A long time ago and far, far away (but admittedly not in a different galaxy) I saw a print ad. It showed a car and compared its performance to other makes. I still remember that print ad. It was visually boring, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the memory of it is one of the reasons I now drive a Subaru nearly 20 years later.  by Nigel Hollis

As America marches steadily toward a majority-minority population, culture and authenticity will play larger roles in how products and services are developed and marketed. Authenticity influences culture, but data suggests that it is not a key driver of brand choice.  by Mario Carrasco - Think Now

For a long time, demographic information (such as age, gender and location) was the only way companies could segment their customer base. Today that is no longer the case. The wealth of consumer data now available means brands can layer attitudinal and behavioral insights on top of demographic data to paint a far richer, more nuanced picture of real people.

For marketers eager to reach generation Alpha, the story is instructive. Born — and yet-to-be born — between 2010 and 2025, Alphas are conditioned to an always-on society and the ongoing screenification of culture. Dubbed Alphas by Australian social scientist Mark McCrindle, this is the first generation entirely born in the 21st century — "alpha" is the first letter of the Greek alphabet — and Alphas probably knew their way around an iPad before they learned how to walk. Mostly the progeny of tech-savvy millennials, they live in a digital second skin and take for granted a connected world in which they have 24-7 access to a constant flow of information. Equally important — even though they're barely old enough to cross the street unaccompanied — they have an adult-sized influence on their household's purchasing behavior.

2020 ends the ‘General market era' glorified by Madison Ave. where my career started, and Minority-Majority is officially an oxymoron. The states driving our economy are already majority-Multicultural, Gen Z will be in 2020, Millennials by 2025, Gen X before 2030, the U.S. by 2040. Over half of all USA HHs today are Multicultural or mixed races, over half of Hispanics under age 29, over half of Blacks grew up as digital natives, and Asians are the most affluent and educated of any racial group with $110K average HH income. The Census will only reinforce the urgency of revisioning these high value super-consumers who will account for $4.2T buying power next year and all future growth, while Non-Hispanic-Whites decline at an accelerated rate as deaths exceed births, putting brands that don’t do proper Multicultural marketing at risk.  By Liz Castells-Heard, CEO & Chief Strategy Officer, INFUSION

The days of one or two great ads playing to the masses on a single channel are over. Today, many ads go to a dizzying array of screens and devices. It's no wonder that marketing teams and their field and agency partners are struggling to keep track with simple spreadsheets. Wrangling brand stories and keeping track of who has permission to touch them, prepare them, tag them, and, ultimately, play them according to strict guidelines covering talent and rights terms is a high-stakes game that calls for a sophisticated, intuitive, and collaborative solution.

US Ad Market remains strong, but rest of the world slows down.

When it was time to launch this year's back-to-school marketing campaign, the clothing company Old Navy knew it had to switch gears. Typically, the San Francisco-based clothier, which is owned by Gap Inc., devotes its marketing efforts to the moms who purchase clothes for their sons and daughters.


I find my Mum’s idea of a salad totally uninspiring. Sorry Mum! But then, she is working with whatever Waitrose and their growers can most easily supply. For instance, the average supermarket tomato is designed to travel well and look good but, as a result, it does not taste of much. A similar affliction applies to a lot of marketing today: it is efficient but not necessarily effective.  by Nigel Hollis

The rapid turnover of CMOs today does not mean they are underperforming. Instead, it may stem from unrealistic expectations on the part of CEOs and boards, who often don’t know which key attributes they should be looking for in a marketing leader.

It’s about time women were portrayed in media accurately. When it comes to sports, there is a misconception that women’s sports aren’t popular. This isn’t actually true: Female athletes just aren’t getting the attention they deserve from the media — which are two different notions.

Traditional celebrities built their influence and fame through traditional channels such as television, radio, magazines, movies, music, or other fields of talent. They have fan bases across all age groups, income levels, geographic locations, and a varied general public. Internet celebrities, on the other hand, built their presence through non-traditional media channels such as social media, blogs, vlogs, and other internet-based platforms. They have subscribers on various platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitch TV; reaching niche audiences who have specific interests.

You’ve heard about multicultural societies and groups, but have you thought about multicultural individuals and what they bring to organizations? Multicultural individuals — such as Chinese-Canadians, Turkish-Germans, or Arab-Americans — commonly think, perceive, behave, and respond to global workplace issues in more complex ways than monocultural individuals.

The ANA’s Marketing Word of the Year for 2019 hits particularly close to home for many marketers and the consumers they target.

Lynn Blashford, marketing VP at hamburger restaurant chain White Castle, doesn't target customers according to their age. Nonetheless, Blashford is keenly aware of millennials' craving for authenticity. "They have an appreciation for nostalgia when the story is authentic, and that works to our advantage because we have a heritage that goes back 98 years," she says.