L’Oreal Appoints Nordics CMO; Participant Promotes For Global Marketer

This week’s executive shifts include L’Oreal appointing a Nordics CMO, Participant Media promoting a marketing VP, Cleer hiring a VP, Jamba Juice hiring a CMO from Blaze Pizza, K2 Sports appointing a veteran marketer, Token Name Service hiring a brand marketing expert, IAB UK hiring their first head of marketing, a new chief marketing officer for Greenhouse, a CMO for grocery chain New Seasons Market and a former Playtex marketer added to the Abercrombie board.

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

L’Oreal Promotes For Nordics CMO

L’Oreal has promoted Nick Buckley to chief marketing officer of Nordics. Buckley was previously the chief digital officer for L’Oreal in UK and Ireland. Before joining the beauty products company, Buckley was head of digital media and mobile marketing at Sony Mobile.

Buckley is also EMEA Board Director for the Mobile Marketing Association.

Participant Media Promotes VP

Participant Media has promoted Christina Kounelias to the role of president, worldwide marketing, where she was previously executive vice president. Kounelias came to Participant in 2016 after serving as the chief marketing officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Before that she held high-level marketing positions at New Line Cinema, Warner Bros and Fox Broadcasting.

Cleer Hires Marketing VP

Cleer, an audio products manufacturer, has named Aaron Levine as its new marketing VP. Levine comes to the company having worked in marketing at Sony Electronics, Sound United and Pioneer.

Jamba Juice Hires Former Blaze Pizza CMO

Amid a slew of c-suite hires, Jamba Juice has appointed Shivram Vaideeswaran as the company’s chief marketing officer. Vaideeswaran comes to he company after occupying the same role at Blaze Pizza for a little over a year.

Prior that Vaideeswaran was VP of marketing at Tender Greens, but he really cut his teeth at Taco Bell, where he worked his way up from a brand manager to head of global marketing and communications. According to Vaideeswaran’s LinkedIn he “[led] the global brand vision, digital strategy, and menu development and R+D for Taco Bell International.”

K2 Sports Appoints Global VP

K2 Sports has hired Tim Swart to be the company’s global vice president of marketing. Swart took the position in September after leaving Pretty Great Company. According to the press release, “Swart most recently led marketing efforts for the revitalization of a family of snow and lifestyle brands that included Bonfire, Nikita, SLVDR, and Sessions.”

K2 Sports presidentJohn Colonna said of the appointment, “I’ve known Tim Swart for more than 15 years, and he brings to K2 Sports a level of knowledge and experience that few have in this industry. His involvement leading marketing efforts for startups and globally established brands, as well as his hands-on management in the retail segment, is going to be a real asset as we ramp up our global marketing, especially with K2 Skis and K2 Snowboarding.”

Token Name Service Adds Brand Marketer

Token Name Service, a crypto naming service, has appointed Jerome Conlon to the brand and marketing team. No title was announced. Conlon put in 10 years of marketing work at Nike, ending his service in 1996 with the title of global director of marketing insights before taking a VP role at Starbucks.

IAB UK Appoints First Head Of Marketing

The Internet Advertising Bureau UK appointed Tom Stevens as the organization’s first head of marketing. The appointment came in December as Stevens left his position as head of marketing at Radiocentre and UK Radioplayer. Stevens previously worked in marketing at Cancer Research UK and Transport For London. He also volunteers his marketing services at Pride In London.

Greenhouse Adds Chief Marketing Officer

Greenhouse, a recruiting service, has appointed Carin Van Vuuren as the company’s chief marketing officer. Van Vuuren comes to the role after occupying the same role at CapGemini Consulting for two years.

Prior to that Van Vuuren worked at Usablenet where she was also chief marketing officer.

New Seasons Market Appoints CMO

Listed among several other c-suite shifts in the company, New Seasons Market has appointed Mary Wright to be the company’s chief marketing officer.

The grocery chain also named Forrest Hoffmaster as CEO and Kristi McFarland as chief strategy officer.

Derma E Promotes For CMO

Derma E, an eco-ethical skincare brand, has promoted Barbara Roll to the position of chief marketing officer, her previous role was senior vice president of marketing.

On the promotion, Roll said, “within my role as CMO, I will continue to reshape DERMA E’s marketing and build on the immense success curve to date. My goal is to aggressively create differentiation in how we market, communicate and bring product to shelf, building on our proven Clean Beauty Heritage both online and in store. With rapidly changing consumer shopping environments and the ability for fans to interact directly with a multitude of brands, I fully believe the future success of any brand is based on building strong online brand communities. My goal is to continue to be forward thinking in digital marketing and partnership building with our influencer and social communities.”

Abercrombie & Fitch Adds To Board

Abercrombie & Fitch have added Helen McCluskey to the company’s board. McCluskey currently serves on the boards of Dean Foods, Signet Jewelers and Avon, but she was previously Playtex’s senior vice president of marketing at Sara Lee Corporation. She was also previously president and CEO of Warnaco Group.

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

Job Vacancies 

Chief Marketing Officer ebay London, UK
Global Head (CMO) of Print Marketing HP Palo Alto, CA
Vice President, Marketing Strategy and Project Management Paramount Pictures Hollywood, CA
Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Origins North America Estée Lauder Virtual, USA
Head of Marketing Uber London, UK
VP Marketing Analytics DISNEY New York, NY

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

Digital Entertainment World 2019 Showcases 75+ Unique Sessions; 200 Speakers

Recognized by Hollywood insiders, digital influencers and industry leaders throughout the world as a “must-attend” event, now in its 6th year, Digital Media Wire’s Digital Entertainment World (DEW) is where you want to be if you are in the business of creating or monetizing digital entertainment content.

Digital Entertainment World 2019 focuses on “The Power of Creativity and Influence” and will cover topics from OTT to Innovation to eSports to Millennials to Content Marketing to VR/AR to Music to Rights to Startups, etc., as this theme guides all talks, discussions, meetings and presentations over the two days: February 4-5, 2019. We’ll hear from the creators, brands and platforms that are growing audiences and engaging fans and showcase the innovative partnerships between technology and content companies that are bringing new entertainment experiences to life.

We are pleased to announce the addition of the “Creators & Influencers” track–two days of sessions devoted to the dynamic creators and influencers and their tech and brand partners.

DEW includes more than 75 unique sessions and 200 speakers on topics essential to the future of video, music, brands, marketing, gaming, AR/VR and AI. The fast-growing two-day conference includes six tracks: Video/TV/Movies; Brands/Advertising; Games/Interactive; Music; RightsTech; and Creators/Influencers.

This year’s event will be held in the hip and modern Marina del Rey Marriott just steps from the beach and located in the heart of LA’s thriving Silicon Beach with easy access to Santa Monica, Venice and Playa Vista. The event includes keynotes, fireside chats, presentations, panel discussions, tech demos, startup showcase, innovative exhibitions, daily DJ music and performers and the best networking in the hotel’s Sinder Lounge.

Join DEW 2019 on February 4-5 at the Marriott Marina del Rey and be a part of the future of connected entertainment.
For more information, including schedule and speaker details, please visit: www.dewexpo.com.

Expensify’s New Spot With 2 Chainz Has Receipts That You Can Actually Expense

We’re spotting a trend this year: Super Bowl ads that you don’t just watch but actively participate in.

Case in point, San Francisco-based company Expensify is rolling out a Super Bowl ad this year that features 2 Chainz and Adam Scott in a music video that is riddled with Easter eggs in the form of receipts that viewers can screenshot to “expense” with the app for a chance to win cash.

“Our Super Bowl campaign is clearly the biggest investment we’ve ever made—one that, if you had asked me 10 years ago, I would never have thought possible, ” said CEO David Barrett to AList. “But after a decade spending next to nothing on external marketing, focusing instead on the product and our people, it was time to make a splash. And, we don’t intend to stop here. It’s a new day for Expensify.”

The video is full of uncanny, dream-like sequences that segue in and out of animation showing 2 Chainz living the high life as a result of being able to expense his receipts.

The catchy full ad, uploaded to YouTube today clocks in at 3:51, but the company says the actual Super Bowl spot will be the usual 30 seconds.

The company’s YouTube channel even includes an instructions video that details how to participate and a shorter, 15-second spot that encourages viewers to go to their microsite, Expensifythis.com. There will also be additional chances to win with “more items you can expense” on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

“The first music video you can expense is essentially a product demo—one that showcases the spirit and functionality of Expensify—wrapped up in an awesome and fun idea,” said Barrett.

“The project has more creativity, star power, energy and personality than we could have imagined and we’re so proud of the way it turned out.”

This is the company’s first foray into the Super Bowl, having been around since 2008, and constitutes a significant marketing push for the service, who, previous to this push had “grown 100 percent through word of mouth” according to Barrett.

When asked why the company chose the Super Bowl as the first marketing push for Expensify, Barrett cited not just the reach, but the prestige of the placement.

“There’s countless reasons to run a Super Bowl campaign—the eyeballs, the engagement, the growth opportunities, the esteem. But honestly, it’s just fun. That’s what we’re all about.”

While the campaign officially kicks off next week, they plan to continue the push through the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in February “and beyond,” and will include additional digital and film content, takeovers, digital banners and out-of-home advertising according to a press release.

This also coincides with a rebranding of Expensify, with a new logo unveiled earlier this week.

Burger King Pushes Mystery Boxes With Warhol Homage Teaser For Super Bowl LIII

Burger King and DoorDash have partnered up for Super Bowl LIII to promote the Mystery Box with a 30-second teaser as a sneak peek to an upcoming 45-second commercial that will air during the big game. This marks the first time in 12 years that Burger King is participating in the Super Bowl.

The mini spot called “Preppin’” features the king setting up an interview: the microphone, lights, camera lens and wipes the table. The is no music, just ambient sound. The teaser ends with the info on the Mystery Box and the DoorDash logo.

Remind you of something? It’s very similar to Jorgen Leth’s 1981 video of Andy Warhol eating a Burger King hamburger which was a scene in a movie called “66 Scenes from America.”

Very much like the Burger King teaser, the scene starts with the same setup—a black table and a grey backdrop. Could it be a hint that Burger King’s Super Bowl ad is going to go in the same direction?

In October, Burger King collaborated with Postmates to promote its full menu by delivering Burger King favorites for a whole week using the code “beroyal.” For Postmates subscribers the delivery was free, and it was only $1.99 if you weren’t.

Now, Burger King is expanding their partnerships with delivery services, this time with DoorDash. With an order of $10 or more from participating Burger King locations and using the ominous code “MYSTERYBOX,” participants will receive instructions that will encourage them to keep its content until game day.

DoorDash is further incentivizing the push by offering free delivery from Burger King from January 24 through February 4.

“This limited-edition Mystery Box creates a unique, engaging and innovative experience, and we are excited to launch it nationwide for our customers,” said Christopher Payne, DoorDash chief operating officer.

What will the game day spot unveil? Only a Mystery Box will tell.

Netflix, Amazon Take Top Spots In YouGov’s Buzz Rankings

Netflix and Amazon took the top spots in the 2018 YouGov’s annual Buzz rankings. The popular streaming platform beat nearly 200 other brands in various sectors and industries, getting a buzz score of 33. But what about Netflix is so awesome consumers see it in such a positive light?

Critical acclaim always helps. Netflix’s Roma was nominated for best picture—the first for the company in the category. Since 2014, they’ve had 15 Academy Award nominations and won two awards for Icarus and The White Helmets. Bird Box also received buzz, and the meme treatment, over the holidays; over 45 million accounts watched the thriller. A pretty substantial number considering the company announced they have over 137 million subscribers worldwide in October. Eater even named Netflix as the best platform for food shows.

While the price hike might not be accounted for in these rankings the cost is marginal; HD streaming plan will increase $2 from $11 to $13 per month and the basic plan will only increase one dollar from $8 to $9.

Coming in second is ecommerce giant Amazon with Amazon Prime (as it’s own brand) following close at third overall. Amazon received a score of 29.3 followed by Amazon Prime with 28. The survey pointed out last year’s Prime Day was the biggest ever. The event ran July 16 to 17 and Amazon said its Prime members purchased more than 100 million products. Some of their best-selling products were from Amazon, like Fire TV Stick and Alexa-enabled Echo Show and Echo Spot.

When it comes to privacy, Amazon says Alexa isn’t spying on its users, even though there have been a few issues. Last year, a Portland family reported Amazon’s Alexa recorded a private conversation and sent it to one of their contacts without their knowledge. However, that didn’t deter many consumers. Amazon said its voice-activated orders placed via through Alexa were three times greater during the 2018 holiday season than they were in 2017.

Samsung came in fourth with a rating of 22.3 and YouTube received a score of 22. Other non-tech brands took the bottom five spots. Dawn, Toyota, M&M’s, Home Depot and Chik-Fil-A received strong Buzz scores.

The global public opinion and data company measures the “popularity and fame of anything and everything,” and the Buzz rankings surveys the public if they’ve heard anything positive or negative about certain brands in the past two weeks. Its rated on a scale from -100 to +100.


YouGov’s Buzz Rankings:

  1. Netflix
  2. Amazon
  3. Amazon Prime
  4. Samsung
  5. YouTube
  6. Dawn
  7. Toyota
  8. M&M’s
  9. Home Depot
  10. Chik-Fil-A

Survey: Marketers Still Love Facebook; Ignoring IGTV, Messaging

Social media is an essential marketing tool and will continue to be as younger demographics drift away from traditional platforms and turn to platforms like Instagram as their main channel for content. But, how is social media evolving, what is lacking and what are marketers saying?

Buffer’s State of Social 2019 report reveals most marketers don’t use messaging apps or IGTV as part of their marketing strategy and some don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of social media.

According to the latest report, Stories is a major tool to connect to a brand’s audience. Around 57 percent of brands feel stories have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” to their social media strategy. Merely, two percent of respondents found stories “very ineffective.” The report noted the introduction of ads to the stories gave businesses more chances to generate value from it. About 61 percent plan to invest in these ads this year.

More consumers are using messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but that doesn’t mean advertising is taking advantage of those platforms quite yet. Consumers want their chats to remain private, especially after Facebook disclosed they automatically scan them. The report shows 71 percent of companies don’t use these platforms for marketing and it seems the trend won’t be changing anytime soon. Around 50 percent of respondents say they don’t plan to use any messaging app in 2019. But brands could be missing out on a big opportunity by refusing to use this feature.

“We fully expect messaging apps to realize their potential in 2019; the requirement to actively opt-in means users are much more engaged in these private spaces than they are when scrolling through a news feed, making it easier for brands to build direct and meaningful relationships with their customers quickly, on a mobile-first basis,” said Peter Daly, Social Chain’s head of marketing to Buffer.

Most brands aren’t using IGTV either. Only 12 percent of companies use the vertical video app and approximately 72 percent of marketers don’t plan on using IGTV this year. However, it doesn’t mean video content isn’t important. On the contrary, more brands are making videos this year—36.7 percent publish video content monthly. The survey found Facebook is still king for video content, around 81 percent of brands use the platform.

Influencer marketing was another topic in the survey. The increase of fake influencers and followers, especially on Instagram, made the rules surrounding influencer marketing unclear. About 45 percent of marketers feel the current regulations/guidelines on influencer marketing are “unclear.” Marketers are still using influencers for their brand and 45 percent believe it has been “somewhat effective.” In spite of the rules, the majority of respondents—88 percent—will continue to use influencers.

In terms of measurement, Buffer states it pretty plainly here, “Social media’s effectiveness as a marketing channel has long been debated, and our survey found that, though social media is key to marketing strategy, 19 percent of marketers are still uncertain how to measure its effectiveness.”

The State of Social 2019 also found an overwhelming majority of marketers, 93 percent of respondents, use Facebook for their business. About half don’t have a documented social media strategy and “lack of time” is the biggest hurdle in creating more video content.

According to Buffer “1,842 marketing professionals took part in the State of Social 2019 survey.”

Amazon’s Weird And Wonderful Marketing For ‘The Grand Tour’ Season 3

The third season of The Grand Tour recently returned to Amazon Prime and to promote it, the company used new strategies on different platforms. Amazon launched The Grand Tour Game, an episodic video game for fans to feel like they’re part of the show, and they concocted a clever hashtag not everyone wholly understood.

The Grand Tour, hosted by James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson, premiered its third season on January 18. It’s a spinoff of the original BBC series Top Gear which the trio presented until 2015. However, this version focuses on more than just the cars but on “three middle-aged men” traveling the world.

The show’s YouTube channel recently shared a promotional clip with May and Richard Hammond brainstorming for a new slogan for the upcoming season—meanwhile, Clarkson is in Sweden driving a Lamborgini around a frozen lake. The banter goes back and forth until hey arrive on “hit” as the correct descriptor. Hammond proceeds to make it “snappier” by working it into a hashtag: #amazonshitcarshow.

The clever marketing work by Amazon’s team got about 15-thousand likes on the initial tweet. Due to the deadpan delivery of the joke, there were mixed reactions. One user replied: “Not sure advertising it as ‘amazon shitcarshow’ was the best move…” The Grand Tour reacted, “??? We’re proud of #TheGrandTour being Amazon’s hit car show.” Other fans loved the play on words. Also, both primary hashtags for the show, #amazonshitcarshow and #thegrandtour, generate a Twitter-specific emoji of the three hosts—adding to the hilarity of it all.

The Grand Tour Game launched its first installment “Detroit Drift City” the same day as the show’s release date. The game and show will release simultaneously every Friday. Amazon Games Studios told Variety the game lets fans “emulate” situations from the show. Players can drive through Detroit, the city featured in the first episode, in a Demon, Exorcist or RTR. As more shows are released, players will have access to more events, tracks and cars. Additionally, there is a multiplayer option.

“This is not a game based in the universe of The Grand Tour, there have been video games based on movies or TV shows.  It’s literally playing the show—other game companies I think would be interested in and probably will end up making something like this as well,” Amazon Game Studios creative director Craig Sullivan said to Variety

It’s not the first time Amazon used gaming to promote The Grand Tour and market two of its properties at the same time. In 2017, Amazon created a livestream event through Twitch, which Amazon acquired in 2014, to promote the show’s second season. The interactive experience featured a battleship-style game board where players could blow up cars.

“We were looking for a way to get young adults to sample The Grand Tour,” Michael Benson, head of marketing at Amazon Prime Video, told AList at the time. “We knew that gamers on Twitch love live gaming, and [hosts] Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May love to execute incredible stunts with vehicles of all kinds on their show. So, we wondered if we could combine live gaming with car stunts on a global scale.”

3 Brands Who Challenged Gender Stereotypes Way Before Gillette

Consumers’ feelings are mixed about brands making social and political statements, but there is evidence that younger generations like millennials and Gen Z, will tend to buy from brands who apply socially-conscious marketing.

This past week Gillette released a new ad campaign and it created a significant conversation via social media and mainstream outlets. The spot titled “We Believe,” tackles the idea of toxic masculinity and referenced the #metoo movement. Despite the commercial’s message against reinforcing traditional negative male behavior, it was met with some backlash. Some people started throwing out Gillette razors—posting videos on social media—and other warned they would boycott the brand. But, Business Insider reported a recent survey that hows the spot made a positive impact on 61 percent of 2,201 adults who were surveyed.

However, Gillette wasn’t the first brand to create marketing that pushes back against the idea of gender norms and stereotypes. Here are a few recent past examples.

Burger King’s ‘Proud Whopper’ Backs LGBT Community

In 2014, Burger King launched ‘Be Your Way’ campaign during San Francisco’s Pride Parade to support LGBT rights. The commercial, titled “Proud Whopper,” begins with a man on the street interviews asking about the proud whopper. One person—face blurred out—griped “Do gay people even eat fast food? Really?” Others praised the idea.

The thrust of the campaign was that the proud whopper was no different than any regular whopper, it just had a different wrapping. An allegory for differences between people.

Fernando Machado, now Burger King’s CMO, was the senior vice president of global branding at the time. In a 2014 interview, he told TIME, “We felt that [the Proud Whopper] could bring to life a message of equality, self-expression, authenticity and just being who you are.”

Machado continued, “As with anything in life, there will be people who will like it, there will people who will dislike it. We just hope that people will understand that the message is a beautiful one.”

According to a case study, the spot generated 7 million views, 1 billion impressions and $21 million in earned media.

In 2014 Arkansas and Oklahoma judges ruled its ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. But in 2015, the Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal for all 50 states.

Always’ #LikeAGirl Video Praises The Strength In Women

Always’ #LikeAGirl spot premiered in June 2014 and was viewed as a huge shift in for feminine care product messaging. In the ad, Always chose to begin a conversation of what it means to be a woman, rather than focus on the product. The three-minute video simulated a casting call and starts with a female director asking the actress, “Show me what it looks like to run like a girl?” the woman’s immediate response was to skip lightly, almost like she can’t run. The same question was asked to young girls and they had a different response; they ran with diligence.

The commercial has over 66 million view on YouTube and 42,000 comments. Another YouTube user wrote, “I fight like a girl because I am one. But I’m also a top student in taekwondo; gender doesn’t define you. You define you.”

Always continued the campaign and debuted a 60-second spot during the 2015 Super Bowl. The Huffington Post claimed it “stole the show.” Always made a series of more #LikeAGirl videos and they continue to repost them on their Twitter feed.

According to a case study by D&AD, “prior to watching the film, just 19 percent of 16-24s had a positive association toward ‘like a girl’. After watching, however, 76 percent said they no longer saw the phrase negatively. Furthermore, two out of three men who watched it said they’d now think twice before using the ‘like a girl’ as an insult.”

Dollar Shave Club’s ‘Get Ready’ Ad Is The Epitome Of Honest

Last year, Dollar Shave Club shifted brand messaging with the ‘Get Ready’ campaign. The honest, yet funny commercial shows an intersectional group of people and includes LGBT people. It highlights how we all struggle with our morning routine, including shaving, no matter who we are. In the ad, one balding man tries to fix the little hair he has, a dad reads on the toilet to take a break from the kids and one woman stares into her mirror as she shaves her head.

Michael Dubin, founder and CEO of Dollar Shave Club, told Adweek, “When you are getting ready in the morning, this is a moment when you see yourself at your most vulnerable. This is a time when you have to deal with your insecurities and your trouble zones. It’s also a time where guys come up with creative and unique solutions in their own personal care or grooming regimens.”

The company, based in California, was founded in 2011 as a disruptor brand for the razor and grooming industry. Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever in 2016 for $1 billion.

Dollar Shave Club also supports original branded content an independent publication called Mel Magazine; its coverage challenges gender stereotypes and norms. In 2016, a trans person wrote an article “How To Be A Guy,” a raw analysis of the male experience and learning masculinity as an adult. Another, more recent article is titled “What It’s Like To Come Out As A Guy Who’s Going Through A Divorce.”

In an interview with Fast Company, Dubin explains the magazine isn’t for done for monetary reasons, but to actually connect to customers. “We are hoping to make a meaningful contribution to the evolution of men.”

Taco Bell Canada Discusses Their Latest, Cheesiest Campaign

Cheese fans rejoice. A billboard dispensing nacho cheese will come to life, thanks to Taco Bell Canada. The billboard nicknamed the ‘Cheesiest Billboard’ promotes the new Nacho Cheese Naked Chicken Chalupa. On Saturday, January 19, the quick-service chain’s fans can come to the flagship store on Queen West in Toronto to pour endless nacho cheese on their favorite foods.

This isn’t the first cheeky marketing stunt by Taco Bell Canada. In December, they launched Crunchwrapping paper to advertise the company’s Triple Double Crunchwrap. The holiday wrapping paper was available for purchase on Amazon Canada and promptly sold out.

Last summer, when Canadians finally got Mountain Dew Baja Blast added to their Taco Bell menu the marketer team launch a mobile hair salon called the Taco Bell Baja Blessed Salon. Consumers could get their hair dyed a Baja Blast blue made by Manic Panic—popular for their variety of bright hair color.

This latest OOH campaign offers free food and attendees can make it as cheesy as they want. Taco Bell Canada marketer Nathan Maddock spoke to AList about the upcoming activation.

Can you describe how the billboard activation will work?

I guess the best way to describe it is that it will be built around a tasting event. It’s very simple. The fans will get a chance to come, get a chalupa and they’ll be able to line up at the billboard and use the dispenser themselves to deliver as much nacho cheese as they want.

Are you worried it might get too chaotic?

We always love to think of new innovative ways to show our fans a good time. So, for this unexpected experience, we’ll have a team in place. It should be pretty organized, but we are expecting a good group out there.

Were there any reservations during the creative process?

No, I don’t think so. We had to do our [due] diligence to make sure that we could execute the event. The idea was so great [and] we knew we wanted to try and make it happen. We have all the partners and teams in place to be able to pull it off. As long as we could keep everything food-safe and keep our partners in quality assurance happy, then we were always really excited to make it happen no matter what.

How was the idea conceived?

The way things typically come to life is the team on our brand side will put a brief into place for a specific product. In this case, knowing the Naked Chicken Chalupa is a big fan favorite is the fact that we’re bringing it back with nacho cheese on it.

With that said, we had our creative agencies, PR agencies, really wrapping their heads around how we are going to bring this to life. The sentiment that we liked about this idea is that everything is better with nacho cheese. We evaluated a lot of different ways to bring to life, and this is truly the idea that we fell in love with. It’s picking up some steam, and people are very excited about it, asking us a ton of questions. We are super excited about the time when we get to deliver the experience on Saturday.

Your team has had other humorous campaigns like Crunchwrapping paper. Do you feel like these elicit a better response from consumers?

All of these are fan-driven. At Taco Bell we think about ourselves as a category of one, so we don’t necessarily compare ourselves against the traditional quick-service food brands. We believe we have an advantage in that our fan-base is so passionate.

Whenever we are launching new products and bringing the brand in front of people, we try and incorporate our fans to give them the most epic experience as possible. This is just another example of whether we are sending them CrunchWrapping Paper or bringing them the world’s cheesiest billboard, it’s all fan-driven. And we think about the fans before we think about anything else.

Can you explain what you mean by being “fan-driven”?

We spend a lot of time and energy on social listening. So just being involved in the local communities, social media and using the data that’s happening right in front of us. Our fans are very vocal and we love that. It really helps us to make decisions with them on top of mind. We also have quarterly advisory boards, where we invite our fans in to have them taste our products before we launch them and to see advertising before it goes out.

It’s also an opportunity to get engaged with our ever-changing consumer and to make sure that the decisions we are making from the brand end have them at the top of our mind because it’s always our goal.

Do you think Taco Bell Canada is any different than Taco Bell U.S.?

We are always staying close to our partners in the U.S., only because they have so much more resources than we do, but it’s essential that we understand the Canadian consumer. Every decision we make is very fan- and consumer-driven that it’s important for us to make that distinction. It’s not merely a U.S. idea trickling its way into Canada, but that the Canadian arm of the brand is making key decisions regarding how they are going to put activations in front of consumers.

Shutterstock CMO Lou Weiss On New Brand Campaign: “The Story Hasn’t Changed”

Lou Weiss, the CMO of Shutterstock—and former president and CMO of meal kit brand Plated and chief marketing and merchandising officer at The Vitamin Shoppehas a lot to say about the role of creative assets and visuals in today’s business arena.

According to Datanyze, Shutterstock has 52 percent of the market share in stock images but they also offer music, video and editing tools. In the third quarter of 2018, the company celebrated a 4.9 percent increase in paid downloads and 7.5 percent increase in revenue YoY.

With that said, the company hadn’t released a brand campaign in six years—until this month.

Weiss sat down with AList to discuss Shutterstock’s new marketing campaign, “It’s not Stock, It’s Shutterstock,” and revealed how the company’s message and mission haven’t wavered.

Why is this the first campaign in 6 years? Why now?

One of the things that we see going on in the world in our business right now (which is a good part) is that creativity is becoming more mission-critical for many businesses of all sizes and shapes more than it has ever been before. Creative businesses used to stand out from the pack. But today we got to the point, where, if you are not creative, then you start to stand out from the pack because the consumers’ and the customers’ expectations are so high.

Many businesses know that they need to be creative, but don’t necessarily know where to start. We thought this was a wonderful time to remind people who we are and let those who didn’t hear about us know what an amazing creative recourse we are. The amazing photos, videos and music sounds, created by over 550,000 of our contributors are now used in all matters of marketing and are the great way to tell the brand story all over the place.

Is this part of an extended campaign?

Absolutely. We think this campaign is a platform-type opportunity for Shutterstock that can be kept fresh, current and relevant for years to come.

What was the process like?

It was like the process of generating a great campaign. We thought a lot about the customers and the prospects, what their pain points and opportunities are. We generated a bunch of different concepts and chose the one that seemed to really show and not just tell what makes Shutterstock so unique.

Can you talk a little about the creative assets you used?

The campaign was created entirely with the art from our contributors. And the cat and the dog images chose us more than we chose them. They are radiant images with a lot of stopping power that demands attention. It’s kind of like the billboard that says, “If you’re reading this then your advertisement should go here,” proving that billboards work. They also serve as wonderful examples of the kind of creative assets you can find large piles of in our database of 225 million images and 12 million video clips.

And the new categories?

The six new categories we are adding to the site give people who don’t know us a sense of the range and depth of our [media library] and prove that we’ve got what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know what you’re looking for. We offer great search and discovery tools, and great ability to [inspire], not just assets for people who know what to look for. When people hear “stock” sometimes, they think of pretty staged stuff, but what we are showcasing with this campaign is the magic of our 550,000 contributor network and the artists who make the amazing creatives that our customers can be inspired by.

Since joining Shutterstock in 2018, what have you changed in the company?

The business has continued to thrive and grow. We’ve only integrated the marketing a little bit. The brand’s positioning, however, has not changed at all. It’s been true for a very long time. The only thing that’s changed is how we will be expressing it through this campaign.

What are some marketing trends you see developing in 2019?

We have actually [recently] put out our Shutterstock trends report, and some of the highlights are “zine culture” designs and the “’80s opulence” come back, and “yesterday’s tomorrow,” or incorporating retro-versions of what people thought the future will look like back in the day. These are the trends that we really see growing [in 2019], but there are many others.

Can you talk about trying to control the brand narrative?

We don’t control the brand narrative. Even in the era of social media, [marketers] are the voice of the table, but at the end of the day, the customer, the market, the social media audience, the consumer–they control the brand narrative. We try to direct and guide it because we are already inside and we know what we are doing and what we are trying to accomplish, but marketers don’t have control over brands like they used to. And I think [being in control] was a scary thing for many marketers. But now it has become a wonderful thing because we have an interactive dialogue with our fans and our customers about what the brands stand for. And that only makes us stronger.

What is your approach to brand safety?

Protecting the brand is not principally about the advertising campaign. It’s principally about doing business with the brand. Brands are three-dimensional things that live and breathe and those experiences that you have [with the brands] is what really defines the brand. The advertising campaign is the promise of how it’d feel to do business with us, but then we deliver on that feeling, and that makes us a strong brand. When companies make promises that they can’t keep, that’s when they get into brand protection theft.

That’s why it was so much fun making this campaign. Shutterstock has a strong position in the market. All we are doing is that, telling the story, [and] the story hasn’t changed it at all.