4 Top Trends To Help Content Marketers Make Meaningful Connections

Media has become democratized: Everyone can get involved. But succeeding is something else entirely.

So what should marketers consider in order to attract customers while pushing boundaries in distribution, engagement and monetization? See the list below and join top brands at MMS NY: The Connective Power of Content on April 17 as they share what’s working and what’s not.

  • Personalization – Using data and technology to remain relevant for your customers. The smart marketer will leverage data and analytics to create personalized content experiences that drive demand.
  • Customer experience — This is increasingly the responsibility of the digital marketer. You must create integrated customer experiences across all digital channels, including websites, mobile apps, digital marketing, social and owned platforms. It’s all about the consumer, who expect seamless communication right now. How do we ensure we are there when our customers need our product and ensure that we provide them with useful content?
  • Be a brand with purpose — Today’s biggest customer base, Millennials, care about brands that have “meaning.” If you want to hire millennials and have them consume your products or services, you need to demonstrate a presence of social good. Successful brands know what they stand for, how to share it and who to share it with to create desire. Understanding the demands of a new socially conscious generation of your customers will allow you to connect with them in authentic ways.
  • Experiential marketing — Consumers gravitate toward the experiential with a desire to make unique memories—and document them all on social media. Understanding the types of experiences your audience relates to and bringing them to life by integrating your product and messages with a relevant activity or authentic moment in time is key. Experiment with new formats, platforms and emerging tech to share your story and allow customers to experience your brand in new, meaningful ways that cross the digital/physical divide.

We should reflect on Jonah Peretti’s quote: “Content is king, but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.” It’s not just what content you’ll create, but how, where and when you deliver it, as well. Invite your distribution partners to the table so you don’t miss out on their expertise and opportunities.

MMS NY: The Connective Power of Content will be bringing together the senior brand and agency marketers that are watching these trends and shaping the future of modern marketing.  Together, speakers and audience will be discussing how to make meaningful consumer connections that span the drastically changing marketing landscapes.

AListDaily subscribers get 20% off with the code “MMS18Friend20.”

Air France Pokes Fun At Low-Cost Carriers With Faux Products

Air France has launched a new campaign poking fun at economy airlines that cost less but charge extra for amenities.

“Take a Chance or Fly Air France” kicked off Monday with a video that offers fake products: champagne gummies, scratch-n-sniff meals and a 50-foot scroll of Sudoku puzzles. The goal of this campaign, Air France said, is to highlight complimentary amenities offered on its flights that cost extra on other airlines.

“No matter which cabin you fly in, all passengers have a right to a great meal, entertainment, and—for those of age—champagne,” Stephane Ormand, US vice president & general manager USA of Air France, said in a statement.

Although passengers can’t actually order the faux products mid-flight, consumers do have a chance to win them. On March 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., a special vending machine will be available at The Grove in Los Angeles that contains the gummies, sticker meals and Sudoku rolls. The vending machine is free to operate but requires an Instagram account and users must be 18 and older. In addition to the aforementioned products, the vending machine will also give out a limited number of golden tickets good for two round-trip tickets on Air France.

For those who can’t attend in person, a sweepstake is running that offers anyone a chance to win a set of the three satirical products.

Low-cost carriers are eating away at the market share of major transportation companies, causing luxury services like Air France to emphasize value over cost.

“One of the greatest weapons in the traditional carrier’s arsenal is creating the perfect blend of product and service quality and price that attracts the largest customer base possible—at the highest price point,” Deloitte said in its 2018 Travel and Hospitality Outlook report.

Last year, Air France launched Joon—a brand offshoot that caters to tech-savvy young travelers. Joon offers access to in-flight entertainment that streams directly onto travelers’ smartphones, tablets and laptops. In addition, all seats will be equipped with USB ports for the charging of electronic devices.

Brands Try Their Luck With St. Patrick’s Day Marketing

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are already underway, and Americans plan to spend a record $5.9 billion to celebrate this year, according to the National Retail Foundation. Most popular among 18-24-year-olds, US adults are expected spend an average of $39.65 per person on Irish-themed festivities.

Here are a few ways brands are tapping into the luck o’ the Irish this year:

Green Goodies

Few St. Patrick’s day marketing campaigns are as widely recognized as the Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s. The mint-flavored treats are offered for only a month each year, creating a FOMO sense of urgency among customers, as well as nostalgia going back to 1970.

For 2018, quick service restaurant launched a shake finder app that helps consumers find the nearest McDonald’s serving Shamrock Shakes—although Texans found themselves left out.

In Chicago, the brand created a pop-up activation that projected a giant green rainbow in Daley Plaza alongside a stand giving away free cups of the minty confection. The activation was a partnership with artist Andrew Shoben.

Breakfast got a lot greener with several other promotions across the US. Bruegger’s continued its annual tradition of offering green bagels. Krispy Kreme did the same with green donuts at participating stores.

Dunkin’ Donuts took St. Patrick’s Day beyond green icing and offered customers a chance to win a year’s worth of free donuts for sharing their holiday plans. One winner will also visit the company’s headquarters in Massachusetts.

Spirits of Ireland

Jameson whiskey is offering fans a trip for three to Ireland, where they will visit the Jameson distillery and have their name carved into the bar. To enter, 21+ fans can head to the brand’s official website and finish the sentence, “You’ve a Jameson at the bar, mates at the ready, all you’re missing is…”

Guinness is celebrating its 200th anniversary in the US with a continuation its annual tradition of cause marketing. “Give A ‘Stache’ invites adults to share photos of themselves sporting a mustache—either drawn on, grown or provided by Guinness foam—by tagging Guiness on social media and the hashtag #StacheForCharity. For every photo shared, Guinness will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to the Guinness Gives Back Fund, which supports community-focused non-profits around the country.

If you can’t make it to Ireland, booking discount finder Travelzoo is hosting a Facebook Live stream of Dublin’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. The Facebook stream will also be shared via Tourism Ireland’s social media pages and the Facebook pages of Travelzoo in the UK and Canada. Travelzoo said last year’s St. Patrick’s Day livestream reached three million viewers.

How about St. Patrick’s Day finance? TD Bank is running an ad on Twitter that shows users how to make a healthy green shake while promoting its mortgage lending services.

Activision Blizzard is running a St. Patrick’s Day event in Call of Duty: WWII called “Operation: Shamrock and Awe,” which includes new uniforms, shamrock skins for weapons, decorations around the game’s main headquarters and a new multiplayer map.

 

NFL Passes Ball To New COO; Nike Steps Up To Harassment Claims

Highlights

Maryann Turcke has been promoted to NFL’s first female chief operating officer following the departure of Tod Leiweke.

NFL’s marketing chief Dawn Hudson has announced her departure in pursuit of non-marketing endeavors.

“Dawn provided refreshing insights and perspectives on how to portray our game, players and the special bond fans have with the NFL,” said an NFL spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. “The league’s multi-platform campaigns have further deepened the connection with fans throughout the year, culminating with exciting and engaging Super Bowl messages. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”


After 25 years with the company, Nike brand president Trevor Edwards has resigned from his position and retire in August. The staff change was announced Thursday by Nike president and CEO Mark Parker amid a string of employee complaints that “disturbed and saddened” him. While Edwards was not named in the memo, the timing of Edwards’ resignation, alongside the termination of VP and global manager of global categories Jayme Martin followed probes into harassment within the company.

Parker provided employees with a confidential email and phone number to use if they felt harassed and said Nike would be reviewing the company’s protocol for dealing with internal complaints.

Nike president of geographies and integrated marketplace Elliot Hill will be promoted to the role of president of consumer and marketplace. In his new position, Hill will handle all marketing, geographies, Nike Direct, global sales and all things Jordan Brand. Michael Spillane will continue as president of product and merchandising, leading the company’s categories, design, product and merchandising.


The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 16. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com)


Chipotle has hired Brian Niccol as its new CEO. Niccol joins the company after three years as CEO for Taco Bell. Chipotle founder Steve Ells will stay on as executive chairman. In the announcement, Ells credited Niccol for his role in boosting Taco Bell’s popularity in recent years, something Chipotle has struggled with following food safety concerns.

“Under his leadership, he successfully repositioned Taco Bell as a lifestyle brand and successfully launched numerous product initiatives, including the new breakfast daypart, the fastest growing daypart in the industry,” the company said.

Mark Crumpacker stepped down as Chipotle CMO effective March 15 after nine years with the company. A replacement has not yet been announced.


Nick Stringer joins Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) as vice president of global member engagement and operations. Stringer will head up TAG’s new European office in London to “help accelerate the organization’s global expansion.” Stringer comes to TAG after serving as director of regulatory affairs at the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) and chair of the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA).

“I am delighted to join TAG at this pivotal time to help extend the TAG vision, and we look forward to working with key European stakeholders to build a global approach in addressing criminal activity in digital advertising,” said Stringer in a prepared statement made available to AListDaily.


After 20 years with the company, A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubac has departed in favor of a new position as CEO of Vice Media. Vice co-founder Shane Smith will remain on board in an executive role, but called the new team a “modern day Bonnie and Clyde” who will “take all your money.”

Dubac expressed gratitude for her time with A+E Networks but looks forward to the new position.

“Anyone who knows me well, knows I am an entrepreneur, creator, rebel and disruptor at heart,” Dubac said in a statement. “I have a famous neon sign in my office that blares ‘Who dares wins.’ After 20 years at A+E the hardest thing will be to leave the people and company I love. But, as a creative executive and leader, and to stay true to my personal mantra, I need my next dare and my next challenge.”


Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced the promotion of three executives to vice president roles. Brian Gilbert is now vice president of retail business development, Frank Barone is vice president of financial management and business analytics and Mathias Piercy has been promoted to regional vice president of South Central.

With their passion for results, deep understanding of our business, and leadership capabilities, I am confident they will help us continue to capitalize on the growth potential of both the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands,” said Dave Hoffmann, President of Dunkin’ Donuts US in a statement.


Condé Nast has promoted Karthic Bala from head of data strategy to become the company’s first chief data officer. In his new role, Bala will work to increase ad-supported and consumer revenue streams as well as build new data-driven businesses.


Activision Blizzard is hiring to win in the competitive world of esports. The video game publisher hired Daniel Cherry III as chief marketing officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. A sports industry veteran, Cherry brings over 20 years of marketing experience, having served as chief marketing and innovation officer for the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center.

Marc Kolin has been tapped as vice president of finance, formerly of NBC Universal.

Brandon Snow will be the new chief revenue officer and brings his knowledge of business development in the world of competitive sports, having worked for the NFL and NBA.


French actor Augustin Legrand will no longer be Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man In the World.” The Heineken-owned brand is changing focus after a drop in sales year-over-year. Dos Equis replaced the original “Most Interesting” spokesman, Jonathan Goldsmith in 2016 with a younger version, but the campaign turned out to be less popular. Now, the brand says, it is focusing less on the spokesman and more on the beer itself.


Kevin Mayer has been promoted from Disney’s chief strategy officer to chairman of the company’s new Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. Mayer is credited with some of Disney’s biggest purchases including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and BamTech, a streaming-focused company.

“Kevin is a proven leader who has played a critical role in bringing together the collection of creative and technological assets that will allow Disney to offer unparalleled entertainment experiences in a direct-to-consumer future,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement.

As part of the media giant’s shake-up, Disney gives additional responsibility to Bob Chapek, head of Disney Parks and Resorts, who will oversee consumer products now as Jimmy Pitaro moves to ESPN.


Unilever is dividing its marketing efforts into three separate divisions: beauty and personal care, home care and food and refreshments. In addition to marketing and advertising, these divisions will take over responsibility for innovation, strategy, research and product development.

“This is the logical next step in the transformation of Unilever,” CFO Graeme Pitkethly told investors March 15. “It will drive long-term shareholder value and provide increased flexibility, strengthen corporate governance and enable our divisions to better serve consumers by balancing scale and agility.”


Job Vacancies 

Product Manager – APIs Ayzenberg Pasadena, CA
Chief Communications Officer Columbia University New York, NY
SVP, Cobrand Partner Chief Decision Management Officer Citi Elk Grove Village, IL
VP, Marketing Strategy, Planning & Analytics Pandora Oakland, CA
Director, Global Creative Marketing (Global Series) Netflix Los Angeles, CA
VP, Sales & Marketing The Washington Times Washington, D.C.

Make sure to check back for updates on our Jobs Page.

Countries Host SXSW Activations To Market Diplomacy, Tech And Tourism

SXSW—more specifically, the SXSW Interactive Festival—has turned into a boomtown for diplomacy.

Different countries emit their presence among Austin venues turned into sponsored activations. At Casa Peru, there’s a photo booth with stuffed llamas and a full pisco sour bar. At the British Music Embassy, overseas indie and electronic acts are booked for days straight. On the convention floor, representatives from Brazil’s trade mission are telling passersby about the country’s booming economic sector.

There are many attractive reasons for foreign countries to set up shop at SXSW. Countries may want to host private dinners for tech investors and journalists to introduce them to local startups; flying over a popular local band, inviting social media tastemakers, and setting up Instagram-ready samples of foreign specialties can boost tourism dollars; and because of SXSW’s sheer numbers—there were just over 70,000 total attendees in 2016 from 95 countries, and even more attendees at unofficial events around town—the conference is becoming increasingly attractive to diplomatic and trade missions.

While there are conferences which are more comprehensive for individual industries, such as the Mobile World Congress and NRF Big Show, SXSW offers some of the best bang-for-the-buck for marketing and advertising. And Austin provides a nexus for promoting to a mostly well-off audience who will amplify their message on social media.

A notable diplomatic presence, the European Union hosted three days of events to promote tech-related EU initiatives, while countries like the Netherlands and Germany offered installations designed to lure investors and promote their countries as tourism destinations. Individual cities provided their own activations promoting regional tech and cultural activities as well.

This year, the German city of Hamburg rented out a hamburger stand directly across from the Austin Convention Center for a multi-day activation. The city uses its SXSW presence to promote local startups and its Reeperbahn Festival, a large music and digital event whose audience overlaps with SXSW considerably.

Michael Otremba, CEO of Hamburg Marketing, said over 105 companies attended SXSW from Hamburg last year, with more than 150 people representing.

For Startup Buenos Aires, an organization building connections for that city’s startup scene, the goal is to introduce Buenos Aires entrepreneurs to Austin and market the city as an attractive destination for entering the North American market (it’s cheaper than living in San Francisco).

“Argentinians typically think of Miami [for business] because it is the gateway to the Americas, or New York, or Silicon Valley,” said Lisa Besserman, who works for Startup Buenos Aires and is a recent transplant to Austin. “We want to promote Austin as a great place to potentially scale startups who are thinking about entering the United States.”

Representing the Netherlands, the New Dutch Wave activation conveys overlapping tech and music programming. The event is supported by the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry and Creative Holland, a government-supported entrepreneurial organization, and is typical of the mix among many of the national activations at SXSW: Sober talks on marketing, design and startup launches are accompanied by performances by Dutch musicians in the evening and installations by Dutch artists.

Yorick Michelbrink of the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry notes the audience at SXSW is a bit different from typical Dutch trade outreach, citing agriculture and water management events as examples of places where you’d typically see an official Dutch presence.

“For us, what we do here in Austin is the blurring of the lines between corporate, startups, creatives and artists,” said Danny Freitman of Enterprise Summits, a Dutch events firm that founded the event alongside Wink, an Amsterdam-based marketing company.

While many of these activations from around the globe bear official sponsorship from their country of origin, some operate without formal government involvement. Nigerian events firm Temple Management and the U.S. African Development Corporation, an American federal government agency, cosponsored Africa House, a two-day activation. The event included talks by entrepreneurs and artists from across the continent, a breakfast spotlighting Nigeria’s tech community and music in the evening.

Meanwhile, China skipped the fancy public activations in favor of focusing on panels and private events, including a party with Chinese musical arts, representatives from Alibaba and other firms, diplomatic representatives and local politicians.

Emergen-C Pedals Into SXSW With A Mobile Revitalization Station

Vitamin supplement brand Emergen-C kickstarted an experiential campaign at SXSW to promote its newest products—and a moment for consumers to rest and recharge—with a mobile revitalization station.

The experience took 15 people at a time on 10-minute rides around town on a self-propelled contraption designed to endorse Probiotics+, the latest line in the brand’s portfolio.

Akosua Asamoah, senior brand manager of Emergen-C, told AListDaily that the timing of the activation was a great fit for the Pfizer-owned brand to make its experiential debut in Austin because it also coincided with the Wellness Expo and targeted a core user group they were actively trying to reach.

“Consumers are increasingly more interested in their overall health and wellness,” said Asamoah. “It’s important for Emergen-C to show up in places like SXSW in order to inform people of the range of wellness benefits available that can be incorporated into daily routines.”

Emergen-C was one of several brands that ventured to SXSW this year to promote marketing messages around health and fitness, which is seemingly a popular trend to reach bleary-eyed attendees who’ve made body-damaging decisions at the endless events and parties.

Others brands that brought experiential marketing messaging underscoring the importance of proper health and nutrition at SXSW included Gatorade, Land O’Lakes, Herbalife and Califia Farms.

Express Teases New Retail Concept With One-Day SXSW Pop-Up

While SXSW brand activations tend to take place for anywhere between two and 10 days, fashion retailer Express opted for a different approach this year.

Tapping into an element of festival “FOMO,” the clothing company built a one-day pop-up shop in downtown Austin billed as “The Express Bungalow,” offering a glimpse of its first-to-retail work concept shop opening in New York City later this month. The space was designed to be a reflection of the curated assortment that will be available at its new store.

“SXSW brings together individuals with world-changing ideas, and we wanted to meet them there to inspire and equip them to get to what’s next in their lives,” Jim Hilt, CMO for Express, told AListDaily.

The brand leveraged a 14-hour window with programming that aimed to offer educational and career-minded content and paired it with musical performances at night—all while promoting its latest lines of clothing.

The company also coordinated discussions concurrently serving its content marketing mix with live, career-centric podcasts featuring senior leadership from Facebook and Pandora. The conversations promoted a new survey that Express conducted with the The Levo Institute around the changing definition of work.

Express paired its SXSW activation with its “Game Changers” campaign, which focuses on athletes who harness passion, fashion and technology to achieve career goals.

Hilt said the festival was a natural place to continue scaling their marketing strategy, as the brand is looking for “inspiring individuals” to collaborate with through its partnerships and marketing programs.

Land O’Lakes Cultivates Younger Users With SXSW Event

Land O’Lakes wants younger consumers to know that it’s more than just a butter brand.

The company—a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative—made its SXSW debut in Austin this year with “The Food Effect,” an activation that dives into a dialogue of how people grow their food.

Since Land O’Lakes skews more toward older consumers with its different lines of businesses and sub-brands, the company wanted to set the stage at SXSW to speak directly to a younger audience with its experiences, said Kim Olson, chief communications officer at Land O’Lakes. She noted that they doubled the amount of attendees they were originally expecting.

The four-day experience took place during Interactive and featured a variety of exhibits illustrating challenges and innovations related with food production. The goal of the marketing activation was to engage a new group of consumers by addressing issues around food security and ultimately identifying solutions.

“We’re interested in an open and honest conversation about agriculture and technology, and we understand that our brand can have a role in the space,” Olson told AListDaily. “We want to make fewer yet bigger marketing efforts, and SXSW is a great place to start those conversations. It was the right time for us.”

Attendees entering the expansive space in downtown Austin were greeted with “Insecure Lines,” an experience that invites people to pick up a phone and listen to the voices of those who are struggling with hunger. Each time a story was heard, a meal was donated. By Monday afternoon, a digital overhead counter displayed that over 5,000 people had gone through the experience.

The space also offered a virtual reality experience that took place inside of a lettuce head suspended in the air, demonstrating innovative farming techniques, a station with a DNA strand that illustrated the potential of science to feed more people and an art demonstration that mapped farm fields with satellite imagery.

The company also partnered with National Geographic for panel discussions to bring different viewpoints to its dialogue and marketing agenda.

According to Olson, the brand effectively reached the younger demographic of consumers it was marketing to both in the space at SXSW and on different online channels, with 18 percent engagement across all of their used social media platforms.

“It’s our first foray into experiential marketing at SXSW, and the initial results have been great,” she said.

The Minneapolis-based company also had an experiential marketing activation during the Super Bowl in Minnesota last month with the Farm Bowl, a farm-themed competition course designed to inspire the next generation of consumers about agriculture.

Google Continues Making Case For Voice With SXSW Fun House

Google is making a case that it’s serious about competing with Amazon Alexa and seizing available market share by continuing its heavy promotional push for Google Assistant at SXSW.

The company came to Austin this year to get consumers more acclimated with voice technology and artificial intelligence with the Google Assistant Fun House, which demonstrated some of the ways people are using its Actions in everyday life. Google also shuttled attendees around the city with Google Hoppers, a branded ride service that was free to all SXSW badge holders.

During SXSW, the company’s experiential marketing strategy and presence was similar to the one it activated in January and was a continuation of the ad campaign it introduced during the Academy Awards.

People in Austin appeared to be interested with the fairly nascent platform of digital assistants and the promise voice technology presents. The Fun House regularly had some of the longest lines during Interactive to experience the activation.

Attendees who entered the space were greeted by a Google-branded lowrider that was parked on the lawn. With the voice command “OK, Google: bounce,” the car danced up and down to music—like War’s “Low Rider.” Through a partnership with Spot Hero, it also exhibited how people can find parking spots and even a lost car through the digital assistant.

Upon leaving the classic car, guests were able to see how they could trigger a water sprinkler through voice before being invited into a 12-room, two-story home that gave people a look into how voice can be integrated across all touchpoints.

From lights to litter boxes to laundry, each section of the house exhibited different ways people are using voice technology to make their lives simpler.

Google also used SXSW to showcase partners like Patrón and Dominoes and how it’s building an integrated ecosystem around Assistant in order to keep pace with Amazon. The tequila brand was a first-mover into voice in 2016 and brought a margarita bar that dispensed cocktails on command.

“It’s pretty obvious Google is trying to integrate voice into as many things as possible,” said Jesper Nolhage, a user experience specialist for Volvo who was one of the attendees that toured the space. “The demonstrations in the house felt more like gimmicks than actually meeting real needs, but it was still interesting to see what Google is able to pull off.”

Gatorade’s Experiential Marketing At SXSW Showcases Sports Technology

For a brand like Gatorade, SXSW certainly feels like a fitting place to further test its experiential marketing strategy with dehydrated and bleary-eyed attendees and give them a health-focused reality check. Gatorade geared up at SXSW to show attendees it’s more than just a beverage company.

The company erected a G-Store pop-up at the event, featuring their products and a new line, G ESSNTL. Attendees were given a tablet and asked to scan four separate sections of the store to learn more about each item through augmented reality. After completing the course, a refrigerator filled with Gatorade opened its doors to a space that shows how the brand is using tech as part of its marketing strategy.

“G-Store is a way for us to showcase how broad the Gatorade product portfolio really is through hydration, energy, recovery, endurance products and more—but with a twist,” said Gina Hardy, head of consumer and athlete engagement, to AListDaily. “While the retail shop spotlights our innovation, the stockroom is a competitive playground that showcases how evolving technology is fueling training for athletes.”

Once attendees walked through the refrigerator, they were able to try different tech training tools. Gatorade partnered with the app Volt to create an on-demand digital trainer.

Then there was Beat the Blitz. Gatorade’s virtual reality game shows users how dehydration can impact throwing accuracy and overall performance for quarterbacks.

Gatorade’s “Handles Hero” leveraged the Lazer 900 to deliver ball-handling drills using a real basketball designed to train players to make decisions quickly and correctly, similar to a live game situation.

“SXSW is such a destination event, and there’s competition for engagement in every direction,” said Hardy. “The key to being successful—no matter where you are—is staying authentic to your brand.”