Planters, IHOP Latest To Jump On Branded Beer Trend

Branded beer is the latest trend in strategic partnerships with Planters, IHOP and Dunkin’ offering limited-edition marketing brews for autumn.

Planters, a division of Kraft-Heinz, unveiled “Mr. IPA-Nut” on Tuesday—a craft beer described as having a citrus aroma with a hint of honey-roasted peanuts and a slightly salty finish. The beer is crafted by Whistling Noon Brewers and will be available for one day only—October 26—at select Chicago, IL retailers.

The peanut-flavored IPA may be limited to Chicago residents, but Planters is inviting anyone to help contribute to “the nuttiest beer commercial of all time” using the hashtag #BeerGoesNuts on social media. The spot pokes fun at other beer commercials by saying they’ll skip the “ice cold mountains” and “scalding hot beaches” in favor for something crazy.

And then there’s IHOPS. After temporarily changing its name to sell burgers, IHOP is at it again with a pumpkin spice pancake stout. The autumn-themed beverage is the result of a partnership with Keegan Ales in New York and was designed to make consumers crave Best-of-Fall pancakes.

IHOPS won’t be available in restaurants, but the limited-edition brew will make appearances at select bars and events around the tri-state area. The restaurant chain has already prepared itself for any ensuing jokes, adding a potential name change to a FAQ section. When asked if they will change their name back to IHOb for beer, the site says, “brobably not.”

Speaking of breakfast, Dunkin’ has also taken the plunge into beer territory. Harpoon’s Dunkin’ Coffee Porter will be available at retailers throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast US, with a few Central state locations thrown in.

The beer was specially made for Dunkin’ by Boston-based brewery Harpoon. Dunkin’ Coffee Porter is described as having a strong coffee flavor with dark roasty notes.

As consumers—especially young ones—become less tolerant of traditional advertising, brands like these are finding unique opportunities to engage through a common pastime. Craft beer is a growing industry in the US, reaching $4.8 billion as of January 28, 2017, according to Nielsen. Flavored beer, in particular, has been on a steady rise with flavors like tangerine, orange and pineapple skyrocketing as top-sellers over the past three years.

Hennessy Partners With Cyclists Association To Honor Champion

Hennessy has expanded its tribute to champion Marshall “Major” Taylor through a partnership with the National Brotherhood of Cyclists (NBC). Limited-edition goods and a scholarship continue the cognac brand’s promotion of diversity in sports and a push for greatness.

In 1899, Major became the first African-American to win a world championship. The achievement launched him into the global spotlight during a time when cycling was all the rage, and he went on to inspire many of today’s top athletes.

On December 1, Major’s birthday, the NBC will host coordinated rides in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York with the mission of promoting diversity in sports. To support their cause, Hennessy will offer limited edition merchandise that commemorates Major’s memory, including a limited-edition bicycle and athletic apparel. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to NBC.

The commuter bicycle, dubbed “Major” and priced at $2,800, was designed by Brooklyn-based Affinity Cycles and is meant to look like Major’s own bike from the 1800s. Behind-the-scenes videos of the bike have been posted as Instagram Stories to help spread awareness.

A capsule collection of apparel was designed by Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. Priced between $150-500, the collection includes a cycling cap, graphic tee with custom artwork, parachute jogger pants, a track-style sweatshirt and a nylon bomber jacket.

Hennessy and NBC will also award one person a $25,000 scholarship to continue their higher education, as this was a cause near and dear to Major’s heart. Applicants of legal drinking age must write a 500+ word essay detailing a time in which they “pushed the limits of their own potential to achieve greatness.” The winning recipient will be announced on December 1.

The partnership continues Hennessy’s tribute to Major as part of its ongoing “Wild Rabbit” campaign. Major was featured in a series of video spots released in April that told the athlete’s inspiring story.

Launched in 2012, Hennessy’s “Wild Rabbit” campaign highlights “that elusive motivation that drives us to succeed.” The campaign, using the slogan, “Never stop. Never settle.,” shines a light on those who achieve greatness while overcoming obstacles and covers a wide range of industries from art to sports. Previous campaigns have included celebrities like Martin Scorsese and challenges like an annual art competition with Pratt Institute.

Ford’s Cinematic ‘Proud’ Campaign Features Bryan Cranston

Ford critiques fancy keynotes and high-tech competitors in a new campaign starring Bryan Cranston. “Built Ford Proud” takes an cinematic but confident approach to selling cars at a time when investors have been more interested in the next big thing.

Airing during NCAA football games on Saturday, Ford’s “Proud” ads will thumb their noses at other brands trying to be unnecessarily fancy (“[Ford] is not a metaphor”) or ride the coattails of a legacy brand through mergers. Rather, Ford wants to remind consumers—and investors—that the brand has earned trust over the past 115 years not by dreaming but doing.

Cranston has been providing his voice to Ford campaigns for around two years now, but this new campaign will be the first time he appears in person. Ford chose the Emmy award-winning actor for his hard-hitting persona—a far cry from those soft-spoken, philosophical Lincoln ads starring Matthew McConaughey.

Speaking with the press during Ford’s annual dealer show on Thursday, Jim Farley, president of global markets explained the casting choice.

“[Cranston] has a kind of swagger to get down to the essence of things, and we think that’s really important nowadays,” said Farley. “He just captures that no-baloney, real honesty that frankly we don’t hear much of anymore.”

Keynotes and robots attempt to poke fun at competitors like Tesla. In one ad, a Mustang sails over a hill with a disclaimer that Ford “does not condone or make flying cars.”

All joking aside, Ford knows where it stands. With an expensive 11-year restructuring underway and a $1.2 billion drop in revenue for Q1, Ford can literally not afford to ignore the industry’s demand for innovation.

That isn’t to say that Ford isn’t interested in technology. In addition to the company’s past, “Built Ford Proud” highlights efforts like the Ford Pass app, electric vehicles and “transforming cities.” At the Detroit auto show this past January, Ford announced that it would release 40 electric vehicles and hybrids by the year 2022.

Ford won’t abandon its iconic “Built Ford Tough” slogan, but will apply it only to trucks. “Built Ford Proud” will act as a bridge between all vehicles. The new campaign will appear on TV, print and Ford’s social channels, with an emphasis on sporting events.

Jägermeister Reveals Halloween Fortunes With AR Tarot Cards

Jägermeister is using augmented reality to celebrate Halloween this year with virtual tarot cards on Snapchat. “Divine the Darke” invites users to unlock AR tarot cards and flip them over to reveal their “cocktail fate.”

Special Jägermeister Snapcodes have been placed in bars and stores this holiday that when scanned, temporarily unlock a tarot card experience. An augmented reality tarot deck will be displayed inside the user’s camera with themes like “The Stag,” “The Ritual,” “The Hunter” and “The Mirror.”

Flipping the card over reveals a glimpse into the future in the style of an alcoholic fortune cookie with statements like, “Trust in your instinct and follow your gut.” Each card also recommends a method for consuming Jägermeister, such as a chilled shot or in a cocktail.

Each AR experience is unlocked for one hour before the code can be scanned again. Doing so allows users to view new cards, fortunes and drink suggestions.

Halloween is one of the biggest holidays for Jägermeister, which reports a 34 percent sales lift during this period. Last year in the UK, the hunter-themed drink launched a Saxon horror-story themed campaign across its social channels. Characters called “The Cursed Four” were featured in a series of videos online and recreated in the form of limited-edition miniatures.

In the US last year, Jägermeister launched print-out origami masks that looked like a skull, bat or stag—the latter being a nod to its mascot.

This isn’t the first time alcoholic brands have employed augmented reality to engage consumers of legal drinking age. Earlier this year, Skybound Entertainment released a special Walking Dead wine featuring AR labels that animated when viewed inside an app. The practice of AR labels has increased in popularity for beer and wine brands, especially those viewed through an app like Treasury Wine Estate or Living Wine Labels.

Jägermeister, amid increased competition from other flavored shot brands, recently partnered with the NHL to become the hockey league’s official shot. The brand sold 1.66 million cases in the US last year, according to Impact Databank.

The State Of Advertising In 12 Charts

Without a doubt there have been some major recent shifts in advertising. This year, the industry has encountered growth in expenditure, an emphasis in the mobile medium and a focus on devoted customers.

Here is a look at 12 charts reflecting the current state of advertising.

Global Look At Advertising

At the start of 2018, WARC, a marketing intelligence service, predicted a global growth of 4.7 percent in advertising expenditure for the year—a total of $572 billion. The company concentrates on the spending of 96 markets. The rise is pushed by major events like the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup and the US mid-term elections.

WARC also attributes the global spending increase to the reduced dollar volatility in emerging marketing. Lower volatility means that a security’s (stock, bonds, money market) value does not fluctuate dramatically, and tends to be steadier.

It was estimated North America would see a five percent growth and Asia-Pacific a six percent increase in spending. On the opposite end, The Middle East and Africa will continue to decline its ad spend at -4.1 percent, however at a slower pace than past years.

Overall, it’s an increase in ad spend compared to 2017 when the global growth only rose three percent.

Zenith Media had a similar 2018 advertising expenditure forecast. They predicted a 4.6 percent growth reaching $579 billion. However compared to the nominal GDP, ad spending will not evolve as quickly.

The United States holds the number one spot for top ten advertising markets spending $197 million in 2017 and an estimated increase to $217 million by 2020. Between 2017 and 2020 it’s predicted it will stay quite stable.

The major switch will be Australia bumping France down to take eighth place, and Indonesia will oust Canada to take tenth.

Yet, when examining the various regional blocs, Eastern and Central Asia will have the largest forecast growth of 8.8 percent from 2017-2020. It’s a big turn considering it was the area most affected by the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Mobile Ad Takeover

Unsurprisingly, the medium with the biggest ad spend increase is internet advertising (desktop and mobile). By 2020, global advertising expenditure for mobile ads will increase to 29.3 percent.

Like any business, it’s typically all about revenue. The Nielsen Company estimates that total media revenues for 2017 decreased three percent from 2016, but digital ad revenue grew 21 percent. Mobile ad revenue rose 36 percent earning $49 billion in 2017.

Until this year, television was the leading advertising medium. The rapid growth of paid search is one of the culprits to its decline in popularity.

Print ads don’t have a bright future. The medium is losing its market share and continues to decline at an average rate of five percent and six percent a year.

In two years, its expected magazines will only have around a 3.8 percent market share.

Amazon Will Not Only Be The Ecommerce King

It seems like 2018 will be the year Google and Facebook’s share of the U.S. digital ad market will decline. It’ll be a first for these giants. According to eMarketer, the percentage of digital ad spending on these two companies will slowly dip even though their revenue is still growing.

The companies are just not keeping up with the digital ad environment and Amazon appears to be getting stronger with ad revenues expected to climb 63.5 percent exceeding two million dollars.

The report estimates Google’s share will decline to 37.2 percent from 38.6 percent in 2017, and Facebook’s will dip from 19.9 percent to 19.6 percent.

Ad Blocker Challenge

Many consumers will avoid ads at all costs and more internet users—about 30.1 percent—will block them in 2018, up from 27.5 percent last year. It means advertisers and publishers need to find creative ways to target their audience.

So what steps are they taking?

One method is publishers have set up a way to detect whether a visitor has an ad blocker enabled. Next, they deliver a message to those users to persuade them to either completely turn off their ad blocker or at least whitelist (a list of acceptable sites) that publisher.

You’ve probably seen these messages. They usually try to compromise with consumers to make them understand the ads are how publishers pay bills.

Research suggests most people simply go elsewhere when faced with the barriers. In 2016, PageFair—an anti-ad-blocking provider—reported that 74 percent of US ad blocking users polled leave websites when encountering an ad block wall.

Loyal Customers, Marketing Analytics, Seize Budget Lead

In a survey conducted by Gartner, it was discovered chief marketing officers are “playing it safe” by putting most of their budget (63 percent) on customer retention and growth instead of giving that money to acquiring new ones (27 percent).

It requires more capital to earn a new customer, but a company should still aim towards profitability.

This shift coincides with how the budget has been restructured.

Marketing analytics takes priority—out of 13 marketing capabilities—in marketing expense budgets. In 2017, 9.2 percent was allocated, resulting in a jump from its number four spot the year prior. The chart also reinforces the importance of web, 8.8 percent of the budget, and digital ads, 8.6 percent.

This turn comes as leaders must make the most out of existing programs and refocus on ROI by centering efforts on the right customers.

However, it’s not all about loyal customers and being stagnant when it comes to new ideas and risk-taking.

The survey discovered marketing innovation secured 10 percent of capital from the total marketing expense budget. Additionally, 23 percent of CMOs have a fixed annual innovation budget.

Companies don’t want to fall behind and usually innovation programs are handled by internal organization concerns.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Fandor, Zillow Pick Up New CMOs; Airbnb Promotes For Global Marketing Position

This week’s executive moves include Zillow gaining a CMO (but losing a COO), the Ad Council appointing new members and Fandor picking the company’s first-ever chief marketing officer. Also, Airbnb appoints two high-level marketers, Superfly appoints a brand marketing veteran, Team Dignitas promotes in-house for the VP of marketing, Christie’s Auction House appoints a new chief marketing officer and WeedMD hires an SVP of marketing.

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

Zillow Appoints Former Starbucks Exec As CMO

Zillow Group, a real estate platform based in Seattle, announced Aimee Johnson as the company’s new chief marketing officer. Johnson’s appointment comes at the same time as longtime Zillow CMO and current COO Amy Bohutinsky announces her departure from the company. Johnson leaves a position at Starbucks, where she was the SVP of digital customer experience, a role she accepted in 2015. Johnson had been with Starbucks since 2004, holding various marketing roles. Before that she worked at Campbell’s for over a decade.

Fandor Picks Up Chief Marketer

Fandor, a video subscription service that offers indie and documentary films, has appointed John Zamoiski as the company’s first-ever chief marketing officer. Zamoiski will oversee the OTT platform as they look to expand their audience. Most recently, Zamoiski was the managing director at Doner CX and prior to that worked over a decade as chairman & CEO at Bottlerocket Marketing Group. He still remains a partner at ADLarge Media.

Zamoiski said of the appointment, “I’m thrilled to join the Fandor team at such an exciting time at the company. As we evolve to becoming more member-centric, I look forward to shaping the next chapter of the company with robust new programs for members to share great content along with innovative opportunities for brand partners.”

Airbnb Promotes For Global Marketing Lead

Geoff Seeley has been promoted to global marketing lead at Airbnb. Seeley has been with the company for a little over a year and was hired by Jonathan Mildenhall, who at the time was Airbnb’s chief marketing officer. Seeley’s appointment comes after serving as director, global marketing, connections and media activation at Airbnb. Previously he held posts at Unilever and Pearson, and continues to be a board member at Fenestra.

Airbnb also added Musa Tariq, who will serve as the head of marketing for experiences. Airbnb has emphasized experiences recently as it looks to amp up that part of the company’s business. Tariq comes off high-level marketing posts at Ford, Apple and Nike.

Superfly Names VP Brand Marketer

Superfly, a promoter known for working on music festivals like Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, has hired Stacy Moscatelli to be the company’s vice president of brand marketing. Moscatelli comes to Superfly with nearly two decades of marketing and promotion, and leaves a vice president of marketing role at Vevo. Before that Moscatelli worked at Cartoon Network for 10 years, working her way up through the marketing department and culminating as the director of marketing at Adult Swim.

Ad Council Adds CMOs Across Industries

The Ad Council has added new members to the nonprofit’s board of directors, and a number of them are chief marketing officers or high-level brand marketers.

  • Lisa Caputo, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience, The Travelers Companies, Inc.
  • Amy Fuller, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Accenture
  • Jill Gregory, EVP & CMO, NASCAR
  • Kristin Lemkau, CMO, JP Morgan Chase
  • Lindsey Roy, CMO, Hallmark Cards
  • Tony Weisman, CMO, Dunkin’ U.S.
  • Jennifer Witz, EVP & CMO, SiriusXM

See the full list here.


CEC, the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese, has appointed Sherri Landry the head of the company’s Peter Piper Pizza brand. Most recently, Landry served as a consultant at Blue Gibraltar, but before that held high-level marketing posts at Which Which, Main Event Entertainment and TGI Friday’s parent company. Chooses Chief Marketer, a cannabis social network, appointed Sean Kelley as the platform’s chief marketing officer. Kelley comes to the company after working in the high end audio industry for a decade, but previously worked for, and created the VWVortex community 20 years ago.

Lilly Adds To Board Of Directors

Eli Lilly and Company, a global pharmaceutical company, has added Cisco chief marketing officer Karen Walker to the company’s board of directors. Will the appointment to Lilly’s board, Walker will be added to both the audit committee and the public policy and compliance committee. Walker has been with Cisco since 2009 and previously worked at Hewlett Packard.

CTS Eventim Appoints Former AXS VP

CTS Eventim, a live entertainment and ticketing company, has appointed Daniel Brown as the company’s CEO. Brown came to CTS Eventim from AXS, where he served as the vice president of marketing and digital services. Before that he was the CRM director at AEG, which owns AXS.

Big Chills Picks Up CMO

Kitchen appliance company Big Chill has appointed Hillary Frei as the company’s chief marketing officer. Frei comes on as the Boulder-based company looks to expand. She previously worked at General Mills, Pediped Footwear and KeyState.

Team Dignitas Names VP Marketing

Team Dignitas, one of the more high-profile esports teams, has promoted Heather Garozzo to vice president of marketing. Garozzo announced the promotion via Twitter—she’s been with the team since 2017 and previously served as director of fan marketing. Prior to that Garozzo worked for a number of years at Assurant Solutions. Team Dignitas, also one of the oldest esports teams, currently has sponsorships from Twitch, Champion, Buffalo Wild Wings and Mountain Dew.

Christie’s Announces New CMO

Christie’s Auction House, one of the oldest auction houses in the world (founded in 1766), announced it has appointed Amy Wexler as the company’s chief marketing officer. Wexler has been with the company since 1996, with a brief departure from 2000 to 2004. She worked her way up through various marketing positions before solidifying the chief marketing role in September. Marc Sands, the company’s previous CMO, left in June.

USA Swimming’s CMO Steps Down

Matt Farrell, who led USA Swimming’s marketing department much of the last 10 years, has stepped down as chief marketing officer to except a role at the Golf Channel. Farrell was CMO during much of Michael Phelps incredible run in olympic swimming for the United States. Farrell came to USA Swimming from the US Olympic Committee and before that had as the Director of Internet Marketing (yes, “Internet Marketing”) at Warner Home Video. Hires Chief Marketing Officer, a monthly cigar subscription service, has hired Shanda Lee as the company’s chief marketing officer. Lee was previously vice president of marketing at J.C. Newman Cigar Company.

WeedMD Names SVP Marketing

WeedMD, a cannabis company based in Canada, has appointed Brett Moon senior vice president of marketing and sales. Moon comes to the company from Mosaic, a Canadian marketing company.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, October 19. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Global Head of Brand Marketing Uber Eats San Francisco, CA
VP, Marketing & Communications Boingo El Segundo, CA
VP, Originals Marketing Starz Los Angeles, CA
VP, Marketing, Brand & Customer Strategy Banana Republic San Francisco, CA
Head of Marketing, Stephen Curry Under Armour Baltimore, MD
VP, Marketing Strategy Operations Paramount Pictures Hollywood, CA

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

Snapchat’s Marker Tracking AR; Facebook Shares Its ‘War Room’

This week in social media news, Snapchat’s AR filter templates get more interactive, Twitter creates event pages for TV shows, Facebook updates ad targeting and LinkedIn tests a way to highlight writers.

Also, YouTube partners with EventBrite, Facebook takes users inside its War Room and identifies its hackers, while Twitter labels offending posts and tests annotations for Moments. Snapchat reveals the big box store habits of his young users, Facebook wants to watch your living room and reboots an MTV classic, Pinterest introduces new ad tools and Twitter releases data about foreign interference. In other social media news, YouTube updates its attribution criteria for TrueView ads, Twitter talks “filter bubbles,” Instagram’s founder speaks out, Pinterest rolls out shopping recommendations, Facebook fights voter suppression and college students read news on Snapchat. Meanwhile, kitty companions get the glamorous Snapchat treatment and Americans are wary of social media bots.

Marker Tracking Animates 2D Objects In Snapchat Lens

A new template has been added for creative Snapchat Lens artists, allowing them to tie an effect to a 2D object in the real world such as a mural.

Why it matters: Interacting with the world around us is the whole point of AR. Snapchat—who helped pioneer the technology—finds itself under constant pressure to outdo itself as Instagram continues to “borrow” and questionably improve on many of its key features. Tracking 2D objects and overlaying them with effects naturally lends itself to brands who could animate a movie poster, product label or environmental landmarks for a scavenger hunt.

Details: The Marker with Snapcode template lets creators unlock a Lens via Snapcode and immediately track your content to it. The template is designed to create Lenses overlayed on existing images such as a poster or mural. The new template was demonstrated with “Angel Wings,” a Lens that adds and tracks animated angel wings on a user when they pose in front of a Los Angeles mural.

Facebook Offers Ad Targeting To Prevent App Churn

App developers can encourage users to keep engaging after download with new targeting tools designed for retention.

Why it matters: According to Facebook, only 10-12 percent of app users stay active seven days after downloading an app and only four-to-five percent stay active after 30 days. Once a user has downloaded your app, Facebook’s new targeting tools will allow developers to keep in contact and encourage engagement.

Details: Targeting will grant developers access to users in an effort to prevent churn, or reverse it once they have stopped using it. When used as part of an app install ad campaign, developers can track and re-engage during those critical first days. Facebook also added four new metrics in Ads Manager to measure retention performance of app install ad campaigns that include the number of users who have opened an app and cost per retention.

Twitter Creates Event Pages For Fall TV Episodes

High-profile TV shows are now getting the event treatment on Twitter, each getting their own page that hosts tweets surrounding each episode.

Why it matters: According to 2017 research from Twitter Insiders, Vizeum and Dentsu Aegis Network, 61 percent of self-proclaimed “TV superfans” post their opinions about shows they watch on Twitter. In fact, 72 percent of them say platforms like Twitter play a role in their TV viewing. Brands can use these event pages to their advantage as their posts will be curated in one, easy-to-browse place on Twitter.

Details: Twitter has created event pages for episodes of hot shows like American Horror Story: Apocalypse. These pages allow fans to check out comments and hashtags related to the episode in one location.

LinkedIn Tests Subscribing To A Writer’s Series Of Articles

A feature is being tested on LinkedIn that allows article writers to invite subscriptions.

Why it matters: Sometimes the LinkedIn feed can be rather crowded with whatever your connections liked, promoted posts and debates on whether or not the site should allow emotional, Facebook-like posts. Being able to subscribe to a particular writer’s article series would cut through the noise and ensure that content is seen by those who have expressed interest.

Details: As spotted by Inc, 117 writers have been invited to participate in a pilot program. These writers will be able to curate more intimate relationships with their followers by inviting them to subscribe to a series of articles.

YouTube Partners With EventBrite To Sell Concert Tickets

Music fans can now purchase concert tickets from the YouTube channel of their favorite artists, thanks to a partnership with EventBrite.

Why it matters: Whether the music industry likes it or not, YouTube is a major attraction for music fans, making it a natural location to sell concert tickets. YouTube has already partnered with Ticketmaster, so a partnership with EventBrite allows them to cover more than 70 percent of the US ticketing market.

Details: Beginning on Thursday, YouTube users can view concert dates directly from a musician’s official channel, then make purchases from Eventbrite. YouTube plans to expand its offerings to more artists and North American venues in the future.

Facebook Grants A Glimpse Into Its Election ‘War Room’

In order to assure its users that they are taking election interference seriously, Facebook has revealed a photo of its War Room and details about it.

Why it matters: To say that the public is growing weary of Facebook’s trust issues would be an understatement. Facebook has invested in a physical location to gather its resources and battle election interference head on. According to the company, there are over 20,000 people working to eliminate the problem in real-time alongside Facebook’s technologies that identify policy offenders.

Details: First revealed in September, Facebook’s Menlo Park war room includes over two dozen experts from across the company, according to a Thursday blog post, that specializes in threat intelligence, data science, software engineering, research, community operations and legal teams. These employees represent and are supported by the more than 20,000 people working on safety and security across Facebook.

Facebook Hackers Were Spammers, Not Foreign State, According To Insiders

Despite its timing with the US election and public controversy surrounding Facebook, insiders told The Wall Street Journal that the culprits were after money, not influence.

Why it matters: Public scrutiny makes Facebook a prime target for hackers that would set out to manipulate voters or even just prove a point. If insider information is true, the recent data breach impacting over 30,000 accounts was to make money, plain and simple.

Details: According to individuals familiar with the matter, Facebook’s internal investigation has identified the source of its recent data breach—a group of Facebook and Instagram spammers who present themselves as a digital marketing company. The hack accessed millions of phone numbers, email addresses and tokens, which are used to log into Facebook without a password.

Twitter Focuses On Safety With New Labeling Procedures

Tweets that violate Twitter’s policies will now be labeled once they have been reported or removed.

Why it matters: According to the announcement on Wednesday, Twitter thinks users should know when they have taken action against offending posts without having to be subjected to the post over and over in the timeline.

Details: When a tweet has been reported for violation of rules, it will now be hidden with a message confirming the report, Twitter announced this week. In addition, any tweets that have been removed for such violations will be labeled as such instead of disappearing entirely.

Twitter Moments May Soon Offer Annotations

Brief explanations called “annotations” are being tested inside the Twitter Moments that would add context to curated content displayed.

Why it matters: Moments offer users a way to save posts that are related to an idea or event. Users frequently use this feature to curate posts for easy reference and others may save a collection of responses to a subject they are passionate about. Annotations would allow outside viewers to gain insight such as the event’s origin or explanation of terms.

Details: Eagle-eyed Twitter users have spotted a new feature that adds context to tweets saved in the Moments tab. These annotations briefly explain why the news is being shared, background on the story or a definition of acronyms, such as PSL. The test was confirmed by Twitter’s director of curation, Joanna Geary.

Snapchat Examines User Visits To Big Box Stores

Snapchat users visit Big Box stores an average of twice per month, usually mid-month and on the weekends.

Why it matters: As Snapchat continues to woo advertisers, it has taken to gathering data around its user activity that continues outside the app. This shopping data has been rolled out through a “Footprints” retail insights series on Snapchat’s business portal.

Details: Snapchat found that its users frequent big box stores, but how often and when varies by age group. Users between the ages of 13-17 frequent these stores on the weekend, while those 18-24 make weekday visits more than any other age group. Compared to other Snapchatters, users that visit big box stores are more likely to enjoy burgers and cycling, the company noted. In addition, this group is 1.8 times more likely to be a fan of rock music and technology while 1.6 times more likely to be a cord-cutter.

Facebook Released Portal, Now Sets Its Sights On Your TV

Facebook just released Portal, but it seems they have more coming—Cheddar has learned of plans to release a camera for TVs that would allow video chatting and streaming of Watch content.

Why it matters: Last week, Facebook announced its Portal devices along with a carefully worded statement about how it would never record calls or collect data to serve ads. A spokesperson for Facebook told Recode that this is exactly what they’re doing, minus recording calls. After the massive data breach and this new information, would consumers really trust Facebook enough to let them record their activity at home?

Details: Codenamed “Ripley,” Facebook has been developing a camera-mounted device that sits on top of TVs. Like the camera on the Portal, Ripley would track users around the room during video chat. In addition, users would be able to stream content from Watch onto their larger screens.

Pinterest Introduces New Self-Serve Marketing Tools

Based on user feedback, Pinterest has upgraded its suite of self-serve marketing tools and added how-to articles that help advertisers get started.

Why it matters: With over 250 million users, Pinterest has become a social search engine for things to buy. ThirdLove claims that using Pinterest’s Ad Manager allowed them to lower their Cost Per Checkouts by 61 percent YoY.

Details: Pinterest has added new self-serve marketing tools that include placement options, audience sizing tools, audience insights tools and updated interest categories.

Facebook Watch To Host Interactive New Version Of MTV’s ‘The Real World’

MTV’s infamous reality show The Real World is getting the Facebook treatment, complete with interactive elements to help shape the course of the program.

Why it matters: The Real World ran for 32 seasons, making it a well-known franchise that spans generations. MTV and Facebook both stand to gain from an exclusive Watch version, adding interactive elements and driving ad revenue.

Details: As reported by Reuters, Facebook will announce a reboot of The Real World during Mipcon in Cannes, France on Wednesday. The iconic, drama-filled reality show will return in the form of three interactive series, exclusive to Facebook Watch. Users will be able to interact during each program and help shape the direction of the show through voting and comments.

Twitter Releases Data Surrounding Foreign Election Interference

Twitter released statistics and additional data regarding misinformation campaigns that targeted the platform as early as 2009.

Why it matters: As promised to Congress and US citizens, Twitter is providing updates in regard to misinformation campaigns discovered on the platform. Transparency will be key to maintaining trust with the American people and its advertisers. In addition, the dataset will help authorities better understand this behavior.

Details: Twitter revealed large datasets comprised of 3,841 accounts affiliated with the IRA, originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran. They include more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest on-Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009, the company said.

YouTube Reduces Attribution And Conversion Criteria For TrueView Ads

YouTube updated the criteria as follows: Engagement will be counted if a user views a TrueView ad for 10 seconds or more. A conversion will be counted if a user takes action within three days of an engagement.

Why it matters: YouTube says the reduction will better reflect “the relationship between video ad exposure and conversions.” This shorter engagement-to-conversion window will mean faster ramp-up times for target CPA campaigns and more current reporting, but that translates to faster charges to the advertiser, as well.

Details: Engagement has been decreased from 30 seconds to 10 seconds and conversion from 30 days to three days. These guidelines are set by default.

Twitter Contributes To ‘Filter Bubbles,’ Admits Jack Dorsey, But He Wants To Fix That

At the WIRED25 conference in San Francisco on Monday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressed concerns about the role that algorithms and following accounts rather than topics may have on public conversation.

Why it matters: During this time of political and social turmoil, social media has been accused of pushing certain agendas while silencing others. Dorsey previously said that he wanted to rethink the way that Twitter works so that would “serve public conversation” while offering new ideas in the process.

Details: “I think Twitter does contribute to filter bubbles, and I think that’s wrong of us and we need to fix it,” Dorsey said. He suggested that if users were to follow topics rather than individual accounts, they might be exposed to more ideas instead of simply affirming their existing opinions.

Instagram Co-Founder Outlines What’s Wrong With Social Media Today

Also, during the WIRED25 conference, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who recently left the company, finally spoke out about the negative impact that control has over social media users.

Why it matters: Systrom said that companies like Facebook focus too much on technology and not on its users, particularly when it comes to controlling one’s own content. Facebook, which acquired Instagram, has since implemented a number of technologies to “improve” the service for advertisers but Systrom questions the effectiveness of these methods.

Details: Systrom expressed his concerns about Facebook’s overreliance on technology and the impact it has on social media users. “That [control] has nothing to do with robots, AI and image detection. It’s just control,” he said. “It’s a philosophical switch saying you’re in control of your content, not us. And that felt to me like a big shift.”

Pinterest Adds Shopping Recommendations For Style, Home And Decor

Product Pins will be recommended to users based on their searches that include information like seller, price and availability. In addition, a shopping shortcut will be added to the home feed so that users on the lookout for purchases can cut straight to the mission at hand.

Why it matters: Pinterest’s Buyable Pins allow users to purchase items directly from the seller, but were less personalized than this new breed of recommendations.

Details: Product Pins are rolling out to iOS and Android applications that display results based on user searches, behavior and trending items. Clicking through one of the recommended Pins will take users to a feed of similar items, where they can shop to their heart’s content. With the introduction of Product Pins, Pinterest will sunset its Buyable Pins option.

Facebook Extends Policies To Address Voter Suppression Techniques

Among a laundry list of ways that users can abuse Facebook, spreading misinformation designed to suppress voters is high on the site’s list of problems to address. Like other “fake news,” however, Facebook will only deprioritize this behavior in the news feed as opposed to removing it altogether.

Why it matters: Posts that discourage voters from participating can vary from false instructions to claiming that a particular polling station is closed. Facebook is trying to avoid being used to manipulate public opinion in the US and other elections by continually updating its policies regarding this behavior.

Details: Facebook has expanded its policies to include behavior that discourages voting. The site has already banned buying and selling votes as well as purposely incorrect voting information, such as separate dates for Democrat vs. Republicans or being able to submit a ballot via text message.

“Expanding our policy is just one of the steps we’re taking to strengthen the integrity of elections around the world,” wrote Facebook. We’re also getting better at detecting and removing fake accounts and increasing transparency across political and issue ads on the platform.”

College Students Rely On Snapchat For News, Study Finds

Several studies have already shown that consumers, especially young ones, turn to social media for news. A new study by Knight Foundation found that among college students, more than half rely on Snapchat as a pathway to the latest happenings.

Why it matters: Facebook is fighting fake news for good reason—it has become the go-to destination for consumers to stay informed. Knight Foundation’s study discovered that in second place, Snapchat is proving a source not just for entertainment but information. While it’s not surprising that young users would find news on the platform they frequent, Knight Foundation’s findings are contrary to figures by Pew Research, which reported 29 percent of Snapchat news consumption among adults in 2017.

Details: A survey of 5,844 college students from 11 US institutions found that a majority—89 percent—said they got at least some of their news from social media over the previous week. At 71 percent, Facebook was the most popular source of news, but Snapchat came in second at 55 percent. YouTube, Instagram and Twitter followed at 54 percent, 51 percent and 42 percent of respondents, respectively.

Snapchat Adds Filters For Your Feline Family

Users on Snapchat can now add filters to pictures of their cats that include flowers, unicorn horns, glasses and bat wings for those little furry devils.

Why it matters: People just love to share and watch images or videos of their pets. The internet has had a lot of fun face-swapping with cats and dogs on Snapchat but filters didn’t always recognize a cat’s face. The new filter is specially designed to do so.

Details: Snapchat has released new filters specially designed to recognize a cat on the camera. To use, bring up the camera in Snapchat and tap on your cat’s face. This will bring up available filters labeled with a paw print.

Most Americans Aware Of Social Media Bots And Are Not Amused

Pew Research found that a majority of Americans have heard of social media bots, are confident they can identify them and are convinced that most of them are up to no good.

Why it matters: Political interference has Americans on edge when it comes to automated accounts. Twitter bots can be used for helpful purposes, like to offer daily quotes or facts or entertain through parody. As Twitter and Facebook continue to delete malicious accounts, however, the public has become painfully aware of motives that are not so wholesome.

Details: A Pew Research Center survey conducted July 30 through August 12, 2018 asked 4,581 US adults about their knowledge and attitudes surrounding bots on Twitter. Sixty-six percent said that they had heard of social media bots and of those, eight-in-ten said that these accounts are mostly used for bad purposes. While not everyone was as skeptical about the integrity of automated accounts, it was a minority—just 17 percent said social bots are mostly used for good purposes.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, October 19. 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

Wayfair Broadens Strategy With Pop-Ups, Membership and Tech

Wayfair has expanded its marketing efforts with three new strategies—membership, physical retail and mixed reality. According to the direct-to-consumer furnishings brand, these activations are meant to deepen engagement with customers beyond its online presence.

Unveiled this week, MyWay is Wayfair’s answer to Amazon Prime—offering benefits to its subscribers and offering personalized shopping recommendations. For $29.99 per year, MyWay members receive free shipping that includes one-day delivery, 25 percent off in-home services like installation and hand-picked perks and promotions.

“With the introduction of MyWay, we are inviting customers to enjoy an elevated level of service and value while offering yet another reason to make Wayfair their go-to destination for everything home,” said Wayfair’s chief product and marketing officer Ed Macri in a press release.

Considering the fact that around 65 percent of Wayfair sales originate from existing customers, it’s a good idea to make them feel special.

A 2017 study conducted by Forrester Research found that 59 percent of US online adults who belong to customer loyalty programs say that getting special offers or treatment that isn’t available to other customers is important to them. Forrester also learned that loyalty members spend more on average than non-members.

While brick-and-mortar retailers look for ways to sell direct, digital native brands like Wayfair are launching physical locations.

For the first time, Wayfair is launching a physical showroom just in time for the holiday shopping season. Two pop-up retail locations, open from November 1 to January 2, will be installed—one in Massachusetts and the other in New Jersey.

Notably, it’s a good year for Wayfair to test its physical retail presence. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday retail sales in November and December will reach $721 billion in the US. Also, furniture and home furnishing store sales increased 1.5 YoY for the month of September.

In addition to attracting new customers and letting existing ones sample products first-hand, Wayfair is using the opportunity to show off its customer service and technology at these pop-up locations. A How-To station will offer custom furniture design and access to the brand’s website. Both customer service and home design experts will be present in the stores to answer questions, while walking guests through Wayfair’s e-design platform.

Speaking of design, Wayfair also has continued its AR strategy with a mixed reality app called Wayfair Spaces for Magic Leap One. The experience presents a selection of three-dimensional rooms that consumers can explore from a bird’s eye view. Users can then drag individual items outside of the 3D rooms, where they transform into life-size products that anchor to the floor in augmented reality. Product information, prices and reviews can then be displayed by interacting with virtual items.

Balancing CRM Tech With Human Engagement Remains A Challenge, Marketers Say

Automation may be the way of the CRM future, but marketers—and consumers—still value human interaction. Maintaining a balance between the two in a digital world is proving difficult, a new study found, as marketers struggle to use tools efficiently.

Scaling Human Interaction in Customer Experiences” is a study conducted by Harvard Business Review (HBR) Analytic Services and sponsored by live marketing experience provider ON24. A total of 282 readers of HBR completed a survey in November that explores the relationship between automated CRM and in-person customer service.

Maintaining a human element in a customer experience is highly valued by marketers, with 80 percent claiming that this approach gives their organization a distinct competitive edge. As brands invest in data and technology to keep up with consumer demands, however, 60 percent of marketers surveyed admitted that it’s difficult to replicate face-to-face experiences with customers by using digital technologies.

While 58 percent of respondents named CRM as one of the top three technology investments for their organizations, only 36 percent report significant returns. Similarly, social media monitoring and communication management topped the list in terms of investment but only 27 percent reported any significant ROI.

It’s not that technology ruins the customer experience, but you have to know what you’re going for, suggests Christine Jacobs Pribilski, vice president of worldwide marketing for IBM Cloud in the report.

“Often companies tend to buy point solutions or tools in the absence of an overall customer experience strategy,” said Pribilski. “That can potentially limit the impact on the ROI that a company sees.”

About half of respondents say their organizations are trying to create personalized experiences but are still struggling. The top reasons for this include siloed organizational structure, a lack of interoperability between technology systems and a lack of resources.

It’s not surprising that CRM technology providers have conducted many surveys like this one that illustrates a need for brands to seek help for reaching customers. When it comes to a desire for human interaction, however, the customers have spoken. A recent report by Invoca found that around half of consumers across generations would rather speak to a human being than an automated system, especially when it comes to making stressful purchase decisions.

Influencer Marketing Focused On Long-Term Relationships, Hindered By Budgets, Report Says

Budget restraints and a lack of ROI prevent many brands from adopting influencer marketing strategies, according to a new report by Traackr. Failure to adopt a long-term strategy is also a culprit, although more brands are focusing on nurturing creator relationships than they were last year.

“The State of Influence 2.0” is the second annual report by Traackr, an influencer relationship management platform. Written by Altimeter principle analyst Brian Solis, the report includes responses from 118 digital marketers in both B2C and B2B industries that include Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Nissan and L’Oreal. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents come from companies with over 10,000 employees, 17 percent of respondents were from companies over 1,000 employees and 66 percent come from either Fortune 500 or Forbes Global 2000.

The most important question for marketers was why they turn to influencer marketing in the first place. Top marketing priorities among respondents were to raise brand awareness (47 percent), followed by calculating ROI and attribution (37 percent), Traackr found.

These results are significantly different than a poll of 158 marketers by ANA in April, finding that 86 percent use influencer marketing for brand awareness. Another key difference between the two studies lies in compensation—while 62 percent of ANA members pay influencers monetarily, several respondents of Traackr’s survey, including Microsoft and Sipsmith, said that they rely more on relationships than paid agreements.

When comparing owned, earned and paid partnerships, 81 percent of marketers surveyed by Traackr placed greater importance on developing partnerships with influencers in an earned capacity, compared to 61 percent that focused on paid partnerships.

Brands are saving a place for influencer marketing in the budget, but not that much. More than half of respondents said that influencer marketing accounts for less than 10 percent of the total budget. A majority of this budget is allocated to content creation, followed by agencies and influencer compensation. The least amount of budget goes to technology—a fact that Traackr was understandably concerned about.

According to Traackr, 70 percent of marketers surveyed have influencer marketing budgets of more than $100,000, compared to 38 percent of ANA members. Influencer marketing ad spend is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022, according to Business Insider.