New Doja Cat Music Video Introduces Coding Techniques

In an interactive microsite for her new music video “Woman,” Doja Cat partners with Girls Who Code to allow fans to unlock hidden features via coding for the first-ever codable music video. With 18 million views and counting so far, the collaboration is exposing many of Doja Cat’s young fans to coding for the first time.

The site introduces CSS, Javascript and Python to those who may not be familiar with coding and showcases their utility as a creative outlet my changing aspects like nail color and special effects through four different challenges that anyone can do.

In a press release, chief executive officer of Girls Who Code Tarika Barret said “[…] We know first-hand that girls and young women are some of today’s most powerful creators and change-makers. However, too few know that they can have a career in computer science, and that it can open up an entire future of possibility to nurturing their passions. Learning to code enables you to change the world around you […].”

You can view Doja Cat’s new video via dojacode.com.

Trend Set: Spotify Wraps 2021, Square Becomes Block

Ayzenberg Junior Strategist Ashley Otah recounts this week’s trends including everyone’s favorite time of the year: Spotify Wrapped season!


Afterpay

Shifting shopping habits. Black Friday in-store shopping is up by 442%, with a 34% increase in orders through the Afterpay platform this holiday season year-over-year. These purchasing habits reach beyond fashion and beauty and seep into fitness, footwear, and more. With compounding factors such as supply chain issues, inflation, and more at play, shopping habits will continue to change, and brands must adjust accordingly.

Block

The name game. Square, a financial services company, has recently changed its name to Block a month after Facebook’s move to Meta. The name change underscores companies’ need to redefine themselves as consumers are being inundated with campaigns, brand mission statements, and slews of products daily. The action may continue to be necessary for brands across many verticals to cut through the clutter and better reflect their purpose in real-time.

‘I Hate U’ SZA

TikTok made me listen to it. American singer and songwriter SZA officially releases a Soundcloud experiment thanks to the power of TikTok. The colossal rise is not the first instance a song has resurged, or an act has become prominent beyond the confines of the platform. The platform continues to be a space to watch as it has a heavy hand on cultural moments, including music. So much so, many songs nominated in major categories for the upcoming Grammys have gone viral on the TikTok platform.

Spotify Wrapped

Data done right. As the week rounds out for everyone’s favorite holiday (Spotify Wrapped), the discussion for the highly-anticipated round-up continues. The unique blend of product and experiential marketing has created a cultural moment many brands hope to achieve and even partake in. Although entrenched in user data, consumers feel connectivity and actively share their charts each year. As legislation passes and Google abandons third-party data in 2023, brands must strategically navigate information regarding their customers — a great way to do so is by making consumers feel their data is safe and included in the process.

Twitter

Need for new policy. Twitter to ban sharing of private people’s videos and photos without consent. The platform will now let private individuals request takedowns of content featuring them. A significant step in how not only users but also brands interact with and navigate content and tracks with demands for privacy and transparency.

Candy Crush Appoints Fernanda Romano Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, King has hired Fernanda Romano as Candy Crush’s chief marketing officer, Discord’s CMO Tesa Aragones exits, PepsiCo hires Jane Wakely as chief consumer and marketing officer and more.


Candy Crush Names Fernanda Romano Chief Marketing Officer

King has appointed Fernanda Romano chief marketing officer for its mobile game Candy Crush, according to Adweek.

Romano joins Candy Crush from Havaianas’ parent company Alpargatas where she served as vice president of marketing and global innovation.


Discord Chief Marketing Officer Tesa Aragones Exits

Discord’s chief marketing officer Tesa Aragones has stepped down after joining the company in September 2020. According to Forbes, chief executive Jason Citron will serve as interim chief marketing officer until a replacement is found.


PepsiCo Hires Jane Wakely As Chief Consumer And Marketing Officer

PepsiCo has named Mars Petcare veteran Jane Wakely as executive vice president, chief consumer and marketing officer and chief growth officer for their international foods division.

Lead chief marketing officer and chief marketing officer of pet nutrition was the most recent position Wakely held at Mars, where she worked for the past 20 years.


Scholastic Taps Mary Beech As Chief Marketing And Transformation Officer

Scholastic has appointed Mary Beech to the newly created role of chief marketing and transformation officer.

Beech has been an independent director on Scholastic’s Board since 2018, a role from which she’ll resign as she assumes her new position.

Beech most recently served as the chief executive officer of Sarah Flint and previously served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Kate Spade New York.


Candy Digital Appoints Andre Llewellyn Chief Marketing Officer

Candy Digital has named former Instagram global brand marketing manager Andre Llewellyn chief marketing officer.

As one of the first hires on Instagram’s brand marketing team, Llewellyn spearheaded the launches of Instagram Shopping and Instagram Stories.

He also led the development of real-time marketing and social strategy at Procter & Gamble while working on Tide.

Bringing Learning To Life With Author Kimberly Whitler

Kimberly Whitler is the Frank M. Sands Sr. Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia

In this episode, Kim and I talk about the release of her new book Positioning for Advantage, which has been ranked number one in product management on Amazon. We also discuss what positioning is and what value marketers have to a business. Kim’s opinion is to keep it simple. She says, “I think a lot of marketing is about making the choices that put you in the best position to win. A big part of that is you have to execute effectively, and complication often is the enemy of being able to implement.” 

Later in the episode we also discuss influencers and how they can positively impact a business. Kim also shares her opinion on purpose and whether purpose may or may not be something your brand should be focused on.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring learning to real-life situations
  • Creating a sustainable advantage for your organization
  • How influencers can be a key element to a marketing plan

Key Highlights:

  • [01:34] Kim’s worst job ever
  • [03:05] From marketing practitioner to academia
  • [06:14] Why Kim wrote a book
  • [11:13] What do marketers contribute to firm performance? 
  • [13:12] Creating a sustainable advantage 
  • [15:11] Forcing marketing choices
  • [20:28] How Kim thinks about influencers
  • [25:11] Weaponizing word of mouth
  • [30:50] An experience that defines Kim, makes who she is today
  • [33:40] Kim’s advice to her younger self
  • [35:14] The brands and organizations Kim follows
  • [38:34] The biggest threat and opportunity for marketers today

Resources Mentioned: 

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

Visa Global Chief Marketing Officer Lynne Biggar Resigns

This week in leadership updates, Visa global chief marketing officer Lynne Biggar steps down, CarGurus replaces Sarah Welch with Dafna Sarnoff as chief marketing officer and Paramount elevates Marc Weinstock to run one unified domestic and foreign marketing division.


Visa Global Chief Marketing Officer Lynne Biggar Departs

Lynne Biggar will step down as Visa’s executive vice president and global chief marketing officer in early 2022 after having served in the role for six years.

Biggar previously worked at Time Inc. as executive vice president of consumer marketing and revenue after having spent over 21 years with American Express in various senior executive roles.


CarGurus Hires Dafna Sarnoff As Chief Marketing Officer

Dafna Sarnoff will replace Sarah Welch as CarGurus’ chief marketing officer on December 8, 2021.

Before joining CarGurus, Sarnoff served as chief marketing officer and other senior marketing leadership roles at Aura, Intersection, Web.com and Yodle.


Paramount Restructures Marketing Team With Marc Weinstock At The Helm

Paramount Pictures has tapped Marc Weinstock, worldwide marketing and distribution president, to lead a unified marketing and distribution as the company eliminates 44 positions.

The restructuring has caused the departure of Paramount executive vice president Cameron Saunders, who ran distribution and marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mary Daily, marketing co-president, worldwide marketing and distribution, has also exited.

Trend Set: Nike, Spotify, WeTransfer

A look at the trends shaping culture this week from Ayzenberg Jr. Strategist of Cultural Science Ashley Otah.


MultiVersus

Game on. Warner Bros. Games has officially announced “MultiVersus,” a platform fighter game that allows iconic characters and worlds to collide like never before. The free-to-play game follows a similar pattern of collaboration where previously there might have been pushback (i.e., Gucci x Balenciaga). The intertwining of complex stories and brands leaves a promising future for the next generation of collaboration.

Nike

Meaningful move into mental health. Nike unveils a new content series, titled “Nike Mind Sets,” that will live within training apps and clubs. The series aims to focus on how you feel—not what you achieve—and follows an uptick in brands foraying into the mental health and wellness space. While much-needed, consumers hope for these efforts to be made authentically and transparently.

Spotify

All things audio. Spotify announced its plans to acquire audiobook platform Findaway, its partnership with Musixmatch to offer lyrics, and its addition of active listening experiences. The audio streaming service continues to make its platform accessible and all-consuming. The frontrunner with the future of audio in mind is showcasing that democratization across entertainment spaces is top of mind for many.

TikTok

Taking the top spot. Citing funnier and more positive content young Americans are taking to TikTok more than Instagram, according to Forrester’s survey. While Instagram and other social platforms have begun incorporating TikTok-like features and incentivizing short-form content to rival the billion monthly active users behemoth, it is becoming increasingly clear that TikTok is rewiring user behavior and creating a unique experience.

WeTransfer

Thinking critically and creatively. 50% of Gen Z respondents cite mental health as the main creative distraction during the pandemic; 60% are thinking of switching jobs in the next six months; and 75% of Gen Z respondents believe brands should commit to climate, racial, and social justice issues. WeTransfer’s Fourth Annual Report tracks important trends facing the global creative workforce. Among its top finding are those fired up and ready to make a change, although citing mounting pressure. The study showcases a shifting worldwide landscape and gives an insightful forecast for the future.

Vita Coco Teams Up With Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Vita Coco and Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons and new Animal Crossing: New Horizons—Happy Home Paradise DLC have teamed up for an online sweepstakes and limited edition Vita Coco bottle featuring Animal Crossing branding.

The sweepstakes, running from now until January 15th, 2022, gives more than 100 consumers the chance to win one of 15 grand prizes including Nintendo Switch systems and download codes for the digital version of the Animal Crossings: New Horizons game.

In addition, 25 winners will receive the first prize consisting of a Vita Coco x Animal Crossing: New Horizons-themed kit and 50 winners will receive the second prize, a $25 credit for Vita Coco merchandise sold online. 

As part of the collaboration, players will also be able to harvest coconuts in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, giving their characters the strength to perform tasks like breaking rocks and digging up trees. 

Paid DLC for the game allows players to join Lottie’s Paradise Planning team and travel to a resort island with a diverse set of landscapes. There, players will be in charge of inviting characters as clients and helping them build their dream vacation homes with different terrain and climate options. The open-ended social simulation was first released in 2020, with its most recent iteration marking the fifth main entry of the series.

To promote the collaboration, Vita Coco has created its first-ever limited edition bottle for the holiday season. The new bottle—on which coconuts will be replaced with Animal Crossing’s coconut trees – will be sold at retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Target, Ralph’s, Kroger, CVS and more, from now through December 31.

Vita Coco, which reported Q3 net sales of $292.9 million, made its public debut on Nasdaq on October 21, trading under the ticker COCO with 11.5 million shares sold at $15.00 per share.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was released exclusively on Nintendo Switch in March 2020, currently boasts lifetime sales of 34.85 million units, according to Statista.

82% Of Consumers Make Purchase Decisions With Purpose In Mind

Eighty-two percent of consumers make purchase decisions with purpose in mind. That’s according to a new report from Razorfish and Vice Media Group. “The Truth, Myths and Nuances Behind Purpose” aims to understand how consumers of varying generations and demographics relate to purpose when making purchase decisions and in determining brand loyalty.

Razorfish and Vice Media Group conducted three phases of research in the US between May and June 2021, including in-depth phone interviews, an online survey of 900 individuals and testing and analysis of a subset of 150 participants across demographics. Gen Z, millennials and Gen X were evenly represented across respondents.

According to the research, Gen Z is a driving force behind the call for change. They prioritize purpose when making purchase decisions, as 76 percent state that the brands they support stand for a greater mission or have a higher purpose. Additionally, Gen Z is twice and three times as likely to cite brands – rather than media companies and institutions – as having the power to make the world a better place, as compared to millennials and Gen X, respectively.

This report also shows that millennials and Gen X are sufficiently similar in this context such that brands shouldn’t focus their purpose efforts exclusively on Gen Z. Among the respondents, 62 percent report that a brand’s values are important or very important in helping them make purchase decisions, regardless of age. 

Of those respondents, 40 percent actively research a brand’s values and practices. And of the elements these consumers take into consideration when choosing which brand to buy from, brand purpose (41 percent) outweighs both innovation (32 percent) and discounts (26 percent).

Purpose-driven buying isn’t necessarily new but the pandemic has caused a stark shift in consumers’ priorities when shopping and the number of consumers that care. Yet despite the fact that greater importance is placed on purpose and by more consumers, brands’ efforts in this regard seem to be falling flat, according to the report.

“We’re at the peak of purpose washing, and it’s imperative that brands not only clearly communicate their purpose but authentically put it into practice in everything they do. Brands are beyond the ‘why’ and are struggling with the ‘how’ to follow through and tie purpose to performance,” said Nicolas Chidiac, brand strategy lead at Razorfish.

The study shares three key takeaways:

  • Consumers are paying attention to mission and purpose as 82 percent of respondents stated that the brands they support stand for a greater mission or purpose.
  • Consumers care about societal and personal benefits as 76 percent of respondents stated that the brands they buy make the world a better place while 67 percent reported that the brands they buy make them a better person.
  • Purpose is amplified by proximity as 40 percent of respondents stated that buying local food or drinks became more important to them during the pandemic, while 70 percent agreed that it’s important or extremely important for brands to give back to their local community.

Brands in the post-COVID era have the opportunity, and in a sense, an obligation, to match their words with positive action. Razorfish recommends brands act on the following three priorities to keep pace with changing consumer sentiment toward purpose and purchasing:

  • Be authentic and determine where you stand in regard to personal and societal issues so that you may serve your consumer and limit “purpose appropriation” (which will lead to an erosion of consumer trust).
  • Take small steps before big leaps by focusing on what you can do to have an immediate impact on your local community while also recognizing the power of your voice.
  • Reduce the time it takes for consumers to discover your purpose by displaying it across all touchpoints.

Refilling The Creative Well: Pitch Edition

I just spent a four-day weekend with my family in Carpinteria, CA in much the same way I did nearly every day the last 20 months: with the outcome of multiple game-changing new business pitches hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles. 

Will the wind blow slightly to the left and nudge one of the other finalists over the finish line? Or will an intangible in our deck or the confident tone in our voice lodge in the mind of a decision-maker in such a way that tilts things in our favor? 

How can I allow myself to enjoy the seals frolicking in the surf or pause to read the placard about how salt marshes form when the next text I receive could change the very course of my agency… my career… my life?

Pitching new business is a helluva drug.

The juiciest briefs come in reeking of a brighter future, intoxicating with visions of what could be: the promise of a more respectful and collegial client relationship; the potential for exciting creative and technical innovations; the possibility of team-sustaining profits and awards.

And then, for the next two or three or four weeks, the pitch is all-consuming like new love or gnawing hunger. REM sleep is rearranged to better serve the conscious and unconscious obsession with unearthing the big idea. Content consumed holds tantalizing hints that must be teased out. Weekends must be sacrificed, as they are the only stretches of time where there are no meetings to interfere with actually doing the work.

The fuel cells burn bright and burn hot, with little thought or care for how they will perform after the final Q&A’s (if you started the presentation call on time and didn’t chew into your buffer that is) and thank you’s have been said.

But those fuel cells must be refilled. Those that ignore the warning signs do so at their peril. As is true of all drugs, what goes up must come down.

I’m sure there are a million ways to refuel, but here’s what’s worked well for me as I’ve come to accept that pitching (despite the romantic promise of utopian thinkers) isn’t going anywhere in agency life any time soon.

As with most things in advertising, the following recommendations are an alchemical mix of hard data, hard-knock wisdom, anecdotal experience, things we stumbled upon on Twitter, and in-the-moment inspiration. All tied up in a nifty bow by a favorite quote in Latin (so it MUST be true): Solvitur Ambulando (“it is solved by walking”). I first read this quote inscribed on a rock at the center of a labyrinth in Sedona, Arizona (another physical location with its own mental state) many years ago and it’s stuck with me ever since. Any mantra good enough for St. Augustine, Aleister Crowley and Oliver Sacks is good enough for me.  

One: stock up on long stretches of thinking about nothing. And if nothing isn’t available, think about subjects like how salt marshes form or how great that bongo player is

Two: take long walks that go nowhere in particular. And if you must go somewhere, let the most important choice be whether you go left down the beach or right up the beach.

Three: read something that gives you pleasure. After immersing yourself in category research and the ecstatic art of whiteboard-staring, take your brain elsewhere (for me it was roving with vampires in the summer of ‘76).

Four: give back to those who absolve you of your pitch mode sins. For every core member of the pitch team, there is a friend, a loved one, a child, or a bartender who missed your presence while you were living the brief. Be there for them. Shower them with your attention. Kiss their elbows. Buy them the Toxic Waste they crave, though it may pain you greatly to do so.

Five: commit yourself to learn from the pitch: win, lose or draw. We can’t live in the Carpinteria of the mind forever. Commit to the retrospective (never the post-mortem). We must return to the battlefield better. Stronger. Faster. 

Especially when you’re fighting for that brighter future that maybe, just maybe, is a pitch win away.

Burger King Chief Marketing Officer For North America Ellie Doty Resigns

This week in leadership updates, Ellie Doty steps down as Burger King North America chief marketing officer, KFC hires Nick Chavez as chief marketing officer, Qdoba elevates Karin Silk to chief marketing officer and Bed Bath & Beyond names Rafeh Masood as inaugural chief customer officer.


Burger King Chief Marketing Officer For North America Ellie Doty Departs

Ellie Doty has stepped down as Burger King’s chief marketing officer for North America after being in the role for just over a year.

Yosef Hojchman, who’s been with the company for 15 years, has filled in as interim chief marketing officer.

Previously, Doty held an array of chief marketing roles at Chili’s, KFC, Yum! Restaurants Canada and Taco Bell.


KFC Appoints Nick Chavez As Chief Marketing Officer 

KFC Corporation has scouted Nick Chavez as chief marketing officer for KFC US, effective November 29.

Chavez replaces Andrea Zahumensky, who left in April. Previously, Chavez was Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of sales, marketing and communications for 11 years.


Qdoba Elevates Karin Silk To Chief Marketing Officer

Qdoba Restaurant Corporation has promoted Karin Silk to chief marketing officer.

Silk previously served as Qdoba’s vice president of off-premises and menu (product marketing, culinary) and prior to that was Rubio’s Restaurants, Inc.’s senior vice president of marketing.


Bed Bath & Beyond Names Rafeh Masood First Chief Customer Officer

Bed Bath & Beyond has named Rafeh Masood as chief customer officer, a new position that combines digital and brand roles, including customer support and user experience.

Masood steps into the role after having served as chief digital officer since May 2020 and as interim chief brand officer since September 2021 following Cindy Davis’ resignation.


Eyemart Express Promotes Katy Hanson To Chief Marketing Officer

Eyemart Express has elevated Katy Hanson to chief marketing officer.

Prior to the promotion, Hanson acted as the company’s interim chief marketing officer and held the role of vice president of strategy and planning.


Amazon India Enlists Rashi Goel As Director Of Marketing

Amazon India has retained Rashi Goel as its newest director of marketing.

Previously, Goel served as business executive officer at Nestle, managing breakfast cereals in South Asia.


HBO Max Promotes Pia Chaozon Barlow To Executive Vice President Of Originals Marketing

HBO Max has elevated senior vice president of HBO Max originals marketing, Pia Chaozon Barlow, to executive vice president of originals marketing. She will oversee both HBO and Max originals in a newly unified marketing division.

Before joining HBO, Chaozon held senior marketing positions at WarnerMedia, Netflix, Twentieth Century Fox and HBO.


Mack Trucks Taps David Galbraith As Vice President Of Global Brand And Marketing

Mack Trucks has named David Galbraith as vice president of global brand and marketing.

Galbraith was previously director of experience marketing and brand partnerships at Volkswagen of America, Inc.


Roadside Attractions Head Of Marketing Dennis O’Connor Exits

Roadside Attractions head of marketing Dennis O’Connor has resigned after 14 years with the company.

O’Connor oversaw all marketing efforts that grew the company’s theatrical grosses from under $10 million in 2007 to over $100 million by 2018, according to Deadline. He also spearheaded the campaign for the company’s top-grossing domestic title I Can Only Imagine, which produced $83 million.

O’Connor’s previous roles include co-head of marketing at Picturehouse, head of theatrical marketing at HBO and head of marketing for United Artists Pictures.


Universal Music Group Nashville Elevates Annie Ortmeier To Senior Vice President, Streaming Marketing

Universal Music Group Nashville has promoted Annie Ortmeier to senior vice president of streaming marketing.

Ortmeier, who’s been with UMG since 2013, recently served as vice president of marketing of digital accounts for the company. 


Twitter Canada Appoints Jennifer Bairos Hofer As Head Of Marketing

Twitter Canada has hired Jennifer Bairos Hofer as its new head of marketing.

Hofer previously served as Rogers Communications’marketing director, TSC.


Chief Marketing Officer Of Mandarin Oriental Jill Kluge Resigns

Mandarin Oriental chief marketing officer Jill Kluge will be stepping down from the position after 30 years with the company. She will continue in a part-time position as brand advisor for the hotel chain.

Prior to serving as chief marketing officer at Mandarin Oriental, Kluge served as the company’s global director of brand communications and director of public relations.


Manon Brouillette Named Chief Executive Officer Of Verizon Consumer Group

Verizon Consumer Group has appointed Manon Brouillette as executive vice president and chief executive officer.

Before joining Verizon as chief operating officer and deputy chief executive officer in July 2021, Manon was the president and chief executive officer of Vidéotron.


Star TV Network Elevates Kaumudi Mahajan To Senior Vice President Of Marketing And Strategy

Star India, an Indian media conglomerate and wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India, has promoted Kaumudi Mahajan to senior vice president of marketing and strategy.

Mahajan previously served as Star TV Network’s vice president, head of marketing and content strategy for Star Pravah.