Podcast Networks Are Courting Brands More Than Ever

Podcasts have grown into a powerful form of media in recent months, with eMarketer reporting that ad spending in the US market will more than double from 2017 to 2020, reaching $659 million. Yet, overall ad spending on the format ranks low compared to radio and television. That’s mainly because of two issues, the lack of data for brand advertisers and the challenge of show discovery in an extremely crowded space.

Although the podcasting industry has been primarily driven by direct-response advertisers using each show’s download numbers, URL referrals and special code redemptions as KPIs, brand advertisers have been more hesitant. That’s beginning to change as brands continue to recognize the success direct-response has seen in the space, but not having detailed dashboards or national ratings services that other platforms have to provide data remains a challenge for the space.

“But brand advertisers are getting more interested,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP of marketing at Cumulus Media and president of Westwood One, speaking with AList. “I think that if those that can measure sales, costs per order or costs per acquisition that are cleanly are coming back over and over again, then there must be something to it, even if they can’t prove it out yet.”

For now, the number of downloads, which indicates a show’s popularity, determines ad pricing. Whether it’s a CPM pricing model or cost per read model, it’s all rooted in the perceived audience size. That has been enough for some shows to retain up to 80 percent of its advertisers, but steps are being taken to create a standard measurement.

Podcast Media Marketing president David Raphael is on the IAB Audio Committee, which was formed to establish a standardized metric for downloads. He told AList that all major networks will be working toward IAB compliance in the coming months and that the standard will allow podcasts to expand with true brand campaigns.

“This is different from any other form of media,” Raphael explained. “Each listener is a program director. They get to take their devices and decide what they’re going to listen to. They’ve made the choice to listen to something, and that’s an experience that delivers different results for advertisers than from the TV or radio world.”

That choice creates a very engaged listening audience, with top shows having listening completion rates above 90 percent. Performance between pre-, mid- and post-rolls differ between shows, with some having equal performance across all spots. Post rolls are also effective if users decide to binge past seasons of a show, or if there’s a preview of the next episode at the end.

“I think you would be hard pressed to find a more engaged audience than the podcast listener because the ad load is so light, and they’re entertained by the ads,” said Sarah van Mosel, chief podcast sales and strategy officer at Market Enginuity.

For ads to be successful, they need to be integrated well into each program. Live read ads usually perform significantly better than pre-produced ads because the audience has a connection with the host and is therefore more likely to follow their endorsements. Meanwhile, some shows will fully integrate ads as content, as scripted mystery show The Truth did when it played an ad as part of an amusement park’s loudspeaker announcement.

Having a few creative and relevant advertisements are the key to preventing the ad fatigue that has set in on media such as radio or television. For example, a product endorsement on one show will sound very different on another, and there shouldn’t be too many of them. Another potential risk is ads living forever on podcast shows—audiences may become frustrated if the product from an old episode is no longer offered.

According to a recent study conducted by Westwood One exploring audience demographics, podcast listeners tend to be younger, more upscale and more employed than audiences of other media. Although listening audiences are predominately men, the study found that women are a fast-growing audience demographic, growing by 20 percent in 2017—driven mainly by genres such as true crime and increased smart speaker adoption. That led the media company to launch the Empow(h)er podcast network at the IAB Podcast Upfront to provide more female-oriented programming.

But that still leaves the issue of discovery. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts currently on the market, making it difficult for new shows to find an audience.

“No one has figured out the genome of the podcast the way Pandora has with music. People have made a stab at it, but the challenge still remains,” explained van Mosel.

Serial was originally launched from This American Life, which is usually ranked as the top podcast in the nation, but those kinds of cross promotions remain rare. Some hosts have audiences from other platforms such as YouTube, but having audiences cross over isn’t always guaranteed.

Apple Podcasts remains the top platform for finding shows, and van Mosel explained that studies show that Android users tend to be very different from Apple users, stating that they tend to be “more culturally diverse and international.” Google launched a podcast app in June that offers recommendations, and music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Pandora host shows, but searching for them still remains an issue. There are also over 100 million Americans who don’t know how to download and listen to podcasts, which adds to the challenge.

“Marketing to existing podcast consumers is a good strategy, but a lot of us need to look outside of our ecosystem if we want to raise the ceiling for this industry,” said Raphael. “The way to get there is through mass market.”

Networks are beginning to rely on well-known celebrities from TV and radio to educate people about podcasts, sometimes even expanding them. For example, Univision vice president of podcasts and experimental growth initiatives Stephen Hobbs told AList about working with a liquor brand from Spain to engage with Hispanic American podcast listeners (comprised of over 4.8 million people) with Latin pop star and radio host Thalía. The company turned the podcast promotion into a 360 radio, TV and influencer campaign across 27 markets across its platforms.

Hobbs also said that since some of its hosts come from radio or television, its listeners are already accustomed to live read advertisements, which usually relate personal experiences from the host. While Univision tries to align Spanish and English ads to the same language shows use whenever possible, there are instances of mixed language content.

“It’s about the ability for an influencer to connect with our audience. It’s not about language, it’s about the authenticity of the content,” said Hobbs.

Univision also has the opposite challenge when it comes to discovery compared to most other networks, since about 70 percent of Hispanics are Android users. As it seeks to create a larger presence on Apple’s platform, Hobbs said that Univision’s greatest advantage is its ability to take podcasts to its local markets.

“Being able to see a podcast live in a 1,000-person venue is something the Univision will be able to deliver better than most,” he said, adding that advertisers shouldn’t be afraid of branded content. “Why make ads that people are blocking when you can create programming that tells the narrative of the brand in a great story?”

Bud Light Constructs Branded Bronze Statue To Commemorate ‘Philly Special’

There’s arguably no event as emblematic of Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” campaign than Superbowl LII, when the company promised free beers to the City of Philadelphia if the Eagles won. The team did win, and the company delivered by handing out bottles during the victory parade and gifting Bud Lights to local bars along with swag such as promotional poker chips, Bud Knight armor and scrolls that complement the medieval theme. Now the company has commemorated the occasion by donating a nine-foot statue outside the Philadelphia Eagles’ home stadium.

Bud Light began teasing the statue’s appearance in August with a video on Twitter showing it being cast, and it was officially unveiled on September 5, the night of their first game of the season. It features the moment Nick Foles asked head coach Doug Pederson “You want ‘Philly Philly?’” on the field during the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, “Philly Philly” (a term for the “Philly Special” play) happens to rhyme with “Dilly Dilly,” so it became the perfect match.

The bronze statue, with “You Want Philly Philly?” and Bud Light’s logo etched into its base, will stand on HeadHouse Plaza, outside Lincoln Financial Field where Bud Light’s activation space is located—near the Xfinity Live! bar. It will remain there for years so that generations of fans can come to see and enjoy it.

The “Philly Special” is one of the biggest (size-wise) gifts Bud Light has given Philadelphia to further cement the relationship between the brand, the Eagles and the city, but it’s not the only way the brand is commemorating the event.

In August, Bud Light produced 20,418 “Philly Philly” Commemorative Packs—in recognition of the 2/04/2018 victory date—to be sold in the City of Brotherly Love. The pack includes a 25-ounce aluminum bottle of Bud Light along two glasses with “Philly Special” etched onto the side.

Bud Light has also been giving love to other sports underdogs over the past months. In June, the beer brand set up a wager where it would give all soccer fans in California free beers if Mexico won Round 16 of the World Cup tournament. More recently, it brought “Victory Fridges” to bars across Cleaveland. These smart refrigerators will simultaneously unlock if the Cleveland Browns break their losing streak by winning a victory during the 2018 NFL season.

Gillette Partners With Female Directors For ‘Her Shot’ IGTV Campaign

Gillette Venus has launched a new campaign called “Her Shot” that features actress/director Regina King and 10 emerging female directors. The campaign is part of Procter and Gamble’s initiative to promote gender equality.

Using the hashtag #HerShotxVenus, “Her Shot” focuses on a woman’s perspective and the positive impact it can have on the world. King will act as a mentor to 10 up-and-coming female directors, giving advice on how to elevate their voices in the industry. Each of the videos has been created for IGTV and are being cross-promoted across multiple Instagram accounts.

Each of the 10 female directors were selected through a partnership between Gillette and freelance service site Fiverr. On its official Instagram account, Fiverr claims that less than seven percent of directors are women, which is why the brand teamed up for this campaign.

Her Shot videos have been posted on Instagram, including one that features Rain Valdez—a trans actress and director that talks about making her own way in the industry. ChelSY O, another director in the program, shared a video that talks about women controlling their own image in the media.

“Something magical happens when women create for women because we have the ability to inspire each other’s fearless voice within,” she says in the video.

Another video, featuring filmmaker Alison Grasso said that seeing other women’s perspectives on social media changed the way she lives.

“Her Shot” is part of Procter and Gamble’s initiative to drive change in the advertising industry. The global giant partnered with Global Citizen to introduce a new initiative called #SheIsEqual during Cannes Lions, which includes the first #SheIsEqual Summit on September 28 during UN General Assembly Week in New York.

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism conducted a study about diversity in Hollywood in 2018. Out of the 109 film directors associated with the top 100 movies of 2017, only eight were female. Regardless of this disparity, the top three grossing films included female leads and one female director (Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman).

‘Jurassic World’, Facebook Bring AR Experience Into Stores And Homes

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom rocked theaters with a massive marketing campaign for the movie when it launched in June, and now Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is looking to repeat some of that dino-sized enthusiasm with the at-home release. The company partnered with Facebook Messenger to create in-store and at-home augmented reality experience timed with the release of its Blu-ray/DVD edition.

Participating retailers across 18 countries will begin showcasing special Fallen Kingdom displays that include instructions for how to activate the AR feature. Scanning a QR code will launch the Facebook Messenger camera, bringing fans up-close and personal with the movie’s dinosaurs. In the US, over 17,000 retail stores and grocery chains will participate in the campaign.

According to an announcement, this is “the largest retail effort of its kind for both partners,” in addition to being the first integrated AR experience done through Facebook Messenger.

The displays will be shown in stores for a limited time, but fans can bring the experience home with them if they purchase the movie. Each box contains an insert that is activated using the Facebook Messenger camera. Doing so brings up a baby version of the film’s signature Velociraptor, Blue. Baby Blue can be placed virtually anywhere, and users can take photos and videos of the dinosaur acting playfully, curiously or aggressively in the environment.

Although this is the largest campaign Facebook has partnered to do, its AR platform has been used to bring characters into the real world before. Last summer, it partnered with Clash of Clans developer Supercell to celebrate the game’s anniversary with a similar AR experience.

Cosmopolitan, Macy’s To Debut AR Makeup Ads In October Issue

Macy’s has partnered with Hearst to place an augmented reality ad in the October issue of Cosmopolitan. The virtual make-up “try on” will allow both brands to promote digital engagement with young consumers.

For the first time, digital Cosmopolitan readers with an iPhone will be able to try on make-up using augmented reality. The ads will appear in the online version of Hearst’s lifestyle magazine next month to promote beauty products offered by Macy’s. According to WWD, the marketing strategy includes a new look to “try on” each month.

Macy’s shuttered around 100 stores in 2016 to focus on its digital strategy, which seems to be paying off. The legacy department store brand reported double-digit growth for its digital business in the second quarter of 2018. The legacy department store brand attributed this success to “a healthy brick & mortar business, robust e-commerce and a great mobile experience.”

Cosmopolitan‘s core reader base is between the ages of 18-34, so the publisher has been focused on integrating digital into its print strategy as well. In December, Cosmopolitan began printing Snapchat icons in the magazine that direct users to a product or ad through Snapchat Discover. The brand also partnered with Amazon to let digital readers explore product pages and make purchases.

Offering augmented reality would allow Cosmopolitan‘s advertisers to engage with this core demographic on a personal level, especially when selling make-up. Beauty ads are a staple in any lifestyle magazine, but readers have traditionally been limited to their imaginations—gazing on a professional model and wondering how the style would translate to real life.

For this reason, augmented reality has been a key piece of technology for the prosperous beauty industry. In an age of personalization and individuality—not to mention selfies—the ability to virtually sample a product has become a significant draw for young consumers.

Macy’s AR ad was developed by YouCam, a makeup app brand that has 470 million downloads in Google Play. L’Oreal integrated its worldwide makeup brands and collections into the app last year.

“AR connects the dots to create a very unique experience that cannot be replaced by any other channel,” Alice H. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp., the parent company of YouCam Makeup, told AList in a previous interview. “Try-before-you-buy gives customers greater confidence in the purchase decisions. The impact of AR try-outs on cosmetic sales is real.”

More Brands Are Turning To In-Game Advertising

Although there are benefits to advertising through mobile games like higher completion rates for rewarded videos and captive audiences, brands have been relatively slow to adopt it.

Reasons for this has been largely attributed to two factors, the first being that many still believe that the gaming audience is comprised largely of teenage boys, which limits the demographic appeal. The second is that there is significant fragmentation in the marketplace, so marketers who know the benefits of in-game ads might not know where to find this inventory. However, that’s starting to change.

Changing Perspectives, Offering Solutions

Currently, about 79 percent of smartphone users play games, and the 2017 Tapjoy report shows that 63 percent of mobile gamers are women, with all age ranges well represented along with a broad scope of economic levels.

Entertainment brands such as movie and TV studios are the largest categories to take advantage of in-game ads, followed by consumer-packaged goods, quick service restaurants, automotive, healthcare, finance brands and utility apps. However, the majority of ad dollars are still being spent on verticals such as social media and video.

To raise the profile of in-game ads as a viable ad inventory, Unity Technologies announced a partnership with Google that integrated the search giant’s Universal App Campaigns—AI-driven app advertising campaigns across all Google platforms—into the Unity game development engine. With it, Google advertisers are provided with direct access to Unity’s global inventory, while game developers gain a wider range of advertisers.

Game Apps Lead The Monetization Charge

Lexi Sydow, market insights manager at App Annie, told AList that in July 2018, more than half of the top 50 iOS games monetized through in-app ads compared to 12 percent of non-gaming apps in the US. Essentially, mobile games monetize in-app ads four times more often than non-gaming apps.

“Games tend to be early adopters on mobile and many have seen strong success monetizing through in-app ads,” Sydow explained. “In-app advertising can be a particularly successful pathway for monetization in apps, which is especially true for emerging markets where consumers may have less propensity to purchase through the app store in the form of paid downloads, in-app purchases or in-app subscriptions.”

About 36 percent of the top 500 apps on Google Play and Apple’s App Store, which aren’t limited to games, currently monetize with Facebook Audience Network, which serves ads to third-party apps and mobile websites in addition to its Instant Games platform.

Alvin Bowles, vice president and global publisher of sales and operations at Facebook told AList that, “Nearly 80 percent of interstitial ad impressions on gaming apps on Audience Network come from non-gaming advertisers.”

The platform also recently launched its own playable ad format, which promotes games on the Facebook News Feed.

Banking On Engagement

Emily McInerney, VP of marketing at Tapjoy added that in-game app ad inventory tends to look different from traditional digital ad inventory because the majority of them are value-exchange ads. Instead of using display ads or pre-rolls, games usually integrate ads into the playing experience with opt-in ads that provide rewards.

“In-game ads that are based on the value exchange automatically tie engagement to conversion by delivering the conversions that advertisers seek most, whether completed video views or any type of marketing action, such as a purchase, subscription, survey completion, etc. We’ve even found that many consumers become so interested in the advertising content and offer that they will convert beyond the initial advertising action,” McInerney explained.

For instance, viewers may click on an interactive end card at the end of a video ad even when there is no reward offered because they’re interested in what the ad is promoting. McInerney said that this is “the ideal way to turn attention and engagement into conversion, and it works more effectively in the in-game environment than anywhere else.”

One of the most effective campaigns Tapjoy ran this year was for Nickelodeon in promoting its Kids’ Choice Sports awards. The campaign featured an interactive “catch-and-fall” mini-game as a video end card, which drove traffic to Nickelodeon’s landing page. The trailers saw a 91 percent completion rate.

According to Unity, top-performing in-app formats include targeted video, which has completion rates reaching the 90 percent range, playable ads (mini-games) and augmented reality ads. Unity has also seen playable ads being effective for themselves, too, with completion rates of 30-35 percent for an AR ad format, which is notable for an experience that requires active involvement.

Jeep Launches ‘Jeep Wrangler Celebrity Customs’ Web Series

The Jeep brand is stepping into the world of reality television with its first-ever web series competition called petition, “Jeep Wrangler Celebrity Customs.”

Hosted by ex-NBA star and current sports analyst  Jalen Rose, the six-episode series will pair celebrities Alex Rodriguez, Maria Menounos, Chris Stang and others with professional customizers. The goal is to modify 2018 Jeep Wranglers so that they so that they reflect the personalities and styles of each contestant.

The show forms the centerpiece of Jeep’s new marketing campaign, which encompasses digital, social and experiential elements. It also leverages a tradition among Jeep Wrangler owners, who often customize their vehicles to suit their personalities and adventures.

Audiences will be able to track each contestant’s progress through their individual social media channels in addition to Jeep’s channels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“Celebrity Customs” premiered on September 6 and additional episodes will air over the month. The show’s finale will take place on September 27 at a special event in Los Angeles where the winner will be announced. Not only will the grand prize winner walk away with the Wrangler Golden Grille Award, but they’ll get to keep the custom car they created.

But the campaign doesn’t end with the finale. After it airs, fans will be able to vote for who receives the Fan Favorite Award on Jeep.com until October 5.

Jeep Wrangler’s new campaign begins as the “Summer of Jeep” sales concludes. Earlier this year, the brand debuted the “Freedom and Adventure” TV spots, which highlights the brand’s history spanning the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s on through today. It features its first vehicles, which was used by soldiers during World War II.

The company also had a trio of ads that ran during Super Bowl LII, starting with Jeff Goldblum racing a tyrannosaurus rex through the forest in a Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom-themed commercial. Next was “The Road” with peaceful, meditative messages for Jeep Cherokee. The ads concluded with “The Anti-Manifesto,” which calls out brand manifestos that stretch the truth by having a Jeep Wrangler drive through a small lake and up a small waterfall. For added authenticity, the commercial points out that both the lake and the waterfall are man-made.

Instagram Adds New Superzoom Effects; Periscope Offers Audio Streams

This week in social media news, Instagram Stories are ready to become memes with new Superzoom effects and Periscope allows podcasts on the go.

Also, Instagram helps parents start a dialogue with their kids and LinkedIn names the top 50 US start-ups on its site. Facebook braces for election time and its users take a break, Snap releases new shades, Instagram develops a shopping app and Twitter finds a bug. Meanwhile, Twitter plays with conversational features and YouTube rolls out picture-in-picture video and adds charity donation.

Instagram Adds ‘Superzoom’ Effects To Stories

New effects on Instagram let users quickly zoom into a person or object, then overlay an effect for dramatic or comedic impact.

Why it matters: Instagram’s new Superzoom effects are reminiscent of what you’d find on Vine, offering the potential to make Instagram Stories go viral (most likely captured as a GIF, since Stories disappear.) These new effects encourage creativity at a time when Instagram is trying to establish itself as a source for entertainment.

Details: Instagram is now offering several effects called Superzoom that add dramatic or comedic animated effects to Stories. The effect focuses on a person or object, then quickly zooms in, adding an effect such as camera flashes, flames, a big red X to indicate something is wrong and a heart-filled fog with cheesy music. You can see examples of these effects, as posted by Twitter user Matt Nevarra:

Periscope Adds Audio-Only Stream Option

Twitter-owned Periscope now allows users to broadcast without video.

Why it matters: In addition to creating opportunities for podcasters on the site, allowing users to post audio may also make the feature more accessible to those without native-language keyboards.

Details: For its annual #HackWeek, Periscope created an update that allows users to broadcast with only their voice. In a blog post by Periscope staff engineer Richard Plom, he explained that some users would stream with the camera covered because they didn’t feel comfortable broadcasting themselves or their surroundings. Periscope’s team decided to challenge themselves with a quick turnaround for this update and were able to successfully launch in four days.

Instagram Releases ‘A Parent’s Guide’

A microsite has been unveiled on Instagram, offering parents an overview of the site as well as options and topics to help start important conversations their children.

Why it matters: A number of studies suggest that social media browsing can lead to anxiety and depression among users, especially on a site like Instagram that is used to present a picture-perfect version of one’s life. Instagram is offering tools to help parents understand the site/app and talk to their children about it.

Details: Instagram has released “A Parent’s Guide” that includes an overview, privacy options, glossary of terms and list of potential questions that parents can use to start a conversation. These questions include topics like bullying and how “likes” and “comments” make a child feel about Instagram posts. In addition, Instagram offers six accounts the company calls #RoleModels, suggesting that following inspirational accounts makes the experience more uplifting.

LinkedIn Lists Its 50 Top US Start-Ups 

On Thursday, LinkedIn published an article promoting “young companies reaching that escape velocity.”

Why it matters: LinkedIn is a place for professionals to build a career, so highlighting entrepreneurs is designed to inspire and encourage its users.

Details: LinkedIn created a list of US start-ups based on LinkedIn engagement, including jobseeker interest and employee growth. The top five are Lyft, Halo Top Creamery, Coinbase, Noodle.ai and Bird. The entire list and can be viewed here.

Facebook Building ‘War Room’ For Mid-Term Elections

The social media giant is building a physical “War Room” to manage activity related to the US Mid-term Elections and is “laser-focused on getting it right,” according to Facebook’s head of civic engagement, Samidh Chakrabarti.

Why it matters: After the revelation that Facebook had become a vehicle for foreign election interference, the company has a lot to prove—especially after, on Wednesday, Sheryl Sandberg told Congress they were “too slow” to react.

Details: In an interview with NBC News, Chakrabarti indicated that Facebook is tackling foreign interference head-on and has made some progress in the area. In addition to identifying and blocking such activity, Chakrabarti said they have detected, blocked or removed over a billion fake accounts in the last six months alone and have added over 10,000 people to Facebook’s security team.

“We have to be ready for anything,” he said, “that’s why we’ve been building this war room, a physical war room . . . so, as we discover problems that may come up in the hours leading up to the election, we can take quick and decisive action.”

Snapchat Reveals New Spectacles Styles, Curation Tools

Snap has unveiled two new styles for its POV camera Spectacles, each made to look more like traditional sunglasses. A new feature will be added later this fall to publish captured footage.

Why it matters: Snap is pushing its Spectacles with the new style, tools and by allowing them to be sold on Amazon. More footage means more posts and engagement on Snapchat, making it more attractive to advertisers.

Details: On Wednesday, Snap revealed Nico and Veronica, two new styles of Spectacles camera glasses. The water-resistant glasses capture up to 70 videos or hundreds of photos on a single charge, then wirelessly transfer them to a user’s phone. A new feature will be added to Snapchat later this fall that automatically curates Spectacles Snaps into a single Highlight Story for easy sharing.

Instagram Is Developing A Stand-alone Shopping App

A new app is reportedly in development at Instagram designed for ecommerce.

Why it matters: If the reports are true and the app comes to market, Instagram would be in a unique position to sell products to its millions of users.

Details: According to The Verge, sources familiar with the matter say Instagram is developing a stand-alone app designed for browsing and shopping. The app may be called “IG Shopping,” although Instagram declined to comment.

Twitter Bug Pushes ‘Liked’ Posts By Mistake

Twitter has acknowledged a bug that inserts posts into a user’s timeline, claiming that a followed account liked it even though they might not have.

Why it matters: With Twitter backpedaling against claims of political censorship, the bug could be interpreted as a kind of “fake news” on the timeline—claiming someone you follow liked a post from a politician or regarding a hot-button issue, for example.

Details: Twitter users may have noticed that the site will tell them about posts one of their friends or followed accounts interacted with. A deeper look, however, found that some of this activity never actually happened. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the issue is affecting several accounts but Twitter is working to fix it.

FCC Chairman Expresses Concerns About Today’s Tech Giants

In a blog post, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai suggested that tech giants like Google and Facebook could be held to the same transparency standards as those operating broadband networks.

Why it matters: In an age where tech giants track our every move and control what content we see, Pai is concerned that consumers have little to no insight on how these decisions are made.

Details: Ahead of Wednesday’s hearing with Facebook and Twitter, Pai shared his concerns on a Medium blog post that focused on transparency, expression and privacy. Although he says he does not want to control these companies like a utility provider, “It’s time to have a full and open conversation about the realities of today’s Internet economy.”

Study Finds Americans Taking A Break From Facebook

Pew Research has released new findings that suggest Americans are taking a new look at their relationship with Facebook.

Why it matters: Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact that social media has on their daily lives and mental wellbeing. Some consumers are disenfranchised with the social media giant while others remain unphased by revelations of data collection or misuse.

Details: A study released by Pew Research asserts that 44 percent of US consumers aged 18 to 29 say they have deleted the Facebook app from their phone in the past year. Just over half of all respondents said they have adjusted their privacy settings and 42 percent have taken a break for several weeks or more.

Twitter Tests ‘Conversational’ New Features

Twitter has been playing with a number of features lately, including threaded replies and seeing who’s online.

Why it matters: Aside from a few key changes like extra characters, Twitter hasn’t altered its original form all that much since its inception. CEO Jack Dorsey has recently stated that he is rethinking the site’s core features in order to foster healthier conversations.

Details: On August 31, Twitter’s director of product management Sara Haider posted screenshots of new features she has been testing. Among them are color-coded reply threads. Jack Dorsey retweeted the post, adding that they are also playing with online status indicators.

YouTube Rolls Out New Miniplayer To Desktop Users

Some desktop users have observed the ability to let a video play while they continue to browse YouTube.

Why it matters: The video miniplayer is already in use on YouTube mobile applications, making the desktop site more like a mobile experience. Allowing users to multitask on the site may encourage them to view more, as they will already be searching for a new video before the previous one has ended.

Details: According to Beebom, YouTube has begun rolling out its desktop miniplayer, first spotted in testing earlier this year. Although not accessible to all users yet, the feature mimics functionality on YouTube’s mobile app.

YouTube Allows Non-Profit Donations With ‘Giving’ Suite

YouTube Giving is a new suite of features that allows streamers to host fundraisers on the site.

Why it matters: Charity live streams are common among the gaming community. Offering a way to more easily collect donations allows YouTube to compete with Twitch, where many of these streams take place.

Details: YouTube has released a suite of features called YouTube Giving. The suite, currently in beta testing, allows online creators to host fundraisers, donation matching and Superchat For Good, a version of promoted chat comments that raises funds for charity instead of the streamer. To show off and test the new features, YouTube has partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for a series of fundraising gaming videos in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 7. 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 editorial@alistdaily.com.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Airbnb Snatches Groupon CMO; Tinder, eOne And Charter Name Marketing Heads

This week, Groupon’s CMO moves to Airbnb while Tinder, Hometown Food and PUBG Corp name marketing chiefs. High-level marketers were also appointed at eOne, RCA Records, Charter Communications and American Addiction Centers.

Check out our careers section for executive job openings and to post your own staffing needs.

Groupon CMO Decamps To Airbnb

Groupon’s former global chief marketing officer Vinayak Hegde has moved to Airbnb to head performance marketing across all its businesses. However, he won’t be serving as the lodging company’s CMO in name, even though the role has been vacant for almost a year. Hegde has been with Groupon since 2012, starting as the vice president of computational and growth marketing.

Tinder Appoints CMO

Tinder announced that Jenny Campbell will be the dating app’s new chief marketing officer. Campbell comes from working 20 years in marketing and leadership roles at Nike, 72andSunny and Wieden + Kennedy. Campbell is also a board member on at Makers, a feminist media company.

Charter Creates New Marketing Role

Charter Communications has appointed Kelly Atkinson to the newly created role of head of marketing for consumer and SMB. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the company’s digital, creative and marketing efforts, focusing on residential and SMB services. Atkinson most recently served as executive vice president of consumer cable and content at Rogers Communications in Toronto, Canada.

Marketing Chief Joins Hometown Food

Hometown Food Company, which owns the Pillsbury brand in addition to other baking products, has hired Dan Anglemyer as chief marketing officer. Anglemyer most recently served as the chief marketing officer for the Back to Nature Foods Company and has held senior positions at companies such as Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods Group

Developer Hires CMO To Grow Esports

Former Riot Games Korea esports head Quan Zheng Xian has joined PUBG Corp as its new chief marketing officer. He joins as the company executes a five-year plan to grow its esports presence with a World Championship and professional leagues across the world.

eOne Hires Marketing Lead

Entertainment One announced that it has hired Dora Candelaria to head its global film marketing division as executive vice president for marketing, film. In this role, she will be responsible for leading publicity and marketing for all of eOne’s film content. Candelaria joins from Paramount Pictures, where she most recently served as the senior vice president of international publicity.

RCA Records Ups Marketing EVP

RCA Records has promoted Carolyn Williams to executive vice president of marketing from her previous role as senior vice president of marketing. In this position, Williams’ expanded responsibilities will include leading the marketing staff while continuing to head campaigns for artists including Brockhampton, Childish Gambino, H.E.R., SZA and others.


Stephen Ebbett has been named as the new chief digital and marketing officer for American Addiction Centers. Ebbett is charged with leading the organization’s outreach to those seeking recovery from addiction. Ebbett most recently served as the Assurant insurance company’s chief digital officer prior to joining AAC.

Talking Rain Promotes VP

Talking Rain Beverage Company has appointed Sarah Gustat vice president of marketing. This is a promotion for Gustat, who was previously the director of marketing at the company.

Golden Leaf Hire Chief Marketer

Golden Leaf Holdings, a cannabis company, has hired Jeff Yapp as chief marketing and sales officer. Yapp most recently worked at Microsoft as a CEO strategic partner, and before that had stints at MTV/Viacom and Cablevision.

Marketing Chief Joins Captain D’s

The Captain D’s seafood restaurant chain announced that Chris Kuehn has been hired as chief marketing officer. His responsibilities include developing and implementing strategies that will drive brand awareness for the restaurant franchise as it continues to expand across the United States. Kuehn was most recently the chief marketing officer for Golden Corral, where he served for 10 years before joining Captain D’s.

Aberdeen Appoints Swiss Marketing Head

Aberdeen Standard Investments promotion of Vanja Brunner to its head of marketing in Switzerland. Her appointment comes as the company continues to assemble its Swiss business unit team.

Audi Exec Joins Northwestern

Jeri Ward, who most recently served as senior vice president and chief communications officer for Audi of America, is joining her alma mater Northwestern University as its new vice president for global marketing and communications.

Digital Marketer Joins Tennis Australia

Josie Brown has been named as the new chief insights and marketing officer for Tennis Australia. Her appointment begins later this month and Brown’s previous experience most recently includes serving as the APAC director of digital at JWT. Before that, she was an interactive marketing manager at Procter and Gamble. She is tasked with leading Tennis Australia’s digital marketing for events such as the Australian Open and the Davis Cup.

The Post Office Appoints Marketer

Former marketing director for the UK’s Royal Mail MarketReach division, Emma Springham, has joined The Post Office in the newly created position of chief marketing and digital officer. Springham has led marketing teams at MarketReach for two years. The Post Office hasn’t had a permanent marketing head since 2016.

Carwow Hires CMO

Vehicle shopping platform Carwow announced that Phil Lloyd has been hired to the newly created position of chief marketing officer. In his new position, he will oversee strategy for the brand to grow the business. Lloyd formerly served as the global head of advertising for the London-based car sales platform Paddy Power, and was most recently a head marketer at the mobile gaming company Snatch Inc.

Xiaomi Appoints Head Of Marketing, India

Anuj Sharma has been appointed as the head of marketing for Xiaomi India, tasked with overseeing the Chinese smartphone maker’s growth in the country. Sharma has worked extensively in the wireless technology industry, with appointments at Lenovo, Motorola and Razer.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 7. 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 

Global Director, Brand Marketing Beats by Dre Culver City, CA
SVP, Franchise Marketing Sony Pictures Entertainment Culver City, CA
VP, Marketing Disney Burbank, CA
Head of Lifecycle Marketing Dropbox San Francisco, CA
Head of Performance Marketing Strategy Uber San Francisco, CA
Head of Marketing, Stephen Curry Under Armour Baltimore, MD

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

Arby’s Uses New, Sarcastic Ads With ‘Archer’ Star To Reach Young Diners

Arby’s has enlisted the help of actor H. Jon Benjamin (Archer) to remind young consumers about its other menu items. Benjamin plays Arby’s “Head of Sandwiches” in a series of new spots launching September 9, using his famously sarcastic tone to complain about how people assume they only serve roast beef.

He blames the phenomenon on the giant signs that say, “Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich is Delicious” and experiences from childhood.

“Maybe it’s because the last time you went to Arby’s was with your grandparents who ate exclusively roast beef. Every meal. Somehow,” he quips.

The spots, dubbed “Arby’s: Core Sandwiches” calls attention to 17 other sandwich options available in its restaurants. In one video called “Looks Are Everything,” Benjamin’s character sarcastically points out that if Arby’s only serves roast beef, they offer a lot of odd-looking “roast beef” sandwiches, pointing to a Reuben, smoked brisket and a gyro.

When a voice-over recited Arby’s slogan, “We have the meats,” Benjamin quickly chimes in: “For sandwiches!”

According to the NPD Group, fast-casual dining is on an upward trajectory of five percent compared to 2017. Arby’s sarcastic ads are designed to attract guests between the ages of 18-24; the most popular age group for fast-casual.

Creative marketing helped Arby’s experience its most profitable year to date in 2016, bringing in $3.7 billion. Following its purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s is now a subsidiary of Inspire Brands which launched in February.

Under the helm of Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown, Arby’s President Rob Lynch and Arby’s CMO Jim Taylor, the 50-year-old brand has experienced a turnaround thanks to a tongue-in-cheek social persona and a few strategic partnerships. The social media team often engages with the video game community, crafting items out of Arby’s food packaging to commemorate launches or important events.

Last year, Arby’s sponsored English golfer Andrew “Beef” Johnson and presented a series of light-hearted videos for Skratch. The spots, “Boo vs. Beef,” features Johnson and fellow golfer Boo Weekly as they challenge each other to Connect Four and imitating each other’s accents.