Trend Set: Week Of September 13th, 2021

Ayzenberg junior strategist Ashley Otah surfaces the latest trends at play in the world of culture and entertainment.


AR meets IRL in this partnership activation at a Houston Texans game. The “hot wheels” inspired promotion presented by Kroger is part of The Famous Group’s in-stadium fan experiences.


What are the most important things for a brand to do in order to be influential within youth culture? Participants say being transparent, taking a stance on social issues, and hiring and involving more diverse employees at all levels.

(They also dubbed Travis Scott, Lebron James and Kanye West as the most influential people in youth culture). Read Complex’s Future of Influence report here.


Simple, sleek and extremely unique. Heinz and Wieden+Kennedy NY launch the packet roller to ensure no drop of condiment gets wasted.

Lil Nas X

The marketer of the moment is none other than Lil Nas X. He gave birth to his debut project ‘Montero” with a whirlwind of a rollout. From visuals, social impact, and a nostalgic feeling many have been missing, Lil Nas didn’t skip a beat.

Pay Transparency

The people want their pay. Long past pay discrimination, new laws in states like Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and Rhode Island, are requiring “pay transparency” from employers.

Jollibee Has Entered The Chicken Sandwich Wars With New Campaign

With 52 stores in the United States, Philippines-based fast-food chicken chain Jollibee is launching a campaign to promote their chicken sandwich by lampooning daytime TV lawyer ads.

Amid the chicken sandwich war between Popeyes, KFC, Chick-fil-A and other regional chains, Jollibee hopes to stake a claim with its Chickenwich.

Do lackluster chicken sandwiches kill your (chicken) joy? Time to call Jollibee’s Chris P. Poultry, chicken sandwich attorney-at-law.

“Has your chicken sandwich been too dry, too bland or just plain joyless? Then you need a powerful chicken sandwich lawyer. Call me, Chris P. Poultry, chicken sandwich attorney-at-law. I’ll fight to make sure you get the chicken sandwich you deserve,” says Chris P. Poultry in the new spot. The spot looks straight out of the ’80s with an almost vaseline-like soft focus.

Alongside the ads, Jollibee also launched a microsite to give away free Jollibee Chickenwiches in exchange for consumer’s contact info. Chris P. Poultry even has a Twitter account to fight against chicken sandwich injustice.

Earlier in the year, Jollibee brought on David & Goliath as their agency of record with an announcement alongside a musical spot. The spot had clearly set the tone for Jollibee’s marketing messaging going forward, and Chris P. Poultry is only a step further into the absurd for the chicken chain. 


Kim Freer Named CMO Of Wetzel’s Pretzels, Bank Of America Cuts CMO Role

This week in marketing leadership updates, QSR marketing veteran Kim Freer heads to Wetzel’s Pretzels as the legacy pretzel company remakes its image and Bank of America plans to merge its marketing team with digital.

Kim Freer Appointed As CMO Of Wetzel’s Pretzels

Coming from past posts at Subway, Blaze Pizza and most recently, Yoshinoya, Wetzel’s Pretzels is getting a new CMO. Kim Freer is taking her QSR marketing experience to the brand as it continues its expansion efforts beyond the iconic mall stalls it is most known for into well-treaded tourist areas.

Bank Of America Is Getting Rid Of Its CMO Role

Current CMO for Bank of America, Meredith Verdone announced via Twitter that she will be leaving Bank of America this year. The company is making no plans to rehire for the position and is instead planning to merge Verdone’s 1,400-person marketing team with Chief Digital Officer David Tyrie’s team.

MetLife Brings Aboard Michael Roberts As CMO

Coming from The Vanguard Group where he served as CMO, Roberts takes on a new post at MetLife where he’ll be leveraging his direct-to-consumer experience for the legacy insurance brand.

SEMrush Brings In Veteran B2B CMO

On the heels of SEMrush’s IPO earlier this year, the SaaS company is bringing in B2B veteran Andrew Warden as CMO. 

“Semrush has built a strong brand and following, and I am eager to continue this path at a company with a vibrant culture, product, and with first-class marketers,” said Warden in the press release.

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.

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.

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.

The Democratization Of Connection With Lunchclub’s Chelsea Cain Maclin

Chelsea Cain Maclin is the CMO of Lunchclub, where she leads the company’s marketing initiatives that drive brand awareness and user growth. Before joining Lunchclub, Chelsea served as the VP of Marketing for Bumble, where she has drawn inspiration for her role at Lunchclub.

On the show, Chelsea and I talk quite a bit about her background at Bumble and what she is trying to help Lunchclub achieve. Chelsea believes they can leverage technology to unlock human potential opportunities and connections that never would have happened without it. “When you’re using AI, it’s like sorting through the haystack and finding the needle way faster than humanly possible.” 

How do AI, the disintermediation of friends, and marketing all connect? Find out on this episode.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to harness your networks and connections
  • How dating principles can inform your networking
  • Integrating the disintermediation of friends in marketing

Key Highlights:

  • [01:36] Chickens and art therapy
  • [03:27] Chelsea’s path to Lunchclub
  • [05:37] What is Lunchclub?
  • [08:30] The attraction to Lunchclub
  • [12:15] The disintermediation of friends
  • [15:45] In-person and virtual networking
  • [20:05] The perfect marketing mix
  • [23:06] An experience that defines Chelsea makes who she is today
  • [25:26] Chelsea’s advice for her younger self
  • [26:35] What marketers should learn more about
  • [28:06] The brands and organizations Chelsea follows
  • [29:15] The biggest threat and opportunity 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 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.

LA Rams Appoint Kathryn Kai-ling Frederick As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, the LA Rams appoint Kathryn Kai-ling Frederick as chief marketing officer, Hard Rock International names Kimberly Manna as SVP of retail and licensing, Lionsgate Film Group taps Marisa Liston as president of worldwide marketing while Mutual of America hires Brian Q. Severin for EVP and CMO.

LA Rams Hire Kathryn Kai-ling Frederick As Chief Marketing Officer

The LA Rams named Kathryn Kai-ling Frederick as chief marketing officer, according to Adweek.

Frederick joins the LA Rams from Live Nation Entertainment, where she was chief marketing officer. Previously, she served as chief marketing officer at Ticketmaster.

Hard Rock International Taps Kimberly Manna As Senior Vice President Of Retail And Licensing

Hard Rock International named Kimberly Manna as senior vice president of retail and licensing.

Prior, Manna held leadership roles at Panama Jack, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Saban Entertainment and Warner Bros.

Lionsgate Film Group Promotes Marisa Liston To President Of Worldwide Marketing

Lionsgate elevated Marisa Liston to the position of worldwide marketing head of their motion picture group after former CMO Damon Wolf stepped down.

Liston previously served as Lionsgate’s executive vice president after having worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment for 17 years.

Mutual of America Hires Brian Q. Severin As Executive Vice President And Chief Marketing Officer 

Mutual of America Financial Group appointed Brian Q. Severin executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Severin has held several marketing leadership roles at Mutual of America.

Equiti Group Taps Chantelle Johnson As Chief Marketing Officer

Equiti Group has recruited Chantelle Johnson as their chief marketing officer.

Previously, Johnson held the role of global chief marketing officer at OANDA.

NBCUniversal’s Boston TV Stations and Regional Cable Network Names Laura Gremelsbacker As Vice President Of Marketing And Branding

NBC10 Boston/WBTS, NECN, Telemundo Boston/WNEU and NBC Sports Boston appointed Laura Gremelsbacker as vice president of marketing and branding. 

Gremelsbacker joins the team after working at NBC CT & Telemundo CT’s as creative services director. 

SoundExchange Makes Two Marketing Leadership Appointments

SoundExchange appointed Stephanie Werner as vice president of brand marketing and industry engagement, according to a press release

Prior to her current role, Werner served as Global Citizen’s vice president, head of global marketing.

SoundExchange has also hired Barry LeVine as vice president of marketing and entertainment partnerships.

Levine has previously held roles at Gibson Guitar, ShoutCrowd Media, and Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

Topgolf Entertainment Appoints Geoff Cottrill Chief Marketing Officer

Topgolf hired Geoff Cottrill as chief marketing officer, according to D Magazine.

Cottrill joins Topgolf from Coca-Cola North America, where he was senior vice president of strategic marketing.

Cottrill currently sits on the board of five companies including Giving Kitchen, Unitea and FEED.FM.

Cinemark Elevates Wanda Gierhart Fearing To Global Chief Marketing And Content Officer

Cinemark promoted Wanda Gierhart Fearing to chief marketing and content officer.

Gierhart Fearing previously held the role of executive vice president, global chief marketing officer. She began her career at Cinemark in January 2018.

VisitPittsburgh Chief Marketing Officer Tom Loftus Exits

Tom Loftus, VisitPittsburgh chief marketing officer, stepped down after his six-year tenure at the organization.

Shannon Wolfgang, VisitPittsburgh director of marketing communications, confirmed that the company has kicked off a national search for Loftus’ replacement.

Underlining Names Amanda Johnson As Chief Marketing Officer

Underlining hired Amanda Johnson as chief marketing officer, reports Adweek

Johnson joins Underlining from Mented, which she co-founded and where she served as chief operating officer.

Glow Hires Matt Houltham As Chief Marketing Officer

Glow named Matt Houltham chief marketing officer, according to Research Live.

Houltham has been a member of Glow’s advisory board for the past two years and served as Glow’s acting chief marketing officer.

Houltham previously served as chief executive officer at Havas Media Aunz and Havas Melbourne.

General Mills Chief Brand Officer Brad Hiranaga Steps Down

Amid a major restructuring launched in June, General Mills chief brand officer Brad Hiranaga has stepped down. Hiranaga spent two decades at General Mills, according to Adweek.

Doug Martin, General Mills’ disruptive growth officer, has taken on Hiranaga’s duties. Martin was most recently president of the company’s dairy operating unit.

Express Launches Commission-Based Program For Fashion Influencers

As social commerce and influencer marketing continue to hold sway over brand strategy, Express has announced a new influencer program called Express Community Commerce that will enable a group of fashion enthusiasts to sell and earn commission on exclusive seasonal collections.

Express will coach a network of entrepreneurial fashion influencers, called Express Style Editors, who will promote Express collections among their followers. According to a press release, one of the brand’s goals is to help these fans turn their passion for style into a successful business or side hustle.

“Building upon the strong performance of our influencer marketing programs, along with our brand purpose which is to create confidence and inspire self-expression, Community Commerce will be a powerful and innovative way for customers to engage with Express,” said Tim Baxter, chief executive officer of Express.

Baxter told Glossy that the network of Style Editors will have the opportunity to create their own storefronts on a webpage that they can then promote on their social media accounts. The perks, he added, will be enabled via an exclusive app that they’ll have access to.

Though the influencer program is still in the pilot phase and isn’t launching nationwide until this fall, the retailer is looking to drive digital revenue and acquisition in anticipation of hitting $1 billion in ecommerce sales by 2024.

As many other retailers, Express was hit hard by the pandemic. The Express Community Commerce program could contribute toward a rebound. In Q4, its net sales plummeted by 29 percent while its Q4 comps declined by 28 percent.

In January 2020, Express said it would close 100 store locations by next year. While the company expects closures to reduce sales by $90 million, the decision will also save them $80 million per year over the next three years and in the long-term due to lower operating costs and the increasing share of revenue from ecommerce.

Late last year, Express reduced the corporate workforce at its Columbus, Ohio headquarters by 10 percent, which resulted in an estimated cost savings of $13 million.

According to the company’s first-quarter earnings, ecommerce transactions increased over 40 percent compared to 2020, with sales conversions up 19 percent and web traffic up 18 percent.

In turning fans into brand ambassadors, Express joins the likes of Sephora, Lululemon, Xbox and countless other brands trying to engage consumers, 80 percent of which say that social media directly impacts their purchasing decision and 35 percent who say they’re “very” or “extremely” likely to buy influencer-endorsed products online.

Reddit Taps Instagram, Facebook Executive Timo Pelz As VP Of Business Marketing

This week in leadership updates, Reddit taps Timo Pelz as vice president of business marketing, Global hires Cilesta Van Doorn as chief marketing officer, Twitch appoints Constance Knight as vice president of creators and more.

Reddit Hires Timo Pelz As Vice President Of Business Marketing

Reddit has named Timo Pelz as its first vice president of business marketing, according to Variety.

Pelz joins Reddit from Instagram, where he was head of business marketing. Previously, he was Facebook’s industry lead financial services, DACH.

Global Names Cilesta Van Doorn As Chief Marketing Officer

Global has tapped Cilesta Van Doorn as its next chief marketing officer, effective after current chief marketing officer Adam Johnson resigns.

Prior to Global, Van Doorn spent over three years at Virgin Media.

Twitch Taps Constance Knight As Vice President Of Creators

Twitch has appointed Constance Knight as its first vice president of global creators.

Knight was most recently working as Instagram’s global head of content curation, short-form video after having been at YouTube for over nine years.

STRATA Appoints Brent Cowgill As Vice President Of Marketing

STRATA Skin Sciences has recruited Brent Cowgill to fill the role of vice president of marketing.

Previously, Cowgill founded and managed Vantage Marketing.

Tire Discount Hires Chris Yapp As Chief Marketing Officer

Tire Discount has named Chris Yapp chief marketing officer and vice president of marketing.

Yapp joins Tire Discount from The Grass Feather Farms, where he was an advisory board member. Prior to that was Amazon’s head of marketing, Brilliance Publishing.

Topgolf Taps Geoff Cottrill For Chief Marketing Officer Position

Topgolf Entertainment Group has appointed Geoff Cottrill as chief marketing officer.

Prior to his new role, Cottrill held marketing and marketing leadership positions at Coca-Cola North America, Converse, Starbucks and Procter & Gamble.

The Alkaline Water Company Recruits Tom Hutchison As Chief Marketing Officer

The Alkaline Water Company has hired Tom Hutchison as chief marketing officer.

Most recently, Hutchison co-founded the online marketplace Oana. He has held marketing positions at Sprouts Farmers Market, Merchants Distributors and others.

Rare & Forever Diamonds Taps Chris Croteau As Vice President Of Marketing And Sales

Rare & Forever Diamonds has named Chris Croteau as its new vice president of marketing and sales.

Croteau joins Rare & Forever Diamonds from CD Peacock Jewelers and Hearts On Fire Company as store director and senior director of sales of North America, respectively.