The Nature Conservancy Names Meg Goldthwaite As Chief Marketing And Communications Officer

This week in leadership updates, The Nature Conservancy appoints Meg Goldthwaite as chief marketing and communications officer, Kate Spade brings on Jenny Campbell as CMO, AT&T Communications names Kellyn Smith Kenny as chief marketing and growth officer, Warner Bros co-president of worldwide marketing JP Richards is leaving, Warner Bros Television Group president and CMO Lisa Gregorian plans to exit, Volkswagen hires Kimberley Gardiner as SVP of marketing and more.

The Nature Conservancy Appoints Meg Goldthwaite As Chief Marketing And Communications Officer

The Nature Conservancy has named Meg Goldthwaite, former CMO of NPR, as chief marketing and communications officer.

Goldthwaite most recently served as a managing partner at Cove Creative.

AT&T Communications Hires Kellyn Smith Kenny As Chief Marketing And Growth Officer

AT&T Communications has announced the appointment of Kellyn Smith Kenny to chief marketing and growth officer, Adweek reports.

Smith Kenny comes from Hilton, where she served as global CMO for two years.  

Warner Bros Co-President Of Worldwide Marketing JP Richards To Exit

According to Deadline, JP Richards is stepping down from his position as co-president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros amid WarnerMedia’s restructuring.

Richards has been with the company for six years. Prior to WarnerMedia, he worked at Universal for 12 years.

Kate Spade Appoints Jenny Campbell As Chief Marketing Officer

According to WWD, Kate Spade New York has hired Jenny Campbell as CMO. She succeeds Mary Beech, who departed in July 2019.

Campbell joins Kate Spade from Tinder, where she served as CMO for nearly two and a half years. Prior to Tinder, she held roles at 72andSunny, Nike and Wieden + Kennedy.

Warner Bros TV President And Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Gregorian To Exit

After more than three decades, Lisa Gregorian, president and CMO of Warner Bros Television Group, will exit at the end of the year.

As Deadline reports, Karen Miller, current executive vice president of creative services, will assume some of Gregorian’s duties.

Volkswagen Hires Kimberley Gardiner As Senior Vice President Of Marketing

Kimberley Gardiner, former CMO of Mitsubishi, is joining Volkswagen as SVP. Gardiner has over 21 years of automotive experience including leadership roles at Toyota and Kia.

She replaces Saad Chehab, who exited in May after nine months.

ViacomCBS Entertainment And Youth Group Chief Marketing Officer Jacqueline Parkes To Step Down

Jacqueline Parkes, CMO of ViacomCBS entertainment and youth group, is departing at the end of the year, according to Deadline.

For the past five years, Parkes has been leading marketing for MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo.

As per Deadline, ViacomCBS is close to finalizing her replacement.

Nokia Chief Marketing Officer Barry French To Exit

Nokia’s CMO since 2014, Barry French, is stepping down following the company’s announcement of a reorganization plan that would do away with its end-to-end strategy.

French, who’s also a member of HMD Global’s board of directors, first joined Nokia in 2006 and played key roles in the development of Nokia Siemens Network.

Yelp Appoints Tony Wells To Board Of Directors

Yelp has named Tony Wells, chief brand officer of USAA, to its board of directors, serving on the Compensation Committee.

Prior to USAA, Wells was CMO for Schneider Electric’s North American market. He also has served as CMO at ADT Security and 24 Hour Fitness.

Instagram Adds A New Reels Tab And Shop Tab To Home Screen

This week in social media news, Instagram adds a Reels tab and Shop tab to its home screen, Snapchat shares insight into users’ holiday shopping behavior, Twitter launches a new ad format called Carousels, App Annie predicts TikTok will exceed 1 billion users in 2021, WhatsApp adds a shopping button to the top of chats, TikTok lets users publicly display their nonprofit of choice in their profile and Facebook tests new visual effects for posts in the news feed.

Instagram Announces A New Reels Tab And Shop Tab 

Instagram has announced a new Reels tab and a Shop tab, which will live on the platform’s home screen.

Why it matters: The addition of the new tabs marks the first big update to Instagram’s home screen in a while and follows its launch of TikTok-like Reels a few months ago.

The details: Instagram says the pandemic has led to an explosion in short videos on Instagram and more users looking to buy from their favorite influencers.

The Reels tab is meant to be “a kind of a stage” where people can share their videos and find an audience. Through the Shop tab, users can discover personalized recommendations, editors’ picks curated by Instagram’s @shop channel, shoppable videos and new product collections.

Snapchat Publishes Insight Into User Holiday Shopping Trends

Snapchat has published a short guide on its users’ holiday shopping behavior as 80 percent of Snapchatters plan their holiday gift-buying via the platform, according to Snapchat.

Why it matters: This year, 76 percent of Snapchatters plan to buy their holiday gifts online, up from 47 percent last year.

The details: Despite pandemic concerns, Snapchat says that its users are planning to spend 147 percent more on presents this year than non-Snapchatters.

High on nearly half of users’ wishlists (42 percent) is a new smartphone. In addition, 20 percent of users are planning on buying from brands that are helping the community while 72 percent plan to give gift cards to someone this season.

Twitter Debuts Carousel Ad Format

Twitter has globally launched a new ad format called Carousels that lets users swipe right horizontally through two to six images or videos to open a website or app.

Why it matters: During its testing, Twitter found that app Carousel ads increased installs per impression an average of 24 percent compared to single-asset ad formats. Website Carousel ads promoted the average clickthrough rate (CTR) nearly 15 percent.

The details: Available via Twitter’s Ads Manager or through the API, Carousel ads feature edge-to-edge design and can link to either one website or app destination. Advertisers will have the option to run Carousels as organic or promoted only.

App Annie: TikTok Will Exceed 1 Billion Users In 2021

According to App Annie’s 2021 mobile trends report, TikTok is set to reach 1.2 billion average monthly active users (MAUs) next year.

Why it matters: As of Q3, App Annie’s data shows that TikTok was the second non-gaming app by consumer spend, a feat that points to the success of the platform’s positive feedback loop, which encourages creativity and spending via in-app transactions such as tipping streamers.

The details: As per App Annie, TikTok’s combination of short looping videos, creative editing tools and user-generated content represents a powerful opportunity for marketers looking to reach a large global base of engaged consumers.

WhatsApp Debuts Shopping Button In Business Chats

WhatsApp has announced a new shopping button at the top of chats that will direct its 2 billion active users worldwide to a product listing in-app where they can purchase the item.

Why it matters: Streamlining in-app shopping on WhatsApp would enable its parent company, Facebook, to monetize the app, which it failed at when it tried introducing ads. 

The details: The new shopping button comes after India approved the expansion of WhatsApp Pay in the nation, as well as a feature that enables users to transfer funds within the app.

TikTok Lets Users Show Non-Profit Fundraisers On Their Profile

TikTok has rolled out a new option that lets users publicly display a nonprofit organization on their profile via a direct link to donate, as spotted by Sam Schmir.

Why it matters: The feature is an extension of the donation stickers TikTok launched in April to help users raise awareness and money for charities via their videos.

The details: To use the new feature, social media expert Matt Navarra shows how users can choose a nonprofit to support from a list of approved organizations in their profile settings. The organization they select will appear on their profile with a note encouraging others to donate.

Clicking the listing in someone’s profile will direct a user to information about how much money that user has raised for the charity.

Facebook Tests New Visual Effect Features For News Feed Images

Facebook is testing new visual effect features that add motion to still images posted in the News Feed, as spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra.

Why it matters: The new tool will make static content in the feed more engaging and potentially boost user activity, which is likely a priority for the platform given it reported a drop in daily active users in Q3 for US and Canada—from 198 million in Q2 to 196 million.

The details: As seen in this video posted by Navarra, Facebook’s new motion effects include an option to slide, flash or highlight your static image. Facebook renders a video slideshow using the effect for your picture to add to your post.

New Brand Business Models With Erich Joachimsthaler

On this 233rd episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Erich Joachimsthaler, founder and CEO of Vivaldi Group. Joachimsthaler’s company works to keep its clients ahead of the continually evolving marketing game by remaining innovative at the intersection of purpose and profit.

Originally from Germany, Joachimsthaler shares how academia brought him to Kansas of all places, and eventually landed him in New York, where he lives today. He looked at the option of going straight into the workforce after school in Germany but decided that “success in life is to minimize the time between graduation and retirement.” We then discuss how the marketing landscape has changed over the last 10 to 20 years. “The value shifts now the demand side where the consumers are,” and can no longer be providing better service alone.

Joachimsthaler then discusses the concept of his new book, The Interaction Field, and how “when everybody participates in an interaction field…everybody benefits.” We found ourselves in agreement that “value is creation,” and how the road to success involves many helping hands along the way. Nobody does it alone. Amid a global pandemic, collaboration amongst industry leaders is needed now more than ever!

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • After graduation, Erich made his way to the US to further his education and experience the world. 1:20
  • Erich chose Kansas because of his desire to expand upon his small amount of English language. 2:00
  • After being a professor for 15-20 years, Erich decided to make his way to New York, thus leaving academics. 2:55
  • Vivaldi Group works towards helping new companies grow through innovation in new directions. 4:06
  • Erich felt there were new ways of creating values for other companies, and that belief led him to write his new book. 5:37
  • Brand marketing recently shifted from the supply side to the demand side, now focusing on the consumers. 6:20
  • Everyone in the world lives in an interaction field through network technology in a specific ecosystem. 7:11
  • Value is no longer created solely on better service but heavily focuses on the demand side in companies such as Uber. 9:00
  • It’s no longer about how much money a company pumps into advertising. 10:10
  • Around 2008, people began to realize that technologies that come together tend to mature at the same time. 10:42
  • There are ways to be successful other than creating a platform by finding the right ecosystem, but innovation must remain successful. 12:35
  • Many business models exist today that have proven successful, but these models evolve. 14:30
  • McDonald’s has evolved its business model from a pipeline model to a platform model because it can directly interact with consumers on their phones. 16:00
  • Companies can collect data points through customer interaction on their platforms to increase productivity and profit. 18:56
  • Interaction fields create value by sharing collected data with every participant in particular industries. 20:44
  • Leaders today must collaborate to benefit everyone and solve significant industry problems. 22:45
  • Erich found that motivation came from different sources between Germany and his time in the United States. 26:05
  • It’s vitally important to put love where your labor is; you will enjoy what you are doing for the rest of your life. 28:00
  • From a book that he recently read, Erich learned that Einstein’s wife did a lot of the mathematical equations for him; nobody does it alone. 30:00
  • The pandemic has shown the world that nobody finds success alone; many people help along the way. 31:38
  • Companies like Alibaba excite Erich because they were able to create a network of commerce that connected a country before it ever existed. 32:46
  • The brands that are creating something truly incredible do not even have to advertise because they are deeply integrated into consumers’ lives. 35:00
  • There has been a massive shift in consumer engagement that has changed marketing from product branding to ecosystem branding. 36:11

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.

What We’re Reading—Week Of November 9th

Here’s a look at the marketing and advertising articles we’re sharing internally this week.

Now Is A Good Time To Take Care Of Ourselves

Harvard Business Review

Stressful, unsustainable circumstances due to women taking on “invisible tasks” at work and at home have made it hard for many to stay focused and optimistic.

Why it matters: Well-being expert Mandy O’Neill explains that resource-rich companies see less burnout among employees due to offering financial and psychological benefits such as personal time and autonomy. Whereas at organizations that are poor in resources, burnout is high.

Walmart, Verizon Media Cater Shoppable Holiday Content To An Unusual Season

Marketing Dive

Walmart and Verizon Media’s new holiday campaign, “30 Days of Savings,” gives consumers early access to discounts on electronics, toys and other products through shoppable articles across Verizon Media properties, including HuffPost, Yahoo, TechCrunch, Engadget, In The Know and RYOT Studios.

Why it matters: Brands like Buzzfeed, Lego and Hasbro have also tested shoppable content to meet consumers this holiday season as they increasingly shop online due to safety concerns around COVID-19.

Chobani Raises Minimum Wage To $15 And Challenges All The Companies Who Benefited Due To Covid To Do The Same


Chobani’s starting hourly wage will increase to at least $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage, setting the hourly rate at the company’s manufacturing plants in South Edmeston, New York and Idaho at $19 an hour. About 70 percent of the company’s employees are paid hourly.

Why it matters: Some food and beverage brands like Chobani made record profits during the pandemic. Now, Chobani is challenging those brands to put people over profits.

Two-Thirds of FMCG Brands Maintained Or Increased Their Influencer Spend During COVID-19


A new report from Duff & Phelps and Kroll found that  22 percent of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies spend between $1.1 million and $5 million on influencers.

Why it matters: By 2021, 46 percent of FMCG companies expect to spend 31-50 percent of their total marketing budget on influencers.

The Brands Americans Feel Most Intimately Connected To During COVID-19

Marketing Profs

According to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy COVID Study, US consumers feel most intimately connected to Apple, followed by Amazon, Google, Walmart, YouTube and Toyota.

Why it matters: MBLM found that top intimate brands continue to financially outperform the leading brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P 500 indices across revenue growth, profit growth and stock price during Q2 of 2020.

Beyoncé Inks Multiyear Peloton Deal As Fitness Marketer Looks To Keep Up Momentum

Marketing Dive

Peloton has partnered with Beyonce to create digital workouts around homecoming for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that have pivoted virtual due to the pandemic. In addition, students at 10 HBCUs will be given a free two-year membership to Peloton Digital accessible through the app.

Why it matters: The “pro-social initiative” follows a five-point agenda that Peloton CEO John Foley announced around tackling inequity in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. In Q1, the company reported a 232 percent year-on-year surge in sales.

How 2020 Is Reshaping Social Media


According to Deolu Deborah King, vice president head of paid social, EMEA at Essence, brands must reassess how they reach out to consumers, especially on social media, as consumers increasingly see brands as a reflection of their own values and identities.

Why it matters: During times of socio-cultural crisis, brands must evaluate the role of the platform, determine whether it’s appropriate for them to act at all and instead of solely blasting sales messages, amplify the full brand identity.

Measure J Passing Will Require L.A. County To Allocate General Funds To Social Services

Amid the nation’s growing calls for racial justice, nearly 60 percent of Los Angeles County voters have approved Measure J, an initiative that will divert millions of county dollars to social services for communities disproportionately affected by racism.

As part of Measure J, 10 percent of unrestricted, locally generated county funds, or about $360 million to $900 million, must go toward social services such as job training and jobs to low-income residents, access to capital for small minority-owned businesses, rent assistance, community-based restorative justice programs and mental health treatment.

Dubbed “Re-Imagine L.A. County,” Measure J prohibits L.A. county from spending the money on prisons, jails or law enforcement agencies.

After officially launching Yes on Measure J more than two weeks ago and running a 10-day flight of television advertising ahead of election day, the campaign has garnered 100 million digital impressions, the measure’s co-chairs, Isaac Bryan and Eunisses Hernandez told AList.

“For far too long the needs of our Black and brown communities fell on the budget chopping block and as a result, these communities have paid the price. Measure J will now change that,” said Hernandez, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The amendment will be phased in next July and fully implemented by June 30, 2024.

The passing of Measure J marks a momentous step in the nation’s journey toward a racial reckoning and coincides with Ayzenberg’s efforts to create more diverse and equitable career initiatives to bridge the racial gap in the advertising industry.

One such initiative includes a virtual career day Ayzenberg and LA Promise Fund recently hosted for more than 75 low-income high school students in South L.A. The program saw a group of Ayzenberg employees share the behind-the-scenes of their ad campaigns and how students can apply the skills they’re learning to real-world career options.

Ayzenberg is actively working to educate young black and brown students in the local community about design and advertising opportunities by continuing the conversation with BIPOC leaders in the space.

“Ayzenberg wholeheartedly supports the transformative Measure J and believes criminal justice reform will better the City of Los Angeles and will create a path forward for the entire country,” said Ayzenberg CEO Eric Ayzenberg.

How Consumers And Marketers Plan To Spend In Q4 And Beyond

Both marketers and consumers plan on increasing their spend in Q4 and into the new year, according to a new report from OpenX and The Harris Poll, “The New Normal: Marketing in 2020 & Beyond.” The survey was fielded from July 20-29 among 1,000 adults aged 18 and over—16 percent of which lost their job or saw reduced hours due to COVID-19, as well as 502 marketers—mostly business-to-consumer marketers and some business-to-business marketers.

The research shows that 40 percent of consumers have increased their time spent on desktop sites, mobile sites, social media apps and connected television (CTV). To capitalize on this shift, 54 percent of marketers said they changed their strategy to reach consumers who are streaming more.

More time spent in digital channels resulted in 44 percent of consumers increasing their online purchases during COVID-19, with 37 percent saying mobile shopping has increased. Of the marketers who offer direct-to-consumer, 76 percent have updated their strategy to facilitate more online shopping. Even among marketers who reported a slump in total sales for the year, 29 percent said their online sales are up.

Despite more online shopping, 54 percent of consumers said they’re spending less money in 2020. For 61 percent of marketers, this new behavior meant cutting their budgets by at least 10 percent, and in some cases, by more than 25 percent. But as of July, 46 percent of marketers plan to add money back into their Q4 budget and 70 percent expect their 2021 budgets to be larger than their post-pandemic budgets.

The decline in consumer spending has enabled 28 percent of consumers to save money during the pandemic, with most savings acquired from not going out to restaurants. As a result, more than 50 percent of shoppers expect to increase discretionary spending this holiday season or in 2021.

Indoor dining may have ground to a near halt, but consumers are still spending money on food delivery. In fact, 58 percent of respondents who have used a delivery service like Uber Eats or Postmates said they’ve used the services more during the pandemic.

Consumers will spend some of their savings during the holiday season and in the new year, as 40 percent expect to spend the same amount compared to recent years and 51 percent plan to make a big-ticket purchase of over $500 in 2020. Looking ahead, 36 percent of consumers said they already plan to spend more in 2021 than they did this year.

The report also touches on consumer sentiment toward COVID-adjacent ads and how marketers responded to the social justice and health crises. A majority of consumers (80 percent) said they wouldn’t view a brand negatively for being associated with COVID-19 yet 40 percent of marketers reported taking proactive measures to ensure their brand wouldn’t be next to pandemic-related content.

A little over half of consumers (57 percent) are more likely to buy/use a product if a brand takes a position on a social issue similar to the consumers’ views. That figure was 77 percent for Gen Z and millennial respondents.

Of marketers that took some action around the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests, 52 percent said it had a positive impact.

If a second wave of COVID-19 comes, 80 percent of marketers feel they’re ready, though 71 percent said their strategy would differ from the first wave. In addition, 37 percent said they wouldn’t cut as much of their budget, or at all. 

Lastly, most marketers said that some of the strategy changes they made during COVID-19 will continue and will focus more heavily on digital channels.

Benchmark Study Shows 90 Percent Reduction Of Ad Fraud In TAG Certified Channels

The pandemic has dramatically accelerated digital business initiatives, making the digital supply chain more susceptible to fraud, but new research shows some of that fraud is effectively being blocked. 

According to the latest US fraud benchmark study from The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and The 614 Group, the invalid traffic (IVT) rate across TAG Certified channels was just 1.05 percent this year—a 90 percent improvement over the average industry rate of 10.83 percent.

To calculate the findings, The 614 Group teamed with six agency holding companies and their MRC-accredited measurement vendors to gather all impressions for campaigns that ran between January and August 2020, including desktop, mobile web, mobile in-app and connected television (CTV).

The IVT rate found in TAG’s analysis reflects a combination of both sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) and general invalid traffic (GIVT) to achieve a “blended rate.”

Upon examining 353 billion impressions that traveled through TAG Certified Channels, TAG measured an overall IVT rate of 1.05 percent, down from 1.48 percent in 2017.

Based on TAG’s calculation of multiplying the average cost per thousand (CPM) for each inventory type, advertisers spent nearly $1.6 billion on inventory that flowed through TAG Certified Channels.

For the first time, the study includes fraud analysis across CTV, where IVT is harder to combat than it is in the desktop and mobile ecosystems due to lack of measurement standards and server-side insertion. In CTV, TAG Certified Channels have just a 0.6 percent, according to the report.

To date, 148 companies worldwide have achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal, which means multiple entities involved in the transaction—including media agency, buy-side platform, sell-side platform and/or publisher—have achieved the TAG Seal.

This year digital ad fraud will hit $35 billion, overtaking credit card fraud at $27 billion, according to new data from Cheq.

Total Media Ad Spend Will Rebound To Pre-Pandemic Levels In 2021

Total media ad spend worldwide will decrease by 4.5 percent this year to reach $614 billion, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast.

Though the figure has slightly increased from the researcher’s 2020 projection of -4.9 percent, it’s a sharp decline compared to its pre-pandemic estimate of seven percent.

With the exception of China, the 37 ad markets that eMarketer tracks will report negative growth in total media ad spend this year. China will post a growth of 0.3 percent.

Emarketer says it revised growth downward for 27 markets this year because their Q2 performance was worse than expected and countries like France, Spain and the UK went into a second lockdown. Spain will be hit the hardest, at -14 percent growth.

In the US, ecommerce advertising compensated for losses seen in travel-related search advertising, which resulted in better-than-expected performance in Q2. Therefore, eMarketer expects total media ad spend in the US will decrease by 4.1 percent this year, up from its June forecast of -6.8 percent.

The US will rank eighth this year among the markets covered by eMarketer, up from 24th place in its previous forecast. In terms of digital ad spending, the US will place second with 7.5 percent growth, up from eMarketer’s previous projection of 19th place with 1.7 percent growth.

Emarketer expects total media ad spend worldwide will rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 to reach $691 billion. Helping drive the rebound will be a boost in digital ad spend globally, at 16.4 percent in 2021—more than double the 7.9 percent growth that traditional media spend will see next year.

Gary Goodman’s Creative Picks: Risky Business

While it could be a rough sprint to the end of 2020, one thing is for certain: we’re almost there! 

This week I wanted to focus on brands that are taking chances. As you’ll see if you keep reading, I mean that in the broadest sense of the word. Knowing how hard it is to get clients to push outside their safe zones, I’m always in awe of companies committed to taking that risk and trying something a little different. If it works, then you get noticed in a big way.

Land Rover – “Unstoppable”

I have our resident Brit, Justin Hills, to thank for this James Bond-themed selection featuring Land Rover’s new Defender. At first glance, you think you know what this is: it’s another movie tie-in that uses big-budget Hollywood blockbusters to push a product. But in this case, you’re only half right.

Why it matters:  The first thing that struck me when watching this was that the pandemic completely messed up Land Rover’s marketing window as the new James Bond movie, “No Time To Die” has been pushed (once again) to April 2021. They clearly spent a ton of money but aren’t getting the expected halo effect of drafting off the massive Hollywood hype machine and the expectation that a large portion of the movie-going world would be seeing their new vehicle saving the world…again.

But once I quickly got past that snarky reaction, I realized something much more surprising was going on here. Can anyone remember another high-end car commercial where they pushed the car to its limits so that we actually got to see it take damage and keep moving? In the world of luxury automotive advertising, you never see the car looking anything but beautiful and badass.  Yet there’s something glorious about (as one Hollywood writer said to describe Indiana Jones) ‘seeing your hero fail heroically.’ It makes you connect with them in a powerful way so that you end up rooting for them even more.

The details: According to No Time To Die’s Stunt Coordinator, Lee Morrison, “…we pushed the Defender further than we believed possible to generate the maximum excitement, and to give fans an insight into the uncompromising challenge of producing an incredible chase sequence which you can look forward to seeing in No Time To Die.” The key stunt driver in these scenes is race car driver Jessica Hawkins, hand-picked for the job after Lee saw her competing in Formula 3W. I also understand that they used 10 Defenders in the creation of this scene. How many do you think they used to attempt that final corkscrew stunt?

Root Insurance – “Bubba Wallace: Progress Owes No Apology”

Next up is a very different interpretation of a brand taking chances and pushing the boundaries.

Why it matters: Whether or not you’ve heard of Root Insurance, you’ve certainly heard about the controversy surrounding NASCAR’s only black driver, Bubba Wallace, and his effort to ban the Confederate flag from the sport. And that is what is at the center of this no-holds-barred, adrenaline-fueled spot. It’s got all the bells and whistles of the sport: high-octane machines, RPM’s revving and flawless pit crews defying time, but all of this is just the wrapper around the more important message driving this spot: Bubba Wallace has taken a stand for what he believes in and through his force of will, has helped change the sport for the better.

The main tension in the spot is generated from sound bites ripped from news headlines, interposed with graphic imagery that you’d never expect to see in a major brand spot. Bubba Wallace took the fight to NASCAR and his determination to change what was an accepted practice is a cause that Root Insurance is boldly championing.

The details: Why would an insurance company want to take on such a controversial topic?  According to the chief brand officer for Root Insurance, Kelly Ruoff, this spot is aimed at an audience they define “as socially aware and culturally connected—people who make purchasing decisions based on an alignment of values and will reward a brand for doing the right thing. The goal here was to tell Wallace’s story with a wider audience and show the brand’s support of him in the process.” Director Wesley Walker, a Black-Latino American, says the film seeks to convey “truth, meaning and positivity. What people do not know is what it feels like experientially to walk this path, and what it takes to stand for what is right against such intense resistance.” Powerful stuff!

Amazon – “The Show Must Go On”

Swinging the pendulum to the opposite end, Amazon uses a very personal story to energize the “hope” in all of us.

Why it matters: Amazon has chosen to put out a brand building holiday message that has very little to do with any of their products or services so that they could focus on the one thing all of us could use a lot more of right now: hope. This singular story is all too familiar to most of us: starting in a pre-COVID timeline and seeing the impact of the shutdown on someone’s dream. The storyline focuses on a very personal moment for an aspiring ballerina. Through the superb filmmaking and acting, they buckle you in for an emotional rollercoaster. But that’s just the setup; the real story here is one of ingenuity, of people coming together and the ability for all of us to re-envision a goal in a new way that fits our current reality. I don’t know about you, but I got the feels in a major way.

The details: According to Simon Morris, VP of global creative at Amazon, “Our TV ad is inspired by, and pays tribute to, the unbeatable human spirit and the power of community that we have witnessed so often this year.” 

The film features French ballet dancer, Taïs Vinolo. “When I was growing up in the French countryside,” she says “there were no young black girls studying ballet with hair like mine, or even on TV, meaning I had no one to identify myself with.” Finally, for all you Queen fans, the ad features a unique arrangement of the band’s song “The Show Must Go On.”

What We’re Reading—Week Of November 2nd

Benchmark Study Reveals Social Has Moved Centre Stage In The Marketing Mix

The Drum

The Business Value of Social surveyed 230 brands for its “Immediate Future” benchmark study, which found that 55 percent are tailoring some of their content by social media platform, while a similar amount are creating content based on consumer behaviors and interests.

Why it matters: Despite social’s major influence on marketing, only a third of brands linked social goals to those of the business, with 54.5 percent saying their leading objective is brand awareness. In addition, 43 percent of brands spend under 10 percent of their marketing budget on paid social.

Pandemic Purchase Patterns Shake Up Holiday Performance Marketing Campaigns


Data from Cardyltics show that spending at brick-and-mortar stores is down just 14 percent year-over-year, leaving in-store shopping as the top conversion location.

Why it matters: According to transactions from Cardyltics’ 157 million bank customers, nearly 75.2 percent of 2019 holiday spend occurred in physical stores. And while online spend increased 25 percent YoY during the pandemic, many online shoppers have stayed loyal to store brands.

The North Face Announces ‘Reset Normal’ Partnership With Lena Waithe To Address Inequity In The Outdoors


As part of its global initiative, “Reset Normal,” The North Face has partnered with Lena Waithe and Jimmy Chin to help create scalable solutions that address inequity in the outdoors.

Why it matters: Communities of color are three times more likely to live in nature-deprived places and often face racism when they do explore the outdoors.

Verizon Unveils 5G Football Experience In NFL App

Mobile Marketer

Verizon’s new “5G SuperStadium” experience in the NFL app gives football fans access to live stats, various camera angles on the field and an augmented reality (AR) feature that lets them create video overlays of favorite players. The experience requires the new 5G iPhone 12 and a subscription to Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.

Why it matters: The initiative is part of Verizon’s larger effort to help the NFL write a new digital playbook as the brand turns on 5G in 13 stadiums.

Strengthening Institutional Risk And Integrity Culture

McKinsey & Company

To improve your risk and integrity culture—which refers to the mindsets and behavioral norms that determine how a company identifies and manages risk—you must first diagnose the current state then establish detailed definitions to set goals and measure progress. A key tool for obtaining a broad measure of your risk culture is a dedicated organization-wide survey.

Why it matters: McKinsey has found that those organizations with a mature risk and integrity culture outperform peers through economic cycles and are less likely to suffer from repetitional difficulties and operational mistakes.

Ayzenberg Partners With LA Promise Fund To Host Virtual Career Day For High School Students


Ayzenberg partnered with nonprofit organization LA Promise Fund on a virtual career day to educate more than 75 students from South Los Angeles’ Santee Education Complex about careers in design and advertising.

Why it matters: The racial diversity gap within the marketing and advertising industry remains an issue. In a 2018 survey that the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) fielded among its 13,700 members, just eight percent identified as Hispanic/Latino and six percent as African American/black.