Can We Save The Corporation With Joseph Jaffe

During this episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Joseph Jaffe, co-founder at the HMS Beagle, author, consultant, keynote speaker and thought leader on marketing and change. Jaffe’s current book, “Built to Suck: The Inevitable Demise of the Corporation…and How to Save It?” addresses the ideas behind why companies are heading towards a collision course with their demise. Jaffe provides tangible ways to address how survival is a gift to right the wrongs to achieve preservation in our capitalist system. 

Jaffe talks about the failing of business models and why marketing has to get better and do so extremely fast. He notes that marketing alone may not be enough to save corporations and that capitalism itself need to evolve, too. Jaffe also breaks down what he feels are the four pillars of how not to suck, which include digital disruption, talent resurrection, customer obsession and corporate citizenship. Digital was always meant to disrupt and turn businesses on their heads. 

Jaffe talks about the HMS Beagle and its mission statement to help people adapt, “when we talk about digital, social and innovation and start-ups, at the end of the day, if you had to try and find one common thread that runs right through, it would be the ability to change.” 

He discusses how companies lose their competitive edge when they are scaling with such a huge global footprint that they struggle to adapt quickly, “‘overhead, in and of itself, has become this cement block that is kind of dragging us down to the bottom of the ocean.” He also talks about how “losing money is the enemy or at least the foil of short-term ROI,” and why meetings that are only creating more meetings without creating tangible solutions are filled with “oxygen invaders” that aren’t adding anything, and instead, are slowing down the process. 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Where did Joseph start, and how did he get to where he is now? (01:55)
  • Why this book and why now? (05:32)
  • Are growth and scale a strength or a weakness? (11:03)
  • What does he mean by age, the nature of public ownership and culture? (18:57)
  • Joseph talks about short-term return-on-investment. (26:48)
  • What are the four pillars of not sucking? (30:24)
  • What is the survival planning canvas, and what value does it provide to companies? (37:10)
  • What should marketers do and not do these days? (43:01)
  • Is there an experience in Joseph Jaffee’s life that has defined who he is today? (48:03)
  • Do they have a Nando’s in London? (50:30)
  • What advice would he give to his younger self? (51:42)
  • What fuels Phil to keep going in his career and life? (54:32)
  • Are there brands that he thinks we should pay attention to? (57:06)
  • Are there brands that he thinks we should pay attention to? (57:06)

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.

13 Important Branding Lessons From The Top Four Ecommerce Giants

Originally published at AW360.

Simply showing up online with a business website isn’t enough to guarantee success.

Ecommerce giants Apple, eBay, Craigslist and Etsy seem to have cracked the code. Together, they brought in total revenues of over $275 billion in 2018. They are successful businesses and successful brands.

You may notice some notable companies missing from our list. We recently wrote about 19 important branding lessons from the top five U.S. retailers, including Amazon and Walmart.

The most successful ecommerce businesses know that their brand identity and brand is everything.

We’ve studied what these four ecommerce brands are doing right and cultivated a list of 13 actionable branding lessons that can help your business.


Evolve to stay relevant.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, technologies and trends often become obsolete before we’ve even had a chance to understand them. Online businesses that stand the test of time are relatively rare. And, this makes eBay a bit of an ecommerce unicorn.

When eBay was founded, it was one of the first businesses to take advantage of one of the internet’s greatest strengths–connecting people with similar interests across vast distances. The ecommerce auction platform allowed people with niche interests to find other people with the same interests–and buy their stuff.

No longer just an auction site, eBay introduced the “Buy it No” option in 2000. And, as the years passed, sellers started opening eBay shops that were truly dedicated to ecommerce instead of simply unloading a few unwanted items.

Today, eBay is taking steps to elevate their overall user experience.

They’ve introduced guaranteed shipping times, personalized homepages, price match guarantees, instant selling and a line of shipping supplies for sellers.

By evolving to provide a more competitive user experience, eBay’s brand has managed to stay relevant and thrive.

What You Can Do:

  • Collect feedback from your customers and prospects to learn what elements of your brand are misaligned or lacking. Prioritize improving these elements as your business grows.
  • Keep an eye on your competition–are they offering a bigger, better, or different experience than you? Step up your game to remain relevant – don’t be afraid to take your own unique direction.
  • Develop a brand that allows you to evolve. Company names like “Just Tables” or “Headphone Hut” will limit your ability to evolve and grow as new opportunities arise. For more on this, read Why And How To Rename Your Business.


If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

As impressive as eBay’s longevity has proven to be, Craigslist’s epic success is even more remarkable.

The most striking aspect of the Craigslist brand? The online classified site’s interface has remained mostly unchanged since it debuted in 1995. No one could call Craigslist a beautifully designed website –even in 1995. But, it is functional and user-friendly.

The Craigslist brand is defined by simplicity and user-friendly interface. This is not an accident. As Craigslist founder Craig Newmark explains, “The design of Craigslist originated in my observation that people want something that is functional, effective, simple and fast. That design philosophy has been maintained throughout.”

And so, Craigslist continues to thrive–in defiance of the common wisdom that sleek design is best.

What You Can Do:

  • Stick to your brand identity–consistency gives your audience time to get to know and like your business. As we strongly advised in our comprehensive guide on how to start a business, be sure your brand identity is consistent everywhere you show it visually, including on your website and in your marketing materials.
  • Identify the elements of your brand that resonate most positively with your audience. Those are the elements to hold onto as your brand evolves.
  • Work to create a strong brand identity when you start your business and strive to constantly improve it. When you develop your brand identity, be sure you get a custom logo for your business and not a template-based logo or generic design. You don’t want your business brand to look like thousands of other, unappealing businesses.


Human connection has value.

Consumers know of Etsy as a marketplace for hand-crafted goods. Etsy products are sought after because they’re made with a human touch in the midst of an impersonal, machine-dominated society.

Product uniqueness alone can’t account for Etsy’s appeal. It’s the story behind the product – the human connection to the product that makes each hand-made item sold on Etsy truly special.

What You Can Do:


Embrace your tribe.

People who use Apple products tend to be incredibly devoted. When new Apple products debut, they garner huge amounts of speculation and press. And, YouTube explodes with new unboxing videos.

But, what drives this rabid devotion?

Apple creates great products to be sure. But Apple has also successfully established its brand as a status symbol. The Apple logo doesn’t only indicate that you use a particular product. It also communicates that you’re a member of the Apple community.

As Shaun Morgan, a branding writer at Bynder points out:

“The air of premium exclusivity that Apple employs when promoting new product releases, and the meticulous attention to the aesthetics of its products, has enabled the Apple brand to be associated with luxury in the eyes of its followers. And that is what many of its consumers are paying a premium for: a symbol of status that is driven by emotion, not practicality.

Creating a loyal tribe of customers means tapping into their hearts, not just their wallets.

What You Can Do:

  • Appeal to your audience’s emotions to help your brand resonate.
  • Take a genuine, unique and authentic stance that will attract your best audience.
  • Remain true to your vision and brand-defining characteristics to avoid alienating loyal customers.
  • Reward customers for their loyalty with high-quality products, service, and support that support your brand vision.

If you follow in the footsteps of these ecommerce success stories, you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction.

Study Finds Marketers Overspend On Facebook, Not Spending Enough On Instagram

This week, study finds marketers overspend on Facebook, compared to the sister company, Instagram, and Pinterest brings shoppable pins to its visual search results.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced important changes to live video broadcasting.

Study: Marketers Overspend On Facebook News Feed, Underspend On Instagram

According to a new study conducted by social media marketing platform Socialbakers, over 60 percent of ad spending on Facebook’s apps is dedicated to its News Feed. 

Why it matters: The study of more than 140,000 brand profiles on Facebook and Instagram suggests that media spending may be over-concentrated on Facebook’s News Feed. In fact, about 30 percent of media spending goes to non-performing content that earns a “C” or “D” for quality. This suggests that marketers would benefit from shifting some ad spend from Facebook to Instagram.

The details: According to the study data, Facebook’s News Feed receives more than half of media spending, while only 20 percent goes to the Instagram Feed and as little as about 10 percent is then divided among Instagram Stories, Facebook Suggested Video and Facebook Instream Video. 

It is also important to note that per the study, mobile is the most critical channel for brands, with ads seen on mobile devices 95 percent of the time, compared to only five percent on desktop. 

Pinterest Adds Shoppable Pins To Visual Search Results

Today, Pinterest announced the new improvements to its Lens product and the launch of shoppable Pins on visual search results. 

Why it matters: The improved Lens is intended to help users find what they’re looking for with more ease and with shoppable Pins, conveniently shop the product without leaving the app. 

The details:

  • New and improved Lens camera search: a new Lens design makes it easier and faster to take a photo or quickly upload a photo from a camera roll; 
  • Visual search update: when people use Lens within a fashion or home Pin to hone in on a specific product or object, they’ll see shoppable Product Pins (Pins with the current price and a direct link to checkout on the retailer’s site) along with visually similar ideas to try or buy. 
  • Pincodes: Pincodes—Pinterest visual search-enabled QR codes are used by brands around the world to connect offline and online retail experiences. 

Snapchat Rolls Out A Political Ads Library Ahead Of The 2020 Election

Snapchat launched “Political Ads Library” for 2020 candidates, CNN reports.

Why it matters: As social media are heavily utilized as political campaign tools, Snap follows in Facebook and Twitter’s steps and makes political ads available in a public database, which is important for fair and transparent elections. 

The details: The new library is available as a downloadable spreadsheet and makes all political and issue-based ads on Snapchat visible to public. 

“At Snap we strive to create a safe, transparent, and trusted platform for our users. Our Political and Advocacy Ads Library is one of the many efforts we’ve taken in doing that. This gives the public an opportunity to find out details about all political and advocacy advertising running on our platform,” the company said

Twitter Takes Action Against Account Abuse

The social media company shared a blog post, reporting on the progress on making Twitter free of abuse, spam and other distractions from the active public conversation.

Why it matters: Healthy, abuse-free conversations on the platform boosts user engagement and create a safer environment for brands. 

The details:

  • 38 percent of abusive content that’s enforced is surfaced proactively to Twitter teams for review instead of relying on reports from people on Twitter.
  • 16 percent fewer abuse reports after an interaction from an account the reporter doesn’t follow.
  • 100,000 accounts suspended for creating new accounts after a suspension during January-March 2019––a 45 percent increase from the same time last year.
  • 60 percent faster response to appeals requests with Twitter’s new in-app appeal process.
  • 3 times more abusive accounts suspended within 24 hours after a report compared to the same time in 2018.
  • 2.5 times more private information removed with a new, easier reporting process.

Facebook Rolls Out Updates For Video Creators And Publishers

In a recent blog post, following the announcement at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, the social media giant shared important updates to “Live,” “Watch Party” and “Creator Studio” features.  

Why it matters: The initiative promises to benefit creators and publishers by allowing them to prepare for and simulcast live broadcasts, make better use of “Watch Party” events, utilize new metrics to track video performance, as well as a new option to schedule Instagram/IGTV posts for up to six months’ in advance.

The details: Per Facebook, the new updates include: 

  • “Live: Rehearsals, trimming, extended duration, simulcasting via the Live API, and global availability of Live on Facebook Lite.
  • Watch Party: Scheduling, replay, new metrics, branded content and global availability of Live Commentating. 
  • Creator Studio: A new visualization in Loyalty Insights, a new Distribution metric, 13 new languages for auto-captioning, and the ability to publish and schedule content for Instagram Feed and IGTV.”

Facebook Expands “Today In” Nationwide 

After starting the test for “Today In” back in 2018 in six cities in the US, Facebook announced the expansion of the initiative to more than 6,000 cities and towns nationwide. 

Why it matters: Facebook’s goal with “Today In” is to keep the platform’s users updated on happenings in their communities, allowing publishers to create more content, and thus, improve engagement on the platform. This goal is reasonable, as per the company, “there are now over 1.6 million people who have opted in to receive regular local updates from Today In within News Feed.”

The details: The feature can be accessed via in-feed prompts or Facebook apps listing; and the list of cities and towns where “Today In” is already available can be found here

Facebook has built a dedicated “Today In” dashboard, allowing publishers to see which of their articles are appearing on “Today In,” in reverse chronological order, with a list of the communities where each article is appearing. This was done in response to publisher demand for more transparency, visibility, and control over the way in which content is displayed in the feature.

Also, Facebook said in a blog post: “Over the course of testing this product, we have gained valuable feedback through regular conversations with news publishers. To improve the quality of the content we show on ‘Today In,’ we have started to limit access to the news section to publishers who are registered with our news Page index. We’ll complete that process by the end of the year.” 

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 20. 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

CBS Names New President And CMO

This week in the world of marketing moves, CBS selects Mike Benson as their new chief marketing officer, BET Networks names Kimberly Paige as EVP and CMO, Paramount hires Apple’s Danielle De Palma as EVP of domestic marketing and former Patrón Spirits and Grey Goose global CMO Lee Applbaum joins Surterra as chief marketing officer.

Check back throughout the week for more updates.

CBS Names Mike Benson CMO; CBS Marketing Head To Step Down

Mike Benson has joined CBS as president and CMO, while George Schweitzer, who has led CBS’ marketing since 1994, has been named chairman of CBS marketing. 

Schweitzer will step down to become a special advisor to CBS in this Spring.

Benson, who has been with Amazon since 2015, previously oversaw marketing for the ABC Entertainment Group as part of his 12 years with Walt Disney Co.

These latest executive shifts come at a time of deep leadership restructures as Viacom and CBS become reunited as part of the merger between these two corporations.

BET Networks Hires Kimberly Paige As EVP, CMO

Kimberly Paige is joining Viacom’s BET Networks as EVP and CMO, reports Deadline.

Paige has experience in marketing positions at Coca-Cola, Coty and Sundial brands and fills the position as BET Networks plans to unveil their BET+ streaming service this week.

Paige said of the role, “I’m honored to join BET Networks as we build upon the unapologetic service to the Black community alongside a legacy of delivering compelling content, experiences and engagement across the globe.”

Paramount Pictures Names New Domestic Marketing EVP

Deadline reports that Danielle De Palma has been named EVP of domestic marketing at Paramount Pictures. 

De Palma previously served as a senior executive at Apple overseeing video marketing, and prior to that was EVP of worldwide digital marketing and research in theatrical marketing at Lionsgate.

Surterra Wellness Enlists Lee Applbaum As CMO

Cannabis purveyor and lifestyle wellness brand Surterra announced today that Lee Applbaum will join their leadership team as chief marketing officer. 

Applbaum comes from Bacardi Global Brands Limited where he held the position of global CMO for Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose Vodka.

According to the press release announcing his new role, Applbaum received an Adweek Brand Genius award for in 2018 was awarded Business Insider’s “Most Innovative CMO” award.

Casey Richards Named SVP Of Marketing And Innovation At Maple Leaf Foods

Food product producer Maple Leaf Foods has named Casey Richards SVP of marketing and innovation at Maple Leaf Foods. 

Richards will lead the company’s innovation efforts while overseeing the pastry business, a continuation of his duties from his tenure as the company’s VP and GM of pastry.

MedPower Hires Former SiriusXM Executive

MedPower, a cloud-based learning service provider, has tapped former SiriusXM marketer Matt Downing as its chief marketing officer. 

Prior to his post at SiriusXM, Downing served as VP of marketing at DIRECTV.

In a statement announcing the appointment, MedPower’s CEO noted that Downing’s “expertise in customer acquisition, retention and content marketing will enable MedPower to take full advantage of the fast-growing opportunities we see in the Healthcare industry and beyond.”

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, Septenber 20. 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.

Warner Bros., Pinterest Partner On 360-Degree Campaign For ‘IT: Chapter Two’

Warner Bros. Entertainment partnered with Pinterest to launch a 360-degree experiential campaign for the launch of its horror movie IT: Chapter Two, released on September 6. The first of its kind for both companies, the campaign brought to life IT’s twisted funhouse at a Hollywood location that was open from August 15 to September 8. Free reservations to visit the funhouse, called “The IT Experience: Chapter Two,” booked up in minutes but guests were also able to gain entry via a stand-by line. 

For those who couldn’t experience the Los Angeles funhouse, Warner Bros. created a custom 360 scan in partnership with Pinterest and Matterport. The scan gave fans a glimpse of the real funhouse experience via a series of custom angles and clickable hotspots to explore all angles, from desktop and mobile. The digital experience features audio and immersing pinners who appear as though they’re actually standing in the town of Derry, where the movie takes place.

To access the 360 scan, Pinterest created a promoted video pin which pinners can tap from their feed and swipe up to experience the funhouse, with the added option of sharing it with friends.

The “IT Chapter Two Art Show,” an exclusive exhibition of fan art in Los Angeles, featured another campaign element to increase discovery. Outside the exhibition, Warner Bros. hung movie posters that included Pincodes that, when scanned, took gallery visitors to Pinterest boards containing digital versions of the art and behind-the-scenes videos of behind-the-scenes videos of the art making process.

Given that entertainment is one of Pinterest’s fastest-growing categories, it’s likely that Warner Bros. wanted to capture the attention of the platform’s 22 million users who engage specifically with horror movies. Currently, Pinterest has more than 11 million boards—like “Movies to see—”dedicated to movies. After seeing entertainment ads on Pinterest, 70 percent of Pinterest users took action by watching a new show or attending a movie, and two-thirds have discovered a new movie or show on Pinterest. The platform as a whole reaches 42 percent of people who saw a movie in theaters in the last six months and 56 percent of people who use streaming services.

Bud Light Launches Alien-Themed Beer Pack Despite Failed Twitter Move

Bud Light launched a limited-edition alien beer pack for humans and aliens alike, in honor of the planned Area 51 storm, which 2.1 million Facebook users have said they’re participating in.

It all started when Bud Light tweeted in July, “Screw it. Free Bud Light to any alien that makes it out,” to which followers started asking how they can redeem their free beer. When one user replied asking for an alien can, Bud Light pledged to create the extraterrestrial-themed cans if the tweet received 51,000 retweets. The tweet fell just short of the goal, but Bud Light launched the product anyway. 

Starting today, the aluminum cans featuring a green alien holding up the peace sign will be available for purchase in California, Nevada and Arizona. 

Further intergalactic activations for the launch include Bud Light’s creation of an “alien-friendly” fridge that the brewer is staging in the VIP section of a club at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. Stocked with the new alien cans, the fridge is locked and can only be accessed via an alien finger scan. Guests 21 and over can enjoy the VIP experience from September 13-20.

Bud Light also created a line of limited-edition merchandise that matches the alien-themed cans which fans can purchase on Anheuser InBev’s online gift shop. Items from the collection include bomber jackets, doozies, shirts and a hat ranging from $100 or less.

The move to launch a campaign that didn’t exactly meet Bud Light’s Twitter strategy might not have been part of the company’s plan, but highlighting its ingredients always has been. In March, Andy Goeler, the vice president of marketing for Bud Light, told Campaign US that ads centered around the brand’s commitment to its four ingredients—barley, hops, water and rice—would form its strategy for the immediate future. Those four ingredients are listed in large font across the alien-themed beer pack. 

In its annual 2018 report, Bud Light reported a 0.8 percent revenue decline and 2.5 percent volume decline in the US, but a 4.8 percent growth in global revenue. Still, Goeler admitted that the brand is in “a constant battle to try to hold our own and bring new customers into the franchise.”

YouTube Revises YouTube Music Charts, Stops Counting Paid Ads

This week, YouTube announces it will no longer count paid ads in music-video viewing records; Facebook updates the values that inform Facebook Community Standards and is spotted testing a new “Chat” post type, study finds the majority of NFL fans watched the opening week games via streaming services and apps, and more.

YouTube Will Stop Counting  Paid Advertisements In One-Day Record Tallies 

The video-sharing company ends a controversial music-industry practice and announces it will no longer count views from paid advertisements in its one-day record tallies, Bloomberg reports

Why it matters: This means that starting now, music video creators will no longer have the ability to get their content to the top of YouTube’s charts using paid ads. 

The details: YouTube explained in a blog post that the company was adjusting its policy to “provide more transparency to the industry” and be more consistent. It is important to note that YouTube said it will not change past record holders.

Facebook Spotted Testing A New “Chat” Post Type

According to reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Facebook is testing a new Facebook post type to connect users to private messenger chats. 

Why it matters: The initiative might provide new ways for brands to start discussions with their loyal followers, or alternately, it could make it easier for more conversations to go private. 

The details: The feature seems to be similar to Instagram’s “Join ‘Chat'” sticker, which was introduced for Stories in July. 

Facebook Updates Its Community Standards Values

The company announced the expansion of the values that serve as the basis for Facebook Community Standards

Why it matters: The update provides clearer outline of what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook. 

The details: “Our commitment to giving people voice remains paramount. We also focus on authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity in writing and enforcing our Community Standards. We’ve updated the preamble to our Community Standards to reflect these values and included it below to help people understand the environment we want to foster on Facebook,” the company said in a blog post.   

Study: More Than Half Of NFL Fans Watched Opening Week Games Via Streaming Or Apps

A recent study from Collins Media agency discovered that for the opening week of the NFL season, 58 percent of surveyed fans watched at least one game using a paid streaming service or app. 

Why it matters: According to the researchers, while consumers are adopting alternative ways of watching NFL games live, advertisers are challenged with the difficult task of reaching an audience scattered across multiple screens and services.

The details: Per the study, consumption of live NFL games remains high, however, the way in which fans watch NFL games is “fragmenting, underscoring why brands should be incorporating over-the-top (OTT) programmatic advertising into the marketing mix.”

Some of the top findings include: 

  • NFL Sunday Ticket dominated the pack of content providers with 20 percent market penetration 
  • Amazon Prime and Hulu are both commanding 18 percent market share, Sling TV at 15 percent and NFL Game Pass at 13 percent
  • 23 percent of respondents reported using smaller streaming services or apps, such as the NBC Sports app, Chromecast or other channels available through virtual private networks. 

Instagram’s “Clips” Is Replicating Key TikTok’s Features 

Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong discovered that the Instagram “Clips” prototype is cloning TikTok’s video editor.

Why it matters: TikTok is undoubtedly an up-and-comer in the world of social media, however, the company reportedly has a problem with user retention, as the majority of new users coming to TikTok leave within 30 days of downloading the app, then return to more established platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. These new features might help boost Instagram’s attractiveness to younger content creators and give marketers an opportunity to reach even wider audiences on the platform, which, at the moment, has over a billion users.

The details: Wong noticed that Instagram has been working on a new Story Camera mode, called “Clips,” beginning in early July. 

“Just like TikTok, ‘Clips’ allows users to record segments of videos into a single video Story. Just like TikTok, users can overlay music on clips. Just like TikTok, users can adjust the speed and timer of each video clips,” Wong said in a blog post

Facebook Rolls Out New Tools For Public Figures

The company published a blog post announcing several new features for public figures, including multi-contributor “Stories.” 

Why it matters: The change should make it easier for multiple contributors to add to a single post or story during an event, helping with coordination for those who oversee the accounts. 

The details: Here is what Facebook is up to with the new tools for public figures:

  • Testing the ability for multiple public figures to contribute to the same Facebook Story during an event, as well as a new feature in News Feed to help people discover public figures to follow.
  • Adding more tools to make it easier for public figures to engage directly with their communities, including a new Fan Reply sticker for Facebook Stories.
  • Building out ways for public figures to make money and grow their businesses on Facebook, including more ways to sell directly to fans and expanding Facebook Stars.
  • Protecting public figures from abuse on the Facebook family platforms with new ways to help ensure interactions between people and public figures are safe and authentic.

Twitter Launches Drag And Drop To Reorder Attached Images

The social media company tweeted today about the official launch of a new way to reorder images in a Tweet.

Why it matters: The new option makes it easier for creators to present their visual content in the most appealing way and gives them more control over the presentation to help boost content performance.

The details: The process is simple and convenient–when a user attaches two or more images to a tweet, it’s now possible to just drag and rearrange them, instead of uploading images in a certain order.

Instagram Is Testing Shopping Posts As Ads

Instagram announced in a blog post that the company will be testing the ability for shopping businesses to run their existing shopping posts on the platform as ads in Instagram Ads Manager. 

Why it matters: Per Instagram, the ads will enable businesses to reach their target audience, as well as scale and showcase products through the shopping format.

The details: At the moment, the test is only available to select businesses. When shoppers tap on the ads, they are taken to a product description page within the app and can then purchase from the business’ mobile site.

Alisa Harada, marketing manager at REVOLVE, one of the select brands that will be testing the new feature, said, “We’re incredibly excited to amplify our shopping presence on Instagram by running our organic shopping posts as ads. It’s important for us to test new methods and evolve our digital marketing strategy as we continue to learn about our consumers’ behavior and shopping habits through new products that Instagram is offering.” 

Telegram Fixes “Unsent” Photos And Videos Bug 

Telegram has reportedly removed a bug that allowed users to recover photos and videos “unsent” by other people.

Why it matters: Within Telegram, it is possible for users to “unsend sent messages from other people’s inboxes. For example, when a message is sent by mistake. 

However, TechCrunch reported that security researcher, Dhiraj Mishra, who found the issue, said even though Telegram was removing the messages from a user’s device, any sent photos or video were still stored on the user’s phone, which is a privacy violation. 

The details: Mishra also discovered that other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, had the same “unsend feature, but those apps deleted both message and content when tested. He said the Telegram for Android app would permanently store photos and videos in the device’s internal storage.

A spokesperson for Telegram confirmed to TechCrunch that the bug fix took effect on September 5th.

WhatsApp Might Soon Allow In-App Flight Purchases 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments might soon allow WhatsApp users to book flights within the app. 

Why it matters: The chatbot automation can be used in WhatsApp through airline apps, making it convenient and, therefore, encouraging for consumers to buy plane tickets. 

Per The Points Guy UK, the initiative may include information to book a flight, dates and number of passengers. 

The details: Certain providers, like KLM, Malaysia Airlines and Etihad have already introduced features in the app that were previously only available on a desktop or phone. And KLM has been using WhatsApp as a means of communication with its customers since 2017. 

Facebook To Be Investigated Again

New York’s Attorney General Letitia James announced she will lead a multi-state investigation against Facebook over possible antitrust violations.

Why it matters: The investigation will examine whether Facebook used its market dominance to illegally force competitors out of the market, and/or drive up ad prices.

The details: James tweeted: “BREAKING: I’m launching an investigation into Facebook to determine whether their actions endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising.

The largest social media platform in the world must follow the law.”  

Snapchat Users Can Now Share Music Content On Spotify 

Snapchat announced that the company will allow its users to share their favorite music and podcasts with friends on the platform. 

Why it matters: Expanded social sharing options might help to bring millions more users to the app and provide more creative opportunities. 

The details: Staring today, Snapchat users can send a song, playlist, artist profile or podcast directly to their friends on Snapchat or share to Snapchat Story. 

Step-by-step instructions can be found here

Telegram Publishes Code For Its Blockchain 

Telegram finally published the code for running a blockchain, which is scheduled for launch in October. 

Why it matters: The information provided by Telegram allows developers and community members interested in the blockchain to get familiar with a full node, a validator node and the blockchain explorer.  

The details: According to Mitja Goroshevsky, CTO of TON Labs at Telegram, there are currently 100 nodes maintained by the social media company itself on the testnet. “Source code for a full node that can access testnet, create and validate blocks has been released. Lite client was released several months ago. TON Labs will release Public Beta of its developer tools suite on Monday,” Goroshevsky told CoinDesk.

Facebook And Instagram Downloads Are Declining

According to a Bank of America analysis, mobile app downloads of Facebook and Instagram are down a combined 13 percent YoY, CNBC reports

Why it matters: The BofA data signifies a shift in download trends for both apps, suggesting that the popularity of both is declining or remaining flat at best. 

The details: According to the report, the combined download numbers for Faecbook are decreasing three percent in Q3 2019, in comparison to last quarter. 

Instagram numbers are slightly steadier than Facebook’s–down nine percent YoY, compared to 15 percent in the third quarter. Per the report, Instagram numbers are still tracking down more than during the same time during the third quarter in 2018. Compared to last quarter, Instagram app downloads are tracking up four percent. 

Twitch Released An Apple TV App Public Beta

Twitch is coming to Apple TV. The live game streaming service company announced the release of an Apple TV app public beta test, which is available through TestFlight. 

Why it matters: The beta will give creators an opportunity to test the service before it goes live.

The details: To install a beta, the users need to follow five simple steps: 

  • Install TestFlight on an iOS device and Apple TV where you can sign in to the same App Store account.
  • Tap the public link on your iOS device.
  • Tap Accept for the app you want to test.
  • Open TestFlight on Apple TV. You must be signed in to the same App Store account you used on your iOS device.
  • Install the app you want to test.

Facebook Is Testing Two New Ad Features

According to Marketing Land, the social media giant is currently testing in-app checkout for Facebook ads, and a new ad unit for Instagram. 

Why it matters: Facebook’s goal with the new ad features is to develop a more efficient e-commerce process across all its apps, at the same time creating a more convenient online buying experiences for businesses and advertisers already on its platform, Marketing Land reports

The details: The two new ad features are a native in-app checkout for dynamic ads, which, if launched, will make it possible for users to discover a product via a dynamic ad and purchase the product from the ad within the app; and organic shopping posts on Instagram ads, which would allow advertisers to turn organic shopping posts into ads via the Facebook Ads Manager. 

“These new ads are based on the ways people currently like to discover and purchase products on Facebook and Instagram so the ad design and experience will be familiar,” a Facebook spokesperson told Marketing Land

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 13th. 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

Unexpected Brands Celebrate National Video Game Day With Tributes And Creativity

September 12 is National Video Game Day in the US, inspiring brands to celebrate with their audiences. Naturally, all the major players took advantage of the internet holiday to remind consumers of offerings and brand legacy. A few non-endemic brands joined in the fun too, using a mutual love of gaming to raise awareness or simply show solidarity with fans.

Arby’s: Choose Your Weapon

Arby’s has made a reputation on social media for its artistic prowess with cardboard food packaging. For Video Game Day, the restaurant covered an arcade gamepad with Arby’s branded cardboard and recreated weapons from various game franchises including Chun Li’s wrist spikes (Street Fighter), Lara Croft’s ice climbing axe (Tomb Raider), Sora’s Keyblade (Kingdom Hearts) and Ezio’s knife gauntlet (Assassin’s Creed).

Cartoon Network: Select Your Player

Cartoon Network created an 8-bit video game “screenshot” that allowed fans to imagine what a fighting game would be like using the brand’s characters. Audiences responded with their ideal “fighters” from shows like Steven Universe, Mao Mao, Teen Titans Go!, The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time and more, although several pointed out the absence of OK K.O. Let’s be Heroes!, a cartoon based in a world heavily inspired by video games.

Red Bull: Fruit Ninja Parody

Okay, Krav Maga isn’t Ninjitsu, but technically, neither is slicing fruit with a katana. Red Bull, ever-present in the video game scene, posted a video of a man’s impressive Krav Maga skills superimposed with graphics from the popular game Fruit Ninja.

The brand immediately made fun of itself for capitalizing on the internet holiday, linking to the Reddit thread “fellow kids,” so named after a meme of Steve Bushimi attempting to pass himself off as a teenager.

Honda: 30 Years And Going

Honda wanted to remind gamers that its vehicles have been recreated in video games for over 30 years. The brand is also active in esports, sponsoring Team Liquid and becoming the exclusive automotive partner of the League of Legends Championship Series.

To celebrate its gaming legacy, Honda released a video highlighting vehicles going back to the 1996 Civic Ferio.

Faygo: Cap-Man

Soft drink company Faygo paid tribute to classic arcade games with a parody of Pac-Man called Cap-Man. The image recreated the iconic Pac-Man game board, replacing ghosts and power-ups with Faygo products.

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Cap-man. #videogameday

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Internet Holidays: A Marketing Playground

It’s not just you, everyday seems to be a hashtag holiday on social media. That’s because savvy social brands choose their participation wisely—sharing tributes, jokes and promotions that align with its core values and online persona.

Other recent examples include Werther’s life-sized Candyland game board for #CaramelDay and Heinz’s “fruit or vegetable” debate for National Tomato Day. Other brands have taken to creating their own internet holidays such as Netflix’s #StrangerThingsDay and Pabst Blue Ribbon’s National Mural Day.

Pandora Launches London Campaign To Change Affordability Perceptions

Jewelry retailer Pandora is driving awareness of its new brand vision and autumn collection with a 360-degree global campaign featuring television ads, out-of-home (OOH) and immersive activations in key London locations. OOH sites include ad landmark Piccadilly Lights and 36 large format digital screens such as the Wall at Westfield mall.

To kick off the campaign, Pandora painted an entire street pink in Los Angeles in August. 

The next stop on Pandora’s campaign tour was London, where earlier this month it brought to life a large circular structure in the shape of a diamond ring, the jeweler’s logo. While there, visitors sampled the new collection and had their photo taken on the Pandora logo swing. Those who posted their pictures on Instagram were entered into a contest to win a gift card. A branded candy floss cart handed out free treats to guests, adding to the experience. At Pandora’s Covent Garden concept store, consumers enjoyed complimentary manicures and brand biscuits. 

Additional activations include ads that will appear on more than 1,100 road and mall areas and five different creative executions of the campaign that run via digital video content in malls.

‘The Pandora Swing Activation is just one element of an exciting 360 global brand re-launch. Experiential marketing has always been at the centre of our strategy, creating mass awareness of our brand whilst giving back to our consumers. It’s initiatives such as these that have led to the recent announcement that Pandora is the most searched jewelry brand online in 2019,” said Jo Glynn-Smith, marketing director of Pandora UK & Ireland.

Pandora’s massive campaign push comes on the heels of customer perceptions that the brand is no longer affordable. “Customers tell us they used to think of Pandora as affordable but don’t anymore. The brand has drifted away from its original position and now we’re trying to move it back to what made Pandora,” chief executive alexander Lacik told Reuters in an interview.

In addition to the brand identity overhaul, Pandora has plans to revamp the design of its 2,700 shops worldwide. 

Sky Television Campaign Transforms Bus Shelters Into Virtual Sports Arenas

New Zealand-operated Sky Television Network is transforming bus shelters across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch into immersive mini sports arenas to give sports fans the experience of a front row stadium seat on the street.

Nine bus shelters will be designed with a complete panorama wrap and custom seat installations, tailored to each city. Each bus shelter site was hand-selected to ensure high foot traffic and daily traffic visual counts, with a projected 300,000 views across all locations.

Sky’s aim is to promote its sports streaming services in a way that will leave a lasting impression on riders. The television platform’s efforts are in part due to the 50 percent increase it received in streaming customers over the last year leading to 16 percent growth in streaming and commercial revenues in FY2019. Sky TV also recently launched the Sky Sport Now app and Sky Sport News service and introduced 12 high definition channels on Sky Sport. In August, over a million New Zealanders engaged with Sky services when the Bledisloe Cup match aired, including 55,000 on the platform’s streaming services. 

“Taking well-known aspects of our favorite sports and placing them in everyday moments is our way of showing Kiwis that Sky is an indispensable part of any sports lover’s life,” said chief marketing officer for Sky TV, Steve Bayliss. 

The campaign is running now through the end of September.
Sky TV’s large-scale out-of-home (OOH) initiative comes after an Australian ad spend study from oOh!media found that return on investment (ROI) more than doubles when television and OOH are part of the campaign media mix. The data show that campaigns with more than six percent of their media spend in OOH saw a 57 percent ROI while those who spent under only received a 41 percent ROI. To achieve optimum campaign results, a mix of digital and OOH are needed.