AListDaily’s 10 Under 10

You’ve seen Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list every year. We at AListDaily think that’s not a challenging enough age bar—who hasn’t rewritten the rules of brand engagement by age 30?

Rather than highlight the passé achievements of the last generation, we choose to look forward at the bold, fresh-faced innovators of generations to come—just in time for our annual April 1 innovators report. With no further ado, we present: the AListDaily 10 Under 10.

Timmy Thompson, 8

Cofounder, Timmy’s Lemonade Stand 25 Cents For A Cup Delicious!!!

With the help of angel investors Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, Timmy Thompson launched an innovative startup that quickly became the leading lemonade stand on Ocean Breeze Avenue in Toledo, OH. Through savvy marketing efforts like “Operation Throw Water Balloons At Angela’s Lemonade Stand” and “Guilt Mom’s Coworkers Into Buying A Cup Apiece,” Timmy Thompson’s business easily beat out its competition in a crowded marketplace.


Abigail Smith, 5

Entrepreneur

Always bold, Abigail Smith broke into the cutthroat automobile marketing scene with an innovative, personalized approach to direct-to-consumer sales, putting Mom’s 2013 Toyota Camry up for sale on eBay. Though questions remain as to her platform’s scalability, a recent influx of $500 cash will allow for additional research into avenues for growth.


Jennifer Hudley, 9

Creative Director, Oak Lawn Episcopal Church Bake Sale Committee

Jennifer Hudley spearheaded poster design for her church’s bake sale, taking advantage of a bold, innovative impressionistic design. We don’t have the data to determine the direct influence of Hudley’s omnichannel marketing efforts on the bake sale’s revenue, but the Oak Lawn Episcopal Church reached its sales goals and that can’t be a coincidence, right?


Gregory Beck, 7

Chief Technology Officer, Beck family

Showed his dad how to sign up for Twitter, allowing the Beck family to achieve unprecedented organic reach to over 330 million online consumers.


Hannah Polau, 4

Founder, We’ll Put It Right Up On The Fridge Studios

Hannah Polau developed a bold, fresh, innovative new style of finger painting that will undoubtedly change the face of print advertising three months from now.


John Fibaracci, 6

Volunteer Brand Ambassador, LEGO

Developed an ultra-immersive pop-up experiential activation to promote Lego’s new product line to his family, by scattering loose Lego pieces around the house for Dad to step on by accident.


Emily Song, 7

Freelance Digital Evangelist

Founded a digital startup that uses the blockchain and augmented reality to disrupt out-of-home billboards. Received the first prize for perfect attendence at Little Angels Preschool two years running.


Jeremy Bentham, 6

Student

Jeremy Bentham clicks on every banner ad he sees. Forrester attributes the continued survival of online media publications to Mr. Bentham’s tireless work.


Bethany Gutierrez, 9

Chief Marketing Officer, AListDaily

Bethany Gutierrez brainstormed, conceived, designed, produced and wrote AListDaily’s April Fools Day joke.


Annabel Johnson, 2

Prodigy

Annabel Johnson’s first recorded word was “programmatic.”

Taco Bell Considers ‘Web of Fries’ Sequel After Success Of First Trailer

Taco Bell’s “Web of Fries” movie trailer sold a whole lot of nacho fries, so Taco Bell is considering what any movie studio would do—order a sequel.

Launched in January, Taco Bell’s trailer for a non-existent movie called “Web of Fries” told the story of a man who stumbles on a conspiracy by “Big Burger” to squelch any competition. The protagonist, played by Josh Duhamel (Love, Simon), finds himself obsessed about uncovering the truth about why Taco Bell doesn’t offer fries and finds himself being threatened by “the burger people” who don’t want the world to know.

“A lot of people are selling fries,” Tracee Larocca, Taco Bell’s senior vice president of advertising and brand engagement told Variety. “We had to find a way that felt really different and get people’s attention.”

The trailer resulted in 53 million orders of nacho fries within the first five weeks of its campaign. In the first weeks following the trailer, one in three orders included Nacho Fries. Now, Larocca said, the quick service restaurant is considering a sequel.

This is good news for fans of the trailer, which ended in a life-threatening cliffhanger.

Taco Bell has adopted a tongue-in-cheek marketing approach for years, from using a talking chihuahua as a spokesperson to offering wedding ceremonies in its Las Vegas restaurant.

Short films can be an effective way of telling a brand’s story in a short amount of time. In 2016, Chipotle released a Pixar-like animated film called “Love” that told the story of two young entrepreneurs brought together with fresh ingredients.

Pepsi’s “Uncle Drew” series of ads, starring NBA Kyrie Irving in disguise, has evolved from a short film into a full-length movie hitting theaters this summer.

“Web of Lies” looks like a real film. Time will tell if a “Web of Fries” Part 2 can match the campaign’s initial success and if would ever spawn a full-length adaptation.

Brands Engage Easter Consumers With Virtual Egg Hunts

Brands are on the hunt for consumer engagement this Easter holiday with the use of virtual egg hunts.

On Thursday, Cadbury hosted a one-hour Facebook event that invited Australian users to explore a 360-degree virtual landscape and comment when they found a hidden egg. The first to locate each egg was rewarded with real-world chocolate treats.

According to The Drum, the event drew 220,000 visitors, posting a total of 70,000 comments.

The Great Snapchat Egg Hunt debuted March 22 and runs through April 1 in the US and Canada. The AR scavenger hunt uses GPS to indicate when virtual eggs are near. Tapping on nearby eggs prompts the 3D World Lens to take over, placing the eggs in “real life.” Collecting eggs earns the users points, which can be compared to friends on the Snap Map leaderboard. Rare gold eggs are worth 5 points, and regular eggs are worth one.

Users who don’t want to display their location can still play in Ghost Mode, and their score will only be visible to them.

Throughout the month of March, Niantic has hosted the Pokemon GO Easter Eggstravaganza, offering users more chances to hatch certain Pokemon. The collectible creatures hatch from eggs, making the event a natural tie-in to Easter celebrations.

In Pokemon GO, users can collect eggs that hatch after traveling either 2 km, 5 km or 10 km. Certain Pokemon, such as Wynaut or Ralts are normally available only in eggs that require a longer distance but are available in 2 km eggs until April 2.

Niantic’s breakout AR mobile game rose one spot to number nine for digital mobile game revenues in February.

US consumers will spend $18.2 billion on Easter celebrations this year, according to National Retail Foundation estimates. Roughly 81 percent of Americans plan on celebrating this year, spending an average of $150 per person.

Amazon Voted Most-Liked Brand In Recent US Survey

Amazon was voted the “most liked” brand by consumers in a recent survey by Morning Consult and Public Affairs Council.

A survey of US consumers conducted between March 13-15 found that among 15 brands, Amazon was by far the most liked with a net score of 44 percent. This is twice as high as the next most liked brand—Google—which earned a net score of 21 percent.

Rounding out the top five most liked brands are General Mills (10 percent), Sony (five percent) and UPS (four percent).

Tech giants like Amazon and Google have been under government and public scrutiny over brand safety, alleged censorship and data privacy concerns, but the survey shows consumers remain loyal overall.

Amazon shares dropped two percent on Thursday following a Twitter post by President Trump criticizing the company. The company may be relieved to know that, at least with these survey respondents, they are still in the public’s good graces.

Tom’s of Maine received a net score of zero, as two percent of respondents named it their most and least liked brand. Sadly for Goldman Sachs, not one respondent named it their favorite brand on the list.

Trump Hotels, meanwhile, was voted the least liked brand by 30 percent of respondents and the most liked by only one percent.

Digging deeper for political bias, the survey also looked at voter affiliation. Even among those who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election, only four percent listed Trump Hotels as their most liked brand, while six percent named it their least favorite.

Unsurprisingly, no respondents that voted for Hillary Clinton listed Trump Hotels as their favorite, with 52 percent listing it as their least liked brand.

Tobacco brand Philip Morris is only disliked slightly less than Trump Hotels, with a net score of -15 (one percent “most liked,” 16 percent “least liked.”). Despite Americans moving away from cigarettes and tighter regulations, the US tobacco industry relies on a smaller group of loyal customers, it seems, as revenue is soaring.

Porsche Adopts Haptic Feedback Ads For Vehicle Customization

Porsche is using mid-air haptic feedback to highlight features and allow customization of its new 2019 Cayenne Turbo.

Consumers may soon be able to customize a vehicle with the wave of a hand thanks to a partnership with ZeroLight. A demo of the technology is on display at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas on Thursday and features haptic feedback without the need for gloves or devices.

According to an official press release, special UltraHD advertisement displays feature videos and images of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Moving one’s hand in front of the display will trigger haptic cues delivered “directly to their bare hands” through ultrasonic technology.

The interactive display allows users to customize the car with a myriad of options from color to dashboard features. During the demo, a user can scan a QR code that creates a dedicated microsite featuring their personalized vehicle, which can be personalized even more online.

The goal of this ad format, ZeroLight explained, is to encourage “active involvement in the experience, driving brand affinity whilst connecting public advertising to a wider retail ecosystem.”

Porsche is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year—a milestone reached by adapting to trends and emerging technology throughout the decades. On Wednesday, Porsche released a marketing campaign dubbed #SportscarTogether, inviting fans to share their favorite moments with the brand.

UK start-up ZeroLight is disrupting the car-buying process during a time when consumers spend more time online researching and less time in the dealerships. Other partnerships include a VR concept for Audi and a VR showroom for Pagani.

According to Bloomberg, US dealers spend $2.75 billion annually on interest just to keep new vehicles on their lots. Allowing consumers to customize and visualize options without the physical car present saves showroom space and money that can be used for marketing and customer experience solutions.

Equifax Names Mark Begor New CEO

Highlights

Equifax has named former General Electric executive Mark Begor as its new CEO. The hire is designed to lead the credit-reporting company’s marketing rehabilitation after it faced a cyber attack that exposed data of more than 148 million customers.

“[Mark] is a highly accomplished executive with a long track record of successful leadership across a variety of global industries relevant to our business,” said Mark L. Feidler, chairman of the board of Equifax. “His proven leadership ability, operational expertise, growth focus, financial acumen, strategic vision and customer orientation make him the right person to lead Equifax into the future.”

Begor is 35-year GE veteran, which included a stint as president and CEO from 2014 to 2016 as he oversaw the company’s $8 billion business.

“I am excited to take the helm of Equifax at such a pivotal moment in the company’s history,” added Begor. “The team has made meaningful progress in the last several months to address a number of well-publicized issues while continuing to focus on delivering differentiated new products and advanced analytics to support our customers. I will prioritize continuing our team’s efforts to communicate transparently and restore confidence with consumers, customers, shareholders and policymakers. And most critically, we will continue to invest in and strengthen our IT and data security.”


Mondelēz International is reinventing its international marketing strategy with a series of moves.

Martin Renaud has been named global CMO, where he will oversee teams responsible for brand strategy and agency relationships, marketing capability as well as media and digital. The former Danone executive will also be responsible for the portfolio of marketing “power brands” like Oreo and Trident.

“Martin is a world-class marketer with extensive commercial, strategy and digital experience and a strong record of driving growth,” said Tim Cofer, chief growth officer for Mondelēz. “We’re thrilled to have him join us at this critical moment in our journey. His experience will be a tremendous asset as we reinvent our marketing in a rapidly changing global consumer landscape.”

In coinciding news from the Mondelēz, former ABInBev executive Debora Koyama assumes the role of regional CMO for Europe; Jason Levine was promoted to the role of regional CMO for North America; Maria Mujica was promoted to regional CMO for Latin America; and Mie-Leng Wong joins the company as regional CMO for Asia, Middle East and Africa.

“Investing in a new regional CMO model will not only bring deep expertise to our marketing practice, but also increase connection and collaboration between our global CMO, our P&L leaders and the global team,” added Cofer. “This new structure will change the trajectory of our marketing function, empowering our fearless commercial talent to drive growth and allowing us to move at the speed of our consumer.”


Juliette Morris has been named as the first ever CMO for TuneIn. The former NBCUniversal executive and 20-year marketing veteran will be tasked with overseeing audience development and grow brand awareness.

“Having worked with some of the most pre-eminent entertainment brands, Juliette’s proven success driving tangible results through brand, partner and performance marketing makes her an invaluable addition to TuneIn as we focus our efforts on content, platform and audience growth,” said TuneIn CEO John Donham.


NBCUniversal has dismissed Scot Chastain, the company’s executive vice president of marketing and development, after conducting a review into alleged misconduct.

“A thorough internal review was conducted,” a company spokesperson said to Deadline. “Scot Chastain is no longer with the company.”

Chastain oversaw the company’s affiliate marketing group, which provided strategy and materials to the company’s 240 subsidiary TV stations. He had been at NBCUniversal for over 20 years.


Just Born Quality Confections, manufacturers of the Peeps marshmallow candy, have appointed Energizer Bunny as the company’s celebrity creative director, a newly created position.

“Energizer Bunny is pleased to raise his mallet and step in,” said Lori Shambro, Energizer’s vice president of global marketing.”With his boundless energy and eye for innovation, this new role was a perfect way to help a fellow Bunny during their busiest season and add an exclusive, energized accessory to the product line.”

Mr. Bunny brings over 29 years of branding experience to the confectionary company. He will continue his current role as brand ambassador for Energizer, juggling the new responsibilities of his temporary position.


BuzzFeed Media BRands has brought on Melinda Lee as its chief content officer, a newly created position.

“I’m thrilled Melinda is joining us and I’m excited to see her apply her deep experience building out brand portfolios to help us quickly grow our media brands group by emphasizing brands that serve audiences, instead of the other way around,” BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said. “The growth and monetization of BuzzFeed Media Brands is an integral part of our strategy to diversify BuzzFeed’s business to a multi-revenue model.”

Lee most recently worked at Meredith Corporation, where she held the title of senior vice president and general manager.


Peter Hutton has joined Facebook as its director of global live spots partnerships and programming, a newly created role, where he will collaborate with rights holders to expand Facebook’s portfolio of live-streaming sports rights.

“Peter is uniquely qualified to lead our live sports partnerships…he knows the global sports rights landscape, owns strong relationships, and has a track record of delivering results on multiple continents,” said Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships. “Plus, he’s worked on behalf of both broadcasters and rights holders.”

Hutton most recently was CEO of Eurosport, a position he held for three years.


Dominique Delport has signed on with Vice Media as its global chief revenue officer and president of international operations.

“Dom Delport is a true legend in the industry,” said Vice cofounder Shane Smith in a statement. “He’s a brand whisperer that understands the crucial intersection of content and platform. The fact that he is coming to VICE to round out our Dream Team (and I’m talking the Jordan, Magic, Bird era dream team), shows our commitment to making VICE the media company of the future.”

Delport joins Vice from Havas Group and Vivendi, where he held the dual role of global managing director.


Justin Richmond has joined athletic-wear retailer Lululemon as its chief strategy and digital officer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Previously, Richmond served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Zulily, a Seattle-based ecommerce firm. He departed the company in March of last year, quietly beginning work at Lululemon in January of 2018.


Fullscreen has hired Mary Murcko as its senior vice president of partnerships and revenue, a newly created role, where she will responsible for driving income across the company’s branded-content network.

“Mary’s strong background in digital media and marketing planning will be a huge asset to Fullscreen as we accelerate our mission to help brands create authentic relationships with consumers,” said Pete Stein, Fullscreen’s general manager, to Variety.

Before Fullscreen, Murcko worked at What to Expect as senior vice president and head of brand partnerships and sales. Prior to that, she was chief revenue officer and publisher for Condé Nast’s Self.


Anna Bakst has signed on with luxury lifestyle brand collective Tapestry, Inc, as CEO and brand president of Kate Spade. She is replacing Craig Leavitt, who left it when Kate Spade was acquired in 2017.

“The appointment of Anna Bakst marks another key step in the evolution of the Kate Spade brand,” said Victor Luis, CEO of Tapestry, Inc. “She brings a rare combination of business acumen, directly related fashion experience and strong leadership skills to the company.”

Bakst joins the company from Michael Kors, where she held the title of group president of accessories and footwear until this January.


The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 30. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com)


Gary Briggs, Facebook’s vice president and CMO, has been appointed to the board of directors for Etsy, a global marketplace creative goods.

“Gary’s extensive marketing expertise will support management’s work driving creative thinking and execution across our organization, including helping to provide our 1.9 million creative entrepreneurs with new, innovative ways to start and grow their businesses,” said Etsy CEO Josh Silverman.

Briggs is now one of eight board members for the brand.


Christian Baesler has been named to the newly created role of president for Complex Networks.

Baesler will oversee the Verizon and Heart-owned company’s day-to-day operations and will be asked to grow its portfolio of brands, including Complex, First We Feast, Rated Red, Sole Collector and Pigeons & Planes.

“Christian is an exceptional executive with deep knowledge of the digital landscape and an impressive track record for guiding businesses to achieve their fullest potential,” said CEO Rich Antoniello.

Before joining the Verizon and Hearst-owned youth-culture digital media company, Baesler spent nearly a decade overseeing the UK and US businesses for Bauer Media Group.


Netflix has appointed Ambassador Susan E. Rice to its board of directors.

“We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Rice to the Netflix board,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “For decades, she has tackled difficult, complex global issues with intelligence, integrity and insight and we look forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom.”

Rice joins the streaming company’s board after directing the US National Security Council staff and chairing the National Security Principals committee from 2013 to 2017.


AEG Global Partnerships has hired Matt Lawler as director of digital, where he will oversee the company’s efforts to expand its sports partnerships in the online space.

“Matt offers a wealth of experience and enthusiasm that benefits brand partners as we expand the digital business capabilities and build out new revenue streams across the worldwide portfolio,” said Nick Baker, chief operating officer of AEG Global Partnerships.

Lawler most recently served as vice president and group director of social for Canvas Worldwide, a media agency.


Bob Raposo has joined Sony Electronics as the head of its film theater business, where he will focus on selling the company’s new line of digital projectors.

Raposo most recently held the position of vice president of sales for D-Box Technologies.


Kristin Stark of Amblin Partners has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing and communications, wherein she will manage the entirety of the studio’s marketing efforts.

“Amblin is fortunate to have such a deft communicator and marketer in Kristin, who understands the demands of an ever-changing business,” said Susan Fleischman, Amblin’s executive vice president of corporate communications. “We’re delighted to recognize her many contributions with this promotion and even happier that she is part of our leadership team.”

Before her promotion, Stark held the title of senior vice president of publicity.


Video marketing platform Innovid has appointed Tim Braz as its senior vice president of sales.

“Tim’s laser-focus on customer satisfaction and success couldn’t be a better fit for Innovid’s mission and company culture,” said Beth-Ann Eason, president of Innovid. “Data-driven video has become increasingly important for our current and prospective customers, and Tim’s consultative experience with brands will enable us to help them achieve more effective video marketing.”

Before joining Innovid, Braz served as senior vice president of North American sales for Ignition One, a digital marketing platform.


Investment Metrics has hired Mark Bell as its first-ever chief marketing officer.

“Mark brings a wealth of expertise and market knowledge to Investment Metrics,” said Sanjoy Chatterjee, Investment Metrics CEO. “This, paired with an impressive background of growing fintech companies will help us as we embark on an exciting phase of product and global market expansion.”

Bell most recently served as vice president of global marketing at Real Capital Analytics.


Dunkin’ Donuts has appointed Keith Lusby vice president of media, a role in which he will lead the company’s efforts at media planning, buying and placement.

“Keith is an accomplished marketer with extensive experience leading successful consumer-centric media plans for iconic brands,” said Tony Weisman, Dunkin’ Donuts CMO. “Under his direction, we look forward to developing exciting ways to promote the Dunkin’ Donuts brand across a broad spectrum of channels, from television to new opportunities in digital and emerging media.”

Lusby joins the company from MullenLowe Mediahub, where he led the media agency’s placement campaigns for brands such as Chipotle, JetBlue and Staples.


Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar has announced tapping Steve Levigne for the role of vice president of insights and analytics.

“Steve is a highly-regarded veteran of the restaurant industry and understands our challenges from a culinary, service, value and brand differentiation perspective. Importantly, franchisee partnership is part of his DNA, and he’ll be a terrific culture fit for the Applebee’s team,” said John Cywinski, Applebee’s president.

Levigne joins the company after spending 23 years at McDonald’s, where he rose to the level of vice president of strategy and insights for the quick-service restaurant’s 14,000 US locations.


Robert A. Niblock, CEO of Lowe’s Companies, has announced his plans to retire after a quarter-century at the hardware stores.

“After a 25-year career at Lowe’s, including 13 years as chairman and CEO, I am confident that it is the right time to transition the company to its next generation of leadership,” Niblock said in a statement. “I look forward to assisting the board with its search, and I am committed to supporting a seamless transition for all of our stakeholders.”

The board of directors has begun a search for Niblock’s successor, and Niblock will continue in his current position until a suitable candidate can be found, presumably one who will be a chip off the old Niblock.


Susan J. Riley, chair of ComScore’s board, is stepping down from her position, adding another position, in addition to that of the CEO, that the company will seek to fill by the end of the year.

“On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Sue for leading ComScore through a very challenging period and, in particular, her tremendous work in overseeing the successful completion of the financial restatement process,” said Jacques Kerrest, chair of ComScore’s nominating and governance committee.  “Sue has also been instrumental in driving fundamental changes throughout the organization, and her contributions have put ComScore firmly on the right track.”


Virgin Atlantic is expanding its in-house creative department, following the Janurary appointment of Michael Stephens as head of brand and creative at the airline.

“Digital doesn’t stand alone as a department anymore and needs to be woven into everything,” Stephens told to Marketing Week. “These roles will mean we can be reactive with social content and not rely on an agency. We’re being requested more and more for animation and motion graphics and we know that photography and film are more important than ever.”


Whole Foods has slashed its marketing department, terminating all marketing employees below the rank of “associate” in a bid to cut costs, Business Insider reports. It is currently unknown how many people will be affected by this mass layoff.


Job Vacancies 

Events Producer AList Pasadena, CA
Associate Director of Marketing Services Mondelēz International East Hanover, NJ
Sr. Director & VP of Marketing & Communications  adMarketplace New York, NY
Marketing Director, Cheetos Brand Equity PepsiCo Plano, TX
Head of Marketing Amazon Seattle, WA
Paid Marketing Manager Omaze Los Angeles, CA

Make sure to check back for updates on our jobs page.

Invisible Influencers: Almost Nobody Discloses Affiliate Ads On YouTube

Influencers have long been an effective tool for marketers hoping to build more authentic connections with their consumers, new research from Princeton University has cast some doubts on the transparency many had taken for granted. According to the study, the vast majority of influencers on YouTube and Pinterest who use affiliate ads may be violating American trade laws.

Affiliate ads, or affiliate links, are personalized URLs that brands, usually ecommerce sites, give to individual influencers, who earn kickbacks for clicks and converted sales from that link.

The paper, by Princeton researchers Arunesh Mathur, Arvind Narayanan and Marshini Chetty which analyzed 500,000 YouTube videos and 2.1 million pins on Pinterest, found that 90 percent of posts containing affiliate links do not disclose the fact that they are sponsored. Of those that do mention payment, less than 30 percent actually meet the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines for brand endorsements.

According to FTC guidelines, influencers must tell their audience about any partnerships that may affect their content.

“Knowing about the connection is important information for anyone evaluating the endorsement,” the FTC states on its site. “Disclosures need to be easily noticed and understood.”

Since, as Princeton’s research found, user engagement on posts that contained affiliate ads tended to be higher than those without, YouTube’s and Pinterest’s recommendation algorithms tend to display them more frequently. This may well lead to a decreased trust in and effectiveness of influencer partnerships in the future, as consumers grow wary of undisclosing product endorsements.

Despite having sent letters to prominent influencers about the requirements to clearly state the existence of any partnerships with marketers, the FTC can do little to combat this issue. According to its Endorsement Guides, the FTC itself has no authority to prosecute influencers that violate its regulations.

“The Guides themselves don’t have the force of law,” the FTC website reads. “The Guides themselves don’t have the force of law. However, practices inconsistent with the Guides may result in law enforcement actions alleging violations of the FTC Act. [emphasis added]”

Even if legal action is brought against influencers that violate the FTC Act, punishment is nonexistent: “Law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations…there are no ‘fines’ for violations of the FTC Act.”

With the risk of being caught so low, and the penalties for being caught being essentially nonexistent, there are few reasons for influencers to take affiliate ad disclosures into their own hands, and thus many simply don’t.

Both YouTube and Instagram have recently incorporated disclosure tools into their platforms, which will automatically display “paid partnership” messages on promoted content, but this does not apply to partnerships made outside platform channels.

“Such disclosure tools are a step in the right direction, however, it is unlikely that such blanket disclosures will cover all marketing strategies,” the Princeton researchers write. “Future work could investigate what kind of affordances should be designed into social media platforms to enable affiliates to disclose clearly.”

BMW Shatters Giant ‘Like’ Statue For X2 Reveal In Milan

BMW revealed its new X2 model in Milan this weekend by bursting out of a giant “thumbs up” statue and spurring a debate about vying for social media attention.

By allowing visitors to speculate about the statue’s meaning and origin, BMW invited conversation which allowed the campaign to go viral organically.

A giant white thumbs up statue mysteriously appeared in Milan without any branding aside from an inscription that read, “L’importante nella vita è avere like,” which translates to “The only thing that matters in life is getting likes.”

BMW placed the installation a few blocks away from Milan’s controversial “L.O.V.E.” statue that depicts a hand holding up its middle finger.

News and photos of the thumbs up statue quickly spread across social media using the hashtag #LikeGigante (Giant Like), alongside debates on whether the inscribed statement was true. The hashtag became a trending topic in Italy over the weekend.

Meanwhile, a board in front of the statue allowed visitors to give the installation a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” On Sunday afternoon, the sound of sirens, music and special effects culminated in the side of the statue being destroyed. A group of people wearing welding masks stepped out of the statue and behind them stood the new BMW X2.

One of the men spray painted “BMWX2. Rompi I Tuoi Schemi” over the statue’s inscription, meaning literally “Break your conventions.”

The BMW X2 reveal followed a theme of “breaking out of conventions” by literally bursting forth from a thumbs up—the universal symbol for approval online.

BMW’s new SUV is a new model for the brand, so marketing has focused on a theme of being proudly different. In New York, BMW is promoting the X2 by sponsoring “David Bowie Is,” a personal archive of the musician’s song lyrics, consumes and memorabilia on display at the Brooklyn Museum. The partnership extends to an AR-enhanced article in the New York Times, allowing users to view Bowie’s costume collection on their smart devices.

In the UK, BMW is taking an adventure-themed approach to the X2 launch. Five urban climbing centers will host BMW X Climb, an event focused on bouldering and mountain climbing. Running March 23 to April 15, each event culminates in the BMW X Night, in which bouldering influencers perform demonstrations and tricks against a backdrop of lighting and UV projections. DJs from BMW’s Global Radio partnership also make an appearance.

These performance art-like installations created an air of mystery around BMW for the X2’s big reveal in Milan, especially when it provokes controversy.

Such was the case for “Fearless Girl” by State Street Global Advisors. For International Women’s Day last year, a bronze statue of a small girl appeared on Wall Street facing down the famous charging bull.

Unlike BMW, however, the identity of the statue’s creator didn’t become known until Cannes Lions, during which the activation won three Grand Prix, a Glass Lion and more.

Brand CMOs Closing Gender Gap, Leaving Other Gaps Still Wide

A new survey released by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) revealed significant progress in increasing CMO diversity, indicating a closing gender gap among top marketing executives.

The study, which interviewed chief marketing officers (or their equivalents) at 747 different ANA member companies, found that 45 percent of CMOs identify as female, while 55 percent identify as male.

This statistic departs significantly from a different study done by Equilar just last year, which put the percentage of high-level female marketing executives at public companies at just 19 percent in 2016.

Even with a closing gender gap among C-suite marketing roles, the industry has enormous steps to take to give equal representation to people of color.

“Despite the acknowledgment of and significant emphasis on the necessity of having more marketers of color occupying the top ranks, the data suggests a material shortfall in fulfilling diversity objectives,” the ANA added in a statement.

Only 13 percent of the survey’s respondents claimed to be non-white, with 5 percent identifying as Asian, 5 percent as Hispanic/Latinx and just 3 percent as Black.

The consumer packaged goods industry had the closest parity between male and female CMOs, with exactly a 50-50 gender split, as well as proportionately the highest number of ethnic-minority CMOs, at 24 percent.

The banking/finance industry had the worst record for minority representation, with only 6 percent of its CMOs not being white. Additionally, the food and beverage sector had the highest gender split, with more than double the number of male CMOs than female.

The marketing industry still has a ways to go in championing CMO diversity, but the shrinking gender gap is a step in the right direction. In any case, it’s not an issue that will be solved without active efforts by marketing executives themselves.

TradeStation Pop-Up Barbershop Is A Play On Brand’s Redesign

Online broker TradeStation is hosting a pop-up barbershop/salon in New York City’s Oculus designed to draw attention to its recent rebranding.

From March 27-29, visitors to transportation and entertainment center Oculus can visit TradeStation’s “Fresh New Look” activation to receive a “new look” by way of free haircuts, blowouts, blue dye jobs, blue wigs and other salon offerings. Dye jobs and wigs are colored blue to coincide with TradeCenter’s logo. Employees manning the event also dyed their hair blue.

To encourage social sharing, a “selfie wall” is available along with the hashtag #TSFreshLook.

TradeCenter’s experiential marketing campaign is designed to capture the attention of around 250,000 daily commuters and tourists visiting Oculus, which was built on the former site of the World Trade Center towers. Oculus also happens to be near NYC’s financial district.

Over the past year, TradeStation has rebranded itself with a new design, simplified pricing and updated user interface. The activation includes an iPad station where visitors can try TradeStation’s newly-redesigned desktop, mobile and web trading interface. A simulated trading competition challenges guests to make the most virtual money and win $50 Amazon gift cards. Visitors can also enter to win a $1,000 Amazon gift card.

TradeStation partnered with live financial news network Cheddar to film live coverage of the experiential marketing event. Trading social network StockTwits also made an appearance.

New York’s bustling train system makes it popular advertising real estate for brands hoping to reach millions of eyes each week.

Earlier this month, ABC transformed a NYC commuter train into the living room from Roseanne to promote the show’s upcoming TV revival.

In February, Greek yogurt brand Chobani created an experiential installation inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Last fall, Behr Pain unveiled its first “color of the year” in the Grand Central Terminal with a pop-up house decorated in “In the Moment T18-15.” The activation also included VR cardboard headsets and 360-degree videos that featured Behr’s 20 newly-introduced paint colors.