Master P Launches Packaged Foods Line With A Purpose

Master P has launched a line of packaged foods with a purpose called Uncle P’s Louisiana Seasoned as an alternative to brands like Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Jemima, who recently came under fire for their racist brand identities.

In March, the rapper and his partner, James Lindsey, created PJ Foods Company to encourage other black-owned companies to change the narrative and launch their own products.

Uncle P’s Louisiana Seasoned products include flavored rices, beans, syrup, oatmeal, grits and pancake mix.

A portion of profits from the Uncle P’s brand will go toward educating inner-city kids, helping elderly people in black communities and developing real estate in black neighborhoods, he told CNN. In addition, the brand has plans to create more job opportunities with upward mobility for black employees.

“When you look at Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, a lot of those products are mockeries of African-American people and couldn’t even feed our communities. With Uncle P, the more we make, the more we give. And the only way to give is by owning these products,” said Master P.

Black Lives Matter protests induced corporate America’s racial reckoning, which led brands like Uncle Ben’s, Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat and Mrs. Butterworth’s to update their brand packaging after many pointed out that their mascots and imagery have racist origins.

Major retailers and social media platforms alike have launched initiatives to promote black-owned brands as searches for black-owned companies have surged. For example, Sephora announced it will dedicate 15 percent of shelf space for black-owned brands. Pinterest debuted a Pinterest Shop collection featuring over 600 products from 20 black-owned beauty and fashion brands, while Facebook is making it easier to discover black-owned businesses by enabling page admins to self-identify and appear in the “Black-owned Businesses” subsection in the “Business Nearby” tab.

What We’re Reading—Week Of August 24th

We’re tracking the most important marketing and advertising news from major publishers. Here’s what we’re reading this week.

Consumers Age 65 And Older Are Attracted To Non-Brand Terms


Seniors are showing more activity online due to COVID-19. According to Microsoft’s analysis of online behavior of consumers 65 years and older in Australia, the growth rate of generic, non-branded searches among this demo surpasses other age groups.

Why it matters: Marketers should take note of Microsoft’s latest report on the online behavior of consumers 65 years plus to reach this demographic, noting the differences between brand and non-branded searches.

Wall Street Analysts Looked At Early Data On Instagram Reels To Estimate Its Potential To Drive Ad Revenue. Here Are 5 Key Takeaways From Their Report.

Business Insider

Jefferies analysts estimated that Instagram’s TikTok-like feature, Reels, could add $2.5 billion in yearly incremental ad revenue for Facebook by 2022.

Why it matters: Key takeaways from Instagram’s market analysis indicate that users are adopting the feature within Instagram and using it daily. Also, if Instagram Stories is any bellwether, Reels could be on target to match the success of Stories, the latter being the “largest driver of ad impression growth” for the platform.

How To Foster Psychological Safety In Virtual Meetings

Harvard Business Review

HBR articulates some helpful platform features to encourage feelings of psychological security among virtual meeting attendees. 

Why it matters: With virtual meetings, barriers with detecting non-verbal agreement and cues can lead to feelings of being unheard. Creating breakout rooms and using platform-specific tools like hand-raises can, according to HBR, have a positive impact on “psychological safety—people feeling they can raise questions, concerns, and ideas without fear of personal repercussion.”

Report: Nike Shutting Down 9 Wholesale Accounts In Shift To DTC

Retail Dive

Nike is taking a hard look at its wholesale accounts and prioritizing its own direct-to-consumer channels as the retailer evaluates its existing partnerships.

Why it matters: According to a Nike spokesperson quoted by Retail Dive, “As part of our recently announced Consumer Direct Acceleration strategy, we are doubling down on our approach with Nike Digital and our owned stores, as well as a smaller number of strategic partners who share our vision to create a consistent, connected and modern shopping experience.”

Marketer Bari Harlam Joins Rite Aid’s Board Of Directors

This week in leadership updates, Rite Aid names Bari Harlam as the newest member on their board of directors, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars created a new VP position for social responsibility and impact, Caroline Hudack leaves her position as EMEA brand marketing director for Airbnb, Virgin Atlantic CMO Claire Cronin departs while Just Salad appoints their first chief marketing officer.

Rite Aid Picks Bari Harlam As Newest Board Member

Bari Harlam joins Rite Aid Corporation’s board of directors as its newest member, according to a press release circulated today.

The move comes as Rite Aid seeks to support its RxEvolution strategy which positions the company toward embracing a holistic approach to health.

Harlam was most recently CMO at Hudson’s Bay Company and also had a hand in creating CVS’s ExtraCare program as CVS Health’s SVP.

T-Neisha Tate Named Jaguars’ Vice President Of Social Responsibility And Impact

T-Neisha Tate has been picked for a newly created role as part of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ leadership team, reports Sports Illustrated.

The new role, VP of social responsibility and impact, will find Tate “responsible for creating programming and executing on the organization’s social responsibility mission that is designed to emphasize respect and to inspire and unify players, staff, fans and area communities through efforts to make a positive, meaningful impact.”

Tate reports to CMO and SVP of social responsibility & impact, Julian Duncan.

Caroline Hudack Leaves Airbnb EMEA Marketing Position

Caroline Hudack will be leaving her position as Airbnb brand marketing director for the EMEA region, reports Campaign.

Hudack has been in her position for the past three years at Airbnb. Freddie Eaves, Airbnb’s brand marketing manager for United Kingdom and Northern Europe, will take over her duties in her absence.

Virgin Atlantic Chief Marketer Claire Cronin Leaves Position

Claire Cronin is leaving her CMO position at Virgin Atlantic, a spot she held since 2017 after first joining Virgin Holidays as marketing director in 2014.

Marketing Week reports that with the departure of Cronin, Virgin Atlantic’s VP of digital and distribution, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, will take on the duties previously associated with the CMO title under her expanded role.

Just Salad Names First CMO

Andy Rooks has been named as Just Salad’s first CMO, reports QSR Magazine

Rooks joins the fast-casual brand from Theory Marketing Partners, a consulting firm he founded and served as CEO for.

Beyond The Bottle With PepsiCo’s Scott Finlow

During this 222nd episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Scott Finlow, the chief marketing officer of PepsiCo’s foodservice business.

On the show today, we talk about PepsiCo’s push into sustainability, specifically the Beyond the Bottle initiative. We also talk about PepsiCo and their foodservice division’s beta testing of SodaStream Professional and many other topics. 

Finlow begins by talking about his long career with PepsiCo and the always energizing environment there. We then talk about PepsiCo’s impressive sustainability initiatives. Finlow says, “we have a vision of a world where plastic will never become waste.” Then we talk about SodaStream as part of the PepsiCo portfolio as well as SodaStream Professional. He says, “we did a ton of work to understand the different ways that people are now drinking water.” The insights gained from this research led PepsiCo to see the connection between water consumption and big goals consumers have. Finlow tells us about the significant work PepsiCo is doing to serve communities during COVID-19, and he notes, “it’s helped elevate our empathy muscle in terms of understanding people.” This discussion highlights the way a mission-driven organization can make a real impact.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Scott’s 21-year career at PepsiCo. 01:23
  • Other significant positions in Scott’s career. 02:49
  • Explaining the foodservice side of the business. 06:41
  • PepsiCo’s sustainability initiatives. 09:25
  • SodaStream Professional’s place in PepsiCo’s portfolio. 13:03
  • The SodaStream Professional experience. 14:52
  • Insights that helped launch the SodaStream Professional platform. 16:06
  • Beta testing for SodaStream Professional. 18:32
  • The impact of COVID-19 at PepsiCo. 20:23
  • Partnering with Guy Fieri and Bill Murray. 25:58
  • Scott shares a defining experience. 28:02
  • Scott reflects on advice he would give to his younger self. 29:48
  • Scott shares about an impactful purchase he made in the last 6-12 months. 32:41
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Scott follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 34:45
  • Scott’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 37:34

Resources Mentioned:

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Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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.

Listen In: How Do We Grow Black Leaders In Design And Advertising?

(Originally aired August 25th on LinkedIn Live.)

On the show today, we’re featuring a conversation between Ayzenberg’s Matt Bretz and co-founder and CCO of Pastilla Inc., Rudy Manning.

Rudy and Matt discuss BIPOC representation in the field of graphic design as well as Rudy’s path to commercial design. Rudy also discusses how his passion for design was sparked while in adolescence and explains his various initiatives, namely with Price School, to foster design awareness at an early age among black youth. Matt and Rudy then discuss how to make a difference in the local community of Pasadena by taking swift action, including a pledge to reconvene in six months to check on progress.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg 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.

Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio To Depart

This week in marketing leadership announcements, Antonio Lucio is leaving Facebook, Fred Bucher joins The Weather Channel TV network’s parent company, The Weather Group, as SVP and CMO. Also, Martin Lee joins Sport Clips as chief marketing officer and Tina Rubin leaves her position as head of strategy and consumer marketing at Netflix for the CMO role at Wave.

Antonio Lucio Is Stepping Down From His Role At Facebook

As reported by Business Insider and confirmed by Bloomberg, Antonio Lucio is leaving his position as Facebook’s chief marketing officer.

Lucio served as the global marketing chief for Facebook for the last two years. Prior to that, he was the global chief marketing and communications officer at HP.

The Weather Group Names Former Charter Communications Exec As SVP, CMO

Fred Bucher joins The Weather Channel’s parent company, The Weather Group, as senior vice president and chief marketing officer as reported by MediaPost.

Bucher was previously in the same roles at Spectrum Reach, a division of Charter Communications, as well as at Time Warner Cable Media. Prior to that, he served as VP of marketing solutions at ESPN.

Sport Clips Welcomes Martin Lee As Chief Marketing Officer

Martin Lee, who has previously served in various marketing roles for brands such as SIRIUS XM Radio and Sleepy’s, joins Sports Clips Haircuts as chief marketing officer.

Lee will lead the initiative to “getting the message out about the differentiators that make Sport Clips the hair care choice for men and boys,” according to the announcement.

Tina Rubin Joins Wave Leadership From Netflix

Variety reports that virtual interactive event startup Wave has brought on Tina Rubin, who hails from Netflix where she previously served as head of strategy for YA and family original TV shows.

Wave, which produces virtual, interactive events featuring avatars of artists such as The Weeknd, has tasked Rubin with overseeing all global marketing initiatives and partnerships. She replaces Wave interim CMO Jeremy Welt who will remain on the advisory board.

Gary Goodman’s Creative Picks: Create Bigger Waves

Gary Goodman here. We’re diverging from our normal programming to share a new voice and perspective this week.

Even if you don’t know Rob Matthews, you’ve certainly felt the waves created by his work at either Xbox or Nintendo as the former head of global integrated marketing at Xbox. He’s also the founder and managing partner of Swiftwater Group. Take it away Rob!

There are brands that create waves of change and those that simply ride the waves of others.

The brands that people love, the ones that change the world, create big waves. But that requires courage—to get out of the wake of others and find your own open water. Conviction—knowing who you are and why you matter. And a clear vision—one that will inspire others and create relevancy. 

The three campaigns highlighted below are radically different, yet they share a common attribute—they come from brands that create big waves in popular culture. As a marketer, I always try to find an intersection between strategy and imagination. Where the narrative rings true for my brand and product but also strikes an emotional chord with my audience. 

These campaigns find that intersection. They each remain true to their respective brands and will speak volumes to their fans. But they also tap into a bigger concept that everyone can relate to, regardless of whether or not you use their products. Two of them do it with a sense of bigness and scale. One does it more intimately. But all three tap into the current cultural ethos.

Apple: “Vertical Cinema”

Apple’s latest “shot on iPhone” campaign redefines the concept of cinema.  For years they have been rewriting the rules of photography, giving everyone with an iPhone the ability to take professional-quality images. Now they are doing the same with film. 

Historically, there has been a clear distinction between “shooting a video” and producing “cinematic film.” But their new campaign blurs the lines between the two. And for good reason, vertical video is rapidly growing as more people are using their phones to tell their stories. But Apple wanted to go beyond the six-to-ten-second videos that tend to dominate the vertical landscape. They set out to prove that their phones could produce Hollywood-quality cinema, while also pushing content creators to raise the bar.

The timing is not lost on me. As Hollywood struggles to come back to life, and the flow of new cinematic content slows, more and more people are turning to their phones for their video entertainment. Apple is leaning into that void by demonstrating that the historical concept of “cinema” is no longer valid. Previously defined by its wide-screen format and expansive canvas, cinema is now vertical. 

Why it matters: By leaning into their heritage with content creators and tastemakers, Apple is once again redefining a category and positioning themselves as the quality bar to beat. They have done this for years, dominating popular culture and driving mindshare far greater than their market share would dictate. This holds true today, with Apple coming in a distant second in share to Android globally. But market share has never stopped Apple from behaving like a leader. Which is why they continue to be the brand of choice for creators who take their craft seriously. 

The details: The 9-minute launch film was created by TBWA/Media Arts Lab and was directed by Academy Award-winning director, Damien Chazelle, whose previous works include Whiplash and La La Land. It takes viewers on a journey through numerous film genres and is packed with amazing stunts and camera techniques. All shot on iPhone.

Burger King: Safe Order Masks

I love a great stunt. Let me rephrase that—I love a great stunt that is done well. Burger King Belgium is about to launch a social campaign that caught my eye because of its authenticity. Now Burger King is no stranger to game-changing creativity and stunts that drive virality. But this one is a bit different because of how personal it is to their fans.

We have all seen a lot of marketing lately with face masks. And every brand is trying to figure out how to balance their need to market with a desire to be sensitive to the situation we are all going through. But few have found a way to do so with such a laser-sharp focus. 

As more and more people are moving about, interacting with others through a mask can be challenging. It is particularly difficult to talk or to be heard. I find myself constantly asking people to repeat themselves. I can only imagine how this is magnified for restaurant and hospitality workers. 

Burger King decided to have a little fun with the current state of human interaction, by creating masks with people’s orders written on the front. So instead of engaging in an awkward conversation, you simply pull up to a drive-thru wearing your mask. It is a great way to let the personality of their brand shine through, even in the face of a difficult situation. 

One thing I have learned over the years is this—fans use products, but they love brands. Burger King understands that and has created something here that not only ignites fan passion but also empowers their advocacy. Because the way you get one of these limited-edition face masks is to engage with their brand in social media. It is a great example of how you can create energy out of obstacles. 

Why it matters: This campaign brings emotion back into an otherwise emotionless experience. It is hard to interact with people without seeing 50% of their face. But it would be hard not to smile when wearing this mask. It brings life and energy back into Burger King stores and will create a massive wave of sharable moments for their brand.

The details: The campaign was developed by Burger King Belgium. Fans comment on social media to claim one of 500 masks featuring their order. The campaign will begin in early September. And while 500 seems like a low number, might I remind you that you are reading this in a newsletter written on the other side of the world from where this is happening. The number of masks is not the number that matters most. 

Nike: “You Can’t Stop Us”

Admittedly, I am a little late to the party on this one. This ad has been discussed for a few weeks now. The inspirational message is timely, and the editing is quite simply, brilliant. I have no doubt this will be an awards magnet in the coming year. But even though I love both the message and method, that is not why I included it here.

The beauty of this video is how its complexity is masked by its simplicity and flow. Having spent more than 25 years in marketing, I know how difficult it is to make something feel simple and elegant. But that is what sets Nike apart. They are experts at subtraction. Much like a sculptor that strips away anything that does not belong, Nike keeps only what is necessary for the narrative. And they resist the common urge to say more.  The result is powerful.

Athletes are very familiar with the concept of “flow”—when everything is in perfect balance, working the way it was designed and you are at your peak performance. But this is the first time I have seen the concept of flow brought to life in advertising. It is not something that is spoken about or perhaps even intended. But it is present nonetheless. The connection between one scene to the next. The relationship between one athlete and another. Disparate scenes from 24 sports pulled from decades of footage all coming together in perfect harmony.  

Why it matters: While others aim their marketing at their products, Nike aims theirs at life. Their narratives are through the lens of sport, but rarely about the sport itself. In a world that emphasizes our differences over the things we share in common, sport is a thread that binds us together. And even though there are far more things that unite us than divide us, we tend to shine a spotlight on the latter vs. the former. Nike understands the unifying power of sport and tackles tough issues using sport as a common language. Because movements require a starting point. 

The details: To create “You Can’t Stop Us,” Wieden+Kennedy went through 4,000 hours of footage to find the perfect scenes to stitch together. There are 24 different sports represented in the video that is eloquently narrated by soccer star Megan Rapinoe.

Robert Matthews is the founder and managing partner of Swiftwater Group and former head of global integrated marketing at Xbox. His company helps leaders “create bigger waves” for their businesses, brands and the world–building iconic brands people love, creating desire with modern storytelling and igniting fan passion to drive cultural relevancy.   

What We’re Reading: August Rewind

Stories we think you may have missed with everything that’s going on.

Walmart Is Pushing Harder Into Advertising

Business Insider

Walmart is launching a new dashboard for advertisers that shows how online ads drive in-store and ecommerce sales.

Why it matters: Akin to the technology advertisers use to buy ads on Facebook, Amazon and Google, the measurement tool will make it easier for advertisers to house all their data in one place and update it daily.

TikTok Helps Gen Z Learn About Social Justice Issues, Study Finds

Mobile Marketer

Social activism posts on TikTok have inspired 54 percent of Gen Z to engage in discussions with family and friends, and 44 percent to sign petitions, a study from Reach3 Insights found.

Why it matters: Brands should tailor their TikTok messaging to reflect Gen Z’s awareness of movements.

Contactless Tech May Make Or Break Small Businesses


Eight in 10 consumers worldwide have changed the way they pay in order to reduce contact, and 54 percent of American consumers said they’d switch to a new store that installed contactless payment systems, Visa’s Back to Business study revealed.

Why it matters: In response, 67 percent of small businesses have created ecommerce sites, or adopted touchless technology.

‘You Get 2 seconds To Engage Consumers Online’: Mars Neuroscientist Shares Key Findings

The Drum

Marketers now have only about two seconds to get consumers’ attention via digital content, extensive neuroscience studies conducted by Mars show.

Why it matters: Because it’s difficult to elicit emotions in short form—the key to encoding your products into the consumer’s brain—brands should teach consumers about something and then show them the product.

Why Do Boards Have So Few Black Directors?

Harvard Business Review

The results of a survey HBR fielded between 2015-2016 to a small sample show that one barrier to the boardroom is the recruiting system for directors, which are ingrained on boards that lack directors who are racial/ethnic minorities.

Why it matters: In 2019, 37 percent of S&P 500 firms had no black board members, and in that same year, black directors comprised only 4.1 percent of Russell 3000 board members.

Comfort In Trying Times With Purple’s Burke Morley

During this 221st episode of “Marketing Today,” host Alan Hart interviews Burke Morley, the vice president of brand and executive creative director of Purple.

On the show today, we talk a lot about content and how content has been vital to Purple’s growth. We also discuss Purple’s focus on differentiation and innovation in the DTC mattress space, including their “SHIF” (show how it feels) approach.

Morley talks about what sets Purple apart from their competitors in the same space. He says, “we’re interested in creating a better sleep experience and a better mattress and not just a better purchasing experience.” This focus on innovation connects to Purple’s content strategy, which is about owning tactility. Trying to create a visceral sensory experience, Morley says, “we want to show how it feels instead of talking about what it is.” We discuss how Purple has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic phenomenally by shifting their strategy and the sales flow from wholesale to DTC. We also discuss Purple’s future, and Morley reminds us that, “reach can be bought, but attention has to be earned.” This discussion highlights a sensorial approach to marketing and how that strategy can help evolve a growing brand. 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Burke’s experience working in many locales. 01:30
  • His journey to Purple. 02:08
  • The nature of the work he did at iconic brands such as Nike and Sonic. 03:02
  • How Purple differentiates itself in the DTC mattress space. 05:24
  • How Purple is thinking about content. 07:06
  • Taking the brand to the next level and evolving the brand strategy. 11:32
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 13:23
  • Purple’s future. 20:00
  • Burke shares a defining experience. 24:01
  • Burke reflects on advice he would give to his younger self. 27:44
  • Burke shares about an impactful purchase he made in the last 6-12 months. 30:48
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Burke follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 32:03
  • Burke’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 34:36

Resources Mentioned:

Subscribe to the podcast:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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.

Listen In: Using Belief And Behavior Design To Shape Consumer Actions And Outcomes

(Originally aired August 18th on LinkedIn Live.)

On the show today, we’re featuring a conversation between Ayzenberg’s Matt Bretz and Founder and CEO of Cactus, Joe Conrad.

Matt and Joe discuss the impetus behind the episode: cross-agency recognition of the motivating forces behind the work we do. For Cactus, the concept of ‘belief and behavior design’ informs how the agency approaches problem-solving.

Ultimately the episode focuses on the concept of ‘Belief and Behavior’ design and questions such as: Can the design approach be applied to any client, any space? How does belief interrelate with behavior?

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg 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.