New LinkedIn Research Examines The State Of Gender, Racial Equity In Marketing Jobs

This week in social media news, LinkedIn publishes new research on gender and racial diversity in marketing jobs, Facebook’s new report highlights the three key shifts driving the evolution of the shopper experience, Google won’t complete phasing out support for third-party cookies until 2023, Twitter launches a new 15-second view bidding model for premium videos and more.

LinkedIn Shares New Research On Gender And Racial Diversity In Marketing Jobs  

According to LinkedIn’s latest research, which combines data from its platform with research from ANA, McKinsey and others, 60 percent of marketing roles are occupied by women in North America. The bad news: racial diversity among those roles is lagging, with just 13 percent of all chief marketing officers having racially diverse backgrounds.

Why it matters: While the number of women CMOs grew from 2019 to 2020—from 47 percent to 52 percent—the percentage of racially diverse CMOs declined, reports LinkedIn. Black women, the research found, are severely underrepresented in leadership roles. Of 100 men that advance to a managerial role, 58 black women advance, compared to 80 white women and 72 women overall.

The details: LinkedIn’s research shows that compared to other industries in the US, women are represented well in marketing in almost every industry, with real estate, wellness and fitness being the strongest; representation of women in manufacturing and entertainment marketing roles ranked the lowest.  

A majority of females are represented at executive levels in marketing too, with 53 percent in a director role or higher, 59 percent in a manager role and 63 percent serving as individual contributors.

Though 52 percent of CMOs are women, just 13 percent of all CMOs have racially diverse backgrounds, according to ANA’s annual report on diversity. What’s worse, while 13.4 percent of Americans identify as black or African-American, research from Coqual found that just 3.2 percent of senior leadership roles at large US companies are held by black people.

LinkedIn also found that the top three fastest growing job titles for women in marketing are director of growth, account strategist and creative strategist.

Despite these encouraging statistics, women are 18 percent less likely than men to apply to a marketing job after viewing it.

Facebook’s New Report Highlights The Shifts Driving Evolution Of The Customer Experience

Facebook has published a new report that sheds light on the three key shifts driving the evolution of the customer experience. With insight from industry experts, the report examines the roles that mobile and social commerce, personalization and privacy, and creators are playing in the post-COVID landscape.

Why it matters: Across the world, 81 percent of consumers say they’ve changed a shopping habit since the start of the pandemic, and 92 percent say they’ll continue this new behavior in the long term. Businesses are innovating faster than ever to keep up with these changes.

The details: The surge in ecommerce during the pandemic gave consumers a newfound sense of ownership around their interactions with brands. To create their optimal experience, consumers are leveraging mobile shopping and messaging services, notes Facebook. 

Sixty-six percent of global online shoppers say their mobile device is quickly becoming their most important shopping tool and 62 percent of social media users say they’d like to communicate with a customer service representative through a messaging app.

The takeaway for brands is to create humanized, digital shopping experiences, whether it’s through conversational or discovery commerce.

Next, Facebook found that people want personalization and privacy to go hand in hand. Some 69 percent of global online shoppers feel more personally connected to brands that offer personalized content or deals. Similarly, 60 percent are interested in using a personalized shopping tab to discover tailored content, reports Facebook.

To give consumers the best of both worlds, Facebook suggests brands utilize privacy-enhancing technology and contextual advertising. In addition, marketers should simplify legal jargon or communicating policies around their data privacy practices in digestible content for consumers.

Lastly, Facebook sees a new kind of creator culture emerging where consumers form closer connections to their favorite influencers as consumers come to expect more interactive shopping experiences. Fifty-one percent of consumers surveyed say they get ideas on which products to shop for from celebrities and creators, and 45 percent say they want to buy products promoted by creators directly on social media.

For brands, this means showing diverse creator personalities with consumers who are seeking better representation.

Twitter Launches New 15-Second View Bid Unit

Because advertisers have only a few seconds to make a positive and impactful first impression, Twitter has launched a 15-second view bid unit powered by its new prediction model that prioritizes engaged, long-form views on your content.

Why it matters: Twitter says it’s been spending the last few months working on a new prediction model that enables this new buying model, with early testing showing that it drives Twitter’s highest video completion rates yet. 

The 15-second view bid, which has been tested with advertisers like Bud Light and Virgin Media, led to an average of an 89 percent higher completion rate, at a 25 percent cheaper cost per completed view.    

The details: Twitter says its new prediction model optimizes for serving video ads to active targeted users that have the highest likelihood of spending more time with your video content, based on their preferences and behavioral trends on Twitter. Twitter then serves your video to those users and charges on CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions).

Along with this new 15-second bid unit comes new reporting metrics in Twitter’s Ad Manager, including cost per 15-second video views and 15-second video view rates.

The new 15-second view bid unit, available to all advertisers globally, will be the new default bid unit for all campaigns under Video Views.

Facebook Rolls Out New ‘Optimize Text Per Person’ Ad Option

According to Social Media Today, Facebook has added a new ad option called ‘Optimize Text Per Person’ that, if enabled, automatically swaps text between an ad’s headline and primary text to optimize its performance.

Why it matters: Though Facebook doesn’t specify how it’ll determine what text each user is more likely to respond to, the new ad option will make it so that your ads are optimized without the need to make additional updates to the text in the headline, description or primary text.

The details: As per a screenshot tweeted by Leon Grigg, who first spotted the new ad option, the toggle displays the following message:

“When it is likely to improve performance, allow text to swap between fields, such as showing your headline as primary text.”

As per Social Media Today, ‘Optimize Text Per Person’ isn’t available to all users yet but Facebook appears to have expanded it this week.

Google Postpones Phasing Out Of Third-Party Cookies To 2023

Google has announced that Chrome is pushing back the phase-out of third-party cookies and the launch of its Privacy Sandbox initiative—which aims to create web technologies that enable brands to target consumers while protecting their privacy online—until 2023.

Why it matters: Early last year is when Google first announced that it would phase out third-party cookies. Google also aimed to launch its Privacy Sandbox initiative by early 2022. Now, it says it needs to “move at a responsible pace” to “avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content.”

The delay will give marketers more time to gather first-party data, a necessity for reaching consumers seeking personalized digital experiences.

The details: Google’s goal is to hold a public discussion on the technologies and their prototypes in forums like GitHub and W3C groups, then rigorously test them in Chrome, perhaps through several origin trials. Once developed, the technologies will be ready to be used at scale.

After this public development process, Google says it plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in two stages. The first stage will start in late 2022, during which time publishers and advertisers will have time to migrate their services. Google expects this initial phase to last nine months.

Stage 2 will see Chrome phase out third-party cookies over a three-month period wrapping up in late 2023.

Snapchat Expands Its Music Library With New Universal Music Group Deal

The short-form video app war that is Snapchat vs. TikTok is heating up. Adding fuel to the fire, Snapchat and Universal Music Group have announced a new deal that will add UMG artists’ music into Snap’s library. The music will be featured in Sounds—Snap’s music feature—Lenses and more.

Why it matters: Snapchat is seeing considerable success with Sounds, which launched in October. The platform says videos created with music from Sounds on Snap have generated 521 million videos and 31 billion views. At launch, Snapchat’s music library featured tunes from Sony and Warner artists.

However, TikTok was the first to ink a deal with UMG back in February after UMG pulled its entire catalog from Triller. The deal, according to a press release, allows TikTok users to incorporate clips from UMG’s full catalog of music.

The details: In addition to partnering with UMG, Snap says it’s improving the discoverability of ‘Sounds’ for users. It recently launched Shortcuts, a feature that suggests relevant camera modes, Lenses and soundtracks based on what’s in your camera’s view.

Additionally, Snap will continue to add Playlists to help users quickly find the right song for their video. Playlists will involve genres, moods and moments relevant to the Snap community, as well as songs that are trending on Snap.

Kansas City Chiefs Appoint Lara Krug As Executive Vice President And Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, the Kansas City Chiefs hire Lara Krug as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Jaanuu taps former Nike marketer Dan Adler as its first CMO, Moderna names Kate Cronin chief brand officer and more.

Kansas City Chiefs Name Lara Krug Executive Vice President And Chief Marketing Officer

The Kansas City Chiefs have appointed Lara Krug to the newly created role of executive vice president and chief marketing officer, according to a Chiefs company press release.

Krug joins the Chiefs from Anheuser-Busch InBev, where she spent more than seven years. Most recently, Krug was vice president of US marketing for the company’s Stella Artois brand.

Previously, she served as vice president of US marketing for A-B’s regional brands, including Estrella Jalisco, Landshark, Presidente, Beck’s and Kirin. During her tenure, she developed and led experimental platforms and campaigns around Super Bowl LIV and the FIFA World Cup.

Jaanuu Taps Dan Adler As Its First Chief Marketing Officer

Jaanuu has hired Dan Adler as its first-ever CMO, reports Campaign.

Adler had been with Nike since 2002, most recently as global marketing chief for Nike Golf.

In addition, Jaanuu hired Scott Shepley, also a Nike veteran, as its vice president of brand marketing. Shepley most recently was global brand manager at Nike.

Moderna Appoints Kate Cronin As Its First Chief Brand Officer

Moderna has named Kate Cronin, former global chief executive officer of WPP’s Ogilvy Health, as its first chief brand officer.

Cronin’s tenure at Ogilvy spanned 16 years.

Krystal Restaurants Names Alice Crowder As Chief Marketing Officer

Krystal Restaurants has hired Alice Crowder as CMO, reports Franchising.

Crowder previously served as the brand’s vice president of marketing from 2014 to 2018 before exiting to become vice president of menu strategy and innovation at Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Standing Out In The Crowd With Torchy’s Tacos’ Scott Hudler

Scott Hudler is the CMO of Torchy’s Tacos, an experiential craft-casual restaurant. In this episode, Scott and I explore what that means.

Torchy’s was founded a decade ago in Austin, Texas. The concept was an elevated street taco. Today they have over 83 locations in seven states and plan to add a hundred company-owned restaurants in the next five years. 

Learn how their unique ownership model instead of a franchise system helped them grow, how they lean heavily on experience and grass roots marketing, and their distinct and a little irreverent brand make it all work.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • About the intersection between fun and business
  • How great customer experience shines through the abundance of choices
  • The importance of meeting customers where they want to interact with you

Key Highlights:

  • [01:45] Scott’s favorite city
  • [03:22] The brands Scott has worked for
  • [06:01] What made Torchy’s the next “right” move
  • [07:16] Torchy’s backstory
  • [12:06] Executing a winning formula
  • [14:00] Not a franchise but individually owned
  • [17:07] Making the leaps to grow
  • [18:35] How the food industry will change post-pandemic
  • [20:15] Overcoming the abundance of choices
  • [21:41] Experiential marketing at Torchy’s
  • [26:22] A defining experience that made Scott who he is today 
  • [30:30] Scott’s advice to his younger self
  • [31:20] Scott’s impactful purchase
  • [32:38] The brands and companies Scott follows
  • [34:35] What Scott says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

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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.

How Much Does It Cost To Market A Game?

You created a concept for an indie game, poured blood, sweat and tears into it, and you’re ready to take it live. For anyone to ever know about it and play it, you must market it. The first step is choosing the correct marketing budget (which I go into here) for your game. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to budget and account for generating three important costs associated with marketing your game—paid media, owned media and earned media. Below I’m breaking down what indie game developers need to know about each, including what they are and how to budget for them. You can get a better sense of how they come into play in marketing your indie game with my fictitious forecast scenario at the end of this story.

Check back next time for a breakdown of all the publishing costs an indie game developer needs to consider when getting their game finished.

Paid Media

Paid media is, unquestionably, the most expensive type of media in the realm of game marketing. Coupled with the fact that it is typically the most understood and the most ignored form, it should be addressed first. Independent game developers often don’t believe it works because they don’t understand how to measure, evaluate, or optimize for it. Given that it is one of the core pillars of marketing, I vehemently advise my clients to prioritize it.

Indie and established developers alike must be reminded of the benefits of paid media, even if they cannot understand it. This is where an effective partnership comes into play. A partner who understands what your limitations are, perhaps a budget or experience as a limitation, who has produced and marketed games successfully, will educate and inform. This ensures that less mistakes are made. Ignorance is no excuse for doing all one can to make their game successful.

A primary challenge of other forms of marketing, whether influencer or social media, is that their results are not guaranteed, while one of the advantages of paid media is that it guarantees results, plain and simple – you get exactly what you spend your money on. It is the only one of the three pillars that is truly predictable. One should never underestimate the value in that knowledge. For example, if you’re purchasing impressions you know you’ll get them even before they happen. On the contrary, there is no such thing as a guarantee with word-of-mouth, buzz, social media, community, viral, or influencer marketing. It should be noted, though, that these forms have an upside potential that paid media does not – no ceiling or timeframe on the number of impressions possible

Paid media typically comprises roughly 80 percent of the total marketing budget. Developers and publishers should spend on media bought in CPM, CPC, and CPA. Other costs which should be taken into consideration include creative costs such as advertising agency costs, creative optimization costs, localization costs, and creative management platform costs.

There remains a type of cost that somewhat fits into the category of paid media worth mentioning, and those include direct influencer payments and non-digital spends like television, podcasts, affiliate spends, and platform spends (e.g., Xbox, PlayStation).

Owned Media

Owned media includes that which you create on your own; essentially all of what you’ll need to make in order for the other forms of media to function. These can be thought of as the assets you’re creating—whether those assets are websites, ads, social creative, videos, apps, brand assets like logos and key art, and even memes. Other forms of more cost-effective owned media include blogs, emails, push notifications, podcasts, dev diaries, social content, and forum communication on sites like Reddit and Discord. In order for owned media to operate/function, dashboards, email platforms, or the back end of your media buying technologies must be adequately funded.

Here, a decision must be made as to whether you hire and build an entirely internal creative services team to make these assets, or whether to outsource and hire an ad agency; either avenue produces an expense and absolutely must be accounted for and budgeted for. Only then will you be able to launch a campaign.

Generally speaking, and from what I’ve witnessed over my 20+ years of working in this field, the 80/20 split remains applicable in owned media, with 20 percent of your marketing budget allocated to owned media.

Earned Media

Earned media is all of the content generated by others. It is not necessarily paid for and is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, it can be one of the most effective marketing tools, if planned for. Think about earned media as viral content. Its budget is in the form of personnel hours, as companies typically have a team dedicated solely to maximizing earned media. This means it has a fixed cost barrier to entry.

Examples include editorial articles, user and editorial reviews, platform features, endemic content creation by influencers, as well as shared activity on social channels.

Fictitious Game Forecast

As a way to tie all of this information together, allow me to provide you with a real-world scenario. Let’s say we have a PC Steam game that targets core FPS fans and the financial team has forecasted $10 million in revenue in the first year – I don’t know if we’d call this indie, but it’s not a giant game either. Depending on which approach you take to derive a marketing budget, let’s imagine it’s set at $1.5 million or 15 percent of forecasted gross revenue.

As stated previously, 80 percent of the marketing budget – here, $1.2 million – should be set aside for paid media. If you’re wondering how far this will go, you’re asking the right question. On Facebook, for example, with an average CPM of $7.19, that 167 million impressions. On Google Display (GDN), with an average CPM of $2.80, that’s 429 million impressions. And on Twitch, with an average CPM of $11.24, that’s 107 million impressions. As a side note, industry calculations show an average CTR of .7 percent and CTC (for a free-to-play movie or PC game) of 15 percent.

It should be noted that there is a certain skill level associated with earning the average .7 percent CTR. Spending the money, while necessary, is not the only requirement. Larger publishers, marketers and developers, whether alone or as partners, will consistently earn better-than-average results simply because of experience. Independent developers should not expect a 7 percent CTR given that it is largely dependent on the ability to produce good creative, strong copy and more. An independent developer must also take into account that a portion of their budget will be spent on resources that larger developers and publishers already have in place and have employed successfully in the past.

Clearly, GDN is the most effective network, yielding you roughly 3 million landing page hits and approximately 450,000 installs. Needless to say, this is not enough to hit your revenue forecast – you need more installs. Enter: owned and earned media.

The remainder of the budget must account for ad creative costs of between $20,000 and $40,000, a $50,000 website, $30,000 worth of social ad creative development, and a year’s worth of trailers at $75,000. Next, you must account for the ad serving fees, any localization costs, brand creative costs, emails distribution costs, affiliate spends, and more, which may add upwards of $50,000 to the total cost. 

Here’s a recap of how far $1.2 million goes on paid media:

  • Facebook average CPM = $7.19 = 167 million impressions
  • Google Display (GDN) average CPM  = $2.80 = 429 million impressions
  • Twitch average CPM = $11.24 = 107 million impressions

Some additional rough math (industry averages calculations):

  • Average CTR (click through rate) = .7%
  • Average CTC (click to convert) for a free to play mobile or PC game = 15%
  • So if you spent all that money on the most effective network (GDN) you could expect about 3 million landing page hits and approximately 450K installs. Is this enough to hit your revenue forecast? I would be very confident in saying no. So you will need more installs from owned and earned media.

You have 20% of the budget left or $300K:

  • Ad creative costs, if you hire an agency, might eat up $20k-$40K
  • Building a website: another $50K
  • Social ad creative development: $30K
  • Producing trailers for a year? Maybe $75K
  • Then you need to account for the ad serving fees, any localization costs, brand creative costs, emails distribution costs, affiliate spends. You see where I’m going—it gets tight.

About A List Games:

When it comes to executing marketing and publishing campaigns, our leverage is 25 years of legacy and expertise in game audience building under our roof. With the Ayzenberg Group’s support, A List Games can tap into the Ayzenberg network to execute world-class marketing executions.

We love breaking from convention and adore the unprecedented. We offer scalable publishing solutions and negotiate “win-win” deal terms based on total investment. Got localization and QA handled? Great. Need help with user acquisition and first-party promotion?

Yeah, we can do that.

Led by passionate people with backgrounds in marketing and development at both the developer and publisher level, we have more than three hundred hit game titles in our collective portfolio.

For strategic leadership, our brain trust hails from Xbox, EA, Blizzard, Riot Games and FoxNext. We also have strong relationships in place throughout the industry, including development services companies capable of Q&A, Localization, Customer Service, Monetization and Production.

Get in touch:

Reddit, Burger King And Warner Music Win Grand Prix At Cannes

This year’s in-person Cannes Lions was canceled due to the pandemic, but the show will go on. The creative marketing community has convened for Lions Live, the virtual version of the international festival. Each day members can tune in for a live broadcast of sessions, which are also available on demand. The winner of each awards category is being announced during “Daily Awards Show,” which comprises five 90-minute virtual shows covering 28 award categories and hosted by Juan Señor in Cannes. Ahead, a roundup of the Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners so far, including H&M, Burger King, Reddit and more. See the complete list of winning brands here.

Design Lions

H&M “Looop” by AKQA Stockholm

Giving new life to old clothes, the world’s first in-store garment-to-garment recycling system was featured in this spot AKQA Stockholm created for H&M. The brand installed the waterless and dye-less system on the second floor of their store in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden.

First launched in Hong Kong in 2018, the 40-foot-container-sized system was tested in a warehouse in Stockholm before it was purchased by H&M. Surrounded by sound-proof glass and stationed atop an anti-vibration floor, the system operates with zero impact on neighboring businesses or shoppers. 

Shoppers can head upstairs to witness the eight-step recycling process, including ozone sanitation, shredding, cleaning, fiber web, slivers, high speed rotor, ply yarn and knitting.

Outdoor Lions

Heineken “Shutter Ads” by Publicis Italy Milan

Ensuring the survival of bars destined to shut down permanently after the pandemic, Heineken redirected its outdoor media investment from out-of-home (OOH) advertising dollars from billboards and bus stops to closed bars’ shutters.

Over 5,000 bars across the globe participated in the sustainable media buying venture, themselves earning a combined 7.5 billion, and earning Heineken 40 percent more media value than the traditional OOH. The venture was so popular, other beer companies followed suit.

Creative Data Lions

Warner Music “Saylists” Rothco, Part of Accenture Interactive Dublin

Warner Music decided to help children with speech impediments by developing an algorithm that analyzes over 70 million songs and categorizes those with particularly helpful repetition patterns and sounds to make typically boring speech therapy fun. 

Direct Lions

Burger King “Stevenage Challenge” by David Madrid

Burger King sponsored the lowest-ranking football club in England’s lowest-ranking division – Stevanage F.C., placing their logo in FIFA ‘20. 

BK then launched the Stevenage Challenge, calling on players to sign the league’s best onto the Stevenage team and post their goals on Twitter in return for free grub. The campaign produced over 25,000 shared goals, made Stevenage the most-used team in career mode and caused shirts to sell out for the first time ever.

Social & Influencer Lions

Reddit “Superb Owl” by R/GA San Francisco

Reddit crashed Super Bowl LV with a five-second spot. It spent its entire marketing budget on that slot, which is why it excluded celebrities, actors and even a script.

The ad aired after the world learned about the David versus Goliath story that was Gamestop – a battle that rages on even to this day. The message highlighted how powerful it is to rally around an idea, and how Reddit is the place to do just that.

Over 300 news outlets covered the spot, which earned over 6.5 billion impressions and caused the actual site to crash after a 25 percent increase in traffic. Plus, it was the most-searched ad of Super Bowl Sunday.

Media Lions

City of Chicago “Boards of Change” by FCB Chicago

To encourage more black voters to vote in the 2020 presidential election, Chicago launched a campaign called Boards of Change, constructing voting booths out of strand boards that were once used to prevent Black Lives Matter rioters from damaging buildings. The result: a record number of voters.

Creative Strategy Lions

Cheetos “Can’t Touch This” by Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco

Everyone knows you can’t touch anything after you’ve eaten a bag of Cheetos. The company has embraced this truth and the messy residue it leaves on fingers in a campaign with an average Joe discovering all of the obligations he’s freed of due to cheesy fingers. MC Hammer, and his iconic phrase “Can’t touch this” helped officially launch the brand’s Cheetos Popcorn. 

Entertainment Lions

Asics “Eternal Run” by Edelman London

Asics invented a race without a finish line in its new campaign that takes place in Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. The idea was to determine if, with the technology in the shoes, 23 runners would run farther than they predicted for themselves.  The spot amassed 1.7 billion impressions plus 71 percent ran farther and 71 percent of consumers who saw the campaign said they’d choose Asics.

Entertainment Lions for Music

Mercado Livre “Feed Parade” by Gut Sao Paulo

Brazil, home of the world’s largest Pride parade, was forced to cancel 2020’s festivities. Mercado Livre, who normally sponsors the event, decided to sponsor a virtual version of the parade by inviting influencers to tag themselves on an Instagram feed of Brazil’s most iconic avenue. Next, one of Brazil’s most famous LGBT artists released a music video featuring the Instagram handles of the 60,000 people who participated. As a result, engagement was up 1,200 percent above average, 63 million people were impacted and the spot earned 500 million impressions.

Entertainment Lions

Sinyi Realty “In Love We Trust” by Dentsu McGarrybowen Taipei City

In Taiwan, ‘marriage’ also means ‘build a home.’ But having the highest divorce rates in Asia and the second highest in the world means home building is steadily decreasing.

Sinyi Realty addressed the phenomenon with a campaign in which they created a new term, “The Age of Doubting Marriage.” The campaign’s film aimed to encourage young people to not be afraid of marriage. Key opinion leaders kept sharing, thus sparking celebrity commentary. The result: 14 million views and 2020’s most popular ad in Taiwan.

Industry Craft Lions

Dove “Courage is Beautiful” by Ogilvy London

Dove paid its respects to front-line healthcare workers battling the pandemic and saving lives with a campaign that featured workers’ faces immediately after removing their protective gear. The brand also displayed the names of the doctors and nurses featured in the film. The message was simple: courage is beautiful.

Digital Craft Lions

Epic Games “Astronomical” by Epic Games, Inc. Cary, North Carolina

Fortnight and Travis Scott partnered up for a one-of-a-kind in-game concert. The event features a 30-foot tall Travis performing a brand new track, one that reached the top spot on the charts post-concert. The virtual concert was a boon to the game: 12.3 million Fortnight players watched live and 27.7 million unique players in-game participated 45.8 million times across five events.

Film Craft Lions

Libresse “#wombstories” by Chelsea Pictures Los Angeles

In confronting the narrative young women are taught about their period, wanting and having children, and other issues surrounding periods and reproduction, Libresse’s 2020 campaign gives a voice to the unknown or unspoken truths about women’s periods, vulvas and wombs. 

An all-female team of animators and illustrators anthropomorphised the womb and creatively depicted what happens inside a woman’s body when she’s on her period, having intercourse, experiencing period cramps or giving birth, to name a few.

Pharma Lions

Woojer “Sick Beats” by Area 23, an FCB Health Network Company New York

Children with cystic fibrosis are forced to wear airway clearance vests that allow them to cough up mucus in their lungs, a routine they describe as “the worst part of the day.” Woojer discovered that 40 hz is actually as effective at loosening mucus as traditional CFS therapy. In response, they made a vest that syncs to a child’s phone, pulls those frequencies from music on Spotify then delivers them to the child’s chest. They scanned Spotify’s 30 million songs and pulled those containing the 40 hz tone.

The campaign featured clips of children wearing the traditional vests before unboxing and wearing Sick Beats vests. The difference in their behavior is awe-inspiring.

Health & Wellness Lions

Essity “#wombpainstories” by AMV BBDO London

Essity chose to address the fact that 62 percent of women do not feel they can talk openly about their experiences by asking them how they felt. They animated and illustrated their stories by anthropomorphising the womb, embracing all of the love and all of the hate for the womb. Women became braver and began sharing their experiences. These experiences were then recycled and compiled to create the world’s first pain dictionary and digital pain museum. 

The result: over 100 million views, increased market share (8.1 percent UK, 14.1 percent RU, 9.9 percent DK), 200 percent increase in followers, and best of all – no more shame.

Lions Health

COPI (Central Office of Public Interest) “” by AMV BBDO London

COPI’s campaign attempted to address the reality that roughly 8 million (25 percent) addresses in the UK have air pollution levels above World Health Organization limits by launching and promoting it on building projections and billboards and via direct mail. The website includes access to free reports of the air quality at every address in London. The reports include a simple rating system along with specific health and financial costs. The initiative also pushes for legal action to mandate disclosure of air pollution ratings within the property industry by connecting citizens with their elected officials. 

The campaign was so effective, COPI changed the law, obligating estate agents to disclose information that COPI’s website gives them. Property portals now include’s rating on every listing, and air pollution has become impossible to ignore.

How Gaming Found Purpose In 2020

Gaming has been steadily on the rise for years but the pandemic was a boon for the industry, catapulting it to record levels of revenue and usage. To understand what entertainment and gaming habits will look like in a post-pandemic world, Activision Blizzard Media conducted research on consumer entertainment changes over the course of 2020. The company announced the findings during a segment in its Cannes Lions Live content series, “The Future of Gaming.”

In “How Gaming Found Increased Purpose in 2020,” Activision Blizzard vice president of global business marketing, measurement and insights, Jonathan Stringfield, discusses the implications for marketers trying to keep up with the shifting behaviors of gamers.

According to the research, conducted by Activision Blizzard in conjunction with MFour Mobile Research and OMG Research, there was a 91 percent increase in digital media consumption, with shopping apps, short form video, streaming and gaming among the top forms of media consumed. Below we break down the key takeaways from Stringfield’s analysis.

Social Connectivity

Given the solitude experienced by many last year, social connectivity was found to be a primary purpose of digital media consumption, according to the research, notes Stringfield. Specifically, of those who were newer or returning to gaming last year, roughly 40 percent indicated social connectivity as one of the primary reasons for engaging with it. Games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a perfect example of how consumers found a medium in which to relax and socialize with others in a virtual world. Innersloth’s online multiplayer game Among Us marks another example of how friends and coworkers interacted in a natural and fun way during lockdowns.

Stringfield reports that although all age groups turned to games as the medium through which they connected with family and friends, it was parents in particular who were some of the “biggest gamers out there.” Given that they were called upon to parent even more—to act as a teacher at times while juggling work from home—gaming played an integral role in how they connected with their children. Gaming also enabled them to achieve a sense of escapism and decompress amid the chaos of the year.

Of the 27 percent of individuals who reported being new to gaming in 2020, over 76 percent stated that they were revisiting, according to the research. Given that the majority of gamers last year weren’t new to gaming, Stringfield is frequently asked the billion-dollar question: will individuals stick with it in a world quickly reopening and returning to normal?

Simply put, video games will be a part of our media ecosystem in the long haul. Roughly 73 percent of individuals surveyed intend on maintaining habits like gaming. This isn’t a conclusive answer, so only time will tell how the current patterns shift and evolve. But as Stringfield notes, given that human behavior tends to change fairly slowly, the research points to the probability that gaming isn’t a “one-and-done” for 2020.

Emotional Need

In addition to the social connectivity that multiplayer and online games afforded consumers, respondents reported feeling emotions such as happiness, calmness and the feeling of being entertained while playing games.

Among the individuals that increased streaming video consumption, that uptake was almost synonymous with video games at  about 76 percent. Stringfield says that this finding highlights a “strategic blind spot” in the industry that video games are as fundamental to individuals’ media ecosystems as other entertainment forms like streaming, which most would consider indispensable today.

Implications For Brands

Activision Blizzard’s research solidified that digital media played the role of “the hero” for individuals throughout 2020. Now brands have an opportunity to capitalize on consumers’ growing relationship with games, namely integrating with these platforms in a way that’s mindful of the need states that users have for engaging with them.

Stringfield says that it’s imperative brands integrating in this space understand why individuals come to these platforms. Doing so will create connections with them that are stronger than the connection otherwise created by advertisements that ignore the game’s context and purpose. Integration should be seamless enough to the core experience so that individuals are not broken away from the platform or miss out on the benefits they derive from them.

To answer the question of whether video games are here to stay, Stringfield affirms that gaming has been on the rise for years, so the numbers witnessed in 2020 were only building on a trend that’s been in the making. And the games won’t just be played by tweens, but by all cohorts — millennials, Gen Z and older generations.

What We’re Reading—Week Of June 21st

A snapshot of the marketing and advertising articles we’re reading this week.

The New Future Of Work Requires Greater Focus On Employee Engagement


After more than a year of working remote, 87 percent of employees would prefer to continue doing so, according to a Prudential survey. But new flex and hybrid work models must focus on employee engagement if they’re to succeed. One way to do that is involve employees in the buying process of new technology. Taking their feedback into account to find the solution that best fits their needs helps maximize user adoption and can identify gaps where the transformation isn’t working well.

Why it matters: Gallup says that disengaged employees make mistakes 60 percent more often than engaged employees do, and just 21 percent of employees consider themselves to be “very engaged.” Even before the pandemic, US companies faced the risk of losing up to $550 billion per year in things like greater turnover and lack of employee productivity.

The Art Of Persuasion Hasn’t Changed In 2,000 Years

Harvard Business Review

Over 2,000 years after Aristotle revealed the formula to becoming a master of persuasion in Rhetoric, the same formula holds up. Some of the rhetorical devices he identified include egos, or character. In order for your audience to trust you, you must establish your credibility. Then, Aristotle suggests using data and facts to make a logical appeal to reason, or logos. Given humans are moved by emotion, or pathos, Aristotle recommends transferring emotion from one person to another through storytelling.

Why it matters: The ability to persuade is a fundamental skill for gaining a competitive edge in the knowledge economy and selling an idea. Some economists believe that persuasion is responsible for producing one-quarter or more of America’s total national income.

Building Trust Through Transparency On Social Media


In March, Klarna launched its Influencer Council with the aim of creating a best practice guide for influencers and brands in the financial services sector. The council recommends that these brands should only work with influencers aged over 21 and move away from misunderstood hashtags.

Why it matters: A survey of over 2,500 social media users in the UK found that only a quarter understand the use of advertising hashtags on influencers’ posts.

L’Oréal Taps Pinterest Creators In Expanded Push Into Content Marketing

Marketing Dive

L’Oreal USA just launched a new Pinterest campaign that will see over 20 Pinterst creators develop branded content covering beauty tutorials and trends for seven of L’Oreal’s personal care brands using Pinterest’s new short-form video feature, Idea Pins.

Why it matters: The new campaign comes as Pinterest is seeing an uptick in beauty searches, with queries including “white eyeliner” and “soft makeup” reaching record highs. Similarly, L’Oreal has experienced a surge in interest in its products, particularly from countries where vaccination rates are growing.

Wingstop Introduces Thighstop, A Virtual Brand That Sells Chicken Thighs


After finding success in a concept that shifted chicken wings from an appetizer to the focal point of the plate, Wingstop is launching a virtual brand called Thighstop through its over 1,400 locations nationwide. Foodies can order bone-in and breaded boneless thighs via and DoorDash.

Why it matters: Wingstop chief executive officer Charlie Morrison said the move is a “strategic supply chain plan” that will help stabilize prices. Morrison added that there’s a limited amount of chicken and it takes 280 million chickens to satisfy Wingstop’s each year. The brand is stimulating trial very quickly with its chicken thighs to ramp up the volume of products and enable suppliers to implement that volume.

Being A Good Steward Of Data With Privacy Lawyer Odia Kagan

Odia Kagan is a Partner and Chair of GDPR Compliance and International Privacy at Fox Rothschild LLP, a US national law firm. She has advised more than 200 companies of varying industries and sizes on compliance with GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act and other US data protection laws.

In this episode, Odia and I discuss why marketers should care about data protection and what they should be paying attention to in the connection between marketing and data. For those unfamiliar with CCPA and CPRA laws, Odia breaks down what each means and why they are relevant to marketing. 

Odia says, “Consumer trust is aligned with privacy compliance.” As the interview continues, you’ll hear more references to the emerging cookie-less world, consumer trust, and mindfulness that all data collection isn’t good data collection.  

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why marketers should care about data protection
  • What it means to be a good steward of data
  • The relationship between privacy laws and UX design and experience 

Key Highlights:

  • [01:31] What led Odia to pursue privacy law 
  • [02:38] Care about data protection 
  • [05:15] Be transparent about what you do with data
  • [10:45] Be mindful of how you share data
  • [12:45] What Odia thinks marketers can solve
  • [19:36] Breaking down CCPA legislation 
  • [24:34] Breaking down CPRA legislation
  • [31:15] Privacy laws with UX design and experience  
  • [35:20] Meeting consumer expectation 
  • [38:00] A defining experience that made Odia who she is today 
  • [39:10] Odia’s advice to her younger self
  • [40:00] Odia’s impactful purchase
  • [41:05] The brands and companies Odia follows
  • [42:38] What Odia says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

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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.

‘Streetwear ‘And ‘All-Inclusive Resort’ Are Among The Rising Conversation Topics In Facebook’s Q1 Report

This week in social media news, Facebook’s ‘Topics to Watch’ report highlights rising conversation topics on Facebook and Instagram, Google announces new listing options for Google Businesses, Facebook launches a new Independent Artist Program, Instagram adds the ability to run group fundraisers, TikTok signs on as the title sponsor for VidCon 2021 and more.

Facebook Report Reveals Rising Conversation Topics On Facebook And Instagram In Q1

Facebook recently published its ‘Topics to Watch’ quarterly report highlighting rising topics of conversation on Facebook and Instagram. They include Travel Photography, Streetwear, All-Inclusive Resort and Body Positivity Movement — all of which saw sizable growth in Q1.

Why it matters: As consumers and businesses embrace the new normal, Facebook’s analysis of key and rising search terms give marketers valuable insight about consumers’ post-pandemic interests and the demographics driving these conversations. 

The details: With travel restrictions easing up, Facebook found that conversations about ‘Travel Photography’ surged, with 2.65x year-over-year (YoY) growth.

Many are unlikely to leave behind the comfort of loungewear after a year of lockdown, hence why ‘Streetwear’ was also heavily discussed in Q1, with 2.57x YoY growth.

Facebook also observed a steady increase in discussions of ‘All-Inclusive Resorts’ on Instagram with 1.73x YoY growth. Associated topics include: Airport, Beaches resorts, Destination spa, Tourism, Mexico, Caribbean, Travel agency and Passport. 

Lastly, ‘Body Positive Movement’ experienced 2.29x YoY growth on Instagram. Here the associated topics were Self-love, Self-care, Body image, Feminism and Mindfulness.

Google Adds New Listing Options For Business Profiles, Plus Ability To Create And Share Posts 

Google has launched several new listing options to help improve Google Business profiles, including the ability to add details such as contact information and opening hours, and create posts and share updates like special offers or new offerings right from Google Search.

You can add details, such as contact information and opening hours, and create Posts to share updates, like special offers or new offerings, right from Google Search. Starting next week, you’ll also be able to create Posts about upcoming events including when and where they’re happening — whether you’re throwing a reopening party or hosting an online tasting. 

Why it matters: Google says that food ordering on Google has jumped more than 230 percent since last year, and that searches for “who has __ in stock” have increased by over 8,000 percent over the year.

Food ordering on Google has increased more than 230% since last year thanks to a boost in demand (who else is tired of doing dishes?) and new restaurant partners. To help handle the demand, Order with Google lets food businesses accept orders for takeout and delivery directly through their Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. This makes it easier for you to reach new customers and turn searches on Google into orders.

The details: Google has added a new process for businesses offering local services – such as construction, landscaping and auto repair – to include new services and local areas serviced directly from their Search and Maps listing using the Edit Profile menu.

The tech giant is also now alloing businesses that work with one of its Reserve with Google partners to enable online bookings directly from Google Search. Once the business has signed up with a Reserve with Google partner, they can see how many bookings customers have made with their business directly on Google. 

For restaurants, the good news is that they can now update their menus by adding or editing items in their Business Profile on Search and Maps. 

In addition to being able to manually add product information to a Business Profile via Search and Maps, eligible US retailers can get all their in-store product inventory automatically added to their Business Profile by signing up for Pointy from Google right from Google Search. 

Later this summer, Google will allow business owners who’ve started their onboarding journey but aren’t yet verified to complete their verification journey on Search and Maps.

Facebook Launches New Independent Artist Program To Help Unsigned Artists 

Facebook is launching an Independent Artist Program to help undistributed artists and creators get their music on Facebook and Instagram products plus anywhere else Facebook offers a music library.  

Why it matters: Facebook is catching up to the likes of TikTok, who last summer announced a partnership with UnitedMasters that will allow full integration between both platforms directly through the TikTok app. In response to TikTok’s growing prominence, YouTube recently said that it paid over $4 billion to the music industry in the last 12 months alone.

The details: Facebook has partnered with preferred third-party music distribution companies DistroKid and TuneCore to help unsigned artists get their music on Facebook and Instagram quickly and at no cost to the artist. 

To sign up, musicians can select from a list of Facebook’s third-party distribution partners, fill in their information, then start sharing their music across Facebook and Instagram music products. Artists will get paid for the use of their music based on the terms of their chosen distributor. Plus, they’ll get access to insights about the music’s performance.

Instagram Launches Group Fundraisers

In an attempt to help people activate together around a cause, Instagram has launched a group fundraising tool that lets people invite others to join their fundraiser, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting their non-profit of choice.  

Why it matters: Instagram launched personal fundraisers last July and Instagram Live fundraisers shortly thereafter in August. Facebook reports that users have raised over $5 billion through Facebook and Instagram combined.

The details: The process is similar to launching a personal fundraiser except after adding and sharing a fundraiser, users must tap the ‘Share’ button on their fundraiser page then ‘Invite Group Members.’

TikTok Overshadows YouTube In Becoming The Title Sponsor For VidCon 2021

This year, TikTok will be the lead sponsor for VidCon 2021, which is set to return to Anaheim Convention Center in late October, and will offer both a digital and in-person ticket option, according to Variety.

Why it matters: Since 2013, YouTube has been the title sponsor for VidCon, which debuted in 2010. Though YouTube said it will be among one of the secondary sponsors of the event, the shift reinforces TikTok’s growing influence in the social media and influencer marketing landscape.

The details: As per Variety, as the title sponsor, TikTok will have the keynote address spot and invite top creators and executives involved in all three of VidCon’s tracks — Community, Creator and Industry.

Among the creators confirmed to attend include TikTok stars Andre Swilley, Sarah Lugor, Devon Rodriguez, Alex Warren, Benji Krol, Michael Le and Ben De Almedia, to name a few.

Snapchat Launches Creative Kit, Enabling Developers To Integrate Their Apps In Spotlight

With the launch of its new Creative Kit for Spotlight, Snapchat is enabling developers to promote their apps on its TikTok-like feed called Spotlight, reports The Verge. Snapchatters can then use the creation tools available on those apps to create videos that get directly published on the Spotlight feed.

Why it matters: Giving its users more creative freedom via developer apps is a surefire way to boost Snap’s downloads. In 2019, Snapchat reported that about 7 to 9 million users joined the platform as a result of viral face filters.

The details: Using the new Creative Kit for Spotlight, users can browse content made by developers then easily download them. Developers can track the performance of their tools and effects and content created by users through hashtag topics. Snapchat won’t take a percentage from the developers even if their app charges a fee for use.

According to The Verge, initial partners for Creative Kit for Spotlight include Lightricks, Splice, Powder, Piñata and Farms.

Instagram Debuts Reels Ads Globally

After a test in select countries, Instagram announced it’s launching Reels ads globally. The expansion comes almost a year after first launching Reels in August last year.

Why it matters: Reels represents Instagram’s effort to compete with TikTok. Through videos of up to 15 seconds, Reels aims to give creators the same creative freedom that TikTok users are loving — through fast, multi-clip videos customizable with music and augmented reality effects.

TikTok recently launched a new ads library, new ad tools for small businesses and in-stream shopping tools such as collection ads, dynamic product ads and promo tiles.

The details: As Instagram noted in a company blog post, Reels ads will be full screen and vertical, akin to ads in Instagram Stories. The ads, which can be up to 30 seconds, will appear between Reels and will loop.

Reels ads will be served in the Reels tab, Reels in Stories, Reels in the Explore tab and Reels in users’ feeds. In addition, people can like, view, save and share Reels ads.

Instagram said that it’ll give people controls on the Reels ads they’re served. For example, if they see an ad they dislike, they can skip it or tap the menu on the post to hide or report the ad.

Dunkin’ Taps Rafael Acevedo As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Dunkin’ names Rafael Acevedo as US chief marketing officer, Kin Insurance taps Victor Lee as chief marketing officer, BMG Music elevates Shane Cosme to vice president of global marketing, Friendly’s Restaurants appoints a new chief marketing officer and more.

Dunkin’ Appoints Rafael Acevedo As Chief Marketing Officer

Dunkin’ US has named former Coca-Cola executive Rafael Acevedo as CMO.

Acevedo previously spent 19 years at Coca-Cola, most recently as vice president and general manager of the company’s tea portfolio, which includes Gold Peak, Peace Tea, Honest Tea and Fuze brands.

Kin Insurance Hires Victor Lee As Chief Marketing Officer

Kin Insurance has announced the appointment of Victor Lee to CMO.

Lee joins Kin from Kellogg’s RXBAR, where he led product development and consumer insights. Lee also previously served as senior vice president of digital marketing at Hasbro.

BMG Music Elevates Shane Cosme To Vice President Of Global Marketing

BMG Music has promoted Shane Cosme to SVP of international marketing.

Cosme joined BMG in 2018, leading the company’s global recorded music efforts and overseeing repertoire US teams in New York and Los Angeles.

Friendly’s Restaurants Announces Two New Marketing Leadership Appointments

Friendly’s Restaurants has named David Ellis as chief marketing officer. Ellis will oversee marketing for Friendly’s Restaurants as well as brands of BRIX Holdings, which include: Orange Leaf, Smoothie Factory, Red Mango, Souper Salad, Red Brick Pizza and Humble Donuts.

Ellis joins Friendly’s Restaurants and BRIX Holdings from Uncle Julio’s, where he served as CMO.

In addition, Sylvia Becker has been promoted to vice president of marketing for Friendly’s. Becker, who’s been with Friendly’s for eight years, most recently served as senior director of media services.

Previously, Becker worked as the senior director of media services for Johnny Rockets.

Instacart Taps Laura Jones As Vice President Of Brand And Marketing

Instacart has hired Laura Jones as VP of brand and marketing, the company recently announced.

Laura most recently served as global head of marketing for Uber’s Rides business.

Ntwrk Hires Jason Brown As Its First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer

The Ntwrk app has appointed Jason Brown as its first CMO, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Brown joins Ntwrk from Foot Locker, where he was vice president of marketing.