Crocs Continues Resurgence With Emphasis On Individuality, Celebrity Influencers

Crocs launched the third installment, in as many years, of its influencer-driven “Come As You Are” campaign this week that stars Zooey Deschanel and a line-up of celebrity brand ambassadors.

The campaign states that “being yourself, being comfortable and looking stylish are not mutually exclusive.” Playing on the phrase, “being comfortable in your own shoes,” the ads feature a variety of Crocs styles for different activities and lifestyles including LiteRide, Crocband Platform, Crocs Serena, Swiftwater and the iconic Classic Clog.

The company’s pivot from granola accessory to fashion icon did not come overnight. Much credit has been given to Crocs CEO Andrew Rees and his calculated push to turn the brand around. In that way, it’s not surprising to see “Come As You Are” enter it’s third year, mainly because, it’s working.

“I love that we are all unique,” said Deschanel in a release announcing the partnership. “When Crocs asked me to be a part of their campaign, I was excited to have the opportunity to join a fun and colorful brand but, more importantly, have the opportunity to inspire others to embrace their individuality.”

In addition to Deschanel, “Come As You Are” features British actress Natalie Dormer, Chinese actress, dancer and model Gina Jin, South Korean actress and gugudan girl-band member Kim Se-Jeong and Japanese actress and model Suzu Hirose.

Each of the influencers was photographed and/or filmed wearing a model of Crocs shoes to correspond with activities such as “I travel,” “I surprise,” “I dazzle” or “I bounce.” The campaign will include digital, social and in-store marketing materials, with a focus on consumers in the US, Germany, China, Japan and South Korea.

Previous celebrity ambassadors have included wrestler and actor John Cena, actress Drew Barrymore and rapper Post Malone.

“As we enter our third year of ‘Come As You Are,’ we are evolving not only our message and cast but the entire look and feel of our marketing campaign,” said Terence Reilly, Crocs chief marketing officer in a statement. “Crocs is making a bold declaration that you can have both style and comfort no matter who you are or where your life takes you.”

Personalization and self-expression are important to the Gen Z consumer which, according to IBM and The National Retail Federation, holds $44 billion in buying power. The same study found that 55 percent of Gen Z respondents spend their own money on clothing and shoes, and 60 percent influence family spending in the category.

Crocs, Inc. reported double-digital ecommerce growth for the fourth quarter of 2018, calling it the “best Q4 in years.” The brand is committed to grow the relevance of its infamous clogs, and identified Asia as a demographic for the largest growth potential.

According to Crocs, it plans on expanding the relevance of clogs through “impactful collaborations, trending the right colors and graphics, licensing and personalization through Jibbitz charms.”

Billie Eilish Experience Shows Untapped Potential In Music Marketing

Spotify launched an interactive Billie Eilish music experience over the weekend. To celebrate the launch of her first studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Eilish and Spotify designed the 29Rooms-like experience to take fans inside each of her 14 songs through smell, texture, colors, temperature and of course, music.

The Billie Eilish Experience took place in Los Angeles for one weekend only and tickets quickly sold out. The experience was in partnership with Interscope records and supported by a digital campaign and limited edition clothing on the merch “drop” mobile platform NTWRK.

Marketing for music can often feel behind in comparison to other entertainment industries relying on the power of music streaming playlists and digital advertising along with name recognition to drum up sales. Still, seeing a brand new artist on their first album push the status quo with a massive experiential marketing activation is noteworthy.

Eilish’s album was also promoted across digital and social channels with a YouTube front-page takeover, as well as localized display ads on UberEats. Eilish also played the food delivery service’s show at SXSW in mid-March.

Guests to the Billie Eilish Experience were greeted by a giant statue of the artist that was designed by contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. Fan art lined the walls as guests wandered through each song on the musician’s new album. One room even had puppies from the Marley’s Mutts animal rescue that were free to roam and play.

In a post on Spotify’s Newsroom, each song and corresponding room experience is described as such, “‘all the good girls go to hell‘ – Get ready to descend into the underworld. The experience heats up for “all good girls go to hell,” where you’ll find yourself surrounded by LED flames and scorching floors.”

Eilish explained that she wanted listeners to physically feel her music and creative process, from subwoofers in the floor to items they can touch.

“I wanted a project that wasn’t just a bunch of songs put together and [once] you listen to them, it’s over,” Eilish said in a video. “I wanted it to [include] the whole body and energy and every sort of sense. I wanted it to literally be an experience.”

As mentioned, NTWRK partnered with Eilish to sell her merchandise through the mobile app from March 29-April 2. The items, all under $60, include a bathrobe, tee shirt, long-sleeved shirt and bucket hats. The artist will be performing at Coachella, so NTWRK hoped the timing would allow fans to wear her designs at the concert.

Music publishers are finding new ways to let fans interact with releases and artists. Sony launched a music experience at its Sony Square NYC location last year and hosted a pop-up in SoHo that featured private concerts, music customizations and weekly online shows.

Augmented and virtual reality integrations are also becoming more common, animating album covers or creating 360-degree experiences for fans. Social media companies are investing millions in music licensing with the hope of creating personalized experiences, as well.

“We’re seeing a big new wave of start-ups coming to us wanting to talk about how music, or music video, can be a part of their offerings, apps, social messaging, virtual reality [and] augmented reality products,” Ole Obermann, chief digital officer and EVP of business development for Warner Music said in IFPI’s 2017 state of the industry report.

Tribalist CEO Jon Vlassopulos “We Have An Issue With Chronological Redundancy Engines In Social Media”

The currently available methods of sharing aren’t enough according to Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of Tribalist. In the way that Pinterest took image sharing to a new level, Vlassopulos hopes his new type of social network, centered around lists and listmaking, will take people’s passion for curation to a different shareable level.

“I’ve been more disappointed with the current options of sharing creations,” said Vlassopulos in an interview with AList. “You have a lot of short-termism, especially for [younger people]. We have an issue with chronological redundancy engines AKA social media, and the notion that they feed on redundancy.”

“Tribalist is your home for actionable inspiration,” reads the website. “A new trusted platform to search, discover and create the best lists on the web, helping you find the best things to do each day. We save you time by finding and aggregating all the best lists from top publishers and from our Tribalist community.”

A quick perusal of Tribalist’s front page shows lists like: “TV Shows Axed in 2019,” “Glamping in CA,” “The best books about islands” and “Best Burgers in the Bay Area.” These topics may not be mind-blowing, but it is interesting to see how regular users are shown alongside publishers like Newsweek, Guardian and Paste. The equalization of what Vlassapulos calls “cultural currency.”

Tribalist launched in 2017, then launched an iOS app in February, followed by an Android app in late March.

Vlassopulos angles it as a place to unload the many lists that have accumulated in the minds of people, especially creatives.

In the current system, social media largely exists to focus on monetization. After all, how often have you seen the same article or image posted from a number of friends?

“So this actually leads to tons of contributors, professional posters, media companies—it’s stressful on the contribution side and it’s stressful on the consumption side,” Vlassopulos added.

Tribalist was founded on the notion that everyone has something to say and everyone is interesting to someone, therefore making them potentially influential to other people.

“Not just commercially influential, but amongst what’s known as a nano-influencer, which is being bandied around by the British press,” explained Vlassopulos. “We feel there is nothing more exciting than that buzz or rush of turning someone onto something you love—whether it’s a restaurant, a movie or a hotel and experience. So, we would like to be the platform to present that publishing opportunity for anyone.”

It is through that lens that Tribalist sees opportunities for non-traditional influencers. It’s very much of the time for brands to prop up regular users/customers as a version of influencers—Glossier, in particular, has done this to massive success—but to hear it from a platform other than YouTube feels new.

“I love the whole notion of what we call ‘cultural currency,’” says Vlassopulos. “If you ask me about anything in life and I’m passionate about it, I’m going to tell you why I’m passionate about it and I want to tell you something new. So there is the opportunity [for Tribalist].”

With any new social platform come the run-of-the-mill comparisons. In Tribalist’s case, the platform is mostly being compared to Pinterest. Vlassopulos finds some humor in it, recalling a headline in The Times that read “Pinterest Rival.”

Vlassopulos laughs about it but admits that being compared to Pinterest has its advantages. Even a few similar principles like a free platform and monetization efforts like sponsored content and affiliate marketing creates relevance.

“We wanted to have a free platform for everyone to be able to share what they love with the world, and hopefully we don’t want to be the end-point, so our business model is around similar to Pinterest.”

Vlassopulos also mentions what Pinterest calls their three legs, “discovery, personal productivity and community” and how that relates to Tribalist.

“When they say ‘personal productivity’ they mean ‘commerce,’” he added. “The commerce part for us is all those relationships, so we are taking an affiliate fee from small to larger [companies], depending on a category.”

Sponsored Lists, for example, are Tribalist’s version of Sponsored Pins on Pinterest. Use cases are endless, Vlassopulos, explained.
“A travel company, for example, can have hundreds and hundreds of travel lists, such as ‘Weekend Getaway for the Family,’  ‘Romantic Valentine’s,’ ‘Kite Surfing in Hawaii,’ etc. There is something for everyone and with that, the opportunity to have those lists seen by more people.”

Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar: “Focus On Reinventing Yourself, Even When Things Are Going Very Well”

Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar is among the most publicly visible chief marketing officers in the world. A marketer of grand vision, in conversation Rajamannar dispenses wisdom with the articulation of a worldly sage. Currently, he sits on the board of directors at Ad Council—a month ago he won WFA’s Global Marketer of the Year award and only two months later was named the trade body’s president.

Rajamannar joined Mastercard as the company’s chief marketing officer in 2013 and in the years since has raise the fintech company’s brand equity to new heights. For example, in Interbrand’s 2013 Best Brands list, Mastercard was estimated to have 4.2 billion in brand value—after five years with Rajamannar handling marketing, the same report lists Mastercard’s brand value at 7.5 billion.

In a conversation with AList, Rajamannar talks about personal reinvention and the phases of Mastercard’s brand evolution.

“Priceless” is a standard of storytelling, what do you find important in the process of continuing that legacy for new audiences?

Two fundamental aspects. The first one for me is to retain authenticity and continue the things that have been working well for us. Which is to tap into the human truths, identify a connection between the brand, Mastercard, and what is priceless about it that you can deliver to the consumer. And of course, being authentic, not fake and not be forced.

The second is to evolve in keeping with the changing times. Consumers have changed quite a lot. For example, Priceless, in the past, used to be an advertising platform, it is a storytelling platform. But a lot of consumers have started tuning out advertisers, then putting ad blocks in a big way: 630 million devices, have ad blocks that we cannot reach. They’re even paying money to keep the advertisers out by going to Netflix with [zero ads].

If that’s what the consumers are saying, should you still be going to the old model of advertising? The answer is, “No.” Just to be provocative, I keep saying, “Storytelling is dead, advertising is dead.” It’s all about story making,” which is experiential marketing.

We started with “Moments,” that was our first phase of our evolution. What we do is we create and curate experiences for our people, our customers, consumers, that money can’t buy. You can’t buy them for money, but you get them because of Mastercard. It’s these kinds of small things or giant things where a huge artist, like Justin Timberlake, will come to your home and spend a day with you. It cuts across the entire spectrum. Because we have 1.8 billion consumers around the world, and we have to be relevant to that entire spectrum. We create these priceless moments, and through that, we acquire a lot of sponsorship assets and convert those into experiences for our consumers.

The third phase of our evolution, which is right now, is what we call “from moments to movements.” It’s all about priceless movements. We say, “Start something priceless.” It could be as simple as keeping your phone away when you are having dinner and doing something to start conversations in your family or your friendships, and it will change the dimension. Or, it can be adopting a dog or making a difference in a child’s life or changing the world. We started this whole thing “start something priceless” as a new platform for the last few months now. This is how we evolve, on one level.

The other part of it is on the brand side. The Mastercard brand is over 50 years [old]. What we are trying to do is: how does a brand evolve as well? Two years back, we relaunched our entire brand logo by stylizing it. We took out the capital letters from our logo, which was more formal, to make it more informal and approachable.

Was the ultimate goal, of taking away the type, realized at that point?

Absolutely. That’s the reason why we removed the name from within the logo and brought it out as the first step. And then from here completely. That’s how we did it.

We had to be looking three or four steps ahead. It worked really well for us and about seven weeks back is when we announced that the name would be dropped altogether, and it would just be the two circles.

Then, of course, the sonic logo.

I believe that we are the first brand, which has gone as deep and comprehensive for the sonic brand architecture. We have our 30-second melody, which is featured in all our ads and shows, trade events and sponsorship events. If you call Mastercard office, you’ll hear the ring; it’s the hold music.

The cool thing about this melody is it’s very neutral. It doesn’t take over something; it should support. Number two–it should be likable. Three, it should be hummable. You should be able to hum it because we want the melody to be memorable; it should be simple, but not simplistic. If it’s memorable, you’ll associate it [with] the brand. And finally, it should be highly adaptable around the world. 

Through your career, how have you as a CMO and a marketer, learned to let go of micromanaging things?

Three things. First, you need to have top talent. Surround yourself with the best and most amazing people. If you have really exceptionally competent people around the globe, your life becomes easier. They own it, they drive it, and they do much than you can do it yourself. That frees you a lot of the time to focus on the big picture.

Number two, what you also do is constantly focus on innovating yourself and reinventing yourself, even when things are going very well. Because you can get a little complacent, comfortable and happy and that’s not a good thing at all. You have to be on your toes and keep thinking. For example, when we started in 2016, when we first announced our rebranded logo, at that stage we could have said, “this working really well, let’s sit tight on that.” But we said, “let’s take this further.”

When we wanted to launch the sonic brand, one of the very important elements is ‘acceptance’ sound. Whenever you are going to a shop and your transaction goes through successfully, you hear the MasterCard sound. It’s extremely [short], 1.3 seconds or less than 1.3 seconds. Now, the concept was created centrally.

The day before yesterday, I got a video from Dubai, showing that they have got a band playing the melody at the Dubai Jazz Festival, where the artists were singing our melody from the stage and making the crowd actually to follow in a big wave. And people could pay, not with cash, but by singing the melody correctly—they were rewarded.

That idea didn’t come from global; it did not come from me sitting in my chair. Local people are taking it. It really starts with having a fantastic theme: pick a dream that is big enough, chase the dream that is big enough, inspire ourselves, be humble, never get complacent or comfortable and just keep constantly going at it.

How do you measure brand moments and experiential marketing?

I’m an engineer by training, so if I don’t measure it, I don’t feel comfortable about it. The key thing is we have solid KPAs and metrics. We measure how we are doing on the brand, how we are doing on the growing the business profitably and how are we growing in a competitive advantage manner. The last part, meaning how are we perceived compared to the competition, and are we increasing the gap and are we building a moat around the company that is not easy for somebody else to jump over. And we measure it very, very diligently.

To give you an example on the brand side. Several years back, there was one of the gold standards, one of the methods of measuring a brand’s strength was brandZ which is done by Kantar Millward Brown and they do it for 10,000 brands around the world. We were at about 89 a few years back. Today, we have come all the way down to 15. From 89 to 15 we have improved in my tenure. In the US, we have become a top 10 brand; we are number 10. This shows that our strategy as a company, it is executed well, and it is working well for us. Business is growing very well. I will not give you all the financial stats, but we can see in all the disclosed financials that the business is growing very nicely, and it’s being appreciated by the market. That’s number two.

Number three, when you look at the preference of consumers. Say I prefer Mastercard to somebody else because these guys are guys have brought some unique advantage or some purpose-driven activities in the market. Again, we are doing well in that space. I feel really good about all three dimensions.

Can you talk a little bit about CMO accountability and having to justify a budget every year or quarter?

Fifty percent of my career, I was on the business side—I was managing PnLs—and fifty percent on the marketing side. And I keep joking that fifty percent I was in business, I used to give hell to the marketing guys. Now, on this, the karma comes back with interest. But the good thing is that because I have been on the business side, I understand numbers, I understand what matters to the CEO, and the CFO. Therefore, I’m able to appropriately tell my story in a way that matters to them, speaking their language. If I talk to the CEO or a CFO about how my brand awareness has gone up this much, my predisposition is this much and my promoter score is this much—that is all marketing mumbo-jumbo. Their questions will be, “what has it done for the business’ growth?” or “what has it done for the top line and bottom-line growth?”—that’s what I have to talk to them about.

The key thing is to connect the dots between the activities of marketing to the outcomes of the business. And that’s where a lot of my time goes [showing them the data] very credibly. It’s not some fluffy stuff that you cook up; it has to be very authentic, credible and show those links. Just say, “We are doing this and this is what’s happening.” And digestible; you can’t hide behind jargon.

What do you think the next generation of young CMOs should be most concerned about, in terms of their career?

I’d say, four things. First and foremost, they should be concerned about the prominence of marketing being lost. Many companies have eliminated the role of CMOs and replaced them with chief growth officers, chief revenue officers and so on. This is what I was saying before: if a CMO is not able to justify why the investment is happening and not able to connect the dots. If you are not helping and you are sucking up millions and millions of dollars. If they are not able to give convincing answers, they’re out. Some other companies, including some of the top-notch consumer marketing companies, have got away with the role of CMO. They should focus clearly on understanding the connection between their activities and business results.

Second, today’s marketers are very different than marketers even five years back. The whole marketing [industry] has changed in the last five years. I have been in this field for 35 years; what happened in the last five years is completely different than the preceding 30 years. Why? Because you got digital technologists, AI, data, unbelievably big data, small data, all kinds of data. Then you have, very importantly, things like technology. Many CMOs have technology budgets which are bigger than the CTOs of those companies. PR and marketing are no longer two different functions—that’s one integrated thing. The point is, to be a successful marketer today, you have to be multifaceted you have to be a true general manager—a general manager who understands digital, technology, data, finance, PR and can integrate all that and come up with very compelling campaigns. This is something that they have to strive for. If you’re at a company as a young marketer, you should try to get experiences by rotation across many different functions. That’s just something you have to be very important.

The third thing is the rate at which the technology is developing like blockchains, virtual reality, augmented reality, people can become obsolete very fast unless they stay on top of it and invest consciously—time to study, learn and be up to date. I think learning will be mighty critical for them.

The last one is from my perspective. As [young marketers lives] are evolving, the work-life balance will become even more disrupted. As a young marketer, you have to make sure that you are giving enough quality time for yourself, your well-being and for your family’s well-being. Otherwise, this is becoming a 24/7 world, and you can become totally swamped and be lost.

April Fools’ 2019 Brands Round-Up

Every year we think we’ve seen it all: from edible KitKat soap to Planet Fitness’ comfortable workout chair. But, brands are using April Fools’ Day more than ever to insert a bit of humor into their current marketing campaigns.

Here is AList‘s round-up of the best marketing pranks we’ve seen today.

Shutterstock Plans To Build The World’s Largest Library

To promote their online library of creative assets, in their April Fools’ marketing campaign, Shutterstock announced the company’s plans to erect The World’s Largest physical library in 2020.

This imaginary world’s largest brick and mortar library would contain 250 million volumes of imagery, 14 million reels of film and 20,000 music tracks and would be served by Cyanotypes—first of-their-kind AI-powered robots.

SodaStream Turns Burps Into Sparkling Water

“When life gives you gas, make SodaStream,” the SodaStream April Fools’ marketing campaign video character, an astronaut Scott Kelly, says.

The campaign revolves around “SodaStreamMe”-an on-the-go bottle that enables users to carbonate their own drinks by blowing into the cap and releasing excess CO2. And is supposedly perfect for any occasion: after having a super-size salsa, bean and cheese burrito, in the elevator with your boss or for a successful romantic night.

Nissin ‘Hangs Noodles’ On The Gamers’ Ears

Nissin Cup Noodles April Fools’ prank involves their “groundbreaking headphones:” HyperX Cup MIX-Ins. 

On Monday, the headphones “drop” on the Nissin Fan Store as an extreme limited-edition run with the following product description: “Through the use of a detachable Microphork, the headphones cancel out all Cup Noodle slurping sounds while still delivering crystal-clear sound quality during stream. Plus, the patent-pending Noodlette ear pads woven together with noodle fibers deliver the silky soft caress of ramen noodles for your ears—while the Dual-Chamber Drivers offer the largest noodle chambers on the market! And the fork as a microphone.”

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ Publishes Culinary + Cocktail Trend Forecast For Spring 2019

In their April Fools marketing campaign, The Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group reveals Spring 2019 Culinary + Cocktail Trends. From “coffee grains toast” to DIY “bathtub gin” cocktail making kits the campaign is a clever way to entertain and innocently troll the avocado-toast loving, Keto diet-obsessed Millennials.

Some of the menu highlights include: “Coffee Grounds on Toast,” “Savory Shaved Ice” and “Micro Drinks.”

Burger King’s New Impossible Whopper

Last year the April Fools’ Whooper was “chocolate,” this year, it’s “vegetarian.” In their April Fools’ promotional video, Burger King surprised its loyal guests by serving the impossible, vegetarian, Whopper sandwich instead of the classic Whopper–and captured their reactions. “All Whopper. No beef”

The catch this time seems to be the fact that the Impossible Whopper is actually real. One can always count on Burger King and CMO Fernando Machado to turn convention on its head.

RetailMeNot Invites To Its First-Ever Music Festival

This April 1, RetailMeNot gives you their April Fools’ marketing campaign in a blog post that offers tickets to their music festival–Dealchella.

What to expect? All day happy hours, daily flash sales on flash tattoos, unlimited massage in the “Deals and Feels” cabana, a ride around the cheapskates roller rink, “two for one” tacos from Austin’s best chefs and a line-up that boasts the best deal-seeking artists like Taylor Thrift, Salena Gomez, Kasey Must-Saves, Cart-I B, Dealmau5, Bonus Brothers and Imagine Discounts.

And although RetailMeNot got you with Dealchella, in the same blog post, they offer real discounts from Domino’s, Southwest and many more.

Virgin Introduces Virgin Voyages Cruise Ship Under

As many are already planning summer vacations, Virgin pranks us with over the top RockStar Suites Sailors cruise ship. According to the Virgin press release, the “sailors” staying in RockStar Suites would arrive and depart via their own runway on a private jet transfer, offered from select gateway cities, including Atlanta, New York and Dallas.

T-Mobile Installs Sound-Proof Phone Booths 

On April Fools’ Day, T-Mobile brings the next evolution in telecom–T-Mobile Phone BoothE–the vertical vestibules that offer the ultimate privacy and peace in the hectic, loud world. And for even more convenience and mobility, T-Mobie offers a new portable version–the T-Mobile Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE. Just imagine being able to close the door of your personal booth in a noisy morning Starbucks shop. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Three Olives Vodka Rebrands Roosevelt Island Into Rosévelt Island

Three Olives Vodka celebrates spring and the world-wide obsession with rosé by transforming Roosevelt Island in NY into very pink “Rosévelt” Island.

As a part of their April Fools’ marketing campaign, the company encourages viewers to visit to plan a getaway and make your social media explode with skyline photos taken on the newly pink Rosévelt Island Tramway, the pink-hued subway stop and island boardwalk.

Victorinox Swiss Army ‘Sharpens’ Your Survival Skills 

As a part of their April Fools’ marketing campaign, Victorinox Swiss Army partners with and gives you Survival Rx Glasses–a pair of prescription glasses for everyday adventures with built-in (detachable) tools from the iconic Swiss Army Knife: a corkscrew, a screwdriver, a bottle opener, scissors and a toothpick. Now, that’s sharp.

TikTok Promotes DJ Khaled To Its New CMO

In their April Fools’ marketing campaign, TikTok announced DJ Khaled as its new chief motivational officer. In the 30 second promotional video, music producer and media personality, DJ Khaled continues to shower us with what he is most known for– his “major keys to success.”

Jägermeister Joins The Cannabis Market

Just in time for 4/20, the herbal liqueur brand, Jägermeister, announced that the company is joining the cannabis market with the launch of a new VAP–Jägerbong–”because every empty bottle of Jägermeister deserves a second chance.”

Jägerbong includes a 1L recyclable Jägermeister bottle that can be easily turned into a bong, a bong carb, a hacky sack, eye drops, a lighter and grinder.

If The Jägerbong VAP was real, it could be purchased at $42.00

Little Spoon Presents ‘Golden Spoon Collection’ For Little Gourmets 

Little Spoon, the baby food brand, offers the most gourmet menu on April Fools’ day, consisting of babyblends enriched with such ingredients as saffron⁣, white truffle, specialty morel mushrooms, fermented gooseberries, juniper oil⁣, dry smoked wasabi root and kaffir lime leaf. Bon appetite.

Dunkin Creates Super Dough Coffee Cup Holder

In their April Fools’ marketing campaign, Dunkin isn’t really introducing new giant donuts to create the first Super Dough Coffee Cup Holder. The company is just celebrating the spirit of April 1st with a joke they hope makes the customers smile today.

Contiki Offers Vacations For Dogs

The social travel company for 18-35-year-olds, Contiki, is developing a faux-launch of a new service that caters to the travel needs of dogs: Dogtiki. But unfortunately to many pet-parents, only as an April Fools’ Day prank.

The promotional video features chaotic vacation with scenes of the furry world explorers checking into a hotel room, dealing with luggage and traveling on a Contiki coach.

The prank is meant to bring attention to Contiki’s continued dedication to ethical tourism and its protection of animal welfare through the program Contiki Cares.

Sephora Promotes For CMO; ANA’s SeeHer Appoints Co-Chairs

This week’s executive shifts include Sephora promoting for a CMO, Papa John’s welcoming a new global CMO, Twitter hiring a new head of brands, WFA naming a new president, Boston Beer Company appointing a chief marketing officer, WFA naming a president, EA’s layoffs, SoundCloud appointing an SVP, Warner Bros. Records promoting for SVP and NorCal Cannabis shoring up their marketing team.

Check out our careers section for executive job openings and to post your own staffing needs.

Veteran Marketer At Sephora Promoted To CMO

Sephora has promoted senior vice president of marketing and brand Deborah Yeh to the position of chief marketing officer. Yeh has been with Sephora since 2012, and famously oversaw Sephora’s Sephoria branded event along with many other brand initiatives. She was previously vice president of marketing at Gap and managed marketing planning at Target.

SeeHer Appoints Co-Chairs

ANA’s gender equality initiative, SeeHer, appointed two chief brand officers to co-chair positions. P&G’s Marc Pritchard will join AT&T’s Fiona Carter with the goal of “increasing accurate portrayals of girls and women in media 20 percent by 2020.”

“As the largest trade association with all the leading marketers, we were in the unique position to bring scale to the movement from the outset,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “SeeHer is good for business and good for society. With Marc’s and Fiona’s expertise and personal commitment, we will certainly reach, and likely exceed, our goal for 2020.”

Papa John’s Welcomes A New Global CMO 

On Thursday, Papa John’s announced the appointment of Karlin Linhardt as the pizza delivery company’s global chief marketing officer.

Most recently, Mr. Linhardt held the role of senior vice president of marketing for North America for Subway Restaurants. At Subway, he led brand management and guest experience for 30,000 restaurants and designed the company’s global brand transformation plan. He also has 10 years of experience working at McDonald’s, where he was in charge of strategic business and marketing efforts across multiple brand categories.

“I am excited to join Papa John’s and begin working with the talented leadership and marketing teams to build upon the work underway,” Linhardt said. “I’m a fan of Papa John’s high-quality product and I look forward to helping tell that quality story to customers in new ways.”

Twitter Hires New Global Head of Brands

According to Adweek, Twitter has hired Katie Ford as its new global head of brands.

Previously, Ford has served as a chief client officer at Amobee and spent more than 24 years at Publicis agencies Leo Burnett, Starcom and Spark Foundry, serving as president of the latter shop and directing  P&G and Coca-Cola accounts.

At Twitter, she will lead the team managing Twitter’s global ad partnerships, as well as key accounts.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at Twitter as head of global brands, where I will have the pleasure of partnering with the world’s biggest brands that are driving innovation at a global scale. There has never been a more exciting time to join the company, and I am looking forward to continuing the momentum established by the team,” Ford said.

Cannes Lions Names Simon Cook Managing Director

Cannes Lions partner company, Ascential plc., has reportedly announced the appointment of Simon Cook as managing director of Cannes Lions to replace Jose Papa.

For Cook, this is a step up from his current role as VP Creative Excellence and in his new role, Cook will lead the overall business.

In the past, Cook has worked in the branded communications industry and worked agency-side before joining the business.

“Creativity, in its broadest sense, is powered by people. As the team and I take this exciting next step, we will be dedicated to helping people and their businesses unlock their creative potential because we believe that creativity is a catalyst for business and personal growth. I am delighted to guide this team as we continue our mission to connect, inform and empower the global, creative marketing community and help them make the case for effective, creative problem-solving, every day,” he said.

Boston Beer Company Announces Chief Marketing Officer

The Boston Beer Company has appointed veteran marketer Lesya Lysyj as the company’s chief marketing officer. Lysyj comes to the brewer of Samuel Adams after spending the last two years as US president of Welch’s and serving the same position at Weight Watchers from 2013 to 2015. Lysyj also previously served as chief marketing officer of Heineken.

“I am thrilled to be joining The Boston Beer Company and returning to the beer industry.  I have long admired and respected what Jim Koch and his leadership team have accomplished to date building a portfolio of brands and remaining true to brewing the highest quality beer,” said Lysyj in the announcement.  “I look forward to leading the team of exceptional marketing professionals that will develop and execute the Company’s marketing strategies.”

WFA Appoints Raja Rajamannar As President

The World Federation of Advertisers has appointed Mastercard’s CMO Raja Rajamannar to the position of president. He takes over for David Wheldon, current CMO of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Rajamannar also serves on the board of the Ad Council.

“The opportunity in front of marketers today to make a difference for their brand, their business and even the world is tremendous. I am honored to pick up and carry the torch as President of WFA, an organization committed to elevating and advancing the activities of our profession, and a role I am convinced will become even more important in the years to come,” said Rajamannar in a statement.

SoundCloud Appoints Senior Vice President

SoundCloud appointed Anthony Gabriele as the company’s senior vice president, subscriptions and marketing. Gabriele comes to SoundCloud after three years at Apple, where he was the director, subscription marketing. He also had stints at Dow Jones and Amazon.

“SoundCloud stands apart. It’s where creators build their audiences, and where fans find what’s next in music,” said Gabriele. “I’m excited to join the team. As an artist myself, I’m passionate about bringing tools to creators, and great experiences to listeners.”

EA Lays Off 350, Including Marketers

EA announced a massive layoff this morning in a statement posted on their website. In the statement, EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson said it was important for the company to “address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead.” The layoffs will specifically affect “marketing and publishing organization, our operations teams.”

According to Kotaku, EA’s chief marketing officer Chris Bruzzo also addressed the layoffs in an email saying, “We have a vision to be the World’s Greatest Games Company. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re not there right now. We have work to do with our games, our player relationships, and our business.”

Warner Bros. Records Promotes For International SVP

Warner Bros Records announced the promotion of Ben Larsen to the position of senior vice president, international marketing. This is Larsen’s second promotion since he joined the company in 2015, where was previously VP, international marketing and international marketing director.

Before joining WBR Larsen was a senior marketing manager at Warner Music Group.

NorCal Cannabis Hires More Marketers

On the heels of the company’s CMO announcement, NorCal Cannabis announced two more marketing hires this week. Alex Lopoukhine joins as the director of brand and product marketing and Nish Nadaraja joins as director of retail marketing.

Lopoukhine comes to NorCal Cannabis from TripAdvisor, where he was most recently director of global business development, experiences. Prior to that he worked the same position at Viator, which was then purchased by TripAdvisor, and worked for three years at LivingSocial.

Nadaraja comes after a stint as an independent consultant focusing on helping brands with, “brand development, community management, social media strategy, events, consumer loyalty and content.” Prior to that, he worked for five years at Yelp as marketing and brand director, and, notably, was one of the company’s first employees.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 29. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Chief Marketing Officer Stila Cosmetics New York, NY
Chief Marketing Officer Moog Music Group Asheville, NC
Vice President, Marketing Strategy  Saks Fifth Avenue New York, NY
VP, Brand Marketing Carl’s Jr. Franklin, TN
Head of Marketing Uber London, UK
VP Marketing Analytics DISNEY New York, NY

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

Red Roof Finds Niche In Traveling Cornhole Players, Launches ESPN Campaign

Economy lodging chain Red Roof launched a global campaign that focuses on a niche pastime—the game of cornhole. The beanbag-tossing game has gained significant popularity in recent years, and it just so happens that this “Passionist” audience crosses over with Red Roof’s target demographic.

Cornhole is played by tossing beanbags into holes on an angled board on opposing sides of a field. Points are awarded based on whether the beanbags make it into the hole or rest on the board. Rules vary depending on how casually or professionally the game is played.

What started as a backyard and tailgate tradition has grown into a professional sport. During The Ocho, a one-day event for alternative sports on ESPN 2 in 2017, the Championship of Bags Cornhole competition was the most-viewed. According to Sports Media Watch, more people In the 18-49 age group watched cornhole on that day than the competing game coverage of Major League Baseball, the WNBA or the final stage of the Tour de France.

If you find that statistic surprising, you’re not alone. Red Roof used this theme for a series of 30-second TV spots that play on the idea of surprising its customers the same way. The camera takes us through crowds of people toward excited cheering. As we break through the crowd, we find people playing cornhole.

“Not what you expected? Neither is Red Roof,” says the ad.

Two thirty-second spots will air on ESPN, ESPN2, during the broadcasts of the American Cornhole League (ACL) tournaments and streamed on ESPN3 through August 11.

Red Roof also partnered with the American Cornhole Organization (ACO) to sponsor the Corny 40 Player program.

“As we continue to listen to consumers and respond quickly to their evolving interests and travel motives, Red Roof learned that this new niche of traveler who engages in fringe sports has emerged”, said Red Roof chief marketing officer, Marina MacDonald in a statement. “Through an integrated marketing program, we are catering to this growing group of cornhole players and fans who are looking for convenient and affordable lodging beyond their expectations as they travel across the country participating in and following tournaments.”

Select Red Roof properties will receive a regulation-sized cornhole set for guests to use during their stay. Guests will be encouraged to share photos on social media with hashtags #RedRoofLovesCornhole and #PassiontravelwithRedRoof.

Guests who travel for cornhole tournaments will be offered a 15 percent discount, in addition to other promotions and contests around the events.


YouTube TV Expands; Facebook Updates Ad Library

Our weekly social media news roundup helps marketers to stay on top of every social platform’s latest updates, insights, campaigns and more.

YouTube TV Service Is Now Available In Every US TV Market

YouTube TV nationwide rollout concludes in a small Montana town, officially making the service available in every TV market in the country.

Why it matters: Advertisers can now reach audiences in 210 US television markets with YouTube offering the same service at the same price to everyone in the US, which can’t be said about regular cable TV.

The details: It’s important to mention that some of the channels are not available in certain areas. Availability can be checked by zip code on the YouTube TV website.

Facebook Introduces A New Ad Library And Report

Facebook announced on Wednesday that it will catalog all ads run by all Pages, and not just ads with political affiliations.

Why it matters: The Ad Library offers insights about who saw the ad, as well as its spend and impressions and keeps ads for seven years.

The details: Ad Library updates will include: “Bringing in all active ads any Page is running—not just ads related to politics or issues—creating one place to see ads on Facebook,” “Adding more information about Pages in the Ad Library” and more.

Twitter Partners With Samba TV

Adweek reported on Thursday that Samba TV, television data and analytics company, is partnering with Twitter in the effort to help measure the social network’s effectiveness in driving tune-in.

Why it matters: This collaboration will give programmers vital information about the engagement on Twitter and tune-ins to better primetime broadcast and cable TV programming, streaming originals and sporting events.

The details: Tim Perzyk, Twitter vice president of market insights and analytics, said, “Twitter is home to the world’s most valuable audience when they’re most receptive, and that includes when they’re watching TV. As advertisers look to enrich their marketing strategies with complimentary TV and digital media buys, Samba has emerged as a key partner in helping us evaluate and improve our partner performance.”

Instagram Brings Interactivity To Its Stories Ads 

This week, Instagram introduced Interactive Stories ads.

Why it matters: Interactive Stories ads aim to help bring people closer to brands. They’ll allow businesses to be more creative and playful on their feeds in order to build better connections and even encourage people to watch longer. Thus, according to the company, in 9 out of 10 beta campaigns, the polling sticker increased 3-second video views.

The details: Some advertisers have already tested the polling sticker in ads. Dunkin’ achieved a 20 percent lower cost-per-video-view using the polling sticker, and Next Games’ polling ad drove 40 percent more app installs.

“We’re always open to testing ad products that give people a new experience and memorable touchpoint with our brand. Delivering ads in Instagram Stories with the polling sticker showcased our new product story seamlessly and encouraged participation while driving results that matter,” said Melanie Cohn, Senior Manager, Brand Stewardship at Dunkin’ Brands.

Here is how to start using Interactive Stories ads:  

  • In Ads Manager, choose Instagram Stories as your only ad placement
  • Check the box “Add an interactive poll,” where you usually upload your creative and edit your ad’s text
  • Add the polling sticker

Instagram Spotted Testing a Video Scrubbing Option

Social media code hacker, Jane Manchun Wong, caught Instagram testing video seek bar.

Why it matters: This new feature should add a new way to search through posted videos, enabling the user to find specific moments, and therefore increasing engagement with video content.

The details: Instagram already has a similar feature on IGTV, but the new video seek bar will make it easier to locate specific moments within uploaded content. It will allow seeing how far along the user is in the video, fast-forward, rewind and watch an elapsed part without having to wait for the video to restart.

Adobe, Microsoft And LinkedIn Collaborate To Boost Account-Based Marketing

LinkedIn announced in a blog post on Wednesday, a collaboration between their parent company, Microsoft and Adobe to challenge account-based marketing competitors.

Why it matters: By extending LinkedIn account-based marketing capabilities to Adobe Experience Cloud users, LinkedIn will help them identify and target the right audiences on the platform with the right content and therefore, improve the success of their campaigns.

The details: According to GeekWire, the new features combine certain data sources and provide marketers with useful information about the teams and individuals that make buying decisions. The goal of the collaboration between the companies is to build a more personalized and targeted experience for sales teams. The LinkedIn integration aims to create extensive profiles in Adobe’s Marketo Engage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for sales.

“The ability to leverage the power of data to find the right opportunities and use insights helps marketing and sales to plan their next move with a member of the buying committee,” said Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of business applications and global industry at Microsoft, in a statement. “Together with Adobe and LinkedIn, Microsoft can help to deliver an end-to-end solution that ultimately accelerates lead conversion and can create opportunities for improved servicing and better cross-sell, resulting in the higher lifetime value of the account.”

There Are Very Few Brand Deals For Creators On Snapchat 

Digiday reported that while Snap CEO Evan Spiegel promised that the app would build “more distribution and monetization” opportunities, creators are seeing a dramatic decline in the availability of brand deals and communication from Snap.

Why it matters: Could it be a sign that Snapchat is losing the fight to Instagram, TikTok and other platforms?

The details: Both brands and influencers are turning away from Snapchat. Their reasons, however, are different. For brands, it is a lack of audience insights and discoverability limitations, as noted in the Digiday story by one executive. For influencers, it’s the mysterious disappearance of branded content from their feeds.

EMarketer Predicts Reddit Crossing $100 Million Mark In 2019

According to eMarketer’s latest ad forecast, online blog platform, Reddit, is on the way to crossing the $100 million mark this year and doubling its ad revenue by 2021.

Why it matters: “Reddit’s users are tech-savvy and highly engaged, making them attractive to advertisers,” Monica Peart, director of eMarketer forecasting, said in a statement.

The details: Per the forecast, in 2019 Reddit will reach $119.0 million in net US ad revenue, giving it a 0.1 percent share of the US digital ad market. And by 2021, its revenues will more than double to $261.7 million, bumping its share to 0.2 percent.

“The company has retooled its ad offerings over the past year, which included the launch of new ad formats like autoplay in-stream video, cost-per-click, app install and ‘Top Post Takeover,’ which allows brands to have their ads appear on the site’s front page,” Peart said. “Like most of the companies for which eMarketer produces estimates, advertising is not Reddit’s only source of revenue.”

YouTube Launches Its First Ever ‘Experiential House’

On Tuesday, YouTube introduced the ‘YouTube House’ pop-up in New York, which showcases a range of different elements of focus for YouTubers and showcases the various aspects of the platform’s offerings.

Why it matters: In a blog post about the pop-up, the company said that its goal is to demonstrate that “YouTube isn’t just a place for watching random videos, but a community where people congregate for music, fitness, food, culture, and so much more.” This is likely an overall brand campaign.

The details: YouTube House features dedicated areas for YouTube TV (YouTube’s recently expanded TV-alternative offering), YouTube Gaming, virtual reality, a fitness studio, a kitchen and YouTube Music. In addition, YouTube will also offer creator merchandise for sale.

Twitter Invites The Fans Of @MLB 2019 To Choose A Featured Player Every Day

Traditionally, Twitter offers a virtual space for The Major League Baseball fans to view and discuss live video and near-real-time highlights of the games. The most exciting piece of news, though, is that this year, the fans will be able to choose which player’s at-bats will be featured live on Twitter that day.

Why it matters: The sports event and the new initiative will bring more engagement to the platform and provide great opportunities for compelling content creation.

The details: AdWeek reported that every day in the morning, starting on Opening Day and running throughout the season, @MLB will tweet a reminder for fans to choose that day’s featured hitter. Live-streamed shows on @MLB for events will also be produced, including the London Series (bitter rivals the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will face off in London Stadium June 29 and 30), the Home Run, the All-Star Game, the trade deadline and the postseason. In addition, highlights of every home run hit during the season will be posted on @MLB, for the first time ever, and special hashtag-triggered emojis for all 30 MLB teams will be available in English via @MLB and in Spanish via @LasMayores.

Thirty-Seven Percent Of Mobile Internet Traffic Worldwide Comes From YouTube

The report conducted by Sandvine reports that YouTube generates 37 percent of mobile traffic around the world.

Why it matters: This matters because of the sheer magnitude of traffic (upstream/downstream) going through YouTube.

The details: According to the report, users consume more content (per megabyte) on YouTube than on any other app. This includes social media and other video-centric platforms such as Netflix. To compare, the report revealed that Facebook generates only 8.4 percent of mobile web traffic and Snapchat–8.3 percent.

EU Approves Article 13: Controversial Copyright Law

On Tuesday, The European Parliament voted to pass Article 13, a controversial new law that will reform the ways in which copyrighted content posted online will be governed.

Why it matters: Under Article 13, all internet platforms will be liable for content uploaded by users. Some popular online services might suffer greatly from the new law. “YouTube, Facebook and Google News are some of the internet household names that will be most directly affected by this legislation,” the European Parliament said in a statement. However, memes, gifs and snippets will be protected more than ever before.

The details: Here are some notable parts of Article 13:

  • Internet platforms are liable for content that users upload
  • Some uploaded material, such as memes or GIFs, now specifically excluded from directive
  • Hyperlinks to news articles, accompanied by “individual words or very short extracts”, can be shared freely
  • Journalists must get a share of any copyright-related revenue obtained by their news publisher
  • Start-up platforms subject to lighter obligations

eMarketer Foresees Snapchat Ad Business Will Grow In 2019 

According to eMarketer’s predictions, Snapchat’s U.S. advertising business will grow at 24.3 percent this year.

Why it matters: Monica Peart, senior forecasting director at eMarketer, said, “Self-serve programmatic buying has expanded Snapchat’s reach to more advertisers, especially small and medium-sized businesses that can invest in ads at lower bid prices. However, moving the vast majority of their ad inventory into this lower cost structure has tempered earlier growth estimates.”

The details: Previously, eMarketer lowered Snapchat ad revenues forecast twice because of the company’s shift to selling ads programmatically, which negatively affected its ad prices. EMarketer expects Snapchat’s U.S. monthly user base to decline 2.8 percent this year to 77.5 million. But, they expect Snapchat to increase its worldwide monthly user base 11.3 percent to 297.7 million in 2019.

YouTube Delivers This Year’s Upfront Pitch

Digiday reported on Tuesday that YouTube is targeting TV advertisers with its 2019 upfront pitch.

Why it matters: YouTube’s main goal with this year’s upfront pitch is to convince advertisers that it can effectively compete with traditional TV. The catch, though, is the minimum spend commitment.

The details: The video platform will consider production quality and the likelihood that people will view videos on TV when selecting channels to include in its Google Preferred program, which packages the top 5 percent of YouTube channels into category-specific bundles that advertisers, Digiday reported. YouTube will also manifest its streaming TV service as a standalone inventory option and will start to roll out its free, ad-supported YouTube Originals shows.

Most Social Media Users Share Info Privately

According to a study by WeAreSocial and GlobalWebIndex, 63 percent of users share information via private messengers and so-called “dark social,” or those channels that are difficult for marketers to track.

Why it matters: If it’s harder for marketers and platforms to track user data, it’s harder to serve them relevant ads. This could be the reason Facebook is pivoting to focus on encrypted messaging.

The details: Facebook Messenger is the most popular private messenger (82 percent), followed by WhatsApp and Instagram DMs. Entertainment was the most popular subject in ‘dark social’ channels, followed by games and then clothing.

Snap Actively Pitches Ad Space To Pharmaceutical Companies 

CNBC reported that Snapchat’s owner, Snap, is currently attending pharma marketing conferences to attract pharmaceutical companies for advertising on the platform.

Why it matters: To achieve this goal, Snapchat is positioning itself as a social media platform that is friendlier to young people than Facebook and Twitter, making users more comfortable in sharing private information.

The details: In February, Snap representatives spoke at DigiPharma Connect conference, which is regularly attended by pharmaceutical companies’ digital marketing executives, including companies like Roche, Bayer and Amgen. One of Snap’s selling points was the positive culture that reigns on the platform, which might serve the companies well. Legally, pharma companies must report any adverse events about their products to federal agencies. That includes social media comments. A more relaxed atmosphere on the platform could lead to less negative comments about the product, especially if there is no space to leave a comment next to ads.

Pernod Ricard On Reddit

According to Digiday, Pernod Ricard, the alcoholic beverage conglomerate, is buying ads on Reddit with good results.

Why it matters: “Reddit is a very raw and organic platform,” said Simon de Beauregard, Pernod Ricard’s U.S. director of engagement told Digiday.

“This experience has proven that the platform could deliver extremely solid results and we now know better how to maximize its potential to offer the best seamless engaging experience to our audience, so we could test it more in the future.”

The details: Some of the important takeaways include:

  • Video ads for Absolut played automatically in subreddit forums dedicated to specific topics on both mobile and desktop versions of the site between October and December
  • Absolut targeted the ads to key audiences in subreddits on topics, such as “funny” and “LGBTQ”
  • Video completion rates were used to measure the shorter 8 to 10-second video ads (which were 2.5 times higher than Reddit’s benchmark)
  • 70 percent of the views for the shorter video ads happened on mobile

Nilla Wafers Announces The Result Of The Anniversary Social Video Campaign

The cookie brand, Nilla Wafers, announced results from the company’s last year’s 50th-anniversary campaign, dedicated to the release of lemon-flavored wafers.

Why it matters: According to the case study, the Nilla Wafers’ Facebook and Instagram campaign boosted ad recall by 32 points and reached 11.9 million users of the social networking apps from March 15-31, 2018.

The details: As a part of the campaign, vertical video ads designed to be mobile-first on Instagram Stories were served to U.S. women ages 18 to 54. The video creative showed a box of Nilla Wafers straining to contain the new cookies and then exploding to send cookies and confetti flying across the screen. Each ad showed a “shop now” call-to-action button, linking to the product website.

Jeffy Bell, partnerships manager at social video ad platform Vidmob, which helped in campaign creation, said in the case study, “Instagram Stories assets elevated the media mix by captivating attention with full-screen vertical video.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 22. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at, Madame Tussauds Offer VIP Sleepers To Promote Events Booking

Travel site has partnered with Madame Tussauds to offer VIP sleepovers in one of seven wax museum locations. The activation follows a successful Halloween promotion in which guests spent the night inside The San Francisco Dungeon.

Beginning March 28, customers can book a private one-night stay for up to four people inside a Madame Tussauds museum. The $99 “Ultimate Slumber Party with the Stars” package includes VIP entry into the museum, dinner, snacks and a breakfast basket and a goodie bag filled with and Madame Tussaud’s swag.

Guests will also be assigned a private photographer and stylist called a “selfie butler” to make sure they always look their best for photo ops. Limited tickets are available for Madame Tussauds locations in New York, Hollywood, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Orlando, Nashville and Washington D.C.

Several nights have been booked just hours after the promotion went live on Thursday.

The “Ultimate Slumber Party with the Stars” promotion comes on the heels of a Halloween promotion that ran in San Francisco. Visitors were given VIP access to the last show of the evening at The San Francisco Dungeon in Fisherman’s Wharf, then treated to ghost stories, a séance, souvenirs and breakfast.

“We’ve had an incredible partnership with Merlin Entertainment that also runs the San Francisco Dungeon,” Todd Dunlap, managing director of in the Americas told AList. “It was so successful we decided to take it national and have Madame Tussauds be bookable for overnight stays across the country for the very first time. This [activation] “ultimate sleepover” seemed like a natural home run for our consumers.”

Last year, called its Experiences portal that allows guests to pre-register local happenings once they have booked accommodations. To accommodate changing plans, consumers can book experiences and only pay once the QR code has been scanned on-site.

Travel activities, which includes tours, activities and events, is the third-largest segment in travel, according to Deloitte, accounting for 10 percent of global travel revenue. Revenue generated by travel experiences is expected to reach $183 billion by 2020.

In a self-obsessed world,’s partnership with Madame Tussauds make sense—after all, guests have been taking pictures with celebrity wax figures long before the “selfie” was even a thing.

“We know social inspiration is a big part of bookers travel decision-making process and certainly these types of experiences generate great social content,” added Dunlap. “But, we also want bookers to take action and connect them with any type of trip that might not be as Instagram worthy—whether it’s a staycation to de-stress from work, a quick trip to visit family or a weekend road trip.”


Tommy Hilfiger Taps Influencers For Adaptive Clothing Campaign

Tommy Hilfiger unveiled its Spring 2019 Adaptive clothing line, continuing an inclusive tradition that began in 2016. The campaign includes a push on social media with influential members of the disabled community including athletes and performers.

The Spring 2019 Tommy Adaptive collection features clothing designed for individuals with disabilities, for whom getting dressed can be a real challenge. One in five Americans lives with a disability, Tommy Hilfiger cites on the collection’s page.

A series of video ads have appeared across Tommy Hilfiger social channels that show disabled models living their lives and following their dreams. The videos include Mia, a small girl with Down Syndrome who is able to dress herself thanks to the collection. Other videos star Dimitry Kim, an amputee dancer, Gavin McHugh, a young surfer and actor with cerebral palsy, Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, an influencer with ALS and more.

McHugh and Spencer each have around 10,000 followers on Instagram, respectively.

Simple daily routines are something that many of us take for granted. Everyday battles like fitting a prosthetic leg into a pair of jeans, dealing with autism-related sensitivity issues or zipping a jacket with one arm create a whole market for fashion that accommodates more consumers.

The Tommy Adaptive collection looks much like the rest of the designer’s clothing, but buttons have been discreetly replaced with magnetic closures, hidden hook and loop panels adjust hems, jackets feature one-handed zippers and other adjustments.

In 2016, Tommy Hilfiger launched a disabled children’s collection that swapped buttons with hidden magnetic closures and expanded fastening necklines. The inclusive design expanded to adults with the Spring 2018 Tommy Adaptive collection, with a campaign called “Independence.”

The “Independence” campaign was directed by James Rath, who was born with ocular albinism and nystagmus. The branded short film included Paralympian gold medal track star Jeremy Campbell, autistic chef Jeremiah Josey, motivational speaker Mama Caxx and paraplegic dancer Chelsie Hill.

Other companies like Target have tried to make the fashion industry more inclusive in recent years, but Tommy Hilfiger was the first major fashion brand to take the leap. Target launched its Cat and Jack line for disabled children in 2017 and recently expanded its Universal Thread women’s line to include more disability-friendly options.

Global retail market research firm Coresight Research Coresight predicts that the global adaptive apparel market will reach $288.7 billion in 2019 and grow to $349.9 billion in 2023. In the US, the adaptive apparel market will reach $47.3 billion in 2019 and grow to $54.8 billion by 2023.