Trend Set: Lego Builds Big Feelings

Ayzenberg Junior Strategist Ashley Otah recounts the past week’s most significant trends.

Lego – Build Big Feelings

One block at a time. Lego is helping individuals navigate life and significant events through its iconic building blocks. Recognizing children have 6% of the vocabulary of adults, the company has released resources that include how to talk about war and conflict, children’s mental health, and most recently, a jar of feelings. The feelings jar is a sustainable way of checking in on what matters most and creatively keeping a running tab of emotions. The healthy, simple yet powerful tools showcase how brands can stick to their identities while evolving with current global events.


Twitter is reportedly pausing features like communities and newsletters to refocus on personalization and growth. Employees will switch gears from hit features such as Spaces to focus on the company’s immediate needs. The introduction and maintenance of many products may appeal to brands today, but sustainability and longevity are not something to think about tomorrow.

Pinterest X The Yes

The power of Pinterest. Pinterest, the image sharing and social media service, has acquired The Yes, a personalized shopping platform for women’s fashion. The acquisition highlights a pattern of connecting current services with powerful technology that creates hyper-personalization and ease of use. The intersection of fashion, technology, and shopping is becoming blurred as demand grows for personalized yet trend-forward goods and services. The evolution can be seen in the continuous collaborations throughout the physical and digital world. The power of AI coupled with native functionality is the way of the future.

Mobile Gaming

With the mobile gaming industry reaching an estimated worth of $98 billion, brands are embracing mobile gaming as a premiere and efficient way to reach a new type of engaged consumer: the G-Shopper. With mobile gamers spending an average of three hours a week playing their favorite games, these G-Shoppers are more engaged with ads—72 percent of mobile gamers understand the importance of advertising impacting their gaming experience and, thus, are more likely to engage with these ads. This is where premium in-app publishers like Ironsource, AdColony, and UnityAds come into play for advertisers to reach users in-game.

Snapchat Expands Dynamic Ads To Serve Hotels, Airlines And Online Travel Agencies

This week in social media news, Snapchat launches Dynamic Travel Ads, TikTok will surpass YouTube in user time spent for the first time, YouTube is rolling out Shorts ad globally and more.

Snapchat Debuts Dynamic Travel Ads As Travel Picks Up

As COVID-19 restrictions worldwide ease up, travel is back on the menu. That’s likely why Snapchat is expanding its Dynamic Ads to specifically serve hotels, airlines, tours and online travel agencies after seeing strong adoption with the ads’ beta launch last year.

Why it matters: According to Snap, 76 percent of its users in the US are making plans to or already have returned to their pre-pandemic behaviors and millennials and Gen Z Snapchatters are 37 percent more likely to book travel after seeing an advertisement. In addition, a GlobalWebIndex study shows that Snapchatters are more likely to travel than users of other platforms.

The details: This marks Snap’s first category expansion outside of ecommerce within its current Dynamic Ads offerings. The solution builds on some of Snap’s Location features that are core to user experience. These include Location Data, Snap Map—which 70 percent of Snapchatters use because they like to see where their best friends are—and Places, which live on the Snap Map and feature Stories, hours, reviews and delivery options for local businesses.

The appeal of Dynamic Travel Ads for marketers is they offer advanced audience targeting based on a Snapchatter’s travel intent. These ads also offer locally-relevant campaign delivery to serve hotels and airlines based on popularity backed by Snap’s visitation data. Lastly, the customized catalog setup is built to meet travel advertisers’ needs with relevant product feed attributes that are specific to these businesses.

Snap says used the Dynamic Travel Ads to dynamically pull images directly from their product catalog and serve user ads with locally relevant listings based on products they had already viewed. Doing so resulted in a 20 percent lower cost per purchase than other US advertisers.

Etihad Airways also saw success with Dynamic Travel Ads in trying to ensure relevance in the competitive market. Using Snap’s prospecting solution, it was able to reduce its cost per flight search by 4x and saw a 307 percent increase in ROAS and a 76 percent decrease in cost per purchase, compared to their non-dynamic campaigns.

In A First, TikTok Will Surpass YouTube In User Time Spent

This year, TikTok will beat YouTube in terms of time spent by their respective adult users in the US, according to eMarketer.

Why it matters: This marks the first time in history TikTok will beat YouTube by this metric. The milestone comes on the heels of TikTok’s video length limit expansion from three minutes to 10 minutes as well as a new revenue sharing program similar to YouTube’s. It’s also worth noting that in 2018, TikTok surpassed Instagram and a year later, Facebook.

The details: Based on eMarketer’s data, TikTok will see 45.8 minutes per day from its average adult users while YouTube will see 45.6 minutes. As the firm notes, TikTok’s user time spent hasn’t declined as pandemic trends level out.

TikTok Partners With Hootsuite, Emplifi To Help Brands Reach Users More Easily

TikTok is adding new content partners to its Marketing Partner Program, the app confirmed to TechCrunch. The expansion—which will see the addition of Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Emplifi, Dash Hudson, Khoros, Brandwatch and Later to TikTok’s program—will allow marketers to manage their TikTok accounts without leaving their third-party content marketing platforms.

Why it matters: The expansion is part of TikTok’s larger effort to attract advertisers and educate them on ways to reach users on the app. Last month, it launched a five-week program called Creative Agency Partnerships University designed to help agencies become TikTok experts. And ahead of its NewFronts presentation to advertisers last month, it launched TikTok Pulse, a contextual ad solution that ensures brands’ ads are placed next to the top 4 percent of all videos on TikTok.

The details: TikTok tells TechCrunch that through this new integration, marketers can now manage and optimize their content campaigns directly through these third-party platforms, track profile and video metrics in real-time, compare performance to other platforms and track conversations happening in the comments section of their videos.

YouTube Shorts Ads Roll Out Globally

Google is gradually rolling out ads in YouTube Shorts around the world, the company announced during its Marketing Live event this week. Starting today, marketers’ video action campaigns and app campaigns will automatically scale to YouTube Shorts.

Why it matters: According to Google, YouTube Shorts now averages over 30 billion daily views—four times as many as a year ago. YouTube is betting big on the function as it launched a $100 million Shorts creator fund last year and says that over 40 percent of creators who received payment from the fund last year weren’t previously monetizing their YouTube content. 

The details: Later this year, advertisers will be able to connect their product feed to their campaign and make video ads on YouTube Shorts more shoppable, Google said in a blog.

TikTok Shares Key Stats On Utilizing ‘Always Engaged’ Strategy 

TikTok users prefer brands that demonstrate they understand how to create and use the platform, according to a new set of stats and best practices the app shared on how utilizing an “always engaged” strategy drives brand impact. 

Why it matters: According to TikTok’s research, 79 percent of its users prefer brands that show they understand how to create for the platform. To demonstrate this understanding, TikTok says creators—who are “deeply trusted” by the TikTok community—are the best way for brands to meet audiences where they are. Thirty-three percent of TikTok users say that TikTok inspired them to buy something recommended by a creator on the platform.

The details: TikTok says an “always engaged” strategy is an integrated approach that utilizes organic, paid and creators. Using all three, it notes, will increase in brand love, recall and resonance. Here are TikTok’s key findings:

  • Top of mind awareness soars 173 percent after two exposures to a brand’s content on TikTok
  • Organic content is 20 percent more likable after viewing a paid ad
  • Organic content has a 27 percent increase in brand recall when viewers see organic before paid
  • Organic content is 18 percent more relevant after viewing a paid ad
  • TikTok saw a 2x increase globally in ROAS when that participation occurred, and that 2x ROAS amplified all paid efforts

Calvin Klein Names Jonathan Bottomley Global Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Calvin Klein appoints Jonathan Bottomley to chief marketing officer, Microsoft UK chief marketing officer Paul Bolt plans to exit, the GSMA promotes Lara Dewar to chief marketing officer and more.

Calvin Klein Hires Jonathan Bottomley As Global Chief Marketing Officer

Calvin Klein has tapped Jonathan Bottomley as its global chief marketing officer, reports Adweek.

Bottomley joins Calvin Klein from Boll & Branch, where he served as chief marketing officer for a year and a half. Previously, he was executive vice president, chief marketing officer at Ralph Lauren for nearly four years.

The GSMA Elevates Lara Dewar Chief Marketing Officer

Lara Dewar has been promoted to chief marketing officer of the GSMA, according to a press release.

Dewar steps up from the role of global head, public relations and communications, a role she’s held at the GSMA for the past two and a half years.

Microsoft UK Chief Marketing Officer Paul Bolt To Exit

After almost six years working in marketing at Microsoft UK, the company’s chief marketing officer, Paul Bolt, is stepping down.

Bolt announced the news on LinkedIn and said he’s leaving to pursue “a new opportunity.”

DAZN Taps Pete Oliver As Global Chief Marketing Officer

After spending more than 20 years at BT, Pete Oliver has joined DAZN as global chief marketing officer. 

During his tenure, among other roles, Oliver ran BT sport’s marketing teams for seven years.

In his new role at DAZN, he’ll lead the group’s global marketing teams and distribution partnerships.

Technology, Touch, And Trust With Truist’s Vinoo Vijay

Vinoo Vijay, now CMO of Truist Financial, is back on the show to discuss purpose-driven strategic marketing. During his first episode with us, Vinoo shared his story about coming to the U.S. at age seventeen, eventually leading him to be the CMO at H&R Block, Ally, and now Truist.

In this episode, Vinoo and I discuss how his team carefully balances technology with touch to create a client experience unlike any other in the banking space. Vinoo shares about developing and positioning the Truist brand, how his team reinforces purpose on a daily basis, and his vision for marketing.

Listen in for Vinoo’s advice on weaving your purpose into your daily life and making your strategic marketing efforts a success.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Empower your team to align their personal purpose with your organization’s purpose
  • Identify your problem before attempting a solution
  • Reinforce your purpose on a daily basis

Things to listen for:

  • [03:00] Vinoo’s career journey and passion for finance
  • [08:00] Making a positive impact as a company
  • [11:30] Managing the evolution of Truist
  • [13:00] Creating a space where people want to be
  • [15:30] Developing and positioning the Truist brand
  • [20:45] Reinforcing purpose on a daily basis
  • [23:00] Aligning personal and organizational purpose
  • [26:00] Connecting client experience with business needs
  • [30:00] Vinoo’s vision for strategic marketing
  • [35:30] What CMOs need to do to be successful
  • [36:15] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [38:20] The biggest threat and opportunity for marketers today

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.