New Study Shows Tiered Platforms Appeal To Most Viewers

Though free ad-supported TV platforms (FASTs) are on the rise, Hub’s annual Monetizing Video study found that tiered services account for a greater share of preference than subscriptions with one advertising option only.

The study, conducted among 1,607 US consumers aged 16 to 74 who watch a minimum of one hour of TV per week and have broadband at home, explores the distribution models consumers perceive as most valuable and how they prefer to pay for content.

More than a year into the pandemic, consumers are using more TV providers than ever as giants like WarnerMedia and Disney+ release top content to their streaming platforms. Meanwhile, 82 percent of US households with a TV have at least one inter-connected TV device, including connected Smart TVs, stand-alone streaming devices, connected video game systems, and/or connected Blu-ray players.

As a result of these changes, consumers are getting closer to the amount they think is reasonable to spend on TV—namely, less. In 2020, Hub found that a majority of consumers cited $72 as a reasonable amount to invest in TV but actually spent $94 at the time. This year, Hub notes that most consumers view $73 as the sweet spot for TV spending but actually spend $85 on TV overall.

When tiered services are an option, no other choice gets a greater share, according to Hub’s research. As part of its survey, the firm divided respondents into two groups who were then tasked with choosing from three hypothetical streaming services with identical content.

Group one’s options were: a paid, ad-free subscription, a free-with-ads service and a paid, limited-ads subscription. Group two’s options were the same as group one’s except the limited-ads service was replaced with a paid service offering two tiers to choose from—ad-free and ad-supported.  

Almost twice as many consumers picked the service with tiered options (36 percent) as the service with a limited-ad option only (19 percent). In addition, the limited ads-only service received a much lower share than either the paid ad-free service or the free-with-ads service.

The number of consumers choosing the tiered service, however, was just as high as the number of consumers choosing free-with-ads, and higher than the proportion choosing the service with only a single, ad-free option.

Tiered subscriptions could also increase the total addressable market, as Hub found that 40 percent of current HBO Max subscribers would consider switching to the ad-supported tier. More than a quarter of those who don’t subscribe to HBO Max said they’d consider signing up with a less expensive ad-supported tier as an option.

Hub also found that FASTs like Pluto TV and Roku Channel are gaining traction and this year have the highest perceived value of any kind of TV service, as noted by 66 percent of respondents. Sixty-four percent named subscription video on demand (SVOD) as a good or excellent value while 50 percent named virtual multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) as a good or excellent value. Pay TV bundles ranked last, with 48 percent saying it’s a good or excellent value.  

Aggregation presents a big opportunity for pay TV providers to gain more perceived value, as 66 percent who said their pay TV subscription is a good or excellent value watch SVOD providers through their pay TV set box; 45 percent of the same group don’t watch their SVODs through their pay TV set-top box.

For companies that offer more than just video, such as Amazon, high-quality content is considerably appealing. When Hub asked respondents the primary reason they signed up for Amazon Prime, 50 percent said it was to access shows and movies on Prime Video; the other half cited other benefits such as two-day shipping.

The opportunity for same-day-as-theater releases remains strong, as Hub found that during COVID, more than half of young viewers said they’d pay as much as $30 to stream a first-run movie.

What We’re Reading—Week Of July 26th

We’re tracking the latest insights from various marketing and advertising publications. Here’s a rundown of what we’re reading for the week of July 26th, 2021.

Google Revenue Surges As Online Advertising Market Thrives

The Wall Street Journal

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. reported Q2 revenue of $61.88 billion, a 68 percent increase from a year earlier. Profit more than doubled to $18.53 billion and sales from advertising reached $50.44 billion—the latter representing a 69 percent increase.

Why it matters: Chief executive officer Sundar Pichai credits the strong results to “a rising tide of online consumer and business activity,” adding that digital publishers and YouTube partners earned more during the period than any other moment in the company’s history.

LinkedIn To B2B Marketers: It’s Time To Build Your Brand

Campaign Asia

According to a study from LinkedIn’s The B2B Institute and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia, lack of brand awareness is a larger issue by four to eight times than brand rejection, particularly for smaller B2B brands. The study analyzed the buying preferences of over 1,200 buyers of business banking in the UK and business insurance in the US.

Why it matters: While 90 percent of respondents said they won’t reject a brand they’re unfamiliar with, most B2B marketers focus on lead gen strategies at the expense of creativity and brand building.

Cheesecake Factory Plans To Overhaul Its Marketing Capabilities

Restaurant Business

As part of a marketing overhaul, Cheesecake Factory will develop a loyalty program tailored to its hardcore customers, shift its database to a new customer-relations management platform and switch to a more “commerce-forward” website that’s expected to turn more casual visitors into order-placers.

Why it matters: Cheesecake Factory will execute the overhaul with the help of new ample consumer research following successful targeted campaigns it ran during COVID which drove sales and frequency.

As Coca-Cola Auctions Its First NFT, More Brands Are Entering The Metaverse


Coca-Cola is selling a series of four NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as a single asset, with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics International. The NFTs, created with Utah-based startup Tafi, include a pixelated version of Coke’s vintage 1956 vending machine; digital versions of the company’s 1940s trading cards and a “sound visualizer” featuring classic Coke sounds such as a bottle opening and a drink being poured over ice. The NFTs will be sold on OpenSea from July 30 to August 2.

Why it matters: Coca-Cola’s foray into NFTs is an extension of the collectibles it’s been selling in real life for years. On the company’s website, a limited edition Norman Rockwell set of four Coca-Cola prints goes for $400. According to Coca-Cola senior director of global digital design, Joshua Schwarber, NFTs allows the company to reimagine its assets through unique, multi-sensorial experiences.

Transforming The Future Of Work—For The Better

Ad Age

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 “Future of Jobs” report, about half of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 due to technological advances, and some 70 percent of employers plan to offer the resources necessary.

Why it matters: A large majority of online-based employers are considering making nearly half of their workforce remote, which means new or existing roles will become location-agnostic. As a result, the potential pool for candidates will expand significantly. Plus, given so many applicants are either advancing their skillset via online certifications or classes, there will be more metrics by which to assess candidates than previously.

Hootsuite Names Maggie Lower Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Hootsuite names Maggie Lower chief marketing officer, K-Swiss hires Kate Minner as vice president of marketing and ecommerce of the Americas, JPMorgan Chase & Co. taps Carla Hassan as chief marketing officer and more.

Hootsuite Appoints Maggie Lower Chief Marketing Officer

Hootsuite has named Maggie Lower as chief marketing officer, according to MarTech Series.

Lower joins Hootsuite from Cision where she was global chief marketing officer. Previously, she was the first chief marketing officer at TrueBlue.

K-Swiss Taps Kate Minner As Vice President Of Marketing And Ecommerce Of Americas Region

K-Swiss has hired Sperry’s chief marketing officer, Kate Minner, as vice president of marketing and ecommerce for the Americas region.

Prior to Sperry, Minner held leadership roles at Lacoste Footwear, William Grant & Sons and L’Oreal.

Lego Names Isabel Graham Head Of Marketing For UK And Ireland

The Lego Group has appointed Isabel Graham as head of marketing for its UK and Ireland division.

Graham has been with Lego for nearly 10 years, most recently as head of marketing for Lego Nordic.

FanDuel Group Hires Brian Borkowski As Senior Vice President Of Marketing

FanDuel has tapped Hulu vice president of media and acquisition, Brian Borkowksi, as senior vice president of marketing.

Previously, Borkowski was chief marketing officer of Verikai and vice president of marketing at Neilson Financial Services, respectively

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Names Carla Hassan Chief Marketing Officer

According to Reuters, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has hired Carla Hassan as chief marketing officer.

Hassan joins JPMorgan from Citi, where she was chief marketing officer. 

McDonald’s Convenes New Team To Enhance Customer Experiences

McDonald’s has assembled a new team combining four existing departments — global marketing, global restaurant development and solutions, data analytics and digital customer engagement —  that’s tasked with implementing the growth pillars of the chain’s Accelerating the Arches initiative announced late last year.

McDonald’s has elevated Manu Steijaert, former vice president of international operated markets, to executive vice president, chief customer officer, to lead the new team.

Steijaert’s career at McDonald’s began 20 years ago when he joined as field service consultant of McDonald’s Belgium.

Twitter Posts Record Revenue Of 74% Increase Year-Over-Year For Q2

This week in social media news, Twitter reports a 74 increase in year-over-year revenue in Q2, YouTube adds new sales lift measurement for connected TV ads, Snapchat posts record revenue and user growth for Q2, Pinterest launches shoppable Idea Pins and TikTok adds a new tool that lets creators schedule, manage and promote LIVE videos.

Twitter Posts 74% Increase In Revenue Year-Over-Year For Q2

Citing a “broad increase in advertiser demand,” Twitter reported total revenue of nearly $1.2 billion—a 74 percent increase in YoY revenue for Q2 and the fastest growth the platform has experienced since 2014. In addition, Twitter saw an 11 percent jump in monetizable daily active users (MDAUs), from 206 million in Q1 to 206.2 million in Q2. 

Why it matters: Coupled with the world’s return to normal, Twitter introduced several new offerings and features in Q2 that helped boost its performance, including its first subscription service, its Spaces audio chat feature and its Tip Jar feature.

The details: In Q1, Twitter’s revenue grew by 28 percent; in Q2, that number came in at 74 percent. In its shareholder letter, Twitter said the impact from Apple’s iOS 14.5 updates was lower than anticipated.

Twitter’s ad revenue was up 87 percent year-over-year to 1.05 billion. It also showed a $65.6 million profit, following a $1.38 billion loss in Q2 2020.

As for Q3 revenue, Twitter anticipates bringing in $1.22 billion to $1.30 billion. It also expects headcount and total expenses to increase by at least 30 percent throughout all of 2021, however, it noted that revenue will outpace expenses.

YouTube Adds New Connected TV, Audio Ad Updates

As ad spend rebounds, YouTube is introducing new CTV contextual signals in Display & Video 360, as well as new sales lift measurement for CTV ads. Plus, it’s adding new dynamic production capabilities to help marketers create tailored audio ads quickly and at scale.

Why it matters: YouTube says that many marketers have requested new techniques inspired by traditional TV advertising that will assure them their ads are being displayed in safe and relevant contexts.

The details: First up, YouTube’s new CTV contextual signals will enable advertisers to pick inventory by genre, length or livestream content. For example, if you wanted to associate your ad message to the Olympics, you’d select CTV live inventory under the “Sports” genre using Display & Video 360. Then, you could confirm that your ads are served against content that’s suitable for your brand.

Next, YouTube is adding sales lift measurement for CTV ads using Nielsen Catalina Solutions in the US to help advertisers quantify how their CTV ad impressions led to offline sales. This feature will include metrics like percentage sales lift, total incremental sales and return on ad spend, which advertisers can view in the Display & Video 360 interface.

Lastly, YouTube is enhancing its Audio Mixer solution with a new dynamic production tool that enables brands to use several segmentation rules, including location, schedule or audience to create personalized, relevant ads from a single audio creative.

Snapchat Records Highest Revenue And User Growth Numbers Since 2018

For its Q2 earnings results, Snapchat reported $982 million in revenue and 293 million global active users, the highest growth it has seen in four years.

Why it matters: Snapchat chief executive officer Evan Spiegel credited the strong Q2 results to the company’s investments in new products and augmented reality (AR) technologies, which has resulted in more than 200 million users that engage with AR every day on average on Snap. In addition, there are over 200,000 creators building AR Lenses on Snapchat via its “Lens Studio” tool.

Spiegel added that the company’s Snap Original Shows reach more than 30 million unique users in the US. Snap also added 177 new international Discover channels in Q1, according to Spiegel.

The details: Snap’s daily active users increased 23 percent to 293 million during Q2, beating its prior record of 22 percent growth. Revenue for the quarter surged 116 percent to $982 million, outperforming Snap’s previous record 66 percent growth.

Snap expects Q3 revenue to reach from $1.07 billion and $1.09 billion, and daily active users to grow 21 percent to 301 million.

Snap’s TikTok-like feature “Spotlight” saw 49 percent quarter-over-quarter growth, with the average content submissions tripling compared to the prior quarter.

Instagram Expands Reels Length Limit From 30 Seconds To 60 Seconds

Instagram will now let users record Reels of up to 60 seconds long, an increase from 30 seconds. The update comes after Reels’ first update last September when it extended the limit from 15 to 30 seconds.

Why it matters: Instagram launched Reels last August with the intention of recreating the TikTok experience for its users. This new video length limit update comes just as TikTok expanded its length limit for users from one to three minutes.

The details: Instagram is ramping up its video features to keep up with TikTok, Instagram head Adam Mosseri confirmed recently. Soon, Instagram will show users recommended videos from other accounts that they don’t already follow, a move that mimics TikTok’s “For You” feed.

Pinterest Launches Shoppable Idea Pins, Paid Partnership Labels

Pinterest is launching an Idea Pins product tagging tool to all business accounts in the US and UK and a new paid partnership label in beta to help creators disclose brand sponsorship.

Why it matters: Pinterest research shows that 89 percent of Pinners are more likely to show shopping intent on products tagged in Idea Pins than on standalone Product Pins.

The details: In addition to giving creators a new product tagging capability in their Idea Pins, Pinterest will let creators earn commissions through affiliate links. Plus, select creators in the US, UK, Canada and several other international markets will now be able to disclose their paid partnerships via a new disclosure label.

TikTok Launches New LIVE Events Tool For Creators

TikTok has recently launched a new tool called LIVE Events in select markets that will let creators schedule, manage and promote live videos. In addition, TikTok is adding a new Go LIVE Together feature, discovery tools, a LIVE Q&A suite of tools, improved keyword filters and ways for hosts to manage viewers’ activity.

Why it matters: TikTok’s new live tools build on the platform’s already robust creator offerings. Its current TikTok Live Stream Program lets creators earn money in the form of TikTok’s virtual Coins, Gifts and Diamonds from fans aged 18 or older.

TikTok’s new LIVE Events tool will help creators promote their livestreams and connect with users ahead of time and thereby earn even more for their live content.

The details: Creators can access TikTok’s new LIVE Events tool at the top right corner of their profile page, then fill out basic details such as the event name, start time and a description. TikTok will then review it before the scheduled event listing goes public.

Once the event is scheduled, influencers can share it though in-app messages and promote it with a LIVE countdown sticker on TikTok or outside of TikTok. TikTok will display how many people have signed up for the event.

The LIVE Events tool is now available in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as TikTok tests it in other global markets.

In addition to TikTok’s new Go LIVE Together features, TikTok will soon share live videos in the For You and Following pages. TikTok said that the top live categories on the platform are Chat (Q&A), Gaming, Talents, Fashion and Daily Life.

To help viewers keep up with the livestream chat while tuning in, TikTok has also enabled a new feature called Picture-in-Picture that lets users continue watching live videos across their device on iOS and Android.

Additionally, creators can designate another person to manage their livestream before it begins. Then, during the live stream, both the host and the designated user can mute and block users to ensure the stream remains welcoming. Plus, hosts will have the ability to turn off comments or add up to 200 terms into the keyword filter to limit certain comments during the live chat. These words can be added throughout the livestream by hosts and the person helping them.

Aligning Your Brand And Product Messaging With Frankly Organic Vodka Co-Founders Philip And Kristen Risk

Husband and wife, Philip and Kristen Risk are the co-founders of Frankly Organic Vodka.

On the show, I learn how they met selling luggage, how they maneuvered from sales to marketing, and what brought them to founding a vodka company. They share what’s unique about Frankly Organic Vodka and how the liquor industry is not an easy place to survive and thrive. Yet this dynamite couple is doing just fine. Frankly Organic Vodka expanded its distribution from two states to thirteen states in 2020 and will continue to grow into 45 states. 

When they first founded the company, they focused on making sure the branding fit their product, values, and messaging: transparent, clean, and delicious vodka. Like they say, “It’s straight. Honest. To the point. And memorable.” Listen to the full episode to find out how brand alignment with their product has been key to their success.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of knowing what you consume
  • Doing the research and being transparent
  • Aligning your brand with your messaging 

Key Highlights:

  • [01:53] How Philip and Kristen met
  • [03:25] Why start a vodka company?
  • [08:12] Starting vodka with juice
  • [09:42] What makes Frankly Organic Vodka unique
  • [12:02] Branding the vodka
  • [13:40] Ups and downs of the journey
  • [18:00] Growth and expansion for the company
  • [24:28] Shifting go-to-market strategy 
  • [28:05] Lessons learned
  • [29:35] The experiences that defined Kristen and Philip
  • [31:25] Advice to their younger selves 
  • [32:45] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [33:20] The brands and organizations Kristen and Philip follow
  • [34:21] The biggest threat marketers face 

Resources Mentioned: 

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Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Listen In: Creativity Never Sleeps

Alana Balagot joined Ayzenberg back in 2015 as a senior developer with our digital team. Her latest role finds her as Ayzenberg’s Technical Lead. Alana joins the show today to discuss her passions outside of Ayzenberg, from film composition to robotics, and how those extracurriculars continue to inspire her professional life in tangible ways.

The conversation examines how creativity can be space-agnostic—so much that it makes its way into our professional lives, adding value to the organizations we belong to and driving us to make insightful, personally fulfilling work. The ultimate takeaway from this episode is to consider how you’re translating your non-professional passion into your work-life and reflect on what impact it would make to do so.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg will interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Jodi Harris On Why Culture Is More Important Than Creativity

Anheuser-Busch InBev won big at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, taking home 22 total Lions—the most ever in the company’s history. But the road to AB InBev establishing itself as a creative powerhouse was no small task. It started a few years ago when the company rebuilt its internal culture around real consumer needs and the power of creativity. Overseeing that process was Jodi Harris, the company’s first-ever global vice president of marketing culture and capabilities. We talked with Harris to learn more about how she and her team implemented that culture shift, how the company empowered its employees, what it’s learning via social listening tools and a trend CPG marketers should embrace post-pandemic.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What does your role as global vice president of marketing culture and capabilities entail?

In 2017, I was the head of US consumer insights and at the end of that year, my boss Marcel [Marcondes] and I discussed revamping something in the US market where, at the time, creativity wasn’t thriving and our employee engagement was quite low. We were going through several different transitions at that time. You could tell people weren’t feeling valued.

So we created something called Marketing Culture and Capabilities. In order to get to the capability building, you have to start with creativity, so we started implementing programs in the US which had never been done before. We didn’t have a town hall for marketing. We did something instead called the “Spark Session,” which was about building confidence, not just in the whole marketing team, but also the senior leadership team, myself included. Slowly but surely as we started opening ourselves up to things, more and more people wanted in. Because it wasn’t everybody at first, I’d say maybe a third of the population were early adopters. By the end of the two, three years, everybody wanted in. The results went from 62 or 64 in engagement to an 80 in two years. It was nuts.

When you believe in the people around you and you’re going to invest in them and their capabilities, then the world is yours. We started feeling that momentum and then we decided to take it global. 

Pedro [Earp], who is good friends with Marcel, is now my boss. We all believe in this so much that not only is it a global role, there’s now a global marketing culture and capabilities team. Every market has at least one person who’s dedicated to driving capabilities, creativity and this culture shift that we’re going through. We actually realized that we’ve got a lot of internal experts. 

What was it like scaling that culture change globally? 

We have a responsibility to make sure our employees are equipped with the right tools and resources to go further. The first thing we did was partner with the General Assembly to get the resources with our online programming that we can start to embed into our marketing team. It wasn’t just the online content. We actually supplemented it with twice-monthly Zoom sessions, and because we’re able to grant live access to these sessions and also the online program, everybody participated. It was incredible. We had over 1,500 people around the world dialing in to these sessions or re-watching the videos online. 

The other great thing is, we never really understood where we sat versus other companies but through the General Assembly program, they have a benchmark for CPGs. We were falling slightly below the CPG average in the beginning of the year where we assessed ourselves. One full year after the program, we surpassed average and we’re on par with digital natives now. So again, another sense of pride and courage is that the teams took these tools and ran with them so fast. That’s where we started getting a lot more intellect on just how to use data properly and how to set the right KPIs.

It’s not just these vanity measures. We also built our own programming as a part of our old marketing excellence program. Now we have everybody in our marketing academy. It’s been a huge, huge success for us.

Did the company launch any programs during the pandemic to strengthen employee bonds? 

The creativity and agility from working together during the pandemic was game-changing. We created a global cross-functional task force to run our agile program called “Ideas of Good.” It was designed to engage our colleagues all over the world to generate, pitch and execute ideas to address critical community needs during the pandemic.

Many of these needs were common around the world, which made our teams excited to learn from each other and empowered them to quickly adapt for action in their markets. Within the first 90 days of the pandemic we launched 100 new initiatives to help people.

Our Tienda Circa program is a beautiful innovation that was born from Ideas for Good. It supported small business owners with the technology to deliver beer and other goods in an effort to stay open during the pandemic. Never before have we seen the power of ideas from our own colleagues make a real difference in people’s lives.

What is AB InBev’s takeaway from winning the most Lions this year in company history?

This year’s Cannes results for AB InBev really solidified the power of our culture. We have a true culture of ownership, and we saw that come to life over the past year. Our teams never gave up. They delivered their best work because they’re invested in the work and the people it impacts. I’m so proud of what we accomplished together.

The actual journey started seven years ago with our previous CMO who created an internal awards program called Creative X, which we still run today. It’s just gotten so much more powerful and has been a great proxy for all of the other festivals. One example of this is Tienda Circa, which was an incredible win for us at Cannes this year. In fact, it was our first Grand Prix for our internal agency draftLine. It was also the first time that creativity pushed beyond marketing and really brought a commercial aspect to it. It solves a real need that you’re not going to find in a research report.

How has draftLine been impacted by the evolving needs of the company’s marketing teams amid the pandemic?

The pandemic validated our internal creative agency. Starting in 2019, we brought our creative center in-house to stay more connected to consumers and move at the pace of culture. We saw this in action during the pandemic as circumstances changed from one day to the next. draftLine allowed us to stay reactive to, and in some cases anticipate, these shifts in consumer needs and behavior. For example, in the first eight weeks of the pandemic, the US team worked on 500 pieces of creative, and they’ve launched over 30 campaigns so far during COVID-19.

Part of AB InBev’s success is rooted in listening closely to the consumer and leveraging culture as a primary source of consumer data. What tools are you leveraging to this aim?

In the beginning, we didn’t leverage social media in the right way. We had all our social listening tools, but it was really about what were the big trends and fads, and underneath all of that was a bevy of insights of how people are feeling and what they’re liking and not liking and the different dialogue.

One great example of this is the Natural Light brand. One of the team members was running the digital platforms and he started interacting with college kids—of legal drinking age of course—about Natty Light and about college life. One of the things that college students are worried about so much is student debt. Once we started conversing with them and speaking their language, we were discovering new terms. We’d find out what a certain word means. We’d say, okay, that’s the new word to use? Got it. That’s how we were interacting. We’d be one of their friends because we had to become part of their circle. That’s how you realize what’s really important to them. From there, we developed programs around college loans and paybacks. We had students send us their resumés and we’d post the best one on a NASCAR car.

That’s one bigger example, but how we stay on top of that is through really interacting with the consumer firsthand, whereas before it was always in focus groups or waiting for the quarterly brand health report to come out. We still all have that information because it’s important to have, but for us to get much closer to the consumer, we had to interact with them. In the US, we have a big online community with more than 6,000 people that we can interact with whenever we want. 

AB InBev is diversifying its outreach to attract more than just the male gaze. Has the change been effective? What are you learning?

Diversity and inclusion are priorities for the company and for the industry. There are a lot of wrongs that we’re correcting in the marketing industry, the inappropriateness of some advertising from the past. But that stays in people’s minds and it’s a mental asset you’ve got to try to break. We do that with more provocative angles in creativity to get people to think a little bit differently. There are a couple of programs that we’re really proud of, like the work that Budweiser has been doing to promote equality, and of course, the angle that we’re taking is in sports. 

In early 2019, we started a program where we re-corrected some advertising out-of-home from the 1950s to today. That was the first time we realized that people are responding to this, the industry is responding to this, this is interesting. This is actually a valid place where we can have a voice and we should have a voice because of the history. And at the time, Monica [Rustgi] was our first vice president of marketing at Budweiser ever. So it just goes to show you the changes you can make when you understand it.

Then it carried on like a hot fire. People started to understand that there really is a divide out there. We started educating people and started doing that with all areas of inequality. 

We’ve done some work with women in football in the UK. I think the Future Sponsor campaign was awesome. We’re really proud of it. It’s not this one-off campaign, it’s an actual program.

In terms of the brands and championing it, we still have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way. In our Creative X program, it’s the awards, but it’s also our creative center of excellence. We have huge D&I requirements. For our council meetings, when reviewing the work or helping promote the work. It’s a very diverse group of individuals. We have certain standards where advertising doesn’t go out if it doesn’t meet certain criteria and that’s all fed into our D&I for the company. 

I’m very honored to sit on the D&I counsel for the company. As a woman, as a marketer, as an American, I feel like I have a unique voice in that—from helping to write the D&I statement that we put on as a company and some of the new regulations to working with the team to create new benefits packages. 

During the last 12 months, have you seen a change in the seriousness with which CEOs and CMOs consider corporate social impact?

At AB InBev, we’ve always been defined by our purpose to bring people together for a better world. That mission was certainly heightened during this time of crisis, but more than that, the pandemic showed us the true extent of the impact we make—farmers, bar and restaurant owners and customers, small businesses and more.

Our global program with Stella Artois is a good example of how we supported bars and restaurants with resources and infrastructures to bring people together again, safely. That impact inspired us all—at every level of leadership—to keep innovating and reimagining our business in the communities where we live and work.

Something our CMO, Pedro Earp, has championed is a shift in focus—away from creating ads, and toward building consumer solutions, regardless of the tool. It’s clear that social impact will become ever more ingrained in everything we do.

What’s one trend marketers will face or need to embrace as they return to the “new normal”?

I think one of the big changes that we’re seeing, and it’s a behavior change we’ve been seeing for a while, is the moderation trend, mainly for beverages. It’s awesome. It comes down to health and wellness, especially the younger generations that aren’t taking life for granted. It really is about taking care of our planet, ourselves, our communities. 

The value equation has shifted. We’re seeing it with our no-alcohol portfolio, with our low alcohol portfolio. You see it in the US with the hard seltzer market. There’s a shift that’s been coming for a while, but it definitely has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

What We’re Reading—Week Of July 19th

A look at the news and insights we’re sharing internally for the week of July 19th, 2021.

Is Every Marketer About To Quit?


According to a survey MarketerHire conducted among its more than 20,000 newsletter readers, 78 percent of marketers believe marketing will soon see great resignation and 48 percent personally plan on quitting.

Why it matters: One larger trend in the marketing industry driving the belief includes the creator economy. Many marketers can earn more teaching others how to market than they can at a full-time job. Another trend accelerating the great resignation is the freelance economy; on the MarketerHire platform, the highest-paid marketer in 2020 earned more than $300,000 whereas in 2019 he made $90,000.

Visa Rebrands For The Digital Economy


Visa has launched a global multi-year marketing campaign titled “Meet Visa.” In addition to a television commercial that will air during the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, the campaign includes spots on digital channels and out-of-home placements showing people using cryptocurrency to purchase everyday items such as hats and using their phones to buy from small businesses. Visa also debuted a new logo featuring three horizontal bars in the brand’s signature blue, white and yellow.

Why it matters: Visa’s new campaign aims to reposition itself as an “engine of commerce” that “provides access to the global economy for everyone, everywhere,” according to Lynne Biggar, Visa executive vice president and global chief marketing officer.

Twitter Takes First Step To Give Marketers An Audit Of Its Brand Safety

Ad Age

Twitter will allow the Media Rating Council to conduct a pre-assessment audit of brand safety on the platform, and to audit audience, ad viewability and fraudulent traffic. Similarly, Facebook said it will partner with the Media Rating Council to independently assess its brand safety controls and content monetization policies.

Why it matters: When running ads on digital platforms in areas like Twitter’s timeline or Facebook’s news feed, advertisers want to know how often their sponsored content appears alongside offensive speech or disinformation.

Consumers Want Control, Not Ad Blocking, In Online Advertising

Ad Age

According to a new survey from Magna and Brave, 80 percent of respondents felt they didn’t get much in return for the online ads they saw, with 64 percent saying online ads interrupted their web experience.

Why it matters: Ad blocking may not be the solution to consumers’ frustrations, as 79 percent of respondents said the most appealing option would be to control the number of online ads they see daily. The former preference was more popular than other solutions, such as ads that tell a story or show previously searched products.

Chipotle’s Digital Sales Rose 10.5% During Q2

Restaurant Dive

According to Chipotle’s Q2 earnings call, the company’s revenue increased by 38.7 percent year-over-year, comp sales by 31.2 percent and digital sales by 10.5 percent. Digital sales produced $916.5 million for Chipotle during the quarter.

Why it matters: About half of Chipotle’s sales come from digital channels, which get a boost from its 23 million-member loyalty program and digital-only product launches like its quesadilla. The company’s digital sales comprise less of its overall sales mix compared to Q1 — 48.5 percent versus 50 percent, respectively. This year, Chipotle plans to open more than 200 restaurants, more than 70 percent of which will include the digital, order-ahead pickup lane.

Confluent CMO Stephanie Buscemi Joins Clari’s Board Of Directors

This week in leadership updates, Clari appoints Stephanie Buscemi to its board of directors, Mercer Advisors taps Gary Foodim as chief marketing officer, Flymachine hires Jason Feinberg as senior vice president of marketing, Bridgestone appoints Sara Correa chief marketing officer and more.

Clari Names Stephanie Buscemi To Board Of Directors

Clari has appointed Confluent chief marketing officer, Stephanie Buscemi, to its board of directors.

Prior to Confluent, Buscemi served as chief marketing officer of Salesforce.

Mercer Advisors Taps Gary Foodim As Chief Marketing Officer

Mercer Advisors has named Gary Foodim chief marketing officer.

Most recently, Foodim was chief marketing officer at Strategic Financial Solutions NY.

Renfro Brands Elevates Kadian Langlais To Chief Marketing Officer

Kadian Langlais, Renfro Brands’ vice president of digital and direct to consumer, has accepted a promotion as the company’s chief marketing officer.

Previously, Langlais consulted with major brands and retailers on their ecommerce and digital marketing strategies. Additionally, she was director of ecommerce for Kayser-Roth Corporation.

Flymachine Appoints Jason Feinberg Senior Vice President Of Marketing

Flymachine has hired Jason Feinberg as senior vice president of marketing.

Feinberg joins Flymachine from Universal Music Group, where he was senior vice president of marketing.

Bridgestone Names Sara Correa Chief Marketing Officer

Bridgestone has hired Sara Correa as chief marketing officer, according to Modern Tire Dealer.

Correa joins Bridgestone from TE Connectivity, where she was most recently vice president and segment chief marketing officer of transportation solutions.

Correa is replacing Philip Dobbs, who will retire in late October after serving as chief marketing officer for a decade.

General Motors Middle East Appoints Sharon Nishi Chief Marketing Officer For Chevrolet, GMC Brands

General Motors Middle East has hired Sharon Nishi as chief marketing officer for the Chevrolet and GMC brands.

Nishi has worked at General Motors since 1987 in various leadership roles across sales and marketing. Most recently, she was regional director of sales and marketing for General Motors of Canada.

Houston Rockets Hires Julian Duncan As Chief Marketing And Strategy Officer

Julian Duncan has joined the Houston Rockets as chief marketing and strategy officer, the NBA recently announced.

Previously, Duncan was chief marketing officer and senior vice president of social responsibility and impact for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Fox Entertainment Elevates Darren Schillace To President, Marketing

According to Deadline, Fox Entertainment has promoted Darren Shillace to president of marketing.

Most recently, Shillace served as executive vice president of marketing.

Prior to Fox, he was senior vice president of marketing strategy for ABC Television and vice president of marketing for the Oprah Winfrey Network, respectively.

Sprinkles Cupcakes Names Michelle Wong First Chief Marketing Officer

Sprinkles Cupcakes has appointed Michelle Wong to the newly created role of chief marketing officer.

Wong joins Sprinkles from Dailey, where she was the first female president and managing partner.

Hyundai Canada Taps Christine Smith As Director Of Marketing

Hyundai Canada has hired Christine Smith as director of marketing, according to Markets Insider.

Smith previously served as senior vice president of client business at INNOCEAN Worldwide Canada, where she oversaw integrated brand and retail campaigns for the Hyundai and Genesis brands in Canada.

Lazard Asset Management Appoints Joanne Choi As First Chief Marketing Officer

Joanne Choi was named Lazard Asset Management’s first managing director and chief marketing officer.  

Choi joins Lazard from Goldman Sachs, where she spent the last 18 years, most recently as head of marketing.

IDEO Names Detria Williamson As Chief Marketing Officer

IDEO has hired Detria Williamson as chief marketing officer, reports Apparel News.

Most recently, Williamson was managing director, digital transformation and global inclusive customer experience lead for Accenture Interactive. Prior to that, she served as chief marketing officer of Vestergaard.

Netflix Fires Three Marketing Executives Over Disparaging Remarks About Their Peers Sent Via Slack

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has dismissed three senior film marketing executives after it was discovered that they were criticizing their peers via a public company Slack channel.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the issue in a LinkedIn message:

“Very early on at Netflix, Reed Hastings wrote a culture memo for the company with Patty McCord, then our head of talent. At its heart was the notion of integrity and feedback, which they described as ‘you only say things about fellow employees you say to their face.’”

“What happened here was unfortunately not simply venting on Slack or a single conversation. These were critical, personal comments made over several months about their peers (not their management as suggested by The Hollywood Reporter)–including during meetings when those peers were talking or presenting.”

Good Customer Service On Social Media Can Give Brands A Competitive Edge

At a time when 71 percent of consumers across generations say they’re spending more time on social media, brands are increasingly finding it harder to cut through the noise. According to Sprout Social’s 2021 Index, the key to doing so is delivering seamless customer service on social media.

The index—based on a survey among more than 1,000 US consumers and more than 1,000 marketers conducted online between March and April 2020—explores social media’s impact on bottom-line growth, how and why consumers are using social media to connect with brands and what makes a brand best-in-class on social media.

Sprout Social’s data show that consumers follow brands mostly on Facebook (78 percent), Instagram (57 percent) and YouTube (47 percent). Twitter came in fourth and TikTok in fifth.

Brands have an opportunity to reach and engage with more consumers on social media but that also means more competition, as 93 percent of marketers surveyed noted. Consumers, on the other hand, expect great customer service from brands on social media, but marketers fail to prioritize it.

When asked what makes a brand best-in-class on social, the top response from consumers was strong customer service, as noted by 47 percent of respondents. However, that factor was missing from marketers’ responses — instead, 48 percent cited audience engagement as the distinguishing factor. Forty-six percent of consumers listed audience engagement as the second most important factor.

There are grave ramifications for brands that don’t deliver in the customer service department, with 45 percent of consumers saying they’ll unfollow a brand on social because of poor service. What’s more, 90 percent of consumers buy from brands on social while 86 percent said they’ll choose that brand over a competitor.

While recent research shows people prefer to communicate with businesses over the phone, Sprout Social found that 78 percent of consumers believe social media is the fastest and most direct way to connect with a brand. Social media is also consumers’ preferred means of sharing feedback about a product or service (31 percent) as well as raising customer service issues or questions (33 percent).

As Sprout Social notes, the top three actions brands can take to encourage consumers to buy from them over a competitor include responding to customer service questions in a timely manner, demonstrating an understanding of what the consumer needs and creating more culturally relevant content.

While 88 percent of marketers agree that their social strategy positively influences their bottom line and 90 percent agree that data from social enables them to stay ahead of their competitors, organizations still undervalue its business impact.

When asked to describe their cross-team efforts regarding social media, half of marketers said they maintain occasional contact and collaboration with other teams while 17 percent operate in complete silos. To stand out from other brands on social, marketers need to prove to every department, not just marketing, that social impacts their bottom line growth.