TikTok Hits A Record 113 Million Downloads

This week in social media news, TikTok hits 113 million downloads while Facebook is testing a new option that would allow the cross-posting of Facebook Stories to Instagram.

TikTok Hits Record Number Of Downloads In February

TikTok was downloaded by nearly 113 million people worldwide, marking a record number of downloads for the platform last month.

Why it matters:
Not only did TikTok hit a record number of downloads, the platform also saw its “highest-ever monthly user spending in February, with the $50.4 million it generated equalling a 784.2 percent Y/Y increase,” making TikTok the third highest-grossing non-game app worldwide for February behind Tinder and YouTube.

The details: February was the TikTok’s best month ever “for both installs and revenue,” according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, showing that ByteDance has what it takes to compete with other apps.

Snapchat Releases Lens Web Builder For AR Ads 

Snapchat’s Lens Web Builder includes self-serve software tools that marketers can use to create high-quality AR content without any specialized expertise. The difference between Lens Web Builder and Snapchat’s Lens Studio is that the latter is for 3D developers who have more specialized technical expertise. 

Why it matters: Increasing access to AR ad content gives brands with smaller budgets a chance to beef up their interactive content, which up until recently only companies with bigger ad budgets could afford to experiment with.

The details: Marketers can browse Lens Web Builder’s library of templates, 3D objects and animations without paying creative fees, though minimum campaign spending requirements still apply. 

All Chinese Internet Users Will Be Social Network Users By 2023

The number of social network users in China is slowing, however, there will be at least 30 million more of them annually between 2020-2023, according to eMarketer.

Why it matters: Despite China blocking popular Western social media apps like Instagram and Facebook due to censorship, China’s digital ecosystem has exploded due in part to the popularity of apps including WeChat, Douyin and Sina Weibo.

The details: The amount of social network users in China will increase by 4.8 percent to 860 million in 2020. By 2023, 97 percent of internet users will be social network users. Still, penetration will be 62 percent in 2020 due to just 62 percent of the population having access to the internet. eMarketer predicts this number will reach 71 percent by 2023, as a result of improved telecommunication in rural areas. In 2019, over half of Chinese internet users ages 34 and younger were social network users while those 55 and older accounted for just 13 percent. With increased digitization, that figure will grow to 17 percent by 2023.

Twitch Partners With Comscore On Audience Measurement For Advertisers

According to an announcement from Comscore, the partnership will make available third-party data and insights into Twitch’s audiences in the US and Canada, giving advertisers a better understanding of Twitch audience behavior.

Why it matters: Twitch’s growing audience—which is expected to exceed 40 million US viewers by 2021—creates new opportunities for advertisers, who, with detailed Twitch audience insight, can make strategic campaign moves and create better ad placements.

The details: Comscore will measure live streaming video consumption habits including total view across desktops, smartphones and tablets as well as person-level video audience measurement across digital content and ads. The companies have plans to launch the audience reporting in additional marketers and roll out of category and genre-level reporting.

TikTok To Open A Transparency Facility In Los Angeles Office

TikTok is set to open a transparency center in May where outside experts from around the world can view its content moderation practices and policies, the company announced in a blog post.

Why it matters: TikTok has come under fire for its access to US user data and censoring content related to the Chinese government. A transparency center that allows experts to examine its day-to-day operations relating to its trust and safety practices could combat those concerns.

The details: Per TikTok, at the center experts can see “how our trained content moderators apply those Guidelines to review the technology-based actions that are escalated to them, and to identify additional potential violations that the technology may miss, how users and creators are able to bring concerns to our attention and how those are handled [and] ultimately, how the content that is allowed on the platform aligns with our Guidelines.” Experts will also be able to provide “meaningful feedback” on TikTok’s practices. 

Engagement Rates Decreased On Instagram, New Report Finds

RivalIQ released its Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, which analyzed 2,100 of the most engaging brands and over 5 million posts, tweets and updates to understand their success on social and how engagement on different social platforms has changed.

Why it matters: It’s interesting to note that Facebook and Twitter’s engagement is stagnant and influencers saw above average performance on Instagram despite losing 25 percent of their engagement on the channel this year.

The details: Facebook’s engagement stayed flat this year while brands posted less on the platform by about 14 percent. Engagement on Instagram took a hit, with the all-industry median decreasing by 23 percent. Posting frequency on Instagram declined by five percent. Twitter’s engagement remained consistent for the third consecutive year, with tweeting frequency declining about 10 percent. 

Alcohol brands saw the most success on Instagram in terms of posting frequency and engagement rate. Though influencers’ Instagram engagement dipped, their Facebook engagement increased thanks to a 10 percent increase in photo engagement.

Facebook Invites Users To Test Social Virtual Reality App Horizon

According to UploadVR Facebook is now sending out invites to a closed alpha program for Horizon, the company’s VR multiplayer app which was announced last year at Oculus Connect 6 conference and is scheduled to launch for Quest and Rift.

Why it matters: Facebook is doubling down on VR in response to decreased posting and user engagement on the platform. Horizon could mean more opportunity for marketers to display ads on virtual billboards and other establishments within the game.  

The details: A Reddit user shared a screenshot of the invite email Facebook sent them, which shows that the program will launch later this month and participation will require users to sign an NDA. Facebook Horizon gives users the ability to design their own avatars and travel through virtual locales.

Google Examines Viewing Habits Via Worldwide Survey

In a company blog, Google released the findings of a survey it conducted that asked 12,000 people worldwide what they watched in the last 24 hours and why.

Why it matters: The data shows that 46 percent of global viewers use video to learn something new, reflecting video’s shift from an awareness-only medium to a tool for learning and exploring personal passions. 

The details: A majority (70 percent) of respondents said their moods dictate their content choices. Half of Gen Z and millennials said they “don’t know how they’d get through life” without video. 

Global respondents cited videos’ ability to help them relax and unwind as the top reason for watching what they watched, followed by teaching them something new and allowing them to dig deeper into their interests. 

Lower on the list were reasons such as the content was shown on a network or platform they like, the video’s high production quality and the appearance of famous actors—indicating that traditional television-era markers are less important than they once were. 

Facebook Tests ‘Stories’ Cross-Posting To Instagram

Facebook is testing a new option that allows users on their platform to cross-post their Stories to Instagram.

Why it matters
: This could ease cross-posting between the two platforms. While cross-posting from Instagram to Facebook has been possible, this new option to do the opposite is a first.

The details: Jane Manchun Wong shared details on the new option, which will appear in your Facebook Stories visibility options and is activated with a toggle to switch on cross-posting of Facebook Stories to Instagram.

Pinterest Uses Custom Search Results To Hedge Against Coronavirus Misinformation

Pinterest is guiding users searching for coronavirus on the platform toward a “custom search experience” to combat coronavirus misinformation, reports The Verge.

Why it matters: The continuing conversation around the spread of misinformation highlights questions over the editorial role of advertising platforms.

The details: Pinterest has been working with the World Health Organization over the past year to ensure Pinners are being served “facts about critical health topics, from the new coronavirus to vaccines,” according to a Pinterest spokesperson. They have done similarly for searches around vaccines, highlighting results underpinned by scientific scrutiny.

Facebook Launches Community Accelerator Program

Facebook will fund and train selected community leaders on mentorship as part of its months-long Community Accelerator program.

Why it matters: Facebook’s community initiative indicates they’re willing to fund programs that positively impact their communities from the ground up.

The details: According to the report from CNET, “The Community Accelerator is a six-month program that will provide training, funding and mentorship to selected community leaders.” Facebook will award $3 million in total to up to 80 participants in the program, which is part of the Facebook Leadership Program. Interested parties can sign up here.

Reddit Rolls Out Trending Takeovers Ad Format

Reddit rolled out a new ad product called Trending Takeovers, a feature only available through direct buys that lets brands buy 24 hours of prominent placement on its popular feed and within its search tab. 

Why it matters: Paying to trend on Reddit will give brands added visibility among the platform’s niche communities and 430 million unique monthly visitors. 

The details: Trending Takeovers was in beta testing for six months with 15 companies including Adobe, Spotify and Method before Reddit introduced it. In testing, these brands saw a click-through rate around five percent, equating to two times the industry average. Redditors who click on a promoted trend are directed to a landing page with content from the brand above organic related content from various subreddits. Adobe and Samsung were the first brands to try the new ad format. 

Australia Sues Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica 

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) claims that the personal data of 311,127 Australian Facebook users were disclosed to the This is Your Digital Life app for purposes other than for which it was collected, which is in breach of Australia’s Privacy Act of 1988.

Why it matters: After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which broke in 2018, Facebook shares dipped to 11.4 percent and the company lost $60 billion in value only to then be slapped with a fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for $5 billion.

The details: In a statement, Australia’s information and privacy commissioner said that users’ data were exposed and used for purposes including political profiling. Australia’s Privacy Act imposes a civil penalty of up to $1,700,000 per violation. Given the OAIC believes 311,074 users were affected, Facebook could end up having to pay up to $529 billion. 

FTC Settles With Teami For $1 Million Settlement Over Instagram Ads

In a statement, the FTC says that detox tea maker Teami misled consumers and didn’t adequately disclose payments regarding influencer-led promotions of its 30 day detox pack. The FTC also sent warning letters to influencers including Cardi B for not disclosing paid endorsements.

Why it matters: In February, the FTC voted to seek public comment on whether it should create new, stricter requirements and penalties for social media platforms and advertisers. The Teami settlement is in accordance with the FTC’s goal of cracking down on mislabeled influencer posts. 

The details: The settlement comes after Teami was first warned by the FTC in 2018 about not burying disclosures under the “more” button on Instagram to see that posts were endorsed. The FTC imposed a $15.2 million judgment but suspended it after Teami was unable to pay.

Apple Enables Push Notification Advertising 

9to5Mac reported that push notifications can be used for marketing purposes given the user authorizes it, as noted in Apple’s updated App Store guidelines. Apple is also requiring app developers to use its official application programming interface (API) to collect customer reviews that appear in the App Store. Lastly, Apple’s new rule requires app developers that use third-party or social login services also offer “Sign In with Apple” by April 30.

Why it matters: Apple has long banned apps from using push notification ads, but the update comes after Apple violated its own rules when it sent out push notifications that read like ads.  

The details: Push notification ads will benefit mobile marketers looking to reach consumers via targeted ads on Apple devices. However, requiring that app developers offer a “Sign In with Apple” could affect data collection for improved ad targeting.

Twitter Commits To Buying Back $2 Billion Worth Of Stock 

According to a press release, Twitter has agreed to buy back $2 billion worth of stock over time and has welcomed two new board members, one from Silver Lake—which will make a $1 billion investment in Twitter—and another from Elliott Management.

Why it matters: The decisions follows Elliott Management’s efforts to oust Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for not being able to devote his full attention to Twitter given he also runs Square and plans to spend time in Africa this year to understand its fintech revolution.

The details: According to the release, “The Board has formed an independent five-person committee that will build on the Board’s regular evaluation of Twitter’s leadership structure . . . The Committee will also evaluate the CEO succession plan with the CEO and make recommendations consistent with corporate governance best practices with respect to the elimination of the Company’s staggered board.”

Facebook Expands Political Ad Transparency Measures To 32 Regions

In June 2019, Facebook rolled out its ad transparency tools worldwide, enabling marketers to become authorized to run political ads, place “Paid for by” disclaimers on ads and enter ads in the Ad Library for seven years. Now it’s expanding this requirement in 32 additional countries such as Mexico, Chile, Indonesia and Japan. 

Why it matters: The update will give marketers more regional insights about how much political parties are spending on Facebook ads in their region as well as increase transparency on how Facebook is being used for campaigning.

The details: Expansion of the ad transparency measures will start in mid-March, bringing the total count of regions where it’s required to 89.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 13. 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.

Pizza Hut, IKEA Dish Up Special-Edition Pizza And Table

Pizza Hut Hong Kong and IKEA are dishing up a special-edition pizza topped with IKEA’s popular meatballs and promoting the pie with a life-size version of a pizza saver. Dubbed Säva, the white circular table has three legs and its top features the Pizza Hut logo.

Pizza Hut is selling the tables in store as add-on specials to customers’ meatball pizza orders. Like all IKEA furniture, the table must be assembled. Its five parts are packaged in an actual pizza box, on which there’s a step-by-step animation of assembly instructions, which hints at what to do after you’ve finished building: call Pizza Hut and order the new meatball pizza. 

The companies announced the pizza-inspired furniture in two social media posts on their respective channels, Facebook and Instagram. One post shows a Pizza Hut delivery guy asleep at an IKEA store and the other shows an executive’s “aha moment” when he came up with the meatball pizza.

The tongue-in-cheek approach worked: three days after, Pizza Hut saw 67 percent more units sold than expected. According to Pizza Hut’s Q4 2019 earnings report, China is the company’s second-largest market after the US and accounts for 17 percent of sales. 

The campaign comes as Pizza Hut struggles to redeem itself after Domino’s stole the pie spotlight in 2017—Pizza Hut’s same-store sales in the US declined in three of the last four years including a one percent fall in 2019. Now its parent company Yum Brands is counting on former KFC executives George Felix, Pizza Hut’s new chief marketing officer, and David Graves, new chief brand officer, to make a turnaround. Under Felix and Graves, KFC sales grew for 13 consecutive quarters through Q3 of 2017.

Wingstop Pays Fans To Advertise For Them In Lieu Of OOH Budget

Wingstop shifted its national out-of-home (OOH) budget for the first half of 2020 to a merch campaign that, through free sweatshirts, aims to turn fans into walking Wingstop billboards. 

The chicken wing chain is giving away a limited quantity of the branded hoodies on a microsite called WingstopWearableBillboards.com and Venmoing $10 to anyone who posts a picture of them wearing it in public on Instagram with the hashtag #ThisIsAnAdForWingstop. 


Fans can earn bonus prizes like a $100 gift card for extra-creative user-generated content (UGC) and posts that go viral.

The wearable billboards include three sweatshirts featuring a tagline and an image of the brand’s wings, mobile app and/or takeout bag. The first tagline reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop,” the second reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop delivery” and the third reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop boneless.” Displaying the brand’s signature takeout bag on all three sweatshirts was especially important given 75 percent of the chain’s business is takeout.

Wingstop teased the arrival of the merch on its Twitter days before launching. Four hours after the microsite went live, Wingstop ran out of sweatshirts and tweeted, “Keep up with what our fans do while wearing them, you never know where this flavor is gonna show up next.”

According to Wingstop, the move to ditch OOH for wearable billboards follows multiple requests over the years from fans for the brand to sponsor them. The brand has maintained its cool, relevant reputation among millennials thanks to rapper Rick Ross, who owns several Wingstop locations and regularly promotes the brand in his songs, on social media and at events where he almost always has a Wingstop cup in his hands.

In Q4 2019, Wingstop’s digital sales increased to 39 percent and total revenue grew to $53.2 million, compared to $40.5 million in the same quarter the previous year. The earnings reflect the brand’s 16th consecutive year of positive same store sales growth.

Buffalo Wild Wings Transforms Restaurant Into March Madness B&B

Buffalo Wild Wings is building a bed and breakfast called BnB-Dubs inside the sports bar of its Chicago Lincoln Park restaurant to celebrate March Madness. The restaurant’s goal is to give four fans the chance to experience the game-day-themed pop-up, and “literally live at the bar.” 

Amenities of Bnb-Dubs include bunk beds, a mini basketball court, built-in flat screens, an on-call waitstaff and in-room dining. This includes the brand’s new brisket lineup, which it’s rolling out to all 1,250 locations this month. Guests can also wear bespoke loungewear like the custom varsity jacket-bathrobe made from pleather and terry plus matching signature slides. Buffalo Wild Wings will also provide guests with single serve-shower wet wipes infused with essential oils like “chamomile, castor and courage.”

To enter to win a stay at Buffalo Wild Wings’s pop-up, fans must record a video proving why they’re the ultimate March Madness fan, then post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #BnBDubsContest and tag a friend. Submissions are open now through March 12. Buffalo Wild Wings will notify two winners (who can each take a friend) via direct message on Selection Sunday. The microsite for the pop-up explains, “Throughout the contest period, check your DMs to see if our esteemed panel of sports bar analysts have selected you and your buddy to go dancin’ at BnB-Dubs.”

Overnight experiential activations are all the rage these days—Booking.com has been known to host sleepover stays around the latest national holidays and films. Oscar Mayer turned its Wienermobile into an Airbnb for rent. Mattel and Airbnb transformed a Malibu home into a Barbie Dreamhouse. But for Buffalo Wild Wings, the move is unexpected. In late 2019, hiring a new agency for creative signaled the restaurant’s first step toward a revamped marketing approach. 

Ever since, it’s been making efforts to appeal to sports’ fans. In September 2019, Buffalo Wild Wings inked a multiyear deal with MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture Roar Digital. The partnership launched a free, mobile football game called Picks and Props, which mimics sports betting and rewards winners via trips. 

Shortly after the announcement of their partnership, the companies launched a test program in New Jersey that gives customers inside the restaurant exclusive perks on the BetMGM app. 

Jimmy John’s Names New Chief Marketing Officer

This week in marketing leadership moves, Jimmy John’s, Arby’s and AccuWeather name CMOs, Showtime Networks hires two new key marketers and more.

Jimmy John’s Selects Darin Dugan As CMO

Inspire Brands announced that sandwich chain Jimmy John’s has hired Darin Dugan as chief marketing officer. 

Dugan previously served as VP of marketing at SONIC Drive-In, which is also part of the Inspire Brands portfolio (including Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco).

According to the announcement, Dugan will be in charge of overseeing “brand marketing and planning, menu and new product development, advertising and digital–which includes media, as well as its loyalty and CRM programs.”

Michelle Harmon-Madsen Tapped By AccuWeather For CMO Role

AccuWeather has reprised the position of chief marketing officer after doing away with it one year prior, reports Adweek. Michelle Harmon-Madsen has been selected for the position and will be working on opening up new brand partnership opportunities for the weather-based media company.

Harmon-Madsen most recently served as president of ShopperX Lab, and prior to that was SVP of brand partnerships at FreshDirect.

Christopher Catchpoole Appointed To CMO At Compare The Market

CMO reports that Christopher Catchpoole has been made the permanent chief marketing officer for Compare The Market. He has been serving as CMO in an acting capacity after the departure of chief marketer Jenny Williams in 2019.

Catchpoole has been with Compare The Market since 2017, when he served as GM of digital.

Ex-TruTV & Netflix Marketers Joins Showtime Networks

Showtime Networks has hired former TruTV marketer Puja Vohra to serve as EVP of marketing and strategy for the network, which includes channels Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix. 

Adweek reports that Showtime Networks also tapped Garrett Wagner, former director of global creative marketing at Netflix, as SVP, ECD.

Both roles will report to Michael Engleman, CMO of Showtime Networks. Engleman joined last July.

Nicole Sparshott Named Unilever’s Australia, New Zealand Chief

CMO reports that Nicole Sparshott, CEO of Unilever-owned T2, has a new position as Unilever’s new chief for Australia and New Zealand. She previously held positions at Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Company.

Marco’s Pizza Promotes CMO To Chief Experience Officer

Pizza Marketplace reports that pizza brand Marco’s has promoted its former VP and chief marketing officer. Steve Seyferth, who’s background includes more than 30 years of experience at brands including Domino’s, General Mills, Kraft, Coors, Gatorade and Ford Motor Company.

His new position at Marco’s Pizza is SVP and chief experience officer.

Arby’s Names New CMO

Arby’s announced the appointment of Patrick Schwing as chief marketing officer today.

Patrick’s past roles include 16 years of marketing experience from Procter & Gamble. Arby’s president Jim Taylor noted that the brand is “excited to have [Schwing] take the reins as CMO. His extensive experience in brand building, innovation, digital marketing and organizational leadership will be integral in leading Arby’s to its next phase of growth.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 6. 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 

VP Of Marketing OperationsCalifia FarmsLos Angeles, CA
Head Of Media, Digital Marketing And CommunityCalibraMenlo Park, CA
SVP, Integrated MarketingZillow GroupPasadena, CA
Head Of MarketingAspyr Media, Inc.  Austin, TX
Chief Marketing OfficerNPRWashington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

KIND Supports Equal Legal Rights Via Bot

Timed for International Women’s Day, KIND is launching a bot that lets Americans text their support for the Equal Right Amendment’s (ERA) adoption to state seniors. In its press release, KIND cited public poll results that show 80 percent Americans mistakenly believe that women and men have equal rights. 

Complementing the EQUALITY Bot is a new limited-edition KIND EQUALITY bar that supports gender equality and features colors of the women’s suffrage movement—white, purple and gold. KIND will sell the bar exclusively on its website starting March 3 through the end of the month, while supplies last.

A minimum of $10,000 of the proceeds from the bar will go to the Alice Paul Institute (API), a nonprofit organization advancing gender equality though public education on the ERA and leadership development for young girls.

The EQUALITY Bot, which KIND created with Resistbot, a free service that streamlines communication between Americans and elected state officials via text messages, is meant to bring attention to the brand’s collective petition to increase the likelihood that the ERA will enter the US Constitution. To sign it, American can text “Pass the ERA” to 50409 through the month of March.

KIND is also donating $1 to API and up to $20,000 when anyone publicly shares their petition signature on Twitter and tags @KINDSnacks, by March 31.
A Women’s Day-themed push for equal legal rights aligns with KIND’s brand purpose, which is rooted in acts of altruism. In summer 2019, KIND launched a multi-channel campaign called “Be Kind to Yourself” with a new brand platform that spotlights how people make compromises when it comes to making healthy choices amid busy schedules. Creative included a 30-second spot that calls out Clif’s use of brown rice syrup and ran on television, social and digital. The video amassed nearly 13 million views since it was posted on the brand’s YouTube in June.

Hinge Will Shell Out Up To $25,000 To Users Who Go On Dates

The dating app “designed to be deleted,” better known as Hinge, is giving away $100 Visa gift cards to members who stay off the app for 24 hours to go on a date.

For National Day of Unplugging on March 6, Hinge will award people in the US who pause their accounts for 24 hours from 4 p.m. ET March 6 to 4 p.m. ET March 7, and go on a Hinge date. Users must prove that they actually went on the date by filling out a “We Met” survey on a microsite unplugwithhinge.com that asks for their email and a brief description of the date. 

Hinge is giving 250 users the chance to claim a gift card, on a first-come, first-serve basis, which means the brand is willing to shell out up to $25,000.

The activation is based on a brand survey in which 80 percent of Hinge members said they’d benefit from less screen time, up from 77 percent in 2019.

Hinge took a similar approach for National Day of Unplugging last year when it offered free drinks at four cocktail bars across the country for a one-day event. Those who deactivated the “Discover” feature of their app were invited to one of four bars owned by Freehand Hotel Group in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Miami. Hinge gave each attendees tickets for two free drinks. Those who didn’t live in one of the four areas were encouraged to enter the brand’s “dream date” sweepstakes, valued up to $1,000.

Hinge’s campaign is another example of how brands are leveraging promotional giveaways to personalize user experiences and boost brand awareness. In summer 2019, L.L. Bean partnered with Uber to give US consumers $15 Uber vouchers in hopes they’d visit the brand’s outdoor campsite pop-up. Also last year, CBD seller brand Recess sent $3 to users’ Venmo accounts who mentioned the brand on Instagram between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In February 2019, Match Group acquired Hinge, adding to its portfolio of dating apps OkCupid, Tinder and Plenty of Fish. Since the acquisition, the company has increased its investment in Hinge to position it as the app for those who want to be in a serious relationship. Hinge downloads grew four times on a year-over-year basis in Q4 2018 and by 10 times in the UK, TechCrunch reported. Hinge’s top markets are New York and London.

According to Sensor Tower, Hinge has been downloaded 500,000 times worldwide in January 2020 and to date a total of 4.2 million times in the US and 5.5 million times worldwide.

Brands Celebrate International Women’s Day Through Video And Fashion

March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD) and brands are voicing their support for the event loud and clear through pay-it-forward activations and limited-edition collections highlighting this year’s #EachforEqual theme, which is rooted in the belief that each of us can help create a gender-equal world.

Here are some of our favorites.

Net-a-Porter Enlists Designers To Internet Women’s Empowerment Via Graphic Tees

According to WWD, Net-a-Porter is launching 20 exclusive T-shirts in honor of IWD, created by 20 brands and designers including Stella McCartney, Charlotte Tilbury, Isabel Marant, Jimmy Choo and others. Each T-shirt features designers’ personal interpretations of women’s empowerment and strength. Jimmy Choo’s shirt says, “Choos” women while McCartney’s embraces women joining forces to support saving the earth. T-shirts range from $52-$295.

Ugg Launches #POWEREDBYHER Campaign, Video Series

Ugg is launching a new global campaign with #HERproject called #POWEREDBYHER in support of women in the workplace. The brand created a video series starring artist Claire Tabouret and three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn, in which the women are wearing Ugg’s Fluff Yeah sheepskin sandal and LA Cloud Low sneaker while discussing their definition of success and the challenges they faced. On March 5, Ugg is set to host a panel discussion at the brand’s San Francisco store with its president Andrea O’Donnell, Tabouret, Crenn, Zoe Latta and Eckhaus Lotta, moderated by Harper’s Bazaar

The North Face Creates T-Shirts Created And Marketed By All-Female Team

The North Face called on an all-female team to design, manufacture and market its latest range featuring limited-edition T-shirts and tote bags in IWD colors of green, purple and white. The line will be the first-ever to be created at Jerash Garment Factory, an all-female factory in Jordan founded by Oryana Awaisheh that has provided over 500 jobs for women and families.

Banana Republic Creates Video Series Featuring Boundary Breakers 

Banana Republic released a multi-channel campaign called “WORK WHERE?” that includes a montage of videos and images showing boundary breakers to reflect the changing landscape of modern work. On Instagram Banana Republic will give away products that feature phrases from Chinaka Hodge’s spoken-word piece. In addition, the brand is donating $100,000 to the CARE non-profit, which works to fight poverty and advance women and girls worldwide.

Reebok Revives “It’s A Man’s World” Sneaker Collection

This year, Reebok is bringing back its “It’s A Man’s World” collection, which debuted last year and is inspired by the brand’s throwback “It’s A Woman’s World” ad campaign from 2001. The collection includes five of the brand’s sneaker styles for sale featuring the words “It’s A Man’s World” in bold letters with a strikethrough. The brand also launched five limited-edition T-shirts in the same vein.

Shapermint Adds Equal Sign To Signature Logo

Shapermint is transforming the pink squiggly lines in its signature logo to an equal sign to express its support of this year’s IWD theme. From March 4-9, the brand’s site and social media platforms will feature the new logo and mark. Shapermint will also run a campaign across social and its owned channels celebrating women across generations and backgrounds striking an equal sign pose using their forearms.

Old Navy, Gap Launch Limited-Edition Shirts

Old Navy has launching graphic T-shirts that say “she” on them in stores and online. It will also make a donation on behalf of six female employees who the company is recognizing through its International Women’s (Every) Day campaign for inspiring their communities.

Gap will also debut GapFit Breathe tops designed by Rebecca Alexander and Hannah Corderman.

Pandora, UNICEF Create Charm For Change

Jewelry brand Pandora and UNICEF partnered to create sterling silver charms called Charm for Change, available in-store starting March 5, with £12 from every sale going directly to UNICEF. Together with BBC Radio 1, Pandora is also hosting a concert in London on March 5 to celebrate empowering female songs from throughout the years.

Foreo Pays Good Skin Forward

Foreo is asking women in the UK to pay it forward for an activation that involves Foreo gifting its skin device to every person who receives a nomination from a friend or family. Participants must nominate a woman who had a major impact on their life. In return, Foreo will give the nominee a LUNA mini 2 device.

JCPenney’s Top Marketer Resigns After Less Than A Year

This week in marketing leadership moves, JCPenney’s loses their chief customer officer, Hulu’s chief marketing officer is elevated to president, Bacardi Limited and Dave & Buster’s bring on new CMOs and more.

JCPenney Cycles Through Third CCO In Less Than Five Years

Adweek reports that Shawn Gensch has resigned from his post as chief customer officer for JCPenney. He was the third CCO, the top marketing position with the department store brand, in a span of five years. 

The announcement comes on the heels of several VP appointments to the marketing team, including Jill Feldman, VP of marketing, Roger Worak, VP of customer engagement and insights, Dan Matarelli, VP of digital marketing and Robin Beauthin, VP of creative marketing.

No word yet on Gensch’s replacement.

SodaStream USA Names Matt Kahn New CMO

SodaStream’s U.S. leadership team has a new head marketer as Matt Kahn joins the brand as its first-ever chief marketing officer, according to HomeWorld Business.

Kahn’s previous positions include marketing leadership roles at Glacéau and Heineken.

Cigna Names Kristen Lauria Global CMO

Kristen Lauria has been appointed as global CMO for Cigna, AIThority reports.

Lauria’s new position, which situates her as the overseer of Cigna’s global marketing strategies, takes effect on March 23rd. She was most recently GM of IBM Watson Media and The Weather Company Solutions and had been with IBM for the past 17 years.

Hulu Promotes Marketing Chief Kelly Campbell To President

Kelly Campbell has been promoted from her position as chief marketing officer to president of streaming service Hulu, according to Adweek. The promotion is effective immediately and no replacement has been named for the open CMO spot vacated by Campbell.

The promotion comes one month after the departure of Hulu CEO Randy Freer.

Milly Preston Joins Excel Esports As Head Of Marketing

Milly Preston joins British esports organization Excel Esports as head of marketing, according to Esports Insider. She will be taking the “lead role in leveraging Excel’s growing commercial brand partnership portfolio,” according to the announcement.

Bacardi Names Kathy Parker As CMO For Patrón, Grey Goose

Bacardi Limited named Kathy Parker as CMO for PATRÓN and GREY GOOSE vodka. Previously, Parker served in a variety of senior marketing roles at Diageo, Unilever and Guinness. Most recently, she was SVP for Global Premium Rums, Gins and Portfolio Scotch Whiskey brands at Diageo. 

Dave & Buster’s Brings On New Senior VP, CMO

According to Restaurant Business, Dave & Buster’s announced Brandon Coleman III as its SVP and CMO. Coleman was previously president of Del Frisco’s Grille and has also worked as chief marketing officer of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. He succeeds Sean Gleason, who held the post for 11 years.

Kantar CEO Eric Salama Makes Quick Exit 

After 17 years of leading market research business, Kantar CEO Eric Salama has left the company, according to PR Week. At the close of 2019, Kantar announced that Salama would leave his post, however, his departure was unexpected given that Kantar said Salama would remain in his CEO post throughout the search for a successor.

Tribeca Enterprises Appoints Rachel Noonan To Marketing And Communications VP

Rachel Noonan, who has led marketing and audience development for The Toronto International Film Festival, Warner Bros, Samsung and Microsoft, has been named VP of marketing and communications of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 28. 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 

VP Of Marketing Operations Califia Farms Los Angeles, CA
Head Of Media, Digital Marketing And Community Calibra Menlo Park, CA
SVP, Integrated Marketing Zillow Group Pasadena, CA
Head Of Marketing Aspyr Media, Inc.   Austin, TX
Chief Marketing Officer NPR Washington D.C.

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

What We’re Reading–February 17th

We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of February 17th.

Are You Using Your Data, Or Just Collecting It?
Harvard Business Review

HBR examines the underlying psychological and cognitive dissonances keeping you from using your data properly, referencing the Gambler’s Fallacy and the concept of “flashbulb memories” to dissuade you from trusting your gut over analytics.

Why it matters: In essence, marketers will remember major successes when taking big chances over minor successes that are won through less risky betting and a deeper search for the underlying odds. That’s a bias that needs to be counterbalanced by using data for business intelligence.

The Importance Of Talent And Culture In Tech-Enabled Transformations
McKinsey & Company

A solution-oriented approach to survey results that point to building culture and acquiring talent as major barriers to meeting digital priorities.

Why it matters
: “Building the talent and culture required to activate the benefits of tech-enabled transformations requires a fundamental change in whom industrials recruit, how they recruit, and how the recruits do the work.”

How Brands Go Viral On TikTok
Business Of Fashion

Why dance challenges are an entry-point for brands wanting to throw in on TikTok.

Why it matters
: It goes without saying that going viral on purpose is less likely to yield results when compared to unintentionally going viral. Still, you might want to start with sponsoring TikTok challenges and preparing for a future where the platform is shoppable.

Influencer Marketers Share Which Platforms They Are Spending On And Instagram Crushes The Competition
Business Insider

A new survey from Collectively found that the overwhelming majority of influencer marketers pay for sponsored content on Instagram compared to just 7 percent of respondents who said they were spending on TikTok.

Why it matters: It’s the aesthetic.

Despite promising results for TikTok, Instagram is still more appealing for influencer marketers (specifically within the fashion/lifestyle vertical) because of swipe-up conversions.

The Best Burger King Ads That Burned Its Rivals
The Drum

A collection of the best burns from “McDonald’s cheeky younger brother.”

Why it matters: It’s a reminder that Burger King once offered free Whoppers to the first 500 clowns to show up at their flagship London restaurant on Halloween as a dig at McDonald’s—a tone they’ve continued to tap into.

How Brands Need To Adapt To A Changing Landscape

Brands are becoming more like people and people are becoming more like brands. The former CEO/founder of NatureBoxBrands, Gautam Gupta, shares his thoughts on how brands will need to marshal their resources to adapt to changing times.

Why it matters: “One of the big things I encourage brands to think about is just don’t be constrained by the current business model, the current set of distribution options, but just really think about the use cases for the consumer and be willing to do things that maybe don’t look like they could scale.”

How To Elevate Black Culture Rather Than Just Benefitting From It

“Despite black culture’s influence on the mainstream, advertisers continue to shy away from investing in it.”

Why it matters: By not elevating and empowering black cultural conversations authentically, advertisers could lose out on unprecedented growth.

Pepsi Links Gamified AR To Packaging, Social As Part Of Global Soccer Push
Mobile Marketer

Pepsi’s latest international marketing campaign, part of its sponsorship of the annual UEFA Champions League tournament, features international soccer superstars and lets consumers compete using mobile AR.

Why it matters: Pepsi’s campaign, as noted by Mobile Marketer, “deploys several mobile tactics that are increasingly popular individually, but not always used together to create a cohesive cross channel experience.”

Three Critical Skills For CMOs In 2020

An overview of the general remit of chief marketing officers in 2020, including how to enhance your abilities by seeking mentors and learning opportunities while building your network.

Why it matters: Re-focus on the most critical areas in which chief marketers can deliver value to keep ahead of the competition.

These Are The Brands Gen Z And Millennials Hold Near And Dear

Agency MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Report examines brands based on emotion. These are the brands that Gen Z and Millennials have formed emotional bonds with.

Why it matters: “Intimacy builds longevity, and the more intimate you are, the more you are willing to pay, and the less you are willing to live without it.”

What DTC Challengers Can Learn From Brandless’ Demise

Direct-to-consumer challenger brands should heed the cautionary collapse of billion-dollar DTC brand Brandless and learn what they can from its demise.

Why it matters: The sustainability of the DTC model has been discussed in-depth over the past year, but even more so now with the shuttering of Brandless. As this piece from Adweek notes, “the most important part of DTC is staying in front of your customer consistently with meaning, not just a high overall frequency.” These tips can help keep it all in focus.

The Importance Of Brand In The Digital Space

A look at why companies should allot a portion of their digital advertising budget to brand marketing.

Why it matters: This article covers important aspects of why (and when) you should consider marketing your brand, not just the products and services your brand offers, to develop customer loyalty over time.

Gen Z Craves Multifaceted Content, Audio – And Even Likes (Relevant) Long-Form Ads

Gen Z’s media consumption habits are captured in a new multi-generational media consumption study from video tech company Connatix.

Why it matters: Familiarity with generational consumption habits can help drive your brand strategy when it comes to video. Also note: respondents reported a greater willingness to pay for content.

How A Challenger Mindset Drives Marketing For Digital Commerce Platform
Ad Age

Hear from the chief marketing officer of MATRIXX Software on how a challenger mindset impacts their overall brand marketing.

Why it matters: “Kyriakakis understands how to differentiate her brand—MATRIXX enables telecom companies to quickly create and test digital commerce applications—while remaining tightly focused on serving one vertical industry.”

Spotify Celebrates Black History All Year Long And Fans Love It—4 Important Lessons From Their Campaigns

A look at Spotify’s best-in-class marketing for celebrating Black History year-round from Amanda Butler, Spotify’s director, head of music marketing.

Why it matters: When brand marketers set out to celebrate diverse communities, they should look to and learn from brands who have been successful in their initiatives.

How Adidas Is Using WhatsApp As A Direct Marketing Channel

Advertisers are building presences on WhatsApp for more direct, one-on-one communications with consumers.

Why it matters: The managing editor for Adidas’ London newsroom notes that WhatsApp has “allowed [Adidas] to build direct relationships with a smaller community of influential people in an ongoing way that doesn’t feel transactional and allows for a conversation, rather than just a broadcast.”

SMS Marketing To Rise By 52% By 2023, Reports MessageMedia
MarTech Advisor

“MessageMedia’s research found that 93 percent of Americans open SMS messages, 81 percent have opened an SMS from a business, and 94 percent have clicked through a link within SMS.”

Why it matters: SMS marketing is one of the most effective tools marketers have at their fingertips, supported by these latest MessageMedia survey findings.

Five Charts: Understanding Gen Z’s Devices And Digital Usage

EMarketer shares important data regarding Gen Z device and digital usage in the form of five charts.

Why it matters: Knowing how and where teens spend their time online can support marketing initiatives based around connecting to Gen Z.

The Mystery Of The $2,000 Ikea Shopping Bag
Harvard Business Review

Unraveling the mystery behind Balenciaga’s Ikea-modeled purse and what it says about inverting status symbols.

Why it matters: “High-end brands can stay relevant by incorporating select downscale styles and trends in their collections.”

How Brands Are Cleaning Up The ‘Wild West’ Of Influencer Marketing
Marketing Week

A look at how brands are handling influencers in light of negative perceptions of influencer marketing.

Why it matters: Recent coverage of the less-than-law-abiding aspects of influencer marketing have led to perceptions of distrust, a perception that brands are working to change.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, February 21. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.