During this 205th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Leland Maschmeyer, the chief creative and strategy officer at Chobani.

On the show today, Maschmeyer shares what he’s doing at Chobani and tells us about this unbelievable creative organization he’s now leading at the company. We talk about recent campaign work as well as his philosophy on design and business and the intersection between those two things. 

Maschmeyer shares that he built Chobani’s internal agency out of a desire to transform Chobani into a creatively-driven culture. Creativity was critical for Chobani’s growth plans. He says, “Change requires going through periods of destruction, periods of learning, periods of being unknown.” They never wanted to separate their agency from the rest of the organization. Maschmeyer says that his desire to do the best creative work possible has always been at the intersection of design and business. We talk about the strategy they devised for the “Almost Milk” campaign, its visual style, and the campaign’s emphasis on usage and occasion. Throughout this conversation, Maschmeyer highlights the critical importance of creativity and how that drives decisions at Chobani.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Leland shares some background from his early years. 01:25
  • How Leland got his start and the path to his role at Chobani. 02:56
  • How Leland started one of the best internal agencies in the world. 05:11
  • Why Leland’s approach works for him and whether he would recommend it to other companies. 16:23
  • Leland’s experience finding talent. 19:38
  • Chobani almost never goes outside the company for creative work. 23:01
  • Leland comments on the state of agencies in today’s world. 23:48
  • Advice for someone just getting started building their in-house agency. 26:36
  • All about the oat milk Almost Milk brief. 28:43
  • The rich and graphic visual style of the Almost Milk campaign reminiscent of Norman Rockwell. 33:57
  • The focus on usage and occasion in the Almost Milk campaign. 35:50
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 37:32
  • What is the advice Leland would give to his younger self? 40:03
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Leland follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 41:03
  • Leland’s take on the top opportunities or threats facing marketers today. 43:00

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.