A Marketer’s Guide To DEW 2019 Panels & Fireside Chats

The Digital Entertainment World (DEW) conference returns to bring back leaders, creators and brands in the digital space to discuss the most important changes and innovations.

This year’s theme is “The Power of Creativity and Influence” and there are a few marketing-focused panels you don’t want to miss. Unless otherwise noted, all panels on this list will take place at the Marina Del Rey Marriott—4100 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292.

Monday, February 4

The Power of Creativity & Influence

This opening panel gets you warmed-up by discussing the importance of influencers and creators in digital entertainment and dissects the conference’s theme.

When: 10:15 a.m.

Where: Bayview Ballroom


Clark Stacey—CEO and co-founder, Wildworks

Dan Weinstein—president and co-founder, Studio71

Chris M. Williams—CEO and founder, pocket.watch

Shelley Zimmerman—co-head, Awesomeness

Adapting To The Changing Distribution Landscape

Digital marketing strategies can be a gamble, with distribution platforms constantly changing. Also, lets not forget about pop-up blockers! Hear what’s worked and what hasn’t, I’m sure you’ll relate to their experiences.

When: 12:15 a.m.

Where: Promenade


Chris Borelli—VP of brand partnerships, IMGN Media

Andi Frieder—global head of industry, entertainment, Spotify

Katie Ioffe—director of marketing and digital strategies, Mattel

Robert Schefferine—VP production, ABC Entertainment Marketing, Disney ABC Television Group

Russell Schneider—head of sales and business development, 9GAG

Building Immersive Marketing Campaigns: A Fireside Chat With Universal Studios

It’s no secret Universal Pictures has extremely successful franchises. But how do they keep it going? The landscape has changed and tools like AR and VR have helped their campaigns. This fireside chat is moderated by Kimberlee Archer, head of developer marketing—AR/VR for Facebook.

When: 2:30 p.m.

Where: Bayview Ballroom


Hilary Hoffman—executive vice president, global marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Doug Neil—executive vice president marketing, Universal Pictures

Gen Z Essentials – How To Resonate With The Next Generation Of Cultural Influencers

Marketers are still trying to figure out how to best reach Gen Z. Charneski will share some insight based on research to help you better understand the demo.

When: 3:15 p.m.

Where: Pacific II


Jayne Charneski—founder, Front Row Insights and Strategy

How Games Are Transforming The Rest Of The Entertainment Industry 

Video games continue to grow and it’s going to impact all aspects of entertainment. Listen to how some companies are adapting.

When: 3:15 p.m.

Where: Pacific III


Carter Rogersprincipal analyst, SuperData, a Nielsen Company

The Evolution Of Brands, Content And Marketing

You hear it all the time, it’s about content, content, content. Panelists will show examples of how brands are creating engaging content and how it impacts consumers.

When: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Promenade


Lisa Bilgrei—branded content expert, Google

Adam Hua—SVP of business development, CitizensNet, A Conde´ Nast Company

Folayo Lasaki—VP of marketing, SoulPancake

Tina Walsh—VP of content strategy, Tongal

Kat Jones—founder, Motiv PR

Influencer Marketing: Strategies For Success

Influencers are essential to digital advertising. However, it’s still ambiguous on how to best work with influencers and the legal rules. This panel will reveal effective influencer strategies and even touch on the issue of metrics.

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Pacific II


Phil Hickey—EVP brand and marketing, Seriously

Brittani Kagen—head of talent, Portal A

Kamiu Lee, CEO, Activate

Julia Moonves—VP of sales and business development, pocket.watch

Mia von Sadovsky—SVP/group strategic planning director, RPA

Allison Dollar—CEO, ITV Alliance

Expanding Music Festivals Through Live Streaming: Connecting Brands With Viewers Around The World

Video content is the focus of many brands, big and small. Music festivals are events many consumers want to be part of and video can be there only way to experience it.

When: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Malibu/Santa Monica


Kevin Chernett, EVP—global partnerships and content distribution, Live Nation

John Petrocelli—CEO, Bulldog Digital Media

Kim Owens—VP of strategy and operations, FestiFi

Chystine Villarreal—President, MIXhalo

Creators And Influencers Roundtable

Tips on how brands can more efficiently work with influencers for digital campaigns.

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: Pacific II


Wesley “Wuz Good” Armstrong—Influencer

Gabriela Bandy—Influencer

Nick Carreras—VP talent and brand strategy, Bent Pixels

Tess Finkle—founder and CEO, Metro

Kate Mcguire—talent manager, Fullscreen

Music As An Original Video Content Strategy

What are the best ways to advertise music in videos? What are consumers reacting to? These panelists will discuss what they believe is the future is and which strategies marketers should use.

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: Malibu/Santa Monica


Hisham Dahud—brand manager and digital strategist, Junkie XL, Desert Hearts, Poolside and more

Verena Papik—chief marketing officer, TuneMoji

David McTiernan—director of label relations, VEVO

The Future Of The Videos/TV/Movies Business

These top decision-makers will get into the monetization of video content across various platforms. It takes a lot of time and effort to create content and with all the devices and platforms consumers use, it can be tricky to know which steps to take.

When: 5:00 p.m.

Where: Bayview Ballroom


Jesús Chavez—CEO, Vertical Networks

Ashley McCollum—general manager, Tasty

Ira Rubenstein—chief digital and marketing officer, PBS Digital

Tuesday, February 5

The Future Of Brands, Marketing And Entertainment

What’s in store for years to come? The presentations discuss two different tools for brands to stay ahead of the game: AI, omniculturalism and decentralized virtual marketplaces.

When: 9:40 a.m.

Where: Bayview Ballroom


David Kulczar—senior product manager, IBM Watson Media

Linda Ong—chief culture officer, Civic Entertainment Group

William Quigley—CEO, Clearstone Ventures, OpSkins, and Wax

The Future Of Content Marketing

Traditional advertising is slowly becoming old news being replaced by digital. These panelists will show examples of brands retaining customers through relationships and relatable content.

When: 10:15 a.m.

Where: Bayview Ballroom


Russell Arons—SVP and general manager, Machinima

Kym Nelson—SVP of client strategy west, Twitch

Tina Pukonen—head of entertainment strategy, Pinterest

Keynote Conversation With Facebook And Warner Media

Consumers have more control over what they watch and when. Facebook and Warner are leaders in the space, but even they have to adapt to the changes.

When: 10:15 a.m.

Where: Bayview Ballroom

Celiena Adcock—head of streaming, Facebook

Katie Soo—SVP, Warner Media

XR For Creative Storytelling 

Marketers are always trying to find ways to tell authentic, engaging stories. Parisi explains how XR can help in storytelling.

When: 11:45 a.m.

Where: Promenade


Tony Parisi—head of AR/VR ad innovation, Unity Technologies Inc

The Age Of Consumer-First Marketing: Bridging Content And Commerce

Looking at a consumer’s purchase decision can help marketers make more successful content to drive more sales.

When: 12:15 p.m.

Where: Promenade


Tom Bash—VP, product, ChefsFeed

Javon Frazier—EVP of strategy and business development, Studio71

Chang Kim—founder and CEO, Tapas Media

Jon Vlassopulos—CEO, Tribalist

Which Platform Is Right For You?

We all know there are many platforms to choose from, but it can be overwhelming to chose. What are the differences and what’s best for your brand? Let’s narrow it down.

When: 12:15 p.m.

Where: Pacific II

Eyal Baumel—CEO, Yoola

Max Levine—co-founder, MC Projects

Sephi Shapira—founder and CEO, Escapex

The Future of Esports: The Opportunity For Brands, Agencies And Marketers

Some brands have collaborated with esports, but what is working? This panel explains which activations have stood out and other opportunities for marketers jump in.

When: 12:15 p.m.

Where: Pacific III


Mike Lee—esports Agent, United Talent Agency

Marco Mereu—co-founder and CEO, Framerate

David Mok—director of developer partnerships, Skillz

Peter Trinh— managing director of international and independent film, ICM Partners

Using Immersive Marketing

This panel will reveal the in’s and out’s of immersive content formats. We all know VR, AR and 3D are used in marketing, but what are industry leaders seeing?

When: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Venice/Peninsula


Sarah Bachman—SVP of digital experiences lead, Horizon Media

Emily Rosen—associate creative director, BBH LA

Jason Steinberg—managing partner, Pretty Big Monster

The Intersection Of Cannabis And Brands

Cannabis is slowly becoming legal in various states across the US. How can cannabis marketers still be successful despite all the regulations?  How can we move on from the stigmas? These panelists discuss their experiences.

When: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Sierra


Yvette McDowell—board member, CCIA, former Pasadena City prosecutor

Tracy Ryan,—founder and CEO, CannaKids

Curtis Stafford—founder and CEO, ZYRS Group

Jackie Subeck—CEO, Hey Jackpot!, Door Number Six

What’s Next In Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing events can be quite a hit with consumers. The panelists talk about the various aspects that get audiences engaged before and after the event.

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: Promenade


Karen Morgan—co-founder and creative director, Soma Innovation Lab

Chris Sumner—senior vice president of business development and strategy, Refinery29

Johanna Salazar—co-founder & chief media disrupter, Two Goats, Inc

Brands And Music

Brands and music have a partnership in order to connect with consumers, but are long-term or short-term deals better? This panel dives into current opportunities and future ones. Let’s discuss.

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: Malibu/Santa Monica


Samantha Fernandez,—senior director, AEG Global Partnerships

Brand React To The Polar Vortex With Humor, Helpful Tips

The polar vortex is not a typical snow day in from work and school. The extreme and deadly vortex traveled to the Great Lakes states and its made the weather abnormally cold. The freezing, monster winds covered parts of the US ranging from West Virginia to as far north as the Dakotas. Those living in Minnesota are experiencing the worst temperatures—60 below zero. In response to this insane weather, some brands are using humor while others are offering helpful tips.

The Glenlivet used humor to get into the conversation and tweeted a gif of their scotch bottle being enveloped in snow with the words “Just chilling, hbu?” One user responded with a gif of a dog wearing sunglasses in a pool with the words “A bit cold.”

Chicago brewery Goose Island, made a campaign out of the situation. The Chicago Tribune explains:

Goose Island is back with another subject dear to [Chicago’s] heart: dibs.

“Dibs,” for those unaware, is the time-honored practice of digging out a parking spot on the city’s streets after a large snowstorm, then claiming the real estate in perpetuity with whatever junk is handy in the garage. Lawn chairs. Traffic cones. Plastic coolers. The more ridiculous the better.

Goose Island will honor both the tradition and the debate around it with a beer release at its taproom Saturday at noon. The beer, an ideal-for-winter porter clocking in at 6.5 percent alcohol, will be available on draft and to-go in 32-ounce cans, tagged either with an orange Pro Dibs sticker or a blue Anti Dibs sticker.

Baseball franchises with outdoor stadiums were also affected by the polar vortex. The Colorado Rockies got around 1.7K likes when they asked their fans to name their snowman. After the team got a few submissions, they posted the best and worst names suggestions. The Cleveland Indians asked fans for 1 million retweets to lick a foul pole. So far the tweet has only gotten around 40K retweets.

The Broad, a contemporary art museum in Los Angeles, incorporated Ed Ruscha art with the cold weather in response to the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo.

Lyft went another direction and instead of offering some laughs, they offered help by providing “Relief Rides” to warming centers in Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee and the Twin Cities. The response was mostly appreciative, but also met with some concern. One user replied “Thank you for this. I hope you compensate the drivers for driving in such difficult conditions and really helping people in need.”

A report by Trailer Park and USC’s Annenberg Innovative Lab found marketers don’t want to just “share a voice” through various platforms, but getting a “share of cultural conversation” may just be as vital. The study found 73 percent of consumers surveyed say “news finds me, but then I validate it’s actually news by checking a credible source.” If a brand connects with a current event, it could gain more attention to their digital content.

Youth Marketer Gregg Witt: For Brands, Collaboration Is Not Just A Trend, But A Survival Tactic

Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2000, are now young adults and many of them have entered the workforce. Marketers often clump this group together with millennials, but they’re not the same marketers shouldn’t view them under the same lens. Gen Z is less interested in mainstream platforms like TV and leans towards YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Gregg Witt says Gen Z refers to themselves as the “hyper-individualized generation.”

Witt, a youth brand strategist and chief strategy officer of Engage Youth, spoke to AList about some of the nuances of Gen Z—a group that is expected to surpass millennials in 2019 as the largest generation. Witt co-authored the book The Gen Z Frequency: How Brands Tune In and Build Credibility, where he explains how the generation tends to be independent, diverse, engaged in social and political causes, and how they’ve developed an ability to filter information—like advertisements—extremely quickly.

Let’s talk about the growing importance of Gen Z for marketers.

If you start off with importance, from the psychological perspective and from the matter of fact, there is more Gen Z population worldwide than any other group of people before them.

It’s not only that there is this massive population, but it’s going to be a colossal shift in the consumer demographics. When Nigeria and Indonesia become the largest youth populations, you are going to see the market shift.

The sheer numbers of creation, innovation, markets, new markets, that are going to come to these countries. We see generations come and go—some things change, some things are similar, some are completely different—but this is pretty colossal.

What do you think marketers get wrong about Gen Z? 

I think that a lot of times they look at Gen Z with almost a herd mentality, thinking all Gen Zers are the same and they are into the same thing: people, brands, society. This happens with millennials too.

With Gen Z, what a lot of the brands and marketers get wrong is that they are continuing to label Gen Z like they’re a herd of sheep or label them off that they’re not so individualized. They’re not really looking at the cultural nuances.

Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube are excellent channels and platforms to reach Gen Z, but what a lot of the brands get wrong is that there is a slow, steady but major migration from these mass, understood platforms to the niche platforms, messengers and apps.

They’re missing out on the conversation. They are not actually aware that the true, intimate, real conversations are happening in Discord, TikTok and YouNow and even Messenger App. A lot of people don’t understand that even Facebook Messenger is very popular with older teens and young adults.

Utilizing all these smaller, cultural interest group-based platforms like AskFM, with massive growing populations and there is an actual conversation happening there. There is less algorithm and there is more engagement. That’s just one angle.

I think another very basic thing that brands often bypass is that they look at Gen Z today not at Gen Z in five to six years. Today they are tweens, teens and young adults and they’re very different segments.

Can you talk about the connection between purpose-driven marketing and Gen Z?

This is a matter of fact, and I thought it was [just] buzz before, but one of the pinnacle markers of Gen Z is that they are purpose-driven. I think part of it is, that [purpose-driven] is what you hear all the time from that age group, so you do tend to follow a bit. They don’t see [cause marketing] as played out. They just really want to see that it’s authentic and it doesn’t have to be grandiose.

Gen Z really cares about the story with brands and organizations. They can see when the brand or the company—either really small Instagram brands to Fortune 500 ones—that they live and breath their cause and that it actually is having some impact.

There is another important generational marker: their attitudes, views and perceptions of diversity. I find that in diversity, respect, and just [general] acceptance of people—we find one of the softer beautiful, encouraging, refreshing things about Gen Z.

What do you think has changed since we started tracking their habits? 

The reality of shoppable content and limited-edition products has become the demand. The idea of a really special product that’s associated with a certain content is becoming a trend that Gen Z wants, desires or demands.

It will continue to increase, as Amazon and other brands continue to commoditize every category. Amazon has the power to affect the Targets and Walmarts and to commoditize everything. Those brands in the middle are scared and [they’re] going to need this cool special content [to survive].

What types of brands are marketing best to Gen Z? 

Everything: fashion, technology, downloadable on-demand content, restaurants and food—being in that eco-system of relevant content because [brands] will be just missed if they are not.

It starts going into the broader content discussion. The big trend, this is a trend that I have a lot of passion for, is collaboration. I’ve looked closely [at the collaboration trend] saying, “God, is this going to burst? Is this going out of the way?”

Collaborating, even in different categories and genres, actually creates an opportunity to increase and grow a brand’s market. It becomes a survival tool. Let’s just say, that you’re a tailor that makes custom clothes and think you’re too big to be disrupted. If you never do collaborations with Twitch creators or Instagrammers, those smaller Instagram brands are going to slowly slice up all of your business.

The competitors for your business on Instagram, for a specific example, it’s not like 1000 or 5000 but more like 10,000 or 100,000 competitors slicing up your market share. The [collaboration trend] is not just for excitement, surprise and delight, but collaboration for survival.

How can brands avoid pandering to Gen Z? 

I would say that brands need to really leverage cementing their identity and make sure they are clear on their identity, value proposition, what they offer and what they don’t offer to the young people or to the modern consumer.

They need to determine certain areas where they contribute to culture. They can’t only be focused on smaller communities; they have to look at the conversions.

What trends do you see developing this year? 

A lot more brands will experiment and get into AR activation this year, but the big trend that we are going to see is chatbot—and it’s going to be normalizing. The chatbots are going to be more involved in what we are talking about.

You are going to see much more truly conversational chatbots on the rise. I’m not going to claim to be the tech expert on it for sure, but that’s going to be the major trend.

It’s a little sad, but esports will dominate traditional sports, as far as viewers. And we’ll see the evolution of esports as culture and lifestyle; esports brands, esports apparel, and the actual complete lifestyle around esports. It’ll be mainstream by the end of the year.

Companies seem to have less and less control over the brand narrative. Where does Gen Z fit into this cultural shift? 

Brands [that] give young people an opportunity to be a part of the brand’s story, and an opportunity to further attain an inspirational goal, can be very effective and potentially more effective with Gen Z.

Even though I say Gen Zers are highly social, it’s also a lonely place to be too. [They want to] be part of something important. Ultimately, when it comes to the storytelling and how brands can be successful—it comes down to the true sense of belonging that the organization is providing. I believe in that.

Domino’s Uses AI To Reward Points For Photographing Any Pizza

Domino’s is now giving pizza fans points for any pizza they purchase—even if it’s from a competitor. The company is launching the new rewards program right before one of biggest pizza consuming days of the year, the Super Bowl. Additionally, it’s the first time Domino’s will use AI  to recognize pizza, its part of the brand’s constant investment in consumer technology.

On February 2, Domino’s will start awarding rewards points for all pizzas a customer eats through its Points for Pies program. Consumers need to download the latest Domino’s App, then sign up for the Piece of the Pie Rewards loyalty program, and will need to use the pizza identification feature to scan their pies. Once they earn 60 points consumers can redeem a free medium two-topping pizza from Domino’s.

Domino’s CEO Rich Allison will also appear in his first TV commercial for the brand on February 2.

“Instead of advertising during Sunday’s game, we decided to invest in a breakthrough program that rewards everyone who loves pizza as much as we do,” said Art D’Elia, Domino’s senior vice president and chief brand officer in a statement. “We know everyone is asking themselves, ‘Did Domino’s just say they will award points for eating ANY pizza? Even from a competitor?’ You read that right; oh yes we did!”

The company’s internal team created the software that scans the pizza and the AI will identify the image as pizza so that points can be awarded correctly. They’ve also accounted for people trying to cheat.

“It will be running the pizza identification process and is already smart enough to identify all pizza, even if it is a homemade English muffin pizza, a pizza with a hotdog stuffed crust, or a high-end artisan pizza. It can even identify if it’s a dog’s squeaky pizza toy,” stated Dennis Maloney, Domino’s chief digital officer.

Last November, Domino’s launched a New Pizza Chef to their mobile app using AR. The feature allows customers to pick their crust, cheese, swirls and toppings. The virtual creation could be made into a real pizza and delivered to the user.

Domino’s also tested various new ways to order a pizza, including a voice-recognition ordering platform, and in 2014, they launched a virtual ordering assistant, DOM, that acted as the voice of the Domino’s Tracker.

Shutterstock Just Made Their Own Fyre Festival Trailer… Entirely Out Of Stock Footage

If there’s one thing to be said about the Fyre Festival, it’s that the marketing was slick. Unfortunately for many involved in the push, it wasn’t apparent it was false advertising until it was too late.

As the fated event has made its way back into the social consciousness by way of two recently released documentaries—Fyre and Frye Fraud, Shutterstock is capitalizing on the conversation with a new video that looks incredibly similar to the original event trailer.

The catch? It’s made entirely stock footage.


In the Netflix and Hulu documentaries, a key observation is just how much the would-be creators of the festival had spent on marketing the event instead of the actual production of it: a private island had been rented for use, a full camera crew was employed and a stunning number of celebrity influencers were invited to the days-long shoot.

While we can only guess at the extraordinary costs incurred from producing such a spectacle, Shutterstock is out to prove that none of that was really needed after all. Even the original footage of swimming pigs.

According to Shutterstock’s CMO, Lou Weiss, the video took under a day to compile, was a compilation of 18 different clips, and if all the footage had been licensed through Shutterstock, would have cost all of $2062 to create.

“After watching the documentary and getting a better understanding of what it took to create the first trailer we knew we could create the same thing much cheaper and from our desks, so we decided to have some fun and do it,” said Weiss to AList.

“We thought it would be a great way to show marketers and creative teams that you can truly create anything you want from our 12 million video clips and tens of thousands of music tracks in our Premiumbeat.com library at an amazing value compared to shooting original footage or creating your own music.”

Shutterstock has plans to put some paid media behind the video on its social channels, which is the first video released as part of the company’s “It’s Not Stock” campaign.

The Fyre Festival, which was supposed to have taken place in Spring 2017, notably booked influencers like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski and more to participate in the campaign, in both the content and the promotion of it on their channels. Those influencers are now reportedly facing subpoenas to disclose just how much they were paid for their involvement.


American Eagle Surrenders Creative Control To Gen Z’ers For New Campaign

There’s no better way to reach a specific audience than to have them conceive the content that genuinely grabs their attention. American Eagle partnered with 10 Gen Z influencers for their #AExME Spring campaign to do creative takeovers.

“This spring, AE is amplifying the voices of our customers by joining forces with a group of inspiring Gen Z’ers to help encourage others to share their unique style through our spring collection and Ne(X)t Level Jeans,” said Chad Kessler, American Eagle global brand president in a press release.

On top of styling and directing each shoot, they took their own pictures.

#AExME is American Eagle’s brand platform aimed at making their marketing more authentic and it strays away from posed models and highly curated settings. All participants chosen for the campaign had been carefully scouted from social media as part of an initiative to honor “freedom, inclusion, empowerment and difference.”

The creative process was very simple: they used their cameras and intimate scenes, like their homes, to express their own stories.

There are a series of self-portraits and videos in the campaign, with person showcasing their own interests and passions. For example, Mariana “doesn’t shy away from pushing her own limits and discovering who she is in the form of music and her passions.” Daevin is “on a mission to spread positive energy through his pictures and interactions on social media.”


“As a brand, AE has been a pioneer in collaborating with today’s youth to support self-expression and prioritizing their individuality,” said Kessler.

This an example of just one more step the company is taking to grow its Gen Z following. Last year, American Eagle launched a campaign to advertise its Ne(X)t Level Jeans. It featured a “Make Moves” video set to Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA.” It showcased real, diverse customers revealing how they move during their daily routine.

Aerie—American Eagle’s intimate apparel brand—has been doing its own style of videos on YouTube. Instead of copying the TV ad format, the brand concentrated on short tutorials, fit guides and simple video backdrops. American Eagle and Aerie both collaborate with influencers and its been quite a success. Mobile Marketer noted a Gartner L2 report found influencer Iskra drove 57 percent of Aerie’s views on YouTube in 2017.


Nissin Cup Noodles Discusses Deepening Their Relationship With Gamers

Nissin Cup Noodles collaborated with Bandai Namco to promote the highly-anticipated game Jump Force. It’s not the first time the popular noodle brand partnered with a video game creator. Last year, Nissin Cup Noodles did a similar campaign teaming up with Square Enix to promote Dissidia Final Fantasy NT ahead of its release on PlayStation 4. At that point, it was the first time the brand’s U.S. division partnered with a gaming company to promote their product.

The noodle brand distributed specially-marked packs featuring characters from the game. The packaging had codes for “exclusive in-game downloadable content.” After purchasing a special edition Cup Noodle, fans had to take a picture of their receipt and text it to the number on the package.

The process is the same for the Jump Force sweepstakes, but instead of getting content, consumers can win a trip to Tokyo, Japan and receive tickets to the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama.

This is an example of how more non-gaming brands are collaborating with gaming companies. And it must be working.

Gamers are very attractive to marketers because of the high amount of engagement the content demands and the diversity of the platforms.

The company has in the past been fairly involved in eSports. A few years ago, Cup Noodles sponsored a local eSports tournament in Southern California.

To get a little deeper on their strategies, AList spoke to Jaclyn Park, vice president of marketing at Nissin Foods US, about the Jump Force collaboration and their fan store.

Why did you decide to collaborate with Jump Force?  What made you want to do the sweepstakes to travel to Japan?

We really know and believe in the natural connection that gaming fans have with Cup Noodles. It’s something that we’ve seen in consumer research as well as our interactions with consumers in the market place. What we hear is Cup Noodles is the perfect gaming food because it’s delicious, warm and satisfying and you can put it down and play your game and pick it up and it’s still hot. It also doesn’t get your fingers messy.

I do think that the roots of Cup Noodles in Japan give it a culture connection and the top video games companies come out of there. We have always had this belief that’s been solidified to what we see on the market about the natural connection between Cup Noodles and gaming.

Last year, was the first time we acted on it in a big way with our first on-pack promotion. We were thrilled to find the opportunity with the new game, Jump Force, which is a great game that again has that cultural connection to Japan.

We feel like, with our roots in Japan, it was just a nice way to bring our love of all things Japanese together into a really fun on-pack promotion.

Has the Nissin Cup Noodle Japan been working with gaming companies for a long time?

Yes, there is a character in one of the Final Fantasy games that actually wears a Cup Noodles hat and it is something that came about through those connections and friendships that was built up between the two companies in Japan.

How was the response been in the US with the partnership you did last year?

We thought that the response was great. We did it on millions of packages and we collected a lot of responses especially from the social media space. We were thrilled to see people posting photos of the packages on shelves with the Dissidia Final Fantasy characters on them.

People were super excited, there were some really funny photos of people clearing out the shelves. The Cup Noodles packages were treated almost as collectibles and we think that is a lot of fun. We enjoyed seeing people get so excited about these kinds of partnership.

We really felt like we were on to something, so we felt very confident exploring something in the same vein, but a little bit different this year.

Which social media site was the most popular in showcasing these cups?  

Actually, with the hardcore gamers, Twitter is really their go-to social media site, but Instagram is definitely the most visually-oriented, obviously.

These were two sites on which we saw the most traction—kind of the breaking news, the “oh my Gosh, I found this Cup Noodles on the shelf, I can’t believe it! Am I really seeing this?” We saw a lot of that on Twitter because it’s just kind of the platform that lends itself to that. But a lot of the visuals, we also saw a lot of cross-posting as well.

People are just aren’t on one social media platform, but Twitter is the one it seems to be really big for the gamers. And then for people who really like to curate and present visually-arresting images, of course, Instagram is always a good place.

How did the partnership with Bandai Namco begin?  

The Bandai Namco partnership did not start in Japan, so it wasn’t our Japanese counterparts coming together. It was started in the US, in Los Angeles, they have an office in northern California.

We have the connections to the gaming world through some other partners we work with, specifically our agency. Once the news and the word of our Dissidia partnership came out last year, gaming companies took notice.

There was an interest in Bandai Namco’s part based on the new game they knew they were working on and once they layered in the Japanese connection and their connection to anime, which our fans also appreciate—we were in.

Have people already been submitting photos? 

Yes, we’ve already seen some photos that were really fun. I actually just put a Power Point together of the screen grabs for internal use to share the world with our people here. It’s been fun.

My favorite so far has been the completely emptied out shelf at a local grocery store with only one left. Just one lone cup left. The person who posted said that they had to put [the one they got] back there, just to take a picture. We’ve gotten hundreds in just a few days.

There is still time—until June 30—so we encourage everyone to enter and you can enter more than once.

Now let’s dive into the fan store. Why did Nissin Cup Noodles want to get into the e-commerce world? How have consumers reacted?

The reason why we wanted to get into e-commerce is that we wanted to share the love of the brand we were already seeing in the market place. The marketing team would go the events and we were fortunate enough to have Cup Noodles t-shirts, or Cup Noodles hats, so we could show our pride and our love for the brand.  We would always have consumers at the event asking “Hey, where can I buy that shirt, where can I buy that hat? Do you sell that shirt? Can I have that shirt?”

We started giving away the items at events, but we had very small quantities, and we decided to ramp it up and bring the items to a bigger audience. There is a lot of untapped love for these brands. It’s just the feeling of nostalgia and comfort everybody knows Cup Noodles and Top Ramen, and more times than not, there are brands that bring a smile to your face, just because memory you have associated with those brands.

We started small on National Noodle Day and we ramped up a bit for the holidays with some new items, like wrapping paper. It’s actually going pretty well and when we launched in October it helped that we had some Cup Noodles costumes—those were a big hit.

Other than the adult costumes, the stickers and mugs have been the most popular.

Who usually the buys the merchandise? 

We don’t collect of demographic info on our buyers because of privacy reasons. We do know that they are our fans, but everybody loves ramen and Cup Noodles, so it’s not just gamers.

But we do have some fun ideas that are the most appealing to especially the gamers. I know that a lot of people who follow us on social media and see the announcements on our social media platforms, like what is new in our fans stores and we allow people to easily click over.

We know that there are the fans that know and love us and we appreciate when they spread the word. They do a really good job with that.

Do you think Cup Noodles will continue to work with video game companies throughout the year and in the future? 

I think our interest in gaming and tapping into our natural connection to gamers and how much they love us is absolutely something we’re continuing to pursue. It would be foolish of us not to. And also, why wouldn’t we want to celebrate the people who have such a great love for us? We are always looking for opportunities in this space.


IG, FB, WhatsApp Messaging Will Be Integrated; Pinterest’s Skin Tone Palette Feature

This week in social media news, Facebook is working letting Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp users message each other, YouTube will curb promoting conspiracy theory videos, multiple studies find people over 65 and conservatives tend to spread fake news, Pinterest will roll out a skin tone palette on iOS devices, Twitter shares fall after their CEO talks about harassment and works on new ‘original tweeter’ feature, Google, Facebook and Amazon spent record numbers on lobbying last year.

Facebook Is Working On Integrating Messenger, Instagram And WhatsApp

The New York Times reveals Zuckerberg wants to reconfigure the underlying infrastructure so users of each platform can communicate with one another.

Why it matters: This new feature could make the three platforms the most popular messaging service. It can also make Facebook more attractive to advertisers because of increased user engagement.

Details: Thousands of Facebook employees are working on the integration and Zuckerberg ordered all of the apps to incorporate end-to-end encryption to ensure privacy. WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram will still operate as stand-alone apps just the messaging infrastructure will be combined.

YouTube Plans To Cut Down On Promoting Conspiracy Theory Videos

The video platform said it would stop recommending “borderline content”—videos that almost break their guidelines—to curb viewers from watching videos with misinformation and conspiracy theories.

Why it matters: It’s an effort to prevent spreading “clickbaity” videos and inaccurate information to users.

Details: YouTube said the change would affect less than one percent of videos that are available on the platform. YouTube added this is not a way to control what viewers want to see stating, “To be clear, this will only affect recommendations of what videos to watch, not whether a video is available on YouTube. As always, people can still access all videos that comply with our Community Guidelines and, when relevant, these videos may appear in recommendations for channel subscribers and in search results.”

Baby Boomers Spread The Most Fake News On Twitter And Facebook

Two different studies find that people over 65 and conservatives are the biggest culprit for spreading misinformation on Twitter and Facebook.

Why it matters: We have a better idea who is sharing misinformation on social media.

Details: The study, published in the journal Science, examined over 16,000 Twitter accounts and found 16 of them tweeted out 80 percent of fake news. It’s an extremely small percentage, 99-percent of users don’t spread inaccurate information. The study’s co-author David Lazer, a Northeastern University political and computer science professor said “misinformation ‘super sharers’ flood Twitter with an average of 308 pieces of fakery each between Aug. 1 and Dec. 6 in 2016.” Another study analyzed the spread of false information on Facebook. It also found it was a small group of people sharing fake news, but those who do who did were more likely to be over 65 and conservatives.

Pinterest Adds Skin Tone Search Feature To iOS

Pinterest will launch a palette with a range of skin tones so users can find better beauty ideas.

Why it matters: This option recognizes Pinterest users’ diversity, and if the search is more personalized consumers will more likely buy more products.

Details: Pinterest began working on a way to better search for skin tone related keywords last April. The new palette will allow users to see other personalized pins and videos in the results. The company estimates around 52 million people engage with pins related to beauty content and about 63 percent of them pin and search beauty-related products on Pinterest. Additionally, about 86 percent of users made a purchase based on the pins.

Twitter Shares Fall After Dorsey Interviews On Harassment, Nazis

CNBC reports the platform’s shares fell over 4 percent after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke about white nationalists, harassment and his trip to Myanmar in interviews with Rolling Stone and The Bill Simmons Podcast

Why it matters: It seems some are uneasy with Dorsey’s comments as he put more weight on user actions when it comes to cleaning up harassment and hate groups on Twitter.

Details: During The Bill Simmons Podcast, Dorsey was asked about harassment on Twitter. He told Simmons, “I will say that we don’t feel great about the state that we’re in. Our entire harassment and abuse framework is dependent upon people reporting harassment and abuse, and it’s completely unfair that the victim of the abuse and harassment has to report it themselves.” During the Rolling Stone interview, Dorsey talked about white nationalists and Nazis and said users who align with these groups aren’t removed more because “A lot of people don’t report. They see things, but it’s easier to tweet out ‘get rid of the Nazis’ than to report it.” He added his controversial trip to Myanmar was a meditation trip and said Twitter is very small there compared to Facebook.

Twitter Works On ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag To Find Them Easily

Twitter is testing out a new tag to indicate who was a tweet’s original creator.

Why it matters: Threads can be very, very long and this will be a simple way for users to see who initially created a tweet. It will also help in determining real and imposter tweets, especially from notable users.

Details: Twitter confirmed their new feature to TechCrunch and revealed the tag has “been rolled out to a ‘small percentage’ of iOS and Android users across markets”.

Google, Facebook And Amazon Spent Over $48 Million Lobbying In 2018

The three tech giants spent a record amount on lobbying last year because of increased pressure from Washington.

Why it matters: It shows the companies are making efforts to protect their interests and possibly worried about government intervention.

Details: A lobbying disclosure report revealed Google spent $21.2 million on topics such as “online privacy and data security issues, general online consumer protection issues, mobile location privacy issues and policies on online controversial content.” Facebook spent $12.6 million and most of the money was spent on data privacy and cybersecurity. Amazon spent $14.2 million—a record number for the company—on postal reform, but also data privacy like the other two.

YouTube TV is Going Nationwide Just In Time For The Super Bowl

YouTube announced its cable-free live TV is expanding nationwide just in time for the big game.

Why it matters: YouTube TV scales its competition with Sling, PS Vue and Hulu TV for cord-cutters.

Details: YouTube’s statement revealed YouTube TV will now be available in 95 markets, “covering over 98 percent of households in the United States. When it launched two years ago, YouTube TV’s subscribers grew supposedly from around 300,000 in January 2018 to 800,000 in July. Users can watch over 60 networks including ABC, NBC, TNT and ESPN. Also, each YouTube TV account is only $40 a month and each membership comes with six accounts.

Instagram Says It’s Not Limiting Post Reach To 7 Percent

Instagram released an official statement explaining how it’s not capping the reach of user photos to seven percent of your followers.

Why it matters: If your content is only seen by seven percent of your followers then the reach isn’t as wide as previously thought and no one likes Big Brother controlling how many people see your photos.

Details: On their Twitter page, the platform explains what you see is all about engagement and the ones you engage with more you’ll see first on your feed. In an effort to clarify any more rumors, Instagram stated don’t hide posts from people you’re following.

FTC Plans To Place ‘Record-Setting’ Fine to Facebook

The FTC has been investigating the social media platform’s privacy practices since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Why it matters: Facebook has already been fined multiple times in Europe due to GDPR, but not yet in the U.S.

Details: The Washington Posts reports the penalty is expected to be over $22.5 million fine the FTC gave Google. Off the record, three people told the paper that U.S. regulators have discussed the fine against Facebook, but details have not been finalized yet. However, the government shut down has slowed things down.

iPhone Users Can Share Netflix Content On Instagram 

Netflix just gave iPhone users the ability to share links to shows and movies on Instagram Stories.

Why it matters: Given that Facebook probably considers Facebook Watch a “competitor” of Netflix, it’s interesting that they are allowing Instagram to share Netflix content in Stories.

Details: This will only work if you have the Netflix app on your phone. If you have it, tap “share” on the show you wish to share on Stories. Then you tap “Instagram Stories” and proceed like you usually do before you post to Stories. Android users will get the option later.

LinkedIn Allows Target Ads Based On Interest

LinkedIn announced marketers can now target their advertisement based on user interest.

Why it matters: Marketers can have a better idea on the way Linkedin users interact with content and their search activity, making their ads more attractive to the consumer.

Details: Under the campaign manager, there is a list of about 200 targeted “interests.” According to Media Post, Abhishek Kumar, Linkedin’s product strategy and operations, stated the process is “not based on search targeting, as with Google’s strategy, but rather by the interests that are reflected in users’ engagement and search activity.”

Twitter Tweets Video About “New Twitter”

Looks like Twitter is updating the user interface.

Why it matters: It may seem like just an update, but chances are Twitter is trying to move past the “filter bubble” it helped to create. They’ve referenced it previously.

Details: Twitter tweeted out a short video explaining some of the new update features and mentioned some users may already be able to opt-in to the new user interface.


Instagram Predicted To Be A $14 Billion Business This Year

Analysts anticipate Instagram will produce $14 billion in revenue as it continues to drive growth to Facebook.

Why it matters: Facebook’s core business is slowing down, but Instagram just keeps on expanding and improving its advertising efforts.

Details: Business Insider reports analysts predict Instagram will be Facebook’s “material driver for growth in [2019] and can grow 60 percent+ supporting core FB which FB which could decelerate below 20 percent+ growth for the first time.” They also predict Facebook Messenger and Whats App will be growth opportunities for Facebook.

European Snapchat Users Can Unlock Oreo-Themed AR Lens

Oreo’s new European campaign ‘Oreo People’ will let users scan codes on special Oreo packaging to unlock a cookie-themed AR lens, filters and ‘Oreoji’ digital stickers.

Why it matters: Mondelez-owned Oreo is attempting to reach a younger demographic through Snapchat over traditional platforms like TV.

Details: Oreo is placing Snapcodes on 134 million packages in Europe. In the UK fans can unlock a video game where players can roll downhill inside a transparent ball and avoid obstacles.

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

Ad Block Survey Shows Marketers, Consumers Frustrations

A new study by Visual Objects finds that a growing number of consumers are downloading ad blockers much the chagrin of marketers. Research shows the majority of respondents who use ad blockers (51 percent) find video ads the most annoying when browsing online.

The company surveyed 500 consumers who use ad blocker plugins on desktop or mobile. The study included research from Statista finding nearly one in three computers use at least “one form of ad blocker, a number that has doubled since 2014.”

According to the survey, “Over half of respondents (51 percent ) say they are most frustrated by some type of video ad. This statistic includes both videos that appear before content loads (21 percent) and ones that interrupt streaming (30 percent)”

Visual Objects revealed the number one reason people download ad blockers was to “limit interruptions online.” Around 22 percent did so to “increase control over browsing experience,” and 18 percent use it to “eliminate unuseful or irrelevant ads.”

“The sheer volume of ads will actually impact the website experience, particularly the loading time or even functionality,” said Kyle Deming, founder of the web services firm Wojo Design, to Visual Objects.

Around 64 percent of respondents only block ads on their desktop, making mobile a more susceptible platform. The study found its just easier to install on laptops or desktops. Ad blockers began to appear in 2003 and around 65 percent of those surveyed have used an ad blocked for at least a year. There were fewer long-term ad blocker users, about 27 percent have used one for a least five years.

My impression was that [ad blockers] have become popular only recently because users are becoming more tech-fluent,” Deming added. “Installing an ad blocker used to be a really tech-savvy move.”

The study highlighted Google as an example. The company’s Chrome Web Store offers ad blocker apps that are user-friendly. They noted mobile ad blockers are far more scarce.

However, in terms of mobile advertising, experts believe brands should focus their ad spend on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

“By going directly to the platform, you can avoid being stifled by ad blockers,” said Spencer X. Smith, founder of AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies, in the Visual Objects report.

According to a study in 2017, around 615 million devices use some form of ad blocking.

HBO’s ‘High Maintenance’ Activation Hands Out CBD Lattes in Venice, Brooklyn

HBO’s third season of High Maintenance premiered on Sunday, January 20 and it was promoted using the show’s prime product: cannabis. HBO placed green food trucks serving CBD coffee and lattes in New York City and Los Angeles.

The show’s Twitter posted pictures of the truck inviting fans to stop by on January 18, “Spread the word, Brooklyn. #HMonHBO is here to help you maintain. Swing by N 6th and Bedford for CBD lattes and coffee today.” The excitement reached beyond New York. One person replied, “Bring that to DC—lots of people here could use some good vibes!”

The Venice event happened the following day and similar to the Brooklyn invite, they posted a picture of the truck to entice locals.

The experiential event not only encourages the public to watch High Maintenance, but it taps into the growing cannabis industry—one that is quickly gaining mainstream momentum due to its legalization in several states. There is still a great deal of stigma around marijuana. However, at this event, no attendee left a truck “high.”

CBD or Cannabidiol is a cannabis plant-derived, non-psychoactive compound. A World Health Organization report found “cannabidiol does not appear to have potential or cause harm.” It’s also been linked to many health benefits alleviating seizures and anxiety.

While many brands have encountered several barriers when it comes to advertising, the High Maintenance activation illustrates a way to safely use cannabis in marketing.

In August, HBO did a similar interactive event with Bumble. For two weeks, Bumble Date and BFF users were invited to watch movies at the Brownstone in New York. It was part of their ‘Stay Home to the Movies’ campaign. HBO wanted to target a younger crowd because their core audience tends to be in their late 40s.

Ben Sinclair—the show’s leading man—made an appearance to the Brooklyn event to meet fans. Both trucks sold out of the lattes and altogether served around 1,000 drinks. According to Marketing Dive, the CBD Latte event “drove about 12,000 in-person impressions from customers walking around with branded coffee cups and sleeves.”

The comedy-drama TV show follows the New York City nameless deliveryman called “The Guy.” In each episode, he is the thread tying all the storylines together as he delivers weed to his clients. The show started as a web series on Vimeo in 2012 and got an HBO deal in 2015.