a.network Launches Nightcap, A Full-Service Gaming And Entertainment Agency To Manage Global 360, Social, And GTM Campaigns 

The global gaming audience now represents one-third of the world’s population: 3 billion people. [1] New agency Nightcap, launched by a.network, plans to help innovative brands identify new marketplace opportunities and develop bespoke products to meet the diversity of needs presented by this global, multicultural audience.

For Max Ornstein, Senior Director of Client Services, that starts with developing a culturally inspired strategy born of data-driven insights on what ignites consumers’ passions for products and experiences.

“At Nightcap, we understand that the global gaming audience is one of the most diverse and highly coveted customer bases, and we take our expertise in reaching them and apply that to everything we do,” stated Ornstein. “We make it our mission to understand why people talk about what matters to them. This allows us to organically and authentically engage with the most relevant audience segments to achieve our partners’ goals.”

Nightcap is composed of veteran gamers, technologists, creatives, strategists, and analysts, all steeped in cutting-edge marketing trends and brand development with years of working with the world’s leading gaming and entertainment brands. Nightcap’s recent campaign wins include Ubisoft, Epic Games, Amazon, Electronic Arts, and Activision.

According to Rebecca Baroukh, Nightcap’s Director of Strategy, the company makes “Work That Thinks” – integrated, data-driven solutions that respond to and evolve per consumer needs and client objectives. 

“Strategy sits at the core of everything that we do. We believe that every choice that we make needs to have a clear answer to the age-old question of ‘why.’ Whether it’s something as creative as a trailer or as tactical as a go-to-market plan, we’ve got an insight to back it up!”

From research to the campaign positioning, from GTM planning to the creation of social assets, key art and video to media placement and influencer activations, Nightcap can integrate new solutions at any level, Baroukh states. 

Nightcap is backed by a.network. As Matt Bretz, Chief Creative Officer, explains:

“Nightcap shares the DNA of all a.network business units that inclines us to listen first. Gauge the conversation. The sentiment. Only then decide what to create and how to share it. So our work is led by its audience. Sought by them. And shared by them. Nightcap’s defining personality trait is “work that thinks.” If you have a new product or a challenging product or a niche audience you need to cultivate, Nightcap will create bespoke solutions you won’t find anywhere else in the industry.”

Nightcap is led by Max Ornstein (Senior Director of Client Services), Daniel Krechmer (Group Creative Director), Rebecca Baroukh (Director of Strategy), Abhaya Hess (Director of Project Management) and supported by a team of more than 24 creatives and support staff.

For business inquiries, please contact cheers@nightcap.net.

Marketing Leaders Join Consumer Cellular, EasyJet And Kantar

This week in leadership shifts, Craig Lister joins Consumer Cellular from EverQuote, EasyJet names a CCMO after two years without and more.

Craig Lister New Consumer Cellular CMO

Consumer Cellular, the 25-year-old mobile virtual network operator focused on the 50-plus market, has named Craig Lister, former CMO of online insurance marketplace EverQuote, as their new CMO. Previously, Lister served as global vice president for customer acquisition at Norton LifeLock and senior vice president, decision science at media firm RAPP. “One of Consumer Cellular’s greatest assets is its loyal customer base, with growth potential that is truly unlimited,” Lister stated in a press release. “I look forward to building on the great success that’s come before me and having an immediate impact on the business in the months and years ahead.”

“We are thrilled to have Craig Lister joining us as Chief Marketing Officer,” said Ed Evans, Chief Executive Officer at Consumer Cellular. “He brings many years of expertise in the industry to Consumer Cellular and we look forward to his impactful contributions.”

EasyJet Hires Robert Birge As CCMO After Two Years Without A CMO

British budget airline EasyJet announced the creation of a new position, chief customer and marketing officer (CCMO) with the hire of fashion brand Asos’s former CMO Robert Birge. The company has not had a CMO for two years, after doing away with the position in 2020. Birge will lead marketing, digital, customer service, customer experience and insight. Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said:

“Robert brings with him a wealth of experience from a range of travel and consumer brands. Continually innovating how we deliver our unique easyJet customer experience is a key focus area for the airline and so we look forward to welcoming Robert to the airline later this month.”

Lucy Birch Named Kantar Public CMO

British analytics and brand consulting firm Kantar Public has appointed PwC’s Lucy Birch as its new CMO. Birch has more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience and previously led marketing strategy and brand campaigns for PwC’s global ESG work. Kantar Public’s Global CEO Dr Michelle Harrison stated: 

“I am delighted to welcome Lucy to join us in the Kantar Public leadership team. Lucy’s marketing and communications expertise will help shape and increase the global reach of the incredible work our teams provide to our clients. Lucy’s previous experience will help shape the future of Kantar Public’s brand during a time of exciting change and opportunity”.

Kathryn Pratt Joins Saucony As CMO From L.L. Bean

Kathryn Pratt will join footwear and apparel brand Saucony as the company’s CMO.  Pratt is the former director of brand engagement and outdoor discovery programs at L.L. Bean where she worked for 11 years. Speaking with Footwear News, Pratt stated of her new position:

“From a category standpoint, there’s been so much momentum in the running space these past two years. There’s a lot of heat in this category from established brands, from new players. Saucony’s performance has been incredible and the competition is fierce. It’s a battle for awareness and brand energy and disruption, and that’s incredibly exciting to me.”

The Scientific Method And Marketing With Campbell’s Linda Lee

Using her background as an engineer, Linda Lee, CMO of Meals & Beverages at Campbell Soup Company, institutes the Scientific Method in marketing the large portfolio of brands under the Campbell umbrella. Starting in product development at P&G, her career journey led her into marketing at notable companies like P&G, General Mills, Cadbury, Ipsos, and Stonyfield.

This episode shares Linda’s discussion of her career journey, how she is modernizing a storied brand and its multiple brands, and why she feels saying yes opens new doors.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How in-home insights are critical to today’s marketing and how it has changed since COVID
  • How to use the Scientific Method in marketing brands
  • How Campbell is driving product innovation and development

Key Highlights

  • [00:33] Linda’s superpower
  • [01:46] Linda’s career journey
  • [09:44] How Linda is modernizing this brand that has stood the test of time
  • [12:04] Linda’s starting point with a giant portfolio and customer insights
  • [15:18] Thoughts on the in-home component of marketing
  • [20:34] Driving product innovation and development
  • [23:34] Bringing that innovation to life
  • [27:58] An experience that defines Linda
  • [30:28] Linda’s advice for her younger self
  • [30:45] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [35:52] Where Linda feels brands are living now
  • [37:22] The biggest opportunity and threat 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.

Social Roundup: Why “Tik-Tokifying” Social Media May Not Work

This week in social media news, we’re taking a look at the TikTokification of social media and efforts to ‘dress down’ and decentralize platforms.

Why “Tik-Tokifying” Social Media May Not Work

It makes sense that Instagram and other platforms are making TikTok-like content available to its users: Short, addictive videos drive views and boost advertising dollars. That’s important for social companies like Meta, which has dropped its ad prices for two quarters.

But just because something works doesn’t mean it will work anywhere. Instagram faced significant backlash over its introduction of full-screen video and photo posts, and not just from the Kardashian clan.

Why it Matters:

The kids—and the celebrities—made it clear that a home feed featuring full-screen video was like, the opposite of fire. After Kylie Jenner announced to her 360 million fans that Instagram should “Stop trying to be tiktok i just want to see cute photos of my friends,” the company took steps to walk back its test of the formats in just five days. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, even tweeted his own video explaining that it’s all gonna be OK; Instagram would eventually pivot towards video (because that was what people were sharing most) but that the shift would be painless. His video was met with a bit of high-octane snark from Chrissy Tiegen, who tweeted back, “We don’t want to make videos, Adam.” The issue isn’t just that users are grumbling about algorithm-driven marketing, it’s that influencers are too. Like platforms, they know their audiences well, but they also understand that imitation is no substitute for innovation. Sometimes engagement is purpose and context-driven: users may head to Instagram for cute pics of their friends, as Kylie Jenner said, but they may not want to get TikTok-like videos in their “cute pic” destination unless it delivers something that TikTok can’t.

Niche Launches A Decentralized, Community-Driven Social Media Platform

Niche is a new network of digital communities that plans to create a Web 3.0 reimagining of the social network. Co-Founder and CEO Christopher Gulczynski was co-creator and CPO of Bumble, and Zaven Nahapetyan was co-founder, CCO, and patented co-inventor of “the swipe” feature for Tinder. That’s serious tech cred, but their innovative approach to user experience is even more intriguing. Instead of targeted ads, Niche will use “Niche Clubs,” permission-based, user-owned communities where users own and sell their own content. Users earn tokens that can be used for shopping, event admission, membership upgrades or exchanged for cash.

Why It Matters:

Decentralized anything is a big deal in tech, but the idea of extracting value from one’s own online activities and engagement is a new spin on an old idea that didn’t quite strike gold in the late 90s and early 2000s. There were more than a few startups that planned to redistribute cash to people who “surfed the web,” but the technology—and the audience—really wasn’t there. Now, networks boast hundreds of millions of followers, and even relatively new networks can garner billions in value relatively quickly. If Niche can give users control over their community interactivity and content engagement data and allow them to share that data with select brands as a quantifiable value, they may be able to make social media work for people as hard as it does for advertisers.

Why Not Just Be Real? The French Want To Know.

Finally, a look at BeReal, a no-frills photo-sharing app and product of the nation that brought us Being and Nothingness.

BeReal doesn’t have any filters to hide those stray hairs or dark circles under your eyes. It’s pretty much as advertised: it has a lot of people doing random things like drinking coffee or getting ready to board a plane. The retro element isn’t just kitsch, it is pretty radical for an era when an unfiltered photo is a rare sighting on social media.

According to The Hill, the app recently ranked No. 1 on Apple’s App Store for free apps, beating TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Why it Matters:

People aren’t yet anti-influencers on social media (and may never be), but regular people may be the new hotness for audiences jaded by content or social media that obscures authentic, spontaneous experiences. BeReal—and the type of user-generated content it showcases—may be a refreshing vacation for consumers who want to see themselves represented more often online.