MedMen Portrays Cannabis As ‘New Normal’ In Biggest Campaign To Date

Cannabis retailer MedMen launched its most expansive campaign to date this week, sending a message that marijuana is the “new normal.” This point is further accentuated by the fact that MedMen could afford A-list talent, including Academy Award-winning director Spike Jonze (Her) and actor Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy).

“The New Normal” begins in a museum, where visitors observe George Washington’s hemp farm. Williams narrates a journey through America’s sorted history with marijuana, from “Reefer Madness” to hippies and the war on drugs. Each scene is depicted like a diorama, with actors frozen in time like the mannequin challenge meme. The spot ends in a mild-mannered suburban neighborhood, claiming that marijuana is the new normal, creating jobs and helping people in a variety of ways.

MedMen’s project is made up of crew and cast members that have personal relationships with cannabis including veterans, former law enforcement, formerly incarcerated drug offenders and cannabis industry entrepreneurs.

Director Spike Jonze is taking the message even further by creating a short documentary with filmmaker Molly Schiot. The documentary was shot on the set of “The New Normal” and explores the themes in more detail.

Jonze approached the project as the story of a dysfunctional couple.

“The relationship started in such a healthy place, with even our Founding Fathers having hemp farms, but it got so tragically messed up in the 80 years of prohibition that we couldn’t see straight,” said Jonze in a press release. “We are at that point in a relationship where a couple is calming down after a fight and realizing how irrational they were and trying to make amends.”

Cannabis may be more normalized in American culture, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal everywhere, which limits MedMen’s ability to advertise on network TV—even in states where the drug has been legalized. The brand is pushing its campaign on a variety of other platforms, however, including connected TV networks, print, podcasts and its first movie theater appearance throughout California, Nevada and Michigan.

“The New Normal” continues MedMen’s brand message of rethinking stereotypes. The dispensary brand released two major campaigns last year, “Faces” and “Forget Stoner;” each designed to shine a light on the growing demographic. Instagram-like images featured characters like a chef, police officer and designer, each with the word “stoner” crossed out.

“Cannabis is part of our country’s history,” said MedMen CEO and co-founder Adam Bierman in a statement. “We’ve moved away from the propaganda of the past and into a world where cannabis is the new normal. We want this commercial to educate and embolden in equal measures. This is our opportunity to make a statement on a national stage.”

MedMen stands to benefit from continued normalization and legalization of marijuana, but they aren’t alone. The legal marijuana industry is predicted to reach $1.46 billion by the year 2025, according to Grand View Research. Despite advertising hurdles, brands are finding ways to reach audiences with luxury style branding and education.

KFC Targets Growing Middle Eastern Market With ‘Scroll Thru’ Social Campaign

KFC Middle East launched a social campaign that simulated a drive-thru experience in-between posts in the feed. Dubbed the “Scroll Thru,” KFC’s campaign swapped a traditional ad for an interactive food ordering experience.

Social media users that encounter the Scroll Thru in their feed will be greeted by a virtual drive-thru attendant, who will suggest menu items they might like. Users are then able to view the menu and place an order instantly. The experience is available in both English and Arabic.

“We have always been part of many people’s moments, and today people spend most of their time scrolling through their feed on social media,” said Ozge Zoralioglu, chief marketing officer, YUM! Brands\KFC MENA Turkey and Pakistan in a statement. “We want to still be part of their lives and keep what we deliver easy and relevant to what they need.”

Americana Quality opened the first KFC restaurant in the Middle East in 1973. KFC now has more restaurants internationally than inside the US and according to Yum!, United Arab Emirates was one of its top 25 global markets in 2018. The Middle East, as a whole, may only account for four percent of KFC brand earnings, but that figure has grown 12 percent YoY.

KFC has gained a reputation in recent years for over the top marketing campaigns from launching a sandwich into space to giving scholarships to babies named after Harland Sanders and selling unusual merchandise like chicken-scented logs and Colonel Sanders romance novels.

Gimmicks aside, the Scroll Thru campaign takes a practical approach to reach Arab consumers where they live—online.

The Middle East is experiencing a social media boom thanks, in part, to its large and digitally-savvy youth population. In a 2017 survey, Pew Research Center noted high levels of social media usage in the Middle East compared with other regions, despite the fact that Isreal is the only country with an advanced economy.

Social media offers brands a place to connect with consumers when they are engaged and looking for inspiration. HootSuite’s 2018 global social media report found that marketers are integrating social commerce into their strategies, but many still hesitate.

Just over a quarter of respondents said they have either implemented social commerce or plan to do so in the next 12 months and 17 percent said the same about shoppable galleries. In addition, 64 percent of respondents have either implemented Instagram Stories into their social media strategy or plan to do so over the next year.

Amazon Expands Ad Offerings To AmazonFresh Grocery Delivery

Amazon has expanded its growing advertising business to include grocery delivery service AmazonFresh. Packaged food brands have already begun to display ads for consumer packaged goods (CPG) on product detail pages and in search results.

AmazonFresh offers grocery delivery and pick-up to Prime members in select locations. Existing Prime members can add Fresh to their subscription for an additional fee.

In an email to advertisers Thursday, Amazon announced the addition of AmazonFresh ads for consumer packaged goods. Per Business Insider, AmazonFresh ads will only be shown to customers who are eligible to purchase their products. Customization options will be available, such as targeting returning or first-time brand shoppers.

Brands can add their 10-digit Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) to new or sponsored product campaigns. Ads are already being seen across the website from brands like Frito-Lay and Nestle.

The new ads will allow CPG brands another way to stand out in a sea of products offered on Amazon. Nielsen estimates that 20 percent of grocery retail will be conducted online by the year 2025, reaching $100 billion in sales.

In its report, Nielsen warned that engaging grocery shoppers in the digital age will require more than just statistics.

“While analytics will continue to be critical for retailers and manufacturers to understand the digitally engaged food shopper on a deeper level, a collaborative approach to balancing physical and digital sales strategies is the key to unlocking omnichannel success,” said Chris Morley, Nielsen’s US President of FMCG and Retail alongside the company’s findings.

Amazon is the current leader in online grocery sales, representing 18 percent of the market share according to One Click Retail, The site’s grocery revenue soared 35 percent following the acquisition of Whole Foods.

This new ad offering will allow brands to gather insights on the AmazonFresh customer and cater marketing spend accordingly. Likewise, the online retail giant is in a unique position to tap into the growing online grocery business while expanding its sources for ad revenue.

Overall, Amazon’s ad business will capture just 4.1 percent of US digital ad spend last year, according to eMarketer, but that still places it firmly in the number three spot after Google and Facebook. EMarketer predicts that Amazon will capture 52 percent of retail e-commerce sales in 2019.

At MWC19, Brands Discuss Staying Relevant In A Digital Era

MWC 2019 was awash with conversations about connectivity, the future of the connected computing world and of course, 5G. But, for brand marketers, the underlying message was how to stay relevant in a transforming digital ecosystem.

At the core of much of this conversation was how to keep ahead of the curve, maintain a strong sense of identity and give audiences what they want.

At Monday’s “Intelligent Future For All” keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a nod to Daimler AG’s longevity in a conversation with the automobile manufacturer’s CEO Dieter Zetsche. In celebrating the rarity of “institutional strength that goes beyond human lifetimes,” Nadella noted the necessity for brand leaders to create a “core sense of purpose and identity.” But don’t accept the status quo. “At the same time, you have to question everything,” said Nadella.

“New capabilities are something that you always have to build, long before it’s conventional wisdom. Now, that capability is only going to happen if you have a culture that allows you to recognize the need for that ability.”

Nadella has a great deal of experience with status-quo defying transitions, notably the company’s shift in focus from selling software on DVD-ROMs to providing SaaS via subscriptions to Microsoft Office during his tenure.

Planning for the future needs of customers means taking a leap of faith, in a sense. Nadella insists that “the core of any transformation is: Are you in real touch with the unarticulated needs of your customers?”

Just days before the conference, the BMW Group and Daimler AG announced a new partnership, a collection of joint ventures and a clear indication of how the two legacy brands are confronting today’s digital transformation.

“By creating an intelligent network of joint ventures, we will be able to shape current and future urban mobility and draw maximum benefit from the opportunities opened up by digitalization, shared services and the increasing mobility needs of our customers.”

Zetsche, also the head of Mercedes-Benz, referred to Daimler AG’s transition as a contrast in how to think foundationally about production at the same keynote last Monday.

“Until yesterday, the most important part was to lock your engineering department so no one could copy anything. Today, when we’re talking about these new systems, we’re convinced we have to do it open source.”

When asked about what he’s learned from Nadella, Zetsche said, “Microsoft went through a phase where its base capabilities and base business model were in question,” he continued, “then you used your basic skills and turned it around into something very different.”

Stella McCartney CMO Resigns; Delta Promotes CMO

This week’s executive shifts include Stella McCartney’s longtime CMO resigning, Aflac chief brand and communications officer dropping marketing duties, RaceTrac promoting their executive director of marketing, Global Chevrolet CMO is retiring, Delta promoting their CMO, Reverb hiring a new chief marketing officer, Parker’s advancing their CMO, Ola Australia hiring a chief marketing officer, Robeks bringing back their former VP of marketing, the Recording Academy’s chief marketing officer resigning, March of Dimes hiring a new CMO, Downlite appointing a chief sales and marketing officer, JCDecaux promoting their marketing director, Tiger of Sweden appointing an interim CEO, United Breweries adding CMO, Stio welcoming a new president and chief marketing officer and a new CMO for Sybel.

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

Stella McCartney CMO Steps Down

Stella McCartney’s chief marketing officer, Stephane Jasper, is resigning. Jasper joined the company in 2003 and worked in PR, marketing, digital and license. Prior to that, he worked at Nadine Johnson and Miramar films.

”We all wish Stephane a bright and brilliant future, and feel so grateful for all he contributed over the years,” McCartney stated to WWD. “We wish him much love and success.”

Aflac Communications Leader Drops Marketing Duties

Aflac announced their chief brand and communications officer, Catherine Hernandez-Blades, is changing roles and becoming their SVP and chief ESG and communications officer. She will oversee more traditional chief communications officer duties and pick up environmental, social and governance responsibilities. Previously, Hernandez-Blades served as VP and chief marketing and communications officer for Flextronics—a global technological manufacturer.

RaceTrac Promotes Executive Director of Marketing

RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc—a gasoline service station chain—has promoted Melanie Isbill as the company’s chief marketing officer. Previously, she served as the executive director of marketing and as their director of brand communications. Isbill joined RaceTrac in 2008 as a commercial analyst and left to intern at The Coca-Cola Company. She then returned in 2011 as a private label brand manager.

Global Chevrolet CMO Retires

Global Chevrolet announced their chief marketing officer Tim Mahoney is retiring effective March 1. This is one of the many executive changes happening at GM in an effort to evolve its business operations. Previously, Mahoney served as EVP and chief product and marketing officer at Volkswagon America. He also worked as senior VP and CMO at Subaru of America.

Delta Air Lines Promotes CMO

Delta has appointed Tim Mapes as the airline’s chief marketing and communications officer. He will take over John E. “Ned” Walker’s position after he announced his retirement after serving as SVP and chief communications officer for 11 years. Mapes will lead the company’s global marketing, communications strategy and continue to serve as president of the Delta Foundation. Previously, he worked as Delta’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Tim is a world-class communicator. His more than 30 years of brand, marketing and communications experience inside and outside of Delta make him a strong leader to continue to elevate the momentum we have today,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian told the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Reverb Hires A New Chief Marketing Officer

Reverb, the e-commerce music gear site, has hired Kristen Cho as their chief marketing officer. In this new position, Cho will assist in growing Reverb’s success by leading the company’s global marketing team, video and editorial content, search marketing and more. Before coming to Reverb, Cho served as CMO of Luxury Garage Sale. She was also VP of marketing at SpotHero, a parking reservation service.

Parker’s Advances CMO To VP of Marketing

Parker’s convenience stores promoted Brandon Hoffman as their new VP of marketing. In this new position, he will oversee Parker’s marketing department. Previously, Hoffman served as the chief marketing officer for the Georgia-based company. Parker’s has 54 stores around Georgia and South Carolina, they opened in 1976. Hoffman been with the company for 22 years.

Ola Australia Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Ola, the rideshare platform, has hired Andrew Balint as the company’s chief marketing officer for Australia. In his role, Balint will assist in Ola’s growth in the country and New Zealand. Ola’s first Australian city launch was last year in Perth. Previously, he served as CMO of BrickX, a platform to access Australia’s property market.

Robeks Former VP of Marketing Comes Back

Robeks Fresh Juices and Smoothies has appointed Mitch Baker as the company’s VP of marketing. This is not his first time in the role, Baker had the same position from 2004 to 2006. Prior to coming back to Robeks, Baker served as CMO of Drnk coffee and tea and Qwench Juice Bar. Before that, he worked as VP of marketing and senior team member of NutriPartners, Inc.

“I’m so excited to be returning to Robeks and building on the great reputation of the brand, which provides amazing tasting healthy products,” Baker said in the release. “Robeks is in a unique position as a fully franchised juice and smoothie brand to continue massive expansion across the country and I’m looking forward to contributing my energy and experience to that growth once again.”

Recording Academy CMO Resigns After 15 Years

The Recording Academy has announced Evan Greene—the organization’s chief marketing officer—is stepping down. Greene became CMO of the Recording Academy in 2003 and created their first marketing department, their first brand campaign in over 60 years and worked to further develop the Grammy brand. Previously, Greene served as executive director of global promotions for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

March Of Dimes Appoints New Chief Marketing Officer

March of Dimes has hired Cindy Rahman as the senior vice president and CMO of the organization. Aside from overseeing their marketing and communications operations, Rahman will spearhead digital, creative and brand initiatives. Prior to joining March of Dimes, Rahman served as senior vice president of BRG Communications.

“Cindy’s expertise will be a tremendous asset as we continue to sound the alarm on the maternal and child health crisis facing our country, and our work to address it,” said March of Dimes president Stacey D. Stewart in a statement. “We’re delighted to welcome her to the team.”

Downlite Hires Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

Downlite—a bedding manufacturer—has appointed Lisa Pruett as the company’s chief sales and marketing officer. In the role, she will oversee sales, customer care, product management, planning and analytics and marketing. Previously, Pruett served as executive vice president of sales at Easy Way Products.

JCDecaux Announces New Chief Marketing Officer

JCDecaux has promoted Essie Wake as the company’s new CMO. Wake joined JCDecaux in 2011 as a marketing director, where she led OOH marketing, including the launch of the Digital Citylights last year. She also managed the company’s research and communications initiatives. Previously, Wake worked as the research and strategy director with Initiative.

“JCDecaux is a fantastically innovative and progressive business both in Australia and globally. Its commitment to innovation and design, as well as the investment in digital and data capabilities to offer advertisers in-depth, dynamic knowledge about our audience, makes it an exciting time to lead marketing as we enter a new era of growth with much more to come,” said Wake in a statement.

Tiger of Sweden Names Moa Strand Chief Marketing Officer And Chief Executive Officer 

The Swedish fashion house, Tiger of Sweden, welcomed Moa Strand as chief marketing officer and interim CEO. On February 18, the board of directors of IC Group A/S has reportedly announced that the previous CEO of the company, Hans-Christian Meyer, resigned with immediate effect. Strand will replace him as the brand leader.

Strand has been with Tiger of Sweden since 2016 and previously served as a head of business development and a Chief Marketing Officer.

Debabrata Mukherjee To Join United Breweries As A New CMO

Although he refused to comment, Debabrata Mukherjee, who is currently serving his notice period at HT Media, he might soon join United Breweries Ltd, as a chief marketing officer, sources told Brand Equity magazine.
Mukherjee started his career 24 years ago as an area sales manager with Hindustan Lever Ltd and previously worked for Coca Cola India and South West Asia as vice president of strategy and innovation. In 2013, Mukherjee was appointed the vice president of South West Asia Operations of Coca Cola India, where he worked for a year before shifting to HT Media Ltd as chief executive director last year.

Stio Appoints Noah Waterhouse President And Chief Marketing Officer

Stio, a mountain lifestyle brand, recently promoted Noah Waterhouse to a president and chief marketing officer.

“I’m very excited to be taking on an expanded role here at Stio,” Waterhouse told SGB Media. “I look forward to working with the rest of the senior team in this new capacity to support our exceptional staff and position the company for continued growth.”

In this role, Waterhouse will be leading the executive team and working closely with product development, operations, finance, marketing and sales teams to generate the company growth.

Waterhouse has been with the company for 20 years.

Franck Rossini To Lead Sybel’s Marketing

After spending six years at Spotify as Marketing Director France and Southern Europe, Franck Rossini takes the head marketing position at Sybel, a French audio app, to develop the new entertainment brand. His main focus will be the audience development in France, and eventually worldwide.

From 2010 to 2012, Rossini was Director of Digital Strategy for Starcom and he previously served as Senior European Marketing Manager at Myspace.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 22. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

VP, Retail Marketing & Brand Development Warner Bros. Burbank, CA
Chief Marketing Officer Moog Music Group Asheville, NC
Vice President, Marketing Strategy  Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY
VP, Brand Marketing Carl’s Jr. Franklin, TN
Head of Marketing Uber London, UK
VP Marketing Analytics DISNEY New York, NY

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

‘Don’t Call Me A Gamer,’ Say Mobile Gamers

Over a third of Americans play mobile games every day, but a majority don’t consider themselves to be “gamers,” according to the latest data from AppLovin.

The Mobile Gamer Insights Report studies the behavior of over 4,000 smartphone owners in the US and UK, including 2,062 US general respondents aged 16 or older. The research was conducted by Censuswide between December 21 and 28, 2018. The report defines Gen Z as those ages 16-24 and Boomers as respondents over the age of 55.

AppLovin found that 67 percent of respondents play mobile games 3-4 times per week, but would not consider themselves to be a “gamer.” This sentiment is more prevalent among female players. Forty percent of women that have played mobile games on their smartphones do so every day but only 24 percent would consider themselves a “gamer.” On the other hand, 36 percent of male respondents claim the title proudly.

Older generations are much less likely to call themselves a “gamer.” Thirty-three percent of adults aged 55 and over play mobile games daily and yet 85 percent shy away from the title “gamer.” Meanwhile, half of Gen Z (53 percent) would consider themselves “gamers.”

This data reveals that mobile gamers are varied in age, gender and genre preferences—something brands should keep in mind when targeting the demographic.

AppLovin’s report echoes the 2015 findings of Pew Research, although comparing the two suggests a wider acceptance of what being a “gamer” means among Americans. A survey of 2,001 US adults found that 15 percent of men called themselves a “gamer,” compared to only six percent of women.

Casual games like match-3 puzzles are the most popular genre among players at 33 percent, followed by strategy games at 16 percent. Mobile titles are generally designed for quick gameplay sessions and many are free to play.

It’s no surprise, then, that AppLovin found just over half—55 percent—of US respondents play mobile games to pass the time, such as in a doctor’s office waiting room or while commuting. Relaxation is another common reason for picking up the phone at 44 percent.

“Growth in the casual game market continues to accelerate year after year,” said Alex Malafeev, co-founder of Sensor Tower in a statement. “In 2018, our research indicates a 20 percent increase in casual mobile games across both Google Play and the App Store’s top 10 mobile games as compared to 2017.”

According to SuperData Research, mobile games accounted for $61.3 billion of digital video game revenue in 2018—nearly twice as much games on PC.

Netflix Takes Cues From HBO, Plans ‘Highwaymen’ Speakeasy For SXSW

Netflix is bringing a speakeasy to SXSW next week to promote its original film, The Highwaymen. Riding high on its Oscar wins, Netflix will be able to leverage filmmaker respect while taking part in the experiential marketing playland that is SXSW Austin.

The Highwaymen tells the story of two former Texas Rangers that are sent to hunt down the notorious Bonny and Clyde. Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson play the titular roles, under the direction of John Lee Hancock (The Blindside).

Dubbed “The Highwayman House,” Netflix’s pop-up activation will take over Banger’s Basement and simulate a 1930s speakeasy. To get visitors in the mood for the Bonny and Clyde caper, attendees will be greeted by actors in character and given a name. In addition to their new identities, attendees will receive an RFID bracelet to unlock experiences around the location.

Musical acts will play at the speakeasy each night, adding to the 1930s period vibe.

Interactive elements will include photo ops with a “Wanted” poster, gambling tables and playing games. Those that interact will earn points that can be redeemed for “premium custom swag” including hats, watches, flasks, patches, pins, bandanas and denim jackets.

Netflix has also partnered with Bunkhouse Hospitality to give additional speakeasy treatment to guests of Hotel Saint Cecilia and Hotel San Jose. These guests will have the opportunity to drink custom cocktails inspired by The Highwaymen and catch a ride to the activation inside a vintage car. Platinum and Film Badge holders will be able to watch the world premiere screening on March 10.

SXSW has become a haven for experiential activations and Netflix has taken a cue from HBO’s buzzworthy Westworld activation last year. HBO wowed attendees with a two-acre Western town complete with recreations of the show’s Coronado Hotel and Mariposa Saloon, filled with Season Two easter eggs and over 60 actors and stuntpeople to engage attendees.

Netflix took home three Academy Awards for its original film Roma this past weekend, winning best director, best cinematography and best foreign-language film. Director Alphonso Cuaron also made history as the first person to win an Oscar for best cinematography on the same film they directed.

During the ceremony, Martin Scorsese announced that his latest project, The Irishman, will be a Netflix original movie—adding additional clout to the streaming platform as a viable outlet for filmmakers.

Last year, Netflix hosted a filmmakers lounge at SXSW in a bid for creative attention and shared five world premieres during the event—feature films First Match, 6 Balloons and The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter, as well as the documentary feature, Take Your Pills and documentary series Rapture.


How Beauty Brands Are Standing Out From The Crowd In 2019

As the beauty market is getting increasingly saturated, the competition is getting tougher and brands have to be on their toes with effective marketing strategies to stay in the game. From Instagrammable stores to conversation–sparking content on social channels–they must flex their creative muscle to deliver spectacular campaigns.

The most successful of these brands know that the way a product is discovered and hyped about is more important than, well, the product itself.

With that in mind, let’s look at how the leading cosmetic brands are successfully winning their audiences in 2019.

Doing More With Influencers

Per a survey from an influencer marketing agency, Mediakix, 2019 is a year of rapid growth and innovation for the influencer marketing industry. In fact, the survey predicts a 65 percent increase in spending on influencer marketing this year. With the beauty industry relying heavily on influencers to spark brand interest, this may be especially true for this vertical.

And it’s not just about sending out beautifully crafted PR boxes anymore for review—brands are starting to take more creative approaches to create content that includes influencers.

“The Face Awards” by NYX is a great example of this, with professional beauty vloggers and everyday makeup enthusiasts battling for recognition of their makeup prowess. The climax of the campaign is the “Beauty Vlogger of the Year” award, which is an audience-selected award for the best video.

Creating Useful (And Fun) AR Experiences

The global beauty market is predicted to grow to $750 billion by 2024, according to Inkwood research and taking in consideration the beauty industry being one of the most trends-driven, it’s only natural that cosmetic companies are trusting innovative technology to remain competitive.

One great example of this is by Sephora. Sephora’s Virtual Artist AR feature allows Sephora app users to virtually try on the various lip, eye and cheek make-up; inspires them with looks created by Sephora artists and offers other innovative perks, such as virtual make-up tutorials and color match tool.

AList Shares Beauty Brands Marketing In 2019

Neutrogena’s MaskiD is another great example of using technology in beauty marketing. An app offered by the company analyzes the user’s face, measures the size of it and creates a custom mask to fit, at the same time suggesting targeted treatments. All the masks have unique shapes and color patterns to cater to different skin needs.

Consumers are looking for more and more personalized experiences and products. With the help of new technology, brands are able to create such deep personalized experiences for them to boost customer satisfaction and drive sales.

Retail Remains Important For Beauty 

Needless to say, today, the retail environment is shaped more by how people consume than by what they consume. Reports show that a huge chunk of today’s consumer force cares a lot about their in-store experiences. According to the report, the retail experience encouraged 41 percent of the study participants to buy, while only 10 percent were influenced by a brand’s website.

Giorgio Armani Beauty recently created an elaborate pop-up experience in Los Angeles with Armani Beauty Box. The scarlet red shop was “guarded” by a giant golden gorilla statue, named Uri, which was the creation of Italian artist Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba. The full-sized gorilla is a replica of the one Giorgio Armani has at his home in Milan.

AList Shares Beauty Brands Marketing In 2019

The pop-up store celebrated Hollywood glamour and offered Instagrammable experiences in front of the mirror in a movie director’s chair, red carpet moments with newly introduced products and virtual makeup application stations and iPads set to record and post guests’ makeup consultations on social platforms.

Empowering Micro Influencers

During her live interview with Kara Swisher’s for Swisher’s Recode Decode podcast, Emily Weiss, the Glossier’s founder and CEO said, “At Glossier, something we’ve always stayed very true to, since pre-launch, day one, is that every single person is an influencer.”

The brand known for “millennial pink” packaging has made ubiquitous the Instagram “Top Shelfie” via its media site Into The Gloss, elevating the everyday beauty routine to something akin to high art.

AList Shares Beauty Brands Marketing In 2019

Similarly to Glossier’s philosophy, Sephora’s “Sephoria” event was a place where everyone received the influencer treatment. Guests were able to mingle with celebrities and well-known beauty and fashion bloggers and walk through an Instagrammable experience featuring the many brands lining the walls at Sephora’s retail stores.

AList shares Sephora Sephoria House of Beauty

What is great about these approaches is that both Glossier and Sephora believe that making a regular customer an influencer doesn’t take away from the brand’s exclusivity, but actually translates into giving their fans a voice and empowering them.

Turning To The Inner Forces 

Diversity and authenticity are among the main values of the contemporary consumer. They expect the brand to have and demonstrate core values, as well as being inclusive and mindful. Some brands understand this quite well and demonstrate these qualities in campaigns featuring their own talented employees.

French beauty care brand, L’Occitane. L’Occitane also shined a light on their employees with a “No Filter Needed” campaign which ran in February. Featuring 10 of its employees from a variety of departments and specialties across the company—from in-store teams to their supply chain—and representing women across age ranges.

Caroline Le Roch, L’Occitane regional managing director, told Glossy that this move was rather strategic, as it ties back to larger company initiatives.

“Sustainability has been at the heart of our brand,” she said. “And for us, women’s empowerment is a key component in that. We feel that gender equality in the workplace and women feeling they are part of the bigger decision-making process are extremely important. We wanted to highlight that here, by showing how powerful our women are.”

Who Is Your Target Customer?

An excerpt from Zack Miller’s upcoming book ‘Anomaly: How to Finally Stand Out From the Crowd’.

Brands spend billions a year using the shotgun approach of spraying their message and praying someone will call or reach out to their company. It’s effective to learn who your target customer is and reach out to them directly, especially when you’re just getting started.

Who is your audience and what do they need? The process of learning as much about a person or business as you can is the definition of target customer research. Picture this: You’re a CrossFitter, vegan, stay-at-home female athlete, but you receive advertisements for men’s work boots. Seems odd, and it is. All too often brands and personalities are targeting their customers completely wrong. They’re wasting time and money trying to get attention from people who will never become their customers.

There are people around you right now primed and ready to become your customer. I like to call this low-hanging fruit. Some of these people you likely already know. Someone somewhere is looking for you and what you have to offer. It’s up to you to figure out who and where they are. Your target customer is someone who meets a series of criteria that you determine from dissecting your current customer base. If you don’t have a current base, you’ll make some predictions and edit as you gain more information. This is called a customer pivot.

Standard demographics such as age, gender, height, weight, and race can be used, but it’s harder to use only those. Look for a deeper understanding with things like where they vacation, what they eat, where they went to school, brands they wear, where they live, what they like and follow on social media, what language they speak, and how adventurous they are.

If you sign up for a Winc membership (a fantastic wine of the month club), you’re asked a series of questions in order to better understand your palate. Questions range from, “How do you like your coffee?” and “Would you jump out of an airplane?” to “What are your favorite fruits?” and whether or not you like steak, scallops, or spicy food. These questions help them better understand you to provide you with wine you’re more likely to enjoy. What’s stopping you from doing this with your brand in order to provide your customers with the products, services, or content that will most resonate with them? Nothing.

Let’s say you have a sample size of 1,000 current followers or customers. That’s not a bad-size list. It’s one that could provide you with some financial success if you took a little time and energy to better understand who they are. You can do this by creating a poll or survey with targeted questions based on what you need to know about them. You can poll your network through a Facebook post, LinkedIn Group question, or even through an email to your network with a series of questions. You’ll also want to get standard data like college level completed, age, gender, and race. You may learn that one demographic is an overwhelming majority of your customer base, and you can create marketing campaigns that speak to those trends.

Knowing your target customer is a multistep process. You need to know: Who are they? What do they look like? Where can I find them? and What appeals to them? If you don’t answer all four of these, you’ll miss out on key information and likely never convert any of them into customers.

There are lots of ways you can start learning about your target customers. You can leverage your personal network and survey or interview a select group of people who you believe fit the bill of your target customer. By doing this you’re getting direct one-to-one knowledge as to what their pain points and problems are. A pain point or problem is the challenge your prospect is currently experiencing.

It could be as simple as needing groceries delivered from the grocery store, or as complex as a serious health issue. The problem doesn’t matter. What matters is if you can solve their problem and create a relationship, or if you can’t, help them find someone else who can.

If you have a solution they’re looking for, you can start putting them into your sales funnel, which we will go into more detail about in a later section.

Compile a list of assumptions of what you think the problem is, and then create surveys asking questions around those problems. Send it out to the list you have compiled. Collect all of their data from the surveys and paste it into a spreadsheet. As you progress with your target customers, ask if you can update them on what you’re working on.

With every person you have a conversation with, ask if there’s someone else that you could be talking to. Maybe they know someone else that fits your target customer profile. This could be called a referral, but since you’re not selling anything yet, it’s more of a warm lead. A warm lead indicates that the person has either shown interest, or someone has informed you that they may be a good fit. A cold lead means the person has shown no sign of interest, and you’re just testing the waters. If they say yes, ask how you should contact the new person or group.

Let’s say you create a marketing and branding set for one demographic, but then learn that you were wrong, or something changes with that demographic and it’s no longer your target customer. Any marketing that you were using should be edited or removed as it’ll be speaking to someone you have proven is not a good fit.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to consume Anomaly, you’ll be taken through three parts: Understanding the Sales Funnel, Becoming the Anomaly, and Anomalies in the Wild. Understanding the Sales Funnel will detail why it takes multiple steps to get the results you desire. Becoming the Anomaly details techniques that get amazing results. Finally, Anomalies in the Wild walks you through case studies of individuals and companies who have become an anomaly by using specific tools and/or mediums.


  1. Determine your target audience/customer using standard demographics like age, gender, race, annual income, plus deep demographics like where they hang out, how they speak, what do they like, where do they spend money, what do they drive, where did they go to school, etc.
  2. What are three unique identifiers of your target customer?
  3. What challenges or pain points do your targets have?
  4. What type of questions are they asking you?
  5. Select 5 to 10 keywords and key phrases that your targets use in their vernacular and what they search online. Don’t get cute.


These Marketing Podcasts Are Actually Worth Your Time

There are a lot of marketing podcasts to choose from, but the most popular doesn’t necessarily mean the best. The podcasts below do a great job of informing, refreshing, interviewing and some even add a little humor. Check out the seven podcasts we think every marketer should listen to.

Drunk Marketing

Connor Clay and Chellsea Mastroine discuss marketing and other random things—like pork chops—while they sip on some drinks. The team has talked about more mainstream topics like Super Bowl ads—but also personal things, as in one episode when Clay talked about taking a Twitter break to regain his attention span. This podcast is easily is digestible and charmingly relatable.

Marketing With Wharton’s Hip Hop Prof

Wharton marketing professor Americus Reed—aka the Hip Hop Prof—hosts the podcast that covers a range of marketing topics. He takes deep dives with experts and podcast also covers the latest marketing research—like using love to build brand relationships. Reed is himself a personal branding expert and leans into this podcast with knowledge and personality.

Household Name

Like a crime podcast, former NPR reporter Dan Bobkoff goes back into the history of famous brands—like Martha Stewart’s trial and come back and TGI Friday’s sexy past. Bobkoff interviews several people to bring the rich and complex timeline of the biggest household name brands.

Marketing Today With Alan Hart

Host Alan Hart talks to CMOs and other marketing leaders to get tips and insight into their strategies. In one episode, Hart spoke with Kristi Argyilan, senior SVP of Marketing at Target, about how the company reached the Gen Z audience. In another episode, he has a discussion with author Seth Godin on his latest book This is Marketing: You Can’t be Seen Until You Learn To See.

The Marketing Companion

Marketing experts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster, bring humor to the latest trends and issues in marketing. The podcast goes into the challenges of launching new technology like driverless cars. The Marketing Companion has also covered emotional connections with brands, who rules the internet, the relevance of social media marketing and of course the most important of all the consequences of mercury in retrograde.

Marketing Geeks

Justin Womack and Andros Sturgeon of Marketing Geeks tackle current events like the Fyre Festival marketing and organic marketing of Burning Man as well as creating a compelling email marketing headline to grab your audience.

Social Pros

This podcast is all about social media and content marketing. Hosts Jay Baer and Adam Brown interview with leading social media experts and discuss topics ranging from influencer marketing, AI and even one devoted to How Purple Became the Most Effective Advertiser on Facebook. Each episode ranges from 30 minutes to an hour.