“It’s My Super Bowl”: Takeaways For Marketers From E3 2018

E3 continues to be the largest video gaming event of the year, and with 60,000 consumers walking the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center this week, marketers have had ample opportunity to test and reflect on its place in their marketing mix.

E3 is big deal for us. As I like to tell the company, it’s like my Super Bowl,” said Mike Domaguing, vice president of marketing at Survios, to AListDaily. “This is a great pulpit for communication.”

Widening The Net

For Survios, E3’s size and mass appeal has allowed the company to take a variety of tacks in marketing its diverse slate of products, all in the same space and timeframe, for a heterogeneous audience.

We have events all the way from Monday through Thursday,” Domaguing said. “On Monday night, we showcased Electronauts over at the Facebook Gaming party, and Tuesday through Thursday, we’re going to be at the Sony booth showcasing Creed, as well as our own booth over at IndieCade in West Hall, for Creed as well. And on Wednesday night is our third annual after-party, and that will be a spectacle on its own, ranging from DJ’ing on top of mirrored buses to showcasing our virtual reality arcade.”

Facebook Gaming likewise took on a variegated set of goals for its presence at E3, ranging from improving representation to contacting representatives.

Our themes are advancing our Women in Gaming initiative. Secondarily, reaching out to creator community, inviting them to learn more about how the Facebook platform can help themselves build communities. Third, it’s about our relationships with developers and how we can provide them with the business tools they need to be successful,” said Rick Kelly, vice president of global gaming for Facebook, to AListDaily.

According to Kelly, part of the show’s increasing consumer appeal is coming from increased gendered egalitarianism, both among developers and players. At the show this year, Facebook partnered with the ESA to help spread awareness and support for women in gaming, letting female developers and players share their stories at a special booth on the show floor.

“One of the key trends we saw last year was that 33 percent of all mentions of games in advance of E3 were made by women,” Kelly added. “But this year, it’s 39. What we’re seeing is that a lot of the initiatives we and our fellow players in the industry [are doing] are advancing women in gaming.”

More People, More Problems

For Funko, however, E3’s changes are making it more like other comic and fan conventions around America.

“We are here in the same way we exhibit at a lot of Comic-Cons like San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con,” Mark Robben, head of marketing for Funko, told AListDaily. “The key takeaways are always the same at a lot of these shows.”

Though they appeared at E3 for the first time this year, the show held few surprises for the geek convention-focused collectible manufacturer.

It’s always fun to go back to the office and think about why that one piece really resonated with fans. How do we make it a smoother experience? How can we make the booth bigger, more impactful; how can we make a bigger statement next year?” Robben said. “A lot of that is just logistics, just in terms of how we make sure that fans have a decent experience.”

Logistical issues played a major role in stressing marketers this year as well: even with the long lead time brands get for the show, some aspects of setting up a physical presence tend to come down to the wire.

“We’ve had a lot of obstacles,” Domaguing said, “ranging from working with vendors, trying to get certain items in time to making sure people understand how VR plays with the press, and our team just dealing with the stress.”

Austin Malcolm, public relations director for Gearbox, faced similar issues.

“The A/C wasn’t on, which we don’t mind, but all of our walls are based off of vinyl, so if it gets too hot it can kind of peel away. So it was really fun, trying to figure out how we we’re gonna fix that,” Malcolm told AListDaily. “That was the main obstacle, getting things set up. You just have to be fluid about it. If you have too much of a plan and it goes off-course, you just gotta steer it right back on.”

E3 As Inspiration

Just important as reaching consumers, influencers and press is, E3 also serves as a chance for marketers to take a look not just at what products their fellow brands have in store, but how they’re raising their game to promote them, pushing for more impressive show presences in the future.

“We thought our booth was really cool, but we were looking at other things and thinking ‘I can do that, I want to go bigger,'” Malcolm said. “Bigger and better is what we learned from this year.”

You see some of these booths around here that are amazing, it’s pretty inspiring,” Robben added. “I want to have a giant booth like Fortnite does. I want to do some fun stuff, I’d like to sell some more exclusives. This has been a fun test, this is version one, but I definitely think we can do more and push the limits next year.”

Epic Games’ Fortnite served as inspiration for Gearbox as well: “I think the Fortnite booth is super cool, they have a lot of fun interactions for both consumers and press,” Malcolm stated. “That’s been a theme, how can you get them to interact with your booth that’s not just providing demos. There’s a lot of people here, and it takes a lot of time to play through the demos themselves, so what other things are they doing to make the consumer feel engaged—giving away things, selling merchandise, having photo opportunities?”

But as simple as selling exclusive merchandise may seem, it too can carry some problems, especially with a medium as fan-driven as video games.

“Determining what exclusives to sell is always a challenge,” Robben said. “You don’t want to make it something that fans are going to be upset about because they can’t get it, but you also don’t want to make it too niche so that nobody cares about it. It’s always a challenge to find out the right opportunity for exclusives, and something fans are going to want but not drive people crazy in the hunt for it.”


Cannes Lions Behind-The-Scenes: Havas’ Marc Maleh

The Lion for Creative Data is awarded to marketing teams for work that creates harmony between data and ideas. This year at Cannes Lions, the Creative Data category’s jury president is Marc Maleh, global director of Havas. Maleh joined AListDaily to talk about how data is driving conversation this year and why the unknown is so exciting.

This will be the second time Maleh attends Cannes Lions, the first being two years ago when he served as a Creative Data juror. “It’s a lot of work but it’s an honor,” he told AListDaily.

For Maleh, his favorite part of attending the creative festival is becoming a vessel for ideas that can be carried home with him.

“One of the most important things about [attending Cannes Lions] is the information that you gather and the memories that you get that you share with your team,” said Maleh. “Not everyone gets to go. We’re always in these bubbles whether that’s an industry or clients you work with or city you live in and there’s so much amazing work out there. For me, it’s all about taking all that information and sharing it with people who didn’t have the benefit of being there to get inspired by all the awesome work.

How does your experience inform your judging and voting?

Most of the work I’ve done is closer to product work as opposed to more traditional marketing. I come from a technology background so I want [to see] work that is thought through in a way that is not advertising. Data has been used in media forever, basically, and now I think it’s exciting that you have all these systems and data [that] can now be an ingredient in product development and continues to be an ingredient in media. What I look for is how they’re being used. How are they being used to impact an overall customer experience?

I [also] look for things that are leaving the advertising world. Exciting [campaigns] for me are when people outside the advertising industry know about the work, and not because they saw a TV commercial. To me, that is really awesome. It really shouldn’t be something that was only in the advertising world.

How do you think the marketing industry perceives itself in 2018?

I think the industry has changed a little bit and is a little more sensitive as to how it communicates with consumers about the use of data. I think there’s going to be a lot of discussion at Cannes about data in general primarily because of everything that is going on in the world like GDPR. Net neutrality is probably going to be a topic of discussion, [as well as] what’s going on with Facebook.

All of those things have a very direct impact, for obvious reasons, on the advertising industry, but they also have a direct impact on ethics and the morality of how we advertise and use data to make better products for our consumers.

Ethics and morality—specifically with the use of data— should be a big part of some of the conversations and even the way you look at the work being judged.

What are you most excited for in the coming years?

To me, coming from a technology background, what’s exciting to me is the unknown. These new interfaces have been popping up over the past couple of years, like voice and well before that, mobile in general. Now you see data and AI and all the systems out there and the notion of new types of interfaces is really interesting and exciting to me. Especially now with such deep commitments from the phone manufacturers, what’s exciting to me is how this business is always changing the way we’re interacting with consumers.

Last year chatbots were a big trend, voice continues to be a trend . . . the more things change, the more talent in the industry needs to learn and pivot the way they work. After all, how do you concept for things that aren’t even here yet if you’re a strategist?

Cannes Lions Behind-The-Scenes: McCann Worldgroup’s Rob Reilly

The Lion for Brand Experience and Activation is awarded to marketing teams for work that builds a brand through “next-level” use of experience design, activation, immersive, retail and 360 customer engagement. This year at Cannes Lions, the category’s jury president is Rob Reilly, global creative chairman at McCann Worldgroup. Reilly joined AListDaily to talk about how great campaigns translate into any language and why marketers fight for their jobs every day.

Reilly says he has attended Cannes Lions “around seven” times, and things have certainly changed since the first time.

“Back in the early 2000s, Cannes wasn’t really a thing for the American agencies,” Reilly told AListDaily. “Only in the last decade has it become the show for US agencies. When I worked at Crispin [Porter + Bogusky], we were the small agency—a great agency that won a lot of awards—but we didn’t talk to a lot of press and didn’t have a lot of things to do. Now it’s a big thing when you work at a network agency because people from around the world are there and you’re meeting a lot of people and multinational clients.”

As a juror, Reilly’s schedule has freed up in some ways, but in others, he works even more while at the festival.

“When you’re judging it’s good and bad,” he said. “The good is, you’re not in meetings with people all week long. The bad is that you’re in a dark room with people all week long. There’s no having too much fun in Cannes these days, there’s too much work (laughs).”

McCann Workgroup certainly keeps busy, with offices in 120 countries. Last year, the agency gained worldwide attention (and 18 Lions) for its “Fearless Girl” statue on Wall Street.

How has the nature of your work changed in the last five years?

The best ideas continue to win—that’s the constant that remains, although the ideas are different. Decades ago, television and print were “the things” and 10 years ago, [it was] integrated campaigns. Now it’s a lot about innovation and frankly, things like direct marketing, activations and experiential are just as important and valued as film. The nature of our business is so multiplatform now compared to the past but what remains constant is that usually, the best ideas end up rising to the top.

I think that’s the great thing about award shows—those ideas that transcend different geographies and cultures to end up winning the Grand Prix or Gold and really stand above the others because they translate everywhere. Fearless Girl translated in the US obviously but it translated in China and Australia and Russia—you feel you’ve really done your job when those ideas travel.

The world chooses the best ideas—we just validate them at Cannes.

How do you think the marketing industry sees itself in 2018?

I think marketing is so valuable these days. Brands are accepted into people’s lives more and more. The flip side is that people expect a lot more out of brands, so you’d better be innovative, transparent, do right by the environment, etc. Brands have a real opportunity to be meaningful in people’s lives and need to be. It doesn’t have to be philanthropic or mutually exclusive to making money, either. People don’t mind if a brand makes money if they’re doing the right thing. It’s an awesome time to be a brand and to be a marketing partner to a brand because the value of them in peoples’ lives is becoming higher.

Where do you think marketing is headed in the coming years?

I think brands have to have a purpose and tell people about it. Ads [need to] have actions that reflect and deliver on that purpose. Data-informed advertising, programmatic, all that stuff is going to become more and more invaluable because why wouldn’t you want to be sharper [about] who you want to reach? The need to break through is going to continue to be important because there are less and less marketing dollars and more and more ways to reach consumers in a crowded marketplace. I think we’re at a time where every sector is realizing, “Wow, we need to go for it. We can’t just sit on the sidelines.”

I don’t see competition in other agencies, I want everyone to succeed. The competition [comes from] convincing CEOs and boards of companies to invest more in marketing and believe that what we’re doing is valuable. I think we’re going to have to continue to prove our value and prove marketing’s value. That’s the fight we have in front of us for the next foreseeable future.

I think that’s the fight we’re going to be fighting—not just as an agency—but as an industry. [Marketing is] the easiest thing to cut when a brand invests in technology and not storytelling.

Journalists, Influencers And Consumers: Reaching The Right Groups At E3 2018

With 60,000 extra potential customers filing into the Los Angeles convention center alongside flocks of game developers, influencers and members of the traditional press, marketers at E3 2018 have found themselves with a wide swath of communication options, each with their own needs and tactics.

Reaching The Masses

Gaming and geeky collectible manufacturer Funko made its first-ever appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition this year, partnering with GameStop to open a pop-up storefront selling their ever-popular Pop! figurines, including several produced specifically for the event and select GameStop locations.

“It’s something we’ve thought about for a long time. We are normally at a lot of the big big shows, but we have a really healthy and concerted video game business,” Mark Robben, Funko’s head of marketing, told AListDaily. “GameStop is a major partner of ours—we do a lot of exclusives and a lot of video game related figures and plushes with GameStop—so it just made sense to find that video game audience.”

With streams of general consumers walking the show floor, this year’s E3 played more along the lines of consumer-focused shows such as Gamescom and Comic-Con, according to Funko.

“We are here in the same way we exhibit at a lot of Comic-Cons like SDCC and NYCC,” Robben added, “but we wanted to come here and partner with GameStop and focus on video game related product, because E3 is a perfect fit for that.”

But even with long lines, quickly sold-out exclusive figurines, Robben was quick to point out that its goals aren’t limited just to sales figures.

“A lot of it is going to be wrapped up in sales, but obviously the chatter online too. What do fans think? Do they like the exclusives? Are they excited about them? Are people happy that we’re here at E3?” Robben asked. “Some of it’s quantitative, in terms of sales, and some of its qualitative, in terms of customer feedback.”

Like Funko, virtual reality developer Survios aspired to more than just hitting sales targets. As the company handles a wide variety of products and service, from a VR arcade to a licensed Creed boxing game to Electronauts, its music-making experience, its target audience is broadening just as E3’s is as well.

“At the end of the day we’re trying to bring VR to the masses,” said Mike Domaguing, vice president of marketing for Survios, to AListDaily. “We are are here really to play in the places where the mainstream understands or gets their news. And for us, E3 is that place.”

Influencing Influencers

But Survios isn’t just targeting the general consumer. To reach its disjointed target audience of industry insiders, journalists and influencers, Survios implemented a less centralized presence at E3 than heavyweights like Ubisoft and Activision. In addition to the standard gameplay demos so prevalent at shows like these, the company offered discounts to its VR arcade for non-adopters of the expensive technology.

Outside of the show floor, Survios made appearances at several events on the periphery of E3, hosting its own spectacle of a party, as well as appearing at another for Facebook Games, to reach media and industry insiders as well as the show’s growing influencer presence.

In terms of what we look for for success, there are a few things. The first one is how many consumers did we touch? How many people demoed? Second, we look for press visits, and that also means subsequent press hits. And third, we go award-hunting,”said Domaguing. “But finally, it’s about how much content gets created social-media-wise. How many hashtags did Creed get on, and how about that virality that we always talk about as marketers?”

Influencers are becoming just as vital to E3 marketers as the traditional press traditionally has been, according to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella: “Companies are shifting focus so they’re talking to those people as much as they’re talking to traditional press outlets.”

Facebook Gaming has pivoted its focus for E3 2018 to capture this growing segment on the E3 show floor.

“We’re really focused this year on the community of creators and influencers,” Rick Kelly, vice president of global gaming for Facebook, told AListDaily. “Where in years past we maybe had Oculus take the lead, this year we’re really focused on the community—fostering an environment for creators to communicate with their constituents and really develop a relationship long-term with these folks.”

According to Kelly, Facebook’s social-friendly activations at E3 this year, from neon emoji signs to a mirrored wall letting consumers create unorthodox Instagram Boomerangs, are targeted toward a very specific segment of E3 attendees.

We wanted to let the world know that we’re open for business when it comes to bringing creators onto the platform” Kelly said. “We haven’t focused too much on the consumer aspect of it, it’s more been around either the community of creators or some of the developers themselves, as we’ve tried to showcase some of our new products.”

Traditional Media, Traditional Tactics

While the influx of ordinary consumers and influencers has certainly changed companies’ tactics on the E3 show floor, the influence of traditional media has not been left by the wayside.

E3 is the biggest stage that the game industry gets for the entire year,” said Tony Key, senior vice president of marketing and consumer experience for Ubisoft, to AListDaily. “Nine of the 10 biggest press stories of the year are going to come out of that show.”

For Ubisoft, the added crowds from last year haven’t influenced the company’s tactics all that substantially.

We needed more game stations,” Key offered. “We needed a better system for getting people in line so they have to wait less time.”

The reasoning is fairly simple, according to Carter Rogers, research manager for SuperData.

They’re going to want people in the public to have a good experience,” Rogers told AListDaily, “the same as you would with someone in the press.”

For Gearbox, however, sticking to the traditional press outreach aspects of E3 has changed tactics tremendously. The publisher of We Happy Few eliminated B2C tactics from its roster entirely, focusing primarily on media coverage.

“We’re providing interviews and demo opportunities for our games,” Austin Malcolm, Gearbox’s PR manager, said to AListDailySince we’re just doing it press-focused, we didn’t have to do a big extravagant booth out on the show floor. This allows us to be a little more removed, have appointments—it’s all appointment based—and it’s away from the crowds.”

For Gearbox, the convention itself is a backdrop, offering press coverage during a time when gamers are most looking for press coverage to read. And what’s more, it’s convenient.

“This is when everyone is looking for good announcements. Everyone who wants to hear about games is tuning in, and we want to be a part of that conversation,” Malcolm added. “There’s plenty of meeting rooms all around us, so we’ve seen plenty of times before how the press will come in, have a great meeting and move on to the next room.”

While You’re Here, Why Not Come To Another Convention?

Gearbox isn’t the only company attempting to leverage the massive media and consumer presence at E3. Larger publishers such as EA, Bethesda and Microsoft have all launched their own conventions just before and nearby to the main E3 show.

Triple-A publishers are going to continue to move away from the event itself,” Rogers stated. “The big publishers are moving offsite because they can control the message and put on fan events without getting lost in the shuffle of all these other games.”

Massive fan events like EA Play and Xbox FanFest are easy to manage with massive franchises, fanbases and marketing budgets, but many smaller video game brands lack the resources and awareness to pull consumers into special satellite events.

Digital Extremes, makers of free-to-play game-as-a-service Warframe, however, are attempting to do just that.

“We’re at E3 this year to do two primary things: one is to promote our big update,” said Philip Asher, Digital Extremes’ marketing director, to AListDaily. “And also to hype up and promote and drive awareness for our big convention, Tennocon, in July.”

For a free game that’s been out for four years, maintaining community cohesion has been more important to Digital Extremes than wide-ranging one-off press coverage.

Normally, we don’t attend E3,” Asher added. “A lot of our focus goes into crafting an event that rewards those hardcore fans of Warframe.”

But as E3 itself has become more consumer- than press-facing, Asher claims that the show now more closely aligns with Digital Extremes’ community-centric approach to marketing.

“You’re seeing a lot of the big publishers showing gameplay content so people can imagine what playing the game is like,” Asher stated. “It falls in line with where Warframe‘s marketing has been going, which is livestreaming, directly talking to the community and showing gameplay. The larger events and conferences are starting to conform to that, and so we’re seeing more titles do that kind of marketing for their games.”

As large of an event as E3 is, the show’s shifting identity is causing many brands to take wildly different approaches to exposing their games to consumers, including opting out of the convention entirely.

“If you’re selling a game, the news cycle never ends now,” Piscatella summed up. “You don’t need to wait for E3 to really blow out your game.”

Consumers Get Choosy As Mobile AR Becomes More Commonplace

Mobile AR may be on the (slow) rise, but having more options make consumers more selective about which apps to try.

There are roughly 2,200 ARKit-enabled apps for iOS devices in the second quarter of 2018, compared to 1,950 in the first quarter, according to SuperData estimates made available to AListDaily.

The possibilities of mobile AR have piqued the interest of developers and consumers alike, but the marketplace is growing at a less-than-breakneck speed.

“Early excitement for the new technology brought a lot of curiosity, but with a modest addition of 250 apps since the last quarter, there aren’t many new ways to experience AR,” SuperData said in a statement.

Users accessed an average of three AR apps last year, according to SuperData Research. Now that the hype has subsided a bit, consumers have become hesitant to try every new app that gets released. In the last quarter, the average number of mobile AR apps accessed has dropped to two per user.

“App developers are also less attracted to the tech now that the hype has come down due to a lack of a clear monetization path,” added SuperData.

All is not lost for mobile AR, however. The research firm predicts a resurgence of interest later in the year, causing revenue to double over last year’s figures.

“There is still [an] opportunity for AR,” said SuperData. “Developers are dealing with a time of discovery—both for them and consumers—as they seek to understand how to best create for the tech. But this doesn’t mean times will always be tough for AR.”

Apple’s ability to develop AR tools is helping the company to give Android a run for its money. During its annual keynote, Apple unveiled ARKit 2, a new version of its AR development platform that includes multiplayer support, updated image tracking and a spectator mode, allowing a user to watch others play from a separate iOS device.

Brands are especially interested in using the technology to create interactive marketing campaigns. Recent Apple partners include Pixar, Fender and Lego. Last month, Universal released Jurassic World: Alive, which has been described as “Pokémon with dinosaurs.” This is probably a welcome comparison, considering the fact that Niantic’s 2016 monster-collecting game kickstarted the race for AR apps we see today.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: News Corp CMO Tony Phillips Departs

This week: News Corp and StarHub both lose marketing heads, AWAL appoints a new head of artist marketing and Rue 21 makes some executive changes following bankruptcy. In addition, LiveXLive appoints an interim marketing chief, Wingstop pegs a Holiday Inn and Coca-Cola veteran to lead its global marketing efforts, Kraft Heinz names a new chief marketing officer, Stitch Fix lands a Google exec as its new CMO, Uber’s marketing chief moves to Endeavor and Duolingo invests in original programming with its latest hire.

News Corp Confirms Upcoming Departure Of Tony Phillips

After serving for two and a half years, News Corp chief marketing officer Tony Phillips will exit the company at the end of 2018 to return to this hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Phillips plans to establish his own brand consultancy firm, with News Corp as his first client. Plans by NewsCorp to fill the chief marketing officer role next year have not been divulged.

“Since joining us two-and-a-half years ago, Tony has demonstrated a deep passion for our brands, a deep affection for our business and limitless creativity for re-energizing our brand positioning in the market,” said NewsCorp in a statement.

AWAL Names Michael Pukownik SVP, Head Of Artist Marketing NA

Kobalt Music’s AWAL recordings company has appointed Michael Pukownik as senior vice president and head of artist marketing for North America. Pukownik will oversee artist marketing campaigns for the AWAL line-up from its Los Angeles office and drive digital marketing strategy.  Previous to joining AWAL, Pukownik served three years as vice president of marketing at Warner Bros. Records.

StarHub Confirms Exit Of CMO, VP Of Brand Experience

Howie Lau, chief marketing officer and head of consumer business is leaving StarHub for a job in the public service sector. He first joined the company in 2015.

“StarHub has been an amazing chapter in my life and I am grateful for all the opportunities, partnerships and friendships which will last beyond the turning of pages. I am confident that StarHub will continue her transformation journey amidst the disruptions in the industry and emerge more successful than before,” said Lau.

Vice president of brand experience Oliver Chong is also leaving StarHub “with a heavy heart” and will take a marketing position with another brand. He served the company for over 18 years.

“Together with the team and our agency partners, we have grown the brand and produced many award-winning campaigns that allowed us to connect with our customers,” wrote Chong. “We have a strong foundation and I am confident that the current team of experienced and dedicated marketing professionals at StarHub will continue to build upon the brand’s success.”

Rue 21 Hires Stephen Sommers As Chief Marketing Officer

Teen apparel brand Rue 21 has appointed Stephen Sommers as senior VP and chief marketing officer. Most recently, Sommers was chief marketing officer at Vineyard Vines.

Sommers’ appointment comes at a time of renewal and executive changes for Rue 21, which exited bankruptcy in September. Rue 21 has also appointed Laurie Van Brunt to the role of chief marketing officer effective June 25. Van Brunt previously served as president of Soma Intimate for Chico’s FAS, as well as corporate vice president and director of private brand management at J. C. Penney Company.

Rue21 has named Michele Pascoe as senior VP and CFO, succeeding Stephen Coulombe who was named interim finance head in March 2018.

LiveXLive Appoints Jonathan Anastas Interim CMO

Jonathan Anastas joins digital media company LiveXLive as its interim chief marketing officer this week. In his new position, Anastas will oversee marketing activities for all operating units, including LiveXLive and Slacker Radio. Prior to his work at LiveXLive, Anastas has acted as marketing chief for TEN: a Discovery Communications Company, as well as a number of video game brands including Atari and Activision Blizzard.

Wingstop Names Maurice Cooper SVP, Chief Marketing Officer

Maurice Cooper has been appointed Wingstop’s new senior vice president and chief marketing officer. In his new role, Cooper will be responsible for overseeing the chain’s global marketing strategy and execution. Cooper brings more than 15 years of experience to Wingstop and most recently served as global vice president of Holiday Inn.

“Maurice has a strong track record of success as an award-winning marketer, as well as a business leader dedicated to consumer and franchisee satisfaction,” Charlie Morrison, chairman and CEO of Wingstop said in a statement. “As we continue to rapidly expand our footprint, Maurice will have an instrumental role in building and promoting the Wingstop brand globally.”

Kraft Heinz Appoints Karina Ong CMO For APAC Region

Karina Ong joins Kraft Heinz this week as the new chief marketing officer for the Asia Pacific region. As CMO, Ong will lead growth and spearhead long-term innovation for the brand from her location in Singapore.

Prior to joining Kraft Heinz, Ong serves as global brand development director for Pond’s and other roles under parent company Unilever. Prior to Unilever, Ong was also responsible for leading key brand and marketing teams at Johnson & Johnson and Lux Asia.

Stitch Fix Hires Deirdre Findlay As Chief Marketing Officer

Personal stylist brand Stitch Fix has appointed Deirdre Findlay its new chief marketing officer. In her new role, Findlay will lead all marketing, creative, and communications initiatives for the company. Bringing over 20 years of experience to the brand, Findlay most recently served as senior director of global hardware marketing at Google, where she oversaw marketing for Google’s home hardware products, including Google Home, Chromecast, and Google Wifi.

“Deirdre is a strategic leader with a deep understanding of what drives consumer behavior and how to connect with clients in an authentic way,” said Katrina Lake, founder and CEO of Stitch Fix. “Her blend of vision, creativity, insight, and practical experience building personal and relatable brand experiences will be a major asset to the company as we focus on defining our brand and growing the business. We’re thrilled to have her join our team

Duolingo Appoints Tim Shey Head Of Original Programming

Tim Shey joins language learning app Duolingo this week, where he will lead original content on the platform. Shey recently served as YouTube head of scripted original programming. Duolingo recently expanded its offerings to include original programming such as a documentary about refugees and a Spanish podcast.

Bozoma Saint John Joins Endeavor As CMO

After a year with the company, Bozoma Saint John has exited Uber and has been appointed chief marketing officer at voice talent agency Endeavor. Saint John’s entertainment industry connections will no doubt aide her in this new position. While her exit appeared sudden, Uber expressed gratitude when informing employees of the change.

“She has been a fantastic ambassador and evangelist for our brand, and we’re in a better place because of her vision and her work,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in an internal memo acquired by Recode.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, June 15. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

VP, Marketing Pandora Jewelry Baltimore, MD
VP Marketing Manager, Gamification JPMorgan Chase New York, NY
Chief Marketing Officer Facebook Menlo Park, CA
VP, Acquisition & Brand Marketing CBS Interactive Burbank, CA
VP, Marketing Integrated Planning  Vitamin Shoppe Secaucus, NJ
Chief Communications & Marketing Officer UCLA Health Westwood, CA

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

Cannes Lions 2018 Guide To Diversity, Inclusion and Activism

Cause marketing continues to drive the conversation at Cannes Lions this year, driving conversation about diversity, equality, helping communities and putting an end to sexual harassment. If changing the world gets you out of bed in the morning or you’re looking for a way to get started, you’re in luck—here’s where to find activism at the festival.

For more Cannes Lions events, check out our curated list.


When: Friday, June 22

Where: Everywhere in the marketing world

Hollywood is undergoing a revolution in which women draw the line against inappropriate and abusive behaviors still common today. The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements invited conversation, repercussions for offenders and caused a ripple effect through other industries and countries around the world.

Now, Cannes Lions is getting its own version of the movement—#WomenCannes—introduced by an anonymous group of self-described marketing professionals. The organization is inviting both men and women to wear black on the last day of Cannes Lions June 22. Those not at the festival are encouraged to wear black to work wherever they may be to illustrate how many qualified females are left out of Cannes Lions and show solidarity for the cause.

Women are encouraged to “roar” for their fellow lady marketers at the festival and can even wear temporary Women Cannes tattoos. (DM the organization on Instagram to get yours.)

Action! Diversity In Filmmaking: Beyond Empowerment To Execution

A discussion about why diversity and representation matters in filmmaking and how brands can foster change through mentorship and scholarship programs.

When: Thursday, June 21 from 3:00-3:45 p.m.

Where: Entertainment Stage, Palais II

Lena Waithe—AT&T Hello Lab ambassador, Emmy-award-winning writer, actor
Matt Castellanos—AT&T Hello Lab ambassador, filmmaker
Valerie Vargas—senior vice president of advertising and creative services, AT&T Mobility and Entertainment Group

Moderator: Maureen Polo—senior vice president, brand studio, Fullscreen

Marketing To Deeply Polarized Societies

Marketers are feeling the pressure to choose a side on polarizing social issues. This session explores ways to reach consumers on both sides of the issue using techniques and psychology.

When: Thursday, June 21 from 1:00-1:45 p.m.

Where: Debussy Theatre, Palais I

Kurt Anderson—author, entrepreneur, radio host
Jocelyn Kiley—director of political research, Pew Research Center
Chuck Porter—founder and chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Can We Refine Feminity With Creativity?

Hosted by CoverGirl, the session will discuss ways creators can challenge conventional assumptions about the expression of femininity, and push the boundaries of creativity by giving women the power to define it.

When: Friday, June 22 from 2:15-3:00 p.m.

Where: Lumière Theatre, Palais I

Katy Alonzo—group strategy director, Droga5
Issa Rae—CoverGirl ambassador, writer, actress
Ukonwa Ojo—senior vice president, CoverGirl

Moderator: Michelle Lee—editor-in-chief, Allure

How To Create More Gender-Inclusive Creative?

This interactive workshop explores inequality issues and outdated portrayals in marketing while offering hands-on solutions through a new framework, based on deep cultural understanding.

When: Tuesday, June 19 from 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Where: Workshop Room, Palais I

Andrew Geoghegan—global consumer planning director, Diageo
Grainne Wafer—global brand director for Bailey’s, Diageo

Young Lions Meet-up: Girl Bossing, Mischeifing, Leaning In

Open to all delegates, this gettogether highlights progress and opportunities in the female space instead of focusing on the negative, of which the world already has plenty.

When: Monday, June 18 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Where: Meet Ups Space, The Terrace

Speaker: Emily Hinks—founder, Mischief Makers

Searching For Syria: Using Technology For Good

Google, UNHCR and R/GA takes guests behind the scenes of a program that uses Google searches to educate internet users about the conflict in Syria and the resulting refugees. This talk will explore how interactive experiences and technology can be used as a force for good.

When: Monday, June 18 from 10:00-10:45 a.m.

Where: The Forum, Palais I

Andre Le Masurier—executive creative director, Google Brand Studio
James Temple—EVP and chief creative officer of EMEA, R/GA

The Death Of Masculinity And Its Impact On Creativity

A lively debate about how the “Death of Old-School Masculinity” will transform creativity and how brands message consumers, especially as the rise of gender fluidity also sweeps through society.

When: Monday, June 18 from 1:00-1:45 p.m.

Where: Lumière Theatre, Palais I

Michael Kimmel—SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities
Amy Nelson—founder, The Riveter
Violet Chachki—Drag Queen, burlesque dancer, model, TV personality

Moderator: Faith Popcorn—CEO, Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve

Meet Up: Women In The Creative Industries

Everyone is welcome to this networking event that celebrates girl power and creativity.

When: Thursday, June 21 from 10:30-11:00 a.m.

Where: Meet Ups Space, The Terrace

Speakers: Karen Kaplan—Chairman and CEO, Hill Holliday


Ever had a question about the LGBTQ+ community but were too embarrassed to ask? Submit your questions anonymously and learn more about inclusion, stereotypes and ways to support this diverse community.

When: Monday, June 18 from 4:15-5:00 p.m.

Where: Terrace Stage

Tom Trevelyan—senior account director, Havas
Tea Uglow—show pony, Google

Moderator: Laura Jordan Bambach—chief creative officer, Mr. President

Diversity—A Values Issue And Business Imperitive—Requires Bold Action

A discussion about how diversity is good for business and what companies can do about it.

When: Tuesday, June 19 from 11:00-11:45 p.m.

Where: Lumière Theatre, Palais I

Edward Enninful—editor-in-chief, British Vogue
Antonio Lucio—chief marketing officer, HP
Thandie Newton—British actress
Tiffany R. Warren—senior vice president and chief diversity officer, Omnicorp Group

Cannes Lions Behind-The-Scenes: Badger And Winters’ Madonna Badger

The Glass Lion for Change is awarded to marketing teams for work that celebrates culture-changing creativity—think “breaking the glass ceiling.” This year at Cannes Lions, the Glass category’s jury president is Madonna Badger, founder and chief creative officer for Badger and Winters. Badger joined AListDaily to talk about how the industry is changing and why putting a woman in your ad isn’t enough to create meaningful diversity.

This is the first time Badger will serve as jury president, although she has attended Cannes three times before and served on the Glass Lion for Change jury two years ago. In 2017, she introduced #WomenNotObjects, a movement that differentiates sex from objectification in advertising. Badger was moved to receive three standing ovations during her presentation.

“It was on my birthday,” Badger recalled fondly. “It was pretty amazing.”

Last year, Badger also served as the ambassador for the Cannes Lions See It Be It mentorship initiative. This time, she will be chairwoman—a role she looks forward to with great anticipation.

“I get to meet all 20 amazing young women from all over the world,” Badger said. “I love to talk to all the young people and hear what they think and where this industry is going and what’s important to them. I love hearing from my mentors and peers obviously, but there’s something really interesting [about] being engaged with young people and their viewpoint of advertising. That will be the heart and soul of Cannes for me.”

Can you tell us a bit about the voting process?

We’ve been through over 200 different entries and have gotten it down to a shortlist and then [announcing the winner] will be by live presentation this year which will be really exciting. It’s also interesting to also be on the jury with some really incredible people.

How does your experience inform your judging and voting?

The number one thing for me is that it can’t feel like a gimmick where it’s just femme washing, transgender washing pinkwashing or whatever in order to get better interest. Really, it’s just a gimmick that they didn’t put any time or energy into and didn’t have it for any length of time. Watching for the gimmick factor is something I’m very keen to in the judging process.

How has the nature of your work changed in the last five years?

Certainly, there has been an enormous change in the last five years, but the biggest change is the realization of—and addressing the fact that—women are really guiding a third of the world’s economy. That recognition by giant companies all over the world has made women not only a focal point in some instances but being treated on a more equal basis. For example, [companies are showing] more women driving cars, [using them] in voice-over and more of women’s issues being taken up by major corporations.

How do you think the marketing industry perceives itself in 2018?

Confused. It’s a very confusing time. Actually, it isn’t so much confused as changed. There is so much change afoot in terms of reaching consumers and how to talk to consumers. When you have a sea of products that have very little differentiation among them, purpose can be an incredible point of difference.

I think that empathy is really the key to change. All advertising, marketing agencies (and frankly corporations) have to deal with [the fact] that the consumer needs to be empathized with in order to really understand how to reach them where they are. There are all these new media that we have to understand and empathize with her on [including] his or her way of thinking to make sure we are part of it. And of course, then there are things like the point of difference in the product itself—here it’s made, how it’s made, etc. In this hyper-transparent world, all of those things are vital to the advertising and marketing process.

What are you most excited for in the coming years?

I’m most interested to see creative that is surprising and a little bit scary because it’s something we haven’t seen before. [It will be a] way of talking to people and reaching people that feels completely fresh and new. I think there are many industries that haven’t even begun to talk to women in any kind of meaningful way, like beer or even the beauty category—it’s still very objectifying for the most part. I think there’s room in tech and cars and everything for us to have more meaningful conversations with men and women based on a more equal and just world.

Is Your Brand Poised For Growth?

Brand loyalty is an increasingly fickle thing to keep track of in such a fast-changing media landscape, but it’s critically important to know where your brand sits competitively. These insights could help your brand identify significant acquisition opportunities that may exist or better understand the mechanisms you have to increase retention.

Understanding Your Market Position

One of the most telling ways to understand if your brand is poised for growth or vulnerable to decline within the category is to pay attention to both behavioral loyalty (actual market share based on purchase data) and attitudinal equity (consumer attitudes and perceptions toward your brand). This shows the opportunity you have to leverage attitudinal equity to grow through acquisition.

Image courtesy of GutCheck

Based on the attitudinal equity and current position in the market, Dunkin’ Donuts® has an opportunity to acquire up to 32 percent of current category purchasers from competitors, which would equate to an increase of 4.78 million new customers.

Bringing Together Big Data and Survey Learnings

Image courtesy of GutCheck

Knowing your market opportunity is a great start, but having robust survey data will provide insights on the drivers and barriers for acquiring those potential customers. For the coffee market for example, quality of the coffee is a stronger purchase consideration for competitors’ flight risks than the price point.

Image courtesy of GutCheck

Learn more about the grocery coffee category including which brands have acquisition or retention opportunities.

If you are interested in understanding what this could look like for your brand, reach out to GutCheck.

World Cup 2018: Brand And Social Media Conversations Will Dominate

When the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 14, it’s not just soccer’s finest players that will have their once-in-a-four-year moment.

Brands seeking to build global awareness see the tournament as a platform to showcase innovative marketing techniques. Just like what’s transpiring on the pitch, there are epic successes and failures. The most successful advertisers will be the ones who figure out where to target their audience.

Carlsberg in the UK nailed it in 2014. This advertisement cleverly gave viewers a real taste of pub life in England in a country where the beautiful game is revered as much as its queen.

The unforgettable Head & Shoulders ad featuring England National Team’s Joe Hart stands out as a low-point. England was unceremoniously knocked out of the World Cup early in 2014, but the advertisement continued to run, much to the chagrin of English soccer fans everywhere.

According to FIFA, the television-viewing audience comprised three billion people in 2014, while another estimated 280 million watched matches online or on a mobile device. Yes, that’s millions and billions of eyeballs to cash in on.

For the 2018 games, there’s a significant difference as this one is being touted as the first real digital World Cup.

Mobile screens on phones and tablets create huge opportunities for both brands and the watching public. Now, these platforms have become much more sophisticated. Consider Instagram Stories, which hit in 2016. In terms of the World Cup that gives brands 15 seconds max to dazzle: a goal here, a cry of joy there.

According to Mediakix, which tabulated IG stories’ one-year anniversary, its daily active user base was over 300 million, translating into: “approximately 60 percent of Instagram’s 500 million daily active users are also viewing or publishing Instagram Stories content.”

What’s The Deal With Twitter

Then there’s Twitter. The social network cut a major deal with Fox Sports in January, which will be the exclusive English-language home of the World Cup. Per the deal, Fox Sports will produce a live hosted show with top soccer personalities as invited guests that will be streamed exclusively on Twitter from Moscow’s Red Square each match day.

Fox Sports will also provide real-time video highlights to Twitter, including every goal scored, player and coach interviews and press conference coverage.

The partnership demonstrates a breakaway from the traditional broadcast model, which has been suffering. Case in point: late in 2017, ESPN laid off 150 employees due to a lowering subscriber base and rising live broadcast costs.

For Twitter, its involvement with the World Cup signals that the platform’s time has arrived for online video.

Since the 2014 event, Twitter has developed a more mature video product, with live video and video-on-demand publishing capabilities.

“One thing that is objectively unique about the World Cup is the unabashed nature of the volume of conversation that we learned back in 2014,” said Andrew Barge, head of US sports broadcast partnerships at Twitter.

The 2014 World Cup created about 672 million tweets specifically around the event, according to company research. This is a deeply engaged global audience, and video can up the ante.

Alex Josephson, head of global brand strategy at Twitter, said the platform has a concentrated audience for soccer: 53 percent of users in the US either play soccer, watch soccer or follow soccer-related personalities on the platform. And 56 percent plan to watch the World Cup despite the US failing to qualify for the tournament.

Brand-Related Conversations

Josephson said brand-related soccer conversations are up year-on-year by a clip of 17 percent. Moreover, Twitter users are accustomed to—and expect to—hear from brands during events like these.

“That really sets up an interesting opportunity combined with the fact that we’re seeing soccer-related videos shared on Twitter year on year increasing at a rate of over 140 percent,” said Josephson.

For advertisers interested in seeing how this will play out, Tom Wiesman, senior director at Analytic Partners, said in general, Twitter doesn’t necessarily work well as an everyday advertising medium. But, for events like the World Cup and news, it’s a different story, “that’s when the ROI is much, much stronger,” said Wiesman.

Advertising for the 2018 tourney has already taken a hit.

FIFA—soccer’s governing body and organizer of the World Cup—was hit by multiple corruption scandals over the last few years. These have undoubtedly tarnished its reputation and hurt the bottom line, as this may be the culprit for Sony and Emirates Airlines not re-upping as official FIFA partners, said Wiesman. However, despite losing major sponsors, overall the top tier is up to eight, from six in the last World Cup.

Analytic Partners’ research finds the biggest decline is in the second tier of the World Cup’s commercial structure. FIFA has gone from eight to five in that category—Budweiser and McDonalds are the only returning brands, and six cut ties including Johnson & Johnson and Continental.

FIFA created the National Supporter tier in 2013 to sell new regional deals, but has struggled to fill it, seeing only three out of a possible 20 local brands come on board. That, however, could simply be a matter of dollars and cents. It’s still a significant investment to make for a smaller business when you compare it to a global brand.

Upscaling for World Cup Advertising

When you look at the scale of the advertising of the global brand powerhouses it helps to put it in greater perspective.

Hyundai Motor Company inked a deal with FIFA in 1999 through 2022 as the official automotive partner. Of the nearly 20-year alliance, Hyundai Motor Marketing Personnel said it has achieved its status goal of becoming widely known as a global car brand.

Part of Hyundai’s strategy it said, is to live and breathe with its fans in various ways.

This year, it’s sponsoring the “History of Football: The Greatest Story Ever Played” with the the History Channel. The 14-day program will broadcast internationally, exploring soccer in different countries.

The brand’s new fan engagement exercise is its online hub, the Hyundai Cheering Stadium. Fans log on, select a country of choice, enter a virtual stadium and hoot, holler, cheer, alongside thousands of other fans. A live cheer counter with both the supporting and opposing team match-ups show users how many other visitors are in the stadium.

Hyundai has also partnered with other soccer legends, such as Thierry Henry and Lukas Podolski in its “Hyundai World Football Heritage” series. These videos, sitting on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, cover fan culture through the eyes of each player.

Elsewhere, it’s evident that ad spend hit astronomical proportions. Adidas forged an alliance with FIFA 1970 when it became its supplier of the official match ball. For these games, the sports gear company brings together the intersection of athletes, musicians and culture to communicate that “creativity is the answer” to be successful on the pitch. Flashes of soccer players Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Paul Pogba, as well as musicians Pharrell Williams and A$AP Ferg, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, soccer icons David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane and many more encourage breaking the rules, putting your own spin on things. What’s more, Adidas set it up so that viewers across geographies will get a different experience.

When you click onto the Adidas website, you get cutaways of famous athletes, video and photos, boiling down aspects of creativity. The campaign incorporates the hashtag #HereToCreate and runs on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Adidas has also signed on as presenting sponsor for Fox Sports streaming efforts across all digital platforms for the duration of the World Cup.

Visa launched its Russia World Cup campaign with a digital spot bringing soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic onboard as its representative. The credit card company’s FIFA World Cup sponsorship began in 2007. Here, Ibrahimovic appears in settings around the globe, to correspond to Visa’s “Everywhere You Want to Be” theme in its digitally-top-heavy campaign. The launch sees Ibrahimovic in a press conference announcing his return to the World Cup. Visa aims to capitalize on his 31 million Instagram followers by encouraging fans to follow his journey with the company on his social media account as well as its own.

The Human Dimension In Branding

Twitter’s Josephson said the successful brands do collaborate with soccer athletes or personalities. “That would really guide you where you actually have a unique value proposition to the audience—to say something or bring them content that is relevant to their interaction on Twitter,” he said.

This applies to all platforms, of course. The hero factor inspires people to be the best versions of themselves. The social component gives users the feeling of connectedness. By a single keystroke, engaging a user with his/her hero in some capacity suddenly makes these heroes within reach.

Twitter’s Barge points to the ‘human dimension’ the platform brings to brands. “It really allows them to join a global conversation and inject their personality or their values at a moment’s notice,” he said.

Because the World Cup plays on a global stage, brands willing to spend lots of cash to showcase their best marketing efforts may do well. As real-time continues to dominate, those that invest their eyes and ears in the digital space will come to understand how to win.