Tag Archives: television

CMO Kim Wijkstrom: Start with the Brand Story not Silver Bullets



Joakim (Kim) Wijkstrom, SVP / CMO of Vanda Pharmaceuticals, has learned to “Think Different” and have “Lending Done Human.” He has sent little, teeny Absolut bottle-shaped Christmas sweaters to readers of the New York Times, and leveraged Andy Warhol style pop op to promote schizophrenia drugs. A Swede who grew up in West Africa, Kim also opened the Latin America markets for two TBWA\Chiat\Day clients. If that sounds like the start of a good story, then that’s the point.

Because for this marketer it always starts with the story, not the silver bullets.

Kim has developed a “cultural curiosity” from both moving around and a liberal arts degree, which has been a big asset in his marketing career: “I think advertising lends itself naturally to someone who is interested in how we shape and creatively express our worldview, how we understand the things around us, how perceptions are shaped. So, I think it made sense for me to land there. But as it turns out, I’m half a humanist, half of something more analytical. Perhaps I was never going to be the next Leonardo…[but] you figure out the way to take whatever you’re equipped with and put it to use where it is best applied.”

This attitude is also encompassed in his top performing article in The Continuum, the publication I edit about “brand and demand” marketing. In that, and in this follow-up conversation about the origins of his branding philosophy, Kim sticks with the story that brand always must start with the story! The delivery tactics — what he has called the silver bullets – are secondary.

But when you’re talking to a storyteller you cover a lot of ground. We also discuss:

  • How movies are an analogy for Kim’s point of view about storytelling first
  • Why our obsession with technological solutions to everything don’t drive brand loyalty (“You can now have your car tell you that you’re low on milk because your smart refrigerator is coupled with your car, and so forth. But are you going to buy the refrigerator based on that? Do you think it’s a quality refrigerator?”)
  • Why too much emphasis on bells and whistles and focus on demand or performance-driven marketing “offends” him (“Fundamentally, all marketing is for performance purposes… to grow your market share. You need to start with what is it you’re trying to say and why would it be compelling to people, as opposed to just being the method by which you can deliver the message.”)
  • Why even DTC companies’ product is often the story… such as Warby Parker’s design
  • How our obsession with metrics and attribution is not wrong but often misses the point entirely, focused on the ROI, as opposed to just “can you see if it’s working?” (“If people are talking about your TV spot or have a positive reaction to it somehow then that’s probably more important than any sort of little blip of metrics.”)
  • And, just as he learned from hovering around Steve Jobs, Kim offers advice for junior marketers.

But wait, as they say, there’s MORE!…

Kim also explains the story of Vanda, and his move from marketing men’s suits (Perry Ellis) or financial services (One Main Financial) to pharma. He gives an example of how the same story (for a particular drug) can be extended into different spaces, like digital to video without having to be, well, prescriptive! (And, yes, we discuss the challenge of pharmaceutical advertising and FDA constrictions. But check out their innovative approach to Fanapt for insider insights on  how it can still be impactful.) And I finally got to understand what’s behind drug NAMING!

So, how did Kim finesse his own “brand story” – or POV about storytelling? Well, that starts with a guy named Steve Jobs.

“I was really lucky I got to work on Apple when it came back to TBWA\Chiat\Day … and that was the launch of the now-iconic Apple campaign “Think Different.” I was a junior person then, so I’m not claiming any credit for the campaign…but what was amazing was encountering Steve Jobs and seeing the process by which that campaign came about. That was a ton of learnings about what actually really matters. He couldn’t give a crap about ROI or metrics, frankly. …if people react to it, that’s what matters’. And Apple sells a lot of product. So, it’s not like the brand doesn’t work in selling or performance.”

Kim shares the three-point “a-ha” takeaways he got from Jobs. And that, my friends, is how you do a cliffhanger.

So, I hope you’ll listen to the full conversation with Kim Wijkstrom. And if his learnings from Apple aren’t enough, wait til you hear what he says marketing an odorless, tasteless product: vodka. Or, how an MRI machine proves out his belief that the brand is what drives ROI.

Okay, okay, I’ll also share that he says when you DO add in those tactics for delivering the brand story, he’s still a believer in different forms of direct marketing.

 … [But] to me, the point of a brand in the mix is it’s going to amplify your ability to get pull through on those tactical pieces. Because if people receive something in the mail, whether email or online, it’s really easy, of course, to dismiss it and throw it out. If you have a brand, it’s not as easy. They may actually open it. So, it basically primes demand. That’s what a brand does.”

I hope you’ll get some good insider scoop from this episode of Insider Interviews with me, E. B. Moss, and I hope you’ll follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. And let me know if you have a question or suggestion for our next guest. My theme music was composed and performed by the incomparable and Grammy-winning John Clayton.
Thanks again for listening.

IAB’s David Cohen with the Pulse of Digital Media & Marketing



When David Cohen joined the IAB as President, the US was two weeks into stay-at-home mandates. While that may have curtailed in-person conferences the industry association is known for, it upped the focus on all things digital. Not long after, the ante was also upped for Cohen personally when he was named CEO following the 14 year run of Randall Rothenberg. Pressure? Not to hear Cohen, who has helmed major agency divisions and had $20B in media spending under his purview during his days at MAGNA and UM. But pandemic-influenced strategy changes? Definitely.

In support of its mission to “empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy” – let alone during a COVID economy — Cohen has “brought an unprecedented number of industry captains into their leadership councils and transformed the timeliness of their strategic initiatives.”

Those words from Rothenberg’s commendation of Cohen on his promotion sparked a song from me. Of course. No one is safe. But that didn’t curtail a compelling conversation about more serious matters, such as Cohen telling me about the advantages that came with adapting to the digital world as early as the 90’s and how he – and the IAB overall – are continuing to innovate with today’s current technologies for marketers. I also put Cohen in the same hot seat he put recent panelists in when moderating a Reach Conference talk himself, asking what he would most like to see fixed in our current digital eco-sphere.

Cohen moderating Reach Conference panel

We also discuss:

  • Cohen’s A-ha! Moment – from the Yellow Pages!
  • The lessons he learned after joining the IAB family that every marketing agency should know
  • “Pulse studies” on changes in consumer consumption trends to media buyers/seller polls
  • The IAB’s Brand Disruption Summit
  • How to navigate through your Brand and Demand goals
  • The shift in how digital engagement is being accomplished
  • How IAB is helping in pushing cross-platform forward
  • Like his friend and recent Insider Interviews guest, Carl Fremont, Cohen has a pro-social personal mission. Hear how he — and ANA’s Bill Tucker — are helping push support of disadvantaged children.

Resources Mentioned:

Social Media Links:

Insider Interviews is on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Please share the podcast and share how smart you are about media, marketing and advertising! To 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 podcasts@mossappeal.com. We’re “hear” for you!


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


Carl Fremont On Brand – and On Demand: Epi 11



Back in January I had the good fortune to get seated next to someone I’ve long admired — Carl Fremont — on our return flight from CES. If you’ve been to CES you know it’s non-stop learning about what’s trending. And my non-stop flight next to Carl made for even more learning as we recapped what we’d each just experienced, and then he was kind enough to share his own projections for the future of the media and advertising industry. I immediately understood why Quigley-Simpson had made Carl CEO just months before. So, for this episode of Insider Interviews I asked him to share a lot of those thoughts so more people outside of row 8 could benefit from his insights.

Carl has held senior roles in the media/marketing industry for decades, and explained how his longest tenure – 16 years with Lester Wunderman – gave him skills that are still applicable today. Hear how the former Chief Digital Officer for MEC and Chief Media Officer for Digitas describes direct marketing and performance marketing, and the importance of brands optimizing every channel possible – including how to capitalize on eCommerce.

Long an advocate of supporting women and diversity in the industry, Carl discusses how this transformative time is also a time to embrace change in order to evolve and benefit business. He shares a moving story of his own diverse background and how a discovery of his father’s past dovetails with his own unique hobby tied to vintage radios.
We are all fortunate that Carl loves sharing knowledge, and listeners will benefit from priceless marketing and advertising advice. And yes, I found an opportunity or two to sing to him….
Please listen – and share – Carl Fremont’s thoughts on advertising trends, common brand pitfalls and diversity including:
  • Is “direct marketing” different from DTC?
  • How the pandemic accelerated the emergence of alternative channels for businesses
  • Creating a harmonious consumer experience
  • What you can do to speed up purchasing path
  • Authenticity: How to build it and what it truly means
  • Mistakes brands make and how you can avoid them
  • The pros and cons of third-party eCommerce platforms
  • Considerations for building your own eCommerce platform
  • The holistic approach to promoting your brand
  • What omnichannel really means
  • Influencers: Does scale matter here?
  • Diverse creative staff to reflect diverse consumers
  • How mentoring benefits companies – and oneself.

Social Media Links:

Resources mentioned in the episode

Quotes

“We’ve been practicing direct to consumer skills since our founding. We just didn’t call it “DTC”. “Direct marketing” does not mean you abandoned brand.”

-Carl Fremont

“We need to always make sure that we’re giving opportunities, that we’re mentoring, that we’re helping to grow the industry with a more diverse background.”

-Carl Fremont

“I love looking back and looking forward. I believe a lot of lessons can be obtained about moving forward from looking back.”

-Carl Fremont

Carl Fremont’s father’s radio

CMO Minjae Ormes with the Scoop on Making a Visible Difference



My work is creating content that drives change. Mostly for businesses. But I have always shared my perspective through content: journalism, blogs, podcasts — even just journaling. I had to balance the “best practices” of regularity in my podcast publishing schedule, with bigger things in mind. The crisis in America. I only had Tuesday available to record for this week, which was #BlackOutTuesday. And, on top of that, today – the Thursday I publish –  is also the memorial for a martyr to racism, George Floyd

If you – as most listeners to this podcast – work in media, marketing or advertising, chances are you know of Minjae Ormes. Most recently global head of partnerships for YouTube, and for the past couple of years chief marketing officer of disruptive phone service from Verizon, Visible. She personally has been visible for her innovative, and appropriately “disruptive” approaches to marketing the new service, but more recently she’s been seen in various trades and on panels describing how they’ve embraced broadcast TV campaigns for the first time. That said, Minjae is also widely respected as a mentor to women in business, and a role model as leader.

E.B. and Minjae Ormes after our first interview in 2019
Her thoughtful comments – both in this interview as well as in sharing more of her personal journey the first time I interviewed her in March of 2019 — on learning to adapt to new cultures and countries are as insightful as her marketing approaches are. So, since she made the time for me on her actual birthday this week, we made sure to discuss not just her shift from event marketing to mass media, etc., but — like in my last episode with Sree Sreenivasan — the absolute need to embrace empathy in our professional and personal paths.
  • I think you’ll get her tone from this quote: “How do we first and foremost create the kinds of experiences that people expect now across the industry? Just the simplicity, the seamlessness, but also the humanity with which you show up as a brand and a business.”
  • She also explains their pandemic pivot: “going into April, our traffic and some of the KPIs were actually picking right back up, which told us that phone services are one of those things that people rely on, no matter what happens, if not more so now. It’s been an interesting exercise, both in listening, but also… as all of us as marketers can’t really do create a production the way we used to it created spaces for us to think about what’s old is new and new is old again, and different ways to ultimately listen to consumers and what they’re telling us implicitly and explicitly for us to follow their lead.”
  • Another visible difference in Minjae’s approach? Making a difference in people’s lives. Literally. Hear her description of their pro-social campaign, #VisibleActsofKindness, and the story of one customer that moved her most, plus how they supported volunteers forced to immediately return from Peace Corps volunteering.
A final note, while Visible’s difference is that it has no brick and mortar locations, many of its parent company retail stores were looted and stripped bare during protests this week. Verizon also just donated $10 million to social justice organizations, including the Urban League and NAACP. So to honor the legacy of necessary change that we will hopefully learn from the death of Floyd, I am publishing on his memorial date so these words might inspire some to consider how they listen, and how they market to all people, with respect.

 

What Is It Like to Be a Girl of Color?

These middle school girls in Brooklyn are speaking up about being a girl of color in America.

Posted by Global Citizen on Tuesday, June 2, 2020