Bud Light To Treat Aliens Escaping ‘Storm Area 51’ To Free Beer

Bud Light shook Twitter with its recent announcement that it is offering free beer to “any alien that makes it out” from the “Storm Area 51” raid. The beer company has promised to debut We Come In Peace, an Area 51-themed limited edition label in time for the spoof “Storm Area 51” event,  which is scheduled for September 20.

Not surprisingly, just like the parody Facebook account, “Storm Area 51,” created by California resident, Matty Roberts, Bud Light’s tweet went viral, and has been retweeted more than 51,000 times, according to Marketing Dive. Considering that more than 1 million people have already RSVP’d to the spoof raid, Bud Light is certainly making a clever and bold move by stealing some hype from the social media moment. 

The initiative provides an unscripted opportunity for the beer company to engage with younger audiences, such as millenials and the older segment of Gen Z’ers (of drinking age) on Twitter, where the parody of a parody campaign has been well received. 

To avoid (any more) controversy, Bud Light made it clear that it’s not planning on sponsoring the event, as the U.S. Air Force has already issued a (real) warning for people who may not have been clued in that it’s a joke. 

“We’d like to be the first brand to formally announce that we will not be sponsoring the Area 51 raid,” the company said in another tweet

And yet, Bud Lights puts itself at risk because Area 51 is a military area and there is no guarantee things won’t get ugly if people who RSVP’d to a joke, actually show up. After all, police this week had to shut down an Adidas and Arizona pop-up in New York City due to safety concerns—though that was a real event. Even so, seasoned marketers should have anticipated the crowds. 

Other brands that used “Storm Area 51” in their marketing efforts include Burger King, Kool-Aid and Oreo.

Kia Motors America Appoints New Marketing Chief

This week’s marketing shifts include Kia Motors America filling their head marketer role, departures at Foxtel’s Kayo streaming service, the appointment of a CMO at Varsity Tutors, a newly appointed EVP and CMO at Advance Auto Parts, a former Visa and PepsiCo marketer Shiv Singh joining DTC health tech company Eargo as chief marketing officer, Fox News Media seeing the return of Jason Klarman as EVP of marketing, Lincoln Center tapping Leah C. Johnson as chief communications and marketing officer, Sesame Workshop naming a new CMO, Carnival Cruise Line Australia’s director of marketing departing from the role and Kraft Heinz’s former CMO finding a new CEO role.

Kia Motors America Brings On New Marketing Director

Kia Motors America has found a replacement for exiting head marketer Saad Chehab, according to Auto News

Former Mazda North America marketing VP Russell Wager joins the Korean automaker to lead all marketing activities, effective immediately. Wager’s six-year tenure at Mazda coincided with a U.S. sales boom of 8.4% for the company. He’ll report to Kia Motors America COO Michael Cole in his new position.

Kayo Loses Chief Sales And Marketing Officer

Kayo, a recently launched sports streaming service from Foxtel, has lost its chief sales and marketing officer, Mumbrella reports. This comes immediately after the departure of Foxtel’s content marketing director.

Carly Loder, who was elevated to CMO in February of last year, previously served as director of marketing communications at Fox Sports. In a statement from Kayo’s spokesperson, the company noted that they are “in the process of identifying the right marketing capability to lead the next phase of growth at Kayo Sports.”

Varsity Tutors Names Chief Marketing Officer

Varsity Tutors announced the appointment of their new CMO, the former chief marketing officer at Dollar Shave Club, Adam Weber.

Weber has been a brand-builder for over 14 years and joins the St. Louis-based live learning platform amid several changes, including the appointment of a new chief technology officer. 

The announcement for these new hires noted that “these strategic additions are Varsity Tutors’ latest move to continue bolstering its presence in the edtech space, including the recent acquisition of Los Angeles-based Veritas Prep.”

Advance Auto Parts Names New EVP And CMO

Jason McDonell is slated to join Advance Auto Parts as their new executive vice president and chief marketing officer, effective July 29th. 

McDonell most recently served as president and GM for PepsiCo Foods Canada, where he led the company’s “Crash the Super Bowl” digital crowdsourcing campaign.

In a press release announcing his new position at the automotive aftermarket parts provider, McDonell’s responsibilities include “all marketing activities across the Advance family of brands, including Advance, Carquest, Worldpac and Autopart International.”

Former Visa, PepsiCo Marketer Joins DTC Startup

DTC health tech startup Eargo announced the hiring of Shiv Singh as chief marketing officer today

Singh formerly served as SVP, global head of innovation, go-to-market and SVP, global head of digital & marketing transformation at Visa, Inc. He was also previously the global head of digital at PepsiCo Inc. 

In his previous role at Visa, Singh oversaw the launch of Visa.com while activating sponsorships with the Olympics and NFL. At PepsiCo, he oversaw the company’s digital media and marketing campaigns. He joins Eargo alongside CFO Adam Laponis and VP of software engineering, Fernando Cruz.

Jason Klarman Tapped By Fox News Media As Marketing EVP

Jason Klarman, who was part of the team that launched the Fox News Channel in 1996, is returning to Fox News Media as EVP of marketing. 

The Wrap reports that Klarman will oversee brand strategy and marketing for properties including FNC, Fox Business Network, Fox News Digital, Fox News Radio, Fox News Headlines 24/7, Fox News podcasts and the direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service Fox Nation.

In his time away from Fox News Media, he oversaw marketing for USA Cable and Bravo Media, serving as CMO for Fullscreen Media as well.

Lincoln Center Names Leah C. Johnson To New Chief Marketing Role

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts announced the appointment of Leah C. Johnson to the new role of chief communications and marketing officer. In this position, Johnson will be tasked with “uniting LCPA’s strategic communication and marketing functions,” reports Broadway World.

She joins the LCPA after founding LCJ Solutions, a strategic communications firm. Her previous tenure also included SVP of corporate affairs at Citigroup, Inc, VP of corporate communications for Standard and Poor’s and numerous board titles at the Museum of the City of New York, Board of New York Public Radio and The Dalton School.

Samantha Maltin Joins Sesame Workshop As CMO

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind the award-winning show “Sesame Street,” has brought on Samantha Maltin as chief marketing officer.

Maltin held previous positions in brand marketing roles, most recently at Schireson, a data consulting firm, as well at A+E Networks where she led marketing for the History channel and oversaw a network rebrand. She then ran A+E’s Corporate Marketing & Innovation team. Prior to that, Maltin spent 15 years in various roles at Viacom/Nickelodeon.

Ex-Kraft Heinz CMO Is Now Health Supplement CEO

Eduardo Luz, the former Kraft Heinz CMO, has a new chief executive position at health supplement brand 8Greens. As reported by The Drum, Luz’s departure from Kraft Heinz came at a “tumultuous period” for the company.

Carnival Cruise Line Australia Marketer Departs

Jayne Andrews, Carnival Cruise Line Australia’s director of marketing, will be stepping down at the end of August to pursue her next professional endeavor.

In an interview with CMO, Andrews noted her impetus for seeking out a new position. “After five-and-a-half years, I knew I needed a new adventure, new brand or brands to build. I haven’t secured my next role yet, but I wanted to be transparent with my team here, give them an extended time to find a new Jayne.”

“There is never a good time to leave an awesome role, but I knew if I didn’t bite the bullet, I would never do it,” Andrews said.

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, July 19th. 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 

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

Twitter Shares Insight On Social Listening, Rolls Out New Features

With Q2 2019 now behind us, it’s time to analyze what worked, what didn’t and look ahead to new trends in the world of social media. Summer is off to a hot start. Twitter announces several new updates and publishes “Are Marketers Missing Customer Signals On Social?” blog post; Instagram tweaks its account disable policy, Youtube allows its users to seamlessly switch between audio and music videos and engagement on LinkedIn is exploding.  

Twitter Publishes “Are Marketers Missing Customer Signals On Social?”

Twitter shared a blog post featuring Diana Helander, head of marketing for the Twitter Developer Platform, speaking about the importance of social listening as part of an extended Marketing Disrupted podcast. 

Why it matters: Per the blog post, “In our data-driven world, marketers need to think more about the nature of social conversations and not just look at raw social data.” 

The details: Helander chatted with Marketing Disrupted podcast hosts Brent Chaters and Amber Mac about the importance of social listening, and the role Twitter Data can play in helping marketers solve problems. 

“It’s important for brands to start listening,” Helander says. “Brands can help identify something newsworthy, or if needed, remediate an issue. But that’s just a first step. Following on from that is active engagement with those audiences, whether it’s for brand voice, marketing campaigns or customer service—engaging in that conversation and doing so in an authentic way,” she said. 

You can listen to the full podcast here

Twitter Addresses Conversation Gaps, Tries Out New Icons 

Also, this week, Twitter rolled out several updates, including testing new icons for more clarification in reply streams and trying to resolve conversation gaps, created by hidden tweets. 

Why it matters: These new updates aim to improve conversation flows on the platform, which should help support higher and more meaningful engagement. 

The details: Twitter rolled out a new feature that will use icons instead of words to indicate conversational contributors. In addition, the social media company is fixing the issue with too many “This Tweet is unavailable” notices in conversations, which occur due to deleted or protected Tweets, or muted keywords. In the following weeks, the users will start noticing more context on each notice, explaining why Tweets are unavailable. 

Instagram Tweaks Its Account Disable Policy 

The company announced a change to their account disable policy in a blog post

Why it matters: Per Instagram, “[the] changes will help quickly detect and remove accounts that repeatedly violate our policies.”

The details: With the new policy, in addition to removing accounts with a certain percentage of violating content, the Instagram team will remove accounts with a certain number of violations within a window of time to enforce the policies more consistently and hold people accountable for the content they post on Instagram. 

A  new notification process is being introduced as well, to help the users better understand if their account is at risk of being disabled. This notification will also allow users to appeal content that has been deleted. 

The policy change might be linked to the recent tragedy, related to the death of 17-year-old Bianca Devis, whose photos were posted on Instagram after she was murdered. 

YouTube Users Can Now Switch Between Audio And Music Videos 

Youtube will allow users to seamlessly switch between audio and music videos.  

Why it matters: Being able to switch between the media with more ease should allow for a more seamless experience for users and provide a better way for brands and broadcasters to interact with users. 

The details: YouTube users will notice a new video button at the top of the screen when they start listening to a song, and by clicking it,  they can instantly start watching the music video. 

The new feature simplifies the process of enjoying audio and music and according to YouTube:

  • “[Makes discovering] new music videos is easier than ever before. From recent mega-hits to deep cuts, if a song has a video, YouTube Music will surface a video button so switching between audio and visuals is just one click away.
  • YouTube Music has perfectly time-matched over five million official music videos to their respective audio tracks, so no matter when or how often you flip back and forth between the two, you won’t miss a beat.
  • When you flip from video to song, say goodbye to the other sounds that go with the music video — like those long introductions — and enjoy the song as it was intended.
  • Not into music videos? We’ve got you covered. To stick to songs 100 [percent] of the time, visit your settings and turn off the music video option by toggling “Don’t play music videos” to the “on” position.” 

LinkedIn Engagement Is On The Rise 

According to Microsoft’s FY19 Q4 results update, LinkedIn’s parent company, the career-focused social media platform, grew sessions and revenues.

Why it matters: These numbers indicate the presence of a significant and highly engaged audience on the platform. 

The details: Highlights from the report include LinkedIn revenue increasing by 25 percent ($371 million) and LinkedIn sessions growing by 22 percent. 

Instagram Expands “Hide Likes” Testing To More Regions 

Despite the users’ mixed feelings about “Hide Likes,” Instagram seems to be serious about its intent to launch the feature and expands the testing to additional regions, including Australia. 

Why it matters: The company claims it’s trying to make sure that followers concentrate on meaningful content rather than its popularity and like count. 

The details: The feature that hides the total number of likes and video views is currently testing in Canada and has now expanded to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. As part of the trial, users can see how many likes a photo received, but followers won’t see the numbers, and you can’t see how many likes other peoples’ photos received. Business accounts will still be able to access engagement metrics.

Twitter “LiveCut” Video Editing and Publishing Tool

Twitter terminates SnappyTV live video editing tool, and replaces it with “LiveCut,” integrated into Twitter’s Media Studio. 

Why it matters: “LiveCut” allows publishers to create, monetize and share videos of live broadcasts on Twitter. 

The details: To start using “LiveCut,” publishers need to obtain access to Twitter’s Media Studio, which is provided via Twitter Partner manager. 

Guides and tips on using “LiveCut” can be found here

Liverpool Football Club is a video publisher who, among some others, already participated in Twitter’s LiveCut beta program. And  here’s what Adam Hulme, head of social media for Liverpool FC had to say about the new tool, “It was great to be able to share this incredible occasion with our fans all over the world in real time. The club utilized Twitter’s LiveCut tool to capture and deliver short, shareable, memorable, and now iconic clips within a matter of minutes, and with ease.”

TikTok Spotted Testing A “Discover Tab”

Jane Manchun Wong spotted TikTok working on a “Discover Tab” feature. 

Why it matters: “Discover Tab” will likely replace “Search” function at some point in the future and make it easier for TikTok users to discover new content based on their interests and preferences while providing a more convenient way to interact.

The details: Besides “Discover Tab,” TikTok is also working on a tool that will help the users to quickly send videos to friends and link a TikTok profile to Google and Facebook accounts.

Facebook Allows UK Users To Report Scam Ads 

Facebook  has launched a tool for its UK users, which allows them to report ads they suspect might be scams.

Why it matters: The new consumer safety feature will help to create a more credible environment on the platform, as well as improve brand safety amid persistent data privacy complaints about the platform.

The details: To use the tool, users can click the three dots in the top-right corner of each ad on the platform, select “Report ad,” choose “Misleading or scam ad” and then “Send a detailed scam report.” A dedicated internal ops team at Facebook is said to review reports and remove scam ads. 

Facebook To Debut WhatsApp Payments In India 

Also, Bloomberg reported that Facebook had finished an audit of related data practices and is close to rolling out WhatsUp payment service in India. 

Why it matters: WhatsUp payment service has the potential to open up a new and thriving user base in India for brands, as WhatsApp has an extremely large user base on the subcontinent, around 300 million. Arnav Gupta, an analyst who tracks digital payments at Forrester Research said on the matter, “Everybody from eight to 80 years old in India are clued into WhatsApp, giving it phenomenal reach. Besides, peer-to-peer businesses like MakeMyTrip and BookMyShow, which are already using WhatsApp, will find it very easy to route payment transactions through the messaging app.”

The details: Per Bloomberg, the payments service has been in beta mode in India since early last year for a million users, but the national rollout has been postponed, partially due to government regulations. To launch the service, WhatsApp is required to use a third-party auditor to verify that all data involved in payments will be stored on servers only in India. The company is getting ready to submit the report for approval to India’s banking regulator, the Reserve Bank of India

Twitter Launches New Follower Listings In Notifications

The company announced the rollout of an easy-to-use format that alerts users to new followers.

Why it matters: The new feature makes it more efficient to manage new follows and follow back, without having to take extra steps of clicking-through to the profile of that person to hit the “follow” button.

The details: The feature will include a larger profile panel within “Notifications” tab and allow users to follow back directly from the alert that someone is now following them.

We Are Social Details Social Media Use In 2019

Hootsuite and We Are Social published a new report, revealing how people are using the internet and social media in 2019. Facebook remains the most widely used platform and video continues to expand. The reports are available for the U.S. , UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Why it matters: The research provides insight into the global and national use of social media, and how marketers can best reach social audiences.  

The details:

  • 45 percent of the world’s population, or 3.5 billion people, are now social media users 
  • 59 percent of social media users are aged 13 and above
  • 93 percent of them, or 4 billion people watch online video content, with vlogs attracting 2 billion viewers 
  • Snapchat’s audience increased to 369 million, with the platform’s advertising audience jumping by 19 percent in the past three months 
  • Facebook is still most popular among teenagers with 113.3 users and potential reach of advertising on the platforms being aged 13 to 17 

Facebook Spotted Testing ‘Suggested Moderators’

Social media expert Matt Navarra noticed the company testing a new feature for group administration. 

Why it matters: ‘Suggested Moderators‘ is targeted to group members which Facebook’s system identifies as engaged users who may be able to help manage their online communities.

The details: The new option will make a recommendation on group members as potential moderators based on their involvement, frequency and interactions within the particular group.  Right now the test is in limited beta. 

Google Keeps Toying With Social Networking 

According to Gizmodo, Google started testing a social networking app, aiming to bring people closer “offline,” based on their activities and interests.

Why it matters: If (finally) successful, Google might join social media giants and offer another useful advertising platform. However, it is too early to tell if the app will be popular with audiences. 

The details: The app, created by Google’s Area 120 unit, is called Shoelace. It provides suggestions every day on nearby happenings that give people a reason to meet up and the activities range from “Spin vinyl on vintage decks” to “Play ping pong at a modern lounge with full bar” and more. 

“The whole premise of Shoelace is to tie people together based on their interests—like two laces on a shoe. We do so through activities—which are fittingly called ‘Loops.'” 

Shoelace is available on the latest versions of Android and Apple’s iOS and requires an active Google account to sign into the app.

Facebook Hires A Former Vine General Manager

Jason Toff, a former Vine GM of two years will join Facebook’s new division–NPE Team as a product management director.

Why it matters: This move is likely related to Facebook’s ambition to compete with TikTok and create a successful video sharing platform. 

The details: After going after TikTok already and failing with Lasso, Facebook might be hoping to reapproach the initiative with the new talent. And Toff seems to be a perfect fit for the job, as according to his LinkedIn, he not only spent two years at Vine, but also worked for other competitors. He served as director of product management at Twitter and a partner at Google’s Area 120. 

Snap Is After Chinese Advertisers 

TechCrunch reported that Snap and Baidu, a Chinese website and search engine, recently renewed their sales partnership

Why it matters: Companies that purchase media through Baidu are guaranteed access to all forms of advertising in Snap’s videos, real-time selfie effects, overlays and more, and therefore, can reach young and extremely dedicated audiences, TechCrunch reports. 

The details: Sheng Hu, head of U.S. strategy and partnership at Baidu’s Global Business Unit said, “Our partnership with Snap Inc. provides Chinese companies new avenues to expand their businesses through Snapchat advertising. We look forward to connecting with marketing executives in China and beyond on behalf of Snap to discuss the benefits of these advertising solutions.”

WhatsApp, Telegram Suffer From Security Flaws 

Researchers from Symantec found flaws that could make it possible for potential hackers to change images and audio files in the apps.

Why it matters: Per Symantec, although secure messaging apps are an important tool for individuals, politicians and companies who wish to keep their conversations private and protected from surveillance, the apps themselves are still not immune to hacks. 

The details: The four main threats of Media File Jacking attacks are image manipulation, payment manipulation, audio message spoofing and fake news. 

To ensure that media files are kept safe from hackers, Symantec recommends the following: 

  • “Validate the integrity of files: Store in a metadata file a hash value for each received media file before writing it to the disk. Then, confirm that the file has not been changed (i.e. the hash is the same) before the media file is loaded by the app in the relevant chat portion for users to see. This step can help developers validate that files were not manipulated before they are loaded. This approach balances between the security (protection against Media File Jacking attacks) and functionality (e.g., supporting third party backup apps) needs of the IM apps.
  • Internal storage: If possible, store media files in a non-public directory, such as internal storage. This is a measure some IM apps have chosen.
  • Encryption: Strive to encrypt sensitive files, as is usually done for text messages in modern IM solutions. This measure, as well as the previous one, will better protect files from exposure and manipulation. The downside is that other apps, such as photo backup apps, won’t be able to easily access these files.” 

Snapchat Tests New Binge-Watch Friendly Feature 

Snapchat is reportedly testing a new feature, similar to the Netflix home page. 

Why it matters: The new “Shows” section feature will have a special section for shows, separate from the Discover page, which will make it easier for the viewers to binge-watch. 

The details: With the test, which was recently spotted in the app, an additional swipe over from the Discover page brings up a hidden “Shows” section. A Snapchat spokesperson confirmed to Mashable that the company is testing the “Shows” section feature, but it’s not yet clear if or when it will become widely available. 

Twitch Still Beats YouTube Live, Facebook Gaming And Microsoft’s Mixer In Life-Streaming 

Per a new report from StreamElements, Twitch still had its second-biggest quarter to date, capturing more than 70 percent of total hours watched across all live streaming platforms.

Why it matters: These numbers indicate that Twitch is attracting a growing and engaged audience.

The details: According to the StreamElements report, Twitch viewers live-streamed a total of 2.72+ billion hours in Q2, or 72.2 percent of all live hours watched. To compare, viewers live-streamed 735.54 million hours on YouTube Live (19.5  percent), 197.76 million on Facebook Gaming (5.3 percent) and just 112.29 million hours (3 percent) on Mixer. The researchers also found that the majority (almost 75 percent) of Twitch’s viewership still came from people tuning in to the top 5,000 channels. Also, out of the 2.7 billion hours watched in Q2, these top 5,000 channels drove 2 billion of the hours watched. 

Influencer Marketing Spend Grows By 83 Percent Year-Over-Year 

Influencer marketing measurement company, Instascreener, reported an 83 percent year-over-year increase in influencer marketing spend. 

Why it matters: Despite the complaints around ineffective measurement, fake followers and influencer fraud, there is still a large demand for influencers. For example, brands such as Fashion Nova invested $5.5 million into influencers and vodka brand Ciroc spent $3.4 million in the second quarter of this year. 

The details: Per the report, Q2 of 2019 was the largest quarter yet for influencer marketing, with brands spending a total of $442 million, which is up by 18 percent, $69 million, compared to Q2 2018. $314 million of the total spend was spent on Instagram. Although, it is important to mention that a total of $58 million reached fake followers.

Twitter Rolls Out The New Version Of Twitter.com

Twitter is officially rolling out the redesigned version of Twitter.com, VentureBeat reported

Why it matters: According to VentureBeat, the redesign is Twitter’s attempt to bring new features and functionality to users.

The details: On the front end, the redesign means a faster and more personalized experience. On the back end, that means serving the right experience based on the user and device. 

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 19th. 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 editorial@alistdaily.com.

Kraft Heinz Launches $9 Million Advertising Push In UK

For the first time in a decade, Kraft Heinz is launching an advertising campaign for the masterbrand as an extension of its 150th anniversary celebration. The nearly $9 million dollar investment in the UK-based advertising push will include three television video spots focused on its Tomato Soup, Beans and Seriously Good Mayonnaise products. The new ads will debut in July, August and September—respectively—and extend into digital, out-of-home, social and radio. 

The first spot, 30 seconds in length, displays a woman going about her everyday life while daydreaming of Heinz. It opens with an aerial view of the lush London countryside. The camera then turns to a woman in the city riding the bus home at night. One glance at a passenger’s yellow-blonde spiked hair a few seats ahead conjures up the image of chips, (or fries) in her head. She envisions herself at home, dipping the fries in Heinz’s Seriously Good Mayonnaise as an elevator music-like jazz instrumental plays in the background. The spot concludes with the narrator declaring that, “the creamy taste of Heinz Seriously Good Mayo makes it better” as the bus drives away.

It makes sense for Heinz to deploy a massive marketing push in the UK given that 88 percent of UK households purchase Heinz products. In April, the brand launched a global campaign called, “150 years of clean plates” to honor its widely-used Heinz tomato ketchup.

“Each of our ads is designed to portray real moments and represent the breadth of our products and consumers,” said Olivia Hibbert, Kraft Heinz’s director of brand building.

Kraft Heinz’s recent marketing efforts follow the company’s announcement of a $15 billion write-down which resulted in the loss of a quarter of its stock’s value. The catastrophic impairment is one of many challenges the brand faces today. From the end of 2016 to the end of 2018, Kraft Heinz’s revenues fell by $229 million, about one percent, to just over $26 billion, Fortune reported. When Kraft Heinz tried raising its prices last year, Costco refused to increase prices on some Planters products and thereby stocked its shelves with more Costco-brand nuts instead. As a result, Kraft Heinz saw a one percent net sales drop in the US.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal, Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio admitted that the brand “needs bolder marketing for its product,” pointing to the company’s recent Edchup product collaboration with Ed Sheeran.

Arizona Iced Tea And Adidas Drop 99-Cent Sneakers At Pop-Up, Police Shut Down The Party

Arizona Iced Tea and Adidas Originals announced a sneaker collaboration called “Great Buy 99¢,” featuring the iced tea brand’s vivid teal and pink color scheme. The sneakers, which the brand announced would be available at a pop-up store in New York City for two days, starting July 18, only got into the hands of a few diehards who lined up in the early morning hours, as the pop-up was shut down early.

The partnership features Adidas’ Yung 1 and Continental sneaker styles in two colorways inspired by the beverage brand’s cherry blossom imagery and bright colors reminiscent of the ‘80s. The tongue of each shoe also features its price of 99¢, the price of a can of iced tea, in bold letters. 

However, due to the popularity of the partnership and madness that apparently unfolded, the pop-up was forced to close early. Arizona Iced Tea took to Twitter to tell its fans the following before announcing that the pop-up shop closed permanently:

“Thanks to our loyal fans that came out to support our partnership with Adidas. Due to overwhelming demand and safety concerns, the NYPD shutdown our pop-up. We sincerely apologize to all our fans that waited in line. We are actively working to remedy the situation.”

Arizona Iced Tea dropped hints about the collaboration on Instagram in the days leading up to the surprise pop-up and used a social media contest to kickstart it. The brand asked US users to screenshot and share any image of the limited-edition sneakers using the hashtag #adiZona99 for a chance to win a pair of the shoes.

Arizona Iced Tea already sells a number of branded merchandise products online including skateboards, sandals and swimsuits. While Arizona Iced Tea also carries its own sneakers, a fresh Adidas tie-in puts the beverage top of mind for loyal fans of the kicks brand. 

Adidas itself has a substantial number of brand collaborations under its belt and counting. Previous partnerships include those with Stella McCartney, Marvel and Kanye West. Recently, Adidas launched sneakers in futuristic designs with contemporary artist Daniel Arsham.

Wendy’s Brings Baconfest To Twitch

With a knack for inserting itself in some of the most unexpected corners of pop culture, Wendy’s keeps surprising fans. This time, the brand returned to Twitch to live-stream its digital avatar while playing Fortnite to promote the launch of Baconfest, a celebration of its Baconator sandwiches. Wendy’s gave out free Baconator sandwiches to the first 1,000 viewers who made any Wendy’s purchase through DoorDash. The Baconator video garnered a little over 2,000 views.

The Baconator-Twitch stunt reflects the brand’s attempt to extend its reach beyond Twitter, where it’s seen the most success and has 3.24 million followers. In another recent campaign, “Keeping Fortnite Fresh,” the Wendy’s avatar destroyed every freezer in the in-game burger establishment, Durrr Burger, as a rebellion against frozen beef. The initiative led to a 119 percent increase of mentions of Wendy’s across all its social media platforms. With just 27,000 followers on Twitch, Wendy’s has gotten a slow, but steady start on marketing to younger audiences who prefer streaming platforms over traditional television.

As part of Baconfest, Wendy’s is also marketing its Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Fans who use the code, “BACONFEST,” will receive an exclusive DoorDash deal that consists of a free Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and free delivery when they spend $10 or more.

The self-professed “number one seller of bacon cheeseburgers across the fast-food industry,” Wendy’s teased Baconfest with a 15-second video spot published to the brand’s Twitter. The spot showcases Wendy’s various bacon items in a club full of bacon lovers, dancing to tracks played by a DJ who has a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger for a head. 

Yet another bacon tie-in is being used to encourage fans to use the brand’s mobile app. Between July 16-August 25, those who use the Wendy’s app to order, will receive free Baconator Fries with any purchase. 

Chatbots Gain Traction But Trust Is Low, Study Finds

It’s no surprise that consumers crave a highly personalized shopping experience, want the highest caliber of customer service and they also want problems resolved quickly. What remains elusive is how marketers should approach interactions with customers today given the rise of chatbots and other automated technology that promises faster resolutions and reduced operational costs. A survey from Drift and Survey Monkey Audience, the “2019 State of Conversational Marketing Report,” explores how and if brands should leverage chatbots in their conversational marketing strategies.

A follow-up to Drift’s “2018 State of Chatbots Report,” the report surveyed over 1,000 US consumers to analyze peoples’ preferred method of communication with brands. To start, 46 percent of millennials said they want chatbots to provide answers to their simple questions. Additionally, 44 percent expect an immediate response (within five seconds) from chatbots and face-to-face conversations. 

Similarly, when asked about the most convenient channel for speaking with brands, 40 percent said chatbots are the best at delivering 24/7 service, with online chat coming in second at 32 percent. Additionally, those who owned 10 or more connected devices said they were more likely to trust chatbots to handle important tasks, such as scheduling a meeting or resolving a complaint. Comparatively, those who own three or less connected devices were almost less than half as likely to trust chatbots to take care of those same tasks.

Though convenient and gaining traction, chatbots may not be a magic bullet for brands to improve customer service. In fact, the survey found that buyers are twice as likely to say that they have a better customer experience when speaking with a live human. 

Another reason companies may not be as fast to incorporate chatbots is that email, smartphone apps and telephone are still the dominant ways people want to talk to brands. It may come as a surprise to many that 33 percent of respondents said they used email more frequently this year compared to last year. When asked how they’ve communicated with organizations in the past 12 months, 65 percent said email—and that number has grown from 60 percent last year. 

Consumers surveyed also cited problems with other traditional online experiences. For example, when asked which online frustrations they’ve experienced in the last month, 34 percent answered “Can’t get answers to simple questions,” and 30 percent said, “Site is hard to navigate.” 

As customers become increasingly comfortable interacting with chatbots, marketers can’t afford to entirely shun traditional forms of communication. Rather, their focus should be the use of chatbots to complement their human and phone customer services. Tailoring the channel to the purpose of the interaction is essential. To fully meet customers’ needs while also personalizing their experience, know the difference between delivering fast, straightforward communication and a more complex customer service experience that requires the human touch.

Lay’s Brings Back ‘Everyday Smilers’ Campaign, Promoting Selfies For A Cause

The Frito-Lay brand continues to spread smiles around the nation with its second year of “Everyday Smilers,” the cause-driven marketing campaign. It notes it will donate $1 million to Operation Smile organization which helps provide surgeries to children born with cleft conditions. This year’s initiative will launch on July 28, when special bags of Traditional, Wavy, Lightly Salted, Poppables and Kettle-Cooked Lay’s will appear in stores. 

The social media campaign was brought to life by The Marketing Arm agency and is being built on the success of last year’s #SmileWithLays. It’s driven by consumer personalization (which is expected to be the prime driver of marketing success in the next five years) and banks on the younger, social media savvy audiences, such as Gen Z and millenials, who are heavily engaged on social and known for their backing of cause-driven marketing. 

According to the company, last year’s effort resulted in 700 selfies posted daily (during an 8-week run) which featured users smiling alongside bags of the brand’s products. The featured hashtag generated more than 30,000 tweets and 10,000 Instagram posts during the eight-week period. Also, a special Snapchat filter with 21 seconds of play time saw 2.8 million shares. Operation Smile content produced on Facebook received a 14 percent engagement rate, which is 12 points above the industry average. 

Lay’s spokesperson also told Marketing Dive that the initiative will be supported with TV ads and the personal stories of the “Everyday Smilers” participants will “be revealed” in the upcoming weeks. 

Besides doing a good deed, the company, of course, gets a pleasant bonus in the form of user-generated content on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Similar campaigns include last year’s Absolut “Global Selfie” campaign that encouraged travelers to upload photos of themselves in airports and sent the selfies to outdoor digital displays and the very recent Kahlúa’s “Zero Likes Given,” which aims to celebrate Instagram users’ least-liked photos. 

Oscar Mayer Turns Wienermobile Into Airbnb Stay For Lollapalooza

Hot dog lovers, rejoice. Oscar Mayer is giving fans of the roving 27-foot Wienermobile a chance to rent the famous hot-dog-on-wheels for an overnight stay via Airbnb. Announced today, National Hot Dog Day, the experiential activation will kick off in Chicago with a branded campsite to coincide with next month’s Lollapalooza music festival.

The description on the Airbnb listing, titled “Relish a Stay in the Real Oscar Mayer Wienermobile,” reads: For one night only, you can have the opportunity to eat hot dogs, dream of hot dogs, and yes, live in a hot dog, with an overnight stay in the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. 

Targeted toward Gen Z and millennials attending the music festival, or “just those who relish a good story,” the hot dog paradise will have all the hot dog amenities one could wish for. Expect the Wienermobile to be stocked with Oscar Mayer hot dogs and Chicago-style hot dog essentials including an Oscar Mayer roller grill guest can take home with them. Guests who book the “cozy space for two” can also expect a sofa bed, sitting area, adjacent outdoor spaces for the bathroom and a hot dog picnic zone, all for $136 a night.

In addition to fueling guests’ hotdog happiness, the brand is making sure the camp site is social media-worthy. Near the outdoor space ill hang a custom Wienermobile art piece created by local artist Laura Kiro. Visitors will also savor a welcome kit full of hotdog-inspired accessories. Fans will be able to book their Wienermobile stay starting July 24.

Last year, Oscar Mayer’s marketing initiatives centered on the promotion of its new and improved hot dog recipes that axed artificial preservatives. To launch the campaign, #ForTheLoveOfHotDogs, the Wienermobile continued its cross-country tour, making pit stops and posing in front of historical landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Daytona International Speedway, and Citi Field Mets Stadium. Six different Wienermobiles are driving across the US at any given moment.

At a time when younger audiences are increasingly allocating their budgets to brand experiences and music festivals, Oscar Mayer is wise to enhance its marketing strategy with an immersive component. According to a study by Splash, where 785 millennial across the world were surveyed, 67 percent reported that they followed a brand on social media because of an event. Additionally, almost two-thirds of Gen Z want to touch, feel, and experience products before making a purchase. This year, a number of brands employed experiential activations. For example, Taco Bell transformed an existing Palm Springs hotel into a branded summer resort replete with merchandise and activations. Similarly, L.L. Bean partnered with Uber to encourage people to get out and experience summer at one of its pop-up campsites.

‘Optics Matter,’ Dr. Rebecca Swift Discusses How Getty Images Helps Smaller Brands With Diversity Messaging

It’s a cliché, but when it comes to diversity, marketing really does have the power to change the world. As one speaker succinctly put it at this year’s Cannes Lions, marketers work in the only industry that can change things with the click of a finger. Marketers are in a unique position of being among a select few who can easily and readily affect massive change. 

But, getting marketing to address real people and leverage data still feels like an uphill battle sometimes. For example, recent research has shown that 70% of women claim they don’t feel represented by everyday media images: affecting their health, relationships and access to opportunities.  

It’s these tone-deaf cultural depictions that Getty’s Project #ShowUs has in its sights. As a leading repository of stock images used across advertising and media, the brand has built the world’s most extensive photo library created by women and non-binary photographers. The ambition is to shatter beauty stereotypes and show women as they are and not how an industry says that they should be. Its aim is to set a new standard for the authentic, diverse and inclusive representation of women across the world.

I met up with Dr. Rebecca Swift, Getty’s Senior Director of Creative Insights, just after announcing the initiative. We talked about how Project #ShowUs is already helping her clients to make better choices when it comes to depicting diversity.

How does it feel now that Project #ShowUs has launched?

Now that’s it’s out in the atmosphere, you’re waiting with bated breath. I believe in what we’ve achieved, but it’s only when you get a reaction back from other people that you start to realize how good it is. We’ve had an immediate positive impact as soon as we’ve launched it. We haven’t had any negative feedback yet. I’m still waiting for the …but?’  

For Getty as a business, we need to have a slightly more long-term view when it comes to assessing how we’ve done. First and foremost, we aim to keep these women in the industry and attract other women. So far, though, the response has been way beyond our expectations and beyond anything we’ve done before.

It’s the first time Getty has done something this radical. What has it been like working with the likes of Dove to make this happen?

Today was the first time presenting the project to people and saying; “here you go, tell us what you think.” We probably should have done that earlier. 

Having Dove’s marketing machine behind it has also been a massive help. When people think of Dove, they think of the campaign for real beauty. Most people tend to understand that they’re behind self-esteem issues, especially when it comes to younger women. I think that has been an extra piece of promotion that has helped us get it out there.

What has the response been like so far?

For me, the best thing about working on this project has been that it has brought me into contact with other organizations and other marketers. We’ve just been down on Inkwell beach, and we’ve had so many people come up to us and say, “thank you for doing this, it means a lot.”

The optics of doing a campaign like this matters. We’re not a niche company. We’re not a specialist organization; we work for everyone. Therefore, to see diversity front and center in a mainstream place like Getty Image is important. It says to other organizations that diversity matters and it’s something that they can do, too.

Moving forward with the initiative, how important is Getty’s role when it comes to widening the depiction of women and minorities in advertising?

In the past, the representation of BAME, disability and non-binary sexual relationships have traditionally been the domain of particular photographers invested in those issues. They haven’t necessarily been the best photographers in the world.

That means that before Project #ShowUs, you’ve often had images that depict these groups, but it’s not shot in the same aesthetic way of mainstream advertising. That’s exactly what we’re addressing. We want to make a library of images that are beautifully shot but are also unexpected, because of the subject matter of the people we’re showing. 

How is Getty helping that message trickle down? Aren’t many of these images going to be used by marketers working on smaller, lower-budget campaigns?

That’s exactly right. Part of my role at Getty is not only bringing that kind of stuff in, but it’s also disseminating it out again. We have over a million customers that we work with worldwide, and we’re in a privileged position in that we can talk to them. We know the type of images that they use and how they use them. We have an excellent understanding of their processes and production standards and can use that to help them make better choices.

That’s been an exciting evolution of the business. Twenty-five years ago, we didn’t use to get involved in this kind of thing—like education and evangelization. We were simply a supplier that you’d come to for an image. However, because of our worldwide spread and the data that we have, we advise advertising and media on the type of media they should be using.

How is Getty helping marketers at SMEs present a more diverse image?

I do a lot of work with small businesses. That’s my passion. I love being able to work with people who’ve gone from their kitchen table to be on the cusp of being a brand. SMEs are a key market for us, and we create an array of education documents and guides that can help them improve their visual language. 

I think the diversity message is cutting through to small business more quickly than large ones. With an SME, you’re usually working with someone who understands that they’re talking to people who are like them or a diverse community. I’ve found that global organizations are more reticent about change. They are usually the people who have done promotion for many, many years and feel committed to doing things in a certain way. They are the ones who are not ready to make that move forward. 

It does feel like there is a strong business case for campaigns that feature diversity.

I think events like Cannes has been vital in helping to change people’s minds. You’ve started to see brands begin to speak up about their successes. Now that people are starting to see that it can work, it’s getting easier to have these kinds of conversations. 

I think evidence makes the conversation easier all round. It’s unfortunate, but often saying “this is the right thing to do” is one of the harder things to say to businesses.

Don’t we need people to have these hard conversations, though? I mean, someone had to take the chance on diversity in the first place.

Yes, we do, but we also need people in the industry to support one another and remain committed to the idea. We get asked to do things like this all the time, and one of the main reasons we partnered with Dove was because they have a track record in leading from the front. We knew that they would stick with it. We needed someone who would take that chance with us.