Starbucks Names Brady Brewer As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in marketing leadership moves, McDonald’s loses its CMO for Australia, Del Taco, Starbucks and Tailored Brands name new CMOs while Ryanair’s chief marketer steps down.

Starbucks Names Brady Brewer CMO

Brady Brewer, who has been with Starbucks for close to 19 years, has been named chief marketing officer according to Adweek

In Brewer’s 19 years of service to the brand he has served as SVP of digital consumer experience, COO of Starbucks Japan, SVP for the Asia-Pacific region and a range of other marketing roles within the company. He began his journey as their marketing manager way back in 2001.

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty Appoints Nicola Lutgert To CMO

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has promoted Nicola Lutgert to chief marketing officer from her previous position as VP of marketing, reports Sarasota Magazine. She joined the brokerage in 2015.

Aon Marketing Vet Hired As CMO For Johnson Controls International

PR Week reports that Phil Clement joins Johnson Controls International as chief marketing officer after three years without a CMO. Clement’s previous role was CMO for insurance broker brokerage and consultancy Aon, which he left for an advisory position with the company in 2017.

Bandai Namco Names New VP Of Marketing

Ross Borden has been appointed VP of marketing for Bandai Namco Entertainment America. Borden, an industry veteran who held roles with Namco, NCSOFT, and Robot Entertainment, begins immediately. 

The announcement, as reported by Esports Observer, comes as the developer and publisher begins its focus on games-as-a-service.

Jenni Dill Departs From McDonald’s Australia CMO Role

Jenni Dill, who served as chief marketing officer for McDonald’s Australia, is stepping down to pursue other career opportunities. 

Dill had been with the brand since 2016. Prior to this position, she served as senior marketing director at PepsiCo Australia.

No replacement has been named yet.

Nextdoor Names Former Hyatt Hotels Global CMO As Head Of Marketing

Neighborhood-based social platform Nextdoor has named Maryam Banikarim as head of marketing. 

Banikarim joins the company as their first chief marketing officer after serving in that position for Hyatt Hotels and Gannett Corp.

Del Taco Brings On New Chief Marketing Officer

Del Taco announced the return of Tim Hackbardt today. 

Hackbardt will be serving as CMO for the QSR brand and most recently served as a marketing consultant for a number of restaurants. He returns to Del Taco having previously led marketing for a period of four years for the brand.

Tailored Brands Names New CMO

Tailored Brands, the parent company of retail brands including Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, Moores Clothing for Men and K&G. has announced the hiring of Carolyn Pollock as chief marketing officer.

Pollock, who consulted for Tailored Brands in mid-2018, helped shape the current marketing strategy for Jos. A. Bank and grew new customer acquisition channels for the brand.

Ryanair CMO Steps Down

Kenny Jacobs is leaving his position as CMO for budget airline Ryanair after six years in the position, according to Marketing Week. Jacobs will leave at the end of April.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 14. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

VP Of Marketing OperationsCalifia FarmsLos Angeles, CA
Head Of Media, Digital Marketing And CommunityCalibraMenlo Park, CA
SVP, Integrated MarketingZillow GroupPasadena, CA
Vice President, Marketing StrategyParamount PicturesLos Angeles, CA
Chief Marketing OfficerNPRWashington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

Extended Reality Becomes The Norm At Sundance

This week in Extended Reality (XR) news we see an increase in demand for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) developers as well as a huge turnout of virtual experiences at the Sundance Film Festival. XR is coming, are you and your business ready with innovative ways to take advantage of this new(ish) medium?

We previously used XR for mixed reality, however after digging in a bit more we’ve identified the umbrella term of Extended Reality (XR) which is used to define all real-and-virtual worlds combined is becoming more and more common. This primarily encompasses augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality (think a combination of virtual reality and real life) but may include other realities that haven’t been invented yet. Going forward we’ll use XR in this space. 

AR/VR Engineering Jobs On The Rise

What’s Happening: AR and VR engineering jobs are on an uptick as companies look to XR to reach potential new customers as this technology lets people experience product offerings in a completely new and interactive way. 

Growth in interview requests for AR/VR among software engineers is up 1,400 percent from 2018. Facebook currently has more than 3,000 jobs with the terms “AR/VR” and Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Google have a total of 1,000. The AR/VR industry is expected to reach $571.42 billion by 2025

Why it Matters: When building new technological experiences it’s important to look at where any given industry is and look and current trends. This growth in XR is a very good indicator that not only entertainment but a variety of industries are going to be impacted by the disruption of augmented and virtual reality. If you’re looking to build a team around AR/VR solutions, it’s a smart move to start looking at potential candidates now rather than later. 

AR And VR Take Sundance By Storm

What’s Happening: Sundance film festival goers typically expect traditional flat entertainment. However, this year VR and AR experiences are disrupting the norm as attendees are interested in a plethora of interactive and personal experiences. Showings include virtual space experiences with waterproof VR rigs, to incredibly personal and emotional 1:1 moments. The shift in packed theaters to longer intimate experiences VR can be seen as attendees prioritize what’s important during their time at the festival and this is ushering in a new notion of VR not being an isolating experience, rather one that allows people to make memorable and personal connections.

Why it Matters: Every brand has something to offer, and as marketers, we have a huge opportunity to leverage VR and AR to make these brand connections more meaningful for our audience and potential fans. By using technology that lets people feel closer to others or brands, we can create authentic experiences that will have fans talking about our products with a personal relationship (or at least create a very memorable and cool virtual reality story to tell).

Report: The Behavioral Trends Of Mobile Gamers

Nearly two-thirds of mobile gamers are more likely to engage with an in-app rewarded ad than a sponsored social media post for retail advertisers, according to Tapjoy’s 2020 “Modern Mobile Gamer: Direct-to-Consumer Retail Report.”

The data suggests that mobile gamers are a high-return growth opportunity for DTC brands and subscription services are still in high demand. 

The report details the behavioral trends of four major segments including Gen Z, millennials, parents and high-income consumers. Across all segments, 70 percent said they’re interested in trying a new subscription product or service. Tapjoy also found that about two-thirds prefer shopping directly from a brand than through a third party retailer, with clothing listed as the most popular product category for online retail shopping. 

All groups identified convenience as the main deciding factor in choosing to buy a product or service. Gen Z and high-income consumers said personalization is a secondary factor whereas millennials and parents chose affordability as a secondary factor. 

Tapjoy’s research found that Gen Z is most likely to engage with ads that feature a trial or new release promotions, image or video gallery of products and personalized quizzes and customization. Gen Z also said brand loyalty isn’t a big factor because they shop with multiple brands in a given year. They do, however, regularly shop for clothing or lifestyle products on mobile devices and they like subscription delivery services because of personalized product selections.

Price-conscious millennials engage the most with customer testimonials, reviews, promotions and image or video product galleries. A majority of them (88 percent) also shop for clothing or lifestyle products via mobile devices. Nearly half (48 percent) of millennials surveyed report keeping their delivery subscriptions active for four months or more and 83 percent already use one to four different subscription services for clothing or lifestyle products.

Parents are price-conscious too but open to trying new subscription services and brands. For ease of purchase, 79 percent prefer shopping online using a digital device. Their subscription habits are similar to millennials’ in that they’re open to trying new subscription services and keep those services running for more than four months. 

Where high-income consumer behavior differs from all segments is that one of the most commonly cited reasons for why they shop digitally is that they have more control over personal touches like color and design. Additionally, they value quality of merchandise as 63 percent said that that factor influences their decision to purchase new clothing or lifestyle products.

A little over half (56 percent) of both parents and high-income consumers spend between $50 to $200 on clothing and lifestyle products each month.

Tapjoy surveyed 11,290 mobile US consumers aged 18 and over between October and November 2019 via a variety of popular games in Tapjoy’s mobile ad network.

Chanel Ties Horticultural Exhibit To Its Beauty Products

Chanel is hosting an immersive botanical exhibit at Paris’ Natural History Museum’s Mineralogy Gallery called “La beauté se cultive” to highlight certain sustainable ingredients used in its skincare products.

The exhibit will pay homage to the brand’s open-sky labs around the world, where Chanel grows and studies plants that are considered for use in its skincare formulas.

According to WWD, in 2002, Chanel opened one of its open-sky labs in Madagascar to study Vanilla Plantifolia. In 2010, Chanel opened another lab in the southern French Alps to house medicinal plant sources that had been overlooked since the second half of the 20th century. 

The two-day exhibit, open from March 28-29, will focus on rare plants from its botanical collection and take place next to the Jardin des Plantes, a 400-year-old botanical garden in France created by Louis XIII as the royal garden of medicinal plants.

Chanel’s horticultural exhibit follows a string of experiential events from the brand, ultimately an effort to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive digital environment and enhance personalization through human interaction. 

In January 2019, the beauty giant opened its beauty concept store The Atelier Beauté Chanel in Soho in New York City, where consumers can take beauty lessons, explore skin regimens with experts and try their favorite perfume at the store’s scent garden.

In December 2019, Chanel hosted an experiential ski lodge inside The Standard High Line in New York inspired by its No.5 fragrance campaign. Open free to the public, “Chanel No.5 in the Snow” was full of Instagrammable moments including an ice skating area and augmented reality-enabled snow globe filter.

Chanel’s parent company LVMH posted its fourth quarter earnings, showing a 12 percent rise in revenue and eight percent organic growth in the first nine months of 2019.

Gen Z, Millennial Trust Friend And Family Recommendations More Than Influencers

Originally published on ION.

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

Influencers affect the shopping habits of Gen Z and millennials more than any other generation. An August 2019 survey from GlobalWebIndex confirmed this when it found that 22 percent of Gen Z and 20 percent of millennial respondents in the US and UK were inspired to make a purchase after seeing an influencer or celebrity’s post on social media while 16 percent were inspired to shop after seeing an Instagram stories ad.

Gen X and Boomers don’t rely as heavily on influencers to make purchases as 16 percent of Gen X and six percent of Boomers, respectively, bought something after seeing an influencer or celebrity’s post about it.

Influencers play a huge role in brand discovery worldwide as 31 percent of global internet users said one of the primary reasons they use social media is to research and find products to buy, up 23 percent from 2015. Between 2015 and 2019, the number of Gen Z who used social media to research brands and products jumped nearly 40 percent. 

During that same time, video sites as a product research tool increased by 32 percent, while vlogs grew by 38 percent. For brand discovery, about 16 percent of global internet users said they use social media posts or reviews from expert bloggers versus 14 percent who use vlogs. 

More than increase brand discovery, influencers drive action: 33 percent of respondents said they have shopped directly via an influencer’s social media post that led them to a retailer’s website. 

Despite the aforementioned, younger generations trust product reviews and recommendations from friends and family more than they do influencers. When asked what inspired them to make a purchase in the last month, 48 percent cited a discount on a product followed by recommendation from friends and family (39 percent), an online ad (28 percent), an email or newsletter from a brand (20 percent), a social media ad on the news feed (17 percent) and an influencer or celebrity social media post (17 percent).

The survey also found that consumers don’t perceive big follower counts as the most credible. Amid the unchecked influencer fraud problem, 48 percent of consumers cite trustworthiness as the most desirable quality for influencers to have. Consumers actually trust smaller influencers more—56 percent of US and UK respondents think that influencers with up to 50,000 followers are the most credible. A Morning Consult report in November 2019 also found that only 10 percent of younger generations ranked having a large following as very important.

GlobalWebIndex interviewed 2,767 respondents in the US and 3,568 respondents in the UK. The findings mentioned here reflect a mixture of the researcher’s bespoke study in the US and UK as well as global data from its ongoing quarterly global research.

Streaming Accounts For 19% Of Consumers’ Television Viewing

Consumers spent nearly 19 percent of their television time during Q4 2019 streaming content, according to a special streaming wars edition of the 2020 Nielsen Total Audience Report, which for the first time has utilized smart television data from Gracenote.

The report also found that 60 percent of US consumers subscribe to more than one paid video streaming service and 93 percent say they will either increase or keep their existing streaming services. Among time spent streaming, Netflix accounted for 31 percent followed by 21 percent for YouTube, 12 percent for Hulu, eight percent for Amazon and 28 percent for other services.

Consumers cited cost (84 percent), ease of use (81 percent), variety of content (79 percent), streaming and playback quality (77 percent) and speed (74 percent) as the top five attributes that make a streaming service attractive. When asked why they canceled a paid video subscription service, 42 percent of respondents said they didn’t use it enough to justify the cost.  

The report also found that through December 2019, viewers had access to 646,152 unique program titles, up 10 percent from 2018. 

As for why consumers subscribe to additional paid video streaming services, the primary reason was to expand the content that they had available.

Nielsen also included stats on the streaming audio, which on smartphones reached 64 percent of US adults in Q3 2018, up 19 percent from the year prior. Streaming audio on tablets, the firm says, reached 25 percent while radio and satellite reached 92 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

The bottom line: content is king. Streaming provides marketers an opportunity to easily reach consumers in the digital age. Content creators and rights owners will have more power as streaming grows, but platforms must continue generating high-quality content and lots of it. Otherwise subscribers will lose interest as 20 percent of consumers said they canceled a service after watching all the content they were interested in.

Historic Ad Fraud At Uber With Kevin Frisch

During the 194th episode of “Marketing Today” I interview Kevin Frisch, who was recently the CMO of Wag and before that the head of performance marketing and CRM for Uber. Before Uber, Frisch served as chief marketing officer of GSN Games and Snapfish. Frisch was named to Forbes’ CMO Next List 2019: 50 Game-Changing Marketing Leaders. 

Frisch discusses the largest ever fraud case, a case between Uber and its suppliers of performance marketing and advertising. Frisch shares what happened, what was the trigger that launched the investigation, how they diagnosed what was going on, and several measurement challenges along the way.

Frisch shares the revelations on ad fraud and the difficulty of finding it only after you have the detailed data, “Until you do that, if you’re just relying on the higher-level reporting, you just don’t catch it.”  He advises that “you should start by assuming that half of what’s on the display channels is fraud.” “You can’t sort of out-source, and say, here’s an anti-fraud tool, let me just run it through that.” There is still so much to learn about fraud. Frisch shares a much-needed perspective on how to approach and avoid issues.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Kevin Frisch’s background and pivotal twists along the way. (01:46) 
  • Kevin’s path with a series of B2C companies. (04:10) 
  • The culture within Uber during the controversy. (06:17) 
  • The role of “Head of Performance Marketing.” (07:30) 
  • The intriguing story surrounding the fraud case between Uber and advertising providers. (08:13) 
  • The discovery and definition of “Attribution Fraud.” (11:37)  
  • Actions every marketer should be taking right now, to avoid ad fraud. (16:36) 
  • Should you be using programmatic? (18:06) Advice on picking better partners and people to help along the way. (19:49)  
  • Uber’s purpose and approach to the “Moving Forward” campaign. (20:49) 
  • Defining “Addressable TV” and its usage at Uber. (23:00) 
  • The Results and reactions for “addressable tv.” (27:59)  
  • Unique challenges for marketing towards driver-partners. (29:20) 
  • What performance marketers should be doing differently in 2020. (35:45)  
  • An experience of Kevin’s past that makes up who he is today. (38:06) 
  • Advice Kevin would give his younger self. (41:19) 
  • What drives Kevin and keeps him going daily. (42:44) 
  • Brands, Companies, or Causes to take notice of. (44:06) 
  • Kevin’s vision for the future of marketing. (46:01) 

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.

The Enduring Power Of Like

Originally published at AW360 by Christian Barnes.

Article Takeaways:

  • Why we like some brands and not others
  • Some insight into how our brains emotionally choose brands
  • Emotion beats rational choices…all the time

“I just like them. They’re a good company.”

I came across this in some research recently. An online survey of two thousand retail investors carried out by the market research company Opinium had asked what made investment firms different from one other. For nine of the ten brands featured, most people who knew of them had very specific ideas. But for the tenth, the majority just couldn’t put their finger on it.

It was the cause of much hand-wringing at No10 brand’s HQ. “We’re ambiguous.” “People don’t know what we offer.” “If people struggle to explain how we’re different, we’ve nothing to stop them from choosing others with clear messages and benefits.”

The truth was, they had something way more valuable than fickle rational difference. When the brand’s initial allure falls away, the same rational positives can become negatives and rejection can quickly follow. But brand No10 had the power of “like.”

We humans involuntarily use our ancient, animal, “limbic” brains first to respond emotionally to stimulus. We then rationalize that stimulus, using our more recent and sophisticated “sapiens” neo-cortex. That instinctive “limbic” response can be very powerful in making choices.

Anyone who has, or has had, a significant “other” in their lives knows this. It’s the experience, from the first spark and thrill to the ensuing familiar reality of continued interaction that builds a unique attachment –way beyond mere aesthetics.

So that’s good for an understanding of how we make initial choices. But behavioral scientists can also explain why we might stick with that choice. It’s another of those “biases” like “proximity” or “familiarity.” This one’s my all-time favorite: “IKEA bias;” if you’ve assembled something yourself, you’re likely to value it more than if it was assembled for you. We’re less likely to make lasting decisions based on what we’re told or what others think–and more on what we’ve concluded for ourselves. So making sure that our brands’ behavior is true to their character is logically more important than artificially building and managing their reputations to widen their appeal.

Just as we all like some people more than others, brands that are honest in their behavior are unlikely to appeal to everyone they might commercially want to. But businesses are exposed today more than ever before; customers increasingly see their true character. When manufactured reputation jars with actual experience, it’s betrayed as false. And false equals distrust. In some sectors, such as financial services, trust is both the most important–and currently the most absent–aspect of a customer relationship.

Whether a brand is everyone’s cup of tea or not, the way human brains work means we have more chance of people responding to it if we prioritize the emotional over the rational. In The Long and Short of It, a report by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, analyzing over 1,000 campaigns across all sectors, “emotional” responses beat the “rational” two to one.

Even in the tangled, highly regulated and intermediated ecosystems of asset management, FB50 2017, found “…a shift in favor of groups with a brand personality.” Elsewhere, Broadridge’s data also shows that a fund selector’s perception of which provider they “most used” and the one they “most prefer” are strongly correlated.

So perhaps we should focus less on the “what” or “how” of our brand offer–and more on “who” the brand is. Understanding our customers and prospects so that we can build good, enduring experiences for them remains essential. But we should keep investing in flat-pack furniture.

And above all, never forget that simple, spontaneous driver of human choice. The power of like.

Brands Go Experiential For Valentine’s Day

A number of brands are activating around Valentine’s Day, encouraging everything from pet adoption, Bumble swiping and proposals via branded engagement rings. This year we’re seeing more brands partner up to host experiential pop-ups that encourage in-store visits and activations that serve a good cause while the trend of digital and social media contests around the holiday continues.

Mars Wrigley, Bumble Host Sweet ReTREAT Pop-Up

Mars Wrigley is teaming up with Bumble to launch its third Valentine’s Day pop-up in New York called Sweet ReTREAT. Guests will be able to connect with Bumble profile stylists to optimize their accounts, get one-on-one time with mentors from Bumble and Mars Wrigley and enjoy mini manicures in Starburst candy colors. 

Additional activations will include a DOVE Ice Cream Bar and an Insta-worthy wall on which guests can post words of encouragement. The pop-up will be open in New York from February 12-13.

Coors Light Will Contribute Toward Pet Adoption Feeds

Coors Light is encouraging millennials to shun cheesy Valentine’s Day traditions by rewarding those who spend the day with a dog instead. Meant to take the pressure off young drinkers to couple up, the campaign will pay $100 toward adoption fees for the first 1,000 participants who text “COORS4K9” and a picture of their adoption receipt to 28130 between February 4 and February 21.

Burger King, Warner Bros. Launch Anti-Valentine’s Day Campaign Around Birds Of Prey Movie

Burger King and Warner Bros. Pictures are launching an anti-Valentine’s Day campaign for the February 7 release of Birds of Prey featuring Harley Quinn, who The Joker breaks up with in the film. 

Now Burger King is giving a free Whopper to consumers who bring a physical photo of their ex and throw it in a Birds of Prey-themed breakup box. The activation is happening at select Burger King locations in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. Fans who aren’t near one of the locations can take a quiz on the Burger King app, and if they answer four out of five correctly, they’ll receive a $3 off coupon for a Whopper.

Kraft Heinz Runs Promotional Giveaway For Parents Of Young Kids

Kraft Heinz Company is giving parents of young children a chance to win its new microwavable Big Bowl Macaroni & Cheese before it launches nationwide. The promotional giveaway aims to free up time for them to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their partner. 

Kraft Heinz Company created a 41-second spot titled “Kraft Mac Is For Lovers” for its YouTube showing how the brand’s new macaroni and cheese bowls saved her from making dinner, allowing her to put her kid to bed early and enjoy alone time with her husband. Parents must submit their name, address, email address and phone number to enter to win the Valentine’s Day kit.

Domino’s Creates Pizza Engagement Ring Worth Over $9,000

Per a tweet, Domino’s Pizza Australia created a diamond pizza-shaped engagement ring up for grabs in a contest. To enter, participants must submit a 30-second video detailing how they’ll incorporate pizza in their proposal.

Deliveroo, KFC Singapore Launch KFC Bucket Ring, Meal For Delivery

Deliveroo and KFC Singapore teamed up for a campaign called “Will Delive-Roo Be My Valentine,” that lets foodies send a limited edition KFC bucket ring and meal to their sweethearts on Valentine’s Day. Consumers must pre-order the present for it to be delivered on February 14 via Deliveroo. Last year, the brands launched a combo meal presented in a heart-shaped box.

World’s Best Cat Litter Unveils 30-Day Challenge

World’s Best Cat Litter is launching an integrated campaign and 30-day challenge to inspire cat owners to dump their stinky litter boxes and get with its line of litters. Consumers who sign up for the challenge at will receive weekly emails featuring tips on switching litters, updates on contests and chances to support cat shelters. Those who upload a picture in an branded “I Dumped My Litter” frame and share their story will be entered for a chance to win free litter for a year. After the challenge, World’s Best Cat Litter will give participants $5 off coupons toward their next purchase. The challenge runs January 25, 2020 through March 31, 2020.

Red Roof Shares Love For A Good Cause

Economy lodging provider Red Roof unveiled a campaign called “Room in Your Heart” to give back to two organizations, Flying Horse Farms and Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation. Travelers who book a stay at any Red Roof Inn, Red Roof PLUS+ or Red Collection property through February 29 using the promo code “VP 627380” will get 10 percent off their rate and Red Roof will donate five percent to the aforementioned groups.

What We’re Reading–February 3rd

We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of February 3rd.

Consumer Spending On Media Rises 4.3% In 2019, Lagging Ad Industry’s 4.9% Growth
Media Post

Media industry economists PQ Media share their latest report on consumer media spending, showing that it has risen 4.3 percent in 2019 and accounts for 58.4 percent of total media spending compared to advertising/marketing’s 41.6 percent share of the pie.

Why it matters: “Consumers now outspend the ad industry by a margin of nearly three to two, which reflects the continued shift from ad-supported to consumer-supported models for media.”

56% Of Marketers Think AI Will Negatively Impact Branding In 2020, Study Says
Marketing Dive

Most marketers (77 percent) are concerned about how AI will affect creativity and branding according to new research from Bynder.

Why it matters: Keep the following insight in mind when accounting for the fact that brand building is a top 2020 priority for marketers: “The 2020 State of Branding Report found that 56 percent of surveyed marketers think AI could negatively affect their brands by diminishing creativity, reducing jobs or impacting differentiation.”

Christian Siriano’s Goth Fun House Fall 2020 Show Was Sponsored By ‘Birds Of Prey’

Christian Siriano’s Fall 2020 New York Fashion Week runway was presented in partnership with DC Comics’ new film, “Birds of Prey.”

Why it matters: Siriano shared his perspective on the importance of runway production sponsorships, noting the precarity of the fashion industry: “Stores are going out of business every single day. To survive, designers really are looking for something to help us do what we need to do.” For Siriano, partnering with DC Comics did just that.

‘We’re Not Shy Of A Bit Of Controversy’: How Diageo’s Corporate Brand Was Born
Marketing Week

Marketing Week outlines Diageo’s brand origin story, beginning with the merger between Guinness Brewing and Grand Metropolitan back in 1997.

Why it matters: Everybody loves a good brand origin story.

Genre Is Dead And Marketers Should Pay Attention
The Drum

Boundaries are not only dissolving in art and personal identity, but also in the worlds of marketing and creativity.

Why it matters: Marketing teams need to follow suit with Lil Nas X and break down the common notions of genre within their organizations. It starts with disposing of legacy labels and classifications.

Where Are All The Women CEOs?
The Wall Street Journal

Women CEOs continue to remain a rarity and the top positions feeding talent into the role are dominated by men.

Why it matters: While women hold more double the number of chief executive titles in 2020 when compared to a decade ago, this number is still only under 6 percent.

‘CMO Clubs’: Portfolio Brand Leaders Are Looking To Counterparts To Solve Problems

CMOs are finding strength in numbers when combatting big problems.

Why it matters: Don’t work in a bubble. Strategy loves company.

10 Steps To Creating A Data-Driven Culture
Harvard Business Review

Keep data as the core of your decision-making process by internalizing these 10 “data commandments.”

Why it matters: It takes work, not just lip-service, to really lead with a data-driven mindset. These steps serve as good reminders.

How Modern Consumers Are Redefining The Hospitality Industry

Forbes explores how Gen Z is shaping ‘New Hospitality’ by remaking the industry in its image.

Why it matters: Yes, authenticity is part of any equation solving for Gen Z’s marketing appetite, but there are other factors at play. How quickly brands adopt new technologies for amplifying experiences is another major aspect.

Mobile Ad Blocking In U.S. Sees Significant Growth: PageFair
Ad Age

A new report from PageFair evaluates the state of ad blocker usage, which is up a whopping 64 percent globally since 2016 for blocking on mobile.

Why it matters: According to the report, nearly 70 percent of all digital ad spend happens in the U.S. on mobile, while 4 percent of all ad blocking on mobile happens there.

The Rise Of The Seven Second Ad
The Drum

Have you considered giving seven-second ads a try? Here’s why, when and how you should serve up micro ads to your audiences.

Why it matters: Attention is finite and the ad ecosystem is crowded. A seven-second ad could help differentiate you from your competitors with something short and sweet.

How Google Plans To Build On YouTube’s $15 Billion In Ad Revenue
Business Insider

Google’s parent company Alphabet has, for the first time, released details on YouTube’s ad revenue,

Why it matters: “By breaking out YouTube’s revenue, executives will be able to highlight a business segment where they expect to see rapid growth even as the broader digital ad business tightens.”

TikTok Eyes Larger Post-Super Bowl Marketing Push
The Wall Street Journal

Following this year’s Super Bowl marketing push, TikTok is planning more activity around March Madness and the Tokyo Olympics

Why it matters: With upcoming initiatives around major events, TikTok is hoping to grow its users; good news for brands considering the right time to meet Gen Z where they’re at.

How Dolce & Gabbana Clawed Its Way Back From Cancellation
Business of Fashion

D&G’s recent marketing missteps include the release of ads depicting a knifing and an offensive Chinese campaign. While these gaffes situate them squarely in the sights of “cancel culture,” the luxury label has so far evaded such cancellation.

Why it matters: If you’re leading a brand on the brink of zero goodwill, take heart. Not all is lost if you take a page from D&G.

Attracting The Modern Day Consumer With Context Marketing

Sure, you’ve heard of content marketing, but have you heard of context marketing?

Why it matters: The author notes that the best way to directly and indirectly market to consumers (and isn’t that the point?) is to “update your marketing with contextual solutions to attract organic leads.”

How To Succeed In Uncertain Times

Strategy + Business

PwC to leaders: Don’t be so “defensive.” Learn strategies about how to succeed when the path forward is uncertain.

Why it matters: The only certainty is that nothing is certain, especially in this industry. “Sailors navigating tricky winds, shifting tides, and mercurial weather systems prepare their vessels so they can sail on safely and purposefully, and companies can do the same.”

Axe Teams With Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ To Offer Dating Tips

Marketing Dive

Axe partnered with Netflix’s show “Sex Education” to address teen boys’ issues around dating and relationships. Characters from the show will present topics in the form of chapters from the book ‘Bringing Up Men’ on social media, tying research conducted by the brand with topics from the Netflix show.

Why it matters: Axe is building a direct connection with potential consumers around core themes from Netflix’s “Sex Education.”

Super Bowl Ads Reveal Brands’ Purpose Better Than A Vision Statement

Ad Age

Writer Lana Mcgilvray makes the case for “operationalizing purpose” using recent Super Bowl ads as examples of times when brands hit—and missed—the mark.

Why it matters: Take note from brands that seamlessly distilled their brand vision and purpose into 30-second Super Bowl spots, a task not taken lightly. And remember: There’s always next year.

Younger And Wordier: How Gen Z’s Search Behavior Is Different

Marketing Profs

Fractl’s latest study of 956 U.S. consumers found that generational differences altered respondents’ behavior when using search, even down to the use of certain words and length of queries.

Why it matters: Frame your SEM strategy around these findings to hone your generationally-specific paid search campaigns (until the Millennials kill that, too).

A.I. In China: TikTok Is Just The Beginning


Fortune shares a look at how China is making A.I. research a state planning priority, explores the questions this raises and covers a handful of the People’s Republic’s official state A.I. incubators.

Why it matters: China’s A.I. R&D has already come under scrutiny in light of data collection practices and lacking transparency (hello, TikTok). Hypothetically, these data concerns could grow as more Chinese A.I. hits the West… which reading this article seems almost inevitable.

How To Leave Work At Work
Harvard Business Review

We’ve all been there. The work never ends, so what’s a marketer to do?

Why it matters: Setting boundaries can reduce burnout and keep you focused on the major priorities while elevating work-life balance as a core organizational principle.

‘Increasingly An Awareness Platform’: Amazon Advertising Is Moving Beyond Search

The focus that advertisers have historically paid to Amazon’s paid search advertising is quickly being superseded by the awareness potential of the platform.

Why it matters: Clients should consider how to leverage Amazon for brand storytelling and awareness. “Analysts have noted advertisers’ growing interest in recent months in paid video ads, which are now available through Amazon’s self-serve ads platform (for certain advertisers), as well as paid ad placements in over-the-top media.”

New CMO Benchmark Report Finds Marketing Organizations Are Ready For The Future
MarTech Series

The CMO Club and Deloitte’s latest CMO study indicates how the 400 senior marketers surveyed are building their organizations for future success.

Why it matters: The latest benchmark data provides CMOs with an invaluable tool for comparing their roles and organizations with those of their peers.

The Branding Genius Of K-Pop Band BTS
The Washington Post

A deep dive into BTS’ merchandising and endorsement empire.

Why it matters: A note to brands: “When BTS stepped out in a Hyundai Palisade last year, the SUV was on back-order for months.”

Do Consumers Think Brand Purpose Is Bullshit?
The Drum

Purpose is underleveraged but profit-boosting. Ali Demos examines potential brand purpose pitfalls so brands can feel more empowered to fill the gap

Why it matters: Avoid these common brand purpose pitfalls or risk the alternative: purpose that falls flat, feels disingenuous or simply fails to leave the ground.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 7. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at