Mary Meeker’s 2019 Trend Report: The State Of Ecommerce, Ad Spend And Digital

Mary Meeker and Kleiner Perkins released their annual internet trends report exploring insights into the state of ecommerce, ad spending and digital content trends. Ahead, we break down the most important takeaways for marketers.

Internet User Growth Slows, Digital Media Usage Rises

According to the report, there are 3.8 billion internet users which makes up more than half of the global population—a majority of those are located in China, India, and the US.

New growth is difficult when markets reach the mainstream, reflected by the decline in new smartphone shipments in 2018 (a four percent decrease compared to zero percent last year). Mary Meeker’s report notes that internet user growth is solid but slowing given a six percent increase YoY compared to seven percent last year. Digital media usage, on the other hand, increased by two percent.

Brands leading the internet market capitalization include Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. These leaders’ revenues, however, saw a two percent dip this year.

Monitor Customer Acquisition Costs

Despite direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses exceeding brick and mortars, growth rates for e-commerce are also declining, as e-commerce only saw a 0.3 percent increase YoY.

Context-rich data is driving innovation and personalized products and services, contributing to higher customer satisfaction. Still, brands should think of long-term growth.

“There are areas where customer acquisition costs are rising to unsustainable levels,” the report notes. Similarly, physical retail growth numbers are down as 2018 saw a 0.4 percent decrease. Customer acquisition costs (CAC), the report says, can’t exceed lifetime value (LTV) for much longer.

Ad Spending, Video Content and Podcasts

Money spent on advertising and time spent on both mobile and desktop reached equilibrium, 33 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Though annual internet ad spending increased by one percent, internet ad revenues saw a nine percent decrease in the US. Google and Facebook remain the leading platforms for internet ads. Additionally, the 42 percent rise reflected in programmatic ad buying is negatively impacting pricing. Geolocation data-driven ads, machine learning, shoppable catalogs, and promoted social posts are driving ad share gains.

Freemium products like Spotify and Zoom are experiencing success in customer acquisition thanks to marketing efforts that act on their audience’s interests rather than the relentless pursuit of new prospects.

The report states that mobile remains the dominant medium for internet users (6.3 percent on mobile versus two percent on desktop). Online platforms YouTube and Instagram have seen the most growth in internet users. Time spent watching video has doubled within five years, with 1.5 billion daily active users across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Lastly, podcast MAU almost doubled in four years with a total of 70 million listeners. The Daily (The New York Times), The Joe Rogan Experience, and Stuff You Should Know (iHeartMedia) were the top three most downloaded Apple podcasts in the US.

Cannes Lions Behind-The-Scenes: Rei Inamoto, Digital Craft Lions Jury President

This isn’t Rei Inamoto’s first time serving as the Cannes Lions jury president and he certainly knows a thing or two about the festival, digital crafts and innovation.

He joined AList to talk about what it’s like to be a judge of creativity and how to settle differences when it comes to making the important decision.

What were your thoughts when you were appointed jury president of the Digital Craft Lions

I was very honored. This is the second time that I’ve been asked to be a jury president at Cannes Lions. The first time was 2013. I left my previous agency at the end of 2015, and I started my own company in 2016. When I was at a big agency, I used to go to Cannes almost every year. But stopped going, because the focus that I started to move into wasn’t quite advertising. But now, everything is merging into the same territory. 

What did you learn from your first time as a Cannes Lions jury president? 

Last time when I was a jury president category. I saw work that I had not see ning as the Grand Prix of the category and something quite easy to miss. But at Cannes Lions, it was in the Mobile n and back then what ended up win- was something that I had not seen when you stopped and thought about it and when you debated about it with other jurors that it became a c standout when it came to award the top prize. To answer your questi direct way: I think it’s important to allow yourself to be surprised. 

How do you think your professional experience informs your ability to judge?

From early on in my career, I’ve always enjoyed coming up with ideas, and I’ve always enjoyed making ideas happen. I think [that] is definitely one aspect of judging that— it’s not just about coming up with ideas, but it’s about bringing ideas to life. You have to do it with ingenuity but also with mastery of whatever technique that you’re using. 

The parameters of the Digital Craft Lions are experience and execution, what else do you personally look for when judging? 

Conceptual depth or conceptual twist is important to make ideas work. Part of it is about the execution and then the craft, and part of it is about the idea itself. I’m judging a category that looks explicitly for craftsmanship. So, per- haps there’s a bit more emphasis on craftsmanship than other categories but on the flip side, just because you even have a good idea, if your execution is bad, then that’s not going to fly. 

There’s a lot of debating among the jury, how do you make sure that’s a positive experience? 

I was thinking about a similar topic the other day: What do I want to get out of being a jury president, and what do I want to get out of specifically this category? I want to be able to look back say three, five even 10 years or so and still say you know that piece of work that we chose was groundbreaking or industry-changing or mind-bending. The first time I came to Cannes was in 2005, and there are very few pieces that I can still remember, but those pieces [I do remember] had an impact on me or in the industry in general. 

It’s interesting that AR and VR are in this category because I wouldn’t say there is really a standard for how that is represented in media and advertising. Can you talk a little bit about how you’re approaching those awards? 

I was thinking about a similar topic the other day: What do I want to get out of being a jury president, and what do I want to get out of specifically this category? I want to be able to look back say three, five or even 10 years or so and still say, “you know, that piece of work we chose was groundbreaking or industry-changing or mind-bending. The first time I came to Cannes was in 2005, and there are very few pieces that I can still remember, but those pieces [I do remember] had an impact on me or in the industry in general. 

Schick Intuition, Hello Kitty Launch Shoppable Mural in NYC

Schick and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty brand have erected a mural in NYC that grants exclusive access to a presale site. The activation taps into consumers’ love for social sharing during a resurgence in mural popularity.

In celebration of Hello Kitty’s 45th anniversary, Schick Intuition is releasing two limited edition Hello Kitty razor gift packs. A presale event will take place from June 10-24, with two ways of gaining access.

Consumers can visit the mural in person at 341 7th Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC and take a photo of a hidden QR code. Doing so will unlock access to a presale website.

Meanwhile, fans outside of New York can post a picture of their favorite “Kawaii” moment (Japanese for “cute”) on Instagram tagging the official Schick Intuition and Hello Kitty accounts, along with the hashtags #Kawaii #SchickIntuitionxHelloKitty. Schick Intuition will respond with a link to the exclusive presale event.

Schick partnered with a number of Instagram lifestyle micro-influencers to promote the activation including Maria “bbybliss” Vargas, Karen Pagtama Hickman aka “littlesweetkaren” and Messy Pink.

Exclusive pre-sale events tap into consumers’ FOMO and are becoming more common on social media. Last February, Nike hosted a Snapchat-exclusive pre-sale event for its Nike’s Air Jordan III “Tinker” shoe. They sold out in 30 minutes.

A quick Instagram search reveals over 11 million hashtags about murals—a testament to the rising popularity of the medium both for personal enjoyment and advertising.

In October 2018 Snapchat unveiled a Marker with Snapcode template that creates Lenses over existing images such as a poster or mural. The first template was “Angel Wings,” an augmented reality filter that superimposed wings onto photo subjects posing in front of a Los Angeles mural.

In an age of “travel brags” and “Insta-worthy” experiential marketing, it’s no wonder that brands are turning to murals at a growing rate to foster brand affinity and awareness.

Beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon even created an internet holiday—National Mural Day—on May 7. The first annual event connected artists with local wall owners. As part of the celebration, murals were erected in several cities around the US.

Schick parent company Edge Personal Care has increased its focus on e-commerce in recent years, launching a flagship store in China’s retail site, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) Schick shopping site and an expansion on Amazon. In May, Edge Personal Care entered into a $1.37 billion agreement to purchase DTC shaving subscription brand Harry’s.

According to the company’s FY 2018 financial report, 100 percent of marketing efforts for Schick Hydro in the US and Canada are now digital.

VAB: DTC Investing Heavily In Television Advertising

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands invested a collective $3.8 billion in television ads in 2018, a 60 percent increase from 2017, according to the Video Advertising Bureau’s (VAB) report, “Direct Outcomes: Analyzing the ‘Big Bets’ DTC Brands are Making on TV.”

VAB surveyed 125 brands across 52 categories to determine how television impacted consumer action across all stages of purchasing in their DTC market and helped these brands cultivate their primary marketing goals—customer retention and acquisition.

Due to different business lifecycles, VAB divided the DTC brands surveyed into two categories—emerging brands and expanding brands—and measured the success of their television advertising via digital interactions, website traffic, and revenues.

According to the report, brands tap into television ads because social media-driven strategies, while still a significant part of the approach, present issues like high cost, inability to accurately scale audience, and ad saturation. With television advertising, on the other hand, these DTC brands have seen subscriber growth, increased valuations, IPO issuances, and more raised funding.

The emerging DTC brands—Poshmark, Lyft, Etsy, Dermstore— surveyed in the report, contributed $1.4 billion to the television ad marketplace in 2018, a 167 percent increase from 2017. Those same brands experienced double- or triple-digit lifts in online search queries and non-paid online video views related to their ads as a result of investing more on television marketing. They also saw an “84 percent increase in their unique website traffic during their television launch month and a 93 percent average monthly increase from launch month to present day.” For underwear brand ThirdLove, its first television ad increased sales revenues by 100 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Among the expanding DTC brands that VAB surveyed are Casper, Uber, Grubhub, and Wayfair, who collectively spent $2.4 billion on television in 2018. VAB’s findings show an 80 percent correlation between television spend and website traffic for these brands that have a continual advertising presence. When it increased its television spend, Peloton’s sales revenue spiked 106 percent in 2018 YoY.

The report is contrasted by eMarketer findings from earlier this year that predict all forms of traditional ad spending, including television, will drop by 2.2 percent, bringing television ad spending revenue to $70.83 billion. Digital ad spending, the most prominent form being mobile, in the US is projected to be $129.34 billion, according to eMarketer.

Interview With Charlotte Williams, Vice President Of Content At Cannes Lions

AList chatted with Charlotte Wiliams, Cannes Lions’ vice president of content, about finding a happy medium when programming and who she’s excited to see at the festival. 

When programming, how do you find a balance between evergreen and new trends?

What we tend to find is that the topics tend to have slightly different nuances each year. This year, for example, we have quite a lot of submissions about ageism. Whereas last year, they tended to be more around gender. I think this year we see that issue evolve slightly. 

Some topics tend to change very slightly, like last year there was a lot around purpose, and this year we’ve seen that perhaps accelerate more into brand activism. [There is also] the emergence of new technologies like voice, AI and machine learning; all of these new technologies to enhance customer experience and add value to it. 

Similarly, how do you anticipate up-and-coming marketers like Glossier and balance that with industry veterans?

We made it a bit of an ambition of ours this year to get more B2C marketers and to get more of the challenger brands. Because I think they’re creating quite a lot of fear in [legacy] mar- keters. The Glossier session at Cannes Lions, last year, was one of the best sessions we’ve had. We got incredible feedback because the founder had a unique approach to marketing and distribution.

Can you talk a little bit about the live stream and on-demand that come with the Digital Pass?

We launched the Digital Pass last year. But we only promoted it about a week before the festival. This year we made more of [push] of it.

We created the Digital Pass as a way for [more junior creatives or those who can’t make it to Cannes Lions] to see some of the highlights of the festival. In fact, we sold our first ticket to someone in Mongolia. Last year you could only watch it live, this year it’s live or on-demand. We’ll have 12 hours of programming a day.

What speakers and panels are you personally excited to see?

I’m excited to see Alfonso Cuarón. I know he’s quite a predictable name but I always love hearing filmmakers’ creative processes. It will be interesting to hear his view on creatives in the industry and how he sees long-form content and to hear why he wants to speak at an advertising conference like Cannes Lions.

Thomas Heatherwick is another speaker I think will be great. I’ve heard he’s a brilliant speaker, very provocative. All the creatives legends [will be there]: Nick Law [Publicis Groupe] and Colleen DeCourcy [Wieden + Kennedy] are speaking. The heavyweight creatives never disappoint, they always deliver. We tried to make the program a bit more provocative this year. You’ll see there are some provocative, controversial speakers like Alexander Nix from Cambridge Analytica.

Uber CMO Steps Down; The Week Hires SVP Marketing

This week’s executive shifts include Uber’s chief marketing officer stepping down, Ryan Scott joining Etsy as a new CMO, Sun Basket appointing a chief marketing officer, ComScore’s CMO resigning, Instagram hiring a head of marketing, Rostrum Records promoting VP of marketing, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza hiring CMO, Ruby Tuesday welcoming Jenifer Boyd as a new marketing executive and Channel 4 appointing a CMO.

Uber’s Chief Marketing Officer Steps Down

Uber’s chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina will step down from the company, along with COO Barney Harford. Jill Hazelbaker, currently senior vice president of communications and public policy, will take over marketing for the company.

In an email to the company, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said “I’ve decided to combine our Marketing, Communications, and Policy teams into one, led by Jill. Given this, Rebecca and I have agreed it makes sense for her to move on. In Rebecca’s time here, she stood up our first global marketing organization and helped showcase the best aspects of our brand during our IPO. I’m so grateful for her energy and enthusiasm over the past 9 months, and I wish her all the best. Given that Marketing is so important to our business, and our brand continues to be challenged, I have also decided to unify all marketers across Performance, Product, Rides, Eats, Safety, ATG, Freight, Nemo, and Employer Brand globally under Jill.”

Messina was hired after Uber’s former chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John stepped down in June 2018. Messina came to Uber after two years at Beam Suntory and 21 years with Coca-Cola.

The Week Hires SVP Marketing From Conde Nast

The Week, a news publication, hired Lisa Boyars as the company’s senior vice president of marketing, a newly created role.

Boyars comes to the company after spending the last two years at Conde Nast, most recently as VP marketing and brand development. In a previous stint Conde Nast she spent 11 years in various marketing positions. Boyars spent three years with Hearst Magazines as executive director of group marketing.

“I’ve always admired the editorial mission of The Week and believe that its consumer value proposition has never been more relevant. As news sits at the center of culture, thoughtful audiences crave trusted media sources who enable them to personalize their perspectives on the world, ” Boyars said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with the team and our brand partners to evolve our positioning, presence, and impact in intelligent ways.”

WarnerMedia Entertainment Names A New CMO

Chris Spadaccini was named chief marketing officer of WarnerMedia Entertainment, Variety reported.

Spadaccini is a long-time HBO executive and started at the company in 1999.

In his new role, he will report to Bob Greenblatt, chairman of the company’s entertainment and direct-to-consumer business and be the chief pitchman for HBO and cable networks such as TNT and TBS and the company’s new streaming-video outlet.

Greenblatt said in a statment, “I’ve long been impressed with the quality and cutting-edge approach of the HBO marketing group overseen by Chris, and I was happy he was up for taking on our whole portfolio of linear networks and streaming platforms. In an environment where content volume is soaring everywhere, I’m confident that Chris — through his close working relationships with Casey Bloys at HBO and Kevin Reilly at the WarnerMedia networks and direct-to-consumer business — will make all our shows cut through the clutter.”

LendingClub Hires First Chief Marketing Officer

According to Crowdfund Insider, Alexandra Shapiro will become LendingClub’s first chief marketing officer. The peer-to-peer lending service hires Shapiro after she spent a year as CMO of Intercom.

Prior to that, Shapiro was CMO of Bigcommerce and spent over six years in senior marketing positions at PayPal.

Shapiro said in a statement, “While more and more companies are starting to pay lip service to financial health it is core to LendingClub’s business and mission and there is nothing more exciting as a marketer. I cannot wait to unleash the power of this iconic Fintech brand as we drive to help more everyday Americans get out of debt.”

Ruby Tuesday Welcomes Jenifer Boyd Harmon As A New CMO

Ruby Tuesday appointed Jenifer Boyd Harmon as the company’s chief marketing officer. 

She was previously senior director of advertising for Denny’s, an account director for Erwin Penland and has worked closely worked with brands like Firehouse Subs, Fatz Cafes, Smoothie King, El Pollo Loco, Hardee’s, Corona Beer and others.

At Ruby Tuesday, Harmon will be in charge of the company’s marketing strategy, customer experience and advertising efforts for their 486 restaurants located across the U.S. and worldwide.

Ruby Tuesday president Marty Ritson said in a statement, “Jenifer is a growth-oriented leader and the ideal person to further support our commitments to energize the Ruby Tuesday brand. Her ability to integrate the operational and customer-facing aspects of marketing makes her an invaluable addition as our team continues to innovate and evolve the Ruby Tuesday experience in line with our guests’ expectations.”

Channel 4 Hires A Chief Marketing Officer

On September 1st, Zaid Al-Qassab will take on the role of chief marketing officer for Channel 4.

Al-Qassab main task will be leading the broadcaster’s digital marketing strategy and he will report directly to chief executive Alex Mahon.

Al-Qassab previously served as a CMO at VC-backed startup, HouseTrip, and spent over 20 years at Procter & Gamble, holding a variety of senior marketing and operations roles, including a managing director role for P&G Health & Beauty Care in the UK and Ireland.

“I’m delighted he’s joining us at Channel 4 where he’ll play an integral role in ensuring our award-winning marketing becomes even more digitally focussed,” Al-Qassab said in a statement.

Sun Basket Appoints CMO

Sun Basket announced the appointment of Jessica Jensen as the company’s new CMO.

Jensen joins Sun Basket from Facebook, where she worked as the head of platforms, products and insights for the last five years. She also served as the global head of product marketing for Apple’s mobile advertising platforms and was the GM of Yahoo Health and Shine.

At Sun Basket, Jensen will concentrate on driving the company’s revenue expansion, growing the brand and developing strategic, omnichannel partnerships.

Jensen said of joining Sun Basket, “It’s an honor to join Sun Basket at such an exciting time in its history. With the best product and a massive addressable market, I see a huge opportunity for us to gain significant market share and create the category-defining company. We already deliver the best healthy meals in the country every day, and I can’t wait to lead our amazing marketing team as we expand our product offerings and deliver them to millions more people.”

Rostrum Records Promotes A Marketing Exec

Rostrum Records promoted Ryan Hobbs to vice president of marketing.

Hobbs will continue to report to Jonathan Partch, the label’s general manager, but in his new role, will manage marketing strategies across all projects.

Hobbs joined Rostrum Records in 2017 and previously served as a general manager at 222 Records and Last Gang Entertainment.

“I’m thankful to Benjy and Jonathan for the continued opportunities at Rostrum Records. Since I’ve joined the label, it’s been truly amazing to work alongside a collaborative team that truly supports my vision for the artists and music. I’m ecstatic about our current roster and what the future holds for our Company,” Hobbs said about his promotion.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Hires CMO

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza announced the appointment of Katie Knight as chief marketing officer.

Knight is joining Anthony’s from Total Wine & More, where she served as a vice president of advertising and marketing for over two years. Knight also was a CMO for Carrabba’s Italian Grill and a senior director of marketing at Miller Brewing Company, according to her LinkedIn.

“One of my proudest achievements has been to build an award-winning, profitable and reliable career reputation for playing crucial roles in market expansion, optimal branding and record-breaking revenue levels. My focus is to meet the goals and objectives of any organization with which I am associated,” her bio reads.

Etsy Welcomes New Chief Marketing Officer

Ryan Scott fills a newly created CMO position at Etsy, effective June 24. At Etsy, Scott will be responsible for the company’s digital marketing, advertising, brand, communications, market research and international growth initiatives, and will report to Etsy’s CEO, Josh Silverman.

He previously served as a chief marketing officer at Slice and SoulCycle and a co-CEO at Pond5.

“From my first conversations with Josh [Silverman] and the team, I was excited about the opportunity to help Etsy further grow its iconic, global brand. Etsy enables creative entrepreneurs to connect with buyers worldwide. I’m excited about the great possibilities to come, specifically related to supporting Etsy’s transition to full-funnel marketing as a key lever of growth,” Scott said in a statement.

Instagram Hires Head Of Marketing

Instagram announced the appointment of Gedioen Aloula as a new head of global marketing according to Bloomberg.

Most recently, Aloula worked as a head of marketing, commercial PCs at HP and served on the advisory board at FeedMob. He also was a VP, head of US consumer marketing and global head of digital strategy and capabilities at Visa.

Another ComScore Marketing Exec Leaves

Kathryn Bachmann, ComScore CMO of only a month, is reportedly leaving the company. ComScore’s VP of strategy, operations and corporate strategy also quit in May.

Frances Quattrocki, ComScore’s director of corporate events, said the following on the matter: “These are normal ebbs and flows of business, as we continue to provide our customers with excellent products and services.”

Bachmann joined ComScore in April and previously worked as a chief operating officer at Inc., managing partner at Growth Calculus and EVP, managing director/GM, Americas at MarketShare.

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

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, May 31. 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 OfficerStila CosmeticsNew York, NY
Vice President, Film MarketingWarner Bros.Burbank, CA
Chief Marketing OfficerThirdLoveSan Francisco, CA
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer
Hearst MagazinesNew York, NY
Vice President of Marketingsbe Entertainment GroupLos Angeles, CA
Vice President of MarketingBelkinPlaya Vista, CA

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

Amazon’s Pinterest Lens Killer; Huawei Phones Ship Without FB, IG

Twitter opens our social media round-up this week with its big news about the acquisition of an AI start-up. Also, TikTok is testing interest-based ad targeting, LinkedIn is the least popular social media among tech c-suite, Nielsen expands ad measurements on YouTube, YouTube offers new ways to buy concert tickets, Instagram rolls out Branded Content Ads, IKEA transitions its catalogs to Pinterest, Zynga brings a new game to Snap, Smirnoff introduces an influencer campaign to celebrate Pride month and Snapchat is launching in-app store for influencers.

Stay tuned as we break, deliver and explain more social media news every day.

Amazon Announces Pinterest Lens Competitor

At Amazon’s re:MARS conference the company announced StyleSnap, an AI-power image search feature.

Why it matters: Pinterest’s biggest selling point for advertisers is its ability to take the customer from image discovery to purchase. Amazon’s challenger feature may cut into Pinterest’s user base.

The details: According to Amazon’s announcement, “…all you need to do is take a photograph or screenshot of a look that you like… To get started, all you have to do is click the camera icon in the upper right hand corner of the Amazon App, and select the ‘StyleSnap’ option; then simply upload a photograph or screenshot of a fashion look that you like. StyleSnap will present you with recommendations for similar items on Amazon that match the look in the photo. When providing recommendations, StyleSnap considers a variety of factors such as brand, price range, and customer reviews.”

Facebook Pulls Pre-installation From Huawei PhonesT

According to Reuters, Facebook has pulled pre-installation of it family of apps from Huawei phones.

Why it matters: This is another blow for the Chinese company, but more in optics. Facebook is still allowing Huawei phone users to download the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps, but these will not come already installed on the phone at purchase.

The details: According to Reuters, “The Facebook ban, by contrast, applies to any Huawei phone that has not yet left the factory, according to a person familiar with the matter. Facebook declined to comment on when the suspension took place.”

Zynga Rolls Out A New Game On Snap 

TechCrunch reported that Zynga released a battle royale game, Tiny Royale, exclusively on Snap Games.

Why it matters: Zynga started on Facebook over ten years ago and now turns it’s attention to a platform exclusive game on Snap.

The details: In the new game, which is a classic battle royale game, players can pick custom characters and play with friends or solo. 

Bernard Kim, president of publishing at Zynga said, “We are thrilled to be one of the first companies to launch a gaming experience on Snapchat. Game developers rarely get the opportunity to create an entirely new experience on an emerging platform so our team was excited to remix the battle royale genre into a fast-paced game designed to rock on Snap Games.”

Snapchat Launches In-App Stores For Influencers 

According to Digiday, the new in-app update allows select accounts to have a store within Snapchat. 

Why it matters: With the new in-app store, the users will be able to conveniently shop on the platform and creators will be able to generate more revenue.

The details: Snapchat users now have access to shops (powered by Shopify) located on an account’s page. At the moment, the native checkout feature is limited to Snapchat users in the U.S. and international users are directed to a mobile website because of privacy and data requirements outside the U.S. Only five official accounts will have access to shops: Kylie Jenner (Kylie Cosmetics); Kim Kardashian (KKW Beauty); Shay Mitchell (Béis); Spencer Pratt (Pratt Daddy Crystals); Bhad Bhabie (BHADgoods).

Smirnoff’s “Welcome Home” Influencer Campaign Celebrates Pride Month

Smirnoff is launching a multichannel campaign with LGBTQIA+ influencers Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Alyssa Edwards (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye) for the NYC Pride celebration.

Why it matters: “While 85% of LGBTQIA+ consumers want their community represented in brand campaigns, only 12.6% of marketers actually include them in their annual media planning,” according to Jay Sethi, VP of Smirnoff for Diageo’s North American operations. 

The details: The videos debuted on the brand’s social channels and will also greet millions of people traveling to New York for Pride celebrations at New York major airports – LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark International Airport.

Instagram Introduces Branded Content Ads

Instagram announced that starting today, advertisers will be able to turn creators’ organic branded content posts into feed ads. 

Why it matters: According to Instagram, 68 percent of users come to Instagram to interact with creators. With the new branded content ads feature, brands will be able to tell their stories through creators in a more seamless way.

The details: Brands seem to be very excited about the new update, as Liat Weingarten, VP of brand communications at Old Navy said in the blog post, “We’ve long seen that customers want to discover fashion through trusted sources who have credibility, but organic reach on that content has become increasingly limited. So we’re consistently looking for more sophisticated ways like Branded Content ads to serve partner content to the right shoppers, instead of just throwing it into the social ether. Promoting content directly from an influencer’s handle inherently gives the post more authenticity than coming from a brand handle, and we’re seeing significantly higher engagement rates using this strategy.”

Step by step instructions for both businesses and creators are available here

IKEA’s Print Catalogs Will Now Live On Pinterest 

Digidayreportedthat IKEA is in the process of transitioning its print catalogs to Pinterest. 

Why it matters: Print catalogs have a pretty short shelf life and with a digital shoppable version, IKEA has good chances at substantially extending it and selling more product.

The details: The shoppable Pinterest version of IKEA’s catalog will populate through product pins in personalized user boards based on a questionnaire around item and style preferences, Digiday reported.

As IKEA media project manager Kerri Longarz noted, Pinterest is home to “DIYers and how-to-ers and customizers,” or in other words, IKEA’s most desired audience.

“We didn’t want to just copy and paste — we already have a digital catalog online. But promotions in the past felt a little stale. We were running out of ways to show the catalog to people online, so we sought out something different,” Longarzo said.

Pinterest Pitches To DTC Brands 

According to Business Insider, Pinterest is actively winning over direct-to-consumer brands.

Why it matters: DTC brands are increasingly looking beyond Facebook and Instagram to grow their businesses. In fact, Business Insider reports that companies like SmileDirectClub, Care/of and Noom have increased their spend with Pinterest over the past year and brands like Away, Glossier and Rothy’s have also been running campaigns recently.

The details: In its pitch to DTC brands, Pinterest promises them equal treatment with big brands. According to the company, 97 percent of the top 1,000 search terms on the site are unbranded. This might make it easier for consumers to discover DTC brands. Seventy-seven percent of Pinterest’s weekly users discover a new brand or product each week.

Harold Klaje, Pinterest’s head of growth and SMB said, “They clearly also have to often build up their brands — this is where we can help them. Because we’re so intent and discovery-driven, our disruptor partners have been able to find a lot of new clients on our platform that they have not been able to find on other platforms.”

TikTok Is Working On Interest-Based Ad Targeting 

Digiday reported that TikTok is currently in the process of testing interest-based targeting, custom audience and pixel tracking. 

Why it matters: With the new ad updates, the video platform is hoping to seduce marketers who have doubts about TikTok’s advertising performance.

The details: At the moment, TikTok’s content algorithm is similar to Snapchat’s. The app can recognize what is featured in a video and then make recommendations in the feed. Moreover, TikTok users are able to like and comment on videos, which also provides content recommendations (just like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).

Brands like GrubHub are already successfully using TikTok ads. Red Bull and Sony are currently testing the platform and ESPN and NBC News created accounts on TikTok.

Report Shows LinkedIn Is Not So Hot Among Tech C-Suite 

A new report from Immediate Future concluded that 99.6 percent of the tech C-suite audience use social media, but LinkedIn ranks as the least popular.

Why it matters: “Just because it’s all Facebook and Insta, it’s not all selfies, birthday posts and memes. 39 [percent] follow content that’s relevant to their work and over two-thirds will use social media to network for work purposes. A definite blurring of work and play in action,” said Katy Howell, CEO at Immediate Future.

The details: According to the report, marketing professionals prefer six social media platforms over LinkedIn. In fact, hard-to-reach board-level technology buyers actually prefer Facebook and YouTube to LinkedIn (with 70 percent using Facebook and 43 percent using Twitter more than once a day).

Neilsen Ad Measurement Expansion On YouTube 

According to The Drum,Nielsen is bringing its advertising measurement tools to YouTube’s mobile app in 26 new markets, including India, Brazil and Mexico.

Why it matters: The expansion of Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings measurement suite allows marketers to track audiences and measure performance across mobile devices in 34 markets. 

The details: “Providing marketers with independent measurement of YouTube’s mobile audiences globally is a major step forward for the industry. With the expansion of Digital Ad Ratings to measure audiences inclusive of YouTube’s sizeable mobile footprint, advertisers in more than 30 markets will have the comparability, coverage and transparency they need to maximize the impact of their digital media around the world,” said Nielsen’s senior vice-president of digital product leadership, Amanda Tarpey. 

YouTube Offers More Ways To Buy Tickets On The Platform 

YouTube announced in a blog post the company’s partnership with AXS, which enables the fans to buy even more tickets to upcoming shows in the U.S.

Why it matters: “Partnering with AXS, the second-largest ticket provider in North America and partner to iconic music venues like Red Rocks and Forest Hills, marks a major expansion for YouTube in terms of artist reach and show availability. Combined with our existing partnerships with Eventbrite and Ticketmaster, YouTube now covers more than 90% of the US ticketing market,” the blog post reads.

The details: Videos from YouTube Official Artist Channels will now have listings from AXS events included on the video page and allow the viewers to simply click on the “Tickets” button and purchase tickets directly from AXS.

Twitter Acquires Fabula AI

According to a blog post, Twitter recently acquired Fabula AI, a London-based start-up.

Why it matters: Machine learning is important to the company as a whole and especially to the public conversation on Twitter. “From onboarding people on the platform to connecting them with relevant conversations, we leverage machine learning (ML) across a multitude of our product surface areas,” the company stated.

The details: One of the Fabula founders and the chair in Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition at Imperial College, said about the acquisition, “We are really excited to join the ML research team at Twitter, and work together to grow their team and capabilities. Specifically, we are looking forward to applying our graph deep learning techniques to improving the health of the conversation across the service.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, June 7. 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

Marketer’s Guide To The Must-Attend Cannes Lions 2019 Parties

First come panels, then come parties. No event makes it easier to mix business with pleasure than Cannes Lions. Ahead, discover AList’s curated roundup of parties that will dominate the South of France during the International Festival of Creativity.  

Sunday, June 16th


Come for the conversation and community at Adweek‘s week-long events and cocktail parties.

When: Sunday-Friday 10:30 a.m.

Where: JW Marriott


Monday, June 17th

Le Jardin de Clear Channel

Come mingle with peers at Clear Channel’s garden party.

When: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.–8 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

Where: Grand Hotel Gardens

Invite only.

Amobee Converge Café

Indulge in a cup of coffee at Amobee’s café for a conversation about the convergence of television, digital and social with authorities of linear and connected television planning and optimization.

When: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Where: Promenade Robert Favre Le Bret, inside MediaLink Beach


Mobile Ventures Summit

Docking at the Old Cannes Port, Mobile Ventures Summit’s yacht will host events with keynote speakers such as eBay’s VP of advertising, Adidas global director of digital and retail marketing and Spotify’s head of global media and performance.

When: Monday-Thursday 9:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

Where: Le Vieux Port aboard Ocean Sapphire Yacht


Unity Technologies Cabana

At Unity’s official Cannes Lions Fringe event, discover how to utilize its 3D platform to captivate an audience and experience Childish Gambino’s AR music experience “Pharos AR” as well as multiple VR stories.

When: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where: Cabana Town


Facebook Beach

Join Facebook for inspirational talks and activities among a group of communities and brands for an official Cannes Lions Fringe event.

When: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Where: Plage du Majestic


Twitch Space

Mingle with personalities and entertainers of Twitch at its official Cannes Lions event. Guests can also experience a behind-the-scenes view of a live broadcast.

When: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Where: 63 la Croisette, Penthouse

Invite only.

Pinterest Beach

At the Cannes Lions Pinterest event, experience three interactive “lands” created by international artists that take you inside the minds of Pinterest users. Enjoy drinks and a learning demo on translating inspiration to action with your own brand.

When: Monday 12 p.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where: Plage du Carlton


Google Beach

The Google and YouTube-hosed event on the beach will feature live demos, music, socials and Pride celebrations.

When: Monday-Friday 12 p.m.–11 p.m.

Where: Plage du Gray d’Albion & Plage La Mome  

Open to all festival delegates.


Humble-tweet while on Twitter Beach where daily programming will include panels and happy hours.

When: Monday 5 p.m.–7 p.m.; Tuesday 1 p.m.–3 p.m.; Wednesday 2 p.m.–3 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m.–12 p.m. and 4 p.m.–6 p.m.

Where: Plage du Festival

Invite only.

Whiskey & Wine With OpenX

Celebrate your first night at the festival with fine whiskeys from Lagavulin, Aberlour A’bounadh, Macallan and Oban served alongside an open bar and French wines at OpenX’s VIP whiskey & wine experience.

When: Monday 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Where: Cannes Lions Beach

Invite only.

Tuesday, June 18th

LBB & Friends Beach

Network and chill with a drink in hand at the Little Black Book (LBB) Beach where brands convene to connect and grow their business.

When: Tuesday-Friday 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

Where: Plage Croisette Beach Restaurant

LBB members only.

Verizon Media Beach

When: Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Where: Plage du Martinez

Invite only.

Captify BBQ Villa Party

Agencies, brands and publishers across industries come together for Captify’s annual pool party.

When: 12 p.m.–8 p.m.

Where: Captify Villa HQ

Tickets required.

Exclusive Cocktails with Samsung

Together with IAB UK, Samsung presents a beachfront studio focused on “A New Era of Advanced TV”  with key industry players.

When: 5 p.m.–7 p.m.

Where: 29 Rue du Commandant André

Invite only.

LADbible Group Villa Party

Enjoy a surprise live music performance and a private swimming pool at social media publisher LADbible’s Cannes party where there will also be drinks and dancing.

When: 7:30 p.m.–1:30 a.m.

Where: The Contagious Villa, 1 Boulevard de Strasbourg


Nielsen Revel In The Riviera

Have an unforgettable evening with special guest DJ Mick. Dance, drink and network—all while making new connections at Nielsen’s cocktail party.

When: Tuesday 9 p.m.–12 a.m.

Where: Nielsen Yacht, Jetée Albert Edouard


Wednesday, June 19th

APA’s Young Producer Summit

Join the Advertising Producers Association (APA) as its spotlight great talent and creativity at Cannes Lions.

When: 9 a.m.–11 a.m.

Where: Maema Plage du Midi


Lunch with The Financial Times

Hear Matthew Garrahan, FT global media editor, in conversation with Marla E. Kaplowitz, president & CEO, 4A’s and Nigel Vaz, President, IPA & CEO, Publicis Sapient at the FT’s Cannes Lions luncheon.

When: 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Where: JW Marriott, Rooftop

Invite only.

Spotify Beach

When: 2:30 p.m.–5 p.m.

Where: Plage Palais Stéphanie

Invite only.

APA’s Fireflies Arrival Party

When: 4:30 p.m.

Where: La Pantiero, Old World Cannes

Invite only.

Ad Age Cannes Lawn Party

Network with Ad Age insiders at this party where the publication be hosting their Young Creatives Cover Competition Winner.

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: Le Grand Hotel


Thursday, June 20th

Shots x Felt Music DJ Set

SHOTS X FELT Music are back again for Cannes Lions 2019 to pump up the volume at the Palais des Festivals with their annual DJ set and naturally, dancing.

When: 10 p.m.–2 a.m.

Where: The Terrace, Palais Des Festivals, Cannes

Invite only.

Friday, June 21st

Le Grand Brunch at Cannes Lions

Cure that hangover with croissants, fruit, coffee and a few ibuprofens at a morning brunch from DAS WERK. 

When: 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Where: Revealed with invitation

Invite only.

Taco Bell Uses Another Movie Trailer Parody To Re-Launch Nacho Fries

Taco Bell released a witty video spot, “Chasing Gold,” featuring a themed song to promote the fourth return of its limited-edition nacho fries.

The three-minute movie trailer parody follows the rise and fall of singer Zack Collins, played by Darren Criss. A notable music producer spots Collins, in an alley, who’s shown singing about his obsession with nacho fries while eating them. Despite launching a popular hit single about nacho fries his fame takes a nosedive.

Finding out that nacho fries are a limited-time item triggers the demise of Collins’ career. His manager taunts him, “Can’t you write about anything else?” to which Collins responds, “I can only write about what I love.”

In addition to the “Chasing Gold” trailer, Taco Bell created a movie poster and flyer that promotes a “Tracklist” which, instead of songs, lists various nacho fries menu items. The flyer also includes a section, “Upcoming Shows” noting that fans can purchase nacho fries at all Taco Bell locations or via Grubhub delivery.

“We’re excited to bring back such an adored menu item for our fans and, this time, fully immerse ourselves into the music space with ‘Chasing Gold.’ Our fans have come to expect these big budget trailers with every Nacho Fries launch and this time, we wanted to surprise them, adding a song as good as our Nacho Fries that they soon won’t be able to forget,” said Taco Bell chief marketing officer, Marisa Thalberg.

“Chasing Gold” marks Taco Bell’s fourth movie trailer, its tried-and-true marketing strategy for generating hype around nacho fries. In 2018, the brand first introduced nacho fries with its “Web of Fries” trailer followed by a sequel, “Web of Fries II: Franchise Wars” and then “Retrieval Trailer,” all of which feature a notable actor. “Web of Fries” alone resulted in 53 million orders of nacho fries within the first five weeks of its campaign.

Most recently, Taco Bell announced a branded experience in the form of a Taco Bell-themed hotel and resort, coming this summer.

Spotify Seeks To Understand Gen Z Habits In New Culture Report

Spotify—in partnership with Culture Co-Op—launched its first annual Culture Next Report, a research survey exploring Gen Z and millennials’ evolving relationship with digital media, culture, brands, content and technology. The report surveyed “a combination of our first-party data, focus groups in the US and surveys of 4,000 people aged 15-38, the report took us around the world to Australia, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, UK, Germany, France and the US.”

Spotify also conducted “global assignments among 16 young influencers and trendsetters in all markets, as well as expert interviews.”

The report revealed five major trends that define Gen Z and an analysis of how marketers can leverage these trends. Forty-two percent identify more as a global citizen than as a citizen of their own country and 78 percent believe that music makes it easier for people to connect with each other and other cultures. Acknowledging that Gen Z and millennials comprise the most racially and ethnically diverse generation to date can help brands connect with them through genre-based targeting, as Spotify does.

Sixty-one percent said they think brands have the power to create communities based on common interest and passion. Given this audience is continuously looking for ways to connect with micro-communities, another way brands can reach Gen Z and millennials is creating a podcast led by relatable, authentic hosts, and throwing experiential events that align with emerging cultural trends.

Media aesthetics have the ability to shape the group’s discovery of new products and music and purchasing decisions, an important point for brands to consider given that 72 percent of respondents said discovery boosts happiness.

“[Media] has been really helpful—for example, maybe you’re trying to choose between two different products. Watching a video about someone’s thoughts on both can help you decide which one you might actually purchase,” said Bethany Mota, Gen Z beauty YouTuber.

The findings also showed that Gen Z and millennials are making an effort to stay informed about politics and that brands should do the same, as 68 percent agreed that “brands need to promote more progressive values and play a more meaningful role in society.”

They also value brand transparency. When asked which ideals brands should convey in their messaging, Gen Z and millennials’ top picks were honesty, equality and freedom.

Lastly, the report validates the trend that the group proactively works to improve their mental wellness and finds “deep camaraderie” in openly expressing their feelings. Brands should look for moments to uplift Gen Z and millennial audience—fifty-nine percent believe that brands should “convey messaging of moral support and show they understand consumers’ struggles.”