Alternative Solutions To Third-Party Cookies With Xaxis’s Nish Desai

Nishant Desai, or Nish, is the director of technology and operations at Xaxis, the outcome media company. Nish has over 20 years of experience leading technical partnerships, integrations, and ad operations for thousands of brands, platforms, and partners. 

On Marketing Today, Nish unpacks the future of marketing without third-party cookies. With only a year before the change, Nish’s advice is, “Don’t panic” and look to alternative solutions. 

This interview touches on the events that lead to cookie death, alternative marketplace solutions, and what marketers should be thinking about as this new landscape comes into view. Listen in to learn more about the cookie-less effect on marketers and users.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why third-party cookies are ending
  • The benefits of a flock-based cookie solution
  • The future of a unified ID-based ecosystem 

Key Highlights:

  • [01:48] Nish’s path to advertising, MarTech, and AdTech
  • [02:40] How computer science helps MarTech and AdTech
  • [0316] The death of cookies 
  • [05:15] The difference between browser approach and universal idea approach
  • [07:44] Google’s proposals for browser cookies
  • [12:21] Roadblocks to a browser-based or FLoC based solution
  • [16:30] Survival of the fittest
  • [21:18] Which version is better for users
  • [22:30] Who will be successful in the new cookie world
  • [24:53] Will there be a growth of data stores?
  • [27:03] What marketers should be thinking about to move forward
  • [29:42] A defining experience that made Nish who he is today 
  • [30:46] Nish’s advice for his younger self
  • [32:35] Nish’s recent impactful purchase
  • [33:35] The brands, companies, and causes Nish follows
  • [34:53] What Nish says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

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.

Report: Marketers Face High Revenue Targets And Scarcity Of Resources

The rise of the self-reliant buyer and digital-first customer journey has upended a large part of the sales action to the top of the funnel, making chief marketing officers responsible for 44 percent of a company’s revenue today versus just 10 percent in the mid-2000s. That’s according to the CMO Council’s latest report, which found that 63 percent of marketers are under very high to extreme pressure to deliver revenue growth due to challenges, including the need to prove marketing attribution to revenue and show that data analytics and marketing tech are worth the investment.

Facing a scarcity of resources and a skeptical chief executive officer, marketers are at risk of missing their revenue mark, with 53 percent saying they’re only moderately confident or worse that they’ll meet their revenue targets. Pressure from the top is weighing heavy on them, as 57 percent think their CEO is only moderately satisfied or worse with marketing’s performance.

The acceleration of online shopping is only exacerbating marketing leaders’ doubts. In this new digital-first era, 80 percent of respondents say that the shift of the self-reliant buyer has made marketing more valuable than ever.

The CMO Council found that 90 percent of marketers are expected to grow revenue this year. Despite 65 percent of marketers saying they plan to increase marketing spend in 2021, budgets haven’t grown enough to support all of marketing’s activities, including brand-building, digital experience and personalized content.

Nearly all (95 percent) of CMOs who admitted a lack of resources say this resulted in missed revenue opportunities. Many of the internal hurdles they’re facing come back to the lack of education around marketing impact on revenue—measuring the full value of marketing, misunderstanding of the new buyer’s journey, lack of clarity about ownership of outcomes and unrealistic expectations from sales.

Consumers’ desire for meaningful, personalized experience necessitates first-party data and MarTech. But when CMOs don’t have buy-in from C-suite because they’re unable to show how much revenue MarTech will generate before implementing it, they miss out on data literacy skills and the opportunity to meet the demands of the self-reliant buyer.

Data is crucial but only when marketers can make sense of it. Yet three out of four respondents have data literacy gaps, reports the CMO Council. What’s worse, only 20 percent of CMOs are successful when it comes to leveraging data to identify and target customers and just 27 percent can leverage data successfully to gain insights into shifting behaviors. To top it off, just a quarter are successful when acting on those insights.

“I see AI being integrated into our products and data analysis to determine the next best action for marketers to engage the customer. Eventually, we’re going to get to where AI engages the customer directly, and calls to humans only happen when required,” Mark Phibbs, vice president of marketing and communications for Cisco across Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China, told the CMO Council.

Over the next 12 months, 69 percent of marketers plan to increase their MarTech spend, with the top three priorities being marketing analytics (50 percent), content marketing (41 percent) and audience/marketing data and data enhancement (37 percent).

To improve their odds, the CMO Council suggests marketers prioritize the digital experience, double-down on data analytics to help prove revenue attribution and create content that works well with omnichannel.

How Mobile Games Can Plan For Sustainable Growth

Last year, the mobile games industry brought in a whopping $77.2 billion and recorded a 12 percent year-over-year increase in the number of players. And although lockdowns contributed to those figures, it doesn’t appear that momentum will stabilize anytime soon. Because in Q1 2021 alone, consumers spent $22.2 billion on mobile games. But what will it take to sustain that growth long-term? Creativity and innovation.

At this year’s LAGC Online, Ayzenberg president Chris Younger will moderate a panel of leaders from Google, Zynga, AdColony and more, who discuss where the next wave of creativity and innovation will come from in mobile games. And as the industry evolves, how developers and publishers will retain these new users. Don’t forget to tune in.


  • Where: LAGC Online 2021
  • What: The Growth of Mobile Games: What’s Next in Creativity & Innovation?
  • When: Wednesday, May 12 @ 11 AM to 11:45 AM, PST
  • Who: Moderated by Chris Younger, President, Ayzenberg


  • Itamar Benedy, Co-Founder & CEO,
  • Brandon Cubillas, Head of Industry for App Gaming at Google
  • Gabrielle Heyman, Head of Global Ad Sales, Zynga
  • Kyu Lee, President, GAMEVIL COM2US USA
  • Liz Waldeck Pinckert, VP, Business Development Supply North America and Europe, AdColony

SoundCloud Names Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood Chief Content And Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, SoundCloud names Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood chief content and marketing officer, AutoFi appoints Kerri Wise vice president of marketing, Hostess hires Dan O’Leary as chief growth officer, Lucid Motors taps Jeff Curry as first-ever chief marketing officer and more.

SoundCloud Appoints Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood As Chief Content And Marketing Officer

SoundCloud has tapped Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood as chief content and marketing officer.

Writzer-Seawood joins SoundCloud from UnitedMasters, where she served as president. Previously, she was head of music partnerships at Instagram and head of digital at Parkwood Entertainment, respectively. 

AutoFi Hires Kerri Wise As Vice President Of Marketing

AutoFi has appointed Kerri Wise as VP of marketing.

Wise is the founder and president of Women of Color Automotive Network and previously served as VP of corporate marketing for TrueCar.

Hostess Taps Dan O’Leary As Chief Growth Officer

Hostess has announced the appointment of Dan O’Leary to the newly created role of chief growth officer.

Before Hostess, O’Leary was general manager at Tyson’s prepared retail segment and SVP of marketing for Mizkan America, respectively.

Lucid Motors Names Jeff Curry Its First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer

Jeff Curry has been named Lucid Motors’ first CMO, reports MediaPost.

Most recently, Curry was VP of Jaguar and before that VP of marketing for Ferrari.

Accenture Appoints Jill Kramer Chief Marketing And Communications Officer

Jill Kramer, Accenture’s current global head of brand, is succeeding Amy Fuller, who recently announced her retirement from chief marketing and communications officer.

Kramer has been with Accenture for nearly six years.

American Outdoor Brands Names Curtis Smith First Chief Marketing Officer

American Outdoor Brands has elevated Curtis Smith to the newly created role of CMO, according to a press release.

Smith has worked at American Outdoor Brands since October 2017, serving as VP of marketing.

Previously he held global leadership roles at Vista Outdoor and Coleman Company.

TikTok Is Once Again The Most Downloaded Non-Gaming App Worldwide

This week in social media news, TikTok is the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide in April, Snapchat adds 16 percent incremental reach to TV, YouTube expands Shorts to all US creators, Snapchat announces its Creator Marketplace and YouTube shares insight about the most popular vlog greetings.

TikTok Is The Most-Download App Worldwide In April

According to Sensor Tower’s latest data, TikTok was the most-downloaded non-gaming app worldwide in April 2021 with over 59 million installs, most of which came from Brazil and China. Second to TikTok were Facebook, followed by Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. The top five remain unchanged from March 2021.

Why it matters: In March, TikTok also topped Sensor Tower’s worldwide app list. It’s also worth noting that, on Google Play in particular, TikTok downloads overtook Instagram for second place in April; up from third place in March.

The details: Facebook, the second most downloaded app worldwide, bought in more than 53 million installs, mostly from India and the US.

On iOS, the top five list remains the same as March, with TikTok in first, followed by YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook.

Snapchat Shares Data On Its Reach Versus Television’s

Snapchat’s study analyzed how more than 30 cross-platform ad campaigns reached people on its app and on television using Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR). The big takeaways are Snapchat added 16 percent incremental reach to TV and that it was able to reach Gen Z that TV didn’t.

Why it matters: Marketers have reason to scale back on TV and invest in short-form video apps as cord-cutting continues to surge. By 2024, eMarketer predicts non-pay TV households will surpass linear pay TV households.

The details: According to the study, 71 percent of Gen Z reached by Snapchat weren’t reached by TV.

Next, it found that Snapchat reached people who don’t watch much linear television. Nielsen analyzed the distribution of five cross-platform campaigns across light, medium and heavy TV viewers in the US. What they found is that 64 percent of the target audience Snapchat reached are light TV viewers, compared with 18 percent of the target audience TV reached. 

That’s in line with Snapchatter behavior, as nearly 60 percent of US users are considered light TV viewers by Nielsen. Members of this group, Snapchat says, are more likely to have over $100,000 income, have attended over four years of college, change brands for variety, be Spanish-language dominant and live in broadband-only households.

YouTube Expands Shorts To All US Users

During the latest video on YouTube’s Creator Insider channel, YouTube ads policy lead Conor Kavanagh said the platform is expanding its Shorts camera to all US creators and adding new features like 60-second videos and a new Shorts tab.

Why it matters: YouTube only introduced its Shorts Beta to the US in mid-March. The feature, which previously let people only create videos 15 seconds or less, was initially launched in India.

The details: The new Shorts features include being able to record up to 60 seconds. Next, YouTube is adding Shorts filters during the recording and editing screens that let users “color correct or change the vibe of your Short.” Over the next year Kavanagh says YouTube will release more filters and effects.

Shorts will also start generating captions automatically, by default, for videos unless users choose to turn the setting off.

Lastly, Youtube is adding a new Shorts tab to mobile.

Snapchat Is Launching A Creator Marketplace

Snapchat has announced nine new Snap Original shows that feature rising creators and touch on social issues, racial injustice, mental health and climate change. In addition, it’s launching a Creator Marketplace that makes it easy for brands to partner with its creator community.

Why it matters: To date, Snap has created more than 128 Original series and in H2 of last year 85 percent of the Gen Z population watched one of its shows, according to Snap.

Snap is following in TikTok’s footsteps with its new Creator Marketplace. What sets Snap apart from its competitor though is that upon launch the marketplace will enable brands to leverage the expertise of augmented reality (AR) creators in Snap’s Lens Network.

The details: Snap’s three new unscripted shows include Off Thee Leash with Megan Thee Stallion, Charli VS. Dixie and Coming Out. Its new docuseries include Lago Vista, Twinning Out and Meme Mom. Additionally, new to Snap’s scripted series are The Me and You Show and Breakwater.

Snap’s Creator Marketplace will open later this month for brands to partner with a select group of AR creators through 2021. It’ll expand the marketplace to include all Snap creators in 2022.

YouTube Study Highlights Most Popular Vlog Opening Lines

According to YouTube’s latest study, “Hey Guys” was the top vlog greeting in 2020, accounting for 36 percent of the top five greetings.

Why it matters: Pointing to the unique video openings that popular creators have created, YouTube says there’s “value in establishing your unique personality in your first impression.”

The details: To determine the most popular greetings, YouTube identified all the videos that could classify as vlogs using minimum thresholds of at least 20,000 views for the videos and at least 20,000 subscribers for the channels that posted them. This resulted in a data set of over 1 million videos from which YouTube scanned captions.

YouTube found that “Hey guys” has been the go-to vlog greeting for the last decade while “Good morning” and “Hi everyone” have grown in popularity.

Fitness channels specifically use “What’s up” a lot while travel channels lean toward ‘Good morning.”

Why NFTs? Ayzenberg’s VP Of Digital Explains

Imagine having a deed to a coveted work of art or a one-of-a-kind baseball card that can’t be forged, duplicated or lost because it exists in a permanent database. This kind of deed exists. It’s called an NFT, which stands for non-fungible token, and it’s creating a frenzy in the digital world.

By definition, an NFT is a digital certificate of authenticity for a real or virtual object. This digital file is stored on a digital ledger, also known as a blockchain network, that certifies it to be unique and interchangeable. So, what’s all the hype about these tokens? Basically, NFTs create digital scarcity, enabling people to acquire and then flaunt collectibles or certain assets. They give people the power to say, “Hey, I own this and it’s the only one like it in the world.” Needless to say, NFTs as technology are a really smart idea and definitely have a future in a world that’s increasingly being dominated by tech and the desire to stand out.

With the recent buzz around Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey’s auctioning his first tweet, the sale of several high-profile memes and digital artist Beeple’s creation of the first all-digital NFT (sold at Christie’s for $69.3 million)–it’s not hard to understand why some are fascinated with NFTs. NFTs aren’t currently being used as deeds to homes or cars, but they are primarily being used for cards, art and collectibles.

Despite making headlines in recent months, NFTs aren’t necessarily new. One of the first consumer-facing NFTs was actually an Ethereum blockchain trading game called ‘CryptoKitties’ by CryptoPunks. Launched in June 2017, it involves the purchase, collection, breeding and selling of virtual cats. Some fetch enormous price tags and are among the most expensive NFTs to date, like the $390,000 CyrptoKitty Dragon. Since CryptoKitties was born, people have spent $174 million on NFTs and a bunch of industries have tried cashing in on them.

In the art world, NFTs are all the rage. In March, digital artist Beeple compiled his 13 years of art into a collage, titled it ‘The First 5000 Days” and auctioned the piece at Christie’s for $69 million. The sale sent shockwaves throughout the art world overnight. The interesting thing about this though is that it’s not as revolutionary as people would imagine.

Before NFTs, blockchain and computer technology, an art collector could purchase a work of art, own it, then display it indefinitely at a gallery or museum. In essence, the collector bought bragging rights and potentially an investment. Now, NFTs serve nearly the same purpose, just with non-tangible items instead. In a digital world, NFTs are the answer to owning, displaying, and investing in digital art. And I believe that, moving forward, NFTs will play a more important role in the digital art trade and subsequently inspire the creation of more digital art.

The use of NFTs in the digital art space benefits both artists and collectors and may allow the artist itself to act as a collector or as an investor would, but without the total loss that a sale of the art would bring. NFTs allow the creator to specify a “royalty” that they get every time the NFT gets sold. So imagine you create an artwork and sell it. Then that person sells it in a few years, you can get, say, 10 percent off of each time the artwork gets sold. That’s HUGE because in the past the sole beneficiary from the sale of art is the dealer. They buy it cheap while the artist remains unknown. But many years later the artist is either retired or dead and at that point the art is worth way more money. Now when it gets sold, a royalty gets paid to the artist (or their family).

Another industry that stands to gain something from the rise of NFTs is the events space. Concerts, sporting events and conventions are ripe for a convenience haul. NFTs could digitize tickets and may even incentivize event organizers to offer special perks to loyal fans. In turn, these fans would be able to effortlessly display their super-fandom given that their NFT tickets indefinitely remain on the blockchain. Plus, NFTs as a concert ticket could be a way to stop scalpers. In fact, the Dallas Mavericks are thinking about switching their tickets to NFTs.

Record labels and musical artists are also tapping into NFTs. One early adopter is Warner Music Group (WMG), which just announced a worldwide partnership with Genies, an avatar technology company that just debuted its 3D Avatar and Digital Wearables NFT SDK. According to the press release, WMG artists’ favorite cultural moments will be transformed into “Digital Wearable Drops”—apparel, accessories and tattoos—and sold to fans’ Genies avatars. Fans can own and use these digital wearables on their Genie avatar until the end of time. The process will take place on the Genies Marketplace, which will run on Dapper Labs’ Flow Blockchain. Side note: Dapper Labs is the blockchain technology company and maker behind NBA Top Shot (which WMG is invested in).

If the NBA’s dabbling in NFTs via Top Shot is any indication, the events industry is edging closer to NFT adoption. Top Shot is the Association’s attempt at selling officially licensed digital collectible ‘Moments.’ Moments are just that—moments in which a player did something in a game worth converting into an NFT. NBA Top Shots are appealing in part because they boast common, rare and legendary game day moments, causing new packs to sell out within minutes after release. Collectors who miss a drop can purchase a specific moment from other collectors. This gives fans the flexibility to “own their fandom,” according to the NBA. Seeing how simple and successful the NBA has been with Top Shot, it wouldn’t surprise me if other sports and game franchises like Pokémon venture into the NFT space.

The fast-food space has also leveraged NFTs as a marketing tool. Around the time that Beeple’s art was being auctioned off at Christie’s, Taco Bell issued 25 digital assets, taco-themed GIFs and images, on the NFT marketplace Rarible. As The Verge reports, the NFTs sold out in 30 minutes and proceeds benefited the Live Más Scholarship through the Taco Bell Foundation. 

Lest we forget how the luxury fashion brands fit in the NFT picture. In March, Gucci tested the waters before going full-on NFT by dropping $12 augmented reality (AR) sneakers on its app and the Wanna app. The label sold the AR sneakers as a part of an access pack that let shoppers virtually try on the shoe by taking a picture or a video, which would then unlock the shoe on Roblox. As some critics have already noted, when luxury brands support NFTs, they contradict their sustainability commitments because of their environmental impact.

You’re probably wondering how something intangible like blockchain technology can have a negative impact on the environment. In a nutshell: NFTs are bought and sold on digital marketplaces that use the cryptocurrency Ethereum, which is like Bitcoin but also supports NFTs. In order to “mine” Ethereum, a lot—and I mean a lot—of energy is required. And it has to be energy-intensive in order to prevent anyone from messing up the ledger. In total, Ethereum uses almost as much electricity as the entire country of Libya. That’s no joke.

Other than addressing its environmental footprint, if NFTs are to last, there’s a lot of work in terms of regulation that has to be done. As of this writing, there are no laws that say the seller of an NFT has to do one thing or another. There’s no rule mandating that the NFT URL for a piece of digital art remain intact indefinitely, or even that the artist must maintain the site or keep the artwork displayed on that URL. What if the artist were to take the site down or trade the artwork for another? The buyer is screwed. Unfortunately because a regulatory body governing this space doesn’t yet exist, those involved in NFT transactions must have a high risk tolerance. That, or an immense amount of trust in the technology. 

For those working with Christie’s, the NBA, or Taco Bell, there isn’t much to worry about. But for ordinary folks engaging in transactions with each other, the issue of trust, accountability and integrity come into play. Anytime anyone in the NFT space is asked what the solution is to this caveat, the response is the same: “We’re working on it.” I say–don’t hold your breath.

One other area that hasn’t been fleshed out that I think we’ll hear of more in the coming years is the intersection between crime and NFTs. Think about it—it’s the perfect arena for money laundering and other shady activities. Even the infamous Christie’s transaction makes me a little nervous given that the buyer of “The First 5000 Days” was actually a business associate of the artist! Not quite sure how this didn’t raise any red flags. Or maybe it did, but there were no regulatory bodies to look into it. 

Ultimately, I believe NFTs could permeate every sector in some way. When you purchase a house or even a car via NFT, you could avoid banks and the bureaucracy involved with ownership of such assets. That means less title issues and more confidence about these assets’ existence and authenticity. As for influencers and reality television personalities, NFTs could create scarcity and monetization opportunities around content and episodes. If that happens, the number of brand partnerships could plummet. 

NFT is simply a new technology that decentralizes the marketplace, which isn’t necessarily a novel concept. It’s simple and straightforward once you get past all the blockchain jargon. The issue is, blockchain technology is still on the fringe of people’s minds. They’ve heard of it, they know it has something to do with Bitcoin, but it’s still pretty alien to them. Once NFTs become more mainstream, the possibilities for brands, influencers and fans are limitless.

How Digital Media Wire’s Annual LA Games Conference Pivoted To Online

For the second consecutive year, Digital Media Wire’s annual LA Games Conference (LAGC) is going all-virtual. With the gaming industry seeing unprecedented growth throughout the pandemic, there will be a lot of ground to cover at the online event, which is set to take place from May 10-12. The agenda is divided into three categories—Games Business, Hollywood and Creators, and Mobile and Esports—and features more than 50 speakers.

Ahead of the event, we caught up with Tinzar and Ned Sherman, co-founders of Digital Media Wire and LA Games Conference, about this year’s theme, best practices for pivoting to online, how they tackled the absence of in-person networking and more. 

What is the theme of this year’s LAGC and what, if any, was the inspiration for this theme?

LAGC2021 focuses on the intersection between Hollywood and Gaming with focus on popular gaming trends such as UGC, Metaverse, NFTs, esports, diversity and inclusion in games and investment.  Our theme is inspired by the latest business and investment activity in the games ecosystem, which monitor throughout the year through our community and network of news and events.  

Do you have any best practices for putting together an event like LAGC online? 

Whether producing an event online, in person or as a hybrid, our advice is to focus on community and execution.   

What has been or continues to be the most challenging part about pivoting LAGC from in-person to online? 

We use Zoom as our online platform. Since everyone was already familiar with it, the transition from in-person to online conference was smooth. The challenge is to provide a meaningful networking opportunity to attendees looking to meet new contacts. Our attendees are active on chat during the panel sessions and have successfully used the chat format as a way to meet new contacts with whom they connect with after the event. 

Were there any takeaways from taking LAGC online the first time last year? 

The speakers and attendees were highly engaged in the online format.  We also had more global attendees who joined us last year and we are expecting similar global attendance this year. 

How or in what ways does online LAGC differ from the in-person event?

The in-person event had 3 simultaneous tracks and it’s a 1-day event compared to the online event being 3 days for 3 different tracks. The days are shorter for the online conference too so attendees are not sitting in front of the screens the entire day.  

For many, a big drawback of online events is the lack of face-to-face networking—after last year’s online event, do you have any insights on this new form of networking?

Yes, we had explored the alternatives but found that our attendees and speakers are quite good at connecting via Linkedin.  We encourage people to share their Linkedin profiles during the sessions. When we can safely gather again, we hope to host more in-person gatherings and to experiment with hybrid formats. 

How do you see LAGC’s event model evolving? 

We think that the online version is here to stay but there is value in face-to-face meetings and hope to host hybrid events going forward.

The following list represents this year’s LA Games Conference keynotes and featured speakers. See the full list of speakers here.

  • Angela Roseboro- Chief Diversity Officer, Riot Games
  • Ben Feder- President, International Partnerships (North America), Tencent Games
  • Bernard Kim- President of Publishing, Zynga
  • Chris DeWolfe- CEO and Co-Founder, Jam City
  • Jaci Hays- Chief Operations Officer, FaZe Clan
  • Jeonghee Jin- CEO, Pearl Abyss America
  • Maxim de Wit- Global Head of Content, Unity Technologies
  • Samantha Ryan- Senior Vice President, Group GM, BioWare, Full Circle, Maxis, Motive, Electronic Arts
  • Saxs Persson- Co-Chief Creative Officer, Mojang Studios, Minecraft
  • Simon Sim- President and CEO, Netmarble US
  • Stanley Pierre-Louis- President and CEO, Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
  • Ted Schilowitz- Futurist, Paramount Pictures

General Mills Global Chief Marketing Officer Ivan Pollard Departs

General Mills global chief marketing officer Ivan Pollard steps down, Equinox appoints Peter Giorgi chief marketing officer, PlantFuel Life elects a new board member, Niels Swinkels accepts a promotion as executive vice president and marketing director of Universal Pictures International and more.

General Mills Global Chief Marketing Officer Ivan Pollard Exits

Amid changes to its leadership team, General Mills global CMO Ivan Pollard has left the company.

According to Ad Age, Pollard’s role, which was created in December 2016, will not be filled.

Pollard served as global CMO since mid-2017. Prior to General Mills, he spent over a decade at Coca-Cola, most recently as vice president of global connections.

Equinox Names Peter Giorgi Chief Marketing Officer

Equinox has appointed Peter Giorgi chief marketing officer, reports WWD. As part of the role, he will also manage marketing for Equinox Media.

Giorgi joins Equinox from Celebrity Cruises Inc., where he was CMO for five years. Prior to that, he served as global head of advertising and content at Airbnb.

PlantFuel Life Adds Brian Cavanaugh To Board Of Directors

PlantFuel Life has named a new board member—Brian Cavanaugh, former global chief brand officer for Iovate Health Sciences International.

Prior to Iovate, Cavanaugh served as senior vice president of merchandising for all categories at GNC.

Universal Pictures Elevates Niels Swinkels To Executive Vice President

Niels Swinkels, Universal Pictures EVP, international distribution, has accepted a promotion as the company’s international EVP and marketing director.

Swinkels has been with Universal Pictures for 17 years.

At the same time, Universal Pictures has brought on Paul Higginson as marketing director of the new EMEA district that was created to lead the company’s UK team and European theatrical organization.

Previously, Higginson spent over 15 years at Twentieth Century Fox, most recently as EVP of EMEA.

Berghaus Appoints Charlie Pym As Global Brand Director 

Charlie Pym has been named global brand director of Pentland Brands’ Berghaus.

Pym joins Berghaus from McLaren, where was marketing director of the pro cycling and team Bahrain divisions, respectively.

Brand Ad Spend On Snapchat Increases 24 Percent YoY

During Q1, Snapchat saw its highest year-over-year revenue and daily active user growth rates in over three years. Based on MediaRadar’s latest analysis, it looks like the app is maintaining that momentum. It found that during April, brands’ ad spend on Snap increased 24 percent YoY.

Alongside new film releases, entertainment accounted for 42 percent of Snap’s ad spend so far in Q2. MediaRadar reports that HBO Max, Paramount+, BET+, Hulu and Amazon Prime spent over $2.8 million on Snap ads, representing 6 percent of all of Snap’s ad spend during April.

The top-spending advertisers were feature films including Without Remorse, Mortal Kombat and Fast & Furious 9, whose collective spend totaled over $5 million.

Other big Snap spenders in the entertainment category included streaming services (15 percent), mobile application (14 percent) and drama TV shows (13 percent).

After entertainment, the industries that spent the most on Snap ads were fashion, pharmaceutical and retail—each accounted for nearly 10 percent of ad spend on Snap in April. Zyrtec Allergy, Nike, Levi’s, Columbia, Lids and shopDisney were the top-spending brands, according to MediaRadar.

Highlights from Snap’s Q1 earnings report include reaching 280 million DAU, a 22 percent increase YoY, and generating $770 million in revenue, a 66 percent increase YoY.

The company also said that daily user engagement with its augmented reality (AR) Lenses grew more than 40 percent YoY. It outlined plans to capitalize on this trend via product innovation in ecommerce.

“One of the key verticals we are tailoring our solutions for is apparel and accessories, which is the largest shopping category by far among US teenagers. We believe that helping buyers find the right size, fit and styles will reduce friction in their online shopping experience, which in turn will improve revenue and margins for our business partners while reducing the waste generated from returns,” said Snap’s chief executive Evan Spiegel.

On the heels of a successful Q1, Snapchat is presenting at IAB’s 2021 NewFronts, “Living the Stream,” alongside competitors TikTok and YouTube.

The Future Of Advertising In Video Games With Adverty’s Niklas Bakos

Niklas Bakos is the founder and chief strategy officer at Adverty, a company that helps put advertisements in video games. In this episode, Bakos and I discuss what in-game advertising looks like and how esports has exploded in popularity. 

The conversation starts with why Bakos founded Adverty. Having spent most of his career in the gaming industry, he saw a huge opportunity for marketers to easily reach their target audiences and do it “at scale.”

They discuss the esports revolution, why in-game advertising is more insightful than real-life street advertising, and how a marketer should be thinking about it.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How mobile gaming is the leading platform for advertising
  • How in-game advertisements are more insightful than real-life advertisements
  • Why esports is the next gaming revolution

Key Highlights:

  • [01:12] Niklas’s “big fat cat”
  • [01:51] Why Niklas founded Adverty
  • [03:26] What is Adverty
  • [04:27] What in-game advertising looks like
  • [09:06] The brain impression algorithm
  • [14:37] The future of ad placement and pricing
  • [15:48] How to think about esports and its future
  • [19:00] Why mobile gaming has such a far reach
  • [21:12] Who is doing in-game marketing well
  • [22:43] The future of esports and in-game marketing
  • [24:18] An experience that defines Niklas, made him who he is today 
  • [25:52] Niklas’s advice for his younger self
  • [26:30] Niklas’s recent impactful purchase
  • [27:28] The brands, companies, and causes Niklas follows
  • [29:28] What Niklas says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

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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.