Sotheby’s Realty Hires Chief Marketer; MillerCoors’ New CMO

This week’s executive shifts include Sotheby’s International Realty appointing their first CMO, Serta Simmons Bedding hiring a chief marketer, Virgin Experience Days appointing a chief marketing officer, Vegolutionary Foods hiring a CMO from Ogilvy, MOD Pizza finding a chief marketing officer and Ericsson losing a chief marketing officer.

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

Sotheby’s International Realty Announces CMO

Sotheby’s International Realty has appointed veteran marketer Johnson Goh as the company’s first chief marketing officer.

Goh said of the appointment, “…we hope to build on the digital capabilities of the company, to better understand the changing needs of today’s consumers when it comes to buying a house. We will continue to develop an integrated real estate marketing ecosystem to facilitate the buying and selling process and, at the same time, offer a personal touch to our customers.”

Prior to joining Sotheby’s International Realty, Goh was chief operating officer of the Singapore Real Estate Exchange.

MillerCoors Hires First Female CMO

After the departure of chief marketing officer David Kroll in June 2018, MillerCoors has hired the company’s first female chief marketing officer in Michelle St. Jacques.

St. Jacques comes to the brewing company from Kraft Heinz, where she had the role of global head of brands and capabilities. At Kraft Heinz, St. Jacques famously helped bring to life the ‘Pass The Heinz’ advertisement created by Don Draper and rejected by a fictional Heinz in the show Mad Men.

MillerCoors released a statement saying St. Jacques “[will] inherit a portfolio of brands from the nation’s second-largest brewer that are embarking on an aggressive marketing campaign in 2019 amid massive changes in media consumption patterns. MillerCoors is ramping up its marketing investment this year with a growing focus on digital and non-traditional media as it seeks to reach a group of consumers no longer tethered to their living room TVs. It is upping its advertising investment on streaming platforms, digital and social media, long-form content and experiences to broaden its reach.”

Serta Simmons Bedding Adds Chief Marketer

Serta Simmons Bedding has appointed Melanie Huet as the company’s chief marketing officer. Huet joins the company from Kraft Heinz where she was vice president of marketing. Before that, Huet held marketing roles at both Unilever and Kimberly-Clark.

SSB CEO Michael Traub said, “With the growth of the DTC segment and increasing competitiveness in traditional retail, the need to differentiate and build brand awareness across our house of brands has never been greater. I am excited to have Melanie join SSB and lead this effort. She will strengthen all our great brands and evaluate new opportunities to reach customers more directly.”

Virgin Experience Days Picks CMO

Virgin Experience Days has picked ex-Ticketmaster marketer Dan Pearce as the company’s chief marketing officer, according to The Drum. Pearce completed his tenure at Ticketmaster as SVP of marketing and had been with the company since 2012. Pearce had also held high-level marketing positions at West End Theatre Bookings.

He said of the appointment, “The Virgin Experience Days team has delivered some of the strongest digital campaigns in the experience gift sector and I’m excited to be joining at this stage in the company’s incredible growth story. The generational shift to valuing experiences over material possessions will continue and the business has strong growth and transformational plans in place. I’m excited to be working with the brand and bringing the Virgin values to life in the experience category.”

Garage Brewing Co. Appoints VP

Garage Brewing, a Temecula based brewery, appointed Allan O’Neil as the company’s marketing VP. He most recently served as the general manager of Bonanza Beverage Company. According to his Linkedin, O’Neil was the vice president, Western Region at Heineken from 2005 to 2012.

Ogilvy’s Executive Partner Decamps To Food Startup

Stuart Smith, an executive partner and global CEO at Ogilvy, is leaving the agency for Vegolutionary Foods, best known as the parent company of CAULIPOWER.

Smith had been with Ogilvy for the past seven years and still serves on the board of both USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute. Smith was also CEO for Edelman UK from 1999 to 2007 and served as a jury president at Cannes Lions in 2018.

MOD Pizza Picks Chief Marketer

MOD Pizza has chosen Mark Shambura as the company’s new chief marketing officer. Shambura joins the pizza chain after five dynamic years at Chipotle. Shambura was apart of a Chipotle marketing team that weathered quite a few crises over the last few years.

Prior to Chipotle, Shambura worked at home furnishings company One Kings Lane and was a marketing executive at CAA.

Ericsson CMO To Depart

Helena Norrman, currently the chief marketing and communications officer at Ericsson, will depart the company no later than June 30, according to a press release from the Swedish telecom giant. Normann joined the company in 2006 and was appointed to the executive team in 2010,

Börje Ekholm, president and CEO at Ericsson, said in the press release, “Helena has been instrumental in reshaping and modernizing Ericsson’s global marketing and communications strategy and function. With a deep understanding of the company’s priorities, she has helped Ericsson navigate through periods of both massive change and considerable challenges. Helena has been a valued member of the Executive Team and I wish her all the best in her future ventures.”

Nonesuch Records Promotes Marketer

Nonesuch Records has elevated the title of Dan Cohen to senior vice president of marketing, according to Variety. Cohen takes the place of Peter Clancy, the longtime head marketer at Nonesuch.

Cohen started marketing at Astral Werks in the ’90s and worked his way through marketing positions at Capitol Records and Republic Records.

Harvest Health & Recreation Appoints CMO

Kevin George has been appointed chief marketing officer of cannabis company Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. According to their website, Harvest Health “holds medical cannabis licenses in nine states and participate in a variety of ways for each facility, from full ownership and operation to design-build expertise and operational consultation.”

George comes to the company with quite a bit of experience working for Fortune 500 companies. Before his new position, he was the president at Mosaic and currently serves as a board member for New Belgium Brewing and BrightLine. George was the global chief marketing officer at Beam Suntory from 2009 to 2016, and before that, he was VP and general manager at Unilever.

PayPal Hires Former Apple Marketer As CMO

Allison Johnson has been named chief marketing officer at PayPal. Johnson’s last eight years have been spent as a strategic advisor and as the founder and managing partner until March 2018.

Before that, Johnson led worldwide marketing communications at HP and then Apple.

Sallie Mae Picks Up CMO From JP Morgan Chase

Donna Vieira has been named Sallie Mae’s chief marketing officer. Vieira comes to the company after seven years at JP Morgan Chase, culminating in chief marketing officer role for the company’s consumer banking division.

Before that, Vieira held marketing roles at Merill Lynch, American Express and Dow Jones.

Torchy’s Tacos Hires New Marketing Exec

Torchy’s Tacos, a taco chain born out of Austin, TX, has hired Scott Hudler to be the company’s chief marketing officer. Hudler comes to Torchy’s after just over a year at Dick’s Sporting Goods, where he was SVP and chief marketing officer. The company has chains in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado, and brings Hudler on with expansion in mind.

Hudler previously ascended the marketing ranks at Dunkin’ Brands, leaving the company in 2017 after 10 years and culminating in a SVP and chief digital officer title.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, January 11. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

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.

Snapchat’s ‘Stay Tuned’ Gets 25M Views; Protected Tweets Were Public

This week in social media news, Snapchat’s Stay Tuned show gets 25 to 35 million views, Twitter’s private tweets were public, Pinterest interviews bankers for its IPO, Facebook claims the 10-year challenge isn’t to collect data, new data shows Instagram is still plagued by fake followers and Snapchat loses their CFO.

Snapchat’s Show ‘Stay Tuned’ Gets NBC A New Audience

Snapchat’s original news show Stay Tuned averaged between 25 million and 35 million viewers per month last year.

Why it matters: NBC News gained a new audience from Snapchat and they want to attract them to other platforms.

Details: In 2017, NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snap during the company’s IPO and have since made original content for the platform. According to Digiday, Comscore’s data found around two-thirds of Stay Tuned’s audience is only found on Snapchat and only a third of those viewers also “watch, read or listen to NBC News content on other platforms including Apple News or Google AMP.”

Twitter’s Private Tweets Could’ve Been Exposed

Twitter announced private tweets by Android users became public because of a bug.

Why it matters: It’s another statement revealing how social media platforms aren’t completely secure in regards to privacy.

Details: The company said users that had protected tweets turned on in their settings and changed the email address associated with their account between November 2014 and January 2019 were vulnerable to the privacy issue. Twitter apologized for the defect and suggested users check their privacy settings. They also informed people affected by the issue.

Pinterest Interviews Bankers In Preparation To Go Public

Pinterest interviewed a few bankers last week to find one that will underwrite its IPO.

Why it matters: Some believe that Goldman Sachs is the leading choice to underwrite Pinterest’s IPO. The social media site was last valued at $12 billion in 2017.

Details: According to Recodesome people close to the company” say Pinterest is interviewing bankers. If Pinterest selects one in January, it could go public during the second quarter.

Facebook Says 10-Year Challenge Isn’t To Mine For Data

Many social media users have jumped on the 10-year challenge, however, some question its innocence and if its real intention was to harvest user data for facial recognition.

Why it matters: Users want privacy and the idea that the meme is to train Facebook’s algorithms isn’t helping to change its image from its former data mining scandals.

Details: Some critics suggested the 10-year challenge might have been created by Facebook so it can generate photographs to train an AI that would be able to calculate people’s age. WIRED editor Nicolas Thompson tweeted his speculation on the meme. Facebook said they have nothing to do with the challenge and the user-generated meme is just for “fun.”

Instagram’s Fake Influencers Still Have Followers Despite Crackdown

A report found Instagram accounts with mostly fake followers are still going strong and the numbers haven’t really changed even after the site’s war against these inauthentic followers.

Why it matters: This new information shows filtering fake followers and regulating it could be much harder than expected.

Details: Points North Group, a social measurement company, gathered data on 500 influencers who “showed signs of having inauthentic followers and engagement,” and they discovered nothing has really changed and their numbers remain the same. Instagram responded by saying the data isn’t indicative of their progress.

Snapchat’s CFO Resigns

Snapchat lost their chief financial officer after less than a year on the job.

Why it matters: Tim Stone isn’t the only resignation Snapchat has experienced in the last year and their stock took a hit following the departure news—down more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

Details: On February 5, Snapchat is expected to announce fourth quarter results and they expect revenue to be between $355 million and $380. Things weren’t going too well under Stone. During his time at the company, Snapchat’s stock price has dropped more than 35 percent. However, the filing confirmed Stone’s resignation wasn’t due to any sort of accounting or financial disagreement with the company.

Android Users Can Switch Timelines

On Tuesday, Twitter announced to Android users—via a tweet—that they can now switch between latest and top tweets.

Why it matters: In October, Twitter disclosed the site creates “filter bubbles” and recognized that they needed to offer an option to avoid them. This was formerly a feature on Twitter before it was taken away. Twitter rolled out the “best tweets” option back in 2016…  nine months before the election.

Details: Android users now have the choice of seeing tweets picked by an algorithm or chronological ones from the accounts they’re following. In order to switch Android users can tap sparkle icon to shift between the latest and top tweets.

Facebook Extends Its Ad Rules To Other Countries

Facebook will broaden its political advertising rules to Nigeria, India, Ukraine and European Union before their elections begin in 2019.

Why it matters: Facebook wants to control election interference to avoid another election scandal.

Details: In Nigeria and Ukraine only advertisers located in the country will be able to run electoral ads. In India, Facebook will place electoral ads in a searchable online library starting in February. It will contain contact information for some ad buyers or their official regulatory certificates. The European Union will get a similar system as the other countries.

Pinterest Wins With Boards And Luxury

Pinterest is finding value in not just being a board for images, but it’s finding success as a luxury ecommerce site according to Seeking Alpha.

Why it matters: The company is expected to go public this year and the growth of Pinterest selling luxury goods could make it more attractive to premium advertisers.

Details: A survey by SharePost found the percentage of respondents who sold products valued greater than $10,000 jumped to 58 percent in 2018, up from 37 percent in 2017. The company doesn’t get money from transactions but should help attract luxury advertisers.

Facebook Launches Its First U.S. Podcast

Facebook announced its new podcast Three and a Half Degrees, focusing on entrepreneurship and diving deep with business leaders to “share values, visions, experiences and ideas.”

Why it matters: This is probably another way Facebook is trying to “give back” after a flurry of bad press and consumer backlash.

Details: The podcast is hosted by David Fischer, Facebook’s VP of marketing and partnerships. The first episode “The Power of Social Good” features Bradford and Bryan Manning from Two Blind Brothers and Blake Mycoskie from TOMS.

Facebook Is Investing $300 Million In Local News

Facebook announced it’s investing $300 million over the next three years. It’s their response to the demand for more local news and supporting local newsrooms.

Why it matters: News is always shared on Facebook and some of it has been inaccurate or fake. This move shows Facebook’s support for legitimate news organizations—an industry that has been struggling.

Details: Facebook will invest $300 million over the next three years to news programs, partnerships and content. One of their plans is to give the Pulitzer Center $5 million to launch ‘Bringing Home Stories,’ for local newsrooms with reporting grants to better cover local issues.

Pinterest Creates Various Travel Personas To Help Brands

The pinning social platform is focusing on its most popular category travel by creating terms for different types of travelers.

Why it matters: The specific personas will help brands market to their audience better by understanding more of what they want.

Details: Pinterest commissioned a study by comScore to find these personas. About 2,000 respondents—between the ages of 18 and 64—participated in the online survey. From the data, Pinterest created five personas: Group Vacationer, Culture Chaser, Spa Sojourner, Adventure Lover and Eating Explorer.

Survey Finds Most Americans Don’t Trust Social Media Sites

Taptalk, a mobile platform to easily access forums, released a survey showing Americans are having a hard time trusting information on social media sites.

Why it matters: This isn’t necessarily surprising, but will distrust in these social media platforms begin to hurt user retention?

Details: Taptalk’s social consumer survey polled over 1000 Americans to analyze how people use mainstream social media sites and also decentralized forums. Around 74 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that social media’s integrity has declined. About 80 percent of respondents said that “they would trust responses on a specialized forum more than those on Facebook.”

Facebook Will Combine Its Events Feature With Stories

Facebook announced is taking its next step with Stories with its most popular feature, Events.

Why it matters: For Facebook users, Events is still the go-to for creating a birthday party invite or details for a concert or backyard BBQ. While Facebook Stories hasn’t quite caught on—at least in comparison to Instagram’s version—combining it with Events could help boost use of the feature.

Details: Users will be able to share event details with their friends through Stories. Your friends can toggle themselves as “interested” or “going” and there will be a link to the event page built in. Users can also start a group chat on Messenger with those who responded. The new feature will be available to both Andriod and iOS users.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, January 18. 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

Burger King Trolls McDonald’s (Again); Pokes Fun At Trump Tweet

The Burger King vs. McDonald’s battle is far from over. Burger King is continuing its campaign against the Golden Arches—this time by playfully using McDonald’s marketing against itself to promote a new product.

Seizing an opportunity, Burger King is inviting those who have unused “MacCoins” to Burger King locations in Chicago, Illinois to exchange them for Big King XL sandwiches.

In 2018, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac, McDonald’s gave away MacCoins that could be used to purchase the sandwich. However, those coins expired as of December 31st, rendering any unused MacCoins useless.

While the burger chains have had a long history of competition, this year Burger King has ramped up its game. In late 2018, Burger King used geofencing to incentivize downloads of their app by offering Whopper sandwiches for a penny if users of the app were near a McDonald’s location.

Burger King has also gotten increasingly brazen on their social channels, joining in on the much-memed fast food dinner held by President Trump.

In response to a misspelling from the President’s Twitter account, Burger King responded by saying “due to a large order yesterday, we’re all out of hamberders. just serving hamburgers today.” This was referencing a quickly-deleted tweet by the president earlier that day misspelling “hamburgers.”

The tweet has already been shared over 80,000 times and has already earned $482,020 in earned media value at the time of publishing according to

It appears that Burger King has quietly evolved a new brand identity—one that is irreverent and unafraid to poke at safe targets when the opportunity arises.

Gillette Generates 1.5M Mentions From New Campaign

This post was updated with social media statistics on January 16.  

Gillette is taking on several important and difficult topics associated with “toxic masculinity.” The Procter & Gamble-owned razor brand revisited its 30-year-old tagline “The Best A Man Can Get” and modernizes the concept with a bit of purpose-driven marketing.

The company announced its new marketing campaign by launching an almost two-minute ad titled “We Believe” on YouTube. It features a compilation of men facing current issues, like the #metoo movement, along with traditional societal pressures of what it is to be a man.

“Gillette believes in the best in men,” said Gary Coombe, president of P&G global grooming in a press release. “By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best,’ we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come.”

The spot shows men of different ages and ethnicities looking into a mirror as the sounds of various TV news reporters say “Bullying,” “The Me Too movement against sexual harassment,” “masculinity,” while the narrator poses the question “Is that the best a man can get?”

The commercial ends with a call to action, “It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best. We are taking action at,” to encourage viewers to click on their mission website.

Gillette is donating $1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations creating U.S. programs to help men of all ages achieve their “best.” They want to promote and encourage respect between all walks of life, accountability for inappropriate behavior and groom role models for young boys to look up to. Their first partnership is the Boys and Girls Club of America.

“In our last decade of work on the theory of masculinity in modern America, we’ve sought to understand both the internal and external forces that shape men’s attitudes, beliefs and actions,” said Drs. William Seymour, Ramel Smith, and Hector Torres of the Building a Better Man Project in the release. “We’re honored to partner with Gillette as they seek to champion causes that can make a positive impact on men and boys.”

According to analytics company Talkwalker, as of 8:30 a.m. on January 16:

  • Gillette has 1.5 million social media mentions since 1/14 compared to less than 10,000 for the same period last week
  • 1.1 million of these mentions happened in the last 24 hours
  • The hashtag #TheBestMenCanBe was used 187,400 times over that same period
  • On Twitter, the brand’s original tweet has been shared over 167,000 times
  • The video within the post has been viewed 19.7 million times
  • Gillette’s YouTube video of the ad has been viewed 1.3 million times with 104,000 interactions



Gartner’s ‘Predicts 2019’; Anticipates Major Changes By 2022

In a world that’s changing quickly due to shifts in technology and consumer behavior, it can be overwhelming for marketers to keep up. Gartner’s new report titled, ‘Predicts 2019: Marketing Seeks a New Equilibrium’ tries to understand and anticipate future trends affecting chief marketing officers and marketing teams.

The firm’s analysts predict six major changes in the next three to four years. By 2022, CMOs will reduce their investment in CX by at least 25 percent and re-route that money towards profitability.

Content creators, like influencers, will gain even more power. It is believed they’ll produce over 30 percent of their digital content with the help of AI content-generation tools.

In 2022, Gartner says, brands that incorporate user-level control of marketing data will reduce customer turnover by 40 percent. The emergence of CDPs is an example of that; the system enables better use of first-party data to drive content and individual-level ad targeting. Additionally, this will increase the brand’s lifetime value by 25 percent in 2023.

“These are exciting, but uncertain times for CMOs and marketing leaders. From the promise of data and analytics to the lure of CX and everything in between, marketers have vast opportunities to set themselves apart from the competition, but equal challenges to overcome in order to do so,” said Charles Golvin, senior director and analyst at Gartner in a press release. “Finding the right balance to successfully leverage marketing technology and emerging trends will be critical to marketing’s success over the course of the next couple of years.”

By 2023, the prediction isn’t promising for anyone in a marketing analytics team. The analysts believe around 60 percent of CMOs will cut the size of the department in half because of “failure to realize promised improvements.” That year there will be a 25 percent increase in response rates because of autonomous marketing systems. It’s predicted those systems will deliver 55 percent of multichannel marketing messages “based on marketer criteria and real-time consumer behavior.” Consumers already have short attention spans and in four years it’s expected they will watch 20 percent fewer minutes of video ads per day. To curb the loss, brands will have to create short-form video ads.

Gartner’s prophecies come from four key “forces”:

  • Behavioral Change Gartner found 44 percent of consumers would be more inclined to use a virtual personal assistant app if they knew their private information remained in the device.
  • Regulatory Pressures Regulations like GDPR are changing how companies can use customer data.
  • Organizational Shifts Internally, marketing leaders are hiring more data experts and investing more in CX, making expectations higher in these areas.
  • Disruptive Automation Brands want to be efficient and as marketers implement automation in new areas, the innovation will have a “disruptive impact” in the industry.

Inside Kabam’s In-House Rebrand

After 12 years, three offices, dozens of games and $300 million in yearly revenue, game developer Kabam has decided to rebrand. Out goes the “bomb” image and in comes a bold, ombré orange ‘K’ and a new typeface. The project was incredibly intensive for the company.

For the last two years, Kabam’s team has listened to their users’s feedback to incorporate them into the rebranding process. They didn’t want their players just to love the games but also the changes surrounding the entire brand.

It took a year for Kabam to complete the rebrand and according to the company, it’s more than just an updated label—it’s a visual example of how far they’ve come. It’s blood, sweat and tears.

When Kabam was founded over ten years ago, the Motorola RAZR was alive and well, and the thought of playing a video game with other people on your phone was fiction. Kabam was originally conceived by Kevin Chou, Michael Li and Holly Liu under the name Watercooler, to connect sport and entertainment fans on various social media platforms. In 2009, they launched the game Kingdoms of Camelot on Facebook and transformed into a gaming company.

In 2016, the company was acquired by NetMarble, a South Korean game publishing company. It was a rough transition for Kabam, but the challenges made them who they are today. The new logo is a representation of Kabam’s resurgence.

“We wanted a brand, a logo that would capture that multiplicity of emotions and experiences, as opposed to the static logo that is more in line with the old days of the web,” said Tim Fields, CEO of Kabam. Fields has been making games and software professionally since 1995 and his resume includes Microsoft and Capcom.

“It really took us about a year after that acquisition to get back on our feet and figure out who’s who and [what] the world will look like. That kind of thing is transformative to a company,” Fields added.

The rebranding isn’t just representative of Kabam’s technological advances, business changes, but also indicative of the sense of community at the company.

Instead of contracting out the job, the gaming company put together an in-house team that consisted of multiple disciplines to work on the brand project. They wanted to guarantee representation and input from intersectional views and backgrounds within the company.

At one point, Kabam finished a new logo design but came to the realization they need take a step back, and eventually concluded they need scrap it. The team engaged in healthy debates and worked on communicating with each other to make sure they were on the same page. It was vital everyone was happy with the project.

“I don’t know exactly what the final cost was, but I will tell you that it is insignificant to me compared to what we accomplished which is to make sure that everybody here at the company really loves the way they’re represented now,” said Fields. “I wish you could see everybody here in Vancouver wearing their new shirts.”

The rebranding process took an enormous amount of internal resources. Kabam did commission a video announcing the new logo from an outside vendor. The 1:10-second video appeals to consumers’ emotions while playing games and kicks off with blue butterflies forming the new logo with the words “Embrace zen-like calm,” alongside meditative music. The colors gradually change as the video progresses and it finishes by declaring “Unleash your emotions, experience Kabam.”

“We wanted to celebrate all the different emotions that players experience, while they are playing our games. And we also decided to encourage some of those emotions a little bit more. It’s really representative more of our personality: we are passionate, we are fighting and gaming and adventurous. That’s the whole basis of the rebrand,” said Callie Jenkins, Kabam’s senior director of product marketing.

Kabam’s rebranding turned out to be more than just a new logo, it was an essential process for the company itself.

“We have a very strong culture of gaming; we play our games together. Every single day. My mom would say, ‘Tim, you don’t do anything at work but play games.’ I don’t think that’s entirely true, but I do think that that’s one of the things that allows us to keep a small-company-feel that remains very important to us.”

SuperData Releases Year In Review; Predictions For 2019

SuperData published its 2018 year in review report on digital games and interactive media. This year in review is the first from the gaming market research company since being acquired by Nielsen last year,

According to SuperData’s report, digital gaming grew 13 percent globally and earned approximately $119 billion. Mobile saw the most significant increase making around $61 billion last year. Also, free-to-play games gained popularity, VR/AR bloomed in enterprise and gaming video content (GVC) continued rising in influence.

Fortnite was the top free-to-play game (F2P) last year, earning around $2.4 billion and gaining a huge audience. Twitch streamer Ninja became gaming’s biggest influencer, while also partnering with Red Bull and appearing in a Samsung commercial. Users viewed Ninja’s channel for 218 million hours. According to the report, it was “watched more than the second- and third-most popular channels combined.”

In 2018, the report found the GVC market reached $5.2 billion in total revenue. Its audience increased to reach 850 million views. Twitch beat YouTube as the highest-earning platform, earning 1.6 billion. SuperData also revealed GVC is crucial to a game’s success, stating online videos impact “what 46 percent of U.S. PC and console gamers under the age of 25 play.”

SuperData’s report says the VR market made $6.6 billion in revenue compared to $4.5 billion in 2017. Last May, Oculus Go sold one million devices and proved standalone VR headsets were more profitable than other VR tools. Social media, like TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, assisted in driving consumers towards AR and increasing user numbers up to 1.1 billion.

These growing numbers also helped encourage enterprise investment in VR. Finding that training is the biggest driver for using VR in business, like surgery and operating vehicles. The report also highlighted that Walmart bought around 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to train employees last year. SuperData predicts enterprise to be a significant consumer for AR/MR headsets and it’s forecasted to account for 85 percent sold this year.

The report ends with predictions for 2019. SuperData expects more multiplatform games this year as well as digital games revenue in the neighborhood of 128.8 billion. Cloud gaming should also take-off, and it could massively effect gaming hardware, pushing this generation’s console’s to become outdated sooner than later.

App Annie’s ‘State Of Mobile’ Covers Mobile Marketing; Predictions For 2019

App Annie—app analytics and market data platform—released the state of mobile 2019 report. It analyzes how markets evolve through mobile such as statistics on how many downloads happened worldwide, consumer spend and how much time an average user spent on mobile. It’s vital information on mobile due to the increasing investment in it—around 65 percent of digital ad spend was put into it last year.

When it comes to mobile marketing the report found paid ads do lead to an increase downloads, more advertisers are using ad platforms to acquire users and App Store Optimization practices such as description changes evolved in 2018.

The report found App Store Optimization (ASO) made a few changes last year. In 2017, 49 percent of description updates was the most common form of ASO—it was still the most standard method in 2018— but there was a small decline to 46 percent. Icon change was 30 percent of ASO updates and the least common way was a name change at 24 percent. In the U.S. this data is relevant to both games and non-gaming apps.

In addition to these updates, the report found publishers can gain more power through these updates using videos, screenshots, keyword bank and promotional text (both on iOS). Publishers can capitalize on traffic using major events such as Black Friday or even an app launch. In 2018, there was significant growth in the number of ad platforms used in both iOS and Google Play. The report believes it’s “an indication of maturation in the industry.” Games saw a bigger increase than non-gaming apps. In iOS, it grew 25 percent and Google Play saw a 45 percent growth. Apps also saw an increase, iOS used 25 percent more ad platforms and Google Play utilized 20 percent more. According to App Annie, advertisers can boost coverage by using more ad platforms to find the best advertising ROI.

It seems there is a payoff to investing in paid ads to get users to download your app. Last year, around four of every 10 downloads from among the top 100 apps and games were driven by paid ads.  In the U.S., total download from paid ads grew 10 percent YoY across both app stores. They also found around 20 percent of top iOS game downloads came from paid user acquisition compared to Google Play.

The state of mobile report predicts 60 percent more apps will monetize through in-app ads, competing for a chunk of the $250 billion digital advertising market. They also forecast consumer spend in mobile gaming will grow to 60 percent market share across all platforms. Furthermore, they believe consumers app store spend will grow about 5 times as fast worldwide in 2019.

Amazon’s IMDb Announces Free, Ad-Supported Video Channel

Amazon is joining the realm of free, ad-supported (AVOD) streaming services through IMDb. The company announced its launching Freedive, a channel offering viewers in the U.S. the ability to watch a large library of TV shows as well as popular films.

The subscription-free content can be streamed through a laptop, personal computer and on all Amazon Fire TV devices. Previously, IMDb only offered short-form original series, trailers and celebrity interviews—and no IMDb isn’t going away, everything will be integrated into Freedive like The IMDb Show and No Small Parts. 

“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” said Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb, in a press release.

“With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free. We will continue to enhance IMDb Freedive based on customer feedback and will soon make it available more widely, including on IMDb’s leading mobile apps.”

The Amazon-owned company will also feature X-Ray, a playoff on what IMDb is popular for, information on cast, crew, trivia and more.

Ad-supported streaming is changing the video subscription-based landscape. The World Advertising Research Center (WARC) expects the service’s ad spend to double to $47 billion by 2023. in 2019, its expected AVOD will receive around $23 billion in brand investment.

During the 2018 holiday season, AVOD competitor Roku launched its first-ever “Stream-a-thon,” to allow their users to stream certain movies and TV shows for free. The Roku Channel offers ad-supported movies, TV, news, sports and other shows. Last May, the company saw more profits with ads and licensing fees than hardware—a first for Roku.

At CES 2019, Plex—a client-server media player system—also announced it would launch an ad-support service. According to TechCrunch, it could come as early as this year.

Freedive is available now at Fire TV customers can see the IMDb Freedive icon in the “Your Apps & Channels” line.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Disney+ Hires Marketing Head; SodaStream CMO Departs

This week’s executive shifts include SodaStream’s marketing chief departing the company, Warner Bros. picking up an EVP from 20th Century Fox, Target’s CMO taking on a new role, Land’s End naming a new brand marketer, Subway’s chief marketing officer retiring, a new CMO for Kum & Go, a marketing boss for Disney+, Roar Digital picks a new head marketer, Avon adds to its marketing team, Tourism Australia’s CMO leaves for Coles and new chief marketing officers for YETI and Mitsubishi North America.

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

Disney+ Finds Marketing And Operations Lead

Disney+ has announced the hiring of Joe Earley, who will be the SVOD service’s head of marketing and operations. Earley comes to Disney from The Jackal Group, where he served as president since 2016. The Jackal Group is a joint venture with Fox (now owned by Disney) to develop original scripted programming.

Before that, Earley was Fox’s COO and president of marketing and communications. Earley also had a stint as co-chair at PromaxBDA.

Disney’s $52.4 billion acquisition is expected to go through by March 1.

SodaStream Marketing Chief Departs

Former Weigh Watchers chief marketing officer, Maurice Herrera, who joined SodaStream last August, left the soda company after only four months on the job. According to Herrera’s LinkedIn, the marketer departed SodaStream in December and quickly landed at Avis Budget Group as SVP, head of marketing.

PepsiCo completed its acquisition of SodaStream in early December.

Former Coke Exec, Subway CMO Retires

Current Subway chief marketing officer Joe Tripodi announced his retirement. Tripodi joined Subway three years ago after spending almost a decade as the top marketer at The Coca-Cola Company.

Before Coca-Cola, Tripodi held the CMO title at several companies including Allstate, Bank of New York, Seagram’s and Mastercard. The interim CMO at Subway will be Ampersand’s Roger Mader.

Tripodi spoke to Marketing Week about his time at Subway, “This was one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had because it was a privately held company that had lived in a little bit of isolation for many years so I had to drive some significant transformation. The transformation at Subway was the business, the brand and the culture. The business is changing so much that it was just time to let other people come in and run it from there.”

Warner Bros. Hires Intl. Marketing EVP

Julien Noble is being to Warner Bros. Pictures marketing team as executive vice president, international marketing.

Noble comes to Warner Bros. after five years in worldwide marketing at 20th Century Fox, where according to Deadline, he worked on campaigns for Deadpool and Bohemian Rhapsody. Before Fox, Noble work for many years at Disney.

Target’s Changes CMO’s Title

Target announced a few leadership changes sandwiched between the company’s November/December sales report.

Rick Gomez, currently serving as Target’s chief marketing officer, will now hold the title of chief marketing and digital officer. Gomez will lead the digital team, guiding them in personalization and customer shopping experience. See Target’s full announcement here and more information on Gomez’s appointment below.

“Chief marketing officer, Rick Gomez, has been named chief marketing and digital officer and will now lead Target’s Digital team, focusing on its important role in personalization, loyalty and the overall shopping experience. Gomez joined Target in 2013 and was named CMO in 2017, with a focus on strengthening Target’s brand positioning and driving the business. Before Target, Gomez held various positions at MillerCoors, PepsiCo and the Quaker Oats Company.”

Land’s Ends Names Brand Marketing Head

Land’s End has named Rosalind Drisko as VP, public relations and brand marketing. Drisko comes to the company from Nautica, where she worked over a decade and most recently held the title of vice president of global marketing.

In a statement, Land’s End stated “Drisko brings a wealth of industry experience in progressive leadership roles and most recently was at VF Corporation, Nautica Apparel Brand as vice president of global marketing, where she led marketing and creative services. Drisko will lead the public relations, social media and brand marketing teams, which will continue solidifying the brand’s unique point of view in the marketplace and push awareness through partnership and collaboration opportunities.”

Kum & Go Picks CMO

Kum & Go, a convenience store chain, has hired TJ Freeborn as the company’s new chief marketing officer.

According to the company’s press release, “[Freeborn] has served in progressively advancing leadership roles for national category leaders, such as Wells Fargo and Discover, and most recently served as Senior Vice President of Branding and Customer Experience for loanDepot.”

Rubica Hires Chief Marketer

Consumer cybersecurity company Rubica has hired Emily Carrion as the company’s first chief marketing officer.

Carrion comes to the Rubica having been a former VP of marketing at both Textio and AnswerIQ. She currently serves on the board at the Seattle University Entrepreneurship Center.

Roar Digital Finds Marketing Chief

Roar Digital, a joint venture from MGM and GVC, has hired the company’s first chief marketing officer in the form of Matt Prevost.

Prevost comes to the company from Avon, where he joined in 2017 and served as chief digital officer. Prevost also served as chief marketing officer at Coral Interactive, from 2011 to 2015.

Deliveroo Hires Chief Marketing Officer

British food delivery service, Deliveroo, has added to their c-suite team with a new chief marketing officer. According to The Drum, Inés Ures will join the company.

Ures will join Deliveroo after spending the last three years at Treatwell as chief customer officer and chief marketing officer. Ures also served as CMO at Groupalia.

Tourism Australia Ex-CMO Joins Coles

Tourism Australia’s chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson will be leaving the organization in March for a position at Australian retailer Cole’s, where she will retain the same title. Ronson famously led Tourism Australia’s Crocodile Dundee campaign that premiered during the Super Bowl in 2018.

Avon Adds To Marketing Team

Avon added to its marketing team by picking a former Weetabix shopping marketer. Victoria Westwood will become Avon’s global senior brand manager, a newly created role according to The Drum. Westwood’s new role comes after restructuring and multiple executive appointments came late last year at Avon, including hiring Diageo N.A. vet James Thompson as chief beauty and brand officer.

Entercom CMO Departs

Entercom, a broadcasting company with a network of over 235 radio stations, will see their current chief marketing officer step down this week. Ruth Gaviria joined Entercom three years ago after many years at Univision. No word yet on what Gaviria will do next.

Kraft Heinz Canada Hires CMO

Kraft Heinz Canada has named Dana Somerville as their next chief marketing officer. Somerville was previously Kraft Heinz Canada’s VP and head of brand build, innovation and R&D, according to Strategy.

Mitsubishi N.A. Picks Up Chief Marketing Officer

Mitsubishi Motors North America has announced the hiring of Kimberley Gardiner as the company’s first vice president and chief marketing officer.

Gardiner comes to the company after spending some years at Kia Motors America as the company’s director of marketing communications. She also spent several years in marketing positions at Toyota and Lexus.

“Kimberley brings an enviable blend of analytical prowess, digital foresight and traditional advertising experience. Mitsubishi Motors North America is coming off its best sales year since 2007, and our company is on a roll. New vehicles are coming quickly to our showrooms and our dealer partners are engaged and investing in their customers’ experience; now is the time for creative, data-driven ways to tell our special brand story,” Mark Chaffin Mitsubishi N.A.’s CEO said of the appointment.

OCBC Bank Names Head Of Marketing

Singapore-based OCBC Bank has named Yvonne Low as chief marketing officer of the consumer financial services division.

Low most recently worked for a consulting firm and prior to that, she held the role of senior director, marketing, menu and digital innovation McDonald’s in Singapore. Low also spent a number of years at DDB Singapore.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, January 11. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Executive Director, Chief Marketing Officer Lenovo Chicago, IL
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.