Moving And Shaking On TikTok With Evan Horowitz

During this 211th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Evan Horowitz, CEO of Movers+Shakers, a go-to agency for TikTok.

On the show today, we talk about how Movers+Shakers came about, how it’s a family business with his partner, and we talk about some of the record-setting campaigns with e.l.f. Cosmetics, among other work.

Horowitz tells us how he started thinking like a marketer while giving campus tours as a Stanford engineering student. Then he shares how the idea for Movers+Shakers came out of the vision that “using original music, using movement, using dance, would be a way to stop the scroll and drive more engagement.”

Horowitz tells us how the viral e.l.f. campaign came about when they created an original song for a TikTok challenge, which leads to a discussion about what works on TikTok. Horowitz says, “I think one of the biggest challenges for brands when they’re looking at TikTok is they recognize quickly how different the platform feels from other platforms.” Movers+Shakers is translating brands into culture through music and movement, which is a great fit for TikTok. This episode will help you think about creative ways to create an emotional connection with your customer.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • How Evan started in marketing. 01:14
  • Evan’s transition from engineer to agency CEO. 02:27
  • The beginning of Movers+Shakers. 03:14
  • Evan describes running a company with his spouse. 04:38
  • Finding TikTok. 06:31
  • The elf campaign. 07:37
  • The extension of the original song “Eyes. Lips. Face.” 09:39
  • What works on TikTok. 10:38
  • The role of influencers and celebrities in the elf Campaign. 12:26
  • The DNA of Movers+Shakers. 13:34
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 18:18
  • What is the advice Evan would give to his younger self? 20:04
  • The most impactful purchase he has made in the last 6-12 months of $100 or less. 20:58
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Evan follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 22:20
  • Evan’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 23:32

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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.

US Ecommerce Sales Will Surge 18% To $709.78 Billion In 2020

According to eMarketer’s updated ecommerce and retail spending forecast, US ecommerce sales will increase 18 percent to $709.78 billion this year—an all-time high since the researcher began calculating the metric in 2008—as a result of store closures and stay-at-home orders.

In February, eMarketer predicted total US retail sales would slightly grow by 2.8 percent to $5.621 trillion. However, due to COVID, total US retail sales will fall 10.5 percent to $4.894 trillion, a steeper decline than the 8.2 percent drop induced by the recession in 2009 and a level not seen since 2016. What’s more, total retail sales won’t rebound until 2022, when they’re expected to reach $5.549 trillion.

In addition to an 18 percent increase in growth, ecommerce will reach 14.5 percent of total retail sales in 2020, the biggest share increase in a single year. eMarketer predicts ecommerce sales will reach $765.17 billion in 2021 and $859.28 billion in 2022.

Food and beverage and health, personal care and beauty were the top two product categories growing the fastest pre-COVID-19. As consumers shift to online ordering, eMarketer has raised its forecast for food and beverage sales from 23.4 percent to 58.5 percent and health, personal care and beauty sales from 16.6 percent to 32.4 percent. Apparel and accessories will only grow 8.6 percent.

Maintaining the number one spot on the list of top 10 ecommerce retailers, Amazon will grow its market share by one percentage point to 38 percent. And, for the first time, Walmart will exceed eBay as the second US ecommerce retailer behind Amazon, with a projected increase of over 35 percent. As a result, Walmart will hold a 5.8 percent share of the ecommerce market in 2020. This will bump eBay to third, followed by Apple in fourth and Home Depot in fifth.

As ecommerce spending balloons, brick-and-mortar retail spending will continue to suffer, with an expected 14 percent decrease to $4.184 trillion.

Report: Advertisers Will Press Restart In Q3 To Make Up For Lost Time

As the pandemic pushed people to stay inside, advertisers were forced to pause product launches and reorient messaging. Now, as theaters, gyms, restaurants and beaches start to reopen in many parts of the country, advertisers are ready to start anew; 90 percent of advertisers that planned to launch products or services in 2020 say they will introduce them in the second half. That’s according to the fifth wave of Advertiser Perceptions’ report on the pandemic’s effect on ad spending.

As they try to make up for lost time, advertisers are poised to treat Q3 as the start to a lengthy recovery. The data show that 51 percent of advertisers plan to resume or ramp up ad spending in Q3 while 13 percent have already resumed activity. On the other hand, 28 percent plan to accelerate spending before the end of June. 

Advertisers also signal a readiness to move ahead with previously planned product launches in Q3 and Q4. While 48 percent of respondents postponed new product and service launches until the second half of 2020, 41 percent will proceed with new product launches as planned. Just 11 percent of advertisers canceled new product/service launches for 2020.

Though the findings reveal advertisers are ready to embrace Q3, many are unsure how to shift away from COVID-19 messaging. For example, while 58 percent say it’s time to replace COVID-19 messaging with product-specific ads, 43 percent are having difficulty producing new creative; whereas half of them aren’t sure what their new message should be.

Rewriting the post-COVID-19 playbook also presents a challenge. Just 29 percent have a strategy in place for the new normal, compared with 52 percent which say they’re still working on one.

Regional differences in reopening the economy are also affecting how advertisers move forward as 68 percent of respondents say that such differences are making it hard to plan national campaigns. 

To ensure regional relevance, brands should look to media with brand reach and targeted, digital platforms such as television and social media. On that note, 64 percent of respondents expect media and ad tech partners to be flexible when it comes to pausing or shifting spending as needed.  

As live events remain canceled for the most part, 75 percent of advertisers are willing to accept alternative content and media in the place of canceled live programming.

Over the past three months, 40 percent of advertisers have relaxed their own media return on investment (ROI) goals and over a third have lowered their media return on ad spend (ROAS) goals. Still, many say they’re raising the bar to make up for the downtime.

Advertiser Perceptions surveyed 151 advertisers comprising 34 percent marketers and 66 percent agencies, from May 18-21.

Listen In: Steven Lai On Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Influencers (But Were Afraid To Ask)

The third episode of’s new weekly series Listen In, hosted by Ayzenberg principal and ECD Matt Bretz, features a conversation with ION’s VP of talent and content strategy, Steven Lai.

Steven Lai runs the Influencer Orchestration Network – or ION – creating bespoke, always-on programs partnering top brands with digital content creators.

We chat with Steven about the leading edge of influencer marketing and how marketing insiders can find their way to the front.

Content marketing is now arguably a decade old. But to some degree, it remains a frontier in marketing and advertising that many marketers have been cautious about dipping their toe into because of its perceived volatility. 

Steven has been in the space from the beginning and he is very clear that there has never been a better time than this post-COVID-19 era to wade into influencer waters. He explains why and also how to think about making this move.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg will interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

How Brands Are Honoring Pride Month

Between the pandemic and ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, brands are navigating how to address both causes without distracting from messaging around widespread calls for social reform in America. With the arrival of Pride, observed every June, some brands have launched campaigns and products in celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride, which black transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson and Latina transgender activist Sylvia Rivera helped catalyze. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first US pride rally, and while in-person parades have been canceled, publishers, organizations and brands are either postponing events or pivoting virtually. Here’s a roundup of brands activating around Pride.


In addition to this year’s Pride Edition Sport Band featuring a vertical-stripe rainbow design, Apple launched a second watch in collaboration with Nike. Apple’s annual Apple Watch Pride Edition band and face collection directly support the work of organizations like GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gender Spectrum, ILGA World and the National Center for Transgender Equality.


Disney’s installment of the Rainbow Disney Collection, an array of colorful apparel and merchandise, complements its donation of $100,000 to GLSEN. It has also launched a Disney Pride playlist, available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, YouTube and Vevo.


In a statement announcing the postponement of its Pride initiatives and brand partnerships, GLAAD recommends that any campaigns that do launch during this time take into account issues black LGBTQ+ people are facing.

GLAAD has partnered with FOX’s #TVForAll campaign to host a Zoom conversation on June 22 featuring artists from GLAAD’s team to discuss the intersection of Black Lives Matter in entertainment and the LGBTQ+ community.

NYC Pride, together with GLAAD, will stream a three-day virtual drag festival on Facebook to raise funds for local drag performers.


Grindr postponed the launch of its #PridePerseveres initiative in light of the protests and has launched in a different light: via an Instagram Live series to spotlight black queer voices and the “urgent need for queer responsibility and racial justice.”


In mid-May, during Mental Health Awareness Month, Harry’s kicked off its support of the LGBTQ youth community on social media by announcing the launch of a limited-edition set called Shave With Pride. Harry’s is giving 100 percent of the profits to the Trevor Project in the US and £10 from each purchase to the UK-based Akt charity.

Nike and Converse

Nike’s BeTrue and the Converse Pride Collection are inspired by the More Color, More Pride flag which was popularized in 2017 by social justice advocate Amber Hikes. On Nike’s first BeTrue Air Force 1 shoes, the rainbow includes black and brown stripes to recognize people of color in the LGBTQIA+ community.  Converse’s nine-piece Pride collection of Chuck 70 and Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers and accessories also expands the rainbow to include a black and brown stripe.


On June 22, Condé Nast-owned LGBT magazine them. is streaming a one-hour live concert on YouTube with special performances from members of the LGBTQ+ community including Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Tegan and Sara and Cynthia Nixon, among others.


Starbucks’ creative manager Brenden Mendoza created the brand’s Pride cup this year, a 24-ounce tumbler featuring iridescent rainbow stripes and the word “LOVE” across it. The tumbler launched in stores at the end of May.


Skittles gave up its rainbow by creating colorless Skittles to show support for the LGBTQ+ community because, as the brand noted, “During PRIDE only #OneRainbow matters.” For every Skittle Pride Pack purchased, Skittles is donating $1 to GLAAD.

Time Out

As part of its month-long #PrideWorldwide campaign, Time Out is partnering with the first-ever Global Pride, a 24-hour virtual event curated and hosted by LGBTQ+ organizations worldwide, set to live stream on June 27. The virtual event will feature musical performances, speeches from activists and addresses by public figures.

Reebok Ends Negotiations To Renew Deal With CrossFit Following Tweet From CEO

Negotiations to renew Reebok’s 10-year exclusive deal as the CrossFit title sponsor, which has positioned Reebok as the sole licensee of CrossFit apparel and shoes and was set to expire sometime after this year’s games, ended when Glassman replied to the Director of Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s statement, “Racism is a public health issue,” with the following tweet: “It’s FLOYD-19.”

In a statement to Morning Chalk Up, Reebok said that it would fulfill remaining contractual obligations in 2020, citing its commitment and dedication to the CrossFit community ties it has built over the past decade.

Reebok’s exodus imperils the millions of dollars CrossFit receives in royalty payments from Reebok’s licensing deal and the multimillion-dollar prize fund Reebok contributes each year.

Glassman then tried to backpedal, championing Floyd in this apology he issued:

By then, however, the damage had been done. Glassman’s remark was met with public backlash from brands and members of the CrossFit community alike. Nearly 100 current and past CrossFit participants posted text-only messages saying, “I’m Out,” as well as video reactions, declining participation in these year’s games, pending major changes being made to CrossFit.

Previous sponsors of CrossFit, such as LIFEAID’s FITAID and Rogue, also censured Glassman’s statement. Rogue, for example, decided to immediately remove the CrossFit logo from Rogue Invitational, its upcoming online fitness competition, noting that its future with CrossFit is dependent on the “direction and leadership within CrossFit HQ.”

Co-founder and president of LIFEAID Aaron Hinde said in a video that the company will also end its longstanding relationship as a sponsor of the CrossFit Games.

Glassman’s remark comes as brands rally behind the Black Lives Matter movement, which CrossFit was silent about until after Glassman’s tweet went viral. In fact, after the affiliate owner of a CrossFit gym urged CrossFit to speak up about its stance on Black Lives Matter, Glassman chided her for, “doing your best to brand us as racist.”

While countless brands issued statements supporting the black community and pledging donations to organizations supporting racial justice, CrossFit resumed normal messaging; even going so far as to launch a new program called CrossFit Health Education, which provides education and professional development opportunities for doctors, trainers and health-care providers, on June 2. On that same day, which came to be known as Blackout Tuesday, brands went dark on social media to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters.

What We’re Reading–Week Of June 1st

We’re searching for the most pressing marketing insights this week.

How To Speak Up When It Matters

Harvard Business Review

What makes a thoughtful leader and compassionate colleague is lending your voice to difficult conversations. To do so successfully, you must acknowledge how psychologically challenging, albeit worthwhile, speaking up can be; avoid pushing buttons by showing you’re giving feedback on impact, without making assumptions about intent; and create a plan for how to speak up by identifying in advance the type of situations that occur in roles that may require you to speak up.

Why it matters: Research suggests that most people tend not to say something when ethically questionable situations arise then rationalize their inaction.

How To Use Your White Privilege To Help Black + POC In The Marketing Space

Elise Dopson

Freelance B2B writer Elise Dopson advises people to call out racism in their own networks and at home, as well as educate themselves about the black community. 

To make your marketing more inclusive, Elise suggests using black-or POC-owned businesses for examples in explanations; asking marketers of color to contribute to your content; recommending black and POC speakers for conferences you’re attending; making a conscious effort to refer POC for jobs; using stock photos that show POC and putting pressure on your boss to implement these and similar changes.

Why it matters: Elise admits that, though she’s always thought of herself as a non-racist, the Black Live Matters protests made her realize she’s not doing anywhere near as much as she can to help amplify black voices.

Marketers Are Embracing Black Lives Matter


Many brands, including those who’ve been wary of conflict in polarized times, are embracing anti-racism initiatives in light of protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: Experts say that brands that express solidarity could either run the risk of alienating some “law and order” consumers or appear hungry for PR and/or more sales.

Brands Have Nothing Real To Say About Racism

The Atlantic

Atlantic writer Amanda Mull says that by invoking the Black Lives Matter movement, brands are able to associate themselves “with the zeitgeist in a fast, low-effort way during periods when their typical advertising efforts might need to be paused,” thereby pulling a neat sleight of hand when there’s little else appropriate to say.

Why it matters: Scores of brands have contributed to the recent outpouring of public support against police brutality and racism including Twitter, which, Mull notes, “has been notoriously resistant to years of pleas to remove the accounts of virulent neo-Nazis.”

New York Times Diversity Report Shows Fair Progress In Diversifying Staff

Across The New York Times, 43 percent of new hires in 2019 identified as people of color, according to the company’s latest diversity report for 2019.

The breakdown reflects New York Times’ fair progress in diversifying staff across gender, race and ethnicity. At the leadership level, inclusivity is growing, but still has a ways to go; people of color now represent 21 percent of leadership roles, up from 16 percent in 2015. Women, on the other hand, now represent 49 percent of leadership, up from 40 percent in 2015.

Representation among staff overall has improved. People of color now account for 32 percent of New York Times staff and women represent 51 percent of staff.

Despite the advancements, white employees still dominate staff and leadership roles, representing 65 percent of all staff, down from 73 percent in 2015, and 76 percent of leadership, down from 83 percent in 2015.

The company admits it still has gaps in representation at the leadership level and explained its ongoing initiatives in 2019 to bridge that gap. In terms of hiring, it says it relies on diverse panels to assess diverse slates of job candidates and provides hiring managers with tools to remove bias from job descriptions.

To ensure pay equity, the New York Times conducts pay reviews every two years and reviews promotion and retention data at least quarterly.

Examples of how the publication has sought to foster a more inclusive culture include adding gender-neutral bathrooms to its offices in New York and London, in response to staff requests; incorporating inclusion and belonging in trainings on unconscious bias; encouraging senior executives to hold regular discussions on progress and challenges across the company; and implementing regular town halls and Q&As with company and department leaders, with more ways for employees to share feedback, like office hours and smaller forums.

Google is faring much worse in reaching a racially just workplace. According to its seventh consecutive diversity report, released in early May, the percentage of black hires in the US in 2019 was 5.5 percent, up by just 0.7 percent from 2018.

Pinterest Pledges $1.5 Million To Racial Justice Initiatives

This week in social media news, Pinterest pledges $1.5 million to support racial justice, TikTok apologizes to black creators for a glitch that made it seem like it was suppressing views of videos tagged with #BlackLivesMatter, LinkedIn’s latest learning report reveals CEOs value learning more since the pandemic, Snapchat decides to no longer promote President Trump’s account on its Discover tab and Reddit’s former CEO calls out the platform for fueling white supremacy.

Pinterest Pledges $1.5 Million Toward Racial Justice Initiatives

On Blackout Tuesday, Pinterest expressed a commitment to taking action against racism and injustice via donations, education and sensitivity toward ads after hosting an open conversation internally with its entire staff.

Why it matters: Pinterest’s stand on Black Lives Matter follows the company’s slight progress toward diversity, which its sixth annual diversity report revealed in January; it increased hiring rates for underrepresented minority employees across the company from 12 percent to 14 percent. The percentage of underrepresented minorities that make up Pinterest employees also grew from three percent in 2015 to nine percent in 2019 to 10 percent in 2020.

The details: Steps Pinterest is taking toward a more racially just workplace include: elevating resources for how parents can talk to their children about systemic racism in the US; delivering content on Pinterest that represents people from diverse backgrounds; not serving ads on Black Lives Matter results; increasing diversity of senior leaders; donating 25,000 shares of stock (worth about $500,000) to organizations committed to racial justice; investing $250,000 to help rebuild local businesses damaged in the protests and donating $750,000 in paid media organizations to support racial justice.

TikTok Apologizes To Black Creators About Technical Glitch On #BlackLivesMatter Videos

After a technical glitch that made it appear as though TikTok was suppressing black creators’ videos around the murder by police of George Floyd, TikTok announced it will donate $3 million from its Community Relief Fund to non-profits that support the black community and $1 million toward fighting racial injustice, though it didn’t specify how the latter funds would be allocated.

Why it matters: TikTok’s message in support of improving black users’ experiences comes after black creators and allies changed their profile pictures in a stance against how they felt the black community was being marginalized on TikTok after “a technical glitch made it temporarily appear as if posts uploaded using #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd would receive 0 views.”

The details: TikTok says it’s committed to examining any of its policies that might diminish diversity on its platform by investing in technology and moderation strategies, establishing a creator diversity council, engaging experts to analyze how its products can better serve people of all background and developing a creator portal to expand opportunities for its broader creator community. 

On Blackout Tuesday, the platform silenced its playlists and campaigns on the Sounds page in observance of the initiative.

LinkedIn Report Reveals Time Spent Learning Has Significantly Grown In Pandemic

For its latest report, LinkedIn Learning surveyed 900 learning and development pros and 3,000 learners in May to understand their behavioral patterns in the pandemic and how organizations plan to approach learning strategies in the year ahead.

Why it matters: LinkedIn found that employees are spending 130 percent more time on learning and there’s been a 301 percent increase in professionals joining learning groups since the pandemic, suggesting learning’s strategic role in navigating the pandemic and change as people continue working from home.

The details: Highlights from the report include: 70 percent of respondents said their CEOs are active champions of learning, up from 27 percent in March; 68 percent of learning and development pros say that managers are actively promoting more learning resources to their team than before the pandemic; and 75 percent of learning and development pros expect an increase in social learning, where learners engage with colleagues and instructors around topics.

Snapchat Removes President Trump’s Account From Discover Tab

Snapchat is removing President Trump’s verified account from the Discover tab after concluding that his recent tweets around nationwide protests promoted violence, as reported by The Verge.

Why it matters: Trump’s Snapchat following more than tripled over the past year, to 1.5 million followers, in part due to regular promotion in Snapchat’s Discover tab, as part of a tactic to engage Snapchat’s young audience ahead of the 2020 election. But after Trump’s controversial tweets around the protests of the police killing of George Floyd, which were placed by Twitter behind warning screens for glorifying violence, Snapchat took action; unlike Facebook, which has decided to leave up Trump’s cross-posted tweets on Facebook.

The details: In a message to employees, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said:

“As for Snapchat, we simply cannot promote accounts in America that are linked to people who incite racial violence, whether they do so on or off our platform. Our Discover content platform is a curated platform, where we decide what we promote. We have spoken time and again about working hard to make a positive impact, and we will walk the talk with the content we promote on Snapchat. We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way.”

Reddit’s Former CEO Accuses Platform Of Monetizing White Supremacy  

Former Reddit CEO Ellen K. Pao took to Twitter to call out Reddit for nurturing “white supremacy and hate all day long” in response to a letter current Reddit CEO Steve Huffman posted about the platform’s intolerance for racism amidst Black Lives Matter protests.

Why it matters: During her time as Reddit interim CEO, from 2014-2015, Pao banned some of the platform’s most abusive subreddits. Since then she’s called out Reddit for the group-trolling associated with the subreddit “The_Donald.”

The details: Pao’s tweet reads: “I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence. So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don’t get to say BLM [Black Lives Matter] when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long.”

Warner Bros. Hires Tricia Melton As CMO, Global Kids, Young Adults And Classics

This week in leadership updates, Warner Bros. appoints Tricia Melton as CMO, Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics and Hangar 24 Craft Brewing hires John Waters as CMO.

Warner Bros. Hires Tricia Melton As Chief Marketing Officer, Global Kids, Young Adults And Classics

Tricia Melton, former SVP of marketing, brand, creative and communications at Disney-owned Freeform has joined Warner Bros. as CMO, Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics. Effective June 29, Melton will oversee the unit, which houses Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Warner Bros. Animation and Turner Classic Movies.

Before Freeform, Melton was SVP, entertainment marketing and branding for TBS, TNT and TCM. Prior to that, she served as VP, marketing for Lifetime Television.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewing Names John Waters As Chief Marketing Officer

According to Brewbound, Hangar 24 Craft Brewing has appointed former Air Force Fighter pilot John Waters as CMO.

During his tenure as the F-16 Demo Team Commander, Waters transformed the US Air Force’s social media strategy, growing his team’s social media presence to over 200,000 followers and nearly 7 million engagements.