Dunkin’ Brands Q2 Earnings Growth Driven By Modernization Campaigns

Retiring Dunkin’ chief executive Nigel Travis—who will continue with the company as executive chairman focused on international businesses—headed up the company’s Q2 earnings call by highlighting the accomplishments across its Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, which saw a 4.9 percent revenue increase in the second quarter.

But Travis soon shifted the focus to how the company extended its partnership with CardFree, which will allow the company to establish 1:1 marketing technology with the aim of more satisfied customers. The payment platform’s capabilities allow Dunkin’ restaurants to process mobile ordering and mobile payments through the Dunkin’ app. However, the company’s digital strategy extends much further with future initiatives involving catering, delivery, group ordering and curbside pickup.

“I’d like to remind you that one of our strategic pillars is unparalleled convenience, and this deal will fully support this goal,” Travis said before handing the floor over to his successor David Hoffman, who stated that his top priority was to follow the blueprint for growth, which outlines how Dunkin’ is transforming into a modern and relevant brand.

Hoffman said that that the company was making key investments to accelerate two important areas:

  • Improving the restaurant experience for guests and crew
  • Leaning into more innovative—especially coffee—beverages

“I want to make it very clear that this is part of a unique chapter in our brand’s history. One of significant change and transformation to ensure relevance for generations to come,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman later added that “convenience is about being wherever our guests want to use us, including outside the four walls of our restaurants,” referring to branded products such as Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cups. These allow loyal customers to continue experiencing the brand outside of stores. Hoffman indicated that the company is reaching out to new customers outside of restaurant confines, although the restaurants themselves are being redesigned at the same time.

Baskin-Robbins is also evolving to become a more modern and relevant brand by emphasizing “great flavors and memorable moments.”

A prime example of the brand’s shift is with the recent “Got Me Like” campaign, which is designed to appeal to younger consumers using brightly colored GIFs, memes, videos and other media. Although BR store revenues were down 0.4 percent in Q2, Hoffman said that beverage categories especially shakes, saw significant gains for the third straight quarter, which he attributes to the Sundae Shakes offering. Additionally, delivery in partnership with Door Dash continues to expand, with “Try Me Free” offers given to first-time delivery customers throughout July to encourage trial and increase awareness.


McDonald’s Earnings Drop In Q2; Places Hope In Delivery And Automation

McDonald’s reported Q2 earnings of $5.3 billion, a 12 percent drop compared to the same quarter last year. The quick-service giant boasted considerable growth in the delivery space, as well as through the mobile app and restaurant kiosks.

Deals And Delivery

Last year, delivery was offered by 7,800 McDonald’s restaurants thanks to a partnership with UberEATS. That number has increased to 13,000. A saturation of restaurants throughout the country has made it easy for McDonald’s to take advantage of the growing delivery market. In fact, President and CEO Steve Easterbrook told investors that customers order twice as much through delivery than the average restaurant check. The restaurant used its FIFA sponsorship to push delivery and on July 19, the brand offered ’90s-inspired shirts to those who ordered delivery in a promotion called #McDelivery Day.

Easterbrook said the company has identified two kinds of patrons that frequent its restaurants: Budget Basics, those who expect every day low prices and Deal Customers—those who hop between brands depending on who offers the best deal at the time.

To counteract lost share in the breakfast market and appeal to Deal Customers, Easterbrook outlined plans to offer discounts and specials while allowing local franchises to customize the $1 $2 $3 menu based on neighborhood preferences.

McDonald’s reduced ad spend in the first quarter and considering the drop in Q2 income, acknowledged that the brand needs to be “more aggressive” to compete.


Spending Money To Make Money

Extensive remodeling efforts cut into McDonald’s profits in the second quarter, as did refranchising efforts in China. Restaurants lose between five to 10 days during the retail conversions. However, Easterbrook said the temporary loss of income is worth it, as consumers spend more using kiosks.

With unemployment down in the US, the company is investing $150,000 million over the next five years to educate and train its workforce amid criticism about employee atmospheres. Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s executive vice president and CFO, told investors that they are not alone when it comes to such pressures, calling the labor market “tight.”

Adding fresh beef to its Quarter Pounder burgers resulted in 80 percent awareness from the public at launch, but extra cook time extends serve times too, especially in the drive-thru. Easterbrook said they are trying to address this issue and chocks some of it up to a learning curve.

“Value” is a word that McDonald’s uses a lot to describe its mission statement and goals, but Ozan accepts the fact that their food won’t always be consumers’ first choice.

“We don’t strive to win on value but we won’t lose, either,” said Ozan.

Poshmark Adds ‘Posh Markets,’ Explains Immersive Ecommerce Strategy

Social marketplace Poshmark added features this week that aid in targeted discovery and open possibilities for limited time events.

Poshmark is a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows anyone to buy and sell designer clothing. Much like Instagram, the users—called Seller Stylists—post photos, gain followers and tag items for easy browsing. Users interact with the posts through likes, comments and shares.

“Traditionally you’d think of eBay and Amazon as our competition but when you start to look at the way we’re innovating, it’s really blending commerce with social,” Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra told AList. “It’s part Instagram, Amazon and eBay all together on the platform.”

The Poshmark community can now choose from a drop-down menu of six in-app user categories called Posh Markets. These markets include women’s, men’s, kids’, boutiques, plus-size and luxury. While menus of this type are common on ecommerce sites Posh Markets pull from seller accounts, offering its users a better chance of targeted discovery.

Chandra explained that Posh Markets could also be used to automatically curate content for a limited time around a popular event, holiday or theme.

“We would use to data science technology to reclassify and tag all of our inventory around a style,” said Chandra, using boho-chic as an example. “That immediately curates the entire marketplace for an event like Coachella. It could be permanent or temporary. That’s the power of data science and data technology on which the markets are based where we can do this level of dynamic curation with no extra effort on part of selling and no change to the core platform.”

Posh Markets could be targeted based on demographics and style, tapping into current interest and FOMO marketing.

Poshmark has grown tenfold in the last five years, Chandra said, with tens of millions of members and four million Seller Stylists. He attributes this success to the app’s social interaction—a lesson to be learned for retail brands.

“We believe the future for brands and retail is this personal connection between the seller and the shopper,” said Chandra. “[This is] the same kind of personal connection that existed ten years ago between a boutique stylist and shoppers—we’re bringing it back online but at a massive scale using the power of mobile, social and data.”

The idea of social selling hasn’t been lost on retailers, with brands like MeUndies and Glossier building organic communities on Snapchat and Instagram. Poshmark has an advantage in that it’s an ecommerce platform first, rather than trying to work brands into a social network after the fact.

Coca-Cola Earnings Call Reports Organic Growth Through Youth Engagement, Global Markets

Coca-Cola revealed an eight percent decline in its Q2 net revenues, attributed to the bottler re-franchising, but emphasized that its organic revenues grew by five percent, driven by balanced volume and price/mix. A significant aspect of that organic growth is the company’s success in emerging markets, particularly in Central Europe and Turkey, through expanding and diversifying its portfolio alongside effective marketing.

“We’re encouraged with our performance year-to-date as we continue our evolution as a consumer-centric, total beverage company,” said The Coca-Cola Company president and CEO James Quincey in a statement. “We have the right strategies in place and remain focused on achieving our full year guidance.”

Despite the drop in net revenue, Quincey assured investors and the public that the beverage industry is doing better than it did last year by stating, “Consumers are buying more beverages, but they’re buying a bigger diversity,” during the earnings call.

A Drink For Every Occasion

The company is following a “Beverages for Life” strategy, which involves launching a broad variety of products around the world coupled with marketing to provide consumers with drinks that accompany everyday moments and situations. At the same time, Coke is responding to shifts in consumer trends by investing in teas, juices, coffees and other categories in addition to promoting reduced or sugar-free beverages.

Quincey noted that this approach has resonated well in global markets, and it speaks particularly well to younger generations in the US who are increasingly turning away from sugary beverages in favor of alternative drink options. To underscore the point, Quincey noted that North American sales were up three percent, driven largely by both volume and pricing. Standout performers include sugar-free options, with a recently restaged Diet Coke and the double-digit growth of Coke Zero Sugar in North America, which can be attributed to smaller packaging through mini-cans and marketing innovations that encourage young consumers to try them.

“The reason we’re doing Beverages for Life is also because [the market] isn’t going to go back to what it was 40 years ago, where there were a relatively limited number of beverages,” he said.

In order for Coke to engage with the global market the company needed to expand its portfolio with a focus on relevant categories such as sparkling beverages. He added that consumer engagement and marketing played major roles, but so did innovations such as smaller packaging.

Prominent marketing campaigns include “Share a Coke” and “Share the Summer,” where the Coca-Cola logo was replaced by first names to encourage consumers to pick up a beverage along with others, preferably during fun summertime gatherings. The campaigns were reinforced with a digital docuseries called One Last Summer, which launched in July and follows the lives of recent high school graduates who are spending their last summer with friends before moving on to college.

Meanwhile, World Cup promotions helped boost the sales of sports drinks such as Powerade, which are especially popular in the Americas while bottled water does well in other markets.

“I think part of what you’re seeing is the payoff of the marketing programs and the linkage into football,” he said.

Quincey added that other drinks that are performing well are Fuse Teas, which recently launched its products in parts of Europe and in Russia, and Coke Zero Sugar. Overall, the company launched over 500 products globally in 2017.

Responsible Marketing

Coca-Cola is also emphasizing its leadership and sustainability initiatives to further increase its engagement with the young generation and global markets. In June, the company hosted the “Dear Future Leaders” challenge, a contest for 18-24-year-olds in North America to come up with ideas to improve their communities or respond to national challenges.

Additionally, while a growing number of companies have been getting on board with reducing or eliminating single-use plastic straws, Coca-Cola has been conducting an initiative to reduce disposable cups by allowing consumers to use special microchip tagged reusable bottles at Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers. The “World Without Waste” initiative was launched in 2017, with the goal of collecting and recycling a bottle or can for each one sold by 2030.

The company also emphasizes its responsible marketing policy, which involves providing accurate information about its products and not marketing directly to children under the age of 12. The policy applies to all of its products and media channels, including television, radio, print, internet and mobile phones.

Media Giants Join Data Transfer Project; WeChat Pay Pushes US Expansion Despite Tarriff

This week in social media news, Microsoft, Google and others announce a DTP partnership, Facebook investigates a data breach, Instagram cracks down on underage users and lets friends know when you’re online, WhatsApp limits forwarding, YouTube makes plans for creators, Reddit gets chatty and WeChat Pay has big plans.

In other news, LinkedIn adds tools that encourage sharing and Facebook will remove posts designed to cause violence to others. Snapchat ads get targeted, Instagram makes privacy less awkward, Twitter rolls up its sleeves ahead of the US mid-term elections and Twitter partners with Bloomberg for algorithmic trading. Facebook users love their emoji, but time will tell if they appreciate getting Facebook notifications on Instagram. Meanwhile, Snapchat woos journalists, Facebook ads get artsy, Pinterest gives Gen X some love, influencers prefer Instagram and Twitch adds GIFs to the conversation.

Media Giants Join Forces For Data Transfer Project (DTP)

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google have formed an alliance by joining the Data Transfer Project—an open-source, service-to-serve platform that allows users to transfer data between services. Data portability is a major directive of Europe’s GDPR, although DTP partners are citing innovation and competition rather than compliance with an outside governing body.

“The DTP partners believe that people should use products because they provide unique value and features,” reads a DTP white paper released with the announcement. “If a user wants to switch to another product or service because they think it is better, they should be able to do so as easily as possible. This concept of allowing users to choose products and services based on choice, rather than being locked in, helps drive innovation and facilitates competition.”

The upside to transferring data means that brands won’t be able to hold data hostage as a reason for staying—as happens with fitness apps, for example. The downside is an increased risk of privacy violation, which Facebook readily acknowledged.

“People increasingly want to be able to move their data among different kinds of services like these, but they expect that the companies that help them do that will also protect their data,” wrote Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s privacy and public policy director.

Facebook has already begun testing data transfer between its own entities. As of Thursday, Facebook Messenger users can import their Instagram contacts onto the platform.

Facebook Suspends Data Analytics Firm Pending Investigation

Facebook has temporarily suspended Crimson Hexagon amid allegations that it violated data-sharing policies. The probe is in response to an inquiry from the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Crimson Hexagon had deals to analyze Facebook data for clients that include several US government agencies and a Russian organization with ties to the Kremlin.

Crimson Hexagon offers “instant access to over one trillion consumer conversations from social media, forums, blogs, reviews and more.” Its clients include Paramount Pictures, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Adidas, General Mills, General Motors and Twitter, according to the company website.

YouTube Announces YouTube Learning, Outlines Creator Priorities For 2018

On Thursday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki outlined her plans for the creator community that will span the second half of 2018. The first is initiative is a plan to better communication with users about changes. YouTube recently introduced a new dashboard that gives creators news and updates so they can better prepare for changes or learn about new features.

The second goal is to continue helping creators build their audiences and support themselves financially through paid subscriptions, merchandise and FameBit integration. Their third action, Wojcicki explained, is to continue initiatives that encourage conversation between audiences and creators, like its Premiere feature, Community tab and Stories.

Brand safety extends to creators, as outlined in YouTube’s fourth initiative. Policy changes like the newly-introduced Copyright Match Tool will help protect creators against fraudsters trying to steal their thunder and YouTube will crack down on those who violate site guidelines. The last initiative for 2018 is to continue educating its creators. Wojcicki announced a new initiative, YouTube Learning, which includes grants and promotions to support education focused creator content, expert organizations and learners.

WeChat Pay Continues US Expansion Efforts

Despite the current trade tariff, Tencent’s massively popular WeChat app will expand its efforts in the US, the company told CNBC. Tencent is focusing on partnerships with large global merchants that prove popular with Chinese tourists but Yin Jie, director of cross-border operation at WeChat Pay says their efforts will expand even further.

“The first step we will choose some merchants which Chinese tourists like, just like some outlets and duty-free, some famous restaurants, and maybe the next step we will try and find some smaller merchants, just like a supermarket, some convenience stores, some transportation [services] like taxis,” Jie said. “We will choose the big merchants that Chinese tourists like, then, when it has showcased, we will try to expand it to small merchants,”

Reddit Chat Rooms Are Catching On And Not As Toxic As You’d Expect

A year ago, Reddit began testing subreddit chat rooms that could be added to a specific topic page at the request of the community. Not only has the beta been a success, but Reddit product designer ityoclys was surprised at how positive this notoriously quirky community reacted.

“The nature of real-time, direct chat seems to be especially disarming,” wrote ityoclys in a blog post. “Even when people initially lash out in frustration or to troll, I found that if you talk to them and show them you’re a regular human like them, they almost always chill out.”

Ityoclys says he personally chatted with over 7,000 users in the beta, gathered valuable feedback and fell for the “Updog” gag a few too many times.

Facebook, Instagram Crack Down On Under-Age Users

Facebook and Instagram moderators have been instructed to lock all accounts that appear to belong to users under the age of 13, TechCrunch reported. Unlike Facebook Messenger Kids which is targeted to young children, Instagram and Facebook stipulate that users must be 13 or older at the time of registration. Neither site requires proof of age during sign-up, however.

The proactive stance was announced following a TV documentary that aired Tuesday in the UK called “Inside Facebook: Secrets of a Social Network.” An undercover reporter was given the role of Facebook content reviewer through a third-party company. The reporter was told to ignore users that appeared underage, as well as English far-right political pages that generated a lot of views despite violating site policies.

WhatsApp Adds Additional Restrictions To Forwarded Messages

In an effort to curb the viral spread of misinformation, WhatsApp began labeling forwarded messages last week and on Thursday, WhatsApp started testing a limit of five chats at once for Indian users. The app also removed the “quick forward” button next to media messages, hoping that users will slow down and think about the information they are reading.

Instagram Labels Users As Active To Encourage DMs

On Thursday, Instagram rolled out an activity status option that will let others know when you’re in the app. A green dot will appear next to users that are online, allowing friends and contacts to initiate conversations in real-time. Instagram placed an emphasis on direct messages in the announcement, saying, “DMing friends and connecting over the content you love is more fun when you know your friends are there to see it.”

New LinkedIn Features Captions, Quote Options, Translation And More

LinkedIn introduced new tools across desktop and mobile on Wednesday, designed to spark conversations or make understanding them easier. For those posting videos from a desktop computer, closed captioning allows users to add text—making videos accessible to the hearing impaired and easier to watch with the sound off.

Quoting an article on mobile devices has been made easier, thanks to a tool that prompts “share to LinkedIn” when text has been highlighted. The process cuts several steps out of a simple cut and paste and makes posts more enticing by adding a preview.

Perfectionists and multitaskers will be glad to know they can save a draft of their posts and return to them later. In addition, a shortcut to previously shared articles and videos has been added to desktop. Users can access them by selecting the “Me” tab, then “Manage posts and activity.”

Staying in touch with global contacts often comes with a language barrier, so a new “see translation” option has been added to updates shared in anything other than a user’s native language.

On Thursday, LinkedIn rolled out even more upgrades, including the ability to add attachments to chat messages, stretch the compose box for longer messages, send emojis from the desktop site and create group messages.

Facebook Vows To Remove Fake News Designed to Incite Violence

Propaganda, fake news, misinformation or foreign meddling: whatever you want to call it, the practice is alive and well on Facebook and WhatsApp. While Mark Zuckerberg has said it will not remove fake news outright, they will begin doing so if messages are believed to incite, encourage or exasperate physical harm to others.

“Reducing the distribution of misinformation—rather than removing it outright—strikes the right balance between free expression and a safe and authentic community,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. “There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down. We will begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”

Snapchat Adds Nielsen-Driven Advertisement Targeting

Advertisers on Snapchat can now buy inventory through the Nielsen Marketing Cloud, the company announced on Wednesday. The integration will allow marketers to hone in on specific consumer audiences using Nielsen Audience Segments to explore consumer characteristics, including demographics, buying behavior and mobile behavior. Existing Nielsen Marketing Cloud Data Management Platform (DMP) clients will be able to take advantage of their first-party data segments and target them directly on Snapchat’s platform.

Instagram Tests Ability To Discretely Remove Followers

Users with public accounts on Instagram don’t have a lot of control over who sees their posts, but the company is testing a way to change that. As confirmed by The Verge, Certain Android users have noticed a new option to remove a follower without letting that user know. Otherwise known as a “soft block,” this feature would allow someone to remove a follower discretely without the awkward notification of being officially blocked. The feature does not prevent someone from following a user again, but it offers a less-confrontational way of keeping someone (albeit temporarily) out of the loop.

Instagram’s test pairs nicely with the equally discrete “mute” option rolled out in May.

Twitter Prepares For Elections, Puts Verification Fix On Hold

As the US mid-term elections loom closer, Twitter is working on all cylinders to prevent the spread of false information. Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour announced that in order to concentrate on “information quality,” the company will put off addressing its verification issues until a later date. The coveted blue checkmark next to a user’s name is meant to verify that tweets are coming from a real person but is apparently viewed by many to be an endorsement, as well. Twitter is working to clarify the purpose of verification to avoid confusion but in the meantime, maintains the right to revoke verification for users violating the rules.

Fake accounts are part of the misinformation problem on social media, prompting Twitter to suspend 70 million accounts in May and June.

Bloomberg Converts Twitter Data Into Market Preview

Twitter has expanded its partnership with Bloomberg, launching a real-time feed of curated data to help traders observe company trends as they happen. Bloomberg has been integrating Tweets into its strategy in 2013. The new feed will allow traders to gather personalized information by assigning relevant topic tags, company extraction and mapping, people extraction, company level sentiment and journalistic oversight of handle verification.

“Twitter also continues to be the service of choice for influential financial professionals to broadcast market-moving views,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Yet, the financial industry struggles with the sheer volume of Twitter content, which can create a lag in market reaction and introduce unnecessary risks when making trading decisions.”

Journalists’ Latest News Source: Snapchat Posts

Snapchat has revealed a new partnership initiative that will let reporters and publishers use the app as a way to verify breaking news. According to Axios, organizations with subscriptions to NewsWhip, Storyful, SAM Desk and TagBoard will now have full access to all publicly-available Snaps, the same way they have access to publicly-available Facebook and Twitter data through those vendors.

This data will be provided at no charge by Snap, in order to encourage using its app as a resource. Citing posts on Snapchat could help attract new users or at the very least, give its users credibility for sharing photos and video of news as it happens.

“The geography data from Snapchat is really trustworthy compared to other platforms, and it can be very targeted, which makes the content compliment text-based journalism on Twitter really well,” James Neufeld, CEO and founder of SAM Desk told Axios. “Using our AI, journalists can combine the two sets of data to find facts and break news that much faster.”

Don’t Forget Gen X, Says Pinterest

Gen X may not be as buzzworthy as millennials in terms of marketing, but this oft-ignored generation has 75 percent more spending power than their offspring. In a blog post, Pinterest reminded brands that while the coveted millennial audience had an average household net worth of $90,000 in 2016, Gen X had $130,000. Pinterest also says it reaches one in two people in this generation.

To reach Gen X consumers on Pinterest, the company suggests paying attention to the home, travel and beauty categories. Gen X-ers, especially those between the ages of 45-54, named Pinterest as their go-to destination for home decoration ideas, according to a joint study with db5. This generation also tends to be the primary decision-maker in terms of travel destinations and likes to try new beauty regimens, with 78 percent interested in learning about new beauty products.

Twitch Streams Get Animated With Giphy Extension

Broadcasters on Twitch can now activate an extension that inserts animated GIFs into a livestream from Giphy’s search engine. The feature works much as it does on other platforms such as Twitter or Slack in that viewers enter a search term that brings up GIF suggestions. The difference is, a selected GIF will appear over the stream instead of in the comments, allowing creators to interact with their viewers in real time.

Giphy has become the go-to destination for animated GIFs, serving 5 billion of them per day. Twitch, meanwhile, is wooing new partnerships left and right with its interactive format that extends beyond video games.

The Washington Post recently launched a channel on Twitch in an attempt to engage more viewers. The publication’s ad revenue has dropped four percent in the first half of 2018, according to Standard Media Index, while Amazon-owned Twitch advertising revenue is up a whopping 54 percent.

Facebook Ads Manager App Gets Creative

New tools added to Facebook’s Ads Manager app allow marketers to edit and manage their campaigns directly from a mobile device. A new suite of creative tools makes adding images similar to posting a social media update, adding the ability to crop and adjust things like color filters or text. Other tools include templates, shapes, stickers and logos and the ability to check text against Facebook’s advertising policies.

Instagram Remains Top Choice For Influencer Marketing

Throughout the world, internet users follow online personalities for inspiration and entertainment, creating opportunities for marketers to reach a wide audience. According to a number of surveys, Instagram is the most popular investment opportunity for brands with the exception of those in China, where the platform is banned.

Online creators in India are keeping an eye on Instagram, with 78 percent calling it a rising platform for influencer marketing—based on a survey by marketing agency Buzzoka. According to a February 2018 survey by Activate, roughly 89 percent of worldwide influencers (most of which were located in the US) said they were using Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns more than they did one year ago.

EMarketer predicts that the number of worldwide Instagram users will reach 714.4 million in 2018, with the highest penetration rate in Sweden.

Facebook Tests Cross-Platform Notifications

Certain Instagram users may have observed notifications that don’t quite belong. In an attempt to draw Instagram users back to Facebook, the parent company has begun testing notifications that alert Instagram users of Facebook friend activity. The test began as early as June, as observed and shared by Instagram user Spencer Chen. There is no word at this time whether Facebook users are receiving Instagram notifications as well or if the test is one-sided.

Over 5 Billion Emoji Are Sent Every Day On Facebook Messenger

Ahead of World Emoji Day on July 17, Facebook released some stats that prove how much its users love to substitute words with pictures. Facebook users post an average of 60 million emoji on timelines, a mere drop in the bucket compared to 5 billion sent each day in Messenger. Across the world, emoji use is as diverse as the people using them. Facebook says there are over 2,800 emoji available, and the large majority of them (2,300) are used every day on the platform.

Global users are spreading the love with these messages, Facebook observed, with the most popular emoji being tears of joy, laughing, smiling, blowing kisses and hearts. In fact, Facebook users are sending the heart emoji twice as much as they did last year.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 20. 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 editorial@alistdaily.com.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Allstate, Priceline, MedMen Appoint CMOs

Executive moves this week include Allstate insurance hiring a new SVP and marketing lead while Domino’s names two regional CMOs.

Allstate Expands Senior Leadership

Allstate announced that Elizabeth Brady is joining the insurance company as executive vice president and chief marketing, innovation and corporate relations officer. She officially takes up the position on August 3 and will lead marketing for all the corporation’s brands, enterprise innovation efforts, internal and external communication and corporate philanthropy. Brady most recently served as Kohler’s SVP of global brand management.

“Elizabeth’s creativity and consumer insights will enable us to better serve our customers,” said Allstate chair, president and CEO Tom Wilson. “Her highly successful marketing experience and leadership bring additional talent to our goal of reinventing our business by leveraging customer connectivity, technology and analytics. I am excited she is part of the Good Hands.”

THC-Infused Craft Beer Company Picks CMO

Former Coca-Cola and MillerCoors executive Douglas C. Christoph has joined startup craft beer maker Ceria Beverages as chief marketing officer. Christoph will be in charge of the cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beer brand’s marketing strategy and messaging platform as it launches in Colorado before expanding to other states where recreational marijuana has been legalized.

Domino’s Names Local CMO

Melody Livingstone joined Domino’s in June as the local chief marketing officer, supporting the pizza maker’s activities across Australia and New Zealand. She replaces Todd Reilly, who was shifted to become Domino’s CMO in Japan. Livingstone was head of marketing at YouFoodz before joining Domino’s while Reilly has been a part of the company for over 16 years, becoming a local CMO in 2016.

Scooter’s Coffee Formally Appoints Marketing Chief

Midwest coffee franchise Scooter’s Coffee has hired Bill Black as chief marketing officer. Prior to the appointment, Black served as interim CMO for Scooter’s and is the founder of The Marketing Coach consultancy firm. He has also held senior marketing positions at brands such as Starbucks, Friendly’s Ice Cream and Dunkin’ Donuts.

“As we increase our regional and national footprint, it is key that we have a strong marketing leader with significant industry, branding, and franchising experience. Bill has already made a significant impact on the Scooter’s Coffee brand and marketing efforts during his short tenure as interim CMO,” Scooter’s Coffee CEO Todd Graeve said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited for Bill, the Scooter’s Coffee brand and our valued franchisees as he takes on the full-time role as our CMO.”

P&G Ups Northern Europe Marketing Director

Katharine Newby-Grant has been appointed to Procter & Gamble’s marketing director for Northern Europe. She replaces Stefan Feitoza, who is relocating to Latin America to become vice president of P&G’s baby care and feminine care business based in Panama. Prior to the promotion, Newby-Grant was the company’s head of media for Northern Europe, a role she has served since 2014.

PetSmart Charities Board Welcomes New Members

PetSmart Charities announced four new appointments to its Board of Directors, including Joshua Kanter, PetSmart’s executive vice president of marketing and customer experience, and American Red Cross chief marketing officer Neal Litvack. Both will help provide governance and oversight for the charitable organization as it continues its mission to connect people with pets.

Kanter joined PetSmart in 2017 and currently oversees all aspects of the company’s brand marketing, digital, media and creative strategies. Meanwhile, Litvack is responsible for all enterprise marketing for the Red Cross, including brand stewardship and marketing strategies across digital channels and emerging technologies.

Evinrude Hires International Marketing VP

Outboard motorboat engine and parts maker Evinrude announced that Nando Zucchi will join as vice president of marketing and international business development. Zucchi’s most recent role before joining Evinrude was as general manager and vice president of marketing, project management and innovation at Vista Outdoor Inc. He also has prior experience as executive vice president for sales and marketing at SOG Knives & Tools, Kodak and S.C. Johnson.

DragonVale Developer Hires Head Of Digital Marketing

Hasbro subsidiary Backflip Studios, makers of mobile games including DragonVale, Transformers: Earth Wars and Paper Toss Boss, announced that Zach Pond will be joining the company as director of digital marketing and user acquisition. Pond most recently served as director of product management at Warner Bros. Entertainment before joining Backflip, and his appointment comes at the same time the studio named Rex Dickson as design manager.

Priceline Promotes SVP Brand & Digital Marketing To CMO

Discount travel-related search engine Priceline promoted Ben Harrell to chief marketing officer in June without making a formal announcement. In his previous position as SVP, brand & digital marketing, Harrell concentrated on search marketing, data science in addition to other aspects of online and offline marketing. Harrell has been at Priceline since 2012 and prior to that worked at Booking in financial planning and analysis.

Sony Pictures Appoints Intersectional Marketing SVP

Ellene V. Miles joins Sony Pictures Entertainment as SVP Intersectional Marketing. In this newly created role, she will establish holistic multicultural and inclusion-based strategies for all of the film company’s movie marketing. In a memo, Sony Pictures co-president of domestic marketing Andre Caraco said the position involved “broad, 360-degree diversity-based marketing strategies that will inform all facets of our film campaigns including publicity, creative, digital, media, research, and promotions.”

Intersectionality is a term that recognizes how categories such as race, class, gender etc. overlap to create unique experiences.

Samuel Adams CMO Exits

Jonathan Potter is resigning as chief marketing officer of the Boston Beer Company, maker of the Sam Adams brand. His departure goes into effect on July 31 and was announced via a regulatory filing.

PepsiCo Nutrition Hires First Marketing Chief

PepsiCo North America Nutrition has promoted Sadira Furlow as its first chief marketing officer. She previously served as the company’s senior marketing director and is now responsible for media strategy and nutritional marketing for brands such as Naked and Tropicana.

Hilton Names VP Of Social Media Marketing

Noha Abdalla joins Hilton in the newly created role of vice president of social media marketing, where she will lead the strategy for content, campaigns and community development. Abdalla most recently served as Capital One’s VP of digital strategy and social media.

SVP/Marketing Director Joins HomeTrust Bank

HomeTrust Bank has named Elizabeth Bridgers as senior vice president and director of marketing. She will be responsible for marketing activities, directing strategic marketing planning and the execution of initiatives that will drive customer acquisition and retention.

“Elizabeth will bring a fresh perspective to HomeTrust marketing activities through her 25 years of experience in a variety of industries,” said HomeTrust chief banking officer Hunter Westbrook. “She has extensive knowledge of brand management, digital, marketing communications and the necessity to demonstrate an appropriate ROI.”

Video Tech Company Appoints Ex-Apple Creative As Marketing Lead

Sydney-based video technology company Shootsta has appointed Amy de la Force to lead its UK marketing operations as part of its global expansion efforts. De la Force was previously a creative lead at Apple before becoming the head of creative at the agency Switched On. Her appointment comes amid several shifts within the company, including the promotion of marketing and communications manager Daniel Chiha to general manager.

Former P&G Exec To Lead Peet’s Coffee

Former Procter & Gamble brand manager Casey Keller, who once served as the global marketing director for Pringles potato chips, has been named as CEO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea. The beverage maker’s products are sold 16,000 grocery stores and multiple dedicated locations nationwide.

“Peet’s has been a pioneer in the craft and ready-to-drink coffee segment, and I am excited to continue the Peet’s tradition through the company’s next phase of growth,” said Keller in a statement.

Cannabis Retailer MedMen Hires CMO

State-sanctioned US cannabis producer and retailer MedMen announced the hiring of David H. Dancer as its chief marketing officer. Dancer has over 25 years of marketing experience working with brands such as Teleflora, Charles Schwab, Visa and American Express, joining MedMen as it seeks to expand its retail footprint. His hiring follows the appointment of Mike Lane as the company’s chief digital officer in April.

“It is not every day that you get a chance to shape perceptions and inform behaviors in an emerging industry,” Dancer said in a statement. “My career path has allowed me to work across a variety of industries, and I am looking forward to applying existing best practices and defining new ones as MedMen continues to set the bar in this field.”

Lola Hires Cyber Security CMO As CEO

Lola, the Boston-based business travel booking service co-founded by Paul English, announced that Mike Volpe will join as the company’s CEO starting August 1. Volpe is largely known for helping marketing software company Hubspot rise in prominence, but his most recent role was as chief marketing officer for the cybersecurity software firm Cybereason. English, who also co-founded the Kayak travel search engine, will remain president and chief technology officer at Lola.

Digital TV Platform Switches Marketing Chiefs

Jennifer Lee has left digital TV platform Freeview after serving a year as its chief marketing officer. She is replaced by Cameron Crain, who joins from Foxtel, where he was the channel manager for Store TV and Main Event. Crain’s responsibilities include the promotion of the platform and its suite of products.

IAB Singapore Appoints New Chairs

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Singapore announced the appointment of comScore Asia-Pacific senior vice president Joe Nguyen as its new chair, replacing Tobias Wilson, who is stepping down after two years in the role. At the same time, Dentsu APAC marketing and communications director Laura Green-Wilkinson has been named to the vice chair role. IAB Singapore is currently in a partnership with the Singapore government to promote best practice through accredited learning in areas like programmatic advertising.

Winery Names Marketing EVP

Delicato Family Vineyards announced Jon Guggino as its new executive vice president of marketing. In this role, he will execute strategies for Delicato’s brand marketing while overseeing the wine maker’s direct to consumer, retail, hospitality and communication teams. Guggino also joins the Delicato Family Vineyards executive committee.

“Jon brings with him a wealth of consumer-led marketing experience and a proven track record of building brands and generating demand for industry-leading wines and spirits that out-perform their segments,” said Delicato’s president and CEO Chris Indelicato. “His experience with top industry brands, digital programs, agency partners and imports are perfectly aligned with our strategic direction.”

Malaysia Airlines Commercial Officer Upped To CMO

Arved von zur Muehlen has been promoted by Malaysia Airlines as chief marketing officer after serving two years as its chief commercial officer. Muehlen made a name for himself within the company when he was tasked with developing a comprehensive plan to improve the airline’s marketing, sales, products and customer service.

The Nature’s Bounty Hires President To Lead North American Division Marketing

Vitamin and nutritional supplement maker The Nature’s Bounty Co. brought on Don Kerrigan as president of its North America division, where he is tasked with leading the company’s marketing, sales and e-commerce strategies across key markets and channels. Kerrigan was most recently SVP and chief customer officer for US sales at Bayer Consumer Health.

“Don is a decisive executive with deep cross-functional experience that has contributed to his record of consistently and successfully delivering results,” said The Nature’s Bounty Co. president and CEO Paul Sturman in a statement. “He is also a disciplined strategic thinker that leads by example, and I am looking forward to the positive impact he will have on our business.”

New Content Head To Oversee USA Today Networks’ Brands

USA Today Networks named Kate Gutman has head of content ventures. In this role, Gutman will oversee the company’s content brands and experiences beyond the USA Today news brands. Before joining USA Today Networks, Gutman served as vice president of strategy and digital media at A+E Networks International, where she was tasked with growing the company’s digital revenue and leading the company’s transition from linear television to a multiplatform brand.

“With her deep passion for innovation, Kate embodies the culture and vision of the USA Today Network,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of the USA Today Network and publisher for USA Today. “She is a forward-thinker with a keen ability to recognize opportunities in today’s media environment and we are excited about the future of our portfolio under her leadership.”

Mitsubishi Motors Canada Appoints Marketing Director

Steve Carter has joined Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada as director of marketing. He will be responsible for the automaker brand’s strategic direction, overseeing all marketing and communications activities for the company across the country.

Camus Cognac Hires Global Brand Manager

Pier Paolo Catucci has been named by Camus as the global brand manager for the company’s namesake brand of Cognac. He enters his new role later this month, replacing Jean de Tudert, who left earlier this year to join Maison Villevert. Catucci served as senior marketing officer for the Italian spirits importer and distributor Vellier before joining Camus.

Flight Centre Changes Up Leisure Brand With New Marketing Head

Travel and retail group Flight Centre announced the appointment of Yvonne Hobden as head of marketing at the same time it named Liz Cairns head of partnerships. Hobden has extensive marketing across retail and tech, having previously served at companies such as HP Inc. UK. She will be responsible for the strategic direction of Flight Centre’s leisure business as it transforms from a “flights only” brand to become a “tailor-made holiday specialist.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 20. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

VP, Marketing Make.TV Los Angeles, CA
SVP, Marketing Impossible Foods Redwood City, CA
Chief Marketing Officer  CyberCoders New York, NY
VP, Prospect & Client Marketing Northwestern Mutual New York, NY
Chief Marketing Officer  Duda Palo Alto, CA
VP, Marketing Washington Capitals Washington, DC

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McDonald’s Latest Campaigns Are Engineered To Get App Downloads

As trends in food have rapidly changed—from a focus on healthier eating to the growing popularity of food delivery apps and companies, in general, taking a more responsible approach toward their eco-footprint, McDonald’s has started to take action. The global brand is making moves in an effort to reshape its image to win back the hearts, minds and stomachs of consumers, running campaigns with some common themes across the globe.

Did Someone Say Free French Fries?

French fry connoisseurs have a chance to eat their fill this year, as the restaurant chain is giving them away for free every Friday (aka “Fry-Day”). Similarly, free soft drinks are offered on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Both deals will be available for the rest of 2018, and each can only be redeemed once per day.

The only catch is that orders must be placed using the McDonald’s mobile app and the order must be at least $1, excluding tax. That might not be too much of an issue, given that it’s selling $1 sandwiches every day at participating locations until September 30, and $1 McDoubles every day through December 30 in a separate deal.

The onslaught of discounts is an effort to drive more downloads of their app—something that has worked well for other companies, such as Starbucks, to inspire brand loyalty while providing 1:1 access to their consumers.

Teaming Up With Uber Eats To Deliver Nostalgia

McDonald’s renewed its partnership with Uber Eats on Thursday by bringing the McDelivery campaign back to multiple countries, but deliveries will include more than fast food. They’re offering free ’90s inspired swag from McDonald’s Throwback Collection with every order of $5 or more. The collection includes t-shirts, Big Mac and french fry-themed tube socks, pins, bandanas and attachable PopSockets.

Throwback Thursday items are available while supplies last and orders must be placed using the mobile app. One, Two and Three Dollar Menu items aren’t available for delivery. The partnership also expands to the UK, where in lieu of the Throwback Collection, McDonald’s is giving away 5,000 specially designed food trays until August 23.

Becoming More Eco-Conscious

McDonald’s joined the ever-growing list of brands that are discontinuing use of disposable plastic straws. The restaurant chain also revealed in July that it is partnering with Starbucks to develop recyclable and/or compostable cups for use at its global locations. Estimates indicate that the two brands combined currently distribute about four percent of 600 billion cups that are tossed out worldwide annually. Although existing cups are technically recyclable, they rarely are.

Observing Annual Traditions

The global restaurant chain has also worked to win over consumers at local events. For example, Montréal, Québec has its annual Moving Day on July 1. On this day, which happens to overlap with Canada Day, the majority of residential leases begin or end, causing massive traffic congestion across the city as about 63 percent of the population moves in or out of rentals.

McDonald’s made light of all the boxes used on this occasion with a series of a series of ads featuring images of fries, coffee and ice cream made from stacked boxes to encourage movers to use the mobile app. Prior efforts to leverage this yearly event included paint sample cards shaped into a Big Mac and fries.

National French Fry Day took place on July 13, and McDonald’s participated by offering deals and something a little extra to the people of Puerto Rico. The company redesigned its french fry packaging to include an extra pocket in front, where a ñapa or “lucky extra” potato wedge was tucked away. The concept began as an April Fool’s Day joke posted to McDonald’s Facebook account, which was received so well that thousands of Puerto Ricans asked that it become a reality.

Unilever Announces Q2 Earnings; Purpose Is Becoming More Important

Unilever shared its second-quarter earnings with investors on Thursday, with year-over-year growth of 1.9 percent, below analysts media expectations of 2.2 percent. Unilever highlighted a trucking strike in Latin America—which accounts for 15 percent of Unilever sales—as the primary reason for the sluggish results. In the positive, sales grew four percent in emerging markets, including China.

The earnings call, led by chief executive officer Paul Polman and chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly, notably opened the investor presentation with an image of Ben & Jerry’s employees participating in Pride Month. Ben & Jerry’s, owned by Unilever, has vocally supported marriage equality for over 35 years.

Unilever’s portfolio spans across food, home and healthcare industries including Dove, Dollar Shave Club and Lipton. As one of the world’s largest advertisers, the global brand isn’t shy about its $9.3 billion annual marketing budget and has publicly taken a stand against ad sellers—especially social media giants—for failing to provide a safe environment for brands.

During the Interactive Advertising Bureau conference, Keith Weed challenged social media giants to “collectively rebuild trust back into our systems and our society.” 2018, he said, would be the year when social media must win Unilever’s trust back.

Unilever reiterated its embrace of digital in the call, outlining the importance of using data and AI to guide the company’s marketing—also mentioning the company’s use of chatbots and virtual assistants to interact with customers. Polman said the company has grown ecommerce to between 60 percent to 70 percent, “well ever the 30 percent to 40 percent rate that the trend is growing.”  Earlier in the week, Unilever joined a pilot program for Blis, a blockchain service designed to add transparency for marketers and data providers.

Sometimes if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Unilever took more of its ad work in-house last year, saving about 30 percent on agency fees and reducing the cost of its external agencies. However, in Q2 2018 the presentation noted that “brand and marketing investment was up 20 basis points [or .2 percent]. Compared to the prior year, we stepped up the absolute level of brand and marketing investment, focused on media investment while continuing to drive efficiencies in advertising production.”

In addition to the Ben & Jerry’s Pride Month imagery, the global brand used this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity to ramp up inclusion efforts through the Unstereotype Alliance. The initiative is coming together of powerful consumer brands who, in their own words, “seek to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes.” Unilever has been a large proponent of diverse and inclusive work environments and continues to highlight those causes in much of its product’s marketing as well.

“In all our launches, purpose is becoming more important,” said Polman. “If you look at plastics, consumers led that. You would be stupid to not be a forerunner.”

Hyundai Launches First-Ever Digital Showroom On Amazon

Hyundai announced on Wednesday that it would be the first car brand to open a digital showroom on Amazon Vehicles. Using it, shoppers can browse, compare prices, look at reviews, book test drives and check inventories at local dealerships without having to interact much with salespeople.

The S. Korea-based automaker is the first to offer this service, but it almost certainly won’t be the last. The digital showroom also seeks to educate consumers about Hyundai’s service benefits, including Shopper Assurance, which provides upfront pricing and three-day exchange guarantees for its vehicles. It also allows for flexible test drive scheduling from locations such as homes.

The aim of the digital showroom is to take prospective car buyers on a journey, starting with a “brand experience,” highlighting the automaker’s technologies. Then they are presented with details for vehicles that best fit their personal preferences and buying habits, with the option to purchase directly on HyundaiUSA.com.

Other collaborative features found on the showroom include a video showing how owners can operate the Blue Link app using Alexa, using it to remote start and set the temperature remotely using voice commands in addition to smartphones and smartwatches.

In a statement, Hyundai Motor America senior group manager for digital marketing Tim Maxwell said, “This collaboration with Amazon provides customers with the ability to learn about Hyundai vehicles in a way that matches their expectations for nearly every other type of purchase. Hyundai and its dealers are modernizing the car buying process, so it made sense for us to be the first car company with its own digital showroom.”

This isn’t the first time Hyundai has partnered with Amazon, having teamed up with the retail giant in 2016 for the “Prime Now, Drive Now” campaign. It too was the first of its kind collaboration which offered on-demand 2017 Hyundai Elantra test drives to prospective car shoppers in the Los Angeles/Orange County area through the Prime Now service, which is usually used for local store and supermarket deliveries.

Brands Banning Single-Use Plastic Straws Are Looking To Future

Brands are waging a war on plastic straws and other single-use items, each launching their own cause marketing campaigns to showcase their efforts.

On Wednesday, Bacardi announced a partnership with Lonely Whale, a collaborative non-profit focused on ocean conservation. The campaign, dubbed #TheFutureDoesntSuck, includes a goal to eliminate one billion single-use straws from its global supply chain by the year 2020.

Plastic straws are one of the most common kinds of waste found on beaches, according to Ocean Conservancy, whose volunteers have cleaned up nearly 10 million of them so far. About 500 million plastic straws are discarded each day in the US, according to Bacardi. The rum brand led a similar campaign called #NoStraws back in 2016, vowing not to use straws in its cocktails.

Bacardi’s announcement comes right on the heels of news that Starbucks will eliminate its plastic straws by 2020. The company unveiled new lids that will be used on cold drinks and offer straws made from alternative materials such as paper or compostable plastic.

Earlier this year, Nestle announced plans to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by the year 2025. McDonald’s did the same, vowing that by the same year, 100 percent of its packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources.

For 49 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 35, climate change and the destruction of nature are their number one concerns, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Shaper Survey. The annual study asked over 31,000 millennials from 186 countries and territories about issues from technology to social issues.

But, talk is cheap, which is why so many brands are working to stop pollution at the source. While 91 percent of respondents blamed humans for climate change, only 78 percent said they would be willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment. However, expect this trend to continue as more brands jump on with plans to outlaw single-use plastics and straws.

On July 18, Marriott International adopted a plan to remove disposable plastic straws and plastic stirrers from its more than 6,500 properties across 30 brands around the world. This initiative, which begins in July of 2019, is part of a plan enacted last year to reduce landfill waste by 45 percent and responsibly sourcing its top 10 product purchase categories by 2025. The hospitality brand has already eliminated plastic straws from five of its location and received positive feedback from guests, Marriott said.