Tag Archives: media

JibJab’s CEO on Strong Brands and Floppy Jaws



For Episode 21 I spoke with someone who’s been an animated head more times than he can probably count: Paul Hanges is CEO of JibJab, which is famous for its personalized e-cards and satire animations that lets your head be the star! If you haven’t heard of JibJab you may have had YOUR head in the sand; they’re the OG of digital branded content. It was born in 1999 to brothers Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, perhaps best recalled from their 2004 glory days of being featured on everything from The Tonight Show to ABC News for then viral political satire, “This Land.”

Hanges, who was promoted from COO 18 months ago, says they’re proud of being dubbed the “original online cockroach” for their longevity and survival of dot-com and economy busts. In our conversation he explains why JibJab is still hot more than 20 years since its inception. They’re even having something of a renaissance with the resurrection of their trademark Year in Review video after a six-year pause. (But how could you NOT do a recap of a year like 2020? For Chief Creative Officer Mauro Gatti and lyricist Scott Emmons it probably almost wrote itself! And I’m proud to offer my big head/floppy jaw cut here for your amusement by way of example!)

Hanges also explains the appeal of low-tech animation and their trademark “big heads and floppy jaws,” how they survive as a subscription model and why they walk away from brand dollars if not aligned with their mission – “to make billions of people happy by allowing them to be funny, wherever they’re having that conversation.”

Here are the highlights – but do hear all Hanges has to say in this very “animated” conversation:
  • How it all started – yes in the proverbial garage
  • Why, in a world of “deep fakes and augmentation” the appeal of JibJab is the personalization and NOT to replace reality. “We want to provide utility to help people say happy birthday or anniversary or other big moments.”
  • How personal micro networks add up to eyeballs at scale – and 1.3 million paying subscribers;
  • How they’ll leverage the rights to hits like “Old Town” or Mamma Mia the musical, but why they’ll walk away from 95% ofbranded opportunities;
  • Why politics and JibJab do not always make good bedfellows, but why they participated in the Facebook ad boycott in July to stand up to divisiveness;
  • How (self-plug here) they balance “brand+demand,” — as we promote in The Continuum;
  • The big data opportunity they’re sitting on to be a personalized service for people and how they’ve had to be nimble and “pivot” in their production and platform access.

And of course, for the last episode of 2020 we have to offer Hanges’ words of wisdom from the past full year as CEO to other new CEOs…and how to embrace your strengths and those of others as well. “I take a step back and look and say, ‘we have a very strong operating team that’s working towards a goal of making billions of people happy.’ …And I’ve been really proud to say I can lead this company with that mission.”

Personally, I could not have wrapped up my first year of Insider Interviews podcasts (AND my “It’s Quite a Living” personal podcast) with a better message than to “head” into 2021 with the inspiration of a JibJab to find the humor and spread the joy throughout this holiday season and into 2021.
 Thank you all for listening and hopefully sharing this podcast. I value your feedback and support. And if I can help you create content that spreads joy or opens revenue doors please visit Moss Appeal or write to me at podcasts@mossappeal.com.

Happy New Year!


VAB CEO Sean Cunningham on Why Video “Simply” Works



Sean Cunningham is the son of a radio personality and the husband of grammarian. That may be why he expresses himself so fluidly and works hard to offer clear explanations about the video landscape at the same time. Those personal aspects combined with deep professional experience in the ad industry and as a strategic media advisor help him helm the VAB, the source for insights-driven research and thought leadership about premium video. As its president and CEO, Sean is laser-focused on maximizing outcomes and championing the medium as a must-have for building high-value brands and driving growth.

It’s not easy in our changing environment, but the mantra at the organization is to simplify what is a very complex ecosystem and offer insights that help all those in the business of video to thrive. They’ve kept up a steady pace of conferences and reports even during trying times, even as consumers have made a steady diet of video during these at-home days.

In Episode 19 of Insider Interviews, Sean tells host E.B. Moss about the definition and best practices around marketing with premium video (spoiler alert: the VAB defines it as multi-screen content that’s professionally produced programming in any form — linear, tablet, laptop, mobile, etc.).

Sean and E.B. also discuss:

  • Our radio dads!…and what happens around Sean’s dinner table…
  • The lessons he learned on the agency side that all media sellers should know
  • The role of media in building your brand during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The power of including authentic messaging around diversity & inclusion
  • VAB and IAB – important bedfellows
  • The changes in consumer habits that marketers need to consider
  • How to put your best foot forward to advance a career in this industry.

Resources Mentioned:

Social Media Links:

Please share the podcast if you liked this episode, and follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

You can also reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. Email us at podcasts@mossappeal.com. We’re “hear” for you!


Frito-Lay SVP Marissa Solis on Pivoting Big Brands



Marissa Solis was about six months in to a big new role at one of the biggest snack companies in the world when one of the world’s biggest crisis hit. That’s not hyperbole. As the new head of all marketing initiatives, media, sports, and partnerships for the core brands of Frito-Lay North America, including Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, and dips, it was definitely not hyperbole.

That was Marissa’s new reality and she had to help smoothly and quickly do the equivalent of turning a battleship. But this dynamo had previously been tapped to lead the creation of a cross-functional Hispanic Business Unit at PepsiCo and had helped double beverage sales among U.S. Hispanic consumers in a short time, so she was the right woman to face down a pandemic.

Her throughline — and recipe for success? It always has to start with the consumer.

In Episode 17 Marissa explains her whirlwind responsibilities, the massive changes facing brands today, and how those Frito-Lay brands speak to specific audiences. We also talk about how COVID-19 has impacted campaigns from a Super Bowl sponsorship to a new direct to consumer approach. This is a great reminder for brands about the need to engage with consumers where they are. And right now, that is at home…with a pro-social commitment to community. For example, a big Cinco de Mayo campaign was planned and poised to roll out to retail…and instead quickly became Salsa for Cinco benefitting the Hispanic community — which has  been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Listen to the evolution of the #AmplifyBlackVoices campaign which included letting PepsiCo ad space be used instead by Black artists to showcase their work.

There’s much to digest in this episode! So grab a bag of chips, click play, and enjoy!

What also talked about:

  • The importance of being agile in today’s marketing world
  • Pivoting to the direct to consumer space
  • The “Pantry Stock Phenomenon”
  • The different personalities of Frito-Lay brands
  • Today’s marketing renaissance
  • Details on the benefits of Salsa for Cinco and #AmplifyBlackVoices campaigns
  • PepsiCo’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Engaging consumers where they are
  • How Marissa and her family adjusted to the new normal!

Follow Marissa:

Linkedin @Marissa Solis

Resources Mentioned:

www.snacks.com

Salsa For Cinco with Mario And Courtney Lopez

Doritos Amplifies Black Voices

@mossappeal


Tom Webster with the Insider Scoop on Audio Research



Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research, describes his job as “telling the stories of numbers.” He definitely make numbers come alive, and he’s a great storyteller overall. So you’re generally okay with Tom as your guest if you didn’t discuss podcast topics in advance.

My industry acquaintance may be self-effacing, but he has a steel trap mind for the insights Edison regularly uncovers about all things audio, and he shared quite a few in our ad hoc but fascinating conversation for  Insider Interviews.

The custom market research company helmed by Larry Rosin may be best known as the sole providers of exit polling data during U.S. elections, but Tom is best known for his big research reveals on webinars (now Zoom presentations) or at conferences. Research junkies lean in to hear which platform has the biggest “share of ear” and how differently are consumers engaging with Alexa. Basically, he’s the go-to guy for sharing and interpreting our evolving involvement with radio, podcasting, voice…even IoT and our social media habits.

As Tom describes it, “I make sure that the data that we collect on behalf of our clients is understood contextualized, put into action and valued, and that people come back for more.” Here’s what’s “more” about Tom and a topline of our discussion: Little known fact? Tom likes words as well as numbers. This former English Lit professor is also the principal author of some widely cited studies and the co-author of The Infinite Dial, America’s longest-running research series on digital media consumption, and The Mobile Commerce Revolution.

In Episode 16, Tom shares some insider scoop from Edison’s audio research – and his considered POV on the current state of radio broadcasting and the growth of podcasting (including some tips that can help you grow your own podcast).

[00:01 – 03:25] Opening Segment

  • More about Tom Webster, his role in Edison Research and a moving from academia to a marketing career

[03:26 – 17:20] The Insider Scoop on Audio Research

  • About Edison Research’s broader offerings – like that exit poll and vote count data – and Tom’s area of focus: Audio
  • More insider scoop from Tom WebsterVoice vs. Audio
    • The growth of “smart speakers.”
    • Where are we – if anywhere — with an FM chip for mobile phones?
    • The general state of radio
    • The uptake on podcasting (Joe Rogan notwithstanding)
  • Tom talks about some Edison partnerships (and E.B. held back “insider” jokes about her old boss, John Rosso of Triton Digital!)

[17:21 – 25:40] Diverse Voices

  • The diversity in podcast listeners and podcast content
  • Growing your podcast in today’s competitive market:
    • Having a distinct voice
    • Showing your unique, distinct point of view
  • How Tom is sharing HIS unique POV, via his own newsletter I Hear Things

[25:41 – 31:27] Closing Segment

  • Tom’s go-to resource gathering platforms
  • The Tom and Tamsen team: “freenoting”with his wife, Tamsen Webster
  • Final thoughts

 

 

E.B. and Tom on the first (last?) VOICE panel at CES 1/20

Resources Mentioned:

You can connect with Tom on LinkedIn and Twitter. Subscribe to his I Hear Things newsletter. Listen to The Freenoter with Tom Webster and Tamsen Webster.

Follow Edison Research on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also visit their website https://www.edisonresearch.com/

Please share the podcast if you liked this episode, and Follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

And reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss, please reach out at podcasts@mossappeal.com. I’m “hear” for you!

 


Podcast Prognostications At and Around RAIN’s Global Summit – with Brad Hill: Epi 14



This episode is made up of two discussions about podcasting: A casual conversation with RAIN News president, Brad Hill around fun moments from the industry and projections for its success… and a more formal discussion — actually a few segments grabbed from RAIN’s Global Podcast Leadership Summit.

Insider Interviews host, E.B. Moss was the moderator on a panel about podcast advertising, featuring Art19’s Lex Friedman and Targetspot’s Dave Sosson — and a few of their insights were captured here.

  • You’ll learn how the summit had to pivot — and lessons for good zooming — as well as:
  • the kinds of media categories that podcasters are selling against — think paid social — and how they compare;
  • how host read ads are great, but how do they fit in to a targeted buy 
  • Interesting projections from the IAB and the new categories opening up for — and of — podcast advertisers
  • SHOULD there be a “PAB” 
  • And what is “giide”?

NOTE: Read RainNews.com to catch more takeaways from all the 8 sessions of the recent summit.

And ask E.B. about using giide.fm for your media company!

 


Lawrence M. Kimmel: Direct (Marketing) from the Heart – Epi 13



How do you circulate a message that even the Pope shares — and ultimately get 2 billion impressions across hundreds of countries around the world? Ask Lawrence M. Kimmel. His Rung-UP team created the #WeRemember campaign for World Jewish Congress. What marketing advice would this former Chairman of the Direct Marketing Association give politicians to help them appeal more to the public? And, what does Larry think are standout marketing tactics these days?

I asked Larry all of that – and he answered specifically and thoughtfully in Epi 13 of Insider Interviews. He also shares what led him to create Rung-UP, a strategic marketing consultancy…and why he calls it the first “C2C” agency.

You’ll immediately value Larry’s creative vision, branding and marketing expertise when you hear him discuss these elements as well:

  • How the current pandemic is affecting global consumer behavior  
  • His personal experiences that impacted his evolution into a mission-driven clientele — and lessons from his father, Howard Kimmel, who put his lifeblood into building affordable housing
  • Rung-UP’s work with the World Jewish Congress and how he came about the campaign #WeRemember
  • Why a C2C approach is so important for those in the “C-Suite”
  • His tips on branding and marketing a politician
  • How advertising has changed and become more complicated throughout the years
  • Why both traditional and digital channels are important in advertising
  • Instagram stories or TikTok? And will he still embrace Facebook? Is there a place for traditional direct mail?
  • His predictions for consumer behavior in the future
  • The ripple effect of brands’ response to consumer buying habits
  • His recommendations for companies who need to do better in bringing more of a multicultural team — and what young entrants to a career in media should focus on.

Be informed and inspired by Larry Kimmel, who is living and working this reality: “If we can do well for the world and make a living at the same time, it’s even better.”

Social Media Links:

Twitter @kimmelsCorner

Linkedin @LawrenceKimmel

Rung-UP’s Linkedin @Rung-UP