your peers,” said Maryellis Bunn, the Museum of Ice Cream’s founder and creative director, in a statement.

The new experience in New York hopes to unite the success of the Museum of Ice Cream’s original with traditional retail commerce, serving as a limited-time exclusive source of MOIC’s original ice cream line. Target has partnered with the museum to stock its ice cream line nationwide as well as exclusive MOIC merchandise.

“Target x Museum of Ice Cream has a three-part partnership,” the store’s website reads. “The partnership includes: a limited-edition kids’ apparel and accessories collection within Target’s exclusive kids brand, Art Class, a line of Museum of Ice Cream ice cream sold for the first time at a retailer and the sponsorship of Museum of Ice Cream’s newest concept.”

The Pint Shop won’t limit itself to its decorations and inventory, however. Much like the Brandless Pop-up with Purpose, MOIC hopes to draw in repeat visitors once the novelty has worn off with exclusive ice cream tastings and community events.

“Each week at The Pint Shop, MOIC will host Pint Sessions, a series of interactive workshops based on our mission of imagination and creativity,” the store’s website promises. “We’ll enlist key MOIC team members and social influencers to host playful, creative and hands-on workshops around key Pint Shop pillars: imagination, storytelling, innovation, community and motivation.”

Overall, the premise behind the pop-up is fairly straightforward. As the site says: “We sell ice cream and supporting ice cream accessories.”

CMOs Are Moving Beyond Traditional Roles But Lack Confidence, Study Finds

Chief marketing officers are taking on more roles within the company but lack confidence in their ability to achieve success outside of storytelling.

A joint study by CMO Council and Deloitte called “CMOs and the Spark to Drive Growth” asserts that the role of chief marketing officer may shift from brand-builder and experience-orchestrator into an executive who directs and drives long-term, sustainable growth. The study findings are based on a Q1 and Q2 2018 online survey completed by 191 marketing leaders.

Today’s chief marketing officers are trying to do it all, the study found, with 70 percent of marketers feeling prepared to impact revenue gains and brand valuations in the coming year. Marketers are not as confident in areas like gross margins or market share, however, with CMOs exhibiting a readiness at just 20 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

While the study expresses opportunities for success for CMOs that influence areas throughout the company, the sentiment comes with a warning—be ambitious, but don’t forget the customer.

“What we hear from our CMO clients is that they are attempting to tackle some of their organizations’ toughest challenges, sometimes losing sight of keeping the customer at the center of it all,” Sheryl Jacobson, principal of Deloitte Consulting said in a statement. “For the CMO to be effective, they have to keep the customer at the center of every conversation and figure out solutions that will drive growth. But then translate the strategy into the languages of their C-suite peers.”

In fact, the study found a disconnection between marketers and other company leaders that drive the customer experience.

When asked to identify their marketing strategy and growth allies, only 29 percent consider the COO to be an ally today and 28 percent named the head of product. Only 14 percent said that they connect with heads of service and support.

While 31 percent of respondents claim their organizational allies to be locked on and supportive of marketing strategies and goals, 26 percent said that allies within the company are too busy focusing on their own strategies. Three percent said that alignment with marketing strategies are good, but fall apart at the point of execution.

The answer, CMO Council and Deloitte say, lies in matching up the customer’s vision of need and value with the business’ definition of growth and success.

“It will likely demand that marketers become cultural change agents, sparking innovation in how teams, technologies and touchpoints converge,” the study predicts.

Just 18 percent of respondents said they are poised to reach intended growth rates, and nearly half—46 percent—said they are “fairly well positioned” to succeed. Overall confidence is good, but shaky, with 30 percent saying that success is likely, but not guaranteed and three percent saying they are starting to lose ground. Another three percent said that without change, intended growth rate success is unlikely.

Sephora Wants To Provide Safe Spaces For The Trans Community With New Program

While beauty brands like Fenty have made significant inroads in inclusivity for people of color and other marginalized groups, the industry has not given the same attention to transgender and nonbinary makeup users. With its “Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community” addition to its Classes for Confidence program, Sephora hopes to reverse this, providing safe spaces and support for non-cisgender (those whose gender identity corresponds to their birth sex) people.

“We encourage bold choices in beauty and in life, and Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community is a wonderful example of our purpose coming to life,” Corrie Conrad, head of social impact and sustainability for Sephora, told AListDaily. “We saw a real opportunity, with our Classes for Confidence program, to demonstrate our stance as an ally of all people, and to help inspire confidence in those facing major life transitions.”

Consisting of free ninety-minute seminars taught by Sephora store instructors, “some of whom have their own personal gender journey,” the Classes for Confidence promise safe community spaces and practical skincare and makeup application tips for all attendees.

“We conducted interviews with [LGBTQA] group leaders and engaged their members in focus groups to determine what they wanted in the class content,” Conrad added. “Plus, we asked both our employees and community partners what we need to include in terms of sensitivity training to best serve this audience.”

In addition to in-store tutorials, Sephora promises to post a series video how-tos by transgender beauty advisors on its YouTube channel for those who either cannot or choose not to attend in-person seminars.

Previous entries into the Classes for Confidence series include makeup tips for women re-entering the workforce, either after bouts of joblessness or even homelessness. According to the company, the program has hosted over 850 classes, reaching more than 8000 people, of whom 78 percent reported an increase in confidence afterward.

“Our goal is to reach 100,000 people by 2020,” Conrad declared.

Additionally, the Sephora Stands project will partner with transgender and non-binary community organizations to host pride parades and other LGBTQA events, though it did not specify exactly what these partnerships would consist of.

“We believe that beauty is yours to define and ours to celebrate,” Conrad said. “The transgender & non-binary community is absolutely a beloved part of our client base.”