Twitter Rolls Out Video Docking Tool For Android Multitasking

This week in social media news, Twitter introduces a video dock feature, Facebook trains AI to interpret locations on the go, Twitter tests ads for the Explore tab, Instagram users “down under” can now apply for the coveted blue check mark and YouTube doesn’t take kindly to Twitch videos.

In other news, Twitter cracks down on inactive accounts, Facebook News programs prepare for launch, Pinterest Groups get collaborative and YouTube fights copycats posters. Facebook tests ads you can try on and warns of fake news, Snapchat showcases user-generated AR and partners with Amazon, Instagram users ask more questions, YouTube lets some users browse in private and the company invests a whole lot of money in digital literacy. Also, Whatsapp warns users of suspicious links and Instagram continues its “Time Well Spent” mission statement with new features.

Twitter Rolls Out Video Docking Tool For Android

Android Twitter users can now dock a video anywhere on their screen while they scroll through a feed, the company announced this week. The feature is similar to Facebook and many news sites that automatically move the video to the side when a user scrolls down the page. Twitter’s tool allows the user to move and place the video instead of doing it automatically. A tool for iOS will be released sometime in the near future.

Facebook Project Trains AI To Work Together

Anyone who has learned a language knows that memorizing vocabulary words does little to prepare you for visiting an actual city covered in signage. It can be overwhelming for anyone trying to navigate a new place. The same is true for machine learning, so Facebook created a project called “Talk the Walk” to train AI in such an environment.

Facebook’s research team created an AI “tourist” and gave it access to 360-degree pictures of locations around New York. An AI “guide” had access to an overhead 2D map with generic descriptions such as “restaurant” and “hotel.” Neither bot could share its view with the other.

The tourist bot described its location to the guide bot, which predicted the tourist bot’s location on its map. The result was 87.08 percent accuracy on a full navigation task, compared to 76.7 percent accuracy from human annotators.

“To be truly effective at interacting with humans, future AI systems will understand text that’s embedded in messy visual environments and language that doesn’t line up with a limited, predetermined list of phrases,” Facebook wrote alongside its findings.

Twitter Tests ‘Promoted Trend Spotlight’ Ads

Marketers may soon be able to place ads above Twitter’s trending topics section, TechCrunch reported. The ads would consist of large banners equipped with an animated GIF or image displayed at the top of the Explore Tab. The ads would appear for the first two times a user visits the tab that day, then resume with the normal layout. Promoted Trend Spotlight ads will be purchased as an add-on to the existing Promoted Trends and are currently being tested with Walt Disney’s Christopher Robin.

Australian Instagram Users Can Now Apply To Get Verified

The coveted “blue checkmark” on social media labels an influential person’s account so that it can be differentiated from impersonators. It’s usually reserved for celebrities, but some Instagram users in Australia are now able to apply for one. As spotted by, Australians with the iOS version of Instagram are currently the only ones in the world who can apply to be verified after supplying proof of identity.

YouTube Cracks Down On Videos Directing Viewers Elsewhere

Creators on YouTube have reported temporary channel deletions for promoting their Twitch streams, Engadget reports. YouTube policies forbid users from publishing content designed purely to direct viewers away from the site and Twitch partners have similar restrictions. However, YouTube creators like Surny and Linus Tech Tips have reported sudden unprompted enforcement that includes channel deletion instead of a warning. The purpose of the offending videos, these creators admitted, was to tell subscribers that they had begun streaming live on Twitch.

The move comes as competition heats up between social media video sites and YouTube is taking steps to prevent any loss of viewership it can. Creators claim that the rule against redirecting traffic through video posts has been in place for a long time, but until recently was not enforced.

Twitter Removes Locked Accounts From Follower Count

Follower counts may decrease this week, Twitter warns, as locked accounts will be systematically removed from the profile statistic. Follower counts will no longer count profiles which have been locked and untouched for more than a month in an attempt to increase transparency and prevent inaccurate data. Removing locked accounts from followers doesn’t impact MAU or DAU, Twitter said but it could have the potential to impact publicly reported metrics.

Although Twitter did not specify a reason for this sudden action, it is most likely a direct response to statements made by Unilever’s Keith Weed during Cannes Lions. Unilever—which spends $7 billion in advertising—will no longer invest in influencers that buy followers, Weed said. In addition, the company will prioritize partners who increase their transparency and work to eradicate nefarious practices throughout the digital ecosystem.

If Twitter was trying to get Weed’s attention, it succeeded.

Facebook’s Funded News Shows Will Debut July 16

The first round of funded news programming is slated to go live on Facebook Watch next week and includes shows from ABC News, Advance Local, ATTN:, CNN, Fox News, Mic, Quartz, and Univision. Users will be offered custom recommendations based on who they watch and what their friends are viewing. Programs can also be accessed directly from the publisher’s page.

News programs on Facebook will allow users to interact with broadcasters in real-time. Anderson Cooper’s first show for Facebook Watch on July 16, for example, stream live from Helsinki for the US-Russia summit. The show will include live polls and Cooper will personally respond to questions posted in the comments.

Pinterest Adds Collaboration Tools To Group Boards

Activity feeds have been added to Group Boards on Pinterest, the company announced on Wednesday. Group members can now like, comment and be notified when someone joins the group, adds a new Pin, adds a new section etc. Pinterest says the feature is in response to requests from its users that collaborate with family and friends to plan events or projects.

Pinterest has become a popular hub for searches related to holidays and yearly traditions such as back-to-school. Pinterest says that 47 million people search for back-to-school ideas on its network last year.

YouTube ‘Copyright Match’ Tool Fights Re-Uploads

There are few things more frustrating on YouTube than having one’s hard work copied and uploaded to someone else’s account. For the past year, YouTube has been testing a new tool called Copyright Match that will automatically detect these offenses and allow creators to have them removed. When a user uploads a video, YouTube will verify it as the first iteration. Any subsequent videos posted that are detected as very similar will be flagged and the original creator will be notified. From there, the creator can reach out to the other YouTube user, do nothing or request that YouTube remove the video.

Copyright Match tools are scheduled to launch next week for creators with over 100,000 followers.

Facebook AR Ads Let Users Try On Products

During a special event in New York on Tuesday, Facebook revealed new marketing options being tested for the News Feed. Ty Ahmad-Taylor, vice president of product marketing for Facebook’s global marketing solutions demonstrated AR ads that let users try on products such as sunglasses and makeup. As reported by TechCrunch, the ads will appear as normal images with a “tap to try it on” that opens the AR camera. The first brand to test the new feature is Michael Kors with other brands planning their own tests in the near future, including Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, Wayfair and King.

Ads will not be limited to makeup and accessories. For example, a demonstration for King superimposed Ahmad-Taylor’s face into Candy Crush gameplay.

Snapchat Lens Explorer Showcases User-Generated AR

Speaking of AR, Snapchat unveiled Lens Explorer on Tuesday—a carousel that allows users to browse and unlock thousands of Lenses, as well as Stories that have featured them. The feature is available for iOS devices only at launch. No sponsored Lenses are included for the time being.

The company says that since Lens Studio was launched, over 100,000 unique Lenses which have been viewed by Snapchatters over 2.5 billion times.

Instagram Adds Question Sticker To Stories

As spotted last week, Instagram has officially launched its “question sticker.” The feature allows users to ask an open-ended question or invite others to do the same. The answers can be answered by anyone that views the Story but can be viewed only by the one that posted the question sticker. Story posters can, however, share the replies which appear with a username.

YouTube Rolls Out ‘Incognito Mode’ To Android Users

Want to watch those tiny cooking shows without your wife knowing? Well, Android users can do so in (kind of) secret with incognito mode, now available on Android devices. Much like its desktop counterpart, the mode does not log browser histories onto the device itself but comes with a disclaimer about not being completely invisible from networks or service providers.

Snapchat Code Reveals Amazon Visual Search Feature

An eagle-eyed app researcher has discovered a hidden feature in Snapchat’s Android code, aptly codenamed “Eagle.” The feature, reported by TechCrunch, is called Visual Search and directs users to “Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to Amazon, Shazam, and other partners.” Once an object or barcode has been scanned, users will be able to see all the results on Amazon.

A partnership with Amazon isn’t a surprising one, as it is the only other place where users can purchase Snapchat’s recording Spectacles.

WhatsApp Tests Suspicious Link Detection; Labels Forwarded Messages

According to WABetaInfo, a new feature called Suspicious Link Detection has been added to beta version 2.18.204 that analyzes and labels outgoing links that may redirect to a fake or website other than what is represented.

WhatsApp has been under pressure from Indian authorities lately for a slew of killings that allegedly originated from hoax messages sent on the app. Much like the “Pizzagate” incident in 2016, Indian residents reacted violently to claims that people in their area were abducting children or harvesting organs. This week, Facebook has taken out full-page advertisements in several Indian newspapers that offer 10 tips for spotting fake news.

Facebook’s encrypted messaging app is favored worldwide for its privacy, but that same feature makes it difficult to police the spread of misinformation. Last week, Facebook announced that researchers could earn $50,000 for proposals related to “detection of problematic behavior within encrypted systems,” among other topics.

Beginning on Tuesday, any messages forwarded and not generated by the sender will be labeled, the company announced, saying, “WhatsApp cares deeply about your safety. We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded.”

YouTube Invests $25M For Journalism Content; Digital Literacy

In a blog post on Monday, YouTube said it is building a “working group” with news organizations and experts from around the world to help develop new product features and improve the news experience on its platform. Early partners in the program include Vox Media, Jovem Plan and India Today. YouTube will accept applications from news organizations from approximately 20 global markets. Those selected will receive funding from YouTube to build sustainable video operations.

YouTube will also begin sharing snippets of text articles in the event of a breaking news story so users can get news as it develops (and while videos are being produced). The site has also begun testing features that surface local news in the YouTube app for TV screens across 25 media markets around the US.

Fake news and propaganda spread with the help of “digital illiteracy,” that is, the inability to tell the difference between what is real vs. fake and biassed vs. not. YouTube has partnered with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a US-based initiative designed to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills. The program will feature six YouTube Creators to help educate teens online.

Instagram Encourages Taking A Break

Endless scrolling down Instagram’s news feed to see if you missed anything may become a thing of the past. Instagram has added a notification called “You’re All Caught Up” that lets users know if they’ve seen everything posted within the last 48 hours.

In addition, Instagram is also testing a “Do Not Disturb” feature that lets users shut off notifications from Instagram and WhatsApp for 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, eight hours, one day or until they’re turned back on manually. The yet-to-be-formally-announced feature was spotted by social media consultant Matt Nevarro and reported by TechCrunch.

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

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Campbell Soup, Ace Hardware Hire CMOs; Papa John’s Founder Departs

This week has several executive shifts, Campbell Soup hires Diego Palmieri as CMO, Ace Hardware appoints Kim Lefko CMO VP and the managing director for Cannes Lions leaves parent company Ascential.

Campbell Appoints CMO Of US Meals And Beverages

The Campbell Soup Company announced Diego Palmieri as vice president and chief marketing officer of US meals and beverages, effective July 18, 2018. In this role, he will be responsible for all aspects of US marketing and consumer connection across the division’s portfolio of brands, including Campbell’s, Chunky, Well Yes!, Slow Kettle, Swanson, V8, Plum, Pace and Prego. Palmieri joins from SC Johnson, where performed various roles—almost half of them in marketing—for two decades.

“Diego has spent his career marketing and selling consumer products in the United States and abroad,” Campbell meals a beverages president Roberto Leopardi. “He is an accomplished marketer and experienced business leader with a track record of growing businesses through a deep understanding of brand value and success in building ecommerce into the marketing and sales mix.”

New CMO Finds Place At Ace Hardware

Kim Lefko has been appointed as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Ace Hardware. Lefko is tasked with leading the brand’s global marketing, advertising efforts and digital initiatives. Before joining Ace, Lefko served as chief marketing officer at Weber Stephen Products, maker of Weber grills.

In a statement, Ace Hardware president and CEO said: “We are excited to welcome Kim to Ace as our new SVP/chief marketing officer. In concert with her new team, Kim’s 20 years of results developing and advancing beloved consumer brands will further our local owners’ passion to fulfill Ace’s brand promise as the helpful place. I believe Kim will be a great addition to our leadership team.”

Cannes Lions Managing Director Exits

Jose Papa, who has been the managing director of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity since 2016, is departing from the role due to the festival’s parent company Ascential making the position redundant. It is believed that Ascential will retire the position of managing director entirely as Ascential CEO Phil Thomas, who was managing director before Papa took the post, takes over responsibilities.

Papa John’s Pizza Founder Resigns

John Schnatter, founder of the Papa John’s pizzeria, has stepped down as chairman of the board amid allegations that he used a racial slur during a conference call—an incident that led the MLB to suspend its promotional partnership with the restaurant chain. Papa John’s has accepted Schnatter’s resignation and will appoint a new chair.

Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group CEO Departs

John Amato, CEO of the New York-based Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group has resigned from his post. The announcement comes amid a period of restructuring from the company’s new owners Valence Media. Amato has served as co-president of the media company since 2014 and became CEO in 2017. The group owns music-oriented sites such as Spin, Vibe and Stereogum in addition to The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.

Supermarket Group Chooses Marketing SVP

Retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. has appointed Erik Keptner to serve as its senior vice president of marketing. In this role, he will develop marketing and merchandizing strategies that build upon the company’s legacy of retail brands, which include ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Market. Keptner previously worked as SVP of sales, merchandising and marketing for the Giant Food Stores division of Ahold Delhaize, and will officially move into his new position on July 9.

Effie Worldwide Announces New Board Members

Effie Worldwide has announced the elected positions of its 2019 Board of Directors, who will be tasked with overseeing and contributing to the nonprofit organization’s mission to lead, inspire and champion the practice and practitioners of marketing effectiveness. Appointees include UM global CEO Daryl Lee, who will enter the second half of his two-year term as Board Chair, while Ancestry EVP and CMO Vineet Mehra has been appointed chair-elect. Other appointments include Oath’s SVP of global partnerships Jack Bamberger and Red Fuse EVP Ellen Hyde Pace.

New members include Sam’s Club chief member officer Tony Rogers, IBM Greater China Group CMO Gill Zhou and Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School professor Bharat Anand.

Former CEO Becomes BigCommerce CMO

Austin-based cloud ecommerce platform BigCommerce named Lisa Pearson as chief marketing officer. She will lead the company’s global marketing organization by overseeing all aspects of brand and communications, product marketing, demand generation, customer acquisition and partner marketing. Most recently, Pearson served as CEO for data management platform Umbel.

“Lisa’s combination of CEO-level experience, deep ecommerce domain expertise and impeccable track record leading world-class marketing organizations made her uniquely qualified for this position,” said BigCommerce CEO Brent Bellm. “Her unrelenting, customer-first mentality directly reflects our values as a company, and I have the utmost confidence that Lisa’s approach to marketing will benefit our business, customers, employees and partners.”

Sony Pictures Changes Up International Marketing Leadership

Sony Pictures Entertainment has promoted Paul Noble to co-president of international marketing. He has led Sony’s international creative advertising since 2015 and most recently served as executive vice president.

Noble replaces Michael Horn, who announced that he is stepping down as president of international marketing after four years in the role. Horn has been involved with international campaigns for Blade Runner 2049, Spider-Man: Homecoming and  Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Most recently, he was involved with the promotion of Hotel Transylvania 3, which releases on July 13.

Viacom Promotes Bellator Marketing SVP

Viacom’s Bellator sports franchise has promoted David Schwarz to the newly created role of senior vice president of marketing and communications. Schwarz has been with Viacom for over 19 years, serving most recently as SVP of communications for the Paramount Network. In his new role, he will oversee the critical areas of Bellator’s development, which include consumer marketing, communications, social media, ticket sales and digital.

“David has a wealth of experience as a brand builder and will play a vital role in Bellator’s continued upward trajectory as a thriving global franchise,” said Bellator CEO and president Scott Coker.

Aviron Pictures Expands Executive Team

Aviron Pictures announced four executive appointments, including Jeff Elefterion as executive VP of creative marketing. Elefterion previously oversaw domestic marketing at New Regency, Miramax and the Weinstein Company for movies such as Birdman, The Revenant and Gone Girl. In his new role, he will execute domestic theatrical and home entertainment marketing campaigns.

Pernod Ricard Makes Executive Shifts

Darryn Hakof has been named global marketing director for Pernod Ricard Winemakers. Hakof has been with the Pernod Ricard Group for almost 20 years, and he will remain a member of the Pernod Ricard Winemakers Management Committee and a Better Balance ambassador, which promotes diversity and inclusiveness within the business. He replaces Anne Tremsal, who was appointed as marketing director of Ricard & Pernod based in Marseille.

Xplorie Names New Marketing VP

Vacation rental booking service Xplorie announced the expansion of its executive team with the appointment of Debi Steigerwald as vice president of marketing. Steigerwald previously served as the director of marketing operations for Vacasa, and she joins as Xplorie also grows its sales team.

CMO Joins Ebb Therapeutics

Medical device startup Ebb Therapeutics has appointed Elise Wilfinger as its chief marketing officer. In this position, Wilfinger will oversee brand strategy, positioning and narrative development, consumer demand generation, experience and adoption and all surround-sound marketing in addition to having strategic oversight for the company’s industry profile and reputation.

Tentsile Grows North American Market With Executive Appointments

Tentsile, the maker of portable treehouses, announced several appointments to its executive team as it continues to grow in the North American market. Among them is Kirstie Grego, who was promoted to global marketing director.

“As we grow, we need to ensure we have the right teams in place,” Alex Shirley-Smith, CEO and founder of Tentsile, said in a statement. “We are putting the right people in roles specific to their strengths to respond to consumer interest while at the same time fully supporting our retail partners in North America and beyond.”

Oprah Winfrey Joins Restaurant Business

Celebrity and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey announced that she has made an equity investment in the Phoenix, Arizona-based health food restaurant True Food Kitchen. The investment puts her on the brand’s board of directors, and she will act as a consultant. The move is in line with Winfrey’s personal health-conscious brand, and she currently owns about eight percent of the Weight Watchers franchise. True Food Kitchen is expected to double its business over the next three years thanks to Winfrey’s investment.

“I love bringing people together over a good meal,” Winfrey said in a statement. “When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team’s passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company’s future.”

MillerCoors Marketing Officer Exits

David Kroll, who has served as MillerCoors’ chief marketing officer since 2015, is leaving to pursue “independent business interests” on July 27. Kroll joined the brewer in 2012, and as CMO, oversaw several campaigns during his time with the company, such as revitalizing Miller Lite’s Branding to take aim at competitor Bud Light.

“We will miss David’s passion for our brands, but I see this as an opportunity to get a fresh perspective across our portfolio,” CEO Gaven Hattersley wrote in the memo announcing Kroll’s departure.

Dolby Laboratories Appoints Lead Marketer

Audio and imaging technology company Dolby Laboratories announced the appointment of Todd Pendleton to the role of senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Before joining Dolby, Pendleton spent 15 years in marketing for Nike and is the former CMO of Samsung North America. Most recently, he was the head of his own marketing firm Defi/9.

“Todd’s experience, passion for Dolby and visionary leadership make him the ideal choice for our CMO role,” said Dolby President and CEO Kevin Yeaman in a statement. “I am excited about Todd’s passion and ability to accelerate our success as we continue to bring spectacular experiences to more people around the world.”

Automobili Pininfarina Names Board Appointees To Launch Luxury Car Portfolio

Munich-based startup car brand Automobili Pininfarina has assembled its Board of Directors, with Dan Connell taking the role of chief brand officer. Prior to joining Automobili Pininfarina, Connell was responsible for global marketing communications and PR strategy for Jaguar Land Rover. He has also handled public relations at Volkswagen, Mini and McLaren Automotive. The senior management team announcement comes as the company prepares to present its line of high-performance luxury electric cars.

“We have attracted some of the best automotive industry talent from all corners of the globe. Now this team is completely focused on delivering ground-breaking, highly desirable vehicles through a business strategy which will see Automobili Pininfarina become the most sustainable luxury automotive business in the world,” CEO Michael Perschke said in a statement.

Borden Dairy Expands Executive Team

Borden Dairy Company expanded its executive team with the appointment of Joe DePetrillo as chief marketing officer. DePetrillo has over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, with his most recent role being VP of sales at Earthbound Farms. As Borden’s CMO, he will be responsible for creating and implementing a marketing strategy for the company. Borden also appointed Nick Suffredin as VP of research and development, and Brent Fowler as VP of operations.

“We are excited to welcome Joe, Nick, and Brent to Borden,” said CEO Tony Sarsam in a statement. “They are all fantastic additions to our growing leadership team. Together we will bring innovation back to Borden and create a new bright future for the company, the brand, and all our wonderful employees, as well as our amazing customers.”

Vivid Seats Appoints CMO To Elevate Fan Experiences

Online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats announced the appointment of Rich Lesperance as its new chief marketing officer. Lesperance will operate from the company’s Chicago headquarters to oversee the company’s brand and consumer engagement strategy, “leveraging data analytics to drive a diverse customer acquisition platform.”

“Rich brings a rare combination of experience driving significant growth for both household-name brands and fast-growing startups,” said Vivid Seats co-founder Jerry Bednyak. “Vivid Seats has grown substantially in recent years, and Rich’s talent and proven track record of accomplishments is precisely what we need to continue to deliver, and further elevate, the exceptional fan experiences that have fueled our success to date.”

Century 21 Stores Grow With Marketing Executive

The Century 21 off-price department store chain has hired Michael Kustermann as its newest chief marketing officer. Before joining Century 21 Stores, Kustermann helped to innovate customer experiences at Starbucks and Nespresso. His most recent position was as chief digital experience officer for Bose. In his new role, Kustermann is tasked with leading all marketing, creative and digital efforts, including ecommerce at Century 21 Stores.

B.GOOD Brings In New CMO To Promote Brand Message

Boston-based fast food restaurant chain B.GOOD has hired Brent Feldman as its chief marketing officer. Feldman worked in advertising for the foodservice segment prior to joining the company. At B.GOOD, a brand that emphasizes locally sourced food, he is charged with developing the chain’s brand image and awareness using fast and consistent marketing methods to increase its sales. That includes enhancing customers’ in-store experiences and spotlighting its supplier-partners in the communities where it operates.

B.GOOD CEO Chris Fuqua said, “We have big plans to expand the B.GOOD brand in the months and years ahead. This plan includes driving brand awareness by telling the B.GOOD story, really understanding our customers, innovating through menu and technology and building a culture that makes B.GOOD a fantastic place to work.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 13. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

VP, Marketing Oakley New York, NY
Head of Lifecycle Marketing Dropbox San Francisco, CA
VP, Marketing Shippo San Francisco, CA
Brand Manager Innovation Colgate-Palmolive New York, NY
VP, Product Marketing Clover Sunnyvale, CA
Head of Marketing Computershare Jersey City, NJ

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

Cheetos Invites Consumers To Win What They See

Cheetos, PepsiCo Frito-Lay brand, wants snack lovers to look long and hard at their orange dust covered food before munching it down because having active imaginations might score big prizes. From now until September 2, the snack brand is offering snackers a chance to win what they see.

To qualify, fans can submit a photo unique Cheetos snack shape accompanied by a description, and they might win something related to what they imagine. For example, if the snacker thinks that their Cheetos looks like a guitar, they might win a real guitar or concert tickets. An orange palm tree might lead to a tropical vacation. It’s anyone’s guess as to what the prize will be if someone finds another unicorn in their Cheetos bag.

In a press release, Cheetos said that $100,000 worth of experiences and prizes will be awarded over the 10-week period.

Each winner can expect to receive prizes valued up to $11,000, with “unexpected” prizes awarded to especially unique shape submissions.

This isn’t the first Cheetos campaign inspired by its fans’ imaginations. Last summer, it opened a real-life Cheetos Museum in New York’s Times Square based on the growing Instagram trend of people posting about what their Cheeto happened to look like. Similar to the current contest, users were invited to submit a photo and story about a particular Cheetos shape for a chance to win a permanent spot in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium collection, an entry in the Ripley’s book and a $50,000 grand prize. Over 100,000 shapes were submitted.

The Cheetos Museum is making a comeback this year in a separate contest featuring a $25,000 grand prize. Voting for the four finalists and the grand prize winner will begin on July 16.

“Cheetos believes you should never stop having fun with your food—and our fans agree. Over the past two years, and over 200,000 submissions later, Cheetos Museum proved how exceptionally creative our fans are,” Brandi Ray, senior marketing director, Frito-Lay North America, said in a statement. “We are excited to offer a new way to celebrate that creativity with the opportunity to win unforgettable experiences and prizes for the interesting shapes you see in your Cheetos snacks.”

Welcome To The New AList

It’s been an exciting year for the AList team.

We’re now reaching 1.3 million readers worldwide, helping to inform marketers across a variety of industries—70 percent of which are directors, VP’s and C-level executives.

We’ve hyper-focused our reporting to explore where marketing innovation is happening, the campaigns that are using fresh and experimental strategies and curating the insights that are most pivotal for decision-makers to know about.

We are also pleased to announce that AList is now a part of, joining a roster of other companies that are prioritizing marketing innovation.

During all of this, we decided to embark on the major undertaking of redesigning our site with the goal of making a stellar experience for our readers to navigate the site with ease. (In fact, we’d love to hear what you think about it.)

Much of these cosmetic updates have now been done, and we’re now working on rolling out some major new updates, launching our first set of tools for readers by the end of July:

  • An expanded job board that will be self-service to navigate and post new openings exclusively for senior-level marketing roles.
  • An overhaul to our events section that will better highlight major industry happenings and allow for others to post their own events.
  • Launching AList Weekly, a new newsletter that will provide the week’s biggest must-read stories. (If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so here.)
  • We’ve updated our privacy policy to provide clarity on how, when and why we collect any personal data you may share with us.
  • Launching “On Brand,” a new series that dives deeper into marketing strategies and leadership.

These updates are just the beginning of the many things we have in store for you for the rest of the year, as we further develop AList to not just be a helpful resource for your day-to-day, but to provide you mission-critical tools, deep-dive strategic insights and above all, community.

Marketers Still Have A Data Problem According To CMO Council

Today’s marketers are taking on responsibilities that go well beyond brand awareness, creating strategies that extend to customer experience, according to a new study by the CMO Council. To accomplish this, however, marketers need access to data from across the organization which is not always available or reliable.

The study entitled, “Doing More with Data: Discovering Data-Accelerated Revenue Traction,” includes the responses from 165 executives from brands including REI, Ryder, IBM and Samsonite.

A full 61 percent of executives surveyed consider themselves to be the owner of customer experience (CX) strategies, 59 percent as a visionary for engagement innovation and opportunity and 55 percent the collector of critical intelligence.

Creating strategies around these key responsibilities relies heavily on access to internal company data—something respondents admitted is not always readily available. Only 20 percent of marketing respondents feel that real-time access to all relevant points of customer insight and data is available to them across the organization.

In fact, 31 percent admit that access to necessary data is more “hit or miss,” varying wildly across functions, partners and their parties. Twelve percent admit that access to critical insights is fairly inaccessible or highly inaccessible.

“Not only are these the data sources that marketers feel are critical to understanding the customer, but they are also believed to be the sources of data that can be put to work to deliver on engagement and experience promises,” notes CMO Council in the report.

The problem may lie in perception. The study found that 21 percent of marketing believes their organization’s current attitude is that data is hard to access and even harder to use. Forty-two percent of supply chain and 37 percent of commerce executives, meanwhile, believe the attitude is that there is just not enough time, budget or patience to unlock the data’s untapped potential.

When asked to identify what could be holding the organization back from realizing the full potential of data, three issues persisted regardless of role within the company. CMO Council refers to these as the “Three Ts.”

The three Ts are Tools, Talent and Time. More than half (53 percent) of all respondents indicate that they do not have the systems to connect data silos and boost accessibility. Nearly half (48 percent) say there are gaps in skills and talent required to utilize data more powerfully. Lastly, it’s the problem that plagues us all—time. A good 45 percent of respondents say there just are not enough hours in the day to address all of the issues and needs that are part of the overarching transformation to activate data.

Brands Celebrated Fourth Of July With Usual Traditions Of Food And Fireworks

The 42nd annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show once again lit up the sky with a dazzling display while celebrities entertained audiences. The televised broadcast drew in over 7.5 million viewers. Macy’s also relied on a little more than fireworks this year by presenting virtual reality fireworks activations in four of its stores and at festivals across the country a few days ahead of time to stir up greater anticipation for the real thing.

But Macy’s wasn’t the only one to fuse technology with a patriotic light show. Intel celebrated both Independence Day and Travis Air Force Base’s 75th anniversary using 500 light-up drones that put on a show in the night sky. Meanwhile, outdoors brand L.L. Bean hosted a free live concert on Facebook.

Independence Day celebrations wouldn’t be complete without plenty of food. Budweiser embraced this ideal by hosting a massive barbecue party for the record books. The brewery brought 564 people together at its St. Louis headquarters to break the Guinness World record for the number of concurrent people grilling together, all while promoting its limited edition Budweiser Freedom Reserve Lager.

Meanwhile, fast food restaurants took to social media to show their patriotism. Jack In The Box encouraged folks to leave grilling the perfect burger to the pros, and Carl’s Jr. posted a picture of the American flag made using chicken nuggets, fries and ketchup. Oreo gave a shout out to history buffs with a little animation of founding father Benjamin Franklin sneaking a cookie.

Coca-Cola took a more intimate approach to celebrations by launching its heartwarming/breaking “One Last Summer” video series as part of its “Share a Coke” campaign. A new video will release each week, each focusing on different high school graduates who will be leaving their hometowns and separating from friends after the summer as they leave for college.

Disney tapped into the Fourth of July spirit to promote Ant-Man and The Wasp, which released on July 6, by offering the world’s tiniest barbecue on social media. Additionally, Disney encouraged fans to lay back and relax with some Winnie-the-Pooh wisdom as a lead-in to the live action movie Christopher Robin, which hits theaters in August.

Google got into the patriotic spirit with its Independence Day homepage Doodle, which opens an animated map of the United States that link to the greatest summertime recipes for each state.

Lastly, Shinola took a decidedly different approach to celebrating Independence Day while marking the launch of its Statue of Liberty Timepiece Collection. The watchmaker showed America through the eyes of immigrants by releasing a six-minute documentary video that features new citizens following their naturalization ceremony. An emotional tribute that touches one of the most important aspects of living in America and celebrating Independence Day.

Reddit Now Offers Advertising Packages Such As ‘Top Post Takeovers’

This week in social media news, Reddit (finally) decides to translate its massive popularity into site revenue and Instagram tests a question feature.

In other news, Snapchat brings AR to theme parks, Facebook competes for soccer streams, Twitter hosts tennis and Facebook abandons recent app purchases. Also, Pinterest shares trends for July, Facebook makes changes to its Marketing API and WhatsApp gives more control to Group Admins.

Reddit Offers New Advertising Packages

One of the most popular places on the internet is courting advertisers. According to a 28-page presentation obtained by CNBC, Reddit is offering various advertising packages including “top post takeovers” for 24 hours and another that gives brands a prominent place on the sidebar. The presentation includes case studies from brands including Duracell, Toyota, Coca-Cola and JetBlue.

As of May, Reddit was number six in the world in terms of traffic, according to Alexa. The 13-year-old birthplace of memes and debate has become a bustling hub of discussion for internet users of various age groups and interests, so Reddit’s move toward more aggressive advertising is a natural next step.

Instagram Tests Open-Ended Questions

In a move to make Instagram Stories more interactive, the company is testing the ability to ask open-ended questions. The feature was spotted last week in the app’s code and now users in Spain and Indonesia have been spotted asking questions on their Stories, according to TechCrunch. Instagram users posting Stories can already ask poll questions with pre-determined choices. The ability to ask open-ended questions of followers will allow creators to encourage conversation around ideas.

Snapchat Makes First AR Deal With Six Flags

Visitors to Disney and Universal Studios theme parks can already give themselves Mickey or Minnie Mouse ears, add geofilters or watch Minions run amok, and now  Snapchat has penned its first ever deal with Six Flags, too. Beginning Monday, visitors to 11 Six Flags parks are able to turn themselves into Superman or watch him save the day in augmented reality. This is the first time Snapchat will run AR experiences in all three major parks.

Facebook Shutters Hello, tbh and Moves

Facebook is cleaning house on a slew of apps it has acquired or launched in the last few years, citing low usage. In the coming weeks, Facebook will depreciate Hello, an Android app in Brazil, US and Nigeria that combines information from Facebook and contact information from a user’s device. In addition, the company will abandon Moves, a fitness app purchased in 2014 and tbh, an app for high school students acquired just last year. Data from these three apps will be deleted within the next 90 days.

Wimbledon Returns To Twitter For Third Year

Tennis fans on social media can tune in to Twitter again this year, where the Wimbledon Championships are being livestreamed through June 15. Twitter has introduced three custom hashtag emoji for #Wimbledon, #TakeOnHistory and #TheQueue to promote conversation around the event. For the third year in a row, live commentary and interviews will be streamed from The Wimbledon Channel.

Facebook Eyes Premier League TV Rights

Speaking of sport, Facebook is currently negotiating the rights to broadcast the English Premier League in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, a source told Bloomberg. While the price of securing rights in Premier League’s native UK may be too rich, securing a three-year deal in smaller countries could help Facebook attract more users in the APAC region. The same source indicated that an official announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

Pinterest To Marketers: Seasonal Pins Performs Better 

What can marketers take away from the fact that saves of “micro sunglasses” Pins are up 1,305 percent year-over-year? Or that women are saving “spiral hair ties” 2,198 percent more, too? For one thing, summer is definitely in the air. More importantly, though, advertisers on Pinterest need to consider that Pins about seasonal topics can drive 10 times higher aided awareness than those that aren’t as timely.

“No matter the month, it’s always helpful to tie your Pins to seasonal moments,” writes Talia Parnass, head of content marketing at Pinterest. “Try to work a summer angle into your Pin this July: think about beach scenes, outdoor entertaining and other popular activities for the warmer months.”

Parnass also advises showing your product or service in context so that users can visualize it in their own lives. In general, lifestyle images and Pins that provide context perform better than Pins that show products on their own.

Facebook Outlines New API Restrictions

Beginning on Monday, Facebook has introduced new restrictions on its API to protect user information. Marketing API now requires an app review before developers can use it, and the process has been reduced from three tiers to two.

“These changes will continue to enable developers to create social experiences while protecting people’s information,” explained Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships.

Other changes include the depreciation of Graph API Explorer App, Profile Expression Kit and inside Media Solutions the following will be depreciated soon: Topic Search, Topic Insights and Topic Feed and Public Figure APIs.

WhatsApp Admins Granted More Control

WhatsApp Groups designed for announcements and important information as opposed to casual conversations (non profit groups, teachers, etc.) may find messages from its members distracting from pressing matters. To address this problem, new controls have been added to let Admins control the flow of messages. Admins can now change their settings so that only Admins can send messages to a group.

This change is the latest in a series of changes WhatsApp has made to Groups that include protection so users can’t be repeatedly added to groups they’ve left, the ability to catch up on missed mentions after time away and additional Admin controls.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 6. 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

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Barnes & Noble CEO Departs

This week, book retailer Barnes & Noble announced the immediate departure of its CEO.

Barnes & Noble CEO Departs

Retailer Barnes & Noble announced that its chief executive, Demos Parneros, is leaving without severance due to unspecified violations of company policy. However, the statement makes clear that his departure has nothing to do with “any disagreement with the company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto.” A leadership group has been appointed with shared responsibilities of the office until a new CEO is named, and they include: chief financial officer Allen Lindstrom, chief merchandising officer Tim Mantel and VP of stores Carl Hauch. Leonard Riggio will remain as executive chairman of the company and will continue to be involved in its management.

Parneros served as the company’s CEO for just over a year. In that time, he brought on a number of new executives and headed several initiatives, including the Barnes & Noble Book Club, to boost revenues despite declining foot traffic to retail stores.

Coty Ups Three Marketing Officers In Executive Restructure 

Coty Inc. announced that it is restructuring the leadership of its consumer beauty division with the simultaneous promotions of three chief marketing officers who will oversee different segments of the business. Mike Bryce, Mark Cooper and Ukonwa Ojo will lead color cosmetics, retail hair and body care; lifestyle scenting; and Cover Girl and Sally Hansen replacing the former (single) marketing chief Friedemann Schmid, who leaves in September. The consumer beauty division’s restructuring was designed to increase attention toward brands such as Cover Girl, Sally Hansen, Rimmel, Clairol and Max Factor, which are in various stages of relaunching.

“I’m confident that these moves will enable us to realize our vision and deliver on our mission at Coty to become a clear challenger in beauty,” Laurent Kleitman, Coty’s president of consumer beauty, said in a statement.

Video Advertising Bureau Promotes VP

Jason Wiese has been promoted to senior vice president and director of strategic insights of the Video Advertising Bureau. He was previously vice president of strategic insights, and will “provide marketers with industry-defining data, actionable thought leadership and custom reports to navigate and optimize the ever-expanding world of premium multiscreen video content,” in his new role according to a statement by the VAB. Wiese joined the company in 2013 and has authored many of its signature reports.

Travelstart Hires New CMO

Jerome Touze has been named as Travelstart’s new chief marketing officer, based in Cape Town. Touze co-founded the social networking site and served as its COO before joining Travelstart.

GE CMO Joins Ad Council Board Chair

Linda Boff, the chief marketing officer for GE, has been named chair of the Ad Council’s Board of Directors. Boff will serve one year in this role, working closely with the executive committee, the governing body of the Ad Council’s Board, and Ad Council leadership to help raise awareness and inspire action on behalf of national social issues. She is also tasked with managing and advising business affairs and policy initiatives, in addition to chairing the Ad Council’s 2018 Annual Public Service Award Dinner on December 5, 2018 at the New York Hilton.

In a statement, Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said, “We’re thrilled to announce Linda’s leadership role as Chair of the Board … Linda is one of the most forward-thinking leaders in our industry, with an unparalleled passion for innovation and social good. Her leadership will be an invaluable asset to our Board and many of the most critical social issues facing our country.”

Walmart Hires New CMO; Creates Chief Customer Officer Position

Retail giant Walmart announced the hiring of Barbara Messing as its new chief marketing officer, replacing Tony Rogers (who is moving to Sam’s Club) in August. She will report to Janey Whiteside, who was hired at the same time to the newly created role of chief customer officer, which focuses on attracting shoppers and offering improved customer service during a time when retail stores are having increased difficulty retaining shoppers. Whiteside will be responsible for both Walmart’s physical stores and its ecommerce offerings when she joins in August.

Wharf Hotels Welcomes Marketing VP

Wharf Hotels has appointed Sandy Russell to vice president of sales and marketing. In this role, she will oversee the hospitality management company’s sales and marketing while spearheading revenue optimization and distribution initiatives alongside global sales and marketing. Prior to joining Wharf Hotels, Russell was the Asia-Pacific VP of commercial operations at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, based in Singapore.

“We are delighted to have Sandy lead our team and look forward to the next phase in our growth and development with her global marketing expertise,” said Wharf Hotels president Jennifer Cronin.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 6. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Head of Global Marketing Services Prudential Newark, NJ
VP, Communications & Brand Marketing  Pandora Oakland, CA
Head of Product Marketing Twitch San Francisco, CA
VP of Marketing SmartBooks Manchester, NH
Head of Brand Strategy, Brand Studio Google Mountain View, CA
VP, Consumer Insights & Analytics Under Armour Baltimore, MD

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

Wendy’s Explains Idea Behind Summer Drink Romance Fiction

On Tuesday, Wendy’s debuted Fruit Tea Temptation, a romantic short story on Wattpad centered around its summer beverages. Storytelling is a common theme in marketing today, but it’s not often a brand takes this concept quite so literally.

“Courtney knew what she was doing was wrong, but she couldn’t stop,” reads the first story about desire and Berry Cherry Fruit Tea. “She was entranced, acting on primal instinct, her body overtaken by desire. Courtney bit her lip. She wanted to take the Fruit Tea and run away, run from all the troubles of the world, leaving behind her old life to start anew.”

Wattpad is a community of writers and story enthusiasts that boasts 65 million MAU. A number of brands like Hulu and Netflix have launched story-themed campaigns on the platform, but Wendy’s decided to take a different approach—just create an account and start writing.

“Literally telling stories is such an area of opportunity,” Jimmy Bennett, senior director of media and social for Wendy’s told AListDaily. “This is clearly an area where Wattpad has resonated with an audience . . . what we love is that there are so many ways to tell stories. We submitted a mix tape a few months back [for example]. We’re just hungry to find different ways to continue this dialogue.”

The campaign was a way for Wendy’s team to have a bit of fun and engage with Wattpad users without a paid advertisement.

“We’re approaching it just as any other creator would,” said Bennett. “This is an entirely organic experience. We’ve worked with Wattpad just to get a better understanding of the community and how it works, but everything that we’re pushing out is based creatively on stories that we’re looking to tell and the fun that we’re looking to inject into this fan base.”

Wendy’s will publish another steamy beverage tale each week for six weeks. The stories are written by the same team that runs Wendy’s infamously sassy Twitter and other social personas, so users can expect a familiar voice. In fact, Bennett said that they are approaching Wattpad content as they would any other platform.

“We talk a little differently across different social platforms i.e. Twitter vs. Facebook but for the most part, we maintain that essence of what Wendy’s is all about—it’s a little bit sassy, it’s making sure we have fun, giving value to the conversation,” said Bennett. “We’re not in a position where we have to dramatically change how we’re talking [across platforms], it’s just a different conversation.”

It’s that conversation that drew Bennett and his team to Wattpad in the first place. Users post stories and other users respond.

“That dialogue happening around the [Wattpad] content mimics how we want to participate. We love that conversation and talking about things that we enjoy and fans enjoy. It’s where those conversations happen that we can get the most out of our experience.”

Since Wendy’s stories are being posted organically, the brand will have to measure success in ways others than traditional ROI. Luckily for Wendy’s, the brand is no stranger to earned media value. When Burger King invited Wendy’s to prom, for example, analysts estimated that both brands earned about $260,000 in earned media.

“We love stuff like that,” Bennett chuckled, remembering the famous “promposal.” “Our response was tailor-made for pick-up. It was a little unexpected but hey, if someone wants to have fun, we’ll jump in and have fun with them.”

Wendy’s has learned to “go with the flow” when it comes to earned media opportunities. Doing so earned the brand over $7 million dollars in earned media for the #NuggsForCarter incident alone.

“There’s definitely value in earned media,” said Bennett. “I think if you’re chasing it all the time, though, you’re probably not going to be able to get it. The true focus for us is staying fun, on point and relevant with our audience. We’ve been able to reap the benefits of that approach but I don’t know that we necessarily go out there expecting that things are going to be picked up in a [certain] way. We’re really happy when it does, but our true focus is just, again, making sure we’re having fun and engaging in this conversation with our consumers.”

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Presents D.I.C.E. Cannes 2018

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ D.I.C.E. Cannes 2018 (#DICECANNES) will take place September 9-11 in France. Leading video game executives and creators will gather to take part in the industry’s premier networking event. Key speakers will address the conference theme―Trailblazers―and tackle some of the industry’s biggest ideas and trends.


The conference moves to a new location at the Hotel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes resides at the heart of the French Riviera on La Croisette in Cannes. Hotel Barrière is a legendary Art Deco palace and displays contemporary style without departing from its natural elegance. The hotel also offers breathtaking Mediterranean views and sits a few meters from the Palais des Festivals―where stars climb the red-carpeted steps each year.


Available to all D.I.C.E. Cannes attendees are main stage presentations, solo presentations and fireside chats. Utilizing the Trailblazers theme speakers will discuss how they test creative and technological boundaries while defining the evolving culture of interactive entertainment. Game makers will share insights into the principals and tools that drive and empower them, their team and the community at large to create better worlds in which to play and live.


D.I.C.E. Cannes will have roundtables composed groups of approximately 10 to a table, perfect for networking and idea-sharing. A roundtable leader will present a compelling topic which will be explored from the varied perspectives of table participants. There will be three different roundtable rooms with each focused on a theme, to include: Business Leadership, Creative Development and Media Topics.


Unparalleled networking opportunities are a hallmark of the D.I.C.E. Summit experience. This year’s networking events include Saint-Honorat island wine tasting, the opening party; and breakfasts, lunches and drinks each evening.

Don’t miss out on the D.I.C.E. Cannes 2018 event. AList readers receive a 10 percent discount to the conference and event. Please reach out to to get your code for registration.