Hasbro’s Chief Consumer Experience Officer; CMOs For Deezer, Little Caesars

This week’s executive shifts include former global chief marketing officer of Wunderman Thompson joining Hasbro, Deezer appointing a vice president of artist marketing; CMOs for Tocaya Organica, Amtrak, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Bojangle’s and Little Caesars. Also, a former global marketer at Alibaba becomes Blue Apron’s new chief executive officer and JimmyBar hires a VP of marketing.

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

Hasbro Fills Newly-Created Chief Consumer Experience Officer Position

On Thursday, the toymaker Hasbro announced that Jamie Gutfreund, the former global chief marketing officer of Wunderman Thompson, will join the company as its first chief consumer experience officer, effective April 15. 

Gutfreund will directly report to Hasbro’s president and chief operating officer, John Frascotti and in her new role, she will focus on creation and implementation of “consumer-focused strategies that effectively connect the company’s brands with global audiences.” 

Gutfreund past career achievements include serving as global CMO at Wunderman Thompson, chief strategy officer at The Intelligence Group, and holding positions at Expedia, Microsoft and Prodigy, where she developed original content, as well as communications and business strategies for clients, brands and entertainment partners.

Frascotti said about the new hire, “Jamie brings a breadth of experience in driving strategies that build brands through innovation and technology, global marketing campaigns and proprietary research,” Frascotti said in a statement. “Jamie is a well-respected and highly creative digital marketer, and I am thrilled to welcome her to the Hasbro family.”

Deezer Appoints VP Of Artist Marketing

Deezer appointed Nigel Harding to the position of vice president of artist marketing. Harding comes to the streaming platform from Sony’s Nothing Else Matters Records.

Harding also spent a couple of years working on the playlisting strategy for Apple Music and almost a decade at BBC.

“I look forward to working closely with Nigel to build on the wide range of creative marketing activations we’ve done with artists so far and to continue building Deezer’s standing with artists all over the world,” said Alexander Holland, Deezer’s chief content and product officer.

Former Alibaba Marketer Appointed As Blue Apron CEO

Blue Apron hired Linda Findley Kozlowski as president and chief executive officer, effective April 8. Kozlowski will also be on the company’s board of directors. She is also a member on the boards of Ralph Lauren, StyleSeat and Dress For Success Worldwide.

Kozlowski was most recently chief operating officer at Etsy and before that held the same position at Evernote. She was also previously director of global marketing and customer experience at Alibaba from 2011 to 2012.

Kozlowski comes to Blue Apron at a pivotal time for the company, as it’s been reported the D2C meal-kit service is not retaining subscribers while it tries to expand its retail strategy.

Little Caesars Appoints SVP Global Marketing

Little Caesars added Jeff Klein as senior vice president of global marketing, and in an effort to grow the brand globally. Klein leaves his position at PepsiCo’s Foodservice division, where he was senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Klein had been wit PepsiCo since 2003.

“I’m excited to welcome Jeff to our organization,” said CEO Dave Scrivano in a statement, “With his impressive achievements and experience, I know we can count on him to grow our global brand and continue to shake up the pizza game like we’ve been doing for the past 60 years.”

Bojangles’ Names Chief Marketing Officer

Bojangles’, a regional fast food restaurant, named Jackie Woodward as the company’s chief marketing officer.

Woodward served in the same position previously at Krispy Kreme and was also VP global media at General Mills and VP global marketing at McDonald’s. She also spent a number of years at MillerCoors.

“I am incredibly excited to be the next marketing chief at such an iconic brand,” Woodward said in a statement.  “I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the extraordinary things happening at this company and look forward to working with our franchise partners to share the Bojangles’ experience with more and more new guests across the country.”

JimmyBar Appoints VP Of Marketing

JimmyBar, a protein bar company, appointed Sabrina Kautz to the role of VP of marketing. Kautz comes to the company after serving as a health coach and consultant the last year. Before that she spent a number of years at a marketing manager at PepsiCo.

Kautz will focus on “the company’s brand strategy, shopper marketing initiatives, new product development and customer/consumer insights,” the company said in a statement.

Helskink Think Company Appoints CMO

Helsinki Think Company, an entrepreneurship society that also provides coworking spaces, appointed Liisa Lehkonen as its chief marketing officer according to a tweet from Lehkonen.

Bulldog Skincare Names Marketing Head

Richard Blake is set to take over the position of global head of marketing at Bulldog Skincare. According to his LinkedIn, Blake will “lead marketing across all channels for one of the fastest growing brands in men’s skincare- now in over 30 markets globally.”

Blake was most recently a senior marketing director at Verizon Media in London and before that spent almost seven year at Yahoo, also in London, most recently in the position of international marketing director.

Tocaya Organica/Madera Group Name Chief Marketing Officer

Matt Smith has been named the chief marketing officer of both fast-casual restaurant Tocaya Organica and their parent company Madera Group.

Smith comes to the companies from marketing agency Simmer Group, wher he was most recently a partner.

In a statement, Madera Group said Smith would lead “development and implementation of all marketing operations including channel, content and advertising strategy, PR and reputation management, new store openings, and catering.”

Comscore’s CEO And President Both Depart Company

Comscore’s CEO Bryan Wiener and president Sara Hofstetter have both departed the measurement and analytics company. Wiener cited “irreconcilable differences” with Comscore’s board.

Wiener and Hofstetter both came to Comscore from marketing agency 360i. Wiener continues to sit on the board of Cars.com and Hofstetter is still on the board of directors at the Campbell Soup Company.

Amtrak Names EVP, Chief Marketing Officer

Amtrak named Roger Harris as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing and commercial officer. Harris previously held senior roles at Delta Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and Aeromexico.

“Roger’s mix of transportation experience makes him a great fit for this position. He will continue to advance the customer-focused strategies that are driving the company to the next level of ridership and revenue performance,” said Amtrak president and CEO Richard Anderson in statement.

Nebraska Furniture Mart Appoints CMO

Nebraska Furniture Mart named Amy Myers as the company’s chief marketing officer. Myers comes to the Omaha-based company after working at Gabby and Summer Classics as chief marketing officer. She also previously worked at Gordman’s and Kraft Foods.

NFM said in a statement that Myers will be “creating and executing the overall strategy of the marketing division, helping NFM achieve alignment and consistency across all marketing channels while helping to elevate the customer experience.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, April 5. 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 OfficerStila CosmeticsNew York, NY
Chief Marketing OfficerMoog Music GroupAsheville, NC
Vice President, Marketing Strategy Saks Fifth AvenueNew York, NY
VP, Brand MarketingCarl’s Jr.Franklin, TN
Head of MarketingUberLondon, UK
VP Marketing AnalyticsDISNEYNew York, NY

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

Crocs Continues Resurgence With Emphasis On Individuality, Celebrity Influencers

Crocs launched the third installment, in as many years, of its influencer-driven “Come As You Are” campaign this week that stars Zooey Deschanel and a line-up of celebrity brand ambassadors.

The campaign states that “being yourself, being comfortable and looking stylish are not mutually exclusive.” Playing on the phrase, “being comfortable in your own shoes,” the ads feature a variety of Crocs styles for different activities and lifestyles including LiteRide, Crocband Platform, Crocs Serena, Swiftwater and the iconic Classic Clog.

The company’s pivot from granola accessory to fashion icon did not come overnight. Much credit has been given to Crocs CEO Andrew Rees and his calculated push to turn the brand around. In that way, it’s not surprising to see “Come As You Are” enter its third year, mainly because, it’s working.

“I love that we are all unique,” said Deschanel in a release announcing the partnership. “When Crocs asked me to be a part of their campaign, I was excited to have the opportunity to join a fun and colorful brand but, more importantly, have the opportunity to inspire others to embrace their individuality.”

In addition to Deschanel, “Come As You Are” features British actress Natalie Dormer, Chinese actress, dancer and model Gina Jin, South Korean actress and gugudan girl-band member Kim Se-Jeong and Japanese actress and model Suzu Hirose.

Each of the influencers was photographed and/or filmed wearing a model of Crocs shoes to correspond with activities such as “I travel,” “I surprise,” “I dazzle” or “I bounce.” The campaign will include digital, social and in-store marketing materials, with a focus on consumers in the US, Germany, China, Japan and South Korea.

Previous celebrity ambassadors have included wrestler and actor John Cena, actress Drew Barrymore and rapper Post Malone.

“As we enter our third year of ‘Come As You Are,’ we are evolving not only our message and cast but the entire look and feel of our marketing campaign,” said Terence Reilly, Crocs chief marketing officer in a statement. “Crocs is making a bold declaration that you can have both style and comfort no matter who you are or where your life takes you.”

Personalization and self-expression are important to the Gen Z consumer which, according to IBM and The National Retail Federation, holds $44 billion in buying power. The same study found that 55 percent of Gen Z respondents spend their own money on clothing and shoes, and 60 percent influence family spending in the category.

Crocs, Inc. reported double-digital ecommerce growth for the fourth quarter of 2018, calling it the “best Q4 in years.” The brand is committed to grow the relevance of its infamous clogs, and identified Asia as a demographic for the largest growth potential.

According to Crocs, it plans on expanding the relevance of clogs through “impactful collaborations, trending the right colors and graphics, licensing and personalization through Jibbitz charms.”

Billie Eilish Experience Shows Untapped Potential In Music Marketing

Spotify launched an interactive Billie Eilish music experience over the weekend. To celebrate the launch of her first studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Eilish and Spotify designed the 29Rooms-like experience to take fans inside each of her 14 songs through smell, texture, colors, temperature and of course, music.

The Billie Eilish Experience took place in Los Angeles for one weekend only and tickets quickly sold out. The experience was in partnership with Interscope records and supported by a digital campaign and limited edition clothing on the merch “drop” mobile platform NTWRK.

Marketing for music can often feel behind in comparison to other entertainment industries relying on the power of music streaming playlists and digital advertising along with name recognition to drum up sales. Still, seeing a brand new artist on their first album push the status quo with a massive experiential marketing activation is noteworthy.

Eilish’s album was also promoted across digital and social channels with a YouTube front-page takeover, as well as localized display ads on UberEats. Eilish also played the food delivery service’s show at SXSW in mid-March.

Guests to the Billie Eilish Experience were greeted by a giant statue of the artist that was designed by contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. Fan art lined the walls as guests wandered through each song on the musician’s new album. One room even had puppies from the Marley’s Mutts animal rescue that were free to roam and play.

In a post on Spotify’s Newsroom, each song and corresponding room experience is described as such, “‘all the good girls go to hell‘ – Get ready to descend into the underworld. The experience heats up for “all good girls go to hell,” where you’ll find yourself surrounded by LED flames and scorching floors.”

Eilish explained that she wanted listeners to physically feel her music and creative process, from subwoofers in the floor to items they can touch.

“I wanted a project that wasn’t just a bunch of songs put together and [once] you listen to them, it’s over,” Eilish said in a video. “I wanted it to [include] the whole body and energy and every sort of sense. I wanted it to literally be an experience.”

As mentioned, NTWRK partnered with Eilish to sell her merchandise through the mobile app from March 29-April 2. The items, all under $60, include a bathrobe, tee shirt, long-sleeved shirt and bucket hats. The artist will be performing at Coachella, so NTWRK hoped the timing would allow fans to wear her designs at the concert.

Music publishers are finding new ways to let fans interact with releases and artists. Sony launched a music experience at its Sony Square NYC location last year and hosted a pop-up in SoHo that featured private concerts, music customizations and weekly online shows.

Augmented and virtual reality integrations are also becoming more common, animating album covers or creating 360-degree experiences for fans. Social media companies are investing millions in music licensing with the hope of creating personalized experiences, as well.

“We’re seeing a big new wave of start-ups coming to us wanting to talk about how music, or music video, can be a part of their offerings, apps, social messaging, virtual reality [and] augmented reality products,” Ole Obermann, chief digital officer and EVP of business development for Warner Music said in IFPI’s 2017 state of the industry report.

Tribalist CEO Jon Vlassopulos “We Have An Issue With Chronological Redundancy Engines In Social Media”

The currently available methods of sharing aren’t enough according to Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of Tribalist. In the way that Pinterest took image sharing to a new level, Vlassopulos hopes his new type of social network, centered around lists and listmaking, will take people’s passion for curation to a different shareable level.

“I’ve been more disappointed with the current options of sharing creations,” said Vlassopulos in an interview with AList. “You have a lot of short-termism, especially for [younger people]. We have an issue with chronological redundancy engines AKA social media, and the notion that they feed on redundancy.”

“Tribalist is your home for actionable inspiration,” reads the website. “A new trusted platform to search, discover and create the best lists on the web, helping you find the best things to do each day. We save you time by finding and aggregating all the best lists from top publishers and from our Tribalist community.”

A quick perusal of Tribalist’s front page shows lists like: “TV Shows Axed in 2019,” “Glamping in CA,” “The best books about islands” and “Best Burgers in the Bay Area.” These topics may not be mind-blowing, but it is interesting to see how regular users are shown alongside publishers like Newsweek, Guardian and Paste. The equalization of what Vlassapulos calls “cultural currency.”

Tribalist launched in 2017, then launched an iOS app in February, followed by an Android app in late March.

Vlassopulos angles it as a place to unload the many lists that have accumulated in the minds of people, especially creatives.

In the current system, social media largely exists to focus on monetization. After all, how often have you seen the same article or image posted from a number of friends?

“So this actually leads to tons of contributors, professional posters, media companies—it’s stressful on the contribution side and it’s stressful on the consumption side,” Vlassopulos added.

Tribalist was founded on the notion that everyone has something to say and everyone is interesting to someone, therefore making them potentially influential to other people.

“Not just commercially influential, but amongst what’s known as a nano-influencer, which is being bandied around by the British press,” explained Vlassopulos. “We feel there is nothing more exciting than that buzz or rush of turning someone onto something you love—whether it’s a restaurant, a movie or a hotel and experience. So, we would like to be the platform to present that publishing opportunity for anyone.”

It is through that lens that Tribalist sees opportunities for non-traditional influencers. It’s very much of the time for brands to prop up regular users/customers as a version of influencers—Glossier, in particular, has done this to massive success—but to hear it from a platform other than YouTube feels new.

“I love the whole notion of what we call ‘cultural currency,’” says Vlassopulos. “If you ask me about anything in life and I’m passionate about it, I’m going to tell you why I’m passionate about it and I want to tell you something new. So there is the opportunity [for Tribalist].”

With any new social platform come the run-of-the-mill comparisons. In Tribalist’s case, the platform is mostly being compared to Pinterest. Vlassopulos finds some humor in it, recalling a headline in The Times that read “Pinterest Rival.”

Vlassopulos laughs about it but admits that being compared to Pinterest has its advantages. Even a few similar principles like a free platform and monetization efforts like sponsored content and affiliate marketing creates relevance.

“We wanted to have a free platform for everyone to be able to share what they love with the world, and hopefully we don’t want to be the end-point, so our business model is around similar to Pinterest.”

Vlassopulos also mentions what Pinterest calls their three legs, “discovery, personal productivity and community” and how that relates to Tribalist.

“When they say ‘personal productivity’ they mean ‘commerce,’” he added. “The commerce part for us is all those relationships, so we are taking an affiliate fee from small to larger [companies], depending on a category.”

Sponsored Lists, for example, are Tribalist’s version of Sponsored Pins on Pinterest. Use cases are endless, Vlassopulos, explained.
“A travel company, for example, can have hundreds and hundreds of travel lists, such as ‘Weekend Getaway for the Family,’  ‘Romantic Valentine’s,’ ‘Kite Surfing in Hawaii,’ etc. There is something for everyone and with that, the opportunity to have those lists seen by more people.”

Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar: “Focus On Reinventing Yourself, Even When Things Are Going Very Well”

Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar is among the most publicly visible chief marketing officers in the world. A marketer of grand vision, in conversation Rajamannar dispenses wisdom with the articulation of a worldly sage. Currently, he sits on the board of directors at Ad Council—a month ago he won WFA’s Global Marketer of the Year award and only two months later was named the trade body’s president.

Rajamannar joined Mastercard as the company’s chief marketing officer in 2013 and in the years since has raise the fintech company’s brand equity to new heights. For example, in Interbrand’s 2013 Best Brands list, Mastercard was estimated to have 4.2 billion in brand value—after five years with Rajamannar handling marketing, the same report lists Mastercard’s brand value at 7.5 billion.

In a conversation with AList, Rajamannar talks about personal reinvention and the phases of Mastercard’s brand evolution.

“Priceless” is a standard of storytelling, what do you find important in the process of continuing that legacy for new audiences?

Two fundamental aspects. The first one for me is to retain authenticity and continue the things that have been working well for us. Which is to tap into the human truths, identify a connection between the brand, Mastercard, and what is priceless about it that you can deliver to the consumer. And of course, being authentic, not fake and not be forced.

The second is to evolve in keeping with the changing times. Consumers have changed quite a lot. For example, Priceless, in the past, used to be an advertising platform, it is a storytelling platform. But a lot of consumers have started tuning out advertisers, then putting ad blocks in a big way: 630 million devices, have ad blocks that we cannot reach. They’re even paying money to keep the advertisers out by going to Netflix with [zero ads].

If that’s what the consumers are saying, should you still be going to the old model of advertising? The answer is, “No.” Just to be provocative, I keep saying, “Storytelling is dead, advertising is dead.” It’s all about story making,” which is experiential marketing.

We started with “Moments,” that was our first phase of our evolution. What we do is we create and curate experiences for our people, our customers, consumers, that money can’t buy. You can’t buy them for money, but you get them because of Mastercard. It’s these kinds of small things or giant things where a huge artist, like Justin Timberlake, will come to your home and spend a day with you. It cuts across the entire spectrum. Because we have 1.8 billion consumers around the world, and we have to be relevant to that entire spectrum. We create these priceless moments, and through that, we acquire a lot of sponsorship assets and convert those into experiences for our consumers.

The third phase of our evolution, which is right now, is what we call “from moments to movements.” It’s all about priceless movements. We say, “Start something priceless.” It could be as simple as keeping your phone away when you are having dinner and doing something to start conversations in your family or your friendships, and it will change the dimension. Or, it can be adopting a dog or making a difference in a child’s life or changing the world. We started this whole thing “start something priceless” as a new platform for the last few months now. This is how we evolve, on one level.

The other part of it is on the brand side. The Mastercard brand is over 50 years [old]. What we are trying to do is: how does a brand evolve as well? Two years back, we relaunched our entire brand logo by stylizing it. We took out the capital letters from our logo, which was more formal, to make it more informal and approachable.

Was the ultimate goal, of taking away the type, realized at that point?

Absolutely. That’s the reason why we removed the name from within the logo and brought it out as the first step. And then from here completely. That’s how we did it.

We had to be looking three or four steps ahead. It worked really well for us and about seven weeks back is when we announced that the name would be dropped altogether, and it would just be the two circles.

Then, of course, the sonic logo.

I believe that we are the first brand, which has gone as deep and comprehensive for the sonic brand architecture. We have our 30-second melody, which is featured in all our ads and shows, trade events and sponsorship events. If you call Mastercard office, you’ll hear the ring; it’s the hold music.

The cool thing about this melody is it’s very neutral. It doesn’t take over something; it should support. Number two–it should be likable. Three, it should be hummable. You should be able to hum it because we want the melody to be memorable; it should be simple, but not simplistic. If it’s memorable, you’ll associate it [with] the brand. And finally, it should be highly adaptable around the world. 

Through your career, how have you as a CMO and a marketer, learned to let go of micromanaging things?

Three things. First, you need to have top talent. Surround yourself with the best and most amazing people. If you have really exceptionally competent people around the globe, your life becomes easier. They own it, they drive it, and they do much than you can do it yourself. That frees you a lot of the time to focus on the big picture.

Number two, what you also do is constantly focus on innovating yourself and reinventing yourself, even when things are going very well. Because you can get a little complacent, comfortable and happy and that’s not a good thing at all. You have to be on your toes and keep thinking. For example, when we started in 2016, when we first announced our rebranded logo, at that stage we could have said, “this working really well, let’s sit tight on that.” But we said, “let’s take this further.”

When we wanted to launch the sonic brand, one of the very important elements is ‘acceptance’ sound. Whenever you are going to a shop and your transaction goes through successfully, you hear the MasterCard sound. It’s extremely [short], 1.3 seconds or less than 1.3 seconds. Now, the concept was created centrally.

The day before yesterday, I got a video from Dubai, showing that they have got a band playing the melody at the Dubai Jazz Festival, where the artists were singing our melody from the stage and making the crowd actually to follow in a big wave. And people could pay, not with cash, but by singing the melody correctly—they were rewarded.

That idea didn’t come from global; it did not come from me sitting in my chair. Local people are taking it. It really starts with having a fantastic theme: pick a dream that is big enough, chase the dream that is big enough, inspire ourselves, be humble, never get complacent or comfortable and just keep constantly going at it.

How do you measure brand moments and experiential marketing?

I’m an engineer by training, so if I don’t measure it, I don’t feel comfortable about it. The key thing is we have solid KPAs and metrics. We measure how we are doing on the brand, how we are doing on the growing the business profitably and how are we growing in a competitive advantage manner. The last part, meaning how are we perceived compared to the competition, and are we increasing the gap and are we building a moat around the company that is not easy for somebody else to jump over. And we measure it very, very diligently.

To give you an example on the brand side. Several years back, there was one of the gold standards, one of the methods of measuring a brand’s strength was brandZ which is done by Kantar Millward Brown and they do it for 10,000 brands around the world. We were at about 89 a few years back. Today, we have come all the way down to 15. From 89 to 15 we have improved in my tenure. In the US, we have become a top 10 brand; we are number 10. This shows that our strategy as a company, it is executed well, and it is working well for us. Business is growing very well. I will not give you all the financial stats, but we can see in all the disclosed financials that the business is growing very nicely, and it’s being appreciated by the market. That’s number two.

Number three, when you look at the preference of consumers. Say I prefer Mastercard to somebody else because these guys are guys have brought some unique advantage or some purpose-driven activities in the market. Again, we are doing well in that space. I feel really good about all three dimensions.

Can you talk a little bit about CMO accountability and having to justify a budget every year or quarter?

Fifty percent of my career, I was on the business side—I was managing PnLs—and fifty percent on the marketing side. And I keep joking that fifty percent I was in business, I used to give hell to the marketing guys. Now, on this, the karma comes back with interest. But the good thing is that because I have been on the business side, I understand numbers, I understand what matters to the CEO, and the CFO. Therefore, I’m able to appropriately tell my story in a way that matters to them, speaking their language. If I talk to the CEO or a CFO about how my brand awareness has gone up this much, my predisposition is this much and my promoter score is this much—that is all marketing mumbo-jumbo. Their questions will be, “what has it done for the business’ growth?” or “what has it done for the top line and bottom-line growth?”—that’s what I have to talk to them about.

The key thing is to connect the dots between the activities of marketing to the outcomes of the business. And that’s where a lot of my time goes [showing them the data] very credibly. It’s not some fluffy stuff that you cook up; it has to be very authentic, credible and show those links. Just say, “We are doing this and this is what’s happening.” And digestible; you can’t hide behind jargon.

What do you think the next generation of young CMOs should be most concerned about, in terms of their career?

I’d say, four things. First and foremost, they should be concerned about the prominence of marketing being lost. Many companies have eliminated the role of CMOs and replaced them with chief growth officers, chief revenue officers and so on. This is what I was saying before: if a CMO is not able to justify why the investment is happening and not able to connect the dots. If you are not helping and you are sucking up millions and millions of dollars. If they are not able to give convincing answers, they’re out. Some other companies, including some of the top-notch consumer marketing companies, have got away with the role of CMO. They should focus clearly on understanding the connection between their activities and business results.

Second, today’s marketers are very different than marketers even five years back. The whole marketing [industry] has changed in the last five years. I have been in this field for 35 years; what happened in the last five years is completely different than the preceding 30 years. Why? Because you got digital technologists, AI, data, unbelievably big data, small data, all kinds of data. Then you have, very importantly, things like technology. Many CMOs have technology budgets which are bigger than the CTOs of those companies. PR and marketing are no longer two different functions—that’s one integrated thing. The point is, to be a successful marketer today, you have to be multifaceted you have to be a true general manager—a general manager who understands digital, technology, data, finance, PR and can integrate all that and come up with very compelling campaigns. This is something that they have to strive for. If you’re at a company as a young marketer, you should try to get experiences by rotation across many different functions. That’s just something you have to be very important.

The third thing is the rate at which the technology is developing like blockchains, virtual reality, augmented reality, people can become obsolete very fast unless they stay on top of it and invest consciously—time to study, learn and be up to date. I think learning will be mighty critical for them.

The last one is from my perspective. As [young marketers lives] are evolving, the work-life balance will become even more disrupted. As a young marketer, you have to make sure that you are giving enough quality time for yourself, your well-being and for your family’s well-being. Otherwise, this is becoming a 24/7 world, and you can become totally swamped and be lost.

Lab Cave Introduces Mediator Tool For App Publishers

Mobile growth company Lab Cave (Tap Knights, Dream Hospital) launched a Mediation tool for app developers that offers impartial, side-by-side advertising networks mediation. Offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS), the Mediation tool allows developers to configure, optimize and analyze ad performance alongside user behavior.

Lab Cave debuted the tool during Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC), showing its features alongside the mobile growth company’s App Store Optimization (ASO) services and products.

Newzoo estimates that 2.4 billion people will play mobile games in 2019 and in a recent study found that half of mobile game users feel positive about advertisements.

Global app installs are on the rise as consumers discover and explore new content. According to SensorTower, first-time installs exceeded 105.3 million in 2018. This growth offers marketers—and developers—a vast array of real estate on which to posts their ads, from banners to rewarded ads and playable demos.

For developers that want to fill ad space within their apps, however, comparing ad networks and CPM pricing can be a challenge. According to a December 2018 survey by DeltaDNA, 59 percent of free-to-play (F2P) mobile game developers source ads from between two and five sources.

Advertising mediators allow an app developer to compare ad performance between ad sources and choose the network that pays the highest CPM. The majority of mediators are often associated with a proprietary advertising network, and therefore, those networks are given priority.

“This generates a conflict of interest because by delivering their own advertiser campaigns, the impressions that they chose are not always going to be the ones that pay you, as a developer, better,” Pedro Miranda, product owner at Lab Cave told AList. “This happens because the mediator is interested in positioning itself in a better place than the rest of the networks to ultimately make its service profitable. This causes a lack of transparency, not enough control over the ads that are currently displayed in the app and an increased cost of opportunity.”

Lab Cave’s new Mediator tool is not associated with and therefore does not prioritize any one ad network over others. This impartiality gives developers the freedom to choose which option is best for maximizing app revenue and effectively managing in-app inventory.

“As developers, we know what you need to monetize your traffic in a straightforward, unbiased way,” said Esteban Vargas, mediation development team lead at Lab Cave. “We feel your pain because we have been there. We are currently managing 300 of our own apps through our mediation and we have already addressed and solved issues that you may currently be facing with other mediators.”

The Mediator tool also offers a single, generic implementation to all networks, eliminating the need to access and learn each one individually. The developer can then choose a single advertising network or use a mediation service to achieve the best pricing for a specific country. In addition, the time and effort normally required to implement different Software Development Kits (SDKs) for each advertising network is saved.

When speaking to fellow app developers, Lab Cave likens using Mediator to how you might plan a trip. You can take a risk by choosing one brand over the others or use a comparison tool to get the best price. A mediator works in much the same way, except that developers get the best ads that pay the most.

Mediator users have the option to customize their waterfall graphs and prioritize networks. In addition to ad statistics, the new tool offers insights into developer and user behavior. Additional analysis tools are in development and will be released in the near future.

“It is not enough to just generate income through advertising, it is also very important to optimize and maximize the profitability of said source of income,” added Miranda. “For this reason, we don’t just offer metrics related to advertising performance, we also offer other metrics that lead the developer to make decisions that improve the revenue generated on their application.”

One example, Miranda stated, is the ability to see how many users are using the app and what percentage of them has seen an ad. Developers can modify and optimize the flow and placement of ads based on this data. The mediator tool also lets developers see if a competitor’s ad is being shown and if so, block it.

“All of this, together with a deep understanding of users’ needs, inspired us to create our Mediation tool,” said Miranda.

April Fools’ 2019 Brands Round-Up

Every year we think we’ve seen it all: from edible KitKat soap to Planet Fitness’ comfortable workout chair. But, brands are using April Fools’ Day more than ever to insert a bit of humor into their current marketing campaigns.

Here is AList‘s round-up of the best marketing pranks we’ve seen today.

Shutterstock Plans To Build The World’s Largest Library

To promote their online library of creative assets, in their April Fools’ marketing campaign, Shutterstock announced the company’s plans to erect The World’s Largest physical library in 2020.

This imaginary world’s largest brick and mortar library would contain 250 million volumes of imagery, 14 million reels of film and 20,000 music tracks and would be served by Cyanotypes—first of-their-kind AI-powered robots.

SodaStream Turns Burps Into Sparkling Water

“When life gives you gas, make SodaStream,” the SodaStream April Fools’ marketing campaign video character, an astronaut Scott Kelly, says.

The campaign revolves around “SodaStreamMe”-an on-the-go bottle that enables users to carbonate their own drinks by blowing into the cap and releasing excess CO2. And is supposedly perfect for any occasion: after having a super-size salsa, bean and cheese burrito, in the elevator with your boss or for a successful romantic night.

Nissin ‘Hangs Noodles’ On The Gamers’ Ears

Nissin Cup Noodles April Fools’ prank involves their “groundbreaking headphones:” HyperX Cup MIX-Ins. 

On Monday, the headphones “drop” on the Nissin Fan Store as an extreme limited-edition run with the following product description: “Through the use of a detachable Microphork, the headphones cancel out all Cup Noodle slurping sounds while still delivering crystal-clear sound quality during stream. Plus, the patent-pending Noodlette ear pads woven together with noodle fibers deliver the silky soft caress of ramen noodles for your ears—while the Dual-Chamber Drivers offer the largest noodle chambers on the market! And the fork as a microphone.”

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ Publishes Culinary + Cocktail Trend Forecast For Spring 2019

In their April Fools marketing campaign, The Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group reveals Spring 2019 Culinary + Cocktail Trends. From “coffee grains toast” to DIY “bathtub gin” cocktail making kits the campaign is a clever way to entertain and innocently troll the avocado-toast loving, Keto diet-obsessed Millennials.

Some of the menu highlights include: “Coffee Grounds on Toast,” “Savory Shaved Ice” and “Micro Drinks.”

Burger King’s New Impossible Whopper

Last year the April Fools’ Whooper was “chocolate,” this year, it’s “vegetarian.” In their April Fools’ promotional video, Burger King surprised its loyal guests by serving the impossible, vegetarian, Whopper sandwich instead of the classic Whopper–and captured their reactions. “All Whopper. No beef”

The catch this time seems to be the fact that the Impossible Whopper is actually real. One can always count on Burger King and CMO Fernando Machado to turn convention on its head.

RetailMeNot Invites To Its First-Ever Music Festival

This April 1, RetailMeNot gives you their April Fools’ marketing campaign in a blog post that offers tickets to their music festival–Dealchella.

What to expect? All day happy hours, daily flash sales on flash tattoos, unlimited massage in the “Deals and Feels” cabana, a ride around the cheapskates roller rink, “two for one” tacos from Austin’s best chefs and a line-up that boasts the best deal-seeking artists like Taylor Thrift, Salena Gomez, Kasey Must-Saves, Cart-I B, Dealmau5, Bonus Brothers and Imagine Discounts.

And although RetailMeNot got you with Dealchella, in the same blog post, they offer real discounts from Domino’s, Southwest and many more.

Virgin Introduces Virgin Voyages Cruise Ship Under

As many are already planning summer vacations, Virgin pranks us with over the top RockStar Suites Sailors cruise ship. According to the Virgin press release, the “sailors” staying in RockStar Suites would arrive and depart via their own runway on a private jet transfer, offered from select gateway cities, including Atlanta, New York and Dallas.

T-Mobile Installs Sound-Proof Phone Booths 

On April Fools’ Day, T-Mobile brings the next evolution in telecom–T-Mobile Phone BoothE–the vertical vestibules that offer the ultimate privacy and peace in the hectic, loud world. And for even more convenience and mobility, T-Mobie offers a new portable version–the T-Mobile Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE. Just imagine being able to close the door of your personal booth in a noisy morning Starbucks shop. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Three Olives Vodka Rebrands Roosevelt Island Into Rosévelt Island

Three Olives Vodka celebrates spring and the world-wide obsession with rosé by transforming Roosevelt Island in NY into very pink “Rosévelt” Island.

As a part of their April Fools’ marketing campaign, the company encourages viewers to visit RoseveltIsland.com to plan a getaway and make your social media explode with skyline photos taken on the newly pink Rosévelt Island Tramway, the pink-hued subway stop and island boardwalk.

Victorinox Swiss Army ‘Sharpens’ Your Survival Skills 

As a part of their April Fools’ marketing campaign, Victorinox Swiss Army partners with GlassesUSA.com and gives you Survival Rx Glasses–a pair of prescription glasses for everyday adventures with built-in (detachable) tools from the iconic Swiss Army Knife: a corkscrew, a screwdriver, a bottle opener, scissors and a toothpick. Now, that’s sharp.

TikTok Promotes DJ Khaled To Its New CMO

In their April Fools’ marketing campaign, TikTok announced DJ Khaled as its new chief motivational officer. In the 30 second promotional video, music producer and media personality, DJ Khaled continues to shower us with what he is most known for– his “major keys to success.”

Jägermeister Joins The Cannabis Market

Just in time for 4/20, the herbal liqueur brand, Jägermeister, announced that the company is joining the cannabis market with the launch of a new VAP–Jägerbong–”because every empty bottle of Jägermeister deserves a second chance.”

Jägerbong includes a 1L recyclable Jägermeister bottle that can be easily turned into a bong, a bong carb, a hacky sack, eye drops, a lighter and grinder.

If The Jägerbong VAP was real, it could be purchased at $42.00

Little Spoon Presents ‘Golden Spoon Collection’ For Little Gourmets 

Little Spoon, the baby food brand, offers the most gourmet menu on April Fools’ day, consisting of babyblends enriched with such ingredients as saffron⁣, white truffle, specialty morel mushrooms, fermented gooseberries, juniper oil⁣, dry smoked wasabi root and kaffir lime leaf. Bon appetite.

Dunkin Creates Super Dough Coffee Cup Holder

In their April Fools’ marketing campaign, Dunkin isn’t really introducing new giant donuts to create the first Super Dough Coffee Cup Holder. The company is just celebrating the spirit of April 1st with a joke they hope makes the customers smile today.

Contiki Offers Vacations For Dogs

The social travel company for 18-35-year-olds, Contiki, is developing a faux-launch of a new service that caters to the travel needs of dogs: Dogtiki. But unfortunately to many pet-parents, only as an April Fools’ Day prank.

The promotional video features chaotic vacation with scenes of the furry world explorers checking into a hotel room, dealing with luggage and traveling on a Contiki coach.

The prank is meant to bring attention to Contiki’s continued dedication to ethical tourism and its protection of animal welfare through the program Contiki Cares.