Michael Phelps Dives Into Mental Health Advocacy With Talkspace

Champion swimmer Michael Phelps has partnered with online therapy provider Talkspace for a national TV campaign that addresses the stigma of mental illness.

Talkspace connects users with a licensed therapist that can be reached with a computer, tablet or smartphone. By sharing his story of depression and anxiety, Phelps said that he hopes to encourage others to seek help. In addition to being the Talkspace spokesman, Phelps is joining the company’s board of advisers to help direct the company’s ongoing strategy.

“[Phelp’s] deep knowledge of the mental health advocacy world, as well as his commitment to data-driven improvements in the field, will be invaluable to the Talkspace Advisory Board as we work to make Talkspace a key part of how people manage their mental health,” Talkspace CEO Oren Frank said in a statement.

Mental health has frequently risen to the top of public conversation in recent years, from demanding socialized healthcare access, a possible link to mass shootings and even the impact of social media usage. While the subject of mental illness has become more commonplace, stigmas and misconceptions still exist.

The biggest message that Talkspace wants to impart is that depression can happen to anyone. Michael Phelps said that in 2014, he “lost all hope,” despite becoming one of the world’s most successful athletes.

In his TV spot, Phelps said that after spending five days in his room and contemplating death, the decision to seek therapy saved his life. The spot was released in time for the end of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.

A number of brands have used cause marketing to spread awareness of mental health issues and encourage consumers to seek help when needed.

Last year, Instagram started a campaign called #HereForYou that highlights users that have created mental health communities on the platform. A video highlights three users who share their struggles and stress the importance of reaching out for support.

Each January in Canada, Bell hosts a fundraiser to raise money for mental health services in the country. For every use of the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, Bell donates five cents to a mental health organization in the region and keeps the conversation going on social media throughout the year.

Study: Live Trivia Apps Connect Brands With Highly-Engaged Users

Live trivia apps like HQ Trivia, Cash Show, The Q and Beat the Q are creating opportunities for advertisers, according to an upcoming report by Magid.

Magid’s 2018 Mobile Lifestyle study, which will be released in June, asked 2,500 mobile users about their participation in streaming games “such as HQ Trivia.” They found that 63 percent were aware of such games, with 29 percent having played in the last month.

The top reasons for using live trivia apps is to test their knowledge, pass the time and win real money, the report found. Among respondents who play online streaming games at least once a week, 37 percent play to win exclusive prizes.

Nike became one of HQ Trivia’s first sponsors in March, offering a shared $100,000 prize and limited edition Air Max shoes to the 100 winners. A few days later, Warner Bros. sponsored the app’s largest prize pool to date—$250,000—to promote the release of Ready Player One.

While Magid’s survey did not ask about sponsors in particular, the analyst firm says that interactive games create an “authentic engagement opportunity” for brands.

“The proactive engagement that the consumer has with a livestream game makes it a very compelling advertising platform,” Jill Rosengard Hill, executive vice president of Magid told AListDaily.

HQ Trivia hosts games for just 15 minutes at a time twice a day and simultaneously engages two million people.

“It’s much more akin to the live tune-in of a major event like the finale of The Voice or American Idol,” Hill pointed out. “To have two million people tune in promptly at the [same time] is incredible. It’s what television networks spend millions of dollars promoting to drive tune-ins to a program. And yet, a livestreaming app with very little advertising is driving in between 1-2 million people a night to this common social-cultural experience. It’s fascinating.”

Hill also draws attention to how engaged users are while participating with live trivia apps. Unlike TV, during which many viewers multitask, trivia requires a user’s full attention if they hope to win.

“The ROI on engaging with HQ for 15 minutes for the consumers is very high, therefore the advertiser has a greater opportunity in engaging the consumer because of their active, short engagement with the HQ content,” said Hill.

Magid found that among respondents who played livestreaming games, 71 percent were between the ages of 18-34, skew male at 55 percent and at 64 percent, are more likely to have children in the home. These live trivia game participants tend to educated and employed full-time, Magid also found. In fact, 41 percent of those who played live streaming games within the last 30 days claim a household income of $75,000 or more. Fifty-four percent are college graduates and 56 percent hold full-time jobs.

Carhartt Hires Janet Ries, Guitar Center Hires Erica Moran As Marketing Vice Presidents, And Other Hires

This week: Carhartt and Guitar Center find new marketing vice presidents, BET CEO Debra Lee steps down and Massive Interactive poaches talent from Verizon’s Go90.


Carhartt Taps Janet Ries For Vice President Of Marketing

Seeking to align brand management, communications, strategic partnerships and community affairs, Janet Ries has joined Carhartt as its vice president of marketing.

“Janet’s strong track record of championing successful brand-building ideas and bringing them to market through cross-functional teams makes her the ideal person for the position,” said Tony Ambroza, the company’s chief brand officer. “As the key connector inside and outside of marketing, Janet will be responsible for ensuring the Carhartt brand is meaningful across every consumer experience. We’re extremely excited to have her on board.”

Ries previously worked at Rockport, where she held the title of vice president of global marketing.


Guitar Center Brings On Erica Moran As Vice President Of Marketing

Musical instrument retailer Guitar Center has appointed Erica Moran to the position of vice president of marketing.

Moran joins the company after serving as a retail and digital marketing consultant for ACIRE Consulting Group, and serves on the board of the CRMC Retail Advisory Council.


Debra Lee Steps Down As BET CEO

After thirty years at BET Networks, Debra Lee is resigning from her position as chairman and CEO.

“Debra’s vision and creativity have cemented BET Networks as a premier network for African Americans and lovers of black culture,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom’s CEO. “As BET continues to move forward, we will always be grateful to Debra for her leadership and commitment to creating top-notch entertainment that both entertains and empowers. Her passion for the BET brand has resulted in countless wins and has allowed BET to stay competitive in a growing media landscape.”

Lee first joined the TV network in 1986, serving as its vice president and general counsel. She reached her current position in 2005.


Chip Canter Joins Massive Interactive As Chief Revenue Officer

Set to manage the company’s sales, business development and marketing growth strategy, Chip Canter has signed on with Massive Interactive as its chief revenue officer.

“Few people understand our market landscape and technology environment like Chip does,” Massive CEO Ron Downey said to Variety. “He has dealt with the pressures faced by OTT businesses and has firsthand experience working with global media companies.”

Previously, Canter led Verizon’s Go90 mobile video service.


Canadian Marketing Association Elects Aldo Cundari Chairman

Chairman and CEO of Cundari Group Aldo Cundari has been elected to the position of board chair for the Canadian Marketing Association.

“CMA’s Board of Directors continue to elevate the marketing profession across this country,” said John Wiltshire, CMA’s president and CEO. “Our new Board Members broaden our regulatory and corporate perspectives while enhancing the association’s profile.”


The Rest Of The C-Suite

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 25. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.


Porsche Taps Colas Henckes For Marketing Director

Porsche Cars is passing executives around the world, sending Canadian marketing director Margareta Mahlstedt to perform the same task for its Great British office, and bringing Colas Henckes from France to replace them.

“We are delighted to welcome Colas to Canada,” said Marc Ouayoun, president & CEO of Porsche Cars Canada. “We’ve had the opportunity to work together several years in France and he is very well positioned to tackle this new challenge. With his expertise in Motorsport, experiential events and social media, he is poised to pursue the excellent work that Margareta Mahlstedt has executed in this role.”

Henckes has held the position of marketing director for Porsche France since 2008, previously working as the company’s press and public relations officer.


Vince Sadusky Reportedly Joining Univision As CEO

According to reports by the Wall Street Journal and BloombergVince Sadusky is set to replace Randy Falco in the driver’s seat at Univision. The move comes as the company reversed its decision to file for an IPO in March, following Falco’s planned retirement after seven years as CEO.

The company has declined to comment on the story.

Sadusky has previously served as CEO of Media General, as well as CFO of Telemundo Communications.


TMS Hires Laura Kirchner As Marketing Senior Vice President

Financial services company TMS has brought on Laura Kirchner as senior vice president of marketing strategy and innovation.

“Laura is going to propel our team to even greater heights. She’s a one-of-a-kind digital superstar,” said TMS chief marketing officer Barbara Yolles. “She’s adept at leading everything from re-architecting business models to digital go-to-market strategies. She can even roll up her sleeves and code websites!”

Kirchner previously worked at Perficient, where she held the role of managing director of client services.


Hulu Brings On Ryan Crosby And Nick Tran As Marketing Vice Presidents

Hulu is expanding its stable of marketers, appointing both Ryan Crosby and Nick Train to the executive positions of vice president of content marketing and vice president of brand and culture marketing, respectively. While Crosby will focus on promoting the streaming service’s slate of programming, Tran will take charge of more broad-reaching branding campaigns.

“During a critical time for Hulu, we’re excited to bring in two new vice presidents to anchor our brand and content-marketing teams,” Kelly Campbell, Hulu’s chief marketing officer, said to Variety. “Ryan Crosby and Nick Tran are tremendous leaders with proven track records, who will join Hulu’s talented marketing team to lead the next evolution of our Hulu brand promise and content marketing campaigns.”

Crosby joins Hulu from Netflix, where he served as its director of global creative marketing. Tran most recently served at Samsung Electronics as head of brand culture.


Luis De La Camara Joins Outplay Entertainment As Vice President Of Global Marketing

Formerly a marketing director for King’s Candy Crush Saga, Luis De La Camara has joined fellow mobile game developer Outplay Entertainment as its vice president of global marketing. In the role, he will work on the studio’s projects from the ground up, as well as handle customer support.

“Traditionally marketing is seen as an effort that lies at the end of the development process of a product, but to me marketing should be an integral part of the product’s design, especially in the games-as-a-service business,” De La Camara stated. “Understanding your customer, designing optimal experiences, and creating products they fall in love with, should be the focus of any business.”

De La Camara has worked in the video games industry for over a decade, and at King he led the team’s CRM and social media marketing efforts.

“I’m looking forward to having his experience, talent, and leadership help propel us to our next level of growth and success,” said Outplay CEO Douglas Hare.


Constellation Brands Promotes Jim Sabia To CMO

Adult beverage company Constellation has created the role of executive vice president and chief marketing officer, tapping Jim Sabia to fill the position.

“Our company’s core mission is to build brands consumers love and Jim has been a driving force behind the success of our beer brands over the years,” said Bill Newlands, Constellation’s president and chief operating officer. “It is critically important that the voice of the consumer and brand-building principles have strong representation on our executive leadership team. In this new role, Jim will help ensure that consumer perspective and marketing strategy remain front and center at Constellation Brands across our entire beverage alcohol portfolio.”

Previously, Sabia served as chief marketing officer for the company’s beer vertical, a role he has held since 2009.


Repsly Hires Peter Billante As Chief Product Officer

Marketing software provider Repsly has appointed Peter Billante as its chief product officer, and will lead both the company’s software and marketing teams.

“Repsly has been on the fast track for growth for several quarters now, and we’re thrilled to build on that momentum by having Pete’s product innovation skills and tactical leadership capabilities”, said Mat Brogie, Repsly’s CEO. “Pete’s track record at multiple high-growth companies is the perfect complement to the rapid acceleration Repsly is experiencing right now.”

Billante has spent 25 years in the software industry, most recently serving as senior manager and head of marketing for Autodesk’s BIM 360 product.


Accruit Appoints Larry Drury As Marketing Lead

Financial technology firm Accruit has hired Larry Drury to lead the company’s growth marketing efforts.

“We are pleased to have Larry join us as we enhance our marketing capabilities and chart the next chapter of growth for Accruit,” said Accruit CEO Brent Abrahm. “Larry is initially focused on marketing efforts related to our most recent acquisition, PaySAFE, a service that helps buyers and sellers confidently complete financial transactions.”

Drury most recently served as chief marketing officer at Vantiv, and prior to that worked at First Data, again as CMO.


Kimberly-Clark Names Giusy Buonfantino Chief Marketing Officer

Consumer packaged goods conglomerate Kimberly-Clark has appointed Giusy Buonfantino to the role of chief marketing officer.

“Giusy has a tremendous track record in brand building, product innovation and customer development, and her insight on consumers has helped us to build our trusted brands across multiple categories,” said Palmer. “In the role of chief marketing officer, Giusy is well positioned to lead our global marketing organization and drive enduring and profitable share growth.”

Buonfantino has been with Kimberly-Clark since 2011, first joining as vice president of global adult and feminine care brands.


Sundial Brands Appoints Kimberly Evans Paige Chief Operating And Brand-Building Officer

Skin- and hair-care manufacturer Sundial Brands has created the position of chief operating and brand-building officer, tapping Kimberly Evans Paige to fill the role.

“As we continue to experience and plan for future robust growth, it became clear that we needed to create a role that would help ensure that we are appropriately positioned and resourced for our next phase,” Richelieu Dennis, Sundial Brands executive chairman. “It was even more clear to us that the right partner to help scale the work we have done is Kimberly Paige. Her unique combination of analytical and creative prowess, cultural sensibilities and her passion for people and purpose-driven companies make her a natural fit for Sundial.”

Paige joins the company from Coty, another cosmetic company, where she served as chief marketing officer.


Confused.com Hires Sam Day As Chief Marketing Officer

Financial services website Confused.com has brought on Sam Day as chief marketing officer, following the departure of previous CMO Paul Troy.

“Sam has a proven track record for delivering successful and profitable marketing strategies and his appointment is critical to our success for communicating that Confused.com is the place for drivers to save money on motoring,” Louise O’Shea, Confused.com’s CEO, said to The Drum“We’ve planned our route, we know where we’re going, and Sam’s appointment will strengthen our leadership team and help us to win the race.”

Day most recently served as director of customer acquisition for RAC, an insurance firm.


Interstate Hotels And Resorts Appoints Mike Wylie Head Of E-Commerce

Hotel management firm Interstate has hired Mike Wylie as its head of e-commerce, seeking to expand its digital presence.

“Hiring thought leaders such as Mike is a crucial strategy to give us a competitive advantage,” said Mike Deitemeyer, president and CEO of Interstate Hotels and Resorts. “With 20-years in digital marketing, his experience will propel us ahead of the industry, driving innovative growth and impacting global distribution.”

Wylie most recently worked at Standing Dog Initiative, a digital marketing agency.


Viacom Names Pamela Kaufman President Of Global Consumer Products 

Currently Nickelodeon’s chief marketing officer, Pamela Kaufman is being promoted to the role of president of global consumer products, where she will oversee Viacom’s conglomerate of media brands’ licensing and merchandising operations.

“Expanding and diversifying our consumer products businesses around the world is a key strategic initiative that will help drive Viacom’s future growth,” said Bob Bakish, Vicaom’s CEO. “The exceptional leadership and vision Pam has demonstrated at Nickelodeon make her a natural fit for this exciting new position, and her appointment will accelerate our efforts in building this important global business.”

Kaufman, in addition to serving as CMO for Nickelodeon, worked as president of consumer products as well.


NCC Media Appoints Nicolle Pangis President And CEO

Comcast, Cox and Turner have collectively announced the appointment of Nicolle Pangis as president and CEO of its joint media sales firm NCC Media. In the role, Pangis will oversee the company’s efforts to grow its roster of brand partnerships.

“NCC has an excellent reputation in the linear ad space, and will now extend that leadership position into the advanced ad business,” said David Kline, executive vice president and president of media sales at Charter Communications. “Nicolle, now armed with premium multi-screen television content, great viewership insights and the scale required to deliver on advertisers needs combined with her past experiences in programmatic digital is the perfect combination needed to drive NCC to great heights.”

Prior to joining NCC Media, Pangis served as global chief operating officer at GroupM’s data unification initiative, [m] PLATFORM.


Barnaby Dawe Retires As Just Eat’s Chief Marketing Officer

After three years at the helm of Just Eat’s marketing department, Barnaby Dawe has announced his departure from the company.

“Barnaby has transformed the Just Eat brand and our approach to marketing, enabling us to become the category-leading company we are today,”  a company spokesperson told The Drum.

Before his tenure at Just Eat, Dawe worked with such brands as Harper Collins, News UK and Turner.


Job Vacancies 

VP, Partner Marketing  Pandora Oakland, CA
Head of Global Product Marketing Jagex Cambridge, United Kingdom
Head of Partner Marketing, UK Netflix London, United Kingdom
VP, Marketing Disney New York, NY
VP, Product Marketing Salesforce San Francisco, CA
Brand Marketing Manager Foot Locker New York, NY

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

Lean Cuisine’s #ItAll Campaign Goes An Unexpected Direction

Lean Cuisine asked women on Twitter what “having it all” means to them. Last week, Lean Cuisine launched a new campaign called “It All” that claims that women set higher goals for themselves when they are in the presence of other women. Participants were asked to take a survey about what they wanted in life from categories including family, career, finances, health, education and others.

The diet frozen food brand then invited the same women to a mock store, where, in the presence of female friends or family, were asked to select life goals off a shelf as if they were grocery shopping. Lean Cuisine claims that 89 percent of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women, and 77 percent chose greater aspirations in the aspects of life they deemed most important.

Lean Cuisine took its campaign to Twitter with a promoted Tweet of the video and invited women to share their views on “having it all” with the #ItAll hashtag.

While many users responded positively, it appears the #ItAll campaign struck a nerve for some consumers who felt that the feminist message of the campaign was not sincere coming from a weight loss brand.

“Having #ItAll means not having diet food directly targeted at me because I’m a woman,” wrote one Twitter user. “What year is it again?”

“This isn’t empowering—it’s demeaning and insulting. Go back to your marketing team and try again,” wrote another.

Others questioned the brand for targeting only women with the campaign.

“How about not being asked about having it all. You know, like men,” one angry user responded.

Not all responses were angry, however. Some Twitter users expressed gratitude for the brand’s role in their life, praising Lean Cuisine for its lower calories and price.

Interestingly, several Twitter users called out Lean Cuisine for attempting to get “free marketing” with the hashtag, even though the campaign used a promoted Tweet.

Amid the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, an increasing number of brands have responded with campaigns centered around female empowerment and the body image revolution. Lean Cuisine’s #ItAll campaign may give some marketers pause before jumping in on the trend.

Effie Index: Pepsi Wins Most Effective Brand, Unilever Most Effective Marketers

The over 45 separate global Effie Awards competitions have concluded, and with their decisions comes the eighth annual Effie Index, ranking the most effective marketers and brands of the last year.

“Despite a rapidly changing landscape, Effie winners continue to create exceptional work, deliver results in all forms and drive growth for their businesses,” said Traci Alford, president and CEO of Effie Worldwide, in a statement. “The top ranked teams represent the very best of our industry, and we offer them our sincerest congratulations.”

Unilever won big this year, taking home the gold as Effie’s most effective global marketer. The consumer packaged good conglomerate won first prize five times since 2011, meaning that throughout the history of Effie Effectiveness awards Unilever has been in first place more often than not.

PepsiCo took second prize, a significant jump from last year’s showing of fifth place. According to Effie, the gain came mostly from its campaigns in Latin America, over any major improvement in its US marketing. Nestle and Coca-Cola took third and fourth place, respectively, and Mars broke into the top five for the first time in the competition’s history.

“Global FMCG companies continue their dominance of the most effective marketer ranking. Procter & Gamble ranks six—falling out of the top five for the first time since 2011,” the organization stated in its announcement. “Global brewers AB InBev and Heineken, along with McDonald’s and mobile phone leader Vodafone round out the Top 10.

In the category of Effie’s most effective brands, Pepsi and Coca-Cola appear again in the top five.

“Pepsi moves up three spots to replace Vodafone as the most effective global brand in 2018. Consistently ranked in the top five since 2011, it is the first time that Pepsi holds the top spot,” the organization stated.

McDonalds and Coca-Cola switched places for the second and third position, respectively, and Vodaphone dropped to number four. Spanish mobile phone operator Movistar remained in fifth place, its position from last year.

“A diverse range of industry sectors continue to populate the top 10,” Effie stated. “Technology giant IBM, along with Chevrolet, MasterCard and fast food leaders KFC and Burger King all rank in the top 10. They are joined by two Colombian beverage brands—Poker from Bavaria Brewery and Sr. Toronjo from Postobón.”

The Effie Effectiveness Index is sourced from the more than forty Effie Award competitions held during the 2017 calendar year, awarding points based on what prizes brands and marketers won for their work. For instance, a Platinum-level winner is awarded 12 points, while an unawarded Finalist is granted just two.

KFC Wants You To Bask In The Sun With A Pool Floatie-Sized Colonel

KFC has long been on the cutting edge of “out there” marketing activations, and its Memorial Day weekend strategy is no different from its policy of being very, very different. Enter the KFC Colonel floatie.

“In our marketing programs, we like to find places for KFC to show up in unexpected ways, whether that’s through the use of technology, pop culture moments or unique products and experiences,” said Andrea Zahumensky, KFC’s US chief marketing officer, to AListDaily.

The poultry-based restaurant is hosting a giveaway in which a few hundred fans can win a larger-than-life inflatable reclining Colonel Sanders for their pool, pond, lake or any other body of water they wish to plop a debonair Southern gentleman into.

“The best things in life are free. Like air, which you can use to fill this Colonel Sanders Floatie, which could also be yours for free,” the sweepstakes entry form reads. “Unless we run out. In which case, please accept our free apology.”

The KFC Colonel floatie exists to promote the company’s summer theme of “extra crispy,” paired with the launch of the Extra Crispy chicken sandwich last month.

“We saw that the over-the-top pool float trend was taking over social media and thought it would fit perfectly,” said Zahumensky in a statement. “Summer is about making fun memories, and what better way to do that than drifting on the water in the arms of the one and only Colonel Sanders?”

The activation focuses heavily on generating organic social reach, as the floaties will not be sold outside of the giveaway, keeping the product scarce and coming out ahead of a rising trend.

“Our goal was to provide something fun and relatable that’s authentic to our brand,” Zahumensky said. “We want our customers to build an affinity and connection for KFC that they share with friends and family.”

To help social spread, KFC is also partnering with Snapchat to release an augmented reality World Lens featuring their “Extra Crispy” Colonel, and will release a second batch of KFC Colonel floaties for lucky Lens users.

The floatie was originally featured in a TV spot introducing KFC’s Extra Crispy Colonel, “famously tanned actor” George Hamilton.

With The Pint Shop, Target Helps The Museum Of Ice Cream Dive Into Retail

After more or less single-handedly inventing the concept of the “Instagram museum,” the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) has set its sights on shaking up a different experience: grocery shopping. Partnering with Target to launch The Pint Shop, the MOIC offers a pastel pink, social-friendly take on frozen food aisles, stocked with an original line of ice cream to boot.

“I set out to create The Pint Shop as a place where you can curate your own experience to share in real life, and among your peers,” said Maryellis Bunn, the Museum of Ice Cream’s founder and creative director, in a statement.

The new experience in New York hopes to unite the success of the Museum of Ice Cream’s original with traditional retail commerce, serving as a limited-time exclusive source of MOIC’s original ice cream line. Target has partnered with the museum to stock its ice cream line nationwide as well as exclusive MOIC merchandise.

“Target x Museum of Ice Cream has a three-part partnership,” the store’s website reads. “The partnership includes: a limited-edition kids’ apparel and accessories collection within Target’s exclusive kids brand, Art Class, a line of Museum of Ice Cream ice cream sold for the first time at a retailer and the sponsorship of Museum of Ice Cream’s newest concept.”

The Pint Shop won’t limit itself to its decorations and inventory, however. Much like the Brandless Pop-up with Purpose, MOIC hopes to draw in repeat visitors once the novelty has worn off with exclusive ice cream tastings and community events.

“Each week at The Pint Shop, MOIC will host Pint Sessions, a series of interactive workshops based on our mission of imagination and creativity,” the store’s website promises. “We’ll enlist key MOIC team members and social influencers to host playful, creative and hands-on workshops around key Pint Shop pillars: imagination, storytelling, innovation, community and motivation.”

Overall, the premise behind the pop-up is fairly straightforward. As the site says: “We sell ice cream and supporting ice cream accessories.”

CMOs Are Moving Beyond Traditional Roles But Lack Confidence, Study Finds

Chief marketing officers are taking on more roles within the company but lack confidence in their ability to achieve success outside of storytelling.

A joint study by CMO Council and Deloitte called “CMOs and the Spark to Drive Growth” asserts that the role of chief marketing officer may shift from brand-builder and experience-orchestrator into an executive who directs and drives long-term, sustainable growth. The study findings are based on a Q1 and Q2 2018 online survey completed by 191 marketing leaders.

Today’s chief marketing officers are trying to do it all, the study found, with 70 percent of marketers feeling prepared to impact revenue gains and brand valuations in the coming year. Marketers are not as confident in areas like gross margins or market share, however, with CMOs exhibiting a readiness at just 20 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

While the study expresses opportunities for success for CMOs that influence areas throughout the company, the sentiment comes with a warning—be ambitious, but don’t forget the customer.

“What we hear from our CMO clients is that they are attempting to tackle some of their organizations’ toughest challenges, sometimes losing sight of keeping the customer at the center of it all,” Sheryl Jacobson, principal of Deloitte Consulting said in a statement. “For the CMO to be effective, they have to keep the customer at the center of every conversation and figure out solutions that will drive growth. But then translate the strategy into the languages of their C-suite peers.”

In fact, the study found a disconnection between marketers and other company leaders that drive the customer experience.

When asked to identify their marketing strategy and growth allies, only 29 percent consider the COO to be an ally today and 28 percent named the head of product. Only 14 percent said that they connect with heads of service and support.

While 31 percent of respondents claim their organizational allies to be locked on and supportive of marketing strategies and goals, 26 percent said that allies within the company are too busy focusing on their own strategies. Three percent said that alignment with marketing strategies are good, but fall apart at the point of execution.

The answer, CMO Council and Deloitte say, lies in matching up the customer’s vision of need and value with the business’ definition of growth and success.

“It will likely demand that marketers become cultural change agents, sparking innovation in how teams, technologies and touchpoints converge,” the study predicts.

Just 18 percent of respondents said they are poised to reach intended growth rates, and nearly half—46 percent—said they are “fairly well positioned” to succeed. Overall confidence is good, but shaky, with 30 percent saying that success is likely, but not guaranteed and three percent saying they are starting to lose ground. Another three percent said that without change, intended growth rate success is unlikely.

Sephora Wants To Provide Safe Spaces For The Trans Community With New Program

While beauty brands like Fenty have made significant inroads in inclusivity for people of color and other marginalized groups, the industry has not given the same attention to transgender and nonbinary makeup users. With its “Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community” addition to its Classes for Confidence program, Sephora hopes to reverse this, providing safe spaces and support for non-cisgender (those whose gender identity corresponds to their birth sex) people.

“We encourage bold choices in beauty and in life, and Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community is a wonderful example of our purpose coming to life,” Corrie Conrad, head of social impact and sustainability for Sephora, told AListDaily. “We saw a real opportunity, with our Classes for Confidence program, to demonstrate our stance as an ally of all people, and to help inspire confidence in those facing major life transitions.”

Consisting of free ninety-minute seminars taught by Sephora store instructors, “some of whom have their own personal gender journey,” the Classes for Confidence promise safe community spaces and practical skincare and makeup application tips for all attendees.

“We conducted interviews with [LGBTQA] group leaders and engaged their members in focus groups to determine what they wanted in the class content,” Conrad added. “Plus, we asked both our employees and community partners what we need to include in terms of sensitivity training to best serve this audience.”

In addition to in-store tutorials, Sephora promises to post a series video how-tos by transgender beauty advisors on its YouTube channel for those who either cannot or choose not to attend in-person seminars.

Previous entries into the Classes for Confidence series include makeup tips for women re-entering the workforce, either after bouts of joblessness or even homelessness. According to the company, the program has hosted over 850 classes, reaching more than 8000 people, of whom 78 percent reported an increase in confidence afterward.

“Our goal is to reach 100,000 people by 2020,” Conrad declared.

Additionally, the Sephora Stands project will partner with transgender and non-binary community organizations to host pride parades and other LGBTQA events, though it did not specify exactly what these partnerships would consist of.

“We believe that beauty is yours to define and ours to celebrate,” Conrad said. “The transgender & non-binary community is absolutely a beloved part of our client base.”

Brands Get Dark And Broody For Global Goth Day

It’s World Goth Day, so brands pulled out the old black lipstick, dusted off those boots and took to social media to engage with audiences.

Founded in the UK by two DJs, World Goth Day began in 2009 with an annual gathering and celebration of the Goth subculture. Now the event spans across multiple countries, with several events raising money for charity.

The BBC Archive paid tribute to its dark followers with a clip from a 1987 TV program that explains the subculture’s punk origins.

The Smithsonian Library added another bit of education to the holiday.

Brands often take to Twitter to join trending conversations and World Goth Day is no exception. Rather than claim to be “real” Goths on this comfortably dark day, most brands took a playful, self-deprecating approach, laughing at how little they fit into the subculture.

Totino’s mascot, Pet Zaroll, shared a cheerful post against a gothic background.

Energy drink brand G Fuel made one of their black cups to look like a member of the goth subculture, complete with hairstyle and dragon earring.

Progressive gave Flo a darker look just for the occasion:

Other brands used the opportunity to call attention to Goth-themed entertainment.

Naturally, Comedy Central gave a shout out to its infamous South Park Goth episode.

DC Comics paid tribute to its character, Raven and her dark origins.

Discovery Family pointed to one of Fluttershy’s more despondent moments from My Little Pony.

Will Farrell’s Baron Nocturna sends his blackest regards.

Ironically, Hot Topic did not join in the dark festivities. We would say that brands celebrated World Goth Day, but that’s not very Goth. They have, however, taken part in other social media holidays like Dinosaur Day and Caramel Day.