Report: US Consumers Watched More Streaming Content In Q2; Have No Patience For Ad Buffering

US consumers viewed 130 percent more hours of streaming content in Q2 2019 versus Q2 2018, according to Conviva. Among the findings, connected TVs led device category growth, video thrived on social media and buffering ads are causing a “crisis” in audience abandonment.

Conviva’s Q2 2019 State of the TV Streaming Industry report compiles data collected from streaming video applications using the company’s proprietary sensor technology. The video optimization company claims to analyze more than a trillion real-time transactions per day.

The report says that ad buffering is causing a TV advertising “crisis” because audiences are abandoning longer ads with lower quality. Seventy percent of audience abandonment occurs during an ad running between 10-20 seconds, compared to 48 percent that abandons during ads running 10 seconds or less. Fewer audiences abandoned the content during pre-roll ads compared to mid-roll.

Even small decreases in buffering result in much longer average content play times, the report states. During Q2 2019, a reduction in rebuffering ratio from the 0.79 percent average measured in 2018 to 0.46 percent in 2019 resulted in 12 percent more engagement.

Streaming activity declined in Boston, New York and San Francisco, the report observed, while Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix demonstrated the most streaming consumption. The report noted that total consumption figures have been normalized based on city population size. Conviva did not speculate as to a reason for each market’s respective growth or decline.

In terms of viewing hours, connected TV usage rose 143 percent, which the report attributed to Roku specifically. The streaming service held an overall 43 percent share of all connected TV viewing and experienced a 173 percent surge in viewing hours. Roku also accounted for roughly 54 percent of all live viewing via connected TVs during the quarter.

Social media video uploads increased during Q2 2019, including 15 percent more on Facebook and YouTube. News media experienced the most growth in average total video views, at 197 percent, while entertainment led in terms of growth of views per video at 99 percent.

Ninja’s Successful Mixer Move Shows Influencers Can (And Should) Diversify Platforms

Influencers who maintain audiences across diverse platforms are able to make business decisions that might otherwise spell disaster.

Last weekend, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a professional esports player and online personality, began streaming exclusively on Microsoft’s Mixer platform. For an influencer, the move seemed crazy. After all, he was the most popular streamer on Amazon’s Twitch platform with 14.7 million followers. Blevins even claimed to earn over half a million dollars per month on the site.

The influencer, known for his wild hair colors and skills in Epic Games’ battle royale game Fortnite, was able to not only survive the risky move to a new streaming home but thrive because Twitch was not his only outlet. Blevins maintains audiences across social media, YouTube, and offline through a line of merchandise.

“Earned media” is the value of engagements a brand (including influencers) receives across channels as a result of their marketing efforts. To help quantify what the value of those engagements is worth, a.network established the Social Index and assigned a quantifiable dollar amount for marketing gains a brand receives from a campaign or individual engagement that includes social media networks and similar digital properties.

(Editor’s note: AList is the publishing arm of Ayzenberg Group. To get up to speed on the rapid changes affecting the social media landscape, click here.)

According to estimates by a.network’s Social Index, Blevins added nearly 112,000 new followers across the three major social channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), which generated $211,268 in earned media value (EMV). This figure does not include YouTube, on which he had 22 million subscribers as of August 6.

Since Blevin’s announcement, Mixer experienced an 11 percent growth on its four major social channels, adding 50,000 new social followers. These new followers are equal to $72,241 in earned media, per Social Index.

“It’s a fascinating move which has generated great results for the Mixer brand, as they are already seeing a positive return on their investment with Ninja,” Jocelyn Harjes, director of marketing science at Ayzenberg told AList. “The Mixer social channels following growth over the past few days alone as generated nearly $75,000.”

Launched in 2016, Mixer is Microsoft’s interactive livestream platform that offers incentives to streamers and their audiences through a virtual currency called Sparks. The service, tied closely to the Xbox gaming platform, hosts weekly Mixer Matchups tournaments at Microsoft Store locations. Audiences can view and “follow” livestreams for free and subscribe to a streamer to receive exclusives for $5 per month.

As of August 6, Blevins had already become the second most followed streamer on Mixer with 706,425 followers and over one million subscribers. Blevins has generated 4.1 million views on Mixer, reached Level 42 status and earned 126,548 Sparks through his activities. He is second only to David “TheGrefg” Cánovas Martínez who has 54.3M followers.

Blevins’ swift rise on Mixer is no doubt being aided by a promotional campaign through September 30 that offers a free one-month subscription to his channel. 

Blevins has attracted multiple brand sponsors over the years from Red Bull to Electronic Arts. His rise to fame was bolstered by his esports career and the explosive popularity of Fortnite. His mainstream status has earned him guest appearances on talk shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and he became the first esports player to be featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. 

If Blevins had focused all his energy on Twitch, he would be in an entirely different position today. Influencers of all sizes should take care to nurture audiences on multiple platforms, customizing messages to each, the same way that any entrepreneur creates a professional network. That way, if opportunity strikes—or if a platform is discontinued—your audience will be happy to follow you anywhere.

IAB: US Digital Ad Revenues Reach $28.4B In Q1 2019, Highest Q1 Yet

US digital advertising revenues for Q1 2019 were the strongest first quarter on record, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reports. The landmark $28.4 billion represents an 18 percent rise over Q1 2018, which IAB attributes to the quality of digital marketing today.

The latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report figures, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), indicates a consistent climb of digital advertising revenues in the US since 2015. The data was compiled from company surveys that included online advertising revenues from web sites, commercial online services, free email providers and all other companies selling online advertising. PwC notes that it did not audit the information.

It’s no secret that digital advertising has steadily grown over the years, which can be attributed to several factors from mainstream consumer usage to more diverse ad offerings, according to the report. IAB, in particular, believes that brands are investing more because of the inherent trackability of digital advertising which allows for better consumer connections.

“The continued growth of digital ad spend is a reflection of its ability to help brands and publishers reach consumers and build meaningful one-to-one relationships,” said Sue Hogan, IAB senior vice president of research and measurement in a prepared statement. 

“Digital marketing offers brands the scale and reach they need to grow, while also providing the data they need to optimize campaigns for efficiencies. These first-party insights allow for significant connections with consumers and long-term value for both.”

IAB will compile its annual full-year report based on the first and third quarters of 2019. According to the full year 2018 report issued in May, digital advertising revenues reached a historic high of $107.5 billion in the US last year. It was the first time that digital advertising revenues surpassed $100 billion.

Out of all categories, print media was the only platform to suffer losses in ad revenue last year. Digital usage meanwhile, grew 20 percent YoY even though the digital audience only grew one percent YoY.

Brands will adopt new digital video ad formats at a higher rate in 2019, IAB predicted in its digital ad spend report, especially stories and shoppable ads. Over half of respondents—59 percent—planned to increase their spend on advanced TV (ATV) over the subsequent 12 months, with half reporting increases in OTT.

Study Finds US Consumers Balance Support For Publications And Desire To Block Ads

Many US consumers understand that free online publications are supported by advertising and would consider filtering rather than completely block ads, according to a new study by YouGov and Eyeo. 

YouGov polled 2,568 US online users in April of 2019 on behalf of Adblock Plus parent company Eyeo. Of these participants, 1,382 (54 percent) registered as having ad-blocking software installed on their digital devices. Just over half of the users that employed ad blockers did so to block “invasive or excessive forms” of advertising, YouGov found.

Free Content: Not Necessarily Free Reign For Ads

Out of all the survey participants, 71 percent acknowledged that publishers rely on advertising to keep their content free. YouGov asked users how likely they would be to turn off ad blockers if websites put up a banner asking them to. Only 11 percent said they were “very likely” to do so, compared to 53 percent that refused.

YouGov cited a recent study by PageFair that yielded similar results—74 percent of US ad-blocking users would rather leave a website when presented with an “ad blocker wall.”

Turning Off Ad Blockers: A Major Turn Off

Just because some consumers are willing to turn off ad blockers to enjoy your site doesn’t give you permission to do it for them, the study found. If consumers found out that a website was disabling their ad blocking software automatically, 83 percent said they would be “annoyed” and 61 percent said they would not return.

These findings were in line with a January 2019 study by YouGov in Britain, in which 78 percent of ad-blocking users would not return to the site, either.

Everything In Moderation

Online users were less worried about ads than they were a lack of control over them, the study suggests. Sixty percent of ad-blocking users said they would likely turn off their ad blocking tools if they could be sure of an “ad-light experience.”

Ad-blocking technology is often viewed as an “all or nothing” solution, but 60 percent of respondents did not realize that some software can filter, too. That being said, 57 percent of all survey participants said they would “happily” filter ads as opposed to total blocking.

This doesn’t mean that publishers will be let off the hook when it comes to delivering ads to consumers. A majority of all US online users surveyed (83 percent) stressed the importance of publisher transparency regarding advertising policies.

“It used to be all about blocking ads and telling advertisers how nasty those pop-up and annoying ads are, but the savvy ad-blocking user base is now very aware of the balance between ad filtering and allowing publishers to make a living from ads that have, for the most part, improved by leaps and bounds in the past 3-4 years,” said Ben Williams, director of advocacy at Eyeo in a release. “Now, it’s all about finding a sustainable internet for everyone.”

Chipotle’s TikTok #GuacDance Challenge Leads To Record Guac Orders In A Single Day

Chipotle went straight for the green audience on a popular social video app, TikTok, with its #GuacDance challenge, resulting in record-breaking video submissions and sales. The marketing initiative was built around National Avocado Day and encouraged guac lovers to show off their dance skills to Dr. Jean’s viral “Guacamole Song.” 

The campaign served both parties well, resulting in a record-setting day for Chipotle, with 800,000 plus sides of guacamole served. In addition, it was TikTok’s highest-performing branded challenge in the U.S. YouTube influencers Brent Rivera and Loren Gray helped to promote the challenge on TikTok and #GuacDance received 250,00 video submissions and 430 million video starts in a six-day run.  

According to Chipotle, to meet the demand of the avocado celebration, the company had to use an additional 7,500 cases, approximately 187,500 pounds, of avocados. 420,000 pounds of avocados were “mashed” at Chipotle just on National Avocado Day alone on July 31.

Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer of Chipotle, said in a press release, “We were blown away by the passion people have for our guac and the enthusiasm for National Avocado Day. The overwhelmingly positive responses, as seen in both our digital orders and the 430 million #GuacDance TikTok videos, confirm our fans’ real appreciation for Chipotle’s handmade guac.” 

#GuacDance is Chipotle’s second challenge on TikTok. In May, the company went down in history as the first restaurant brand to partner with TikTok for a hashtag challenge in the U.S. with its #ChipotleLidFlip. Per CNBC, #ChipotleLidFlip saw 110,000 user-generated video submissions and 104 million video starts in its first six days. 
TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to expose users to fun, engaging content and offers convenient in-app sharing tools, which is making it a new addition to the list of must-try platforms for marketing efforts.

Pinterest Revenue Jumps 62 Percent In Q2

Here is what’s been brewing in the social media this week: Pinterest shared Q2 2019 results and Facebook announced it will be open-sourcing two new algorithms to fight abuse on the platform. 

Also, YouTube will live stream Lollapalooza 2019 worldwide, Facebook published Local News Accelerator program results, TikTok partnered with Giphy and Instagram shared the major trends in food and drink in the UK and more. 

Make sure to check out our daily Social Media Roundup and subscribe to the AList newsletter and never miss out on key marketing news. 


Pinterest’s Q2 2019 Results Look Promising 

Pinterest Q2 2019 results released by the company this week showed a 62 percent YOY growth. 

Why it matters: In Q2, Pinterest reached 300 million monthly active users, who, according to a study conducted by the company, find the discovery platform, a “positive” and “inspiring” place, and therefore, makes it a key platform for visual marketing efforts.

The details: “Pinterest’s blowout quarter on the top and bottom lines is especially important in light of its post-IPO stumble in its first quarterly earnings. It’s clear that Pinterest’s ad business continues to scale through strong user growth and ongoing ARPU momentum, not to mention some signs that the international business might finally be getting off the ground,” Andrew Lipsman, a principal analyst at eMarketer, told Marketing Dive.


Facebook Aims To Make The Internet Safer With Open-Sourcing Photo- And Video-Matching Algorithms 

Facebook is now using open-source two technologies that detect identical and nearly identical photos and videos. The goal of the initiative, according to the social media giant, is to fight abuse on the platform. 

Why it matters: “These algorithms will be open-sourced on GitHub so our industry partners, smaller developers and non-profits can use them to more easily identify abusive content and share hashes—or digital fingerprints—of different types of harmful content. For those who already use their own or other content matching technology, these technologies are another layer of defense and allow hash-sharing systems to talk to each other, making the systems that much more powerful,” Facebook explains in a blog post. 

The details: The technologies, known as PDQ and TMK+PDQF, come from Facebook’s “tool box” used to detect harmful content, along with other algorithms and implementations, such as pHash, Microsoft’s PhotoDNA, aHash and dHash. The photo-matching algorithm, PDQ, was inspired by pHash, but built from the ground up as a distinct algorithm with independent software implementation. And the video-matching technology, TMK+PDQF, was developed by Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research team in cooperation with academics from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy.


YouTube Will Bring The Iconic Festival To The Viewers Worldwide 

YouTube announced it will bring the Lollapalooza 2019 music festival to millions of fans around the world. 

Why it matters: As summer music festivals heat up, marketers are experimenting with new ways to reach engaged audiences, both in-person and online. 

“There is no other platform of its kind that allows artists to connect with a global audience and share their creativity in both visual and audio formats with billions of viewers around the globe, making the world smaller and music more expansive,” YouTube said in the blog post. 

The details: The fans will be able to watch their favorite artists’ performances on  Lollapalooza’s YouTube Channel from August 1 to 4. The channel is sponsored by COVERGIRL, Warner Bros. Pictures and T-Mobile.


TikTok Brings Giphy Integration To The Platform 

TikTok is partnering with GIPHY to bring GIFs to the platform. 

Why it matters: Giphy integration will allow TikTok users to import Stickers and export TikTok memes. TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch,  “Giphy users can create and upload their own Stickers to the platform. Giphy Studios has worked with a wide array of brands and partners, such as TikTok, to create custom content, which they do on a case by case basis. TikTok worked with the creators and the Giphy Studios team to turn popular TikTok memes into GIFs. To create this content, we invited a group of creative, funny, and diverse creators, @DreaKnowBest, @Gabe, @BenoftheWeek who are excited to immortalize TikTok memes in GIF form.”

The details: The Giphy integration will be placed front and center into the app, which will enable creators to add a sticker to a post by simply clicking a Giphy button. 


Facebook News Accelerator Helps Boost Subscriptions Via Newsletters And Social Media 

Local News Subscriptions Accelerator program was launched by Facebook last year and over this time has expanded significantly. The report details that focusing on reader engagement, especially via a strong newsletter strategy, is one of the best ways to drive an increase in paying news subscribers. 

Why it matters: Per the report, “[The results] demonstrate that despite all the challenges facing the local news ecosystem, many of them detailed in a piece from The Wall Street Journal, growth and improvement are possible even within the Accelerator’s relatively short nine-month duration.”

The details: The report shows that projects funded through the Accelerator, brought tens of thousands of new digital subscriptions and hundreds of thousands of new email newsletter subscribers to the publishers. The project found that news organizations that put marketing resources into growing their email lists, building better digital testing and upgrading their digital marketing practices, including personalization are much more likely to increase their subscriber base.

You can read the full report here


UK Residents Want to Eat And Drink More Sustainably, Instagram Report 

Instagram shared a report that revolves around the trends in the most popular Insta topic in the UK–food and drink. Per the report, 39 percent of Insta users in the region say they are fans of food and/or drink related content. 

Why it matters: As food brands and retailers look to connect with consumers visually, the report notes that what foodies really want, in addition to delicious looking snaps, is a deeper connection to the food they eat and the producers who make it. 

The details: The key food and drink trends in the UK, according to Instagram, are “Honest Connections,” “Raw Fodies,” “Collectively Sustainable,” “Natural Discovery” and “Beyond Nutrition;” and the key takeaways for marketers include: 

  • “Consumers not only want companies to do their bit for society but are willing to go on a journey if a brand actively shares its values.
  • In a world of seemingly perfect looking food, people find connection through authentic food narratives.
  • As consumers take on individual responsibility to eat consciously, Instagram is becoming a place to learn sustainable eating hacks and be part of a community of change.
  • As diets become increasingly adventurous, people are exploring flavours from the natural world.
  • Functional eating is getting an exciting makeover through Instagram as consumers look to fit functional foods into their regular eating habits.”

Snapchat Introduces “Instant Create”

Snapchat shared a blog post announcing a new tool for creating vertical ads. 

Why it matters: Snapchat is looking to attract new advertisers who may not be used to creating ads in the smartphone-friendly vertical format and “Instant Create” is meant to simplify the process for as many users as possible. 

The details: To create a vertical ad, select your objective, for example, “increase web visits,” “app installs” or “app visits,” enter your business website, finalize your targeting and publish. 

Per Snapchat, “Instant Create” features include: 

  • Ability to pull in photos directly from your website to help create your ad.
  • Option to choose one of the imported images or upload a new one from your computer, allowing you to quickly set up your campaigns without having to search for a creative.
  • Streamlined ad creation flow that leverages the most popular templates.

Sex Tech Companies Unite To Push Back On Facebook’s Ad Policies 

Two sex tech startups, Unbound and Dame Products, created a website, “Approved, Not Approved” and are staging a protest outside Facebook’s headquarters in New York to bring attention to the fact that there’s a double standard when it comes to the sexualities of men versus women, trans and gender non-conforming people TechCrunch reported

Why it matters: Per TechCrunch, the companies’ goal is to bring more awareness to Facebook’s advertising guidelines that seem to favor products that cater to cisgender men and show how ads for sex toys and products targeted at men are more likely to be approved than those for women, trans or gender non-conforming people.

The details: Dame Products CEO, Alexandra Fine, told TechCrunch, “For so long, advertisements have been how we continue to reinforce the status quo of what we view as societally desirable and validating. Since we’re in a category that’s often denied, we wanted to create an experience that illuminates the disparity.”


Facebook Is In Talks With Disney, Netflix About Supporting Facebook’s New TV Chat Device 

The Information reported that Facebook approached several media companies, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Walt Disney Co. about streaming on Facebook’s new device for making video calls from televisions. 

Why it matters: The partnership will provide marketers with more opportunities to advertise on TV chat device, possibly worldwide.  

The details: The device, code-named Catalina, should be released this fall, and per The Information, will use the same video-calling technology in Facebook’s camera-equipped smart speaker, called Portal, which has a screen of its own and is designed to sit on kitchen counters and desks. The device will also come with a physical remote and streaming video services similar to other television boxes, such as Apple TV.    


Snapchat Trolls Instagram With Their New “Real Friends” Campaign 

The fact that Snapchat doesn’t have an account on Instagram didn’t stop it from starting a viral hashtag , #realfriends, on the rival’s platform. 

Why it matters: Hijacking attention via an Instagram hashtag is a clever way for Snapchat to promote its new campaign and reach a young, heavily engaged user base on the rival platform.

The details: Snap told CNBC that it partnered with “Quotefluencer” accounts on Instagram to post the ads. The ads are easily identifiable by the use of Snap’s signature yellow and ghost logo, nicknamed Ghostface Chillah.


Twitter Spotted Testing “Drag To Re-Order Attached Tweet Images”

The reverse engineering expert, Jane Manchun Wong spotted Twitter trying out a feature that would allow users to re-order multiple attached tweet images through “drag and drop.”

Why it matters: If launched, the feature would solve a major pain point of many marketers, making the process of uploading images to tweets much easier. 

The details: The feature would allow to simply drag and drop images into a tweet instead of uploading them in a specific order.


Infiniti Creates Immersive Instagram Driving Experience 

Infiniti introduced an immersive driving experience for Instagram users, which recreates the feeling of racing in a Q60 coupe. 

Why it matters: With its gamified experience, Infiniti aims to reach a young, tech-savvy audience and provoke high engagement with the content. 

The details: The experience is available in the “Stories Highlights” on Infiniti USA Instagram page. The users can pick a color for their Q60, and take a seat in a virtual Infiniti car. They are then asked to answer a series of quiz questions to select their next action in a “choose-your-own-adventure” experience. 

AList shares Social Media round-up

PBS Comes To YouTube 

PBS and PBS Kids will reportedly join YouTube. 

Why it matters: Considering that more and more people are abandoning their TV sets in favor of digital streaming, PBS might win a ton of new viewers on YouTube.

The details: PBS Chief Digital and Marketing Officer Ira Rubenstein said, “Our goal is to reach as many Americans as possible with content that educates, inspires and entertains. As a broadcaster that is rooted in communities, we appreciate YouTube’s commitment to local content, and we are pleased that this service provides audiences with access to programming that is produced and distributed by our member stations.” 


Pinterest Offers More Ways To Shop On The Platform 

Pinterest rolled out new ways to discover items and shop from personalized ideas at the top of the home feed and browsable catalogs alongside Pins.

Why it matters: The new updates make brands more visible and easily discoverable on Pinterest. Especially considering that the recent study by Neustar found that “participating retail brands saw a 2x higher return on ad spend from Pinterest than from [other] social media and a 1.3x higher return than from traditional search.”

The details: According to Pinterest, along with personalized shopping hubs at the top of the user’s home feed, an updated shopping section below Pins is added, making it easy to browse into the catalogs of brands. 


Facebook Expands Search Ads 

After relaunching search ads last year, this week Facebook expanded access to search ads, making them available to more businesses.

Why it matters: Search ads allow marketers to target people with relevant ads based on their searches.

The details: The way Facebook search ads work is when a user looks up a related term on the platform, a marketer can target that query, and have ads displayed in the results. 


LinkedIn Introduces New Tips On Choosing Ad Campaign Objectives

LinkedIn offered marketers fresh tips, explaining how to better utilize objective based advertising. 

Why it matters: According to LinkedIn, “Objective-based marketing is a complete reconfiguration of Campaign Manager, designed to keep your business objectives front-and-center at every step of the way.”

The details: The tips touch upon ways to maximize brand awareness, website visits, engagement, video views, lead generation, website conversions and other topics. 

To help marketers with setting up their target audience and improving their ad targeting process, LinkedIn also published a video tutorial.


Elon Musk To Bring Netflix And YouTube To Tesla

Elon Musk announced in a tweet that Tesla is preparing to launch in-car YouTube and Netflix streaming. 

Why it matters: The initiative might present an opportunity for marketers who advertise on YouTube to target their audience on the go. 

The details: Musk said the in-car software will support both YouTube and Netflix. He also said that the video streaming will be available only while the vehicle is stopped, however, this might change when full self-driving becomes an option. 


The Court Of Justice Of The EU Toughens Guidelines For Social Plug-Ins 

According to the press release published by Europe’s top court, sites that have Facebook “Like” buttons will be jointly responsible for the initial user data processing.  

Why it matters: At this time, Facebook’s “Like” buttons transfer personal data automatically during the page load  without any need for the users to interact with the plug-in.

The details: Per the report, “The Court makes clear that the operator of a website such as Fashion ID, as a (joint) controller in respect of certain operations involving the processing of the data of visitors to its website, such as the collection of those data and their transmission to Facebook Ireland, must provide, at the time of their collection, certain information to those visitors such as, for example, its identity and the purposes of the processing.

change how the plug-in functions to ensure no data is sent to Facebook prior to visitors being asked if they want their browsing to be tracked by the ad tech giant.” 


New Tool Lets Marketers Know When Their Competition Launches A Facebook Ad Campaign 

The new tool from PixelMe will send out email alerts to marketers when competitors launch a Facebook ad campaign, Social Media Today reported

Why it matters: Monitoring competition is a crucial part of marketing strategy and the new tool provides a major opportunity to react more quickly when a competitor releases a new Facebook campaign. 

The details: To utilize the tool, add in the URL of the Facebook Page to search for it.  

Then, by connecting to the Facebook Ad Library listing for that Page, see all the previous ads posted by a competitor.To enable alerts, click “Alert Me” and enter an email address where you want to   alerts. 

More instructions on how to use the tool can be found here


Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, August 2nd. 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 editorial@alistdaily.com.

Nike, Warner Music Group’s ADA Add VPs Of Marketing To Their Teams

This week’s marketing moves include the appointment of VP-level marketing roles at Nike Inc. and Warner Music, the resignation of Bacardi CMO Lee Applbaum, the appointment of Rosa Lee Timm as CMO of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) and WellPet welcoming a new chief marketing officer.


Nike Welcomes A New Vice President Of Marketing 

Adrienne Lofton will join the largest global athletic shoe brand as VP of marketing for North America. 

Lofton comes to Nike from Under Armour, where she served as senior vice president, Global Brand Management for almost five years, according to her LinkedIn. 

She also worked as SVP/CMO at Levi Strauss & Co., where she oversaw global advertising, public relations and creative, and previously held marketing positions at Target. 

Lofton’s appointment will take effect on August 5. 


John Franck Named Executive VP Commercial And Marketing At Warner Music Group’s ADA 

Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) announced the appointment of John Franck to the newly created role of executive vice president commercial and marketing. 

Franck recently served as CMO at 300 Entertainment and he is a former senior VP marketing and content creation at Entertainment One. 

At ADA, he will be managing the global commercial relationships, digital marketing and digital sales and strategy for Warner Music Group’s global independent distribution division.”John has built a reputation as a brilliant and creative thinker, a determined and process-oriented executive, and a warm and kind soul. His breadth of experience, along with his outstanding relationships across the digital platforms, will make him a tremendous asset as we continue to raise the bar in the services we provide our label partners and artists,” Eliah Seton, president of independent music and creator services, Warner Music Group, said about Franck’s appointment in a statement to Billboard.


Bacardi Brand Chief Marketer Lee Applbaum Resigns

Lee Applbaum is stepping down from his role as global chief marketing officer of Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose vodka, effective at the end of August.

Applbaum was most recently elevated to the position of CMO for Grey Goose vodka in August of last year and will continue in a limited capacity as a special advisor to the board of directors. He joined Patrón Spirits International in 2013, which was later acquired by Bacardi in April 2018.

“I now have the extraordinary privilege to pursue my personal passions in business and life and spend time with our only child in the handful of fleeting years before he leaves for college,” Applbaum said in a statement.

Bacardi is currently seeking to fill the position and CEO Mahesh Madhavan has clarified that the search will “focus on external candidates who bring both diverse experience and a luxury and lifestyle lens.”

Additionally, Bacardi has promoted Adrian Parker to VP of global marketing for Patrón. The brand is conducting internal interviews to fill the leadership position of integrated marketing for Grey Goose.


Communication Service For The Deaf Hires CMO

Rosa Lee Timm joins the Austin-based non-profit Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) as chief marketing officer. 

Timm will be responsible for all marketing and communications at CSD. She previously served as marketing director at Deaf Counseling, Advocacy & Referral Agency (DCARA), a role that she will continue to occupy in a part-time capacity.

In a press release announcing the hiring, Timm commented that she “looks forward to realizing CSD’s vision to accelerate social change.”


WellPet Names Chief Marketing Officer

Pet food company WellPet hired Clark Reinhard as chief marketing officer, Pet Business reports. He’s tasked with managing marketing communications and accelerating global growth for all WellPet products.

Reinhard previously served as VP at Ocean Spray and for decades at Procter & Gamble as a marketing director for CPG brands in home and health categories.


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

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, August 2. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.


Job Vacancies 

Chief Marketing OfficerSharkNinjaNeedham, MA
Vice President, Film MarketingNew York UniversityBrooklyn, NY
Chief, Marketing And Communications OfficerSCRRA/MetrolinkLos Angeles, CA
Senior Vice President of Marketing

Clear Channel OutdoorNew York, NY
Vice President of Marketing, International
RokuSan Jose, CA
Chief Marketing Officer
Founders Brewing Co.Grand Rapids, MI

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

Mastercard Recreates Globally-Acclaimed Restaurants In Multi-Sensory, Members-Only Dining Collective

Mastercard is bringing the world’s finest dining and cocktails to its flagship restaurant experience at the Spring venue in New York City, called “PRICELESS, An International Culinary Collective.” Guests will be able to enjoy an immersive multi-sensory experience at the collective’s first three restaurants, which are inspired by top restaurants in Japan, England and Tanzania.

The ongoing culinary experience will recreate the dishes and ambiance of Zanzibar’s best-kept secret, The Rock, London hotspot Lyaness and Kitakyushu sushi theatre, Teruzushi. At Mastercard’s version of The Rock, diners will get a whiff of the moss-rich ocean air, hear the ocean waves and gaze at scenery similar to the 360-degree Indian Ocean views at the original restaurant. The Lyaness at PRICELESS includes a green onyx curved bar and a light blue interior, a replica of the swanky cocktail bar, which was voted the world’s best bar in 2018. Teruzushi will feature chef Takayoshi Watanabe’s sushi creations and signature style in a 12-seat dining area where guests will hear the sound of his sword blades, a technique he uses that affects the texture of the sushi.

A highly engaging culinary experience wouldn’t be complete without a view of the city. Mastercard invites guests of the collective to Spring’s rooftop terrace, where they can indulge in small plates curated by an award-winning chef that complement signature drinks from Lyaness. 

“With PRICELESS, we are reinventing experiential dining to create a feast for all your senses by completely immersing you in the environment of these world-renowned locales. PRICELESS will serve as an ongoing destination for an exciting roster of restaurants and bars, where our cardholders can fuel their passion for food and create unforgettable moments,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard.

PRICELESS is only available to Mastercard cardholders starting July 31, where they can book a reservation via Open Table or visit the website for more information.

Mastercard is continuing its long history of experiential marketing. Launched in 2011, its Priceless Cities program gives cardholders access to exclusive dining, sports and music experiences available in 36 cities and 53 countries. 

“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,” Rajamannar told AList in an interview earlier this year.

Snickers Betting Candy Lovers Will Trade Personal Data For Chocolate Bars In Gifting Campaign

SNICKERS is launching a micro-gifting initiative called “Big Mood” to encourage fans of the candy bar to re-connect and share a laugh with a friend. The promotion lasts through September. To participate, consumers need to text BIG MOOD to 62770 or scan the quick response (QR) code on Big Mood displays in Walmart stores. Then they’ll be directed to a site where they can enter a friend or love one’s information, including phone number. In exchange for $1.65 paid by the gifter, the recipient will receive a gift card to redeem a SNICKERS Bar at any Walmart store. The slogan, “Pick a mood. Personalize it. Pay.” appears on the campaign ads. For a seamless integration, the initiative utilizes Popwallet to give participants the chance to pay via Apple Wallet and Google Pay.

To help spread the campaign’s feel-good message, SNICKERS tapped YouTube star Caleon Fox to create six comical video spots that reflect an array of sentiments including “Lovey Dovey,” “Say What Not?!” “Surprised Like Whoa,” “Whoops, Fumbled That,” “Uh-Huh Sure” and “Ferociously Hungry.” Recipients of the gifting program, in addition to receiving a gift card redeemable for a SNICKERS Bar, will receive one of the custom videos created by Fox. 

“At Mars, we want to leverage technologies that will bring the world closer together. For SNICKERS, that means giving our fans new ways to experience satisfaction. With ‘Big Mood,’ not only are they giving a candy bar that is sure to satisfy, they also are getting the satisfaction of connecting with others – and the opportunity to pay it forward with their own ‘Big Mood’ gift,” said Josh Olken, brand director, SNICKERS.

Video And Visual Marketing Are Primary Drivers Of Sales, Study Finds

The way audiences are consuming content is ever-changing, and a new study revealed that visual content is the primary driver of sales. Conducted by Blue Fountain Media, the study, “How Audiences View Content Marketing,” found that promotional videos and captioned pictures, followed by podcasts deliver the best results. 

While people still rely on email, consumers are increasingly leaving blogs and written email marketing in favor of video and picture-based offerings. In terms of moving people to buy a product or try a service, 75 percent of those surveyed ranked picture and video content the highest. 

“Businesses that master the art of producing engaging visual content on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook will reap the highest rewards,” said Elizabeth Minton, head of corporate marketing at Blue Fountain Media.

The platform that provides them with the most useful content when it comes to new products and services is YouTube, according to 33 percent of respondents, followed by Instagram for 28 percent of respondents. Participants also ranked YouTube the highest (38 percent) when asked which platform provides them with the most useful content to learn about digital trends, technology or general information.

“Good content must engage consumer interest, whether that’s through solid factual information, compelling visuals, good storytelling or humor.  Content needs to be valuable and believable to the consumer so that they associate the information and messaging with your brand. The best content delivers on both and initiates a further action, whether that’s a sale or simply a closer relationship with the business,” added Minton

While a recent Vibes study showed that consumers prefer mobile messaging notifications from brands to access deals, Blue Fountain Media’s findings show that 68 percent of consumers still sign up for newsletters for the sole purpose of accessing discounts. Email subscription behavior, however, is hot and cold. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they subscribe to between one and nine newsletters yet more than half said they don’t like receiving information from the company. 

To leverage these preferences, advertisers need to put resources and time into crafting compelling headlines for newsletters as 55 percent said they screen headlines to decide if they’ll read more.

Here’s what marketers should keep in mind when creating marketing content: make it creative and snappy. Why? The biggest issue with content today, the data shows, is that it’s either too commercial, too long or too boring. Fifty-eight percent of those polled said content marketing is too commercial and 48 percent said it’s too long, too boring and too basic. In addition to the quality of their content marketing, marketers should also be mindful of the number of ads being delivered as 58 percent said they feel hounded by ads and content. 

Survey methodology: Blue Fountain Media recently polled over 1,000 internet consumers, aged 18-55, and asked them about their content marketing preferences via an online survey.