Tag Archives: TV

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.

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


E.B. Moss and Betsy Rella

The Scoop on TV Today from a Data/Research Exec’s POV



As VP of data and research for NYI – the ad sales interconnect in the country’s biggest DMA, Betsy Rella likes finding the stories in the numbers – the takeaways she extrapolates from surveys and data sets that NYI can use to grow the advertising business. And, at a time when the world, literally, is home and when those numbers say that New Yorkers are consuming more video than ever, that information is key. Since everyone in media/marketing is also playing catch up on their knowledge base and business insights, I asked Rella for a download on trends in consumption and a 101 on how media buys are planned and sold differently these days.

Always wanted a solid definition of “Impression-Based Buying”? You got it.

How that differs from “Holistic Media Planning”? Done. We also talked about the very definition of TV today, how media companies need to assess all the ways and places people are consuming video (and whatever they call TV), the rise of CTV (“connected TV”) and why Cuomo Prime Time is consistently topping the ratings along with all kinds of news programs.

It’s actually a little beyond a “101”, so get the “201” on today’s shifts in media buying and planning from a data and research exec who has worked at ABC, Lifetime, MTV, Weather Channel, Ispos and TiVo! Listen to the full podcast, and please subscribe wherever you love to listen (And speaking of RATINGS – a bunch of stars for Insider Interviews with E.B. Moss on Apple would be appreciated!)

Key takeaways:

On TV: “You could be watching on your TV set, you could be watching on your phone, you could be watching on your computer, you could be watching on your iPad. And Nielsen classifies different types of households: a home that is a cable home or an over the air home or a broadband only home. But people are still buying TV sets. So, in some ways it’s still TV, but there’s more content is available, whether it’s through ad-supported cable networks or paid channels.

On Impression-based Buying: “With the dawn of new technologies, phones, tablets and so on, and the ability for consumers to engage with content on all these platforms, the game has changed as has the need for advertisers to flight campaigns across these multiple platforms. Because, of course, if you can’t measure it, you can’t sell it!  If you look at Nielsen data, overall time spent with video is relatively flat over the last two years. But what’s changed is how people are viewing: we see a decline in live plus time shifted TV, but an increase in viewing on connected devices, smart phones and tablets. So, this begs the question, how do you measure all the viewing across these many platforms so you can report back to the client in a more unified way? Using impressions unifies linear and digital, and also eliminates any ratings discrepancies from using different universes.”

On TV Consumption as we #StayHome: “Usage levels have surged across multiple day parts and it’s not just adults — we’re seeing growth in teens and 18 to 34s as well. Ratings are up, of course, for news networks across the board, not only in early morning, but all dayparts, even overnight. as we’re seeing people staying up later than they were before. We’re seeing live TV up. DVR playback up. And streaming in New York is up 44%. That’s a pretty big number and was measured just a few weeks ago.”

On the Need for and Challenge of Holistic Media Planning: “Right now you get TV in one place, digital in another place. Ideally you would have one platform where everything’s feeding into it in terms of your TV piece, your digital piece, your OTT piece, your set top box, video on demand piece. Part of it involves legacy thinking and workflows that have existed for decades, and quite honestly, the systems themselves. It all needs to feed into one platform so you’re not operating on a siloed basis.”

On Advertising and Brand Marketing Now: “Consumers say they want brands to share information on how they’re supporting their staff and customers during this time. Others are saying they want the ads to provide a sense of continuity and normalcy. Some people are looking for upbeat ads. So, while advertising has been impacted for sure, it’s not going away. And based on studies over the past many years that say, even in downtimes, you still want to stay top of mind.”