Brands Bake Up National Pizza Month Activations

October marks National Pizza Month and brands like DiGiorno, California Pizza Kitchen and Pieology are baking up mobile and social activations to give Americans what they want—free pizza. 

Frozen pizza brand DiGiorno is breaking the ice by delivering free pizzas to five cities across the US, making a limited number of deliveries to one city each week of the month. Starting at midnight on October 1, DiGiornio is asking fans to help crowdsource two additional delivery locations by tweeting the name of their city using the hashtag #DeliverDiGiorno. The two cities that get the most mentions on Twitter will receive free oven-ready pizza delivered. To further celebrate its free deliveries, DiGiorno’s Twitter will feature a new customized tagline and logo throughout National Pizza Month.

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) and Grubhub are keeping the pizza party going with a partnership that’ll give away up to 10,000 free CPK take and bake pizzas, which the brand launched at CPK locations nationwide in July. CPK is also offering free delivery and one free take and bake pizza on all $15 minimum purchases via Grubhub. Underpinning CPK’s National Pizza Month activation is its third annual national pizza survey which found that Americans would choose pizza if they could only eat one food for the rest of their lives.

Conducted online via The Harris Poll, from August 26-28, the survey revealed that 40 percent of Americans would be willing to give up dating for a year in order to enjoy free pizza whenever they want. Similarly, 61 percent of millennials said they’d give up social media for an entire year just to have access to free pizza at all times. Respondents included 2,014 Americans ages 18 and older among whom 632 are 23-38 years old. 

Pieology is also sharing a slice of its pie with a month-long national sweepstake, “Scan, Score & More.” One grand prize winner will win free pizza for a year per restaurant at each of the brand’s domestic locations across the US, including Hawaii and Guam. Fifty runner-up winners will win prizes including tickets to Six Flags theme parks and movie tickets. For a chance to win prizes, fans must check-in at their local Pieology via the “Pie Life Rewards” app. Pieology has over 100 locations in the US.

Over Half Of Online Consumers Are Members Of Subscription Box Services

Over half (54 percent) of online shoppers are members of subscription box services, according to a report from Clutch. From services that replenish products to ones that offer exciting experiences to consumers, subscription box services deliver a personalized shopping experience straight to consumers’ doors. 

Respondents were asked to rank their favorite subscription box services, which fell into two of the top three categories—curated services, replenishment services and access services. The findings show that 29 percent of respondents receive packages from Dollar Shave Club, followed by Ipsy (21 percent), Blue Apron (17 percent), BarkBox (17 percent) and HelloFresh (16 percent). Dollar Shave Club uses humor and viral videos to promote its personal grooming products, Ipsy and BarkBox curate personalized products for makeup lovers and dog owners, respectively and Blue Apron gives customers new recipes to try in cost-effective quantities.

According to Clutch, subscription box services rose in demand due to three major trends: the popularity of ecommerc, social media’s prevalence and consumers’ growing comfort with paying for value over time. Within the last few years, consumers’ increasing comfort with buying items online has blurred the line between ecommerce companies and subscription service-only companies. Now it’s simply all direct-to-consumer ecommerce. Additionally, social media has allowed niche communities to develop that subscription box services can profit from. 

The report also points out that Netflix has potentially helped consumers feel okay with receiving ongoing value from a transaction that’s a long-term investment. Subscription box services, then, challenge the notion that items need to be a specific price. “A lot of times, [companies are] paying 2-4 months’ worth of revenue upfront to acquire a customer, and they need that 5th, 6th, 7th month of renewals to actually make any profit on that customer,” co-founder of Cratejoy, Amir Elaguizy told Clutch.

Clutch’s survey included 528 US respondents ranging from 18-64 years old who ordered an item online within the past six months. Among the respondents, 285 subscribe to a subscription box service. Sixty-six percent of respondents are female, and 34 percent are male.

Sierra Nevada Names Its First VP Of Marketing

This week in marketing moves, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. finds its first VP of marketing, Disney appoints former LendingTree CMO as executive VP; Tony Thomas leaves NOVA Entertainment after nine years and Juul Labs’ marketing team is undergoing major restructuring as the e-cigarette giant stops all its advertising in the US.

Noelle Haley Becomes Sierra Nevada’s First VP Of Marketing 

This week, the craft brewery hired Noelle Haley as its first VP of marketing. 

Most recently, Haley served as vice president of marketing and growth at Equator Coffees & Teas and at Sierra Nevada, she will be responsible for setting the vision, strategy and leadership for the brewery’s marketing, advertising, creative, communications, product marketing and product development. 

She will report to chief commercial officer Joe Whitney, who said about the new hire: “Noelle joins Sierra Nevada with invaluable experience as an accomplished marketing leader. Her extensive background, paired with our shared values and her passion for creating compelling customer experiences, will be instrumental in leading our marketing team.”

Disney Appoints A VP Performance Marketing For Its DTC Streaming Platforms

This week, Walt Disney Company taps Brad Wilson as executive VP, performance marketing for Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming platforms.

In his new role, Wilson will oversee performance marketing for ESPN+ and Disney+ streaming services, as well as supervise data-driven and digital market strategies.

Wilson’s most recently served as CMO at LendingTree and had previously worked for Travelocity, Blockbuster Online and

Tony Thomas Leaves CMO Post At NOVA Entertainment

Tony Thomas has resigned from his post as a CMO at Australian entertainment company NOVA Entertainment. 

Thomas has been with NOVA for over nine years, overseeing the growth and diversification of the company. Previously, he worked for Coles Group, ninemsn, Diego and PepsiCo.

‘There are so many highlights of my time at NOVA Entertainment such as launching the hugely successful smoothfm radio brand, the invention of Nova’s Red Room, leading the launch and importantly, building a team of marketing professionals who are the best in the media business,” Thomas said in a statement

Juul Labs Stops All Advertising In The US, Replaces CEO 

The chief executive officer of Juul Labs, Kevin Burns, stepped down today to be replaced by K.C. Crosthwaite, chief growth officer from Altria, The New York Times reports, as the e-cigarette company finds itself under extreme investigation over its marketing practices

“I have long believed in a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose alternative products like JUUL. That has been this company’s mission since it was founded, and it has taken great strides in that direction. Unfortunately, today that future is at risk due to unacceptable levels of youth usage and eroding public confidence in our industry. Against that backdrop, we must strive to work with regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders, and earn the trust of the societies in which we operate,” Crosthwaite, said in a statement. Welcomes Farmers Insurance’s Former CMO As Chief Revenue Officer 

Mike Linton has left Farmers Insurance, where he served as enterprise CMO for over eight years, to join as the company’s chief revenue officer, Forbes reports

At, Linton will oversee the company’s growth, marketing and product, as is looking to shift from its genealogy roots to its genetic DNA offerings.

“I’m really excited about what the company is doing and where it’s going. I think it’s on the forefront of a lot of things. Surely, it’s the world leader in genealogy as well as DNA. I like the principles the company has. I like the technology. I think both the database and the way the company is committed to its customers are exciting. And it’s on the forefront of a bunch of innovations that are going to matter today and tomorrow,” Linton said about his new role.

Ellie Doty Appointed As CMO And SVP At Chili’s

Ellie Doty, who served as VP of marketing and culinary at Chili’s since 2017, has been promoted to SVP and CMO at the restaurant chain.

As a VP at Chili’s, she was responsible for the development of several of the brand’s value-focused initiatives. According to Restaurant Business, Doty’s promotion was due to her success in boosting traffic and sales.

Former Sysomos CMO Joins GSTV As First CMO 

GSTV hired Mark Young as the media company’s first CMO, Campaign reports

Young previously served as the chief marketing officer at Sysomos and most recently consulted GSTV on its go-to-market strategy. He also held senior marketing positions at Microsoft Advertising and ClearChannel.

Per Campaign, Young will supervise GSTV’s marketing, communications and brand creative initiatives.

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, September 27. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Global CMOPopeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Miami, FL
Vice President, Film MarketingNew York UniversityBrooklyn, NY
Chief Communications And Marketing OfficerUC San DiegoSan Diego, CA
Senior Vice President Of MarketingClear Channel OutdoorNew York, NY
SVP–Creative MarketingWalt Disney TelevisionBurbank, CA
Vice President, Marketing Int’l International Distribution And ProductionsSony Pictures Entertainment Inc.Culver City, CA

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

What Is DTC? DTC Brands Disagree On Definitions

At Advertising Week New York, panelists sought to find a common definition of DTC. While there was some overlap between the definitions provided, there were also points of disagreement around what constitutes a direct-to-consumer brand.

Moderator Jeff Fagel, SVP and head of marketing at Epsilon and Conversant, began Wednesday’s ‘Breaking Down DTC’ panel with a level-setting quote from Henry McNamara at Great Oaks Venture Capital:

“The term “‘direct-to-consumer’ is outdated. The opportunity isn’t about being strictly direct, but having a way to engage and interact with customers, knowing what customers want and meeting the customers where they already are.”

Heather Steiger, senior marketing manager at Freshly, disagreed. The concept of direct-to-consumer is basic, she said. “I am basically cutting out all intermediaries, I’m going straight to the consumer and selling my wares.”

Chris Moore, head of strategic partnerships at Publishers Clearing House, agreed. “There’s a level of engagement directly between the brand or company and the consumer.”

While most panelists were aligned that there is some direct relationship between so-called DTC brands and their customers, some approached the problem of defining DTC tangentially, focusing on the relationship consumers have with DTC products rather than the relationships they have with the brands behind them.

Steiger reasoned along these lines. 

“DTC all came about because they were trying to solve a problem. If you hate grocery shopping, a DTC brand will pop-up to say “this is how we’ll solve that problem,” she said. “It all (came) about to think about a different way to do all the traditional things we used to do.”

“Do you consider Freshly DTC even though there’s still a level closer to the consumer, you can go to a farm stand, or somewhere before that?” asked PCH’s Chris Moore.

“If you want to just eat an apple, yeah. But if you want risotto and you don’t want to have to cook it you can go to Freshly.” Steiger said.

Tracey Kambies, Deloitte’s US retail and consumer products sector and global analytics ecosystems and alliances lead, also defined DTC on a product-basis. 

‘Direct-to-consumer has to focus really hard on having a quality product and reaching the consumer directly, like we talked about, that ‘faux purpose’ of DTC, but if your product isn’t good […] then you will automatically lose. We’ve seen a lot of brands that enter the market, have an interesting concept or product that may fit a need or was ethically inclined to the values of (consumers), but it did not actually deliver. It didn’t meet my expectations of what I was paying for to have that direct experience.”

Not all panelists agreed with this approach, however.

“Hasn’t this just always been true?” counterposed Dan Levi, chief marketing officer at ClearChannel. 

“What’s different here is not the importance of a good product—it’s the velocity that that happens. In the traditional retail model, you’re manufacturing and distributing that product at a much slower pace, I think the beauty of DTC is that constant direct customer relationship and the feedback and engagement gives you the ability to optimize that product,” Levi said.

At ‘The Changing Face Of DTC Brands,’ moderator Anna Hensel of Modern Retail began her panel in a similar search for the core of DTC. She noted that earlier in the week someone had described DTC as a mindset, which she did not fully agree with, but noted, “not all of the brands that say they’re direct-to-consumer are selling just direct-to-consumer.”

Alternately, Fluide co-founder Laura Kraber suggested that perhaps DTC is a mindset, noting that most brands don’t believe they can be exclusively DTC at this stage. “We want to have a direct relationship with our consumers and sell online. DTC is a mindset in the sense that you’re building a community online and are focused on that direct relationship.”

At the same panel, Shopify’s CMO, Jeff Weiser, put DTC into an historical context: 

“One of the things we always like to remind people of is that direct-to-consumer is really the natural state of commerce. You don’t really have, until the 1800’s with the rise of the department store as a shopping experience, (something that’s) gone beyond exchanging goods, or with any intermediation in commerce at all.”

Debates about definition aside, 80 percent of consumer brands believe DTC brands are impacting how they think about marketing.

Brands Enter Uncluttered TikTok Market As Influencer Marketing Gains Traction

Originally published on ION.

(Editor’s note: AList is published by To get up to speed on the rapid changes affecting the influencer marketing landscape, click here.)

Five years ago, popular lip-syncing app was formed. About two years ago, Beijing-based ByteDance acquired and renamed it TikTok, thereafter launching in Europe. Since then, the short-form video platform beloved by Gen Z is quickly gaining traction for its user-friendly experience and the rise of the platform’s unfiltered influencer. 

TikTok is now available in 75 different languages across 150 global markets. Since debuting, the app has been downloaded 950 million times. The app allows users to create videos that range from 15 seconds to one minute long with the option to add music as well as branded hashtag challenges. Sony Pictures, American Eagle Outfitters and Gymshark are among the first brands to dip their toes into the relatively uncluttered market—and for good reason, as Forrester predicts short video ad spending will reach $6.5 billion in 2020, up from $2.1 billion in 2018.

Short-form videos as an effective format to lower the barrier for creation are part of TikTok’s grand plan. Unlike YouTube, for which brands and influencers pour considerable thought into, TikTok features creators as their raw selves, in mostly unedited videos doing quirky things like lip-syncing and dancing like no one’s watching (think: watermelon dress challenges and animal emoji karaoke). Part of TikTok’s appeal is that the platform is planned around specific challenges that include hashtags and memes, then it presents content to users based on their watch habits.

In addition to branded hashtag challenges, TikTok’s features include branded augmented reality (AR) lens, limited-time brand takeover ads and more recently, it started testing in-feed video ads. The platform has become so popular that it created its own “Best TikTok Compilations” YouTube channel, which has accumulated 1.4 million subscribers. 

TikTok is where users go to engage rather to connect with friends and family, and because its ad platform is still being developed, influencers are the best place to play right now on TikTok. If influencers aren’t a big part of your TikTok strategy, it’s hard to rely on just their ad tools. If you have the right audience, however, it’s worth trying.

Despite TikTok’s nascence, some influencers on the platform are able to make a living via brand partnerships. Take popular TikToker Holly H, for example. The 22-year-old West Sussex native has 14.7 million fans on TikTok where, according to Vice, her posts have been liked over 285 million times. Holly admitted she doesn’t plan her videos, but rather, makes content that comes to mind. In one sponsored video, Holly is shown lip-syncing a scene from Nickelodeon’s Victorious to Gen Z singer Billie Eilish’s song “Bad Guy.” Recently, Holly worked on an ad for the movie How to Train Your Dragon 3.

Then there’s Leanne Bailey, a baker who named her TikTok channel @thebaileybakery after her real-life Kentucky-based business. Since starting on TikTok, Bailey has amassed 4.4 million fans and posts a sponsored video once weekly. Music labels often pay Bailey to use a particular song, the influencer told BuzzFeed News. 

At the start of 2019, UK-based online gym wear retailer, Gymshark, announced a “66 Days Change Your Life” personal goal challenge, calling on users to upload an initial photo on January 1 then uploading both the initial photo and an updated photo 66 days later, on March 8. In return, winners would receive a year’s supply of Gymshark goods. Gymshark not only helped users improve themselves but the brand also naturally created a connection with fans. To raise awareness of the 66 days challenge, Gymshark tapped six influencers in categories across health, lifestyle, fitness and dance.

For its second 2019 TikTok challenge, Chipotle asked fans to come up with a dance with the hashtag #GuacDance. To raise awareness about the dance-off, the brand tapped Youtubers Loren Gray and Brent Rivera. The activation garnered 532,388,592 views and 24,714 posts that incorporated Dr. Jean’s “The Guacamole Song.” In addition to engaging TikTok’s Gen Z users, Chipotle was able to promote orders online and on its mobile app given that entry required ordering from either.

Sony Pictures has also experienced success with TikTok. In its effort to promote a song from the US band, AJR Brothers, the company tapped TikTok influencer duo Max and Harvey. The duo created a challenge using AJR Brothers’ “100 Bad Days” and a hashtag to accompany it for a chance to meet them and the AJR Brothers at their London concert. The lighthearted video received 230,000 views and 40,000 likes.

Guess encouraged TikTok users to create and share videos using the #InMyDenim and Bebe Rexha song “I’m A Mess.” The six-day campaign was part of the apparel company’s strategy to promote its autumn season denim collection. Over 5,000 entries were submitted and Guess’s newly created account got 12,000 followers and 10.5 million views on its videos.

This month, American Eagle Outfitters used TikTok’s latest ad unit, the in-feed video, for a back-to-school campaign that includes a fall collection made in collaboration with rapper Lil Wayne. The challenge called for users to post videos of themselves in pieces from the collection with the rapper’s “Uproar” song.

The content the resonates well on TikTok is younger by nature. If you’re on there as a brand and your typical demographic is older, the content and audience aren’t going to feel right since those go hand in hand. That being said, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have a natural Gen Z audience. 

It’s also worth noting that while Gen Z dominates TikTok’s current demographic, a study from GlobalWebIndex found that the global user base might be expanding from just teens. Data shows that the number of TikTok users from age 26-34 is higher compared to the number of 16-to-24-year-olds in countries such as Malaysia, China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Facebook Announces Multiplayer VR Social Experience And AR Glasses

This week, Facebook announced that it’s developing AR glasses and a VR social experience, Twitch’s brand identity gets a makeover and TikTok clarifies its censorship practices.

Facebook Is Developing AR Glasses And A “Live Maps” 3D Project

Facebook confirmed it’s developing augmented reality (AR) glasses that’ll be ready in a few years, and launching a project that depicts multi-layer representations of the world.

Why it matters: In light of Facebook’s recent $5 billion settlement with the FTC regarding data privacy practices, the company’s announcement of AR glasses may be met with scrutiny.

The details: The “Live Maps” project was announced at the Oculus Connect developer conference where Facebook said it would bridge the physical and digital divides via “a shared virtual map of the world.” As for its AR glasses, rumor has it the platform is teaming with Ray-Ban to create glasses that will live stream your surroundings.

Twitch Overhauls Brand Identity Ahead Of TwitchCon2019

Twitch has updated its color palette, logo, font and entire community experience.

Why it matters: Up until now, Twitch hasn’t advertised itself heavily. Its fresh brand identity comes just in time for the company’s biggest event, TwitchCon2019, and a forthcoming first-ever brand campaign, “You’re already one of us.” TwitchCon2019 takes place from September 27-29 at the San Diego convention center.  

The details: In a blog post, Twitch explained that its goal for the brand refresh is to maximize its community’s expression. If Twitch’s goal is to tell its users’ stories in exciting ways, the post said, “Twitch itself needs an upgrade.” Updates include a new brighter purple palette, a less text-heavy logo font with a retro game aesthetic, increased emote visibility and edge-to-edge video player.

Facebook Announces VR Experience, Oculus Hand Tracking 

In a blog post, Facebook said it’s in the process of developing a virtual reality (VR) social experience called “Facebook Horizon,” that features build-your-own environments and games. It’s also introducing hand tracking on the Oculus Quest device for hands-free interaction in VR.

Why it matters: The VR experience is an opportunity for Facebook and brands to monetize social interactions via in-game ads and billboards. It also gives users who are bored with Facebook a new place to play.

The details: Facebook Horizon will allow users to design their own landscapes, avatars and play multiplayer games with friends. Additionally,, by early next year, owners of the hands-free Oculus Quest device will be able to control some apps with their hands and fingers.

TikTok Censors Videos Critical Of Chinese Government

According to Engadget, TikTok tried censoring user posts that touched on certain Chinese topics such as specific world leaders and historical incidents.

Why it matters: The platform’s popularity in China is leading to a rigid style. TikTok once took a blunt approach to minimizing conflict on the platform, but now it employs localized approaches including region-specific moderators and policies.

The details: The Guardian obtained documents showing TikTok’s policy guidelines instruct moderators to remove content about the 1998 riots in Indonesia and Cambodian genocide. While TikTok wouldn’t necessarily delete these posts, it wouldn’t allow them to be picked up its algorithm either.

Over Half Of Content Creators Face Copyright Claims On YouTube

Music licensing company Lickd conducted a study that found over half of YouTubers have battled a copyright claims on the platform.

Why it matters: The potential to generate revenue through online content is at risk. One solution may be providing claims-free commercial tracks.

The details: Lickd’s study revealed that 58 percent of creators have had to fight a copyright claim on their online content. In March, the European Parliament passed Article 13, an agreement that requires social platforms to take responsibility for copyrighted material. Forty-nine percent of creators said the ruling would create further challenges for them.

LinkedIn Introduces Recruiter Mobile App And Talent Insights Feature

LinkedIn has a revamped mobile app for recruiters and data-driven features for talent professionals looking to hire.

Why it matters: Given 70 percent of responses to recruiters from candidates on LinkedIn happen after 7 p.m., and the rise of mobile, the platform seeks to provide users a seamless experience and make hiring more efficient.

The details: The mobile app will allow recruiters to communicate on the go and collaborate with their team right from their phone. LinkedIn also added a new “Talent Insights” tab in LinkedIn Recruiter & Jobs to give professionals “the ability to have more metric-driven conversations with teams about who, where and how to hire.” The company’s also streamlining candidate management with its LinkedIn Talent Hub feature, available for customers starting today.

Reddit Updates Mobile Landing Pages For Video Ads, Adds Standard Sizes

Per Marketing Land, Reddit announced this week the launch of a new mobile landing page experience, the addition of two aspect ratios for ad sizes and optional referral URLs for cost per view (CPV) campaigns. 

Why it matters: A new mobile landing page could mean improved completion rates and conversion rates. The standard ad sizes will allow advertisers to utilize cross-platform video assets without tweaking formats. Lastly, referral URLs will provide a cleaner viewing experience. 

The details: With the updated mobile landing page, a user will be redirected to a website where an uninterrupted ad continues to play. Reddit will also now support 1:1 square and 4:5 vertical video sizes, in addition to the current 16:9 and 4:3. Brands can also optimize campaign views via the URLs for CPV campaigns.

Instagram Introduces Highly Requested Dark Mode Feature

For most, Instagram is the first thing they check in the morning and last app they scroll before bed yet the app’s glaring white background takes away all the fun. Now Instagram is testing a dark mode feature that would give users the option to make their app background black.

Why it matters: Instagram fans had taken to Twitter begging Instagram to add the dark mode feature, likening the opening of the app to having curtains lifted after sitting in the dark. Giving users what they want incentivizes even more downloads.  

The details: Instagram is gradually rolling out the dark mode, available on iOS13 and Android 10. Users must manually turn on the feature in the system’s settings and have the latest version of Instagram.

Snapchat Extends Ads To Three Minutes, Implements Goal-Based Bidding

Campaign reports that Snapchat is enabling three-minute ads and giving advertisers the ability to optimize for 15-second video views with its new “goal-based bidding.”

Why it matters: Now, commercial campaigns can be viewed via a swipe to a web view, camera attachment or long-form video, allowing studios to create a full film or television trailer.

The details: Prior to this update, marketers could only upload partial trailers, limiting viewing of a full trailer to a swipe up action similar to a YouTube pre-roll. Snapchat is also implementing “goal-based bidding” which will allow agencies to purchase against a specific level of ad engagement. 

Facebook Won’t Intervene In Political Speech, Pledges To Better Screen Deepfake Videos

In a speech given by Facebook VP of global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg discussed the steps Facebook is taking to prevent outside interference in elections as the platform faces antitrust investigations. 

Why it matters: Facebook says it won’t remove politicians’ posts that break Facebook rules with the exception of paid ads and speech that could “lead to real world violence and harm.” The statement comes after many politicians have accused the platform of political bias.

The details: The company cites its “fundamental belief in free expression” the reason for bending the rules for politicians although it has tightened its application rules for political ads, now requiring identification and information about the organization. Additionally, Facebook launched a Deepfake Detection Challenge to spot manipulated content quicker and take action.

YouTube Reverses Decision That Unverified Influencer Accounts

After announcing that it would be updating its verification criteria, on September 19—a move that unverified many creators—YouTube has changed its mind.

Why it matters: In the age of influencer fraud, making improvements to the verification system remains important for brands. However, it appears YouTube missed the mark on this one and will have to regroup on how to improve verification.

The details: YouTube sent an email to creators saying it would be proactively verifying channels instead of accepting requests for verification badges. As a result, many influential YouTubers immediately became unverified, including YouTube’s own channel. Twenty-four hours later, YouTube reversed the changes and restored verification to the creators affected. The platform confirmed that channels with over 100,000 subscribers will continue to be eligible to apply for verification. 

Snapchat Announces Eight New Snap Original Shows, Renews Four

Due to audience requests to batch drop its show episodes, Snapchat has been increasingly releasing serialized scripted shows all at once as opposed to daily. This week, it’s revealing eight new shows and serializing four.

Why it matters: Snapchat is enhancing its mobile storytelling strategy and connecting with users in meaningful ways via shows that reflect their voices, experiences and passions.

The details: Snapchat’s new slate includes eight shows including a mix of docuseries and scripted series premiering this fall and throughout 2020. The platform also renewed four originals including Bringing Up Bhabie, Two Sides, Kappa Crypto and The Dead Girls Detective Agency.

Snapchat Launches 3D Camera Mode

Snapchat is adding depth to snaps with 3D camera filters and 3D effects that users can swipe on in the filter carousel.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s 3D camera mode will give its users a new reason to stay in the app, preventing them from sharing it on Instagram Story. Selfies taken with the 3D mode can be shared on the app, though sharing it outside the app takes away the ability to change the photos’ perspective when moving your phone round. 

The details: The new camera mode allows users who have an iPhone X or newer the ability to capture a selfie and apply 3D effects, filters an lenses. It captures spatial details, making the snaps change in perspective and appearance based on how you move your phone when viewing them.

Pinterest Announces New “Shop The Look” Ads For Mobile

The mobile visual discovery tool is rolling out in the US over the next few months.

Why it matters: “Shop the Look” ads will give brands more incentive to extend campaign initiatives and the ability to reach more shoppers for it lets retailers feature multiple products in a single ad.

The details: Users can discover products in the contest of a pin’s image and click to checkout on the brand’s site. Inspired by Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” pins, the addition gives retailers the chance to tag up to 25 items in an image. Shoppers will be shown a preview showcase of four items that they can click through to see more. Pinterest will roll out “Shop the Look” ads in the US over the coming months. 

Facebook Acquires Startup To Build Customer Service Bots

Facebook is working on a network of bots to complement customer service teams on digital wallet group Calibra.

Why it matters: Facebook is developing a digital wallet called Calibra for its forthcoming cryptocurrency Libra, launching in 2020. Bringing on startup Servicefriend to build hybrid chatbots will be essential for Facebook to boost customer service experiences and rebuild its credibility. 

The details: Servicefriend builds chat bots for messaging apps based on artificial intelligence (AI). Facebook has acquired Servicefriend to help fulfill its promise to Calibra users—24/7 support in WhatsApp and Messenger. 

YouTube Introduces Video Reach Campaigns

The platform is offering advertisers simpler ways to drive growth across the customer journey with video.

Why it matters: YouTube already helps marketers drive leads and conversions with its TrueView feature. Now, brands can build full-funnel video strategies by using “Video Reach Campaigns” and TrueView in conjunction. Additionally, brands will have a better chance of reaching cordcutters with the introduction of its masthead to television screens. Currently, YouTube reaches more millennials in the US than any television network.

The details: Marketers can upload multiple video creatives into a single campaign and thereafter Google’s machine learning will produce the most efficient combination of these YouTube ad formats to help reach audiences at scale. YouTube cited Ford as one example of a brand that has lowered its campaign cost over 30 percent with the help of the feature.

Marketers can purchase YouTube masthead on television screens on a cost-per-thousand basis and customize which audiences they want to see it.  According to YouTube’s research, YouTube ads on television screens drive a 10 percent greater lift in recall than ads on linear television.

WhatsApp Lets Users Share Status On Facebook

With the roll out, WhatsApp users on android devices can automatically share their status to Facebook Story.

Why it matters: Instagram users can share their Story status to Facebook automatically. Facebook-owned WhatsApp now lets Android users do the same, which means the social networking giant could boast higher user engagement to advertisers.

The details: WhatsApp gives users the ability to share status Stories that disappear after 24 hours. The new update will allow them to share these statuses to their Facebook Story as well, creating a centralized mode of communication.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 27. 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

Audio’s Big Comeback

Tuesday at Advertising Week New York was audio’s big day. Panelists converged at AMC’s Lincoln Center Theater to discuss topics such as the growth of the medium as a marketing channel through the proliferation of smart devices and podcasting, how brands should strategize around audio and the neuroscience of consumer awareness as it relates to sound. 

Panelists offered consistent perspectives on the current state of audio and its impact on the consumer.

Stats On Audio Marketing

At ‘The State of Listening 2019,’ Tom Webster, SVP of strategy and marketing at Edison Research, set the stakes for brands wondering if they should enter the voice technology audio space.

Webster noted that smart speaker ownership is now the fastest-growing tech sector in America. Nearly one-third of American households have a smart speaker and almost every smart speaker owner has more than one device.

Podcasting shows similar growth, according to Webster. 

“This is a watershed moment for podcasting, a true milestone. With over half of Americans aged 12+ saying they have listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed over into the mainstream.”

Bret Kinsella of took to the stage for ‘The Voice Shift,’ giving more heft to Webster’s outlook on the podcast front. He noted that podcast users are also more likely to trust the ads they hear on that medium.

“We are seeing a true shift,” said Kinsella. “First there were clicks, then mobile and now there is voice.”

The Neuroscience Case For Audio

Not only do the statistics point to wider tech adoption, but neuroscience is finding applications in marketing by measuring the duration of brand memories and the attentiveness of consumers toward specific mediums. The results are myth-busting.

At ‘Feel the Story: Emotionally Immersive Storytelling,’ Wondery’s founder and CEO, Hernan Lopez, made the case for the power of audio’s impact using reports drawn from neurological imaging done by NeuroLab. 

NeuroLab’s studies showed that audio storytelling trumped visual storytelling for emotional impact across categories, citing 21 percent more “emotional intensity” when the same brand story is told audibly rather than just visually. 

Host and producer-read podcast ads had a 30 percent higher average of emotional intensity when compared to social media ads, which increases their memorability.

According to the press release announcing the launch of NeuroLab by Mindshare, the studies used “medical-grade EEG (electroencephalogram) and GSR (galvanic skin response) technology to measure second-by-second, non-conscious neurological responses to brand stories and media. The NeuroLab supplements the data from these neurological responses with pre-and-post Implicit Association Tasks (implicit bias testing), as well as quantitative survey responses.”

NeuroLab’s studies also showed that podcast recall is more likely to sustain over time due to the strong emotional component.

When charting implicit trust associations with brands before and after ad exposure, the advertisements on podcasts grew “subconscious brand trust” while social media ads decreased subconscious brand trust.

At ‘Make Your Brand Memorable: The Neuro-Science Of Audio Messaging,’ similar study results were presented by Pranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight US, whose panel addressed how audio advertising affects the human subconscious and consumer behavior.

In one study, Yadav showed how the alignment between NPR’s program segments and their sponsored messages helped in making the NPR sponsored messages more memorable to NPR listeners when compared to traditional radio, a testament to the cohesive sonic branding that in layperson’s terms could be described as, “that NPR sound.” 

Podcasts Are Open For Business

The current state of audio marketing, specifically with podcasts, is wide open for brands.

Nick Southwell-Keely, US director of brand partnerships for Acast noted that the podcast industry is expected to pass the $1 billion dollar mark by 2021. “There’s been an explosion this year from investment […] and there are over 700,000 podcasts out there right now.”

According to IAB and PwC’s third annual Podcast Revenue Report, “driving the growth in revenues is podcast listening which continues to surge in the US, increasing 7 percent in one year. In addition to this, “podcast listeners continue to respond well to ads, scoring high marks in terms of engagement with ads as well as responsiveness.”

Janet Levine, head of invention+, a division at Mindshare, noted that with the diversity of voices and stories in the podcasting market, brands can carve out a niche in the space due to its magnitude. 

“Podcasts are so fragmented. Every single brand has the opportunity to own a vertical; they can own a show. There are just enough out there. And because the ecosystem is very much in DTC, it gives bigger brands the opportunity to make a greater impact.”

Panelist Grant Durando, growth marketing consultant at Right Side Up, has high expectations for the state of the market in two years’ time: “From an in-house advertising perspective, we’re going to start to see podcasting [become] one of the major new channels of customer acquisition as opposed to an incidental channel.”

So, why were DTC brands first-adopters of the medium and what does that mean for everyone else?

“About five to six years ago we had a bit of a revolution in DTC products where you had new models coming out, notably the subscription and box model, that was one piece,” explained Durando.

 “And the other piece was, I’m not exactly sure why this happened, you had these innovative products like and Casper […] and at the time, podcast advertising was so non-diluted that we were able to buy a spot for 30 seconds and then that endorser would go on for five minutes about how he got a mattress in a box, liked it, kept it, but he could have returned it.”

“That was the moment we were able to do top-funnel messaging, full-on education on a new delivery system for a product and drive it all the way down to the deep funnel, and then finally, it was successful because we had vanity URLs and promo codes, something we’ve used in radio for a decade or so, so listeners were already trained on how to do that,” Durando said.

Brands In The Audio Space

Rob Walker, global director of creative solutions at Spotify, explained how he worked with Snickers at ‘A Brand Strategy, In Audio.’

“You have to start with what’s true about their brand,” he said.

Walker offered an example: “We tend to take what’s true about their brand in terms of their ideas, the key visuals, and try to translate those […] into audio through our data and things we know about our consumers.”

For Snickers, that meant translating the tagline, “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry,” into an audio-only version of the same brand messaging.

“We took people who were switching their usual repertoire of music listening and changing it in a very peculiar way, so someone who listens to pop music is suddenly listening to hardcore metal […] because of all those behavioral signals we pick up using our data we can serve messaging to them in a very contextual, quick way,” Walker said.

“[We used] little audio snippets, almost like little songs […] which spoke to people in those music genres that they just switched to saying, “maybe you’re doing this because you’re hungry.”

For Sabrina Caluori, EVP of digital at HBO, audio was the right channel for marketing Westworld because it aligned so closely with the HBO brand. “Audio is the oldest form of storytelling. What is HBO at its core? High-quality storytelling.”

The Alexa Skill that HBO released, Westworld: The Maze, led to over 500 million earned media impressions and focused on reaching tech early-adopters while echoing the show’s themes of artificial intelligence and our interaction with it⁠—not to mention snagging a Grand Prix in Radio and Audio at Cannes Lions.

The main takeaway from panelists offering guidance to brands around audio was that you can start small but should have the same respect for your audio initiatives as you have for those in the visual medium.

Audrey Arbeeny, founder, CEO and executive producer at Audiobrain, commented that the idea that brands must go “all-in” on audio is one of the biggest misperceptions around audio branding.

“That (audio branding) is a sound logo or single asset.”

To Arbeeny and others, audio branding requires a cohesive approach with respect to the context and content of a brand’s messaging in spaces where visual advertising is either unable to penetrate or simply ineffective.

At the end of the day, panelists echoed the same sentiments toward strategizing around audio. That is, this type of marketing isn’t reinventing the wheel when it comes to foundational ideas for brand success. 

“Be authentic, understand your brand and understand that the experience of your audience is paramount now,” said Abbey Klaassen, NY president of 360i. “Treat your sonic portfolio with the same respect you treat other aspects of your brand.”

Consumers Have Profound Concerns About Data Privacy And Marketers Should Care

Social media and online usage may level off or decline over the next three years, according to an international study conducted by The American Marketing Association (AMA) New York—”The Future of Marketing Report, 2019: Techlash is Here.”

Despite the rise of social media usage in China, both Chinese and American consumers have profound concerns about hacking and loss of privacy, what AMA says has led to “techlash.” The study examines marketing trends in the US and China as well as media use evolution, consumer perceptions of forthcoming marketing innovations and data privacy.

Marketers have plans to embrace the future of tech as six in 10 American firms and three-fourths of Chinese marketers surveyed said they’ll increase their use of methods such as employee influencers, ad personalization, micro-influencers, the Internet of Things (IoT), smart speakers, omnichannel marketing, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). 

The US and China have divided opinions about these new elements. Americans expressed support for methods that can be voluntarily used (VR, omnichannel and artificial intelligence assistants) while 60 percent or more of Chinese favor all the innovations except micro-influencers. Both groups have anxiety over privacy, identity theft, hackers and bots and worry that new technology will detract the human touch from shopping. 

Still, both marketers and consumers surveyed expect online marketing and omnichannel commerce to dominate the landscape a decade from now. The other most frequent expectation among consumers in China and the US is that shopping and purchasing will remain a mix of digital and brick-and-mortar.

Despite consumer anxiety surrounding privacy and new ad technologies, the study notes that marketers aren’t taking these concerns seriously enough. 

To prevent “techlash from worsening, companies must amplify brand trust and also have a plan to remedy challenges posed by the escalating economic nationalism is China and the US. Responding to consumer concerns also means offering them full transparency regarding their data and emphasizing choice regarding technology while specifying which ones they can choose to use.

The AMA conducted the online survey with over 500 consumers and 500 marketers in the US in January 2019, and in China in March 2019.

Creating Clothing For Kindness With Ashley Daly Of BeCandylicious

During this episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Ashley Daly, president and founder at BeCandylicious. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Daly was the senior vice president of global marketing at Experian Marketing Service. 

BeCandylicous, a direct-to-consumer fashion brand, is a dream come true for Daly. She discusses growing the sales of BeCandylcious through social media, digital promotion and word-of-mouth, expanding the company’s reach by signing her first retail distribution deal with Dylan’s Candy Bar and what inspires the company’s concept of kindness. 

Daly talks about turning 40 and wanting to spend more time with her family. She delves into how her passion for design and her over 15 years of marketing experience came together to push her towards creating BeCandylicious. Having a young daughter that likes to dress like her and not finding the right options opened a niche that needed filling for Daly. BeCandylicious makes the clothing in youth sizes also available in adult sizes. With a focus on paying it forward, the brand reinforces positivity and kindness, and the fact that sometimes your clothes can do the smiling for you.  

What advice does Daly have for start-ups and entrepreneurs? “An idea is only as good as it is executed. So many people will have ideas. It’s those that actually are willing to implement them and put in the hard work and chase after it and make it a reality that separates those from just ideas.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  •  Why did Ashley Daly leave the world of marketing to start BeCandylicious? (01:31)
  • What was Ashley’s career path and who helped to spark it? (02:50)
  • When did you know that you had a company and not just an idea? (07:41)
  • Ashley talks about what BeCandylicious is and how the merging of candy and clothes came about. (12:32)
  • How did Ashley respond when she had a few doubters early on? (21:37)
  •  What is the “Collection of Hope?” (22:24)
  • How did Ashley launch BeCandylicious? (26:10)
  • In the first three months, BeCandylicious sold to every single state in the United States. (28:55)
  • What were the biggest adjustments to becoming an entrepreneur? (30:55)
  • How is she focusing on growth now moving forward? (33:37)
  • How has feedback influenced the brand? (37:00)
  • Does she have any concerns about the marketplace? (40:08)
  •  Is there an experience in Ashley’s life that has defined who she is today? (45:27)
  • What advice would she give her younger self? (46:43)
  • What fuels Ashley to keep going in his career and life? (47:00)
  • Are there brands that she thinks we should pay attention to? (47:46)
  • Where does Ashley Daly see the future of marketing going? (49:16)

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.

Generation Z: A Generation Of Distrust And Disruption

Originally published at AW360 by Nadya Okamoto.

Generation Z stands to disrupt the status quo, question decades-old societal constructs, and take matters into their own hands; because we feel every conversation should always centre the voices of those closest to the issue being discussed.

Generation Z is the generation of young people born after 1996 composing 32 percent of the global population. One of the key differences between millennials and Generation Z is our mindset: millennials want a seat at the table, Generation Z wants to flip the damn table. When we don’t trust that the table is equitable, we build our own that creates space for as many of us as possible—and that’s what we try to do every day at JUV Consulting.

I know that I am one of the millions in Generation Z who are jumping into the political field with a heightened sense of ferocity to fight for progress and demand action around issues that are affecting us. We are scared, frustrated and tired of issues that have persisted for far too long. According to the Harvard Institute of Politics Fall 2018 Youth Poll, 59 percent of young people in America are more fearful than hopeful about our country’s future. We wake up to more and more headlines about police brutality, natural disasters, the climate crisis, mass shootings, racism, gender inequality and other global emergencies. We constantly hear about scandals and abuses of power made by the people and systems in power who are supposed to represent and protect us but aren’t.

Unlike generations who have felt similarly in the past, we feel empowered. With social media now being an extension of our own self-expression and a way that we can connect with people beyond our own geographic region, we have all the tools we need to build an audience and collectively take action. March for Our Lives, Black Lives Matter and #MeToo are just a few examples of young people mobilizing and taking action, often propelling these movements with social media.

As members of Generation Z, we have an extreme level of distrust in systems and institutions, and it sparks an ambition to be disruptive. We grew up witnessing our parents and adults losing faith in the systems that govern us—very much shaped by 9/11, a financial crisis, foreign conflict and domestic political turmoil.

Yes, of course, every generation grows up with their own set of real-world crises, and it is not a new phenomenon for people to question politicians. The difference is that we have never had the luxury of ignorance. We always know what is happening in the world because we have social media and news notifications at our fingertips. As the most diverse generation in history—we are either personally impacted by what’s happening around us, or know someone who is, so the effect of the crisis is much closer to us, and we feel empowered to do something about it. Our digital presence means that our disruption can become mainstream with a simple tweet—and we are using that power to agitate for progress.

We are constantly looking at platforms that are oversaturated with content, including news that catalyzes a great deal of distrust toward government, major institutions, systems and people in power. And now, in the era of #FakeNews, we’re questioning whether or not we can trust the outlets publishing that content in the first place. Perhaps what you could call a coping mechanism to this collective distrust is Generation Z’s turn to memes–our own art of reactionary, humorous, extremely replicable visual content. For many younger members of Generation Z, meme groups are one of the final reasons to still have a Facebook account.

With an increasing number of successful young entrepreneurs, activists, creatives, celebrities and political leaders who are rising to their status and impact in unconventional ways (often through the power of social media), more of Generation Z is realizing their potential to take action now. We look at the world and, yes, feel scared, but we also feel a heightened sense of individual responsibility to do something about the issues affecting us and our communities, and we are feeling more empowered to unite and create.

Of course, you cannot make large blanket statements about an entire generation of people—especially when we’re talking about Generation Z, the largest segment of a population in the history of the world. Obviously, not all young people have an interest in politics, and many may not have the resources or opportunities to build their own movements or initiatives. That being said, these insights here about Generation Z being one of distrust, disruption and drive to flip the damn table are what we at JUV believe can explain the rising trend of young people inspiring change-making grassroots organizing, mass media cycles and transformative public discourse.

When I was 16, I started my first nonprofit, which is now the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health in the world with our network of 500+ chapters in all 50 states and almost 30 countries. When I was 19, I ran for public office, and accidentally became the youngest Asian-American to run in the United States at the time. When I was 20, I published my debut book Period Power. And now, at 21, I’m continuing to lead my nonprofit and company as I return to finish my last two years at Harvard College.

I took the last year off of college to work and travel a lot for speaking, and when I speak about my work, many adults are very surprised by it and tokenize me as a unique young leader. But truth be told, while I know that I have been very privileged to have the mentors and opportunities I did to make my work moves possible until now, I don’t feel unique in my attitude or will to make change regardless of age. To me, it just goes to show that they have not talked to enough young people! I’m constantly inspired by peers who are starting even younger and acting upon their passion. I truly believe that we are never too young to make a difference—and JUV Consulting is evidence of just that.