Instagram Rolls Out Ads In Shop Tab

This week in social media news, Instagram rolls out ads in Instagram Shop tab to international markets, TikTok adds a new ‘Promote’ ad option to business profiles, YouTube opens a 6,000-seat live entertainment venue with Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California and more.

Instagram Launches Ads In The Shop Tab Globally

Instagram is rolling out ads in the Instagram Shop tab, the platform’s fully dedicated shopping surface, to countries globally where the tab is available. The move comes after Instagram tested the new format, which includes single images and a carousel option, with select US advertisers including Fenty Beauty, Away and Clare paint.

Why it matters: The expansion is part of Instagram’s larger effort to invest more in its e-commerce business, though not everyone was happy about the addition of the Instagram Shop tab. When it was introduced last summer, it replaced Instagram’s “Activity” tab at the bottom navigation row, much to the chagrin of users who said the move made Instagram feel more commercially driven.

The details: During the testing phase of ads in Instagram Shop, the company said the format would include an auction-based model. The number of ads a user sees will depend on how they use the app and how many people are shopping in the Instagram tab. Since Instagram Shop is a mobile-only feature, ads will only appear on mobile as tiles that are labeled ‘Sponsored.’

TikTok Adds New ‘Promote’ Ad Option For Business Profiles

TikTok has launched a new ‘Promote’ ad option that lets business accounts turn organic videos into an ad directly within the app.

Why it matters: The new feature will help brands drive one of three objectives—more video views, more website visits or more followers—that correspond to a specific call-to-action. One caveat is that the ad feature is available to public clips that don’t use copyright-protected music.

The details: Business profiles can access TikTok’s new Promote ad option in two ways–either by selecting the ‘Promote’ button in a video’s individual video settings or via ‘Settings and privacy’ > ‘Business suite’ where they’ll see the Promote button.

To set up a Promote ad, brands can choose the video they want to boost (TikTok suggests using your best-performing organic video) then choose a goal, duration and target audience for the campaign. After TikTok approves the promotion, you can get insights on the video’s performance.

YouTube Debuts 6,000-Seat Live Entertainment Venue In Inglewood, California

In collaboration with Inglewood, California’s Hollywood Park, YouTube has opened YouTube Theater. At the 6,000-seat venue, which has live-streaming capabilities built into the infrastructure, YouTube says it plans to host live events like concerts, theater performances, esports competitions, conferences and more, with the first event slated for September.

Why it matters: With the state of in-person events in limbo due to the Delta variant, YouTube Theater could play a part in shaping the next generation of hybrid or digital-only events. In addition to built-in live-streaming capabilities that let performers livestream their events to YouTuber viewers worldwide, the theater includes a large-scale digital YouTube icon outside the venue and a digital wall inside. According to YouTube, both utilize motion-sensor technology so fans can interact with the screens, and the screen can be programmed with content related to events.

The details: YouTube Theater is part of the platform’s 10-year partnership with Hollywood Park, a 300-acre sports and entertainment destination.

As per YouTube:

“In the future, they hope to use it to celebrate YouTube creators, extending content from the platform into the real world to help creators grow their businesses, and as a place to bring our company events to life.”

Emarketer: Pinterest US Shoppers Grew 30.5% In 2020 To 12 Million Total

According to eMarketer’s latest forecast, the number of US social buyers on Pinterest grew 30.5 percent in 2020 to a total of 12 million. The firm expects the figure to grow another 16.5 percent to reach 13.9. million by the end of 2021.

Why it matters: Pinterest has introduced a variety of social commerce tools in recent years, including Buyable Pins in 2015 which evolved into Product Pins in 2018, leading users directly from a post to a retailer’s checkout page. More recently, it launched Idea Pins, a replica of Instagram Stories that enables creators to create brand-sponsored content.

The details: Emarketer projects Pinterest buyers will reach 15.1 million in 2022 and 16 million by 2023, the latter figure which would represent 15.7 percent of US social buyers.

McDonald’s Names Tariq Hassan Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, McDonald’s names Tariq Hassan chief marketing and digital customer experience for US operations, Petco replaces Hassan with Katie Nauman as chief marketing officer, Dollar Shave Club appoints Kerry Sullivan chief marketing officer, Buick-GMC marketing veteran Phil Brook retires and more.

McDonald’s Taps Tariq Hassan As Chief Marketing Officer

Following a three-year stint as Petco’s chief marketing officer, Tariq Hassan has been named McDonald’s chief marketing and digital customer experience officer for US operations.

Prior to Petco, Hassan held leadership roles at Bank of America and HP, respectively.

Petco Elevates Katie Nauman To Chief Marketing Officer

After Tariq Hassan’s departure from his post as Petco’s chief marketing officer, the company has promoted Katie Nauman, vice president of integrated marketing, to fill his shoes.

Nauman, who’s been with Petco since last spring, joined from HP, where she more recently served as head of global marketing, Z by HP.

National CineMedia Taps Amy Tunick As First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer

National CineMedia has appointed Amy Tunick the newly created role of senior vice president, chief marketing officer.

Tunick joins National CineMedia from WWE, where she was senior vice president of the company’s talent management division, which she helped build.

Dollar Shave Club Names Kerry Sullivan Chief Marketing Officer

Dollar Shave Club has tapped Johnson & Johnson-owned Neutrogena veteran Kerry Sullivan as chief marketing officer, reports Adweek.

Sullivan succeeds Kristin Harrer, who served as Dollar Shave Club’s chief marketing officer for about two years before becoming global chief marketing officer of Vans.

Nickelodeon Appoints Sabrina Caluori Senior Vice President, Brand And Content Strategy

Nickelodeon has named HBO veteran Sabrina Caluori senior vice president, brand and content marketing.

Previously, Caluori spent over a decade leading digital media and marketing at HBO.

Weight Watchers Chief Brand Officer Gail Tifford To Exit

Weight Watchers chief brand officer Gail Tifford is stepping down to focus on a serious family health matter, according to a press release.

Tifford’s role won’t be replaced but the company’s senior vice president of global brand marketing, Cindy Gustafson, has been named chief marketing officer.

Buick-GMC Marketing Veteran Phil Brook Retires

Phil Brook, vice president of marketing at Buick and GMC, has retired after 17 years with the company.

Brook is credited with helping expand the Denali sub-brand and launch the AT4-sub-brand, in addition to overhauling the company’s marketing department to attract female buyers.

General Motors has named Brook’s replacement—Molly Peck, who most recently served as head of marketing for SAIC-GM in China.

Wella Hires Hugh Dineen As Chief Marketing Officer, Global Brand President

Wella has named Hugh Dineen as global chief marketing officer and president of global brands, according to Campaign.

Dineen joins Wella from MetLife, where he served as chief marketing officer. Previously, he’s held leadership roles at Avon and Johnson & Johnson.

How Measurement Silos Distort Brand And Behavioral Lift

In a given week, 44 percent of people use multiple social media platforms. However, just 39 percent of marketers require all platform providers to use consistent measurement approaches, with major social platforms most often being allowed to use their own measurement as currency.

To understand the risks for marketers utilizing siloed exposure in their cross-platform measurement, DISQO conducted a study among 166,356 US consumers between February to March, 2021, each of which voluntarily allowed the company to observe their digital behaviors on mobile and desktop devices. DISQO also studied about 8,500 US adults in January 2021 who opted in to share their social media usage across multiple platforms.

The findings explore how a single source of truth can prevent marketers from yielding inaccurate insights, lower return on ad spend, lack of confidence and excess administrative costs.

Measuring the effectiveness of campaigns requires the ability to see how placements on two different platforms, say, TikTok and Facebook, interact with each other against the same audience target. To determine how much overlap happens between different social media platforms, DISQO shares a fictitious scenario involving a campaign that runs on three different platforms—A, B, and C. The campaign on platform A received 500,000 views, on platform B 400,000 views and 200,000 views on platform C.

DISQO’s data found that platform B saw a lift of 3 percentage points in positive campaign response with siloed platform measurement compared with a lift of 2 percentage points for platform A and a lift of 1 percentage point for platform C. Based on these numbers, one would assume platform B deserves greater investment while media should be optimized off of platform C.

However, as DISQO points out, it’s likely that the unexposed audience has seen the brand messages on a different platform and mischaracterizing these exposed users creates a mutant control group with exposure from another platform. As a result, this group produces an artificially high baseline off which to calculate lift.

According to DISQO, when you take the mutant control group out of the equation and get an accurate view of exposure, it’s actually platform C that’s the most successful because it saw a lift of 7 percentage points in positive campaign response. But because this platform was getting the lowest investment, huge upside revenue potential was being lost and higher costs resulted from siloed measurement. 

Additionally, with siloed measurement, the overall campaign lift is understated at 2 percentage points. When mutant control is eliminated, however, the lift is shown to be 5.3 percentage points, reports DISQO.

Generalized models based on overall platform overlap or common demographic overlaps won’t deliver accurate campaign results. In order to get accurate lift and effective advertising measurement, marketers should use a single-source panel that calculates the exact overlaps in exposure for each individual campaign and sees all consumer activity.

For marketers to eliminate mutant control, consumers must willingly share zero-party data using passive technologies so that ad exposure is tracked to the same individual across every site they visit. Only when marketers utilize a single-source panel solution to cross-platform ad measurement will they gain confidence in insights, future-proof identification without the need for cookies or other ID proxies, natural assessment and reduced workload.

Highlighting The Human Element In Marketing Through Audio With HubSpot’s Alanah Joseph

Alanah Joseph is the Senior Marketing Manager at HubSpot, responsible for marketing and operations of the HubSpot podcast network. 

In this episode, Alanah and I discuss her role in driving brand awareness and increasing listenership for its shows and the long-term strategy behind launching a podcast network.  

“Just as product requirements have grown and changed over time, so have people’s content needs. Alanah and HubSpot believe podcasts will fill that role and that companies and brands will seek out audio for inspiration and solutions to business problems.

Listen as Alanah explains the strategy behind a podcast network and how it elevates content creation to ultimately help customers become better software users and better business practitioners overall.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Leveraging other creators to help spread your message
  • Creating opportunities for growth via collaboration
  • Highlighting the human element in marketing 

Key Highlights:

  • [01:20] Alanah is ambidextrous
  • [03:00] How Alanah ended up managing the HubSpot podcast network
  • [05:11] Transitioning from written content to audio
  • [07:28] HubSpot’s long-term content strategy
  • [09:25] The vision behind the network
  • [11:11] Working with content creators and podcast hosts
  • [14:24] What Alanah has learned about workflow and content creation
  • [19:20] What (and who) has made Alanah who she is today
  • [20:53] Alanah’s advice for her younger self 
  • [21:57] A topic Alanah thinks marketers should be learning more about
  • [24:23] The brand and organizations Alanah follows
  • [27:11] The biggest threat and opportunity for marketers 

Resources Mentioned: 

Subscribe to the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

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.

McDonald’s Appoints Morgan Flatley Global Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, McDonald’s appoints Morgan Flatley as global chief marketing officer as Alistair Macrow steps down, Travel Nevada names Mikalee Byerman as chief marketing officer, Automation Anywhere taps Anna Rosenman as chief marketing officer, USClaims hires Haven Brady as chief marketing officer and more.

McDonald’s Elevates Morgan Flatley To Global Chief Marketing Officer

McDonald’s has named Morgan Flatley global chief marketing officer after Alistair Macrow, the company’s former global chief marketing officer, assumes the role of chief executive of the UK and Ireland division.

McDonald’s has also hired Tariq Hassan to fill Flatley’s shoes as chief marketing and digital customer experience officer for McDonald’s US.

Travel Nevada Scouts Mikalee Byerman As Chief Marketing Officer

Travel Nevada has appointed Mikalee Byerman as chief marketing officer.

Byerman joins Travel Nevada from Estipona Group, where she was vice president of strategy.

Automation Anywhere Taps Anna Rosenman As Chief Marketing Officer

Automation Anywhere has hired Anna Rosenman as chief marketing officer.

Prior, Rosenman served as Salesforce’s senior vice president of marketing.

USClaims Enlists Haven Brady As Chief Marketing Officer

USClaims has hired Haven Brady as chief marketing officer.

Brady was previously the head of digital marketing and customer acquisition for MDVIP.

RumbleOn Appoints Matthew McCartin As Chief Marketing Officer

RumbleOn has named Matthew McCartin as chief marketing officer

McCartin has held several marketing leadership roles including his most recent as Expedia Ventures – Vitalize Fitness’ brand president and chief marketing officer of digital content and ecommerce.

Snapchat’s New ‘Trends’ Resource Highlights Trending Topics And Keywords

This week in social media news, Snapchat releases a new ‘Trends’ resource center around popular moments and keywords, YouTube explores the rise of aesthetics, Facebook releases the first in a series of reports that give an overview of the most widely viewed content in News Feed, Pinterest launches an inclusive hair pattern search filter, Facebook tests ‘Facebook Reels’ in the US and more.

Snapchat Releases ‘Trends’ Resource Center Highlighting Popular Keywords

For the first time, Snapchat is giving marketers a glimpse of the topics and moments most relevant to its community of 293 million daily active users with Snapchat Trends—a new tab under its Resources section that highlights the most popular keywords shared with the Snapchat community via public Snaps Stories and My Stories that have been viewed by a large group, in addition to a searchable database of terms.

Why it matters: Snapchat Trends offers marketers a new source of information about users of the platform and how they can be incorporated into marketing strategies. Using a consumer packaged goods brand as an example, Snapchat says that within the last few months they’ve seen a marked increase in the volume of conversation around seasonal summer flavors like strawberry, watermelon and rhubarb, which could serve as inspiration for new product flavors.

The details: Snapchat Trends will share insights around trending topics, keywords and more. For example, Snapchat said it recently saw a 100 percent increase in mentions of the phrase “third-wheeling” and that mentions of the term “streaming” reliably surge every Friday.

YouTube Releases ‘The Rise Of Aesthetics’ Report

In its latest report, ‘The Rise of Aesthetics’ YouTube explores the origin of “aesthetics” given the use of the term surged on the platform during the pandemic. Using the ‘cottagecore’ trend as a point of entry, YouTube breaks down the history of aesthetics, which, as social media strategist Amanda Brennan notes, offered people during the pandemic, “a way to [escape] the pandemic with pre-Internet, romanticized imagery.” 

Why it matters: YouTube is positioned to help users create and explore variations of ‘aesthetic’ trends through its algorithm of endless tutorials, discussions, music and quizzes. Marketers offering products or services in line with a given aesthetic now have YouTube’s analysis of key aesthetics to assist in determining who to target and when.

The details: YouTube defines “aesthetics” as the thematic expression of visual and musical tastes as a representation of self. In the report, the platform explores how aesthetics are enabling users to express themselves through five key genres: ‘cottagecore,’ ‘Y2K,’ ‘dreamcore,’ ‘bardcore,’ ‘dark academia’ and ‘royaltycore’—each of which surpassed 5 million annual views on YouTube in 2020 to 2021.

Facebook Releases First ‘Widely Viewed Content Report’

Facebook has released its inaugural ‘The Widely Viewed Content Report,’ the first in a series of reports that will provide an overview of the most widely viewed content in News Feed, starting with domains, links, Pages and posts in the US.

Why it matters: Facebook’s insights tool CrowdTangle was built to assist users in grasping the type of content that gets the most likes, comments and reshares. Facebook’s release of this data, along with such reports as the Community Standards Enforcement Report, is in support of its efforts to increase transparency and accountability. Facebook notes that despite what the report discloses about the most-viewed content, it still comprises a minuscule amount of what users actually see on the platform. Consequently, in order to portray a thorough picture of what users see, Facebook will release quarterly Widely Viewed Content Reports in the US first, with international data incorporated soon. 

The details: According to the report, fewer than 13 percent of content views were on posts with links, and the most-viewed news domains account for only 0.31 percent of all content views in News Feed, with mainstream media views dominating.

The report also sheds light on the kinds of posts and Pages that are actually the most widely viewed, with many of the most-viewed Pages focused on sharing content about pets, cooking, family and relatable viral content. Facebook will update the report quarterly in its Transparency Center and release it along with each quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report.

Facebook Launches ‘Facebook Reels’ To Compete With TikTok 

Facebook has just announced its newest feature, ‘Facebook Reels,’ offering users the ability to create and share TikTok-like content.

Why it matters: The new feature comes months after TikTok achieved a milestone for social apps that, until this year, only Facebook (and its assembly of apps) had achieved—3 billion downloads worldwide. In order for Facebook to retain its 2.85 billion monthly active users and keep its younger users satisfied, it must follow in TikTok’s footsteps. 

The details: With Facebook Reels, US users are able to create and share short-form video content directly within their News Feed or within Facebook Groups. The feature was first tested in Canada, Mexico and India. 

Facebook will also be testing a new feature that allows US-based Instagram creators the option to have Instagram Reels recommended on Facebook. Opting in will display Instagram Reels in the Reels section in users’ News Feed on Facebook. 

Pinterest Launches Inclusive Hair Pattern Search Filter

Pinterest has rolled out a new hair pattern search filter with black, brown and Latinx pinners in mind that will allow them to refine hair searches by six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald.

Why it matters: In the past month alone, Pinterest says there were over 120 million searches for hair and over 5 billion Pins created related to hair on Pinterest. The platform has also observed that top hair searches on Pinterest are personalized—for example, “natural hair twists protective” (15x) and “best haircuts for thick wavy hair” (13x).

The details: Over the coming weeks, through Pinterest’s computer vision-powered object detection, pinners can narrow searches such as “summer hairstyles” by choosing one of six hair patterns. Pinterest says it has detected a hair pattern in over 500 million images on the platform.

The new hair pattern search builds on Pinterest’s skin tone ranges launched in 2018 which allows pinners to refine their beauty-related searches based on a set of skin tone ranges.

Twitter Introduces Search Endpoints

Along with the second version of its new API, Twitter is launching new Spaces endpoints so developers can create tools, apps and services that help people get more out of Spaces. The company said it plans to launch API support for Spaces in phases, with discovery as its first focus area and tools for Hosts as its second.

Why it matters: From its conversations with its developer community, Twitter has gleaned that the first API functionality it should build is one that helps people discover interesting Spaces and set reminders. Twitter also heard that developers would like data to help Spaces Hosts understand the performance of their Spaces.

The details: All developers using Twitter’s new API v2 can look up live or scheduled Spaces using criteria like Spaces ID, user ID or keyword. With Spaces lookup, developers can also understand the public metadata and metrics associated with an active Space, according to Twitter.

YouTube Releases Features That Help More Users Search And Find Content More Easily 

YouTube has responded to its community’s requests with new features that make searching for select content easier, including the ability to jump to a specific chapter in a video and automatically translated captions, titles and descriptions when content in the local language isn’t available. 

Why it matters: With these new features, YouTube is encouraging people from different backgrounds to use its platform and to spend more time on the platform by simplifying their experience.

The details: YouTube has released a number of new features that make searching for content easier. For example, users can now view a time-stamped image that details the various topics covered in the video. The new feature also allows users to jump to a specific chapter. 

YouTube will also be releasing the ability to preview a snippet of a video on the mobile app—something desktop users have been enjoying. Additionally, a new feature will display foreign language search results with automatically translated captions, titles and descriptions where relevant content in the local language isn’t available. 

Lastly, YouTube has begun testing a new feature in India and Indonesia that complements search results with links from Google Search, a feature that may expand to other countries pending analysis of performance.

Facebook Business Releases Its 2021 Creative Forecast 

In its 2021 Creative Forecast, Facebook has assessed key creative trends for the future based on an analysis of key 2020 cultural shifts, examples from standout brands and creative springboards that can assist marketers in their own campaigns.

Why it matters: Harnessing the five ‘ascendant behaviors’ witnessed in the last year or so will provide brands with the insights necessary to meet customers’ expectations and evolve with their changing needs.

The details: Facebook’s Creative Shop assessed 100 high-performing creative campaigns that were selected based on several factors, the most notable of which being business impact. The study pinpointed five ‘ascendant behaviors’ that are likely to continue shaping creative, including building inclusivity, creative edutainment, selling with ideas and more.

LinkedIn Publishes New Brand Building Playbook

In LinkedIn’s new brand building guide, the platform offers advice on developing and optimizing for a memorable brand image that connects with customers. The 33-page guide provides the basics of brand building, balancing short and long-term strategies and case studies on brands like Lenovo, Callaway and more who have found success on LinkedIn.

Why it matters: As LinkedIn research shows, 95 percent of buyers are “out-of-market” future buyers and over time, those buyers gradually come in-market when they need to make a purchase. By this point, it’s important that brands have built up enough mental availability that these buyers would consider, or pre-select, your brand.

The details: According to LinkedIn, emotional messaging is key to capturing the 95 percent of buyers who are out of market when they’re in-market. LinkedIn suggests priming customers with repeated, memorable exposure to your brand. Then once the buyers come in-market, leverage rational messaging to capitalize on your brand strength to achieve short-term results.

To help grow your community on LinkedIn, the platform suggests organic methods, namely via Stories, Pages, LinkedIn Live and Events, while also boosting content through paid ads. Brands can then use LinkedIn’s Reach Optimization to bolster ad performance as well as use its A/B testing, brand lift testing and forecasting tools to measure.

Using LinkedIn to build awareness about their new program offerings, upGrad leveraged a mix of organic content and sponsored posts, embraced always-on content marketing and monitored campaign KPIs to find their sweet spot. The result: a 56 percent increase in unique visitors to their LinkedIn page, an 87 percent increase in organic following in just 60 days and 2.3x lift in brand mentions on LinkedIn.

Read LinkedIn’s full playbook here.

Facebook Launches Open Beta Of ‘Horizon Workrooms’

Facebook has released the open beta version of Horizon Workrooms, its “flagship collaboration experience,” allowing users to come together to work in one virtual room.

Why it matters: ‘Horizon Workrooms’ brings Facebook one step closer to its goal of launching humanity into the metaverse. Because of continuing uncertainties involving the pandemic, the new virtual space will allow for at least temporary solutions to some of the hurdles around working remotely.

The details: Facebook’s ‘Horizon Workrooms’ is a virtual meeting space that compiles some of the platform’s newest technologies into one experience, such as a mixed-reality desk, keyboard tracking and hand tracking. Users can meet in virtual reality (VR) as avatars, or dial into the virtual room from a computer. 

Horizon Workrooms is available for free downloads on Oculus Quest 2 and wherever Quest 2 is supported, offering users the connective tools necessary to work remotely with minimal hurdles.

Back To School Newsletter Ads Grew 40 Percent Year-Over-Year As In-Person Learning Resumes

In an unprecedented back-to-school season, consumers are buying more according to new LiveIntent research that shows back-to-school newsletter ads grew 40 percent compared to last year. The data suggests that retailers should focus on optimizing campaigns to reach younger audiences as well as parents, specifically mothers.

Newsletters that saw the most conversions highlighted shopping, style and fashion, and family and parenting. LiveIntent’s data shows that these newsletters saw campaigns perform 140 percent higher than the average conversion rate.

One reason for this could be that women are still doing the majority of back-to-school shopping for their household. LiveIntent found that women continue to lead as the primary buyers, with a 27 percent higher clickthrough rate (CTR) and 160 percent higher conversion rate than men. Older demographics had the highest clicks but the 18-20 year old group held the lead in conversions, with 59 percent higher than average.

LiveIntent also found that tablets are the best performing device for back-to-school retailers, with a 36 percent higher CTR than average. Still, PC conversion rates took the lead this year at 46 percent higher than average. When looking at performance by date, weekends had a 7 percent higher CTR and 5 percent higher conversion rate than weekdays, according to LiveIntent.

“As we enter an unpredictable school year, marketers have had to be nimble when designing their back-to-school campaigns. Understanding when and where to reach an audience is critical, especially as regional regulations are changing,” said Kerel Cooper, chief marketing officer at LiveIntent.

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys, shoppers of the 2021-2022 season will spend more than $108.1 billion this year—a record-breaking amount.

The NRF’s survey also found that the top three back-to-school categories in terms of spending are electronics, clothing and accessories, and shoes. For college shoppers, the top three categories are electronics, dorm or apartment furnishings, and clothing and accessories. For both groups, the top destinations are online and department stores.

A little over half (51 percent) reported to the NRF that they started back-to-class shopping, 39 percent said they shopped at the end of June sales and another 18 percent completed shopping on average.

What We’re Reading—Week Of August 23rd

A look at the marketing and advertising news we’re sharing internally for the week of August 23rd, 2021.

Nordstrom Debuts Young Adult Ambassador Program

Retail Dive

Nordstrom has opened applications to creators ages 14 to 22 to join The Ambassador Program @ Nordstrom, which will offer mentorship opportunities including virtual meetings with Nordstrom leaders plus paid styling and content opportunities for participants over 18 years old. Ambassadors who promote products on their social feeds will receive 5 percent commission for each item they sell.

Why it matters: Nordstrom joins the likes of Macy’s, West Elm and Express, who have all launched similar initiatives to encourage creator and fan engagement with their brands. Nordstrom’s foray into the ambassador program is part of a larger effort to attract younger consumers. In March, it debuted a shoppable livestream platform and recently acquired a minority stake in Topshop.

What Are The New Trends In Packaging?

The Drum

According to Jenny Stanley, managing director at Appetite Creative, some of the latest packaging trends include designing for recyclability, adding a QR code, including free samples and transforming packaging into art.

Why it matters: Deloitte research shows that 61 percent of UK consumers have limited their use of single-use plastic and 34 percent have chosen brands that have environmentally sustainable values or practices. As for QR codes, they not only give consumers added value but they also help cut down on packaging elements such as instruction manuals.

Nielsen Study: People With Disabilities Are Largely Absent From TV Advertising

Morning Brew

A new Nielsen study analyzed 450,000 primetime ads on broadcast and cable TV during February of this year and found that just 1 percent of those ads featured someone with a disability despite the fact that 26 percent of the US population lives with a disability.

Why it matters: Discretionary spending for people with disabilities of working age is about $21 billion, according to the American Institutes for Research. Additionally, total ad spend on disability-inclusive ads Nielsen analyzed was $57 million—less than 4 percent of the $1.6 billion spent during the time frame Nielsen studied.

Online Shoppers Don’t Always Care About Faster Delivery

MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT analyzed the preferences of online customers of a grocery chain across hundreds of thousands of purchasing scenarios and found that in many situations, customers preferred precision or flexibility over speed. Additionally, the customer is, on average, willing to wait 10.8 hours longer for a delivery if the delivery window is one hour shorter, and will wait an additional 7.5 hours longer if the delivery can be received on a preferred day of the week, everything else being equal. 

Why it matters: MIT cautions retailers that focusing solely on speed may be too myopic once the pandemic is over. For omnichannel retailers to consider preferences beyond just delivery speed, it’s important they invest in data and analytics infrastructure, collect and analyze customer-specific time-slot selection data and roll out new delivery strategies.

Do Your Digital Design Choices Take Advantage Of Customers?

Harvard Business Review

Brands that design their sites to exploit consumer behavioral bias might benefit in the short term but could cause long-lasting damage to their reputation. To avoid that, executives should play a proactive role in ensuring their digital design functions in users’ best interests because doing so deepens companies’ relationships with its customers.

Why it matters: To determine how your brand might be exploiting customers online, some questions HBR suggests asking yourself include: 1) Are you being transparent in user agreements? 2) Do you make canceling your services easy? 3) Are your default options the best options for customers? 4) Do you frame choices in a misleading way? and 5) Is your product addictive?

Taco Bell Hires Lil Nas X As Its First ‘Chief Impact Officer’

Ad Age

Lil Nas X, a former Atlanta-area Taco Bell employee, has been named the fast-food chain’s chief impact officer, a role that will see him help launch an activation around his upcoming album “Montero,” help advertise new menu items and announce the recipients of Taco Bell’s Live Más scholarship. Kicking off his foray into the C-suite, Lil Nas X appears as a narrator in Taco Bell’s latest campaign highlighting its breakfast offerings, which will be re-introduced to 90 percent of US Taco Bell locations by mid-September.

Why it matters: Brands putting celebrities into the C-suite is nothing new. Ulta Beauty recently named Tracee Ellis Ross a diversity and inclusion advisor, Vital Proteins appointed Jennifer Aniston chief creative officer and Maude tapped Dakota Johnson as creative director.

Ayzenberg’s Sp[a]ce Gallery Launches First Virtual NFT Auction

Ayzenberg’s sp[a]ce gallery has launched its first-ever virtual NFT (non-fungible token) gallery. Titled “NotForThought,” the gallery’s inaugural NFT being auctioned is an exploration of the brave new world of “ownership” and was created by Somsara Rielly—Los Angeles artist, illustrator and animator whose work unearths hidden connections and messages.

All of the animation for the one-of-a-kind stop-motion NFT, which is one minute and 16 seconds long, was created in-camera with hand-cut practical materials, Rielly told AList. “NotForThought” marks Rielly’s first NFT.

“I had been experimenting with stop-motion animation for a while and was hearing about NFTs. I was a little reluctant frankly about the whole thing. It’s all very new and experimental. So I dove into it. Ultimately, what I came away with is I don’t know how I feel about all this, so I’m just going to explore it by using the medium to explore it,” said Rielly.

The NFT’s soundscape was composed by music producer and composer Lem Jay Ignacio, whose music has been featured by the likes of Pokémon, Netflix and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“NotForThought” is for sale on NFT marketplace OpenSea from now until August 9th at 5 pm PDT. Bidding started at $749.89, or 0.2895 WETH — Wrapped ETH, a currency that enables users to make pre-authorized bids that can be fulfilled at a later time without any further action from the bidder.

“The reasons behind why people buy [NFTs] is fascinating to me. Whether it’s futurists, people who are hedging their bets or people who are like, “I have to own this for nostalgia purposes.” It raises so many questions. It’s fascinating. In some ways, that means anything can be an NFT,” Rielly added.

Put simply, NFTs are digital collectibles. They exploded onto the digital art scene in March when Christie’s’ first online NFT auction saw digital artist Beeple’s “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” get sold for the unprecedented price of $69 million. Ever since then, notable brands have entered the NFT space including Taco Bell, Gucci, Charmin, Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Opened three years ago in Old Pasadena, sp[a]ce is a Kunsthaus project that showcases the work of progressive local and international artists in an environment created by Corsini Stark Architects. 

According to Alana Balagot, Ayzenberg’s creative solutions lead who’s overseeing the digital aspect of the new gallery, sp[a]ce has plans to auction additional NFTs in the near future.

MLB Appoints Karin Timpone As Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Major League Baseball appoints Karin Timpone as chief marketing officer, Reddit names Jonathan Flesher as vice president of business development, Virgin Media O2 taps Simon Groves as director of brand and marketing, LinkedIn hires Minjae Ormes as vice president of global brand and consumer marketing and more.

Major League Baseball Names Karin Timpone Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

MLB has recruited Karin Timpone as executive vice president, chief marketing officer, according to the organization’s press release.

Timpone is MLB’s first chief marketing officer since 2016 when former chief marketing officer Jacqueline Parkes exited to join ViacomCBS.

Timpone enters the new role after having held senior positions at Marriott, the Walt Disney Co., Yahoo and Universal Studios. She also serves on the board of Atlas Obscura as an independent director.

Reddit Appoints Jonathan Flesher As Vice President Of Business Development

Reddit has scouted Jonathan Flesher for its vice president of business development role.

Flesher was previously the head of business development at Discord.

Virgin Media O2 Hires Simon Groves As Director Of Brand And Marketing

Virgin Media O2 has brought in Simon Groves as its first director of brand and marketing.

Previously, Groves held similar positions at O2 (Telefónica UK) and Tesco Mobile.

LinkedIn Recruits Minjae Ormes As Vice President Of Brand And Consumer Marketing

LinkedIn has brought on Minjae Ormes as VP of brand and consumer marketing.

Ormes has held several marketing leadership positions at Visible, YouTube, and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

TikTok Appoints Serena Leith As Australia And New Zealand Global Marketing Director

TikTok has hired Serena Leith as global marketing director Australia and New Zealand.

Leith entered into the new role in March after having held several marketing leadership roles at Spotify, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Australia.

Wingstop Transfers Stevie Benjamin To Senior Vice President Of Digital Marketing

Wingstop has elevated Stevie Benjamin to the role of senior vice president of digital marketing as it restructures its technology leadership department.

Benjamin enters into the new arrangement after having served as Wingstop’s vice president of media.

Corel Corporation Employs Michelle Chiantera As Chief Marketing Officer

Corel has picked Michelle Chiantera as its new chief marketing officer.

Chiantera previously worked at Cisco for 20 years.

Potbelly Corporation Enlists David Daniels As Chief Marketing Officer

Potbelly has selected David Daniels as its chief marketing officer.

Daniels previously held the position of senior vice president of marketing at The Food Hall Co.

Bella Vita Organic Picks Akanksha Singhal As Vice President, Marketing And Brand

Bella Vita Organic has tapped Akanksha Singhal as its vice president of marketing and brand.

Singhal joins BVO after over 12 years as the chief operating officer and founder of AkkiDokie.