Instagram DMs Get Animated; Facebook To Reveal ‘Portal’ Devices

This week in social media news, GIFs slide into your Instagram DM and Facebook is close to unveiling zero UI devices while distancing itself from political candidates.

Also, Instagram makes hashtag lists disappear and Facebook hopes to inspire romance in Columbia.Twitter puts things in order and YouTube lets more creators offer monthly subscriptions. Also, YouTube gives up on its gaming app, Instagram goes shopping, Pinterest links to influencers, Facebook gives cash for bugs and LinkedIn highlights the power of community. Meanwhile, YouTube is a hit on TV, Twitter pushes livestreams, Snapchat partners with media companies and Facebook pursues human rights.

GIFs Added To Instagram Direct Messages

GIPHY has been integrated into Instagram Direct, allowing users to send animated GIFs in a private conversation.

Why it matters: GIFs have become a phenomenon on social media, with integrations now on Twitter and Facebook. Animated GIFs keep the conversation going and the longer users spend in the app, the better for Instagram and its advertisers.

Details: Instagram users can now select GIFs while in direct messages. Trending animations from GIPHY will be displayed or users can search by keyword to find the perfect expression.

Facebook To Unveil ‘Portal’ Video Chat Device

Portal will be a device with a video display that allows users to conduct video chat, ask Alexa questions and more.

Why it matters: Facebook is trying to get into the zeroUI market by integrating Alexa into its new devices. With all the privacy concerns around its company, however, it’s uncertain whether consumers will be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars to let Facebook watch them at home.

Details: According to Cheddar, Facebook will unveil two Portal devices next week. The devices will come in two versions that cost $400 and $300, respectively. The AI camera can apparently track users as they move around a room, but will come with a privacy shutter.

Facebook No Longer Dispatching Help To Politicians

Facebook announced that it will now use an online portal to help political candidates instead of sending employees in person.

Why it matters: Facebook is trying to distance itself from any involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election results. Brad Parscale, who was Trump’s online ads chief in 2016, last year called onsite “embeds” from Facebook crucial to the candidate’s victory.

Details: In 2016, Facebook, Google and Twitter sent employees to help political candidates understand and use their platforms. This year, Facebook is taking a more hands-off approach.

Instagram Test Would Clean Up Hashtags

Instagram is testing a way of hiding hashtags and restricting visibility to certain locations.

Why it matters: Hashtags are a driving force for discovery on Instagram and users type a long list of them in captions to be found in searches. Unfortunately, dozens of hashtags aren’t pleasing to the eye, so hiding them would offer the best of both worlds. Geofencing, i.e. the ability to select which regions can see your post, would be helpful for brands offering promotions that are limited to a certain country.

Details: Users have spotted a test that allows Instagram users to select hashtags without showing them in the final post. The concept was illustrated on Twitter by developer Jane Manchun Wong on Wednesday. Wong also pointed out the ability to select which countries can view her post.

Facebook Tests Dating Feature In Columbia

Columbian Facebook users can now test Facebook’s new dating feature that was announced in May.

Why it matters: Facebook began testing the feature with its employees this summer, so testing with outside users is a good sign that it all went well. The company says that over 200 million people list themselves as single on the platform.

Details: As reported by Refinery29, Facebook has rolled out a test of its dating feature to users in Columbia, although no plans have been announced for testing or rollout in other regions.

Twitter Returns Option To View Posts In Order

For those who miss the days when tweets were listed in chronological order, those days have returned.

Why it matters: Twitter has changed a lot since its first days, adapting to and arguably shaping the way people share ideas on the website. The algorithm intends to show the tweets users might be interested in more, but users have been left with no way to read all tweets in order without visiting a user’s profile page directly. Twitter admitted that its recommendations “don’t always get it right,” and pledged to work on creating a better balance.

Details: Twitter users can now view tweets in reverse chronological order that is untouched by the site’s algorithm. This view can be obtained by unchecking “show the best tweets first” in settings. Also, the site will roll out a test that toggles between chronological and recommended tweets.

YouTube Expands Subscriptions To Smaller Creator Channels

Creators on YouTube with 500,000 subscribers or more can now offer $5 subscriptions to their fans.

Why it matters: Updates to its advertising policy let YouTube better control whether brand ads appeared on or next to content deemed offensive. The blanket reaction, however, left many non-offensive channels unmonetized and creators stripped of income. YouTube may be trying to entice more channels to monetize and/or earn enough subscribers to offer subscriptions.

Details: YouTube has extended its $5/mo. subscription option to creators with at least 500,000 subscribers—previously available only to those with one million or more.

YouTube Abandons Gaming App, Debuts New Hub

YouTube Gaming will be put to rest and a new gaming hub has been created as part of the main YouTube experience.

Why it matters: YouTube tried to cater to the rising game video content (GVC) market with a dedicated app, but found that most users consumed this content on the main site instead.

Details: YouTube Gaming launched as a separate mobile app in 2015, providing fans with a dedicated portal to content on YouTube. Unfortunately for all the work that YouTube put into it, most users just consumed this content as part of the main experience. The app will be sunsetted in favor of a dedicated hub on YouTube, which can be found on the left margin of the site. The new hub will let users browse videos by game and subscribe to a game’s page rather than individual creators. Users can also discover “rising stars” in the world of video game livestreams.

Instagram Expands Shopping In Stories, Adds Dedicated Channel

Instagram users can now shop directly from brand Stories in the app, as well as browse shoppable posts in the Explore tab.

Why it matters: According to Instagram, one-third of its most popular Stories are posted by brands. Discovery is a powerful tool for inspiration that leads to purchases (just look at Pinterest), creating new opportunities for brands on the platform to reach Stories’ 400 million daily viewers.

Details: Instagram began testing Shopping in Stories this spring and is now rolling out the feature to businesses in 46 countries. Users that view Stories posted by a brand can tap on a product to learn more and visit a landing page to make a purchase. In addition, the Explore tab now has a dedicated channel for shopping posts that users can browse and shop at their leisure.

Pinterest Opens Marketing API To Third-Party Influencer Platforms

Influencer marketing platforms can now access Pinterest’s API to better collaborate on the platform.

Why it matters: This access allows brands to connect with influencers and vice versa to collaborate on Pinterest campaigns. The API will offer helpful statistics like views, impressions and click-through rates.

Details: Pinterest has now opened its marketing API to third-party influencer marketing platforms, beginning with AspireIQ, HYPR,, IZEA, Klear, Mavrck, and OpenInfluence.

Facebook Offers Cash Rewards To Identify Third-Party Vulnerabilities

Facebook has expanded its bug bounty program to include third-party app and websites, offering to pay at least $500 to anyone that identifies misuse of access tokens.

Why it matters: The social media giant realizes it can’t fix all its problems on its own and relies on eagle-eyed tech enthusiasts to identify potential problems. Extending the reward program to third-party user logins will allow Facebook to better manage how its data is being used.

Details: Facebook will pay handsomely for the discovery of token vulnerabilities, beginning at $500 and increasing depending on the severity of the issue. Upon verification, Facebook said it would happily work with the app developer to correct the issue.

LinkedIn Video Series Highlights Power Of Community

#Inittogether is a series of videos in which LinkedIn users share how connecting with others on the site has furthered their career goals.

Why it matters: LinkedIn is establishing its brand message as a place for nurturing professional ambition, whether it be through classes, groups or adding different ways to communicate on the platform.

Details: In a series of videos, LinkedIn tells the stories of professionals that use the site to make their professional lives better by connecting with other users. Users are invited to use the hashtag #inittogether and share their own stories to keep the conversation going.

YouTube Experiencing Highest Growth On TV Screens

While a majority of YouTube viewing takes place on mobile devices, TV viewing is becoming more popular, especially in Europe.

Why it matters: YouTube is known primarily for mobile and PC, so the brand wants advertisers to know that casting to or streaming from a TV. Despite offering a more “lean back” viewing experience, the company assured broadcasters that it a partner, not a competitor.

Details: Speaking at IBC over the weekend, YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan revealed that 180 million hours of YouTube is viewed daily on TVs worldwide. Watching YouTube on TV has grown 45 percent YoY in Europe.

“Living room hardware has finally caught up with the demands of consumers,” said Mohan. “There is a creative renaissance in content led by TV.”

Twitter Promotes Livestreams With App Update

A new update for iOS and Android displays livestreams and broadcasts at the top of the Twitter app Home screen.

Why it matters: Livestreaming video has become a major selling point for Twitter, both to advertisers and investors. Moving them to a prominent place on the app increases visibility and by extension, views.

Details: Twitter is rolling out an update for its mobile app that will display broadcasts at the top of the Home screen once a followed account goes live.

‘Curated Our Stories’ Lets Snapchat Partners Mix, Monetize User Content

Snapchat has partnered with 25 publishers that will be able to curate public user posts into collections around themes, events. etc.

Why it matters: According to Variety, over 75 million people watched Our Stories content on Snapchat last month. Unlike the original Our Stories platform, these curated collections will be monetized.

Details: Curated Our Stories is an extension of the Our Stories idea, in that third-parties and create posts out of user content. This time around, however, Snapchat will include advertisements and share revenue with the publishers. Partners include Brut, CNN, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, Daquan, The Dodo, Harper’s Bazaar, iHeartMedia, The Infatuation, Jukin Media, LADbible, Love Stories TV, Mic, NBC News and “Today” show, NBC Sports, New York Post, NowThis, Overtime, Refinery29, Telemundo, The Tab, Viacom, Vice Media, Wave.TV and Whalar.

Facebook Seeks Human Rights Policy Director

Facebook is now hiring for a new position that would address human rights abuses, including by both state and non-state actors, among other duties.

Why it matters: Facebook is recognizing its global impact on society and hopes that someone qualified will help them enforce policies while policing themselves.

Details: A job posting on Facebook seeks a Director of Human Rights—someone willing to represent the company with politicians, governments, users, advertisers and anyone else with concerns about Facebook’s relationship to human rights.

“As the reach and impact of the Facebook family of companies continues to grow, so does the responsibility we have to respect the individual and human rights of the members of our diverse global community,” writes Facebook.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 21. 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

WARC Shares Four Key Innovative Marketing Trends Of 2018

WARC has released its Effective Innovation Report, highlighting four key trends that are driving success in the marketing industry.

These trends were observed among winners of WARC awards in the Effective Innovation category. Studying the metadata around all the entries, WARC observed that innovation—while bringing its own challenges—has become an increasingly popular and effective driver of brand growth.

The Effective Innovation Report identifies four key trends that marketers can learn from and apply to future campaign efforts.

Innovation That Appeals To Influencers

WARC observed that many of the top-performing campaigns that won were designed to be shared among millennial influencers. The Grand Prix winner, “7-Second Resumes,” focused on young professionals and giving them a voice. The campaign was created for the Ad Council and featured real job applicants who shared their skills and traits in seven seconds—the average time a recruiter spends reading a resume.

Partnering with influencers can greatly improve organic reach, but brands should proceed with caution.

“Persuading these communities to invest their influence on your behalf is an acid test of a marketing team’s preparation and ingenuity,” said Christopher Yu, jury chair and VP of integrated marketing strategy, innovation, and technology for US Bank.

Innovation That Builds Brand Equity

Rather than focus on “wacky or weird,” innovation should strengthen a brand’s appeal by problem-solving and bringing that brand closer to its purpose, WEC notes.

Fulfilling a brand promise or purpose should be the top priority, as demonstrated by “Odds,” a campaign launched for Adidas. The campaign brought awareness to the fact that many amputees only need one shoe, resulting in wasted money and product. “Odds” offered these consumers a pair of two left or two right shoes and opened a worldwide discussion about “evening the odds.”

Product-Led Innovation That Drives Growth

Brands can often find success by integrating products into their campaigns, even if they don’t own those particular products. WEC used the example of Royal Caribbean’s “Seek Deeper” campaign that used Snapchat Spectacles to inspire young consumers to book cruise vacations. The video ad highlighted the beauty of the ocean depths with technology that young consumers already know and accept.

Utility That Helps Build Connections

WEC also recognized the trend of creating tools to help customers connect with a brand. Offering new products and services can be an effective alternative to traditional campaigns.

“By starting from a perspective of utility [and] being in the service of others, you can reach new audiences, find new relevancy and change perceptions,” says juror Howard Pull, strategic development director of MullenLowe Profero.

One example from the WEC Awards was “Bank in a Box,” a campaign for IBM that offered customer service, infrastructure, software and services ready-packaged for new digital banking projects.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: NASCAR CMO Upped To CEO; Neiman Marcus CMO Promoted To EVP

This week’s executive moves include NASCAR appointing its CMO to the CEO and president roles and Neiman Marcus promoting its chief marketing officer to executive vice president. Also, Walt Disney Studios promotes two marketers, Bonobos promotes its CMO to CEO, The Honest Company appoints a new chief marketing officer, Burton hires its chief marketer and crypto startup Kin picks up a marketer from Twitch.

Check out our careers section for executive job openings and to post your own staffing needs.

NASCAR President Steps Down, CMO Takes Role

Brent Dewar has stepped down from his role as NASCAR president. Taking his place will be NASCAR’s chief global sales and marketing officer Steve Phelps, who has been promoted to the role of president as well as CEO. Phelps came to NASCAR in 2005 after senior leadership roles at NFL and Wasserman.

According to the statement, “Phelps has played a key role in significant initiatives, such as negotiating key partnership agreements with Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, Comcast and Camping World, the acquisition of NASCAR’s digital and social rights and leading industry collaborative efforts such as the Industry Action Plan and industry-wide marketing platforms.”

Neiman Marcus CMO Promoted to EVP

Carrie Tharp, hired by Neiman Marcus Group in 2016 for the roles of senior vice president, chief marketing officer has been promoted to executive vice president, chief digital officer. Prior to joining Neiman Marcus Group, Tharp held similar posts at Fossil and Travelocity.

“These key promotions, new hires, and team refinements ensure that Neiman Marcus Group is in the best position to lead in digital and data excellence, drive growth, and deliver on our goals to continue to elevate the company as one of the world’s most prestigious luxury retailers in the world,” said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO, Neiman Marcus Group, said in the statement.

Arista Records Announces Three Marketing Hires

Arista Records has announced the appointment of three marketers to the company’s staff. Brian Vinikoor has been appointed vice president of marketing; Dee Heuvelings will be the senior director, A&R and marketing; Ethan Geltzer has taken the role of senior director of digital marketing & branding.

Vinikoor comes to Arista after previously working at mTheory as the senior director, strategic & digital Partnerships.

Walt Disney Studios Promotes Two Marketers

Walt Disney Studio marketers Martha Morrison and Ryan Stankevich have been promoted to SVPs of marketing. Morrison previously worked at Miramax before starting at Disney in 2010, and Stankevich has been working at Disney for 20 years.

Morrison will oversee global marketing for Disney Animation Studios and Pixar while Stankevich will focus on LucasFilm and Marvel films.

Bonobos Founder Steps Down; CMO Steps Up

Bonobos founder Andy Dunn has stepped down from his post as CEO and will hand the reins over to Bonobons chief marketing officer, Micky Onvural. Dunn announced the move in a LinkedIn post. Onvural previously served as VP of consumer marketing at Trulia and before that had a stint at eBay.

The Honest Company Hires Chief Marketing Officer

The Honest Company, a consumer goods company that specializes in baby and beauty products, has hired Shannon Pruitt as its chief marketing officer. Pruitt was previously chief content officer at Carat and president of The Story Lab.

Nick Vlahos, CEO of The Honest Company, said of the appointment “With her extensive marketing, brand building, digital and entertainment background, Pruitt will bring a fresh perspective to our company as we take our brand global.”

Kin Hires Chief Marketer

Crytpo startup, Kin, has chosen Matthew DiPietro as the company’s new chief marketing officer. DiPietro comes to Kin from Twitch where he was the senior vice president of marketing. At Twitch, DiPietro helped created the company’s bread and led marketing efforts over eight years.


WCNY, Syracuse’s member of the Public Broadcasting Service, announced Cristina Hatem as the company’s new vice president and chief marketing officer. Hatem previously worked at JADAK and Preferred Mutual Insurance.

Porch Names Lead Marketer

Porch, a digital marketplace for home services, has announced Jaso Marshall as its new chief marketing officer. Marshall previously served as CMO at GiftTree.

Burton Appoints New Chief Marketing Officer

Burton welcomes Sarah Crockett as its new chief marketing officer. Crockett comes to the snowboard and clothing company from REI, where she was the vice president of integrated marketing & community engagement. Before that Crockett was vice president of global consumer marketing at Vans. John Lacy, president of Burton, said of Crockett, “Sarah gets what it means to work for a brand that respects its core audience, but at the same time, welcomes everyone to be a part of the brand.”

Tuffy’s Pet Foods Names CMO

Darren Fujii was named chief marketing officer of Minnesota-based Tuffy’s Pet Foods. Previously, Fujii was the president of Pet Club, and prior to that consulted for several companies including MGM, Con Agra and Kellogg’s.

Identifi Picks CMO

Indentifi, a “brand and media management studio of original programming in sports” has chosen Dante Simpson as its chief marketing officer. Simpson held previous posts as global vice president at Gucci Group and BMG Music.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 21. 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 & Commercial Coca-Cola El Segundo, CA
Director of Brand Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing Capital One McLean, Virginia
VP, Originals Marketing Starz Los Angeles, CA
VP, Marketing, Brand & Customer Strategy Banana Republic San Francisco, CA
Head of Marketing, Stephen Curry Under Armour Baltimore, MD
VP, Marketing Strategy Operations Paramount Pictures Hollywood, CA

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

McDonald’s Recruits Pranksters For Diversity Marketing

A wholesome prank that went viral earned two college students $50,000 and a marketing project for McDonald’s. The friends simply filled a void in the brand’s ethnic representation, sat back and reaped the rewards.

Inspired by Crazy Rich Asians and what the film means for representation, Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo—both hailing from the Philippines—decided to make their own inclusive marketing materials to fill a blank wall at their local McDonald’s restaurant.

“We looked around [and] we saw all these other posters on there. We saw that [there are] different ethnicities, and we saw that they’re all these people having fun, so we decided to represent ourselves as Asians—to be up there as well,” Maravilla explained.

The two friends carefully studied the design layout of materials hung around the restaurant, then created their own image to match. The poster featured Maravilla and Toledo, both walking together while holding food from the restaurant. A YouTube video, which has garnered over one million views to date, tells the story of how they snuck the poster into McDonald’s unnoticed.

Maravilla donned a McDonald’s shirt he found at a thrift store and a fake ID badge calling himself a Regional Interior Coordinator. Then he, Toledo and two friends casually walked in and hung the art.

Nearly two months later, the poster was still hanging at McDonald’s. Maravilla shared a photo of  Toledo and himself sitting in front of it, which quickly went viral.

This kind of peaceful “reverse vandalism” caught the eye of Ellen DeGeneres, who invited the duo onto her show. There, Maravilla and Toledo were surprised to learn that McDonald’s plans to use them for a future marketing campaign. McDonald’s also paid them each $25,000.

McDonald’s chose not to punish the creative young designers but use their energy to fuel change within the company. The famous poster will be removed when the restaurant gets remodeled, but Maravilla and Toledo will be around to design something new—for real this time.

Olive Garden Countdown Reveals Pasta-Fueled Scavenger Hunt

Olive Garden teased social media users with a mysterious countdown that eventually revealed a social media scavenger hunt. Carb-hungry fans can follow the clues across social media for a chance to win 52 weeks of free pasta.

On Monday, Olive Garden shared a countdown through Twitter and Instagram Stories. The microsite read, “If you thought unlimited breadsticks were big…” The post was accompanied by photos on Instagram and Facebook of a folder labeled “Project P.A.S.T.A.S.: Top Secret.” Users were left to speculate what the restaurant was going to reveal, offering guesses from endless Sangria to changing its name to Burger Garden—a stab at IHOP’s recent campaign.

Olive Garden kept the conversation going with Instagram Stories that quoted some of its favorite responses with screenshots, responses and emoji.

When the countdown ended Wednesday morning, the microsite revealed a series of puzzles and an announcement that Olive Garden would give away 10 Annual Pasta Passes through social media. The passes would entitle cardholders to 52 weeks’ worth of never-ending pasta bowls—normally purchased for $300 each.

Each of the 10 puzzles, when solved, will lead hungry sleuths to a social media profile on Instagram, Twitter or a Group on Facebook. Once located, the entrant must be the first to send a DM saying, “Pasta Pass Please” to win.

The puzzles range in difficulty from a Google search (Olive Garden’s first address) to wordplay, tracking down the fan club of a food critic and solving a 12-part crossword puzzle.

Olive Garden holds its neverending pasta bowl each year but decided to extend the promotion for a limited number of fans. Five years ago, the brand offered 1,000 Annual Pasta Passes for $300 each—offering endless bowls of pasta for 52 weeks. The passes quickly sell out each year, so the scavenger hunt allows 10 more fans the chance to participate.

Scavenger hunts have proven to be an effective way of engaging consumers around a product launch or event. Brands like Oreo, Tomb Raider, Adidas, Delta Airlines and Bloomingdales have all launched social and/or mobile scavenger hunts with the promise of rewards or contest entries. These campaigns frequently use augmented reality on Snapchat, but can also include hidden objects in the real world or puzzles that must be located and solved.

A Guide To Advertising Week New York 2018 Panels

Advertising Week New York panels offer the rare opportunity to learn from some of today’s top marketers. Here are some of our top picks for panels you should check out during the event—including a special event from AList!

Note: unless otherwise noted, all panels on this list will take place at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 Theatres—1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023.

Monday, Oct 1

Go Big or Go Home

Sometimes you just have to go all out to make an impression. This panel explores the connection between brand activations and making memories that last in the hearts and minds of consumers.

When: 10:00 a.m.

Where: Walt Disney Company Stage


Joao Chueiri—VP of Consumer Connections, Anheuser Busch

Russell Silvers—COO, AEG

Intent Is The New Funnel: Driving Growth at Every Step of the Journey

The traditional funnel is dying and out of the ashes rises a new formula for dynamic consumer journeys. This panel takes a look at the opportunities marketers face in an intent-driven world.

When: 10:45 a.m.

Where: Target Media Network Stage @ IMAX


Allan Thygesen—president of the Americas, Google

Kristin Lemkau—CMO, JPMorgan Chase

The CMO Perspective on Trust, Quality and Brand Safety

The struggle is real. Hear from top CMOs about how they’re combating fraud, quality, trust and brand safety concerns while still achieving success in a digital landscape.

When: 11:30 a.m.

Where: Stage


Tim Cadogan—CEO, OpenX

Meredith Verdone—CMO, Bank of America

Raja Rajamannar—chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard

Jessica Rodriguez—CMO, Univision

Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

Diverse hiring and equal opportunity are growing concerns for the marketing industry, and not just for women. This panel discusses a new wave of leaders and invites plans to use skills-based hiring to increase inclusion and access.

When: 12:30 p.m.

Where: Stage


Kieran Luke—general manager assessments, General Assembly

Micky Onveral—chief marketing officer, Bonobos

Seth Rogin—president and CEO, Nucleus Marketing Solutions

Wired Brand Storytellers

Masters of brand storytelling share their tried and true methods for getting key messages across in an authentic and creative way.

When: 2:30 p.m.

Where: Twitter Stage


Kim Kelleherchief business officer, GQ, GQ Style, WIRED Media Group, Pitchfork, Golf Digest, Condé Nast

Dario Spinachief marketing officer, Viacom Velocity

Stephanie MacMahonchief brand officer, WWE

Susan Vobejda—chief marketing officer, The Trade Desk

Maria Pousachief marketing officer, Integral Ad Science

Tuesday, Oct 2

THE REBOUND: Recovering From Failure

This panel of marketers will have a frank discussion about attitudes around failure, how to pivot when you sense things are going awry and provide practical advice for those at any stage of their career on recovering from a failure. Be sure to RSVP.

When: 10:20 a.m.

Where: NewGen Stage


Monica Halpert—chief marketing officer, Sundance Institute

Vimla Gupta—chief marketing officer, Equinox

Gene Foca—chief marketing officer, Getty Images

Dara Treseder—chief marketing officer, GE Business Innovations & GE Ventures, General Electric

Moderator: H.B. Duran—reporter, AList

Memeology 101: The New Language of Cultural Ideas

Tfw you realize memes are more than a trend, but the primary language of the zeitgeist. Learn how memes reflect modern culture and how to apply that thinking to their own work.

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Where: Walt Disney Company Stage


Joe Federer—brand strategy, Reddit

Kenny Gold—director of social media, Grey

Programmatic’s TRUST Factor

Brand safety has marketers taking a second look at programmatic. This panel is an insider’s view on how 35 premium publishers are taking the reins in restoring trust, transparency and safety to programmatic advertising.

When: 1:30 p.m.

Where: Microsoft Stage


David Kohl—president and CEO, TrustX

Matt Barnes—senior director of platform programmatic sales and strategy, ESPN

Nicole Lesko—VP of digital ad product and ops, Meredith Corporation

Sharmilan Rayer—VP of audience and programmatic platforms, NBC Universal

GDPR: Where Do We Go Now?

It has been months since GDPR went into effect, but a marketer’s work is never done. This panel will guide attendees through the latest updates on privacy issues as well as consumer trust.

When: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Microsoft Stage


Jason Kint—CEO, Digital Content Next

Vikram Somaya—SVP and global data officer, ESPN

Programmatic for the People

All angles of the industry join together to talk programmatic in this panel discussing the current obstacles and state and what is to come.

When: 5:15 p.m.

Where: IBM Watson Marketing Stage


Neil Shapiro—VP of digital, Captivate

Wade Rifkin—SVP of programmatic, Clear Channel Outdoor

Anne Frisbie—SVP of global programmatic and brand, InMobi

Charlie Neer—VP of revenue, MiQ

Wednesday, Oct 3

Stop Collaborate and Listen: New Ways To Team-up for a Customer-Centric Brand 

This panel of executives specializes in transformative initiatives. They share their insights into how smarter collaboration models are driving success in today’s marketing industry.

When: 9:30 a.m.

Where: Stage


Nikki Mendonça—president, Accenture Interactive Operations

Rob Roy—chief digital officer, Sprint

Rémy Merckx—vice president of digital, Radisson Hotel Group

Carissa Ganelli—chief digital officer, Subway

How Wayfair Conquered AdTech and MarTech

This panel tells the story of how Wayfair’s marketing data science team built a CRM from scratch, designed to be capable of fluidly integrating advertising and marketing technologies. Learn how the CRM focuses on fostering long-term relationships.

When: 12:15 p.m.

Where: IBM Watson Marketing Stage


Jessica Jacobs—director of marketing, Wayfair

Nick Dujnic—VP of marketing, LiveIntent

Where AdTech Meets MarTech

This panel explains the promises of converging adtech and martech as it relates to consumer communications.

When: 1:15 p.m.

Where: IBM Watson Marketing Stage


Moderator: Sona Mirakian-Pehlivanian VP operations, New York Interconnect

Damian Garbaccio— executive vice president of commercial strategy, Nielsen

Andy Sriubas—chief commercial officer, OUTFRONT Media

Chandra Stevens—global director of cross-industry marketing solutions, Microsoft

Going Beyond Follower Counts

This panel will delve into how brands can tap into the rich relationships digital creators have with engaged consumers in ways that are both accountable and effective.

When: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Twitter Stage

Moderator: Jim Louderback—general manager, VidCon

Kellie Hanson—social integration, T-Mobile

Sarah Herron—creator

David Lopez—creator

Tyler Vaught—head of creators, Twitter

Leave Room For Risk

In this session, join two leaders at Kraft Heinz as they reveal how a data-driven approach that has allowed the brand to be both cost-effective and open to taking risks.

When: 4:30 p.m.

Where: Microsoft Stage


Moderator: Catherine Roe—senior director of client partnerships, Oracle Data Cloud

Magen Hanrahan—VP of media and marketing services, Kraft Heinz Company

Michelle St. Jacques—head of US brand and R&D, The Kraft Heinz Company

Thursday, Oct 4

Blockchain and Advertising: How the Revolution Begins

Everyone is talking about blockchain, but most marketers are still struggling to grasp exactly how it’s going to change how they do business going forward. This panel will give attendees both the short- and long-term view on blockchain applications in marketing.

When: 10:15 a.m.

Where: IBM Watson Marketing Stage


Brian Wong—CEO and founder, Klip

Direct to Consumer Allstars

This panel of DTC all-stars will examine how their brands are learning from old-age tactics and using them to reinvent their actions.

When: 12:30 p.m.

Where: Stage

Michael A. Bassik—CEO, Yes and Company

Jeff Brooks—CMO, Casper

Arianne Perry—co-founder and CEO, Sweet Defeat

Henrik Werdelin—co-founder, BARK

The Evolution of the CMO

The coveted title of CMO has taken on new meanings for different organizations. How will the role evolve in the next year and what skills will be prioritized? Let’s discuss.

When: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Stage


Aditi Javeri Gokhale—CMO, Northwestern Mutual

Stephen Freitas—CMO, Outdoor Advertising Association of America

Ty Shay—CMO, Norton Consumer Business

Dara Treseder—CMO, GE Ventures

North Face Launches Music Pop-Ups In The Name Of Exploration

The North Face is expanding its brand message beyond extreme outdoor sports with a new campaign that likens exploration to trying something new. An initiative called “New Explorers” aims to inspire “exploration as a mindset” through a series of short films, pop-up music performances and a new Instagram community.

For the past 50 years, mountain sports has been The North Face’s brand identity. While they don’t intend to change this strategy, the brand can reach a wider audience by appealing to other forms of exploration like overcoming fears or being creative.

“Whether you’re a mountaineer or a musician, what connects us all as explorers is a shared mindset of curiosity paired with the courage to try something new,” said Tom Herbst, global vice president of marketing at The North Face in a press release. “This campaign will work to expand that spirit of exploration through different cultural touchpoints in music and art as well as our traditional mountain sports.”

The North Face is spreading the idea of exploration as a mindset through a series of short films that feature “New Explorers” on different walks of life. The series features rapper/producer Pi’erre Bourne, snowboarder Jess Kimura, filmmaker Jimmy Chin and activist Mikhail Martin, among others.

A series of pop-up concerts will take place throughout the fall in partnership with New York City musicians. Each musician, beginning with Pi’erre Bourne, will choose their venue and reflect on how that particular neighborhood contributed to their individual style. Each performance will have a theme of getting out of one’s own comfort zone.

The location of each concert will be a secret, but fans can receive hints and updates through a newly created Instagram page called The North Face City. The new Instagram account is intended to foster a community around exploration.

Three new spots will launch alongside the campaign, each examining the difference between the messages we receive from “curiosity,” “hesitation” and “exploration.” The brief videos each depict a situation in which someone embodies the explorer mindset—venturing out into the rain, camping on top of a mountain and traveling to a new place, all featuring The North Face products.

In addition to the new campaign, The North Face is tapping into nostalgia, as well. On September 26, the brand will re-release its 1996 Nuptse Jacket, which will be prominently worn throughout the “New Explorers” campaign.

Brands Unite To Encourage Voting, Form ‘Civic Culture Coalition’

More than a dozen brands have joined forces to create The Civic Culture Coalition—a non-partisan group “powered by pop culture” that will encourage consumers to participate in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond.

Among the brands involved are Ad Council, AMC Theatres, Anonymous Content, ATTN:, AwesomenessTV, Bad Robot, Creative Artists Agency (CAA),, Entertainment Industry Foundation, iHeartMedia, Lyft, SB Projects, TOMS, Tumblr, Univision Communications, VICE Media and more.

The Civic Culture Coalition’s first campaign is called “I am a voter,” offering tools and resources like registration portals and reminders. A website has been launched that helps anyone across the country register to vote and volunteer to help others do the same. In addition, a text message platform was introduced that allows Americans to get election updates, reminders, tools and events by texting VOTER to 26797.

“I am a voter” taps into young generations’ desire for individualism by using words that describe the person and not just the act.

“The campaign is designed to encourage Americans to establish a voter identity—’I am a voter,’ rather than ‘I vote’—and to celebrate voting as an expression of self rather than as simply a behavior,” said René Spellman, an executive with the CAA Foundation.

On September 25, various coalition companies will participate in a three-minute “media shutdown” and push the message “Register Now. Vote November 6.” According to The Civic Culture Coalition, three minutes is all the time it takes to register as a voter.

The Coalition teamed up with several designers and influencers to spread awareness on social media, as well as during New York Fashion Week and the Primetime Emmy Awards. Each participant was seen wearing “I am a voterpins and shirts.

Digital influences will release content themed around “Register While You Wait” between now and National Voter Registration Day on September 25. The content will remind users to make sure they’re registered while they’re waiting for something else, like the bus, brewing coffee or during a commercial break.

‘OZY’ Ruffles Journalistic Feathers With Series Of Insult Ads

It’s typical for brands to compare themselves to competitors in many industries, but not necessarily common practice in journalism. A series of ads from Ozymandias, aka OZY, spotted on Facebook feature members of the publisher’s staff calling their employer better than Vice, Vox, CNN, The Economist, The New York Times and BuzzFeed.

OZY‘s ads don’t just name names, but reasons as to why they feel superior. The publisher claims that it’s “cooler than Vice” because the latter was founded when Frank Sinatra was still releasing music.

While OZY claims to bring its readers news that “actually matters,” it implies that BuzzFeed writes “bull sh*t.”

The ads gained some momentum on Twitter when BuzzFeed tech writer Ryan Mac shared them on Friday. After all, when you insult a publication, you are insulting its writers.

Reactions from the journalists under attack ranged from self-depreciating humor to backhanded compliments toward OZY.

“Joke’s on OZY,” tweeted Harry Cheadle, west coast editor of Vice.Vice hasn’t been cool in years.”

Some journalists reminded OZY that Buzzfeed was a Pulitzer Prize finalist last year and a publication’s work should speak for itself.

Others were quick to remind Ozymandias of its namesake—a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley that mused about the inevitable decline of rulers, consumed by hubris. The publication has apparently heard that one before because there’s an entire statement about it on the website.

“Most folks read that poem as a caution against big egos and the impermanence of power,” says OZY. “We read it differently. To us, the poem says ‘think big, but be humble, lest you end up ‘two vast and trunkless legs . . . in the desert.’”

The fledgling publication may be trying to “think big” by saying that it can and has been holding its own against legacy giants. One ad points out that in May, OZY profiled Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and CNN didn’t know who she was until three months later. This revelation, OZY claims, makes it “sharper than CNN.”

While the obvious demographic for this ad campaign is readers, the public “diss” may also appeal to advertisers. OZY claims a monthly readership of 40 million, thanks in part to its “terrific partners” that include NPR, The New York Times, USA Today, TED and iHEART. (Making the insult to NY Times even more curious.)

OZY received some bad press from BuzzFeed back in December for purchasing traffic views on a sponsored post by JP Morgan. Other sites were impacted by the invalid traffic, including Funny or Die and PC Mag.

Through a little controversy, the young website could be hoping to generate enough buzz to make advertisers forget about the BuzzFeed story. For BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, however, a public insult was a great excuse to share the article again. To which, OZY shared a story about BuzzFeed layoffs.

OZY did not respond to inquiries by press time.

CMO Council: Field Sales Skills Critical For Future Growth

Marketing leaders consider themselves to be a driving force of revenue for their brands and are expanding their skill sets to meet the challenge, according to a new report by The CMO Council.

The CMO Council surveyed 191 marketing leaders during the first and second quarters of this year to see how attitudes have changed since they conducted a similar study in 2016. The findings, published in CMOs and the Spark to Drive Growth, outline the role of these marketers, their primary concerns and allies within the company.

Growth was defined by 95 percent of businesses as revenue, and 70 percent of marketers agreed. There appears to be some disconnect between what the business and marketing leaders believe is critical for growth, with wide gaps between opinions across the board on gross margin, market share and brand evaluation.

A majority (82 percent) of respondents indicated that they are the primary driver of functions like brand development and storytelling, followed by customer engagement and communications (75 percent).

When asked which skills were mandatory to shape and evolve the growth agenda, however, “Storytelling in a Digital World” was named by only 44 percent—less than “Data and Intelligence,” “Market Insights and Knowledge,” “Holistic View of the Customer Journey” and “Brand Building and development at 56, 50, 49 and 47 percents, respectively.

“As CMOs attempt to accelerate and evolve the growth agenda, they should hold their legacy of storytelling and brand closely, but they will likely also need to branch out to secure new tools and more business-focused skills to take growth from increases in revenue to transformations in success,” The CMO Council advises in the report.

Looking to the future, nearly a quarter of marketers said that field sales experience and knowledge would be a critical skill for driving tomorrow’s growth efforts.

Since businesses and marketers agree that growth is defined by revenue, it should come as no surprise that CMOs align themselves with executives that are tied to sales. The president/CEO topped the list of allies in the quest for growth, followed by the head of sales. Interestingly, while 60 percent of marketers said they influence service and support delivery, only 14 percent are connecting with heads of service and support.

“What is revealed by the marketers participating in this research is that the comfort zone of campaigns and communications continues to be a welcoming home base for many,” observed The CMO Council. “However, the leaders who have embraced their role as a growth driver and orchestrator of the customer experience can set a new course for lasting profitability and opportunity.”