Twitch Expands Traditional Sports Partnership With Immersive Lounge In Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium

Twitch announced it’s teaming up with the Raiders as a founding partner to launch Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, scheduled to be completed in 2020. The new home of Raider Nation, Allegiant Stadium will feature a Twitch-branded lounge that incorporates Twitch’s live streaming capabilities and active community into a variety of experiential events. 

The lounge will be replete with immersive features for visitors including streamer stations and Twitch viewing screens. Future Twitch activations will also take place at the Twitch lounge and will include top-billed sporting events, esports competitions and concerts.

The partnership is part of the video streaming platform’s long-term vision for multiplayer and esports entertainment. In 2016, Twitch became the official sponsor sales representative of professional esports teams Cloud9 and Team SoloMid. The partnership gives the brands exclusive access to large advertising inventory available on Twitch. 

“Esports fans make up an enormous audience that’s deeply desirable to brands–and extremely difficult to reach through traditional advertising channels. Leveraging our sales expertise to ensure that non-gaming brands enter the space in a meaningful way is a decisive first step toward that necessity,” Twitch’s vice president and commercial director for esports, Kristen Salvatore, previously told AList.

In 2018, G2 esports signed a multi-year exclusive partnership with Twitch that made it so Twitch is the only live-streaming platform to cover all G2 esports teams and players. 

Twitch was recently named the exclusive streaming partner of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). Beginning October 5, for the next three years, Twitch will stream the league’s regular season, Isobel Cup Playoff and special event games. c players and the league will split revenue from the agreement 50/50.

Anheuser-Busch InBev China Reinvents Smart Drinking Campaign To Appeal To Gen Z

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s APAC unit launched the 12th iteration of its “Smart Drinking Campaign,” a corporate social responsibility program meant to promote public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. This year, for the first time in the campaign’s history, AB InBev created a non-alcoholic beer via its Chinese brand, Harbin Beer.

Building on the success of previous smart drinking campaigns aimed at reducing the amount of alcohol-related casualties, the brewer launched this campaign to better appeal to China’s rising Gen Z population. The company chose Harbin Beer for its popularity among young consumers in China, and plans to have non-alcoholic offerings account for a minimum of 20 percent of all its sales by 2025. 

AB InBev will sell the new product, which comes in a palace-themed gift pack, via ecommerce platforms, the sales of which will go toward the Ministry of Public Security’s underage traffic education program. Together with Harbin Beer, AB InBev designed a palace-themed safety education box to help children and teenagers learn traffic safety in a fun way.

To further capture Gen Z’s attention, AB InBev co-produced an animated video spot that features a newly created virtual character and traditional Chinese cultural elements loved by Gen Z, which includes hip hop, period drama and palace themes. In 2018, virtual, or holographic, idols emerged in China’s entertainment industry, and its AB InBev’s hope that its virtual character from the campaign will play a large role in promoting the non-alcoholic beverage.

AB InBev has partnered with China Guangfa Bank to activate experiential school campus pop-ups in 100 different cities and more than 20 universities to educate young adults reaching legal drinking age, according to Jan Craps, zone president and chief executive officer of AB InBev. Additionally, AB InBev is teaming up with car-hailing app DIDA Chuxing on activations to help stop drunk driving.

On the campaign’s launch day, more than 10,000 AB InBev China employees visited restaurants to call on consumers to observe smart drinking.

Timberland Pledges To Plant 50 Million Trees In Latest Campaign Merging Marketing And Sustainability

Timberland has launched a global campaign called “Nature Needs Heroes” to further the message of its tree-planting project, “Plant The Change,” a commitment to plant 50 million trees by 2025.

As part of the campaign, the footwear and apparel company named a host of “multi-generational changemakers” as ambassadors of the “Nature Needs Heroes” campaign. Across Timberland’s site, consumers can learn more about each ambassador, who include influencers and founders who’ve made a positive difference in the world.

Timberland is also teaming up with seven partners from around the world to bring its green movement, “Plant The Change” to life. Working with TreeAid, Timberland aims to create the Great Green Wall, a line of trees across the entire width of Africa to combat climate change and famine. Additional partnerships include Smallholder Farmers Alliance, which together with Timberland, has planted 5.7 million trees in Haiti since 2010; the Japanese NGO Network which has planted over 2.6 million trees since 2001 with Timberland; and the American Forestry Association.

“We launched our creative vision a few months ago which is focused on mixing our energy of fashion and passion for nature,” Timberland’s senior marketing director for EMEA, Giorgio D’Aprile, told Marketing Week.

Purpose-driven initiatives that build upon its long-term sustainability plans have been a staple of Timberland’s marketing strategy.  In 2018, the company launched a clothing recycling program, in partnership with Community Recycling, letting US consumers recycle gently used clothing, footwear and accessories from any brand with free postage and shipping. For the last three years, Timberland has also made an effort to restore green spaces in urban areas. Last year, it created a green roof in New York, a community garden in Los Angeles and a pocket park in Chicago. Over the last few years, Timberland has created or restored over 130,000 square feet of green space and plans to extend the figure to 500,000 square feet by 2023.

Game Advertising On Instagram: The Costly, The Effective And The Free

Instagram and video games have a lot in common, from visual-seeking audiences to target age groups. Many games advertised on Instagram have yielded positive results thanks to a variety of engagement options, although rising cost-per-click (CPC) prices may inspire a more organic approach.

According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the average US gamer is 33 years old. Luckily for game marketers, it’s a great match. The largest group of US Instagram users is between the ages of 25-34, per eMarketer.

Cost Vs. Reward of Games Advertised on Instagram

Instagram is part of the Facebook Audience Network, so prices are subject to demand. To give you a general benchmark, however, AdStage reports median CPC for Instagram Stories placement to be $0.76, cost per mille (CPM) $3.96 and a click-through rate (CTR) of 0.54 percent in Q2 2019.

Feed ads appear to perform better, according to AdStage, with a CTR of 0.88 percent. CPC is lower, as well, at a median of $0.67. The trade-off is a higher CPM at $6.09.

Cost-per-install prices have lowered for iOS over the past few years when compared to 2015, although it increased for Amazon. The most recent US cost-per-install prices according to Chartboost are:

  • iOS Average: $1.44 ($2.23 in 2015)
  • Amazon Average: $2.09 ($1.78 in 2015)
  • Google Play Average: $1.33

Note: Chartboost figures in 2015 were broken down by iOS platform and did not include Google Play.

Case Studies

Mobile game developer Huuuge Games used Instagram Stories to boost awareness for its Huuuge Casino app, according to a case study published on Instagram Business. The developer launched full-screen Instagram Stories featuring slot machine gameplay with a call-to-action to “Play Game.”

Huuuge Games reports that the campaign yielded a 61 percent higher return on ad spend at a 24 percent lower cost per acquisition. In addition, the developer saw a 91 percent increase in payers’ rate for the free-to-play (F2P) game, indicating a motivation to purchase optional add-ons.

If awareness is your primary game marketing objective, it’s wise not to forget earned media value. King partnered with South Korean pop group BlackPink to promote Candy Crush Friends with a series of owned, organic posts on Instagram. 

In one segment, BlackPink members Lisa and Jisoo attempted to imitate dance moves as performed by Candy Crush Friends animated characters. The August 27 video has reached 219,254 views as of this posting, which is valued at roughly $24,178 in earned media value according to a.Network’s Earned Media Value Index (a.EMVI).

Instagram For Indie Games

Social media marketing isn’t just for AAA game titles—in fact, many independent, aka indie, game studios find tangible engagement around their projects on Instagram.

Sky: Children of Light is an upcoming mobile RPG title from Thatgamecompany that has nurtured an audience on Instagram. The developer’s main strategy has been to invite audiences to contribute creative content via fan art, music, etc. This gives future players a reason to share their inspiration and feel connected with Sky’s creators.

Another tactic used by game developers and publishers of all sizes is to create one large image using tiled posts. This encourages fans to engage with each of the images separately, increasing curiosity and engagement, such as this post on CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 profile, which garnered a combined total of over 60,000 views in the span of just eight hours. 

Visual Platform, Visual Product

“Being image-based, Instagram is arguably the best platform for branding,” freelance game marketer Bee Wakefield told developers at the Career Fair in April. “With clever color use you can match your style and theme to your game and keep it consistent throughout campaigns.”

With a plethora of new features and ecommerce integrations being implemented on Instagram, it could be time for game developers of all sizes to take another look at advertising options on Instagram.

How Brands Use New York Fashion Week 2019 To Reach Consumers On And Off The Runway

It’s that time of year when the glamorous madness of fashion weeks around the world begin. The eyes of the press, influencers and consumers will be locked on the runways, but brands certainly try their best to steal some of the star-studded spotlight. From food companies to YouTube, who launched a long-overdue Fashion vertical right before FWNY 2019 opened today, it seems, everybody wants to be part of the sparkling Fashion Week hype.  

AList provides a glimpse into how fashion and non-fashion marketers are using the event to reach opinion-shapers worldwide.

Schick Hosts “The Baldest Party Ever”

Personal Care brand Schick proves that style comes in all shapes and celebrates baldness with the Schick Xtreme line of disposable razors. At FWNY, Schick will host “The Baldest Party Ever” on Friday, September 13. 

Per the company, the official BIP (Bald Important People) party will feature red-carpet head shave stations, DJs spinning bald mega-mixes, along with other extreme experiences. 

To attend, consumers can join BIP club and RSVP for the “Baldest Party Ever” at, where they can also scan their head through Schick Xtreme’s proprietary Bald Detection Technology.

Amazon Brings Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Lingerie Show To Subscribers’ Homes  

Amazon Prime Video subscribers will be given an exclusive opportunity to stream the Fall/Winter 2019 collection of the second annual Savage X Fenty show debuting during this year’s New York Fashion Week. The brand’s fans from over 200 countries will be able to watch the show on Sept. 20 with a pleasant bonus–a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show, consisting of performances from some of the hottest acts in music, feature models, actors and dancers wearing styles from the collection. 

Cheetos Opens House Of Flamin’ Haute

Cheetos announced it will open the doors to its House of Flamin’ Haute during FWNY 2019. 

Lucky house guests can expect to witness the brand’s first runway show, curated by fashion influencers and stylists @luanna, @Hungry Hipsters, @thenavarose and @stylistjbolin, and featured a signature look designed by costume designer Ami Goodheart. There’s also a special style bar. 

As a part of the fashionable campaign, Cheetos’ fans were asked to share their own “looking like a snack” look using the brand’s #CheetosFlaminHaute hashtag on Instagram. 

SweeTARTS Collabs With Designer To Celebrate The Freedom To “Be Both” 

Another food brand, SweeTARTS, partnered with Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) designer Christian Siriano on SweeTARTS “Be Both” campaign. 

Within the initiative, Siriano designed a custom couture look inspired by the brand, which celebrates the freedom to be “more than one thing.”

“It’s impressive to see a candy brand really think about the world today, and want to be as inclusive and diverse as our society is becoming. This project was such a great fit for me because this is how I design and live my life every day! Anyone can be anything, and even candy can be more than one thing,” Siriano said in a press release, announcing the collaboration.

The ensemble will make its public debut at Siriano’s runway show during the upcoming New York Fashion Week, worn by a special celebrity guest who will be seated front row.

Cha Cha Matcha Drinks Chain Throws “Cha Cha Block” Party 

The matcha café Cha Cha Matcha invites FWNY 2019 goers to its block, offering a chill zone for chatting, lounging and napping, a lemonade stand stocked with new iced teas, matcha-flavored cotton candy and limited-edition merchandise and matcha giveaways. 

“Keep it PG, this is a sidewalk,” the company joked in an Instagram post about the event. 

GENIFER M Jewelry Premiers Cannabis Collection

Designer, Korto Momolu, who is famous for her dashing designs on Project Runway, will collaborate with Women Grow and GENIFER M Jewelry to deliver high fashion designs that embody the power and influence of women in the cannabis movement on September 7th at Fashion Week New York. 

The collection will feature hemp-based fabrics, as well as GENIFER M Jewelry pieces.  

UNIQLO Offers An Immersive Experience

UNIQLO literally invites guests inside LifeWear magazine at its immersive experience during NYFW 2019. UNIQLO’s LifeWear lounge will reflect the pages of the magazine’s first issue: from styling stories to interviews with Roger Federer and its Fall/Winter 2019 collection. The exhibit goers will be able to relax and, of course, satisfy their Instagram needs. 

UNIQLO will also host a global exhibition during Fashion Week London from September 17 to 22.

Fresh Produce To Sponsor TheCURVYcon 

The women’s apparel brand focused on body-positivity, Fresh Produce, will sponsor theCURVYcon 2019. The three-day event will be held during New York Fashion Week 2019 with the goal to “bring the plus size community into one space to chat curvy, shop curvy and embrace curvy.”

Cindy Keizman, chief merchandising and operations officer at Fresh Produce said in a press release: “We have always been a brand that embraces women from all walks of life and we’re sincerely looking forward to continuing to do so with our sponsorship of theCURVYcon. The show has set the gold standard for supporting body positivity and inclusivity in the world of fashion, and we’re just so excited to be a part of it.”

Coach Brings Back Nostalgia

This year at FWNY, Coach will open a pop-up called “The Coach Originals” inside its Madison Avenue boutique. The pop-up concept revolves around the brand’s heritage with a bag-focused collection that dives into the designer house’s archive. 

Coach’s creative director Stuart Vevers said about the initiative: “It felt natural to choose the most iconic styles from the sixties and seventies, like ‘The Duffle,’ ‘The Courier’ and ‘The Dinky.’ But we also sourced some rare Coach pieces, like ‘The Swinger Frame Bag.'” 

Other notable pop ups include Zadig & Voltaire NBA collection; Toni Garrn’s “Supermodel Flea Market,” a Glenlivet “drop shop” featuring Prabal Gurung and Alexis Bittar’s VW golden pickup parked at the William Vale.

Healthcare Experiential Advertising Is Not An Oxymoron

Originally published at AW360 by Alistair Bryan.

For too long healthcare advertising and marketing has traditionally been one of the most hidebound ecosystems in our industry. Heavily regulated, healthcare marketers have never veered too far from the old playbook. The digital technology revolution of the past decade globally has transformed consumer expectations across all marketing verticals including healthcare. The new generation of healthcare consumers are now demanding high-touch user experiences, something the often impersonal and clinical healthcare industry has not been great at.

Instead healthcare marketers must adapt to this changing paradigm in a way that will create better, more lucrative outcomes for everyone in the healthcare journey: doctors, pharmaceutical companies and, of course, patients. History has proven kinder to those who get ahead of change instead of keeping their heads in the sand. Healthcare marketers in 2019 and beyond have the opportunity to shift to a more purpose-driven, proactive, information and data-centric approach to wellness and care and in doing so create a more memorable experience to drive action.

As part of this new expansive paradigm for patient care, marketers must also be willing to experiment with unfamiliar marketing modalities like experiential advertising. Can experiential advertising truly play a more prominent role? Yes, through live, brand-sponsored experiences healthcare marketers can establish stronger relationships with customers. 

There is already evidence that experiential advertising works in a healthcare context in the B2B realm as much as it does in the B2C arena. For example, ahead of a drug launch to treat multiple sclerosis, pharmaceutical company Merck Serono created a powerful VR, AR, Mixed Reality Experience in the UK whereby healthcare professionals were given the opportunity via the technology to have a tactile, physical and psychological experience that simulated what it would be like to suffer from MS. 

Debuting at a renowned MS conference in Paris, The MS Inside Out Experience, featured multiple rooms devised to simulate the effects of MS. One area’s floors were softened and made uneven. One set-up invited participants to put their hands on a surface that emitted strength-sapping electrical pulses. Participants were also asked to make a simple breakfast with props that were slightly too big or slightly too heavy, causing them to struggle. 

The visceral nature of the experience deepened MS treatment healthcare professionals’ understanding of what their patients must go through. A post-event survey of participants revealed that nearly 80 percent said the experience improved their medical knowledge of MS while 95 percent said that it elevated their holistic understanding of the chronic illness. 

This Merck project brings into sharp relief the power of empathy, which is the secret sauce of experiential advertising. This example shows that focusing on functional, rational messaging to drive B2B brand preference is now simply table stakes. Meeting emotional needs truly drives customer choice in B2B just like it does in B2C. 

A truly new, expansive paradigm for healthcare marketing is emerging and unfamiliar marketing modalities like experiential advertising are coming to the fore. And for every progressive company like Merck, there are many more who are still relying on traditional methods. Experiential advertising is being transformed by new technologies like VR but it is also being powerfully shaped by the data-driven technology model that is driving change and growth in marketing on an omnichannel level.

NFL Partners With Reddit; Telegram Rolls Out ‘Scheduled Messages’

This week in social media news: the NFL signs a content and advertising deal with Reddit, Telegram launches “Scheduled Messages,” Twitter is testing new tabs for lists and bookmarks, as well as a new “Topics” shortcut. Meanwhile, a study finds social media users struggle to recognize ads from influencers. 

Earlier this week, YouTube launched a dedicated Fashion channel, Facebook introduced Facebook Dating and announced investments into European publishers while suffering another major database leak, and YouTube agreed to pay $170 million fine for alleged violations of children’s privacy. 

NFL Adds Reddit As A Marketing Channel 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Football League partnered with Reddit Inc. to host a series of “Ask Me Anything” discussions on the platform as part of a broader content and advertising deal. 

Why it matters: The league is working hard to increase its appeal among millennials and Gen Zers. Earlier this week, the NFL also announced a multi-year partnership with TikTok in a bid to open doors to this audience. 

Per The WSJ, 2018 Comscore data cited by Reddit suggests that 17 percent of Reddit users don’t use Facebook, 28 percent don’t use Twitter, 33 percent don’t use Instagram and 43 percent don’t use Snapchat. 

The details: Within a popular Reddit format abbreviated as AMAs, current and former NFL players, league executives, team personnel, famous fans and others associated with the league will take questions from Reddit users, The WSJ reports. 

As a part of the initiative, the NFL will also create digital video series featuring the guests, to be distributed on Reddit and on the NFL’s social media channels, as well as and cable TV’s NFL Network. 

Telegram Rolls Out “Schedule Messages” Feature 

Telegram announced in a blog post the addition of a new “Scheduled Messages” feature to the platform’s menu. 

Why it matters: The new feature should make it easier and more convenient for busy marketers to plan out and draft messages in advance. 

The details: Per Telegram, scheduling also works in “Saved Messages” chat and turns planned posts into reminders. Whenever a scheduled message or reminder is sent, a user gets a special notification marked with a calendar symbol.

It is important to note that the social media company also revamped “Custom Cloud” themes, “Redesigned Message” options and “Animated Emoji” bucket, and updated Privacy Settings. 

“If you set Who Can See My Phone Number to ‘Nobody,’ a new option will appear below, allowing you to control your visibility for those who already have it. Setting Who Can Find Me By My Number to ‘My Contacts’ will ensure that random users who add your number as a contact are unable to match your profile to that number. If, like the majority of our users, you rely on uploading phone contacts to identify friends and family members on the app, this setting won’t get in your way,” Telegram explained in a blog post. 

Study: Social Media Users Struggle To Identify Ads Posted By Influencers 

According to the data collected by Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), social media users have a hard time identifying ads posted by influencers, even when they are labeled accordingly. 

Why it matters: It is illegal to hide the fact that a social media post has been paid for, and the findings show that clear labeling is more crucial than ever. ASA spent 18 months reviewing public understanding around social media ads and has concluded that more clarity is needed. ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “The research tells us that all of us can find it hard to identify when an influencer is advertising, so it’s crucial that ads are labeled clearly. Our message to influencers and brands couldn’t be clearer: be upfront with followers.”

The details: Here are the main takeaways: 

  • Consumers are likely to have difficulty in differentiating advertising content that is presented in a similar style to the editorial content in which it sits. This presents a particular challenge to influencer advertising which, by its nature, looks like the influencer’s normal posts.
  • Labels that are clearly visible and well understood do raise the likelihood of people positively identifying the material as advertising. However, a significant percentage of participants in our public opinion research were not able to identify influencer advertising posts as “definitely an ad” even where the ASA’s current position on labeling is followed. These low levels of recognition were also found in the wider academic literature.
  • The findings demonstrate that the ASA’s current approach of requiring a suitably prominent reference to #ad (or similar) is necessary as a minimum. However, the findings also present questions about what other factors might assist people in identifying content as advertising which will require further consideration.

The complete report can be accessed here

Twitter Spotted Testing New Tabs For Lists And Bookmarks And New “Topics” Shortcut

Social media expert Matt Navarra caught two new Twitter tabs in testing–one to link straight through to tweet bookmarks, and another for easier lists view. 

Why it matters: Helping new users to find more relevant tweet content on the platform has been an ongoing challenge for Twitter and the company is serious about improving content visibility within the app.

The details: Navarra discovered two new tabs added onto the end of the display. According to the social media expert, Twitter’s testing out a quick link to list creation within the Lists tab, and a new “Topics” sidebar, which if rolled out, will provide a way to connect users through to more tweet content. 

YouTube Launches A Dedicated Channel For Fashion Fans 

YouTube perfectly timed the launch of its new, dedicated channel, which it calls “a single destination for style content on YouTube” before Fashion Week New York 2019 opens on September 6.

Why it matters: YouTube is home for beauty and style video tutorials and the new channel will provide an outlet for fashion and cosmetic brands to advertise to interested audiences.

Derek Blasberg, director of YouTube Fashion and Beauty, saw the platform’s desire for more fashion and beauty with the number of Fashion and Beauty channels on YouTube growing six times the size over the past few years, generating billions of views in the last year alone.

The details: According to Blasberg, the new channel will feature “original content from the biggest names in the industry, as well as the popular content that users have come to expect from the world of YouTube.” 

On the new channel, the fashion fans can expect to find style content from their favorite YouTube creators, news about industry collaborations, livestreams of the latest collections straight from the runway and new channels from the industry professionals, publishers and brands. ‘Being Naomi,’ Naomi Campbell’s new channel that covers everything from her preflight routine to her emotional return to the Valentino runway and more is just one example of what is highlighted on the platform.

“Our goal is to make a diverse and inclusive place, filled with the latest fashion and beauty trends, content and more. We’ll be working over the coming months to bring more international voices to the page and to localize for global markets,” said Blasberg.

Facebook Rolls Out “Facebook Dating” 

Facebook introduced “Facebook Dating” in the US, offering users the ability to integrate their Instagram posts directly into their Facebook Dating profile and providing the ability to add Instagram followers to their “Secret Crush” lists, in addition to Facebook friends. 

Why it matters: Marketers need to know that at the moment, “Facebook Dating” is free and contains no ads or in-app purchases. “We didn’t want to include anything around swiping or games,” product manager, Nathan Sharp, told The Verge, “Facebook Dating is about conversations.” 

The details: From now on, Facebook users who are 18 years of age or older and have the most recent version of the app, can opt into “Facebook Dating” and create a Dating profile, which is separate from their main profile. Potential dates are suggested based on the users’ preferences, interests and other things they do on Facebook. Besides the US, “Facebook Dating” is currently available in a limited number of countries. It is slated roll out in Europe by early 2020.

Facebook Is Investing In Video Content From European Publishers

Facebook announced its video partnerships with publishers in France, Germany and Sweden, aiming to create new shows for Facebook Watch.

Why it matters: According to the social media giant, the goal is to “allow publishers to experiment with new formats, engage new audiences, and build sustainable revenue streams on our dedicated video platform.”

In a blog post announcing the collaborations, Facebook stressed again that publishers will work closely with Facebook team to understand which stories, topics and formats are liked the most by audiences, but keep full editorial control of the shows. 

The details: According to Facebook, Germany is creating eight shows for “Facebook Watch,” while France is creating three shows and Sweden is creating one. 

Facebook Suffers Another Major Database Leak 

TechCrunch reports that hundreds of millions of phone numbers linked to Facebook accounts have been recently found online. 

Why it matters: The leak exposed millions of users’ phone numbers and put them at risk of spam calls and SIM-swapping attacks. Moreover, with someone else’s phone number, the password on any internet account associated with that number could have been force-reset by an attacker.

The details: There were more than 419 million records over several databases on users across geographies on the exposed server contained, including 133 million records on U.S.-based Facebook users, 18 million records of users in the U.K., and another with more than 50 million records on users in Vietnam.

YouTube Publishes An Update On Data Protection After Being Fined For Collecting Kids’ Data

YouTube shared a new update alongside the news today that the company has agreed to pay a $170 million fine based on its collection and targeting activities of children.

Why it matters: The settlement was based on allegations by the FTC that YouTube had violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting user information from children for its behavioral advertising initiatives. This high profile settlement shows the FTC is clamping down on tech companies for misusing data from children, which is now easier to access than ever before.

For brands, this means that advertising to children on the platform will be similar to that of traditional TV.

The details: In a blog post about the settlement, the company announced that there now will be machine learning algorithms built specifically to identify children’s content on YouTube. In four months, data collected from all children’s content will be seen as though it were coming from a child viewer.

“This means that we will limit data collection and use on videos made for kids only to what is needed to support the operation of the service. We will also stop serving personalized ads on this content entirely, and some features will no longer be available on this type of content, like comments and notifications,” the company explained in a blog post

Spotify Rolls Out Instagram AR Lens To Promote A Rap Album Release 

According to Campaign, Spotify revealed its first branded AR lens on Instagram to promote a new Headie One album. This borrows from Snap’s ad playbook.

Why it matters: With the branded AR lens, Spotify is making use of a new ad format on Instagram’s platform that is a test use case for Snap-like lenses on Instagram.

The details: With the new AR lens, users can overlay artwork from the album “Music x Road” on sharable selfies. 

Per Campaign, Spotify’s AR campaign relies on Facebook’s Spark AR Studio, which the social network expanded to Instagram last month in a beta test and which enables marketers create AR camera effects for Instagram filters.

Facebook Is Rolling Out Updated Desktop Layout

Facebook is starting to roll out its new desktop experience that leans more into its Groups product. Facebook of late has been running TV spots that highlight Facebook Groups as an important feature of the platform. It is unclear at this point how Facebook is planning to monetize Groups.

Why it matters: The new layout seems to make it more convenient to navigate to the vital elements on the platform from desktop, with tabs displayed along the top of the screen in a more constricted view. 

The details: As previously explained by the social media giant, “This redesign makes it easy for people to go from public spaces to more private ones, like Groups. There are tens of millions of active groups on Facebook, and when people find the right one, it often becomes the most meaningful part of how they use Facebook. That’s why we’re introducing new tools that will make it easier for you to discover and engage with groups of people who share your interests.”

Several users are already seeing the new format and soon, it will be available to all Facebook users. 

Facebook’s New Test Is Showcasing Stories From Pages In A New, In-Feed Panel

Social media expert, Matt Navarra, spotted Facebook testing Stories from Pages.

Why it matters: It’s clear that the social media giant believes that Stories are the future of social media sharing and with this particular test, Facebook might create an opportunity for more brand exposure. 

The details: The top of feed placement of Facebook Stories already offers a lot of potential for brands, making their presence more visible to users, but a specific listing of “Page Stories” could further enhance the effect. 

NFL And TikTok Announce Multi-Year Partnership 

The National Football League (NFL) and TikTok started a multi-year partnership to bring the NFL content to TikTok’s users. 

Why it matters: The NFL is rolling out its official TikTok account, bringing NFL content, such as uniquely packaged highlights, sideline moments and behind-the-scenes footage to NFL fans globally. 

The details: The NFL and TikTok will launch a series of NFL-themed hashtag challenges, providing an opportunity for TikTok users to share their passion for favorite NFL teams and players on the platform. The NFL and TikTok will also be partnering on creative marketing opportunities for brand activations around NFL content on TikTok. 

“Partnering with TikTok is a natural extension of our media strategy. The platform reaches a fast-growing global audience of NFL fans and future fans. The NFL programming and hashtag challenges are a perfect way to kick off the NFL’s 100th season–with fun, new content that will entertain fans and invites them to celebrate and experience their NFL fandom in a way that’s authentic to the unique experience of TikTok,”  said Blake Stuchin, vice president, digital media business development for the NFL. 

Study: Instagram Might Be The Next Big News Distribution Platform 

Per a Common Sense Media survey, Instagram has a great potential of becoming an important news distribution channel for younger audiences. Among all teens surveyed, 50 percent said they get their news from YouTub, but Instagram remains the most popular social platform overall for young people, with 84 percent of US teens using the platform at least once a month. 

Why it matters: Based on the study results, news organizations have an opportunity to reach new, younger audiences by launching native content on social channels, especially Instagram.

The details: According to the study, 64 percent of teens surveyed said that “seeing pictures and video showing what happened” gives them the best understanding of major news events, while just 36 percent said they’d prefer to read or hear facts about what happened, which makes the photo and video sharing platform a perfect outlet for news discovery. 

The Caption Or First Comment? Study Finds Where Instagram Hashtags Should Go

A recent study from Social Insider of nearly 650,000 Instagram posts has finally resolved the debate of whether hashtags should be placed in the caption or the first comment. 

Why it matters: The study found that 93.8 percent of brands are more successful when placing hashtags in the caption instead of the first comment. 

The details: Also, the data from the study revealed how hashtag placement affects small and medium-size Instagram pages’ reach per post. Here are the results:  

  • Profiles with under 5,000 followers: 36.85  percent average reach rate per post with hashtags in the caption 
  • Profiles with 5,000-10,000 followers: 20.98  percent average reach rate per post with hashtags in the caption 
  • Profiles with 10,000-50,000 followers: 21.47  percent average reach rate per post with hashtags in the caption 
  • Profiles with 50,000-100,000 followers: 21.43  percent average reach rate per post with hashtags in the caption

Facebook To Hide Total Like Counts On Posts

Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong spotted Facebook toying with hiding the total like count to posts.

Why it matters: The company is seemingly expanding its efforts to focus more on user wellbeing and quality content while shifting away from pure popularity. 

The details: As part of the test, which is similar to hiding likes on Instagram, viewers won’t see the full count of likes (the content creator will see this, however). The list of people who liked or reacted to the post will still be accessible to everyone. 

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 6th. 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

IKEA, Sonos Launch Immersive Theater Activation

IKEA and Sonos have created an immersive theater in London called “The Sound Affect” for a fantastical walk-through experience that shows attendees how sound affects their surroundings and emotions. The activation follows the brands’ recent release of WiFi-enabled SYMFONISK speakers, a table lamp and multipurpose bookshelf which IKEA and Sonos created together.

The theatre experience is set to take place in London at Phonica Records where guests will embark on an explorative journey in a multi-sensory narrative led by SYMFONISK speakers. Each space within “The Sound Affect” represents a specific part of the human brain, described as such:

“As interactive brainstems come to life via light and sound, a cast of surreal characters interacts with participants to heighten emotion of the space—playing on the intricacies of the mind and the psychological state elicited in each room […] On returning to the lab IKEA scientists bring you back to reality and, feeling fresh and enlightened, you can then relax and discuss the unique experience in the tranquil atmosphere of the Ikea Symfonisk lounge.”

To get a better feel for the products, guests can also drop by the IKEA Sound Lounge to demo the SYMFONISK speakers and listen to music. The activation takes place between September 27 and 30, and guests are encouraged to sign up for time slot to fully enjoy the experience.

Popeyes Has Officially Won The Chicken Wars Of 2019

This summer there was no shortage of social media banter between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. What started out as the launch of Popeyes’ chicken brioche sandwich erupted into a debacle that Twitter users will always remember as the chicken sandwich wars. 

The nearly month-long series of events led to a serendipitous historic moment in marketing for Popeyes—and not to mention millions of engagements generated on both companies’ accounts—which we’re taking a closer look at here.

On August 19, Chick-fil-A threw a subtle jab at Popeyes in response to its new nationwide chicken sandwich, one made of the same ingredients as Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich. Popeyes replied “…y’all good?” and the rest is history. The tweet went viral and Popeyes chains were scrambling to serve up as many sandwiches as possible. In the end, they sold out of the sandwich nationwide due to running out of the chicken breast. Popeyes was left with no choice but to stop selling the sandwich until further notice, as reported by The New York Times.

Thanks to the chicken wars, Popeyes doubled its Twitter following from 106,000 in early August to 187,000 as of today. According to international social media analytics firm Talkwalker, Popeyes received 1.1 million mentions and 6.8 million engagements from 110,000 unique authors. The conversation there was being led by 18-34-year-olds, 59 percent of which were men. Chick-fil-A’s Twitter presence grew from 1.03 million followers to 1.09 million followers, but the brand still set Twitter abuzz with 101,700 mentions and 1.4 million engagements from 14,400 unique authors. Similar to Popeyes, the demographic showing love for Chick-fil-A was led by 57 percent men.

The most viral tweet from the chicken wars, a 45-second video that received 337,200 engagements, shows a man expressing his newfound obsession with the taste of Popeyes’ chicken sandwich to his wife.

While Popeyes and Chick-fil-A were going at it, another competitor in the duel for chicken champion waited to attack—KFC. On August 26, the company announced it would be launching Beyond Meat chicken wings and nuggets for one day only at one Atlanta location. 

Talkwalker reports that since then, there have been more than 6,000 mentions of KFC that reference its new Beyond chicken, generating 127,000 engagements from 5,300 unique users, 80 percent of which are under the age of 34. 

“Overall KFC timed this announcement very well and was able to keep the virality around chicken rolling – but for themselves – which may be the biggest lesson from this story,” said Todd Grossman, CEO Americas at Talkwalker. 

GM Appoints First CMO Since 2012

This week’s executive moves include the appointment of GM’s first CMO since 2012, the departure of Marriott marketing officer Karin Timpone, the selection of two senior marketers at TIME, the hiring of Vides Hirsch as Metrolink’s chief marketing and communications officer and more.

Deborah Wahl Fills GM’s Vacant CMO Position

Adage reports that GM, who has been without a chief marketing officer since 2012, has tapped veteran marketer Deborah Wahl for the position.

Wahl, who served as Cadillac’s CMO since 2018, has also held chief marketing positions at McDonald’s USA and Chrysler. Melissa Grady is set to replace Wahl as Cadillac’s chief marketing officer, moving up from her position as director of media and performance marketing.

Wahl’s appointment comes as a number of other executive leadership positions are shifting at GM.

David Burke Joins Animation Studio Laika As CMO

Laika, the animation studio behind feature films Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, welcomes David Burke as chief marketing officer.

Burke joins the studio from Universal Pictures, where he served as general manager for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Burke was responsible for planning the releases of more than 380 titles, including 60 that debuted as No. 1 in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Andy McKeon To Lead U.S. Ski & Snowboard Marketing

Andy McKeon has been tapped as chief marketing officer for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, reports Ski Racing.

He will be replacing chief commercial officer, Dan Barnett, who is vacating the role to return to the UK.

On-Demand Delivery Service Favor Hires CMO

Favor, an on-demand delivery company, has appointed Fernando Trueba to the position of chief marketing officer, according to Grocery Dive.

Trueba’s remit as chief marketing officer is to accelerate brand growth; he previously served as CEO and co-founder of

Karin Timpone Will Vacate Marriott Global Marketing Officer Role

Karin Timpone will be stepping down from her position as global marketing officer at Marriott, according to an update from Adweek.

Timpone, who has been with Marriott since 2017, will be leaving her global marketing role at the end of 2019 to “pursue new opportunities.”

The company grew its loyalty membership to 135 million members during Timpone’s time as marketing officer and tapped into branded content lifestyle marketing with the advent of the digital magazine, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler.

Metrolink Adds Chief Marketing And Comms Officer To Leadership Team

Metrolink has hired Vides Hirsch as chief marketing and communications officer, reports Mass Transit

Hirsch joins from the Public Media Group of Southern California where she served as VP of marketing communications and brand. She held several other senior-level marketing positions prior to that, notably at Hot Topic, Inc. and the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica.

The hiring comes at a time when Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins is making a number of key appointments to bolster executive leadership at the Southern California commuter rail system.

Fazoli’s Promotes Marketing VP To CMO

Kentucky-based Italian fast-casual chain Fazoli’s has promoted Jodie Conrad to CMO, reports Restaurant Business. Conrad has been with Fazoli’s since 2016 and has served as senior brand director and most recently, VP of marketing.

TIME Builds Upon Marketing Leadership With Two SVP Hires

TIME announced the appointment of Radhika Prakash as SVP of brand and content marketing, as well as Maya Draisin as SVP of progress marketing.

Prakash most recently served as global head of content strategy and media at BlackRock; prior to that, she served as head of brand and creative strategy at Pinterest.

Draisin joins TIME from Conde Nast, where she served as VP of marketing. Additionally, Draisin co-founded The Webby Awards.

The appointments come as TIME announces a swath of new leadership positions across their sales department.

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 6th. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Chief Marketing OfficerBumbleAustin, TX
Global CMOPopeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.Miami, FL
Chief Communications And Marketing OfficerUC San DiegoSan Diego, CA
Senior Vice President Of MarketingClear Channel OutdoorNew York, NY
Vice President Of Marketing, InternationalRokuSan Jose, 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.