What We’re Reading—Week Of May 3rd

A rundown of the major insights for marketers and advertisers from the week of May 3rd, 2021.

Digital Media’s Big Show Loses Some Glitz Just As Streaming Explodes. Maybe That’s Not A Bad Thing

Marketing Dive

For the second consecutive year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s NewFronts digital media marketplace is going online. Many media buyers are embracing the lack of star-studded events and cocktail hours and are instead turning their attention to which partners can bring value around privacy, measurement and diversity. For publishers and platforms, the upsides of virtual NewFronts include doing away with the cost of renting out physical venues and putting on a complex stage production.

Why it matters: Amazon is new to this year’s NewFronts presentation while Hulu, a staple presenter since 2012, won’t be attending as it’s been folded into its owner Disney’s upfronts roadshow—a break that demonstrates how digital natives and traditional media companies are viewing the streaming race.

More Dolls, Fewer Screens: Barbie Promotes The Brain Benefits Of Play

The Drum

Mattel recently kicked off a new global campaign “A doll can help change the world” inspired by a neuroscience study that suggestS playing with dolls supports kids’ ability to develop social processing skills and empathy. The campaign, part of Barbie’s “You Can Be Anything” initiative, kicks off with a 60-second spot and will extend to retail initiatives and brand partnerships.

Why it matters: Barbie’s efforts to foster empathy and inclusivity in childhood comes after a brand survey conducted found that, as of last July, 91 percent of parents ranked empathy as a key social skill they want their child to develop. In addition, a Barbie spokesperson says that in 2020 the brand saw its highest year-over-year growth in over two decades.

CMO’s New M.O.—Campbell’s Linda Lee Brings Courage And Comfort When Consumers Need It Most


Linda Lee, Campbell’s chief marketing officer for the company’s meals and beverages division, says that to address the current racial strife, Campbell’s launched a new Inclusion and Diversity strategy and hired its first-ever chief culture officer, Camille Pierce to lead those efforts.

Why it matters: Campbell’s partnered with a multicultural agency to determine what role each of its core brands might play in tackling social issues. In addition, Lee says they implemented a recruiting and talent development program to ensure diversity is reflected in its group.

Blockchain Glossary For Your Next Crypto Project


This comprehensive glossary from Shelly Palmer, Adweek opinion contributor and chief executive of The Palmer Group, features easy-to-understand definitions of every crypto term—from NFT (Non-Fungible Token) and Blockchain to Ethereum and Stablecoin.

Why it matters: NFTs, defined as unique tokens often used for collectibles or specific assets, such as a loan, have taken over the worlds of art, music, fashion and even fast food. In March, for example, Taco Bell created taco-themed GIFs that were sold on an NFT marketplace called Rarible; about 25 tokens, or pieces of art, sold out in under 30 minutes.

Brands Must Build Digital Assets In A Privacy-First World: Marketing Experts


With Apple’s IDFA privacy update and deprecation of cookies, many marketers are perceiving first-party data maintenance as a cost rather than an investment, a flawed approach that may cost them a higher return on investment.

Why it matters: To own a direct relationship with customers, brands should invest in building their own digital assets then attract their target audience through discounts and promotional offers and thereafter feed their interests via content marketing.

BurgerFi Names Henry Gonzalez Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, BurgerFi taps Henry Gonzalez as chief marketing officer, the American Association of Advertising Agencies appoints new executive leadership members, Volkswagen Australia marketing and customer experience chief Jason Bradshaw resigns and more. 

BurgerFi Appoints Henry Gonzalez As Chief Marketing Officer

BurgerFi’s new CMO is Henry Gonzalez, reports Fast Casual.

Gonzalez joins BurgerFi from Bigger Slice Consulting, a marketing consultancy firm he founded in 2019. Prior to that, he served as CMO of Costa Farms for nearly two years.

The 4A’s Appoints New Members To Executive Leadership Team

The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) has named four executive leadership changes.

The first includes the appointment of Ashwini Karandikar to executive vice president, media, tech, and data. Karandikar most recently worked as a senior advisor for McKinsey’s High Tech, Media & Telecom Practice.

Mollie Rosen has been elevated to a new role—EVP, strategy, insight and innovation—after leading member engagement and development for the past seven years.

Next, Greg Walker has accepted a promotion as EVP, member engagement and development – independent agencies and retention. Walker last served as senior   VP member engagement and development for the southern region at the 4A’s.

Lastly, Brian Nienhaus has been elevated to the role of EVP, member engagement and development – holding companies and growth. Nienhaus most recently worked as SVP, member engagement and development for the 4A’s central region.

Volkswagen Australia Marketing Chief Jason Bradshaw Steps Down

According to CMO, Volkswagen Australia’s general manager of customer and marketing, Jason Bradshaw, has left his post to pursue his own customer experience agency.

Volkswagen has replaced Bradshaw with Rick Whaite as its new GM of customer experience. Whaite joins Volkswagen from Alinta Energy where he served as national marketing and partnerships manager.

Lift Brands Names Rose Minar As Chief Marketing Officer

Among a series of new C-Suite appointments, Lift Brands has tapped Rose Minar as CMO.

Minar previously worked at Radisson Hotel Group for nearly four years, most recently as a brand and strategic initiatives consultant.  

WarnerMedia Elevates Deepa Sridhar To Director Of Marketing For South Asia

WarnerMedia has promoted Deepa Sridhar to director of marketing for South Asia, according to Brand Equity.

Sridhar has been with WarnerMedia for over five years. Previously, she was director of corporate communications and CNN marketing for South Asia.

Pinterest Says Searches For Outfits, Travel And Socializing Skyrocketed In Q1

This week in social media news, Pinterest shares data on search trends from Q1, Instagram Live gives hosts more flexibility with new features, Twitter is up 7 million daily active users and Facebook reports a 48 percent increase in revenue.

Pinterest Searches Containing “Outfit” and “Dream Vacation Destinations” Surge 

Pinterest shared new data showing that Q1 searches around post-pandemic plans to socialize and vacation are skyrocketing. According to the platform’s findings, Gen Z is leading the trends, with searches from the cohort up 96 percent year-over-year (YoY).

Why it matters: Two major events marketers should keep in mind in light of Pinterest’s research include milestone vacations for Gen Z, who missed out on in-person graduations. The other big one is weddings, searches for which have resumed pre-pandemic levels after seeing a dip last summer, says Pinterest.

The details: Historically, Pinterest searches that include the word “vacation” spiked in March (an average of 24 percent), but this year the same searches surged 75 percent.

Gen Z searches for “dream vacation destinations” increased 13 times while “luxury vacation” grew 6 times. The group is also ready to spend on travel apparel, as searches for “vacation fashion” are 3 times greater.

With some heading back to the office and getting together post-vaccination, there’s been a 26 percent increase in searches containing the word “outfit” in Q1 2021 compared to last year and an 85 percent increase in searches containing “outfit” in April to date.

In addition, searches related to “party” have increased 64 percent from November of last year to March 2021. For Gen Z specifically, searches for “party life” are three times greater and “Euphoria party ideas” are 43 times greater.

New Instagram Live Features Let Hosts Mute Their Microphone, Turn Video Off

In yet another attempt to compete against Clubhouse, Facebook is launching new features for Instagram Live that will enable hosts to mute their microphones and turn off their video during a livestream, confirms TechCrunch.

Why it matters: The new features are part of Instagram’s larger efforts to mimic a Clubhouse experience. In March, the platform launched a Live Rooms feature enabling creators to broadcast with up to four people at the same time. To help creators monetize their content, Instagram also debuted badges that fans can buy to support the hosts.

The details: Instagram says that for now, hosts can’t turn off the video or mute other users in the livestream but that it’s working on expanding these features soon.

Instagram’s new Live features are rolling out globally on iOS and Android starting today.

Twitter Posts 28 Percent Revenue Increase To $1.04 Billion In Q1

In its Q1 letter to shareholders, Twitter reported reaching 199 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU)—7 million more since Q4 2020—and a 28 percent increase YoY in revenue to $1.04 billion.

Why it matters: Comparatively, in Q4 2020 Twitter added 5 million DAUs and reported $1.29 billion in revenue.

The details: Twitter’s revenue YoY shows steady growth as it reached $808 million in Q1 2020 versus $1.04 billion in Q1 this year. Total US revenue was $556 million, a 19 percent increase, while total international revenue reached $480 million, a 41 percent increase.

Following new ad offerings, including its new Curated Categories, Twitter brought in $899 million in ad revenue in Q1, a 32 percent increase. That growth was also driven by “strength in brand advertising in March as well as accelerating year-over-year growth in Mobile App Promotion revenue.”

The platform grew its US mDAU by 13 percent to 38 million and international mDAU by 22 percent to 162 million.

In Q1, Twitter introduced a new feature that enables users to choose from more than 7,000 Topics and Interests to follow; this improvement led to 33 percent of new customers following Topics during sign-up in Q1. Twitter says it’s building on this feature with a personalized Topic picker and updates to its Topic landing pages.

Facebook Reports Revenue Of $26.17 Billion For Q1

According to Facebook’s Q1 earnings report, the platform grew to 2.85 billion monthly active users (MAU) and brought in $26.17 billion for the quarter, up 48 percent from a year prior.

Why it matters: As per Facebook, its big jump in revenue can be attributed to a 30 percent YoY increase in the average price per ad and a 12 percent increase in the number of ads.

The details: In addition to growing its MAU and revenue, Facebook also saw an eight percent YoY increase in DAU, with the figure reaching 1.88 billion. Still, Facebook’s US and Canada DAU stayed flat at 195 million for the second quarter in a row. Meanwhile, Europe DAU grew to 309 million, up from 308 million in Q4.

Across its family of apps, Facebook counts 3.45 billion monthly users, compared with 3.30 billion in Q4.