New Targeting Restrictions On Facebook Come Into Effect Soon

This week, Facebook publishes a reminder addressed to marketers and developers about new targeting restrictions coming into effect in September and YouTube is revamping manual content ID claiming policies after receiving numerous complaints from creators.

Also, Instagram follows in Snapchat’s footsteps again and opens AR filter creation tools to all users. Facebook is on a mission to help film studios promote new movies; LinkedIn provides more engagement insights; YouTube expands Super Chat creator payment option to more countries worldwide, Twitter wants users to follow interests instead of accounts and more. 

Facebook: New Targeting Restrictions Come Into Effect Soon

Facebook is expanding its efforts to control discriminatory ad targeting by removing some targeting options in certain business categories.

Why it matters: The ultimate goal of the initiative is to prevent businesses from using Facebook ad tools to limit audiences in an unfair manner. 

The company explained, “We’re committed to protecting people from discrimination on Facebook, and as part of this commitment, we announced changes earlier this year to all ads that offer housing, employment and credit opportunities. Advertisers, developers, and partners must specify whether or not their ads fall under either the category of housing, employment or credit. They can do so by selecting a Special Ad Category, and once a category is selected in Ads Manager or via the Marketing API, a limited set of targeting options will then be available.”

The details: Key dates to keep in mind: 

  • Sept. 16, 2019: Special Ad Category features will be made available, and developers should begin implementing the above changes ahead of time to avoid any interruptions.
  • Dec. 4, 2019: All new campaigns must comply by this date, or these campaigns will no longer continue to run. 
  • Starting in 2020, advertisers and developers will be required to modify any ongoing campaigns that began prior to Dec. 4 to comply with the new requirements. 

YouTube Updates Content ID Claim Policies

The video sharing platform is updating its Content ID claims process

Why it matters: The move promises to help reduce some of the most frustrating and unfair claims and relieve pressure on creators, as some publishers have been taking ad revenue from YouTube creators for the smallest of infringements. 

“One concerning trend we’ve seen is aggressive manual claiming of very short music clips used in monetized videos. These claims can feel particularly unfair, as they transfer all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the amount of music claimed,” YouTube said in a blog post. 

The company explained that going forward, the policies will forbid copyright owners from using YouTibe’s Manual Claiming tool to monetize creator videos with very short or unintentional uses of music. Per YouTibe, this change only impacts claims made with the Manual Claiming tool, where the rights holder is actively reviewing the video. Claims created by the Content ID match system, which are the vast majority, are not impacted by this policy.

Instagram Makes AR Filter Creation Tools Available To All Users

Instagram is making Spark AR filter creation platform open to all users and introducing a new user-created visual tools library. 

Why it matters: The initiative provides more visual effect tools and creative opportunities to all Instagram users.

“Starting today, anyone can create and publish their own Spark AR effects on Instagram. We’re also introducing the new Effect Gallery, which will include niche AR effects from up-and-coming artists, making it easier for people to discover unique effects from the creator community,” the company said in a blog post. 

The details: To access new effects, users need to find “Browse Effects” option, which now lives at the end of the effects tray in the Instagram Camera. They will be then taken to the library of audience-originated visual tools.

Facebook Will Help Film Studios Promote Their Latest Releases

The new Facebook ad units will remind the users when a movie comes out and help purchase tickets. This week, the company made movie reminder ads and showtime ads available to all studios in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Why it matters: Jen Howard, Facebook’s group director for entertainment and technology, told TechCrunch that the move should provide the Hollywood studios with a seamless way to connect their ads with movie ticket purchases. And said that it allows them to address “the full funnel” of viewer interest, and is “really starting to get them closer to a direct-to-consumer experience with moviegoers.”

The details: A movie reminder ad allows studios to include an “Interested” button in their Facebook ads, enabling users to opt-in to a notification when the film is released.  The moviegoers then will get a reminder pointing them to a page with showtimes and ticket purchase options from Fandango and Atom Tickets on Friday before opening weekend. 

The second ad unit, called a showtime ad, will help in a later stage of a marketing campaign, when the movie is already playing. The ads will feature a “Get Showtimes” button, designed to direct users to that same detail page with showtimes and ticket purchase links. 

LinkedIn Offers New Engagement Insights

LinkedIn announced an expansion of the LinkedIn Partner Program–Audience Engagement and offered new engagement insights. 

Why it matters: The new LinkedIn insights are designed to aid marketers in their efforts to improve content strategy and deliver better ROI for LinkedIn ad campaigns and organic posts. 

The details: The new partners include Amobee, Annalect, Hootsuite, Ogilvy and Sprinklr. They’ve all integrated the LinkedIn Audience Engagement API to enable marketers to discover new audiences, produce more effective content that drives engagement and measure its performance against industry benchmarks. 

Stefan Krepiakevich, VP, Alliances, Hootsuite said about the partnership, “As a strategic partner of LinkedIn, we are thrilled to be one of the first partners to have access to LinkedIn’s Audience Engagement API to deliver added value to our Hootsuite Impact customers. The added capabilities will enable Hootsuite Impact customers to discover new audiences to improve campaign targeting while increasing organic and paid performance on LinkedIn.” 

YouTube Expands Super Chat Creator Payment Option To 19 More Regions

YouTube rolled out “Super Chat” live-stream tipping option, which provides an additional revenue stream for live-stream producers on the video sharing platform to more countries around the globe. 

Why it matters: With “Super Chat,” live-stream viewers can pay to have their comment featured more in a chat stream and access to the option will provide additional opportunities for video creators worldwide. 

The details: Originally, “Super Chat” was available to YouTube streamers in 40 countries, but now the program is expanded to additional 19 regions, including Belarus, South Africa and El Salvador.

Twitter Is Testing Topic Follow Feature 

Per The Verge, users on Twitter will soon be able to follow topics and discover tweets about subjects of their interest inside the timeline. 

Why it matters: The initiative in testing is a part of the social media company’s goal to apply personalization and help users discover the best content on the platform based on their interests.

The details: If implemented after testing, the option will enable users to follow topics including sports teams, celebrities and television shows, with selected tweets dedicated to them and inserted alongside tweets in their home feeds. Twitter will curate topics with the help of machine learning instead of editorial curation. 

The feature is currently being tested on Android and only allows sports-related interests to be followed, Rob Bishop, a Twitter product manager told The Verge. 

Facebook Responds To Evidence Allegation In Cambridge Analytica Data Case

Head of Facebook’s U.K. public policy, Rebecca Stimson’s letter, addressed to Parliament, pushed back against suggestions by Damian Collins, the head of the digital, culture, media and sport committee that Facebook provided inconsistent evidence to a U.K committee investigating the social giant’s role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. 

Why it matters: Facebook executives were questioned by Collins about whether the company was transparent about when it first learned about issues with Cambridge Analytica, citing statements the social network made to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in ongoing litigation by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Cook County, Ill. prosecutor Kim Foxx. 

The details: Stimson said such a statement “is not the case” and also said Facebook first learned through media reports in December 2015 about “Aleksandr Kogan / GSR’s improper transfer of data to Cambridge Analytica.” Per Stimson, Facebook heard speculation about data scraping by Cambridge Analytica in September 2015, but didn’t learn Kogan had sold the data until December that year. 

WordPress Acquires Tumblr From Verizon 

Tumblr is being sold to WordPress for less than $3 million, The Drum reports

Why it matters: Changes are ahead for the social media company, which was bought by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, and assimilated into the Verizon when it acquired Yahoo in 2017.

The details: According to The Drum, Tubmlr has lost almost a third of its traffic since all pornography and sexually explicit content was banned in 2018. Although it is still hosting over 450 million blogs, the platform remains unprofitable. 

WordPress owner, Automattic, however, promised to maintain the porn ban and keep all 200 Tumblr employees.

Study Finds 28 Percent Of Marketers Have Trouble Delivering In-App Video 

Mobile video software company Penthera conducted research which indicates that more than one-fourth (28 percent) of surveyed marketers struggle with delivering in-app video.

Why it matters: According to Mobile Marketer, in-application advertising is currently the fastest growing form of mobile advertising. In fact, United States app-install ad revenue is estimated to grow to more than $7 billion by the end of 2020. 

The details: The biggest issues that marketers say they face in relation to in-app video are awareness (50 percent), low engagement (41 percent) and inadequate metrics (40 percent).

Facebook Approaches US News Outlets To Launch News Section

Facebook is reportedly taking a first big step towards launching a dedicated, “trusted” news section on the platform. 

Why it matters: The move can be seen as a response to Facebook’s Trending News section failure last year. And before that, the Trending News listing became controversial in 2016 when suggestions that Facebook employees had manually amplified and/or suppressed stories in its Trending headlines were made. 

The details: According to Wall Street Journal, Facebook offered news outlets “millions of dollars” for the rights to publish their content in a dedicated news section, which is planned for launch by the end of 2019.

“Representatives from Facebook have told news executives they would be willing to pay as much as $3 million a year to license headlines and previews of articles from news outlets,” WSJ reported. 

Twitter To Allow Users To Subscribe To Replies 

Twitter announced a new feature in testing, which will allow users to subscribe to replies of specific tweets. 

Why it matters: The feature will make an addition to the already existing notifications feature for “must-follow” accounts and will help users follow conversations as they progresses on the platform with more ease. 

The details: Now, when the users click the bell icon, they can choose three options: subscribe to the “top” replies, subscribe to all replies and turn reply notifications off.

According to the company, top replies will include those from the author, anyone they mentioned and people you follow.

Telegram Launches A Feature That Prevents Users From Texting Too Often 

An instant messaging app, Telegram, introduced “Slow Mode,” a tool that aids group admins on the app in better controlling the members’ engagement.  

Why it matters: Per Telegram, the new feature’s purpose is to make conversations in groups “more orderly” and to raise the “value of each individual message.” It suggested admins to “keep [the feature] on permanently, or toggle as necessary to throttle rush hour traffic.” 

The details: Now group administrator are able to control how often a member can send a message in the group. In a group that chooses to use the tool, members who have sent a text will need to wait from 30 seconds to an hour before texting again. 

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, August 16th. 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

BuzzFeed CMO Exits; Malaysia Airlines Appoints Global Marketing Exec

This week’s marketing moves include Buzzfeed’s CMO leaving the role in January 2020 to grow the experiential toy store partly owned by the publisher and Malaysia Airlines naming new head of global marketing. 

Also, former Kia Motors CMO joining Volkswagen America, CAA Veteran David Messinger becoming Activision Blizzard’s first corporate-wide CMO,ex-Sky chief marketing officer Luke Bradley-Jones heading to Disney, continued leadership shifts at Uber including the hiring of Thomas Ranese as VP of global marketing, as well as the appointment of Sara Tervo to the role of chief marketing officer for fashion retailer Express, Inc.

BuzzFeed CMO Exits The Role 

Ben Kaufman, BuzzFeed’s chief marketing officer, will be exiting the role to head experiential family retail store Camp. 

On Wednesday, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced in a memo that Kaufman is “planning to shift into an active advisory role at BuzzFeed, as Camp continues to expand and require more of his day-to-day attention.”

According to his LinkedIn, Kaufman held the role of Buzzfeed CMO for almost three years, previously serving as chief commerce officer. He is also CEO and co-founder of CAMP. 

Malaysia Airlines Appoints Global Marketing Exec

Wai Kuan Wong is joining Malaysia Airlines as head of global marketing. 

At MAB, Wong will be in charge of overseeing strategic branding and global marketing in promoting as well as strengthening MAB brand position, developing alliances and strategic partnerships, growing eCommerce and managing content, assets and paid media.

Before joining MAB, she worked at Themed Attractions Resorts and Hotels for over eight years, most recently as senior VP of group marketing. She served as assistant VP of branding at Maybank.

An airline spokesperson said about the hiring: “With over 20 years in brand and marketing, Wong has vast knowledge and experience in leisure and tourism industry, banking and FMCG.”

Former Kia Motors CMO Is Heading To Volkswagen 

Saad Chehab, who spent almost two years as CMO at Kia Motors, managing global marketing for Maserati, will join Volkswagen America as senior Vice President of VW brand marketing.

Chehab previously led marketing for the Chrysler and Lancia brands. At VW, he will be in charge of the marketing strategy at VW, including VW’s new brand campaign, “Drive Bigger.” Chehab will report to  Scott Keogh, the head of the VW Group in the U.S.

CAA Veteran David Messinger Becomes Activision Blizzard’s CMO

David Messinger will join Activision Blizzard as the company’s first corporate-wide chief marketing officer, Variety reports.

Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA will report to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO and will manage will the global marketing operations across all of the video-game company’s brands.

Johnson said in a statement that Messinger’s “tenure in global entertainment and his expertise in strategic, award-winning marketing campaigns will help our communities to grow and further inspire our players to connect, compete and play.”

Luke Bradley-Jones Hired By Disney

Disney welcomed Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s former CMO, as new senior vice-president, direct-to-consumer and general manager for the region.

Bradley-Jones will report to Jan Koeppen, president, television and direct-to-consumer, Europe and Africa and Michael Paull, president, Disney streaming services and will oversee Disney+ streaming service in Europe and Africa.

Ex-Google Marketer Joins Uber As Global Marketing VP

In what seems to be the culmination of departmental upheaval and leadership overhauls, ex-Google marketer Thomas Ranese has been picked up by Uber to serve as VP of global marketing. 

Ranese will lead marketing for Uber internationally, including branding, creative and team management. His 10 years at Google included him leading global hardware marketing across a number of Google devices. 

Prior to a decade at Google, he served as chief marketing officer of New York State where he had a hand in re-launching the noted “I Love NY” campaign.

Express Appoints Sara Tervo To  EVP, CMO Positions

Fashion retailer Express, Inc. named Sara Tervo as executive president and chief marketing officer. 

According to the press release announcing her new role, she will be tasked with overseeing “all aspects of marketing and creative services with responsibility for brand strategy and positioning, customer insights and loyalty.”

Tervo joins Express, Inc. from Justice where she served as EVP and CMO since 2016. She also served as EVP of marketing for the Victoria’s Secret brand portfolio, in addition to other senior leadership positions for PINK..

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, August 16th. 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 OfficerBumbleAustin, TX
Vice President, Film MarketingNew York UniversityBrooklyn, NY
Chief, Marketing And Communications OfficerSCRRA/MetrolinkLos Angeles, CA
Senior Vice President of MarketingClear Channel OutdoorNew York, NY
Vice President of Marketing, InternationalRokuSan Jose, CA
Chief Marketing OfficerFounders Brewing Co.Grand Rapids, MI

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

Qualcomm’s Penny Baldwin Discusses 5G’s Marketing Impact

This week on “Marketing Today,” I interview Penny Baldwin, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm. Baldwin is actually the first ever CMO at Qualcomm, a leading technology company specializing in wireless solutions and an architect of 5G technology. Baldwin’s past career experiences include general manager, global brand management, and new technology group marketing at Intel, as well as CMO at McAfee, and senior vice president of global brand strategy and marketing at Yahoo!.

Baldwin talks about the growing excitement and capabilities around 5G technology and what exactly that means to marketers. She clearly explains several 5G capabilities like browsing the web five times faster and being able to download a movie in a minute, and how 5G can be used in entirely different industries like healthcare, retail, and autonomous vehicles. She discusses her early years in advertising and even opens up about her upbringing, having two deaf parents.

Baldwin discusses her wide-ranging advertising and marketing experience by saying, “Once you cross over from the agency side to the client side, you come to realize that marketing is so much more robust than any one discipline or channel.” She continues by stating, “the entire marketing mix needs to be orchestrated on a much bigger stage and no one component apart is more important than the other.”

5G isn’t the first time Qualcomm has created a large technological advancement. Baldwin says, “Thanks to Mobile GPS, we gave rise to Uber as an entirely new business model. Riding-sharing didn’t exist before 4G technology was available.”  

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Penny Baldwin introduces herself and how she began her career in advertising. (01:18)
  • What was Penny’s experience like at tech companies like Yahoo and Intel? (01:54)
  • What does Qualcomm do and how does it fit into the global technology ecosystem? (02:36)
  • What is 5G and what makes it so transformative? (04:48)
  • What does it mean when your brand becomes the industry standard? (07:05)
  • How does Penny market all of this advanced technology to the marketplace? (08:01)
  • What are some new uses and experiences that 5G will enable? (09:37)
  • What does Penny’s marketing team organization look like? (12:35)
  • What applications in marketing can be related to 5G? (15:20)
  • Is there an experience of Penny’s past that has made her who she is? (19:37)
  • What advice would Penny Baldwin give to her younger self? (21:47)
  • What fuels and motivates Penny these days? (22:22)
  • Are there any companies, brands, or organizations that Penny Baldwin believes marketers should pay attention to? (23:21)
  • What does Penny Baldwin feel is the future of marketing? (24:07)

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Report: Teens Rely Heavily On Social Media And Influencers For News

More than half of teens—54 percent—get news at least a few times a week from social media platforms and 50 percent get news from YouTube, per a new study. Despite their reliance on influencers and video recommendations, many admit to being more confused after viewing.

It can be tough these days, even for adults, to separate fact from opinion and spam on the internet. Exploring this idea, Common Sense Media, a non-profit that teaches digital literacy and provides product reviews, used SurveyMonkey to ask how US teens consume their news.

Forty-one percent of teens surveyed indicated that they keep up on current events through news organizations in print or online at least a few times a week. TV is less popular as a news source, at just 37 percent. Of teens who obtain information from news organizations, 65 percent say it helps them better understand what is going on.

While more teens consume news through social media, just about half—53 percent—say it helps them better understand what is going on, while 19 percent say it has made them “more confused” about current events.

As the new generation prepares to vote in the 2020 US presidential election, it becomes more vital for consumers to tell real news versus propaganda and opinion, says CommonSense. Of those age 16 and 17 who say they’ll be eligible to vote in the 2020 election, 85 percent were “likely” to cast a ballot, with 61 percent saying “very likely.”

“These findings raise concerns about what kind of news the next generation is using to shape their decisions,” said James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense in a release. “There are few standards for what constitutes news and how accurately it’s portrayed on the platforms teens use. With the 2020 election coming up, we need to make sure teens are getting their news from reliable sources, thinking critically, and making informed decisions.”

As the name suggests, “influencers” play a large role in how teenagers perceive current events. Sixty percent of teens who get news from YouTube say they are more likely to get it from celebrities, influencers and personalities, compared to 39 percent from news organizations. This is especially true among daily YouTube users, at 71 percent.

Algorithms play a major role, as well—a concern discussed at length on Capital Hill on more than one occasion. Among teens who find news on YouTube, half of them told SurveyMonkey that it was recommended as a “Watch Next” or video in the sidebar.

This SurveyMonkey Audience survey was conducted on June 14 to 25 among 1,005 teenagers age 13 to 17 in the United States.

Social Advertising Spend Increases, Becomes More Platform Diverse, According To Report

Marketers are spending more on social advertising and exploring a wider variety of platforms, according to a new study by Hanapin Marketing.

The State of Paid Social found that 97 percent of surveyed marketers are currently spending on social advertising, an increase of 10 percent compared to 2018. In addition, those who are spending more than half of their budget on social went up three percent.

Hanapin speculates that the rise in social advertising could be a direct response to rising cost-per-click (CPC) in search, which continues to climb year over year. Another possible reason is that additional platforms, including Reddit and Quora, have recently introduced new targeting options and ad formats for brands.

Facebook remains the top social advertising platform, with 91 percent of respondents using it. However, 26 percent indicated plans to reduce spending on Facebook ads over the coming year. Of those, 30 percent cited Facebook’s scandals and privacy issues as the cause.

Those remaining 2019 ad dollars are instead being funneled into Instagram (20 percent more) and YouTube (38 percent more) compared to last year.

In 2020, marketers intend to explore more options, the study found. Quora, in particular, has piqued the interest of marketers in the year ahead. Whereas nine percent planned to increase ad spend on Quora in 2019, that number is now 27 percent. Hanapin adds that nearly double the amount of agencies reported that they would pitch Quora to their clients than last year.

YouTube is another outlet that is expected to attract more ad spend in 2020, with 51 percent of respondents indicating a planned increase. Snapchat, despite recently adding new advertising options, is not attracting more respondents’ budgets in the coming year. While eight percent plan to spend more on the platform, the same number is likely to decrease spending.

The success of social marketing ads differs depending on the devices on which they are viewed, according to respondents. LinkedIn, for example, is the most successful on desktops but Facebook does better on mobile devices. (Note: Measurement of success was not disclosed in the report.)

Last year, carousel ads were all the rage but that dynamic has shifted to video ads, lead ad forms and dynamic product ads.

“We are becoming conditioned to favor video as a means of communication and it is unsurprising that social media consumption would reflect that behavior,“ the report indicates.

The State of Paid Social report was based on data from a survey of 273 marketers working for either for brands or agencies, holding a variety of roles from manager to C-level executive. The segments represented retail, SaaS, technology, business services, real estate, manufacturing, insurance, publishing, consumer services and wellness and fitness.

Poland Spring Cause Marketing Campaign Helps Instagram Users Sort Recyclables

Poland Spring launched an Instagram campaign that creates a photo-based recycling “hotline” for consumers. The activation, which continues Nestlé’s plastic reduction initiative, sorts trash from recyclables and rewards participation with donations to The Recycling Partnership—a non-profit that assists communities with recycling efforts.

From August 12-23, consumers can post photos or Instagram Stories of waste items and tag Poland Spring Water along with the hashtag #NotTrash. The brand, together with The Recycling Partnership, will respond with whether or not the items in question can be recycled.

“We are constantly listening to [consumers] to understand their needs and preferences,” Yumiko Clevenger-Lee, vice president and chief marketing officer of Nestlé Waters North America said in a release. “What we’re hearing is that consumers are concerned and confused about plastic bottles.”

Poland Spring will donate $150,000 to The Recycling Partnership to continue the non-profit’s efforts to increase and improve local recycling efforts. For every qualifying #NotTrash Instagram post, Nestlé Waters North America will donate another dollar up to $2,500.

The cause marketing campaign will be promoted on Z100’s nationally-syndicated “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” and its US network of 75 affiliate stations.       

The bottled water brand offers a 100 percent recycled plastic bottle for its 1 liter and 1.5 liter still water sizes. In June, Nestlé vowed to convert all its individual-sized still water bottles to 100 percent recycled plastic by 2022 and in 2018, announced plans to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by the year 2025.

“How2Recycle” instructional labels will be expanded to all Poland Spring packaging to further assist consumers in keeping plastic out of landfills. This initiative, together with Nestlé’s partnerships were created to help remove “some of the confusion about recycling,” said Clevenger-Lee.

Consumers—especially young ones—cite the environment as a growing concern, but not everyone is willing or able to do something about it. While 91 percent of millennials blamed humans for climate change, only 78 percent said they would be willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Shaper Survey. Nestlé hopes that a bit of education and awareness will go a long way. 

Other brands have taken to “shock” consumers by installing plastic waste in public view to give a sense of scale.

In November, PepsiCo’s SodaStream brand launched a touring art installation that protested the use of plastic bottles. “Drowning Liberty,” a 20-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty “drowning” inside a steel cage filled with plastic bottles, was created in partnership with the Oceanic Society.

Corona installed billboards in London, Melbourne, Santiago, Bogota, Santo Domingo and Lima last June that depict actor Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers: End Game) surfing with the slogan “From where you’d rather be.” The brand then gathered around 3,306 lbs of plastic from nearby beaches to build sculptures on top of the billboards, transforming the blue ocean surf a “wave of waste.”

Brands are responding to environmental concerns by reducing or removing plastic wherever possible. Single-use items like plastic water bottles and plastic straws are being rejected by a number of brands including Bacardi, Marriott, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

JetBlue Touts Its Service, Blames Bad Air Travel On Fictional ‘Just Alright Brothers’

JetBlue’s new campaign indirectly compares its own standards to competitors by blaming a fictional historical character of aviation. The tongue-in-cheek creative seeks to explain why air travel can be so frustrating—while the Wright Brothers invented air travel, the fictional “Just Alright Brothers” set the bar low for customer service.

“Just Alright Doesn’t Fly Here” includes three video spots—”Customer Disservice,” “The Just Alright Treatment” and “Just Alright Beginnings.” Each addresses common discomforts in modern air travel from unfriendly attendants to cramped seating and a lack of amenities onboard. JetBlue, meanwhile, touts its free Wi-Fi, unlimited snacks and legroom. 

Each spot recounts a fictional history of air travel in which the Just Alright Brothers go out of their way to offer the bare minimum of service to its customers. The spots end with JetBlue employees marveling at how some still choose to travel that way before greeting their own customers with a smile.

“This campaign is designed to shine a much-needed spotlight on the complacency that’s become an all too common part of the airline experience and show those who haven’t traveled with us before that there’s a better way to fly,” Elizabeth Windram, vice president of marketing at JetBlue said in a release.

In addition to video, the campaign will include TV, digital and billboard placement. JetBlue will also position its message on social media and radio via music streaming services. The ads will be strategically placed during times when consumers are already in a “just alright” mindset, the brand said, such as browsing the web or sitting in traffic.

JetBlue’s new marketing campaign is the first since 2013 when it launched “Air on the Side of Humanity,” a fictional public service announcement about the plight of air travelers. In both campaigns, the air travel brand plays to its strengths in a comedic way.

Low-cost carriers (LCCs) like JetBlue and Southwest Airlines have created a market for budget air travel in the US and beyond. According to CAPA Center for Aviation, LCCs accounted for 32 percent of seat capacity within North America in 2018. Compared to other global markets, however, LCC in North America is growing at the slowest rate.

A 2017 study by Google and Phocuswrite found that more than 60 percent of US consumers would consider an impulse leisure trip based on a good flight or hotel deal. As consumers seek new ways to save, setting itself apart with a personal connection will be vital to give travel brands a leg up on the competition. 

Truly Hard Seltzer Finds New Uses For Alcohol With Keegan-Michael Key

Truly Hard Seltzer invites consumers to “drink what you truly want” instead of more traditional spirits like beer, wine and liquor. Five video spots feature actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key (MadTV, Key & Peele) who demonstrates other uses for those leftover bottles.

In each spot, Key encounters a common, everyday task like cleaning, cooking on the barbeque or preparing for a date. It is then revealed that Key uses bottles of wine, beer and other spirits for these purposes instead of drinking them.

“Through this campaign, we are championing the idea of embracing Truly as a refreshing new choice compared to their old repertoire. Keegan-Michael Key brings levity and personality to the brand in a way that we think drinkers will connect with and will help us stand out in a meaningful way,” said Lesya Lysyj, CMO of Boston Beer Company, the parent of Truly Hard Seltzer, in a statement.

The video ads end with Key stating that Truly Hard Seltzer has 100 calories, one gram of sugar and five percent alcohol by volume—speaking directly to a growing base of health-conscious drinkers.

Hard seltzer sales have grown 193 percent year over year (YoY) as of the 52 weeks ended April 20, 2019. The segment has grown significantly, Nielsen speculates, thanks in part to a lower price, convenience and fewer calories than many other alcoholic beverages.

Consumers also prefer variety in their alcohol consumption. The most popular flavors of hard seltzer sold during the aforementioned period were “assorted flavors” at 66.2 percent followed by Stone Fruit at 11.8 percent.

AB InBev launched several marketing campaigns around its brand, Bon & Viv’s SpikedSeltzer, including a spot during Super Bowl LIII. Last August, the brand sought to connect with NYC locals impacted by the L Train shutdown by offering free bicycles and moving boxes.

The seltzer boon isn’t just for alcoholic beverages, either. Seltzer water has become increasingly popular with millennials, due in large part to the success of La Croix. In the last five years, the sales of carbonated water have grown 42 percent, according to Beverage Marketing Corp.

In August of 2018, PepsiCo acquired SodaStream for $3.2 billion in a move to expand their water portfolio as consumers move away from sugary, carbonated drinks. The reusable container also fits into a growing concern regarding plastic use among consumers.

Multicultural Ad Spending Is On The Rise, But Not Enough, According To Study

US marketers could be ignoring a key demographic, according to a report by PQ Media in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers Alliance (ANA). The report suggests a significant disparity between the US multicultural population and media marketing spend.

The US Multicultural Media Forecast 2019 report suggests that multicultural consumers make up almost 40 percent of the US population, but multicultural media spending makes up only 5.2 percent of total advertising and marketing spend.

“For years a number of smart companies have marketed to multicultural audiences, but those have been the exceptions, and to some extent, discussion on multicultural marketing has ‘preached to the choir,’” ANA group executive vice president Bill Duggan states in the report. “This new study identifies a clear opportunity for more marketers to engage multicultural consumers to drive business growth—and for those marketers still ‘sitting on the sidelines,’ it should encourage them to ‘get in the game.”

US multicultural media grew 5.6 percent, with revenues of $25.86 billion in 2018, according to the findings. Last year’s revenue was bolstered by marketing associated with political elections, Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.

PQ Media divided multicultural demographics into three revenue categories: Hispanic American, African American and Asian American. Of the three categories, Hispanic American Media was the largest in terms of size and growth, increasing 5.3 percent YoY to $17.94 billion. 

African American Media ranked second with $7.2 million, an increase of 6.1 percent YoY. Asian American Media grew the fastest at a rate of seven percent, reaching $722 million in revenue for 2018.

Out of 12 media platforms, television advertising was the largest in terms of multicultural media revenue at $7.67 million. Relationship marketing, promotional marketing, experiential marketing and digital advertising (pure-play) rounded out the top five at $4.62 million, $3.08 million, $2.67 million and 2.59 million, respectively.

Multicultural media was divided into those delivered in English and those in a bilingual or native language. English language advertising revenues outpaced others by $2 million, which seemed to correspond with the share of languages used in the media, with English accounting for nearly 54 percent

To increase engagement with multicultural audiences, ANA suggests that brands pay attention to digital advertising—a growing platform among the demographic.

The data was compiled using PQ Media’s proprietary mapping system, PQ Medianomics. Metrics included measured media buying strategies, marketing activations, languages used, advertising platforms and others.

Editors Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed the report solely to ANA.

Honda Partners With Riot Games, Becomes First North American Automaker To Sponsor Esports Team And League

Honda is expanding its presence in esports and strengthening its bond with the young consumer force by becoming the exclusive automotive sponsor of the Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). The initiative will make Honda the first North American automaker to be a sponsor of both a preeminent esports league (LCS) and Team Liquid, a team within the league. 

The car brand is strengthening its existing partnership with gaming leader and three-time LCS champion Team Liquid, and developing stronger ties to the streaming platform Twitch. According to the press release issued by the company, the effort will include sponsorship of the League MVP, the LCS Scouting Grounds (the premiere tournament for up and coming League of Legends players), access to advertising inventory live on LCS game days, as well as custom content highlighting the imagination and determination of the league’s top athletes.

To appeal to the young audience, four 15-second video spots were created for the initiative. The clips encourage viewers to “find their drive” and stay determined, and include feature spots with members of Team Liquid. They will run on Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The viewers see Doublelift, Hungrybox, Vivid, and CEO Steve Arhancet in custom-wrapped 2019 Honda Civics. 

Considering that Riot Games has been a dominant player in North American and global esports scene since its launch of League of Legends in 2009, the initiative promises to be especially successful. Over the last four years, League of Legends was the top esport in terms of viewership in North America, seeing 1.1 million average daily unique viewers and 26 million total hours watched during the LCS 2018 full season. With this move, Honda wants to prove its dedication to building an emotional bond with Gen-Z and millennial, and demonstrate that the Honda Civic is more than just an affordable car. 

Phil Hruska, manager of Media Strategy at American Honda said, “Through this partnership with the LCS, Honda will continue to forge a strong connection with the next generation of car buyers who happen to be fans of the incredible athletes of Team Liquid and the League of Legends Championship Series in North America. We understand the passion of esports fans and how strongly they support the gaming community, and Honda is fully vested in creating one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experiences for gamers as we launch the next phase of Honda’s endeavor in esports and gaming.” 

The partnership will launch around the Summer Split Playoffs, which will begin in Los Angeles on August 10, and the Finals, taking place in Detroit, Michigan on August 24-25.