Instagram Tests Co-Watching; ‘Game Of Thrones’ Snapchat AR Marker

Follow our daily social roundup to keep up with the latest news from each platform and learn about the newest, most innovative social campaigns.

Instagram Is Testing Video Co-Watching

The reverse-engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong spotted Instagram testing a co-watch feature on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Co-watching can make more ads visible to the platform users, as well as drive more attention to specific content.

The details: The code, spotted by Wong, reveals a “co-watch content” feature, which is hidden inside direct messaging. This means that soon the platform may allow group co-viewing, similar to Facebook’s “Watch Party.” It is yet unclear, however, whether it will be possible to watch the videos simultaneously.

Snapchat And HBO Bring AR Experiences To ‘Game Of Thrones’ At SXSW 2019 

Snapchat has reportedly worked with HBO to create AR elements for the Game Of Thrones castle at SXSW 2019  to promote the upcoming season of the show.

Why it matters: Snapchat and HBO collaboration is a great example of a brand using the platform’s AR marker tech tool to amuse the customer and promote the product in an innovative way.

The details: Snapchat’s AR marker tech is a tool that connects the digital AR technology in a phone to real-world objects. At the SXSW 2019 Game Of Thrones tent, the tool makes the banners featuring various characters from the show digitally”bleed” when scanned with the lens on the Snapchat camera. And another lens shows a map catching fire. Also, a special pin that each visitor gets digitally burns and sparkles, when scanned with Snapchat.

Will Podcasts Become New Social Media? Edison Report Explains

Edison Research and Triton Digital released a report on Wednesday, in which they surveyed 1,500 Americans (age 12+). The findings revealed some peculiar trends on the use of mobile devices, social media and online audio.

Why it matters: The annual survey showed that over the past year, the usage of social media declined while the usage of smart speakers and tablets significantly increased. The numbers look especially promising for Amazon and Spotify.

The details: Here are some of the report findings:

  • 79 percent of Americans say they use social media, which showed only a one percent increase since 2018
  • Facebook lost roughly 15 million users since 2017 and saw a drop in usage among people age 12-34 from 79 percent in 2017 to 67 percent in 2018 to 62 percent in 2019.
  • Only 31 percent of Americans in the 12-34 age group say they use Pinterest, compared to 36 percent last year
  • 23 percent of Americans said they own a smart speaker; 16 percent own an Amazon Alexa device (that’s more than twice the percentage of Google Home device owners).
  • There was a 12 percent increase in the population of tablet owners.
  • 24 percent of the survey respondents used Spotify and 12 percent used Amazon Music in the last month.
  • 32 percent of Americans are monthly podcast listeners compared to 26 percent in 2018 and  The format saw a 33 percent of active podcast listeners are within the 12-24 age group.
Twitter Announces New Analytics Tool For Publishers

Twitter announced the debut of “Timing is Everything,” a new analytics tool for publishers focused on video engagement.

Why it matters: The main purpose of Timing Is Everything is to provide the publishers with more actionable data and help them improve their performance on the platform.

The details: The tool displays historical data with the insights about when audiences are active on Twitter and when they are watching and engaging with video. This data then suggests the best time(s) to Tweet video content. The chart doesn’t provide information on when organic followers are watching videos but shows when people on Twitter are generally watching any video on the platform.

Facebook Announces Privacy-Focused Messaging And Social Networking Platform

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced in a blog post on Wednesday that the platform will shift its to encrypted communications on its messaging apps.

Why it matters: Although public social networks will continue to be very important in people’s lives, there is a significant rise in demand for private interactions, which Facebook aims to satisfy.

The details: According to the blog post, the privacy-focused platform will be built around the following principles:

  • Private interactions. People should have simple, intimate places where they have clear control over who can communicate with them and confidence that no one else can access what they share.
  • Encryption. People’s private communications should be secure. End-to-end encryption prevents anyone — including us — from seeing what people share on our services.
  • Reducing Permanence. People should be comfortable being themselves, and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later. So we won’t keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them.
  • Safety. People should expect that we will do everything we can to keep them safe on our services within the limits of what’s possible in an encrypted service.
  • Interoperability. People should be able to use any of our apps to reach their friends, and they should be able to communicate across networks easily and securely.
  • Secure data storage. People should expect that we won’t store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression in order to protect data from being improperly accessed.

Instagram To Introduce A New Ad Type To Grow Influencer Campaigns

As reported by AdAge, Instagram is in the process of developing “Branded Content Ads,” a new ad that will allow brands to sponsor and promote posts created by celebrities and publishers.

Why it matters: The new ad type will enable businesses to significantly increase the value of their influencer marketing campaigns.

The details: According to AdAge, Instagram revealed some statistics that show that 69 percent of users say they come to Instagram to interact with celebrities, and over 80 percent of accounts follow a business on the platform, which means the new ad type will be a valuable addition to already existing Instagram’s branded content tagging system. In combination with the “Paid Partnership” tags, brands now can extend their promotions.

Pinterest Extends Ad Platform To Austria, Spain, Italy And Germany 

Brands in Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy can now run standard and video ads on Pinterest, Adweek reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: According to Pinterest’s global head of partnerships, Jon Kaplan, half of the platform users are located outside of the U.S, which means marketers should expand their advertising efforts beyond the native borders.

The details: In addition to the countries above, Pinterest ads are available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, France and New Zealand and are currently being tested in the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Switzerland.

Snapchat Adds Eight Different Languages To The App 

Social Media Today reported that Snapchat recently added eight new languages to the app.

Why it matters: More multilingual options provide better opportunities to the marketers for a brand, product and promotional content localization.

The details: The new languages include, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjab, Filipino, Vietnamese, Urdu and Malay. As we can see from this list, the majority of the added languages are primarily spoken in India. Per SocialMediaToday, India is a key growth region of focus for social media apps at the moment.

Pinterest Introduces Catalogs And Personalized Shopping

To encourage spring shopping and increase business potential, Pinterest is adding more ecommerce tools to the platform, the company announced in a press release on Monday.

Why it matters: The new updates aim to offer more ways for the users to shop for items related to their search history and personal preferences and make retailers more accessible to users who are looking for these products.

The details: The newly added features include:

  • Shop a brand: A new dedicated section will soon allow the user to see a brand’s catalog by clicking “more from [brand]”.
  • Catalogs: Brands can now upload their full catalog to Pinterest and easily turn their products into  Product Pins, which means more shoppable Pins across Pinterest. Also, a new dashboard allows businesses to organize their feed so their products can be discovered and purchased by Pinterest users.
  • Shopping Ads:  Shopping Ads will be available to all businesses through the self-serve”Ads Manager” tool and will allow brands to promote items from their existing product feed.

Does Instagram’s ‘Swipe-Up’ Feature Increase Sales?

This week, eMarketer investigated the new Instagram “Swipe Up” feature in relation to influencer marketing strategy.

Why it matters: eMarketer found that the feature both directly drives purchases and provides a valuable measurement tool for marketers, however, it still lags behind other social-media related marketing strategies.

The details: “Swipe-Up” could make possible the ability to track influencer activity to performance. At the moment, influencer marketing is still considered inferior to other marketing techniques, such as social media, online advertising and content marketing, which, according to a survey by OnBrand and Bynde, are having the biggest effect on buyer behavior, eMarketer reported.

Instagram Is The ‘It’ Platform For News Companies

According to Axios, some newer news publishers are choosing to launch on Instagram, hoping to engage a younger generation of news consumers.

Why it matters: Although Instagram is not very monetization-friendly and is difficult to link out from, it makes a great platform for audience building and engagement. Axios reported that it is harder to launch a news brand on Instagram today than it was on Facebook years ago.

The details: Some of the examples mentioned by Axios include,

  • @thismuchiknowglobal A news startup revolving around Instagram stories, was found by former British Vogue deputy editor, Emily Sheffield, and reportedly is being financed by the Guardian’s venture capital fund.
  • @jessicayellin A news brand from former White House correspondent on CNN.
  • @theshaderoom Entertainment news platform has 15 million follower base and focuses on breaking news about celebrities.

LinkedIn Rolls Out ‘Hello Monday,’ A New Podcast About Rapidly Changing Work Lives

In a blog post, LinkedIn announced the launch of a new podcast, Hello Monday, which will highlight the role LinkedIn plays in the professional development of the platform’s users.

Why it matters: It’s another branded podcast from the social platform as it expands its digital offerings.

The details: Hosted Jessi Hempel says “I’ll bring you intimate interviews with guests who have significant ideas to share about how to prepare for the future based on what they’ve figured out trying to navigate their own careers–people like Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach, Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, and Tim Brown, CEO of the design firm IDEO. Their stories will inspire at the same time as they leave us with practical advice.”

‘Bloomberg’ Grows Instagram User Base With Longer Videos

According to Digiday, Bloomberg’s main Instagram account reached 700,000 followers thanks to videos of interactive charts.

Why it matters: Bloomberg seems to have found a good formula for their audience with longer-form videos—which seems counterintuitive to much of the social platform landscape.

The details: Bloomberg grew nearly 400 percent in 2018, per Digiday. While still being behind on numbers, compared to The Economist (3 million) and The Financial Times (1.3 million), Bloomberg receives more monthly video views, which boosts its growth and engagement. Bloomberg reportedly has around 2 million Instagram video views a month and uses minute-long videos to further explain the stories behind the headlines.

Instagram Is Testing In-App Local Business Profile Pages

Tech tipster Raj Nijjer tweeted on March 2 about Instagram testing in-app profile pages for local businesses.

Why it matters: The new tool displays the business address, hours, contact information and website.

The details: The pages greatly resemble Google local knowledge panels and a link to the business’ Instagram profile is featured at the top of the page. Businesses should be able to claim a business profile page in case they have access to the business’s Facebook page. Instagram hasn’t yet confirmed the feature.

Barbie Celebrates 60th Anniversary With Pop-Ups, Cause Marketing Campaign

Mattel has launched a massive global campaign to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its famous Barbie doll brand. Rather than focus solely on its iconic toy, however, Mattel has turned its attention to 20 influential women and partnered with organizations that inspire young girls to follow their dreams.

Barbie turns 60 this year and it’s fairly safe to say that she’s aged quite well. Holding various careers throughout her productive, plastic life, the blond bombshell has been both praised and criticized for her empowerment and proportions, respectively. In recent years, Mattel refocused the Barbie brand to be more diverse, realistic-looking and offer hands-on programs to empower girls.

Mattel has also launched a new initiative called “The Barbie Dream Gap Project Fund. The term “dream gap” refers to the time between a girl dreams about possibilities vs. when she starts to doubt her ability. Mattel will donate $1 for every Barbie doll sold in the US between March 6 and March 11 to this fund up to $250,000.

A number of US pop-up activations will take place this weekend, beginning with an installation in NYC that includes art, fashion and a celebration of Barbie’s history.

On March 9 and 10, Grammy-nominated country music star Kelsea Ballerini will host the first of Barbie’s “Be Anything” tour. The tour will visit 36 US Walmart stores beginning in Bentonville, AR. Visitors will hear about Ballerini’s journey, enter to win $20,000 to make their own dreams come true and take part in “interactive experiences.”

Amazon will host a number of activations, as well. “Barbie Presented by Amazon” pop-up stores have appeared in five major markets across the US and will remain there to host Barbie experiences through April 2.

An exclusive Barbie-themed apparel collection for girls aged five-to-10 called “What Will You Be” will be offered at participating Target locations.

Visual messages will be displayed on global landmarks including the Empire State Building in NYC, Tokyo Skytree, CN Tower in Toronto and Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Just in time for Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Mattel revealed that 20 new women will be honored as part of Barbie’s 60th-anniversary celebration, as well as its ongoing “Shero” initiative. “Inspiring Women” dolls are modeled after real-life women that are considered to be positive role models. Previous examples have included pilot Amelia Earhart and artist Frida Kahlo, along with modern women like conservationist Bindi Irwin and mathematician Katherine Johnson.

This year marks the biggest and most diverse line-up that Barbie has honored to date, according to Mattel. This year’s “Shero” inductees include surfer Maya Gabiera, tennis player Naomi Osaka, cycling champion Kristina Vogel, ice skater Tessa Virtue, actress Yara Shahidi, activist and model Adwoa Aboah, artistic gymnast Dipa Karmakar, photographer Chen Man and Australian journalist Ita Buttrose.

Rent The Runway Heralds Home Goods Expansion With First SXSW Pop-Up

Rent the Runway will engage in a number of “firsts” this weekend—first presence at SXSW, first pop-up activation and first time showing its West Elm home textile offerings.

Rent the Runway is a subscription service that allows subscribers to borrow designer fashion for less than the cost of a purchase. The 10-year old brand was listed number nine on CNBC’s list of ‘Disruptor 50’ companies, alongside giants like SpaceX and Uber.

Beginning this summer, Rent the Runway customers will be able to rent home items like throw pillows and quilts through a partnership with West Elm. SXSW attendees can visit the West Elm store on 5th Street Austin this weekend to view and touch a specially-curated collection.

In addition to home items, guests can shop as SXSW-themed Rent the Runway clothing and accessory collection, including designs from Victoria Beckham, Reformation and Brock Collection.

SXSW can be a hectic time, so keeping in the theme of making “women feel empowered and self-confident every single day,” the pop-up will offer free hair and makeup styling appointments throughout the event. “Cosmic readings” will also be available on-site.

Rent the Runway will also host its first SXSW panel called “Living a Rented Life” on March 9. There, West Elm and Rent the Runway will explore disruption in the sharing economy.

Each year, brands, speakers and attendees descend on SXSW to share and discuss new ideas. The festival is a fitting platform for both Rent the Runway and West Elm who can reach their target audience at a time when they are searching for inspiration.

Like many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, Rent the Runway is also venturing into the physical space. The clothing rental service has five permanent locations in NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC and Woodland Hills, CA.

During Advertising Week New York 2018, DTC mattress brand Casper said that the move to brick-and-mortar was never a matter of “if,” but a matter of “when.”

“For us, it wasn’t about the old model,” explained Capser CMO Jeff Brooks. “While some say it’s the death of retail, we think it’s the rebirth of retail.”

A Comprehensive Guide Of The Branded Events At SXSW

Looking to loosen up and maybe cut a rug while you’re at SXSW? Here are the parties, mingles and networking events we think you should know about. While you’re at it, see our marketer’s guide to SXSW panels here.

All panel times are CST. Please be advised that many of these parties require SXSW badges. 

March 7th

Bleed for the Thrones

Game of Thrones and the American Red Cross are inviting you to prove your dedication to the throne by donating blood.


  • Thursday 3/7 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday 3/8 from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 3/9 from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Fair Market, 1100 E 5th St.


March 8th

BUMBLE-Free Breakfast, Tacos, Coffee

Start your mornings with free breakfast tacos and complimentary coffee and maybe stay for tips from Bumble profile experts on how to put your best face forward.

When: Every day 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Jo’s, 242 W 2nd


House of Scandinavia

Be a guest at SAS’ House Of Scandinavia and experience Scandinavian philosophy, culture, food and business.

When: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m (daily)

Where: 111 Congress Suite 700


LG Inspiration Gallery

Get inspired at LG’s Inspiration Gallery, where all things tech are celebrated.

When: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Vince Young Steakhouse, 301 San Jacinto Blvd.


The Visible Music Box

The Visible’s Music Box recording studio will record you singing, playing music and send you home with a recording of your efforts.

When: 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: 6th and San Jacinto


International Women’s Day Celebration

Toast to International Women’s Day—a day that celebrates the achievements of women, with old friends and new acquaintances at SXSW.

When: 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Where: Palm Door On Six, 508 E 6th St.


Cheddar & Miracle GRO Opening Night Party

Cheddar invites you to discover the future of gardening at the opening night party for Harvest HQ.

When: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: 78 Rainey St


The Norwegian SXSW 2019 Social Mixer

The Norwegian tech and innovation community is bringing together their US and global network for a social mixer with good music, food and drinks.

When: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Where: House of Scandinavia, 111 Congress Ave


March 9th

Capital One House At Antone’s

Join Capital One for talks, demos, sights, sounds and surprises, as well as live music showcasing a mix of national and local artists.

When: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 a.m.

Where: Anton’s Capital One House, 305 E 5th St.


The Tito’s Party

Vodka, music and adoptable puppies. Do we need to say more?

When: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Arlyn Studios, 200 Academy Drive #140


Netflix’s ‘The Highwaymen’ House

Step into a 1934 speakeasy for cowboy cocktails and join the hunt to help the Texas Rangers wrangle up Bonnie and Clyde. Fans get a character name and RFID wristband to unlock experiences, play games and earn points to redeem at the swag store. Brand yourself an outlaw by selfie-ing with a getaway car and wanted sign.

When: 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Where: Bangers Basement, 81 1/2 Rainey



Join BuzzFeed and The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico as they land at SXSW in Austin for “So Extra…Terrestrial.”

There will be drinks, bites and stellar music.

When: 8:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.

Where: Mohawk, 912 Red River St


Nerdist Presents: ‘Captive State’ Party At SXSW

Join Team Nerdist, Focus Features, and Participant Media at their Captive State Party at SXSW and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and captive state-themed drinks.

When: 8:00 p.m. ­– 12:00 a.m. 

Where: The Main, 603 Red River Street


March 10th

Digital Media Women Day

Hosted by a network of professional women founded in Germany, Digital Media Women’s event will revolve around the question of visibility for all women in media.

When: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Downtown Burgers, 503 E Cesar Chavez

Belgian Café at SXSW 2019

Join the Belgian Delegation at Uncle Billy’s Brewery to meet with creative companies, startups and discover promising music talent from Belgium.

When: 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Where: Uncle Billy’s Brewery & Smokehouse, 1530 Barton Springs Road


March 11th

VR For Good: Celebration Of Creativity

Join for an evening to celebrate the power of social presence and the magic of Oculus by showing the world how VR drives creativity, community and connections.

When: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: 807 E. 4th St


Blockchain House Happy Hour

Head to The Blockchain House for sips and bites.

When: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: 606 E. 3RD STREET


SoDA Happy Hour

Head to Dogwood Austin’s outside patio to meet with SoDA Members and other digital marketing peers from around the globe.

When:  5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Dogwood 715 W 6th St


March 12th

Google Fiber Space 

The Refresh Working Group, Google and Swell Creative Group host a day of food activations, discussions, and cooking demonstrations to show how AI is transforming the entire food system.

When: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where: 201 Colorado St


Doordash Tiny House With Torchy’s Tacos

From March 12th – March 14th join DoorDash in downtown Austin for free food and drinks, games and music.

When: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Where: 98 Red River St

No RSVP required

#UniquelyTurkish Flying Carpet Party

Celebrate life with the new Turkish music wave, Turkish drinks, and treats presented by chefs of UNESCO Gourmet City Gaziantep.

When: 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Where: Magic Caravan 5003 Burnet Road


March 13th

Dr. Martens Presents 

Come check Dr. Martens event, which offers live music and pop-up shops.

When:12:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Container Bar – 90 Rainey St.


Hackathon Afterparty

Come join the developers, coders and artists who’ve just spent 24 hours building new technologies for music, AR/VR, AI.

When: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: CU29, 720 Brazos


March 14th

Next Level Apparel Pop Up

Swing by Clive Bar to see amazing live music, surprise guests and a personalized #FavoriteTee from Next Level Apparel.

When: 1:00 p.m.

Where: Clive Bar, 609 Davis St


March 15th

Beats x Beers Festival

Save the date for Beats x Beers Festival.

When: 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: 2502 Webberville Road


Comedy Central’s Backyard Bash

Come for the Drunk History dunk tank and stay for the Broad City friendship bracelets.

When: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where: Pelons Tex Mex & Bar, 508 Mezcalerita

Vans’ ‘Vanguards’ Celebrates Women’s Day With Skater-Focused Content, Activations

Vans has expanded its “This is Off the Wall” ad campaign with “Vanguards,” a multi-part series that highlights female skateboarders. Timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, the activation includes several digital videos and global workshops.

“Vanguards” tells the story of four Vans team ridersLizzie Armanto, Brighton Zeuner, Yndiara Asp and Mami Tezuka. The first spot, released on Wednesday, explores the idea that each skater’s identity and style is influenced by the world around them.

Armanto’s smooth, “breezy” style, for example, is directly influenced by her seaside Santa Monica home while Tezuka demonstrates precise timing thanks to her musical training. Asp is a determined Brazilian athlete that keeps trying no matter what. In fact, she is seen faceplanting into a pole, grabbing some ice and going again. Zeuner wears Vans but makes them her own—dyeing white pants into bright colors that match her style.

“Vans extends beyond traditional campaigns by funding efforts that create meaningful interactions with loyalists and newcomers alike,” said April Vitkus, senior director of Vans global brand marketing in a statement. “’Vanguards’ aims to not only tell a story of four women but invites everyone to experience the creative depth that surrounds what we cherish most – skateboarding.”

Last year, Vans says it began a global initiative to teach women of all ages how to skateboard.

Beginning on Friday, May 8—Women’s Day—and running through May, Vans will host a series of live engagements in California and around the world that have been curated by the “Vanguards” campaign stars. These events include a girl’s skate jam, girls combi contest, workshops and free clinics. The workshop on March 10 will include food “inspired by” Lizzie Armanto and Brighton Zeuner.

“Our brand’s identity is continually inspired by personalities such as the women you meet in the ‘Vanguards’ campaign,” said Erwin Federizo, Vans’ global executive creative director in a statement. “By sharing their stories, we are able to continue celebrating the unique individuals who are living and breathing Vans’ ‘Off The Wall’ ethos. Creative campaigns like this are a true testament to our purpose.”

Vans launched “This is Off the Wall” in 2017, focusing on unique style and self-expression. The campaign followed on the heels of the brand’s 50th anniversary in 2016, during which Vans shared its history from deck shoes to surfing and of course, adoption by the skateboarding community.


Skullcandy Discusses In-House Agency And Latest Campaign, ’12 Moods’

Skullcandy will refresh its look every month for the next year to illustrate how music makes you feel. The campaign, called “12 Moods,” includes daily original content in addition to monthly themes and is such a large undertaking that Skullcandy brought its entire marketing team in-house.

12 Moods” launched Wednesday with “Bold,” represented by the color tangerine. Each month, the campaign focuses on a different mood, artist, athlete and color with limited-edition product drops that represents the theme.

“We chose Bold for the month of March which also happens to be National Women’s Month,” Skullcandy chief marketing officer Jessica Klodnicki told AList. “We intentionally chose two very bold women with the rapper Rico Nasty and the athlete Jenn Soto.”

AList shares Skullcandy Returns To Brightly-Colored Music Roots With ‘12 Moods’

Rico Nasty recorded an exclusive music video for Skullcandy’s YouTube channel and participated in a new series called “Feel It/Don’t Feel It,” where each month’s spokesperson will be asked how they feel about certain topics. Skateboarder Jenn Soto received her own video featurette that explored her background and why she is an example of boldness.

While the campaign will run across all of Skullcandy’s channels, Klodnicki said they are prioritizing Instagram and YouTube for this campaign. In fact, the team deleted everything on Skullcandy’s Instagram account two days ago and started fresh. Skullcandy is also enlisting the help of social media influencers—12 per month—that will aid the brand in expressing each respective theme.

“Social media is a very hungry beast,” said Klodnicki. “We wanted something that would guide us so we’d be able to publish fresh content every single day. We will have a monthly cadence and daily cadence for 365 days.”

To accomplish this, Klodnicki and the team decided it was time to bring every aspect of marketing in-house from social media to production and even media buying.

AList shares Skullcandy Returns To Brightly-Colored Music Roots With ‘12 Moods’

“We decided that we needed to rapidly build an agency team so we can be extremely agile and nimble on this program,” explained Klodnicki. “We’ve brought a number of agency folks in-house that are working on a brand for the first time. They’re loving it. The kinds of conversations that would normally take hours to set up meetings and make decisions amongst a client and agency? We get to walk down the hall and make those decisions on the fly. It’s what has allowed us to create this incredible amount of quality content… and we have to do it 11 more times!”

So far, so good. Within a few hours of Wednesday’s launch, 10 percent of the limited-edition gear had sold out.

Klodnicki joined Skullcandy in late 2017 and made it her mission to reset the brand’s “North Star.” That, she determined, was a return to the brand’s roots in music and color, summed up as “Music You Can Feel.”

A major part of the “12 Moods” campaign relies on Skullcandy’s music streaming partners. YouTube Music is hosting a monthly playlist based on “Bold” and subsequent themes as part of a wider beta test. YouTube hopes to launch a “Tastemakers” program that allows celebrities to curate playlists on the platform.

A Marketer’s Guide To SXSW 2019 Panels

It’s that time again. SXSW is here as marketers, filmmakers, musicians and others descend on Austin to meet, greet and attend panels, minglings with a Lone Star Beer in one hand and a breakfast taco in the other. We’ve curated a reasonably extensive list of panels and happenings that marketers should check out if they head to Austin, but it is by no means exhaustive. For the full list of SXSW panels, click here.

All panel times are CST.

March 8th

Why Storytelling Sells: Platform Purchasing Power

Join James DeJulio of Tongal, Marc Mastronardi of Macy’s, and Lauren Wilner from Macy’s Style Crew in discussion about how established brands can employ new platforms to connect with customers.

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Four Seasons Ballroom CD 

Moving Beyond The Buzz Of Purpose And Impact

Attend a chat with The Honest Company’s Christopher Gavigan about the triumphs and challenges of building purpose-led organizations.

When: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center Room 10AB 

March 9th 

Brand: The New Political Reality

In this panel, leading experts will explore the new reality for brands marketing to a highly politicized society and educate audiences about the ways brand leaders are navigating this new territory today.

When: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional B 

How AI Is Changing Advertising In China

This panel will cover how China-based startups use AI to analyze, categorize, and rank influencers—creating a blockchain-based micropayments marketplace that can include everyone on social media.

When: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional A  

Humanizing Your Brand In The Robot-Era

This panel will concentrate on exploring brand humanization and connecting with consumers on an emotional level.

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: SAP House at Trinity and 2nd 

The Invisible Brand In An Audio-First World

Join a lively debate and discover what the future has in store for content creation and branding in the music industry.

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional B 

Modern Marketing: Authenticity In The Age Of GDPR 

This workshop will focus on GDPR and examine the current privacy landscape as well as give marketers a roadmap to leverage this changing world to better connect with their customers.

When: 3:30 p.m.  – 5:30 p.m.

Where: Westin Austin Downtown The Gallery Room 

March 10th

MediaLink & TRIPTK: The Marketing Green Rush Brunch & Panel

The panel focus on the discussion about the effects the mainstreaming of cannabis will have on business and culture.

When: 11:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Swift’s Attic 

Women Are Building The Brands We’ve Always Wanted

This panel will take a close look at the increasing purchasing power of women and how women impact brand marketing.

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional C

Reimagine Storytelling Through Tech And Experiences

Hear from WFA’s Global Marketer of the Year, Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s CMO, about how the digital transformation is propelling the 53-year-old brand into the future.

When:  3:30 p.m.  – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional A  

March 11th

THE EXPERIENCE By Dell Technologies

THE EXPERIENCE by Dell Technologies immerses you into the innovative world of tech and gaming and introduces revolutionary ways people are transforming the ways we create, work and play in today’s world.

When: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Where: The Sunset Room

Drowning In Data, Starving For Insights

This session will take a look at the data metrics available to brands, and the solutions brands can use when the data isn’t all-inclusive and meeting their needs.

When: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Where: Fairmont Manchester CD 

Latinx Digital Lives: Culture, Content, and Community

Being at the center of American trendsetter culture influencing content creation, consumption and distribution trends, such as their influence in Music as seen in the rise in popularity of Latin Music, Latinx examines their behavioral bias toward digital tech and discusses Latin Music’s gains as an example of Latinxs influence.

When: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where:  Fairmont Congressional A  

Optimizing Marketing Workflow With AI And Automation

Join the panel for an insight on the current state of the marketing workflow and the role AI is playing in optimizing and automating the process for content creation.

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional B 

Immersive Marketing: Beyond the Instagram Palace

Come for a lively chat about moving beyond the Instagram palace and immersive engagement incorporation to create unique, memorable and life-changing experiences for the consumer.

When: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: JW Marriott Salon 3-4

The Snap House – Viral Growth And The Future Of Visual Communication

The panel will cover how viral, organic growth has changed in a world of “visual communication,” where people are “speaking” with the camera.


● Matt Cano, Snap Inc. Product and Platform Partnerships

● Alston Cheek, Snap Inc. Product and Platform Partnerships

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: Parlor Room

Girl Culture

Margaret Johnson (AdAge’s Executive of the Year and CCO of Goodby Silverstein & Partners), Ukonwa Ojo (former CMO COVERGIRL), Nonny de la Peña (Filmmaker and “Godmother of Virtual Reality”) and Lauren Greenfield (Founder of Girl Culture Films) discuss the evolving female voice in today’s culture.

When:  5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional B 

March 12th 

How Big Brands Are Improving America’s Health

The speaker, Tammy Lewis, is the CMO of CVS Caremark and CVS Specialty, will cover “how some of the nation’s leading brands are pushing the envelope and reaching consumers directly where traditional healthcare systems have failed.”

When:  9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional C

Influencer Marketing in 2025: The Future Of Human Media

Want to know what influencer marketing look like in 2025? It’s all in the title of this panel.

When: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center Ballroom D 

Rise Of Augmented Intelligence And Query-Able Brand

The conversation will revolve around AI technologies and the power it gives to marketers in adding value to customers and businesses.

When: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional B 

Marketing In An Industry Where Change Is The Norm

This panel is all about the role of the CMO and its evolution. The CMO of a $100B health startup will speak on how she is navigating change today.

When: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional C

Women’s Health: How Do You Market Taboo Topics?

In this cross-industry panel discussion, experts will talk about effectively marketing some “taboo” topics, how to create a vocabulary for the complexity of female sexuality and the importance of destigmatizing health and aging concerns for women.

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional B 

Convergence Keynote: The Second Golden Age Of Audio–Podcasting

Join Ostroff, Lieber and Mignano for their first collective interview since Spotify acquired podcasting companies Gimlet and Anchor. The discussion will touch upon the opportunities in audio and podcasting.

When: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center Ball Room D 

Re-Inventing the Wheel: Own, Rent, Share, Subscribe

This panel is a must-visit for marketers interested in all things auto. The panel will concentrate on the consumer needs, techniques beyond traditional sales models and the approach to engagement to offer a broadened value proposition to customers in the automobile industry.

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Hilton Austin Downtown Room 400-402

Insights To Actions: Analytics-Powered Marketing

The leaders in analytics will explain how they use linguistics, anthropology and sociology to influence and mobilize their teams to leverage data and insights in a scalable way.

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional C

The Snap House – Hotdogs And Dog Faces: How Meme Culture Made AR A Worldwide Staple

Meet some viral content creators who are using Snapchat’s Lens Studio to expand the reach of their content by embracing “participatory media.”

When: 4:00 p.m.

Where: Parlor Room 

Disrupting Gender Norms: Authenticity in Advertising

Professional photographer and author Kate T. Parker, who will talk about what it means to be masculine and feminine in today’s world.

When: 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional A  

March 13th

Can Brand Advertising Survive In the Era Of 1:1

In this session, ad agency leaders will discuss how they balance the needs of traditional brand advertising with the technical complexity of marketing to targeted audiences.

When: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional C

Chatbots And AI: Business, Legal, And Ethical Concerns

Join marketers, developers and legal experts for a discussion on virtual assistants, Big Data and AI.

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional B 

Restoring Transparency In Advertising With Blockchain

Drop by and learn howUnilever, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer, Kellogg and IBM are collaborating on a blockchain-enabled advertising network to improve transparency, fight fraud and get make-goods done more quickly.

When: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where:  Fairmont Congressional C

Convergence Keynote: Bozoma Saint John

Bozoma Saint John is CMO at Endeavor. In her role, Saint John focuses on driving marketing efforts across Endeavor’s portfolio.

When:  2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Hilton Austin Downtown Salon H

Can Content Media Catch-Up With Digital?

In this panel, media company leaders discuss their efforts to monetize quality content in an era of expanded distribution channels.

When: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where:  Fairmont Congressional C

Privacy: Has Targeted Marketing Gone Too Far?

Does the dream of 1:1 marketing conflict with evolving standards of privacy? As the well-publicized scandals related to election manipulation show the downside for democracy of ad tech’s ever-more-narrow targeting, has targeting gone too far to be practical and beneficial to marketers?

When: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Congressional C

March 14th

Experiential Is The New Viral: Find Yours

In this session, experiential experts discuss how brands should approach IRL strategies, including events and partnerships that help unite communities.

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where:  Fairmont Congressional B

Cannabis Brands And Investments

The panel will focus on a variety of brands – MedMen, Aster Farms, Heavy Hitters/Mammoth, and Old Pal across product, distribution, and retail and examine their structure.

When: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Hilton Austin Downtown Salon F 

March 15th

Why A Brand Community Is A CMO’s Best Friend

The role of community and impacts of user-generated content will be at the center of this panel.

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center Room 9C 

The Secret Sauce: Cannabis Marketing 3.0

Join the conversation about the restrictions on access to cannabis market data, ads and franchising and the challenges cannabis businesses  face due to them.

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Hilton Austin Downtown Salon G 

March 16th

Arby’s Arts & Crafts: A Story Of Creative Marketing

Meet team members from Moxie, the creative agency responsible for Arby’s captivating social presence, and learn about their approach to creating engaging social content for niche groups like gaming and anime.

When:  11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center Room 9C 

Halo Top’s First TV Campaign Soothes Adulting Woes

Kids love ice cream, but adults deserve it more because of all the crap they put up with, according to Halo Top Creamery’s first integrated TV campaign, “Ice Cream for Adults.”

Four 30-second video spots debuted on Tuesday that highlight the contrast between childhood innocence and the stresses of being an adult. In each spot, children approach a Halo Top branded ice cream truck but are denied by the snarky operator, who gives them an unsolicited reality check about adult life instead.

Halo Top is using existential dread as an affirmation that it’s okay to binge eat a whole pint of ice cream if it’s only 300 calories.

“I believe everyone can relate to the need for ice cream after a rough day,” said Justin Woolverton, Halo Top CEO and founder in a statement.

“Ice Cream for Adults” will run on broadcast, print, digital and social channels beginning March 5 and on through the summer. The campaign was directed by Tim Godsall, who has created a number of tongue-in-cheek commercials including “Opulence” for DirecTV and “Stand Off” for Xbox.

Each Halo Top spot focuses on a particular adult pain point. In “Mortgage,” a man likens having a mortgage to “waterboarding, only you do it to yourself.” The Bachelor star Nick Viall makes an appearance in the “Love” spot, having earned his ice cream for experiencing public heartbreak.

“Swiping” decries the woes of online dating when you’re not photogenic and “Work” bursts a daughter’s bubble about her mother’s promotion attempts.

The US ice cream market experienced a modest 1.6 percent growth in 2018, according to Nielsen. American consumers are demanding more transparency on labels and healthy options, Nielsen observed, noting good sources of fiber and protein as well as sugar substitutes and vegan recipes as major drivers of sales growth.

Halo Top offers vegan ice cream options, less sugar and more protein, which taps into this growing market. Eighty-nine percent of last year’s growth came from ice cream products with a high source of fiber, Nielsen observed, while 18 percent of sales dollars were spent on frozen treats with a sugar substitute.

According to estimates by Mordor Intelligence, the global ice cream market value is expected to reach $89.5 billion by 2023.

KFC Launches Crowdfunding Campaign For More Bizarre Merchandise

KFC has no plans of slowing down the unusual promotion strategy and this time, it wants consumers to fund the efforts.

Five Indiegogo campaigns launched on Tuesday for the new KFC Innovations Lab, a supposed source of the restaurant’s odd, yet popular inventions. Consumers will be able to contribute to a list of KFC-themed ideas for a chance to see them made in real life.

KFC is asking for a total of $2,490,783 across all five campaigns, all of which will go into the actual production. None of the funds “will go into the Colonel’s pocket or directly to KFC,” says the brand.

Whether the quick service restaurant raises all target fund amounts remains to be seen, but a crowd-funding campaign may prove conversation worthy at the least.

“As with any of our marketing programs, our goal is to reach new audiences and build brand love, all while entertaining and engaging viewers in our uniquely KFC way,” Steve Kelly, KFC US director of media and digital marketing told AList. “Selling fried chicken is our business, but you have to be thinking about us first.”

Indiegogo campaigns include a Kentucky Fried Hot Tub, Colonel on Ice (a Colonel Sanders-themed ice show), a tie that tracks its wearer up to 100 feet, a cane that doubles as a remote control and a full-sized picnic bench set made of cardboard.

Each campaign will also receive its own promotional YouTube video.

“Are your muscles tired? Do you need to relax? Do you have a deep-seated love for corporate branding? Do you currently have any money in your bank account?” reads one campaign page. “If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should help support our campaign to bring the Kentucky Fried Hot Tub to life.

The hot tub looks like a giant KFC bucket, holds up to five people and is heated by a wood-fired thermosyphon. Three people who donate at least $13,311 will receive a hot tub for themselves.

Should KFC raise $2.2 million, audiences may soon learn the origin story of Colonel Harland Sanders by way of ice skaters. Donate $50,000 and you can be in the show, or $150 gets you a VIP ticket.

“It’s shocking how expensive and complicated a custom ice show can be,” said Kelly. “We thought it might be prudent to see if our fans are interested before investing in all that choreography.”

“Little Colonel Locator” is a black bow tie in the style of Colonel Sanders that will track its wearer up to 100 feet from a mobile device. Unlike some of the more expensive campaigns, donators can take one home for $132.

The KFC Smartcane Remote is exactly what it sounds like and will set hardcore collectors back $1,703. “Picnic with the Colonel” includes a cardboard cutout of Colonel Sanders and a full-sized picnic bench, also made of cardboard. A limited number of collectors can purchase one outright for $1,020.

All campaigns offer smaller reward tiers in $20, $50 and $60 that get you a puffy sticker set, branded shirt or branded sweat pants, respectively. KFC launched its KFC Limited merchandise store in 2017 but has since closed it so the campaign will give fans another chance to buy.

It seems like KFC comes out with another wacky idea every week. Will these types of marketing activations become saturated someday?

“We hope not because we sure have a lot of fun bringing them to life!,” said Kelly.


Neiman Marcus Curates ‘The Art Of Travel’ To Target Jetsetters

Neiman Marcus is incorporating their high-end fashion with the luxury of travel to grab the attention of younger consumers—especially with the popularity of travel influencers.  The Dallas-based retailer unveiled their latest campaign ‘The Art of Travel’ partnering with Tourism Ireland, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Audley Travel and MSC Cruise to offer sightseeing tips along with their exclusive designer collection.

Professional photographers such as Phil Poynter and Agata Pospieszynska captured original shots for Neiman Marcus’ spring book with a travel guide suggesting various cities to discover such as Bangkok. The travel diary features restaurants, lounges, street eats, hotels and favorite spots to visit like the Wat Phra Kaew temple.

Consumers can not only see ‘The Art of Travel’ online, but they’ll have hands-on participation through in-store activations that will take place in their stores at Hudson Yards in New York City, Beverly Hills and NorthPark Center in Dallas.  The stores will be transformed into travel hubs by window displays and “interior presentations with vitrines and visual towers.”

Other retailers have tapped into the travel sector. In January, fellow upscale brand Nordstrom launched a pop-up shop featuring Away suitcases. They offered four standard suitcases in Nordstrom-only colors, accessories and other handy travel items. Looking at Away’s Instagram page, you’ll see curated pictures of various cities worldwide mixed in with images of their products.

Now, Neiman Marcus is taking it a step further to venture deeper into the travel sector. The company already has a “for a getaway” occasion option for women’s clothing on their site.

“Through The Art of Travel, we are bringing the spirit of travel and the magic of fashion together for our customers in an innovative and experiential way,” said Theresa Palermo, senior vice president of brand marketing and public relations at Neiman Marcus Group in a statement.

“We are inspiring our shoppers and engaging them at every touch point, both in stores and online. The Art of Travel will be an immersive experience for our customers, offering them insider travel tips from notable fashion designers, engaging in-store events with brand partners, and an impressive collection of exclusive products.”

This campaign could be an attempt to not just get Millennial consumers, but a way to save itself. The retailer just announced it would get three more years to transform its business. The company reached an agreement with bondholders and the repayment deadline has been pushed to 2023. After two leveraged buyouts, Neiman Marcus was consumed with debt and they haven’t been able to pay off its approximately five million dollar IOU.