Trend Set: Reddit Cleans Up; Instagram Facial Analysis

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


Reddit is starting to clean up its act, so advertisers will want to come and play. A notorious hotbed for conspiracy theories, racism, sexism, homophobia, and porn (we’re also looking at you, Twitter) without any sort of real moderation for the past several years; Reddit is partnering with Brand Safety behemoth DoubleVerify to start implementing safeguards to help quell the worries of hesitant advertisers who still haven’t taken the plunge or never came back. If Reddit can get itself into a more palatable state, advertisers will have the opportunity to reach a very engaged and passionate group of consumers—which means $$$ for everyone!

Instagram, AI Facial Analysis

Instagram is now introducing new ways to verify age, says parent company, Meta. The new options allow age verification for age-appropriate experiences, asking others to vouch for their age, and confirming age based on video selfies. The brand is partnering with a company specializing in privacy-preserving methodology and aims to navigate complex situations with intricate solutions. Whether a step too far or a step in the right direction, brands must understand the line between protection and privacy.

TV Media Spend

We hinted at this trajectorya few weeks ago, but Streaming Platforms (Connected TV) are taking over TV Media Spend. With the network upfronts taking place in early June (where the networks usually preview all their new shows to advertisers to get them to provide ad dollars “upfront”), completely pivoting and focusing on Streaming Platforms like Disney+ instead of Disney Channel and ABC, the times are a-changing! Upfront Connected TV (CTV) ad spending will rise nearly 35% this year alone in the US which is what was spent on CTV in its entirety just three years ago. This is why Netflix and Disney+ will have ad-supported options this fall (which we also covered a few weeks ago).

Trend Set: Drake Drops Honestly, Nevermind

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

Cheekbone – Unsellable Lipgloss

Cheekbone beauty releases a new line of lipgloss inspired by contaminated water that isn’t available for sale anywhere. In their #GlossedOver campaign, lipglosses titled E.coli Kiss, Mercury Shimmer, and Luscious Lead are displayed in recognition of Indigenous History Month. The campaign brings awareness to First Nation Communities in Canada that don’t have access to clean water. With a bold statement, “You wouldn’t put a contaminated gloss on your lips, so why should anyone put contaminated water to theirs?” in tandem with Sephora Canada donations, the campaign showcases how being a conduit for change can be creative too.  

Drake – Honestly, Nevermind

Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Six hours before its release, Drake announced the drop of his seventh studio album The album, “Honestly, Nevermind,” came as a surprise to many and was reminiscent of Beyonce’s latest drop for her new album “Renaissance” and her self-titled album “Beyonce,” which had no promo. The releases feel like a breath of fresh air in a world full of carefully curated moments at every marketing stage. However, brands must be mindful of the ramifications of “surprise” capsules, releases, and drops, as although the shoe fits for some, it does not fit for many. 

YouTube Shorts

Life’s too short. Earlier this week, YouTube announced that its Shorts tops 1.5 billion logged-in users every month. The statistic is actively being compared to TikTok’s announced 1 billion monthly users data point. The TikTok-like short-form videos are said to be a segue into creators’ longer formatted videos. Although previously stated to be off to a rocky start, the feature is gaining traction. Increasingly, platforms are implementing comparable features that other big brands utilize to their detriment or success. Of course, brands can have a mixture of new and old features, but being everything to everyone all the time, may not be the best answer.

Spotify Culture Next Report Shows Insights On Gen Z Culture

Each year, Spotify’s Culture Next report checks in on the pulse of the music platform and how millennials and Gen Z are engaging with it. 

This year, Gen Z’s prevalence has noticeably risen, with 1 in 3 users globally belonging to the age group. On top of their heavy use of the platform, Spotify notes that the music industry is seeing some sea changes when it comes to how Gen Z relates to the artists they enjoy. Platforms like Discord, subreddits and Spotify have ushered in a new way for music lovers to engage with artists, creating more of a fan culture and community. Standoms are on the rise.

Overall, 39% of Gen Zs said they would call themselves a “fan,” with 20% of them taking it a step further and being “more than a fan.” What does this mean? According to Spotify, 55% of Gen Zs are actively seeking out bonus and behind-the-scenes content for their favorite performers and want to know more about the creative process behind the music.

This shift to being creator-centric within the music space is creating an environment where this bonus content, behind-the-scenes stuff and focusing on the fan experience is more than welcome.

While millennial culture has been strongly associated with the proliferation of podcasts, it appears that Gen Z is also furthering the content format’s use —75 percent of Gen Zs are using audio to understand themselves better compared to 60 percent of millennials, using podcasts as the means to do so. Spotify notes they have seen a 62 percent rise in podcast listenership among the ascendant age group, with 41 percent of 18-24 year-olds listening to podcasts on at least a weekly basis. 

Outside of standoms and podcasts, as anyone on TikTok can attest, Gen Z has a particular affinity for nostalgia, which has become a salve for many to deal with the numerous difficulties in present times. Because of this, 70 percent of Gen Zs in the United States are listening to music and watching media from earlier decades. 

“We don’t want to be in 2022, we want to be in a different time where something like the pandemic doesn’t exist,” said Samantha, 19 from Easton, Pennsylvania, who participated in the survey.

Hooters Names New CMO; Ulta CMO Shelley Haus Passes Away

Marketers are making moves this week as we see new CMOs take on posts at Hooters and Zaxby’s, while Ulta says goodbye to Shelley Haus, who passed away this week at the age of 49.

Hooters Promotes Bruce Skala On As CMO

After 9 years with HOA Brands, operator of the Hooters chain of restaurants, the company is promoting Bruce Skala to the post of CMO, where Skala will oversee global marketing campaigns, as well as driving national campaigns, according to a press release.

Most recently, Skala held the position of VP of Marketing, but has had several roles at the company during his tenure, leading successful partnerships and collaborations with celebrities. 

“I am honored to be named Chief Marketing Officer and to further my stewardship of HOA Brands alongside a phenomenal team,” Skala said in the press release. “I am proud of what Hooters has accomplished in bolstering its standing as a prominent brand, and I’m eager to continue building on that success.”

Ulta CMO Shelley Haus Passes Away From Cancer

Ulta is mourning the passing of Shelley Haus, who at the age of 49, passed away from cancer this week. Haus had been CMO of the cosmetics store brand since 2019 and with the company since 2017.

In a post on LinkedIn, Ulta is celebrating her life as an “innovative marketer, creative storyteller and people-first leader.”

“The Ulta Beauty family is heartbroken by the loss of our colleague and friend. We’re forever grateful for the time we had with Shelley and the gifts she shared with us. She was one of a kind, made us better, and filled our world with so much love.”

Chicken Finger Chain Zaxby’s Coaxes Patrick Schwing From Arby’s

Zaxby’s, a chicken finger chain with over 900 locations across 18 different states, is naming Patrick Schwing as CMO. The past year has seen Zaxby’s completely reshape their executive team and bringing aboard fast-food veteran Schwing is another feather in their cap. Schwing previously held the CMO post at Arby’s for 2 years, and prior to that had various roles at Procter and Gamble where he spent over 16 years.

“As Zaxby’s focuses on brand and culinary differentiation, we are excited to add Patrick to our world-class executive team,” CEO Bernard Acoca said in a statement.

Trend Set: Week Of June 6th

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

The Stranger Things Experience

The right side up. Netflix and Fever opened The Stranger Things Experience in New York and San Francisco, with eyes set on London next. The immersive showcase allows superfans and fans to enter a world dear to their hearts. After the long-awaited fourth season release, people were buzzing to talk about and dive deeper into the unknown. The fan-favorite hour-long performance underscores how participatory experiences directly engage consumers. As the world continues to reemerge, these experiences maintain a huge hold as people desire human connection and interaction. Curating timely immersive experiences garners brand awareness and affinity in a way that is often overlooked.

Snapchat Mindfulness Lens

Mindfulness matters. Snapchat entered the mindfulness augmented reality space with more accessible lenses alongside Modem and its research and development. The lens helps Snapchatters practice breathing exercises that are much needed. As more than half of the world uses social networks and more time is spent on the internet, curbing unhealthy habits and replacing them with useful tools and necessary breaks can cultivate a more meaningful and mindful social manner. Significant strides are being made to create accessible features and mediums across the board. First, however, brands must recognize and understand the difference between performance and true advocacy and implementation.

Instagram Pin Feature

Take it from the top. Instagram announces you can now pin three reels or posts to the top of user profiles. Like TikTok, this allows users to gain traction on trending posts, inform page viewers about content, and display their best work. Twitter has another feature that will enable users to pin top tweets to feeds. While some wage it’s a carbon copy of the TikTok feature to compete with the booming app, others assume it’s a sign of the times in a heavily curated landscape. Brands can use this feature across all platforms to bring an edge over the competition.

WWE Names Catherine Newman Executive Vice President, Head Of Marketing

This week in leadership updates, WWE appoints Catherine Newman executive vice president and head of marketing, Lionsgate Television Group promotes Suzy Feldman to executive vice president of worldwide TV marketing and more.

WWE Taps Catherine Newman As Executive Vice President, Head Of Marketing

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) has tapped Catherine Newman as its executive vice president and head of marketing, reports Yardbarker.

Newman joins WWE from Manchester United F.C., where she served as chief marketing officer for just over two years.

Lionsgate Television Group Elevates Suzy Feldman To Executive Vice President Worldwide TV Marketing 

Suzy Feldman has been promoted to executive vice president of worldwide TV marketing, according to Deadline.

Feldman steps up from the role of senior vice president, head of worldwide TV marketing and public relations, a role she’d held since March 2019.

Verizon Business Names Iris Meijer Senior Vice President Of Business Marketing and Revenue Operations

Verizon Business has hired Iris Meijer as its new senior vice president of business marketing and revenue operations.

Meijer previously served as Vodafone Business’ global chief marketing officer and held various marketing leadership roles at Nokia between 2009 and 2018.

L’Oréal USA, Milk Makeup Announce Marketing Leadership Updates 

According to BeautyMatter, after spending nearly five years at L’Oréal US’s Professional Products Division, Han Wen has been tapped as the company’s chief digital and marketing officer.

Milk Makeup has also named Nilofer Vahora chief marketing officer after she served as vice president, global marketing on the Tory Burch beauty license at Shiseido.

Additionally, BeautyMatter reports Stephanie Davis Michelman has been appointed global chief marketing officer at Benefit. Prior, Michelman served as vice president and general manager of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, North America.

Adobe Taps Anindita Das Veluri As Head Of Marketing India

Adobe has tapped Anindita Das Veluri as the new head of marketing for India.

Veluri joins from Deloitte where she served as director. Prior to that, she served as IBM India’s business lead, Adobe Practice.

Wisdom Gaming Appoints Steve LaCroix President

Steve LaCroix has been hired as president of Wisdom Gaming.

LaCroix joins Wisdom from the Minnesota Vikings where he was executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Zype Scouts Lauren Chadwick As Senior Vice President Of Marketing

Zype has tapped Lauren Chadwick as its new senior vice president of marketing.

Chadwick joins Zype from Blackhawk Network where she was most recently the director of global marketing operations.

Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s Exit Nears

Meta’s Sheryl Sandberg is set to resign as chief operating officer within the next few months.

Sandberg worked at the company for the last 14 years—just four years after its founding. Prior to that, she held the title of vice president, global online sales and operations at Google.

Popeyes Names Jeff Klein Chief Marketing Officer

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has hired Jeff Klein as its new chief marketing officer after former chief marketing officer Bruno Cardinali stepped down in January.

Previously, Klein was chief marketing officer of Little Caesars.

Chowly Appoints Kristin Peterson As Senior Vice President Of Marketing

Chowly has named Kristin Peterson senior vice president of marketing.

Before Chowly, Peterson was an independent consultant and prior to that served as Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants’ chief marketing officer.

Global Head Of Advertising At South China Morning Post David Wightman Quits

After taking on the role in October 2021, David Wightman resigned as South China Morning Post’s (SCMP) global head of advertising.

During his time at SCMP, Wightman ran a department spanning Hong Kong, mainland China, Asia, US and Europe; and oversaw global media sales, marketing and creative solutions, branded content, advertising technology and sales operations.

Prior to joining SCMP, Wightman was the group director of business operations at Ebiquity.

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.

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.

Becoming A Market Maker With Pernod Ricard’s Pam Forbus

Pam Forbus is the CMO of Pernod Ricard, where she focuses on building trusted brands through consumer-centric marketing. Pam is the leader behind many recognizable Absolut campaigns, including #VoteResponsibly and #MixResponsibly. Prior to joining the Pernod Ricard team, Pam spent two decades leading teams at Disney, PepsiCo, and Frito-Lay. Pam has navigated challenging times throughout her career, from the ‘08 financial crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has come out stronger on the other side.

On the show today, Pam and I discuss how the pandemic changed the way she approaches marketing and the importance of responsible marketing, especially for a spirits brand. Pam shares how she successfully builds trusted brands through consumer-centric marketing and how her team is approaching consumer trends, including premiumization and in-home consumption.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Data-driven decisions are consumer-centric decisions
  • How a cross-functional marketing team enables you to adapt to changes
  • Lean into your brand’s DNA

Key Highlights

  • [03:00] Pam’s career path
  • [09:30] Using data to make consumer-centric decisions
  • [12:45] Aligning marketing strategy with what drives purchases
  • [17:00] Leaning into your brand’s DNA
  • [21:00] Consumer trends in the spirits industry
  • [27:30] Leveraging a cross-functional marketing team
  • [32:30] What makes a CMO/CEO relationship successful
  • [35:45] An experience that defines Pam
  • [38:00] Pam’s advice for her younger self
  • [40:00] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [44:00] The biggest challenge for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on 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.

Stitch Fix Names Debbie Rose Woloshin Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Stitch Fix hires Debbie Rose Woloshin as chief marketing officer, Kohl’s chief marketing officer Greg Revelle is set to exit, Billboard elevates Dana Droppo to chief brand officer and more.

Stitch Fix Hires Debbie Rose Woloshin As Chief Marketing Officer

Debbie Rose Woloshin has been tapped as Stitch Fix’s new chief marketing officer, according to a press release. In her new role, Woloshin will lead the company’s marketing teams across the US and UK.

Previously, Woloshin was chief marketing officer at Marc Jacobs. Before that, she led marketing at Frye Company and Ann, Inc.

Kohl’s Chief Marketing Officer Greg Revelle To Step Down

As Kohl’s shops around for a buyer for its business, its chief marketing officer Greg Revelle is set to exit next month, reports Ad Age.

Revelle first joined Kohl’s in 2017 after a stint as Best Buy’s chief marketing officer.

Billboard Elevates Dana Droppo To Chief Brand Officer

Billboard has promoted Dana Droppo to chief brand officer, Billboard parent company Penske Media announced recently.

Previously Billboard’s senior vice president of marketing, Droppo will oversee branded content and client services, analytics, live events, video production, and design for the brand in her new role.

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon Takes Leave Of Absence

Stephanie McMahon, WWE chief brand officer, announced last week that she’s stepping down temporarily to focus on her family. She tweeted:

“As of tomorrow, I am taking a leave of absence from the majority of my responsibilities at WWE. WWE is a lifelong legacy for me and I look forward to returning to the company that I love after taking this time to focus on my family.”

Involved with WWE programming since the age of 13, McMahon was promoted to executive vice president in 2007 and assumed the role of chief brand officer in December 2013.

The news means that her father, chairman and chief executive officer Vince McMahon, is the only remaining McMahon with a significant role at WWE.

DMG Media Appoints Sean Walsh Chief Brand Officer, Head Of US Operations

DMG Media—the parent company of the Mail Newspapers, MailOnline and Daily Mail—has hired Sean Walsh as its global chief brand officer and managing director of US operations.

Walsh spent the past nearly eight years as chief brand officer of Prior to that, he was head of digital and trade communications at Nine.