Brands Brief: Airbnb Marketing Chief Leaving to Start Consulting Firm

Top Stories

  • Airbnb Inc.’s Jonathan Mildenhall is stepping down from his role as marketing chief after more than three years with the company. He is leaving to form his own consulting firm, 21st Century Brand, to provide advice to companies dealing with an increasingly complicated marketing environment. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Google released an upgrade to its virtual reality headset, Daydream View, along with an all-new augmented reality platform, ARCore. The company also introduced its Pixel 2 phones, which can enable the new ARCore apps. (Fast Company)
  • Inc. is testing its own delivery service in the United States, services that are now provided by longtime partners United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp., according to two people familiar with the plan. Amazon launched a delivery service in India two years ago and is now looking to expand it in the United States. (Bloomberg)

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Events Calendar (All Times Local)

ANA Masters of Marketing conference 7 a.m.
Hawke Media’s Hawkefest e-commerce summit 7 a.m.
Werk It podcast festival 8 a.m.
Business Marketing Association Colorado workshop on AR and VR 8 a.m.
ANA Masters of Marketing conference 7 a.m.

This Is the Future of Brand Reputation Tracking

See how Morning Consult Brand Intelligence is changing the way media, marketing and communications executives are managing brand reputation.


Beef Industry Aims to Herd Millennials With Nostalgic Ad
Alexandra Bruell, The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. beef industry is resurrecting its 25-year-old tagline, “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner,” in a marketing campaign aimed at millennials that have childhood memories of the slogan and want to know more about their food.

Focus On Healthier Brands Cost PepsiCo N.A. Soda Sales In Q3
Karlene Lukovitz, MediaPost

PepsiCo’s shift of shelf space and marketing dollars away from its core Pepsi and Mountain Dew brands, to healthier brands including Lifewtr, contributed to a sizable 3% revenue decline in its North American Beverages (NAB) business in this year’s third quarter, the company acknowledged in reporting results today.

‘Eaters of New York’ Storm Madison Square Garden in Seamless’ New Ads
Tim Nudd, AdWeek

The new “Eaters of New York” campaign features an array of classic NYC characters illustrated by Emile Holmewood of design agency BloodBros. The campaign begins with a takeover of signage at Madison Square Garden, and will continue Oct. 11 with a five-page cover wrap on TimeOut New York.

AMC Will Place a 6-Second Ad at the Start of Each Walking Dead Episode
Jason Lynch, AdWeek

After making their linear debut in August, six-second ads will begin airing later this month for appears to be the first time on a regular series: The Walking Dead, which remains TV’s No. 1 show among 18- to 49-year-olds.

Media and Entertainment

BuzzFeed Says its Morning News Show ‘AM to DM’ is Reaching 1M Daily Viewers
Anthony Ha, TechCrunch

BuzzFeed says the Twitter streaming show averages about 1 million unique viewers each day, with clips being viewed a total of 10 million times. And it’s a young audience, with 78 percent of daily live viewers under 35.

ESPN Forms Content Partnership with Laundry Service Sibling Cycle
Lindsay Stein, AdAge

ESPN has struck a deal to collaborate on making branded digital content and original programming with the media network Cycle, which evolved from an internal influencer management division at Laundry Service to a sibling content company last year.

Social Media and Technology

Google Unveils New VR Headset And AR Stickers And Apps At Phone Event
Daniel Terdiman, Fast Company

The new Daydream View is an iterative upgrade from last year’s headset, and Google is also embracing AR along with the new Pixel 2 phone.

Twitter to Testify to Congress in Russia Probe
Associated Press

The social media giant Twitter has agreed to appear for a public hearing before one of the Senate committees probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. A person familiar with the interactions between Twitter and the Senate Intelligence committee says the company will participate in a Nov. 1 public hearing.

Everything Google Announced at Its Big Hardware Event
Avery Hartmans, Business Insider

Google just unveiled a slew of new hardware on Wednesday. At its hardware event in San Francisco, Google launched two new smartphones, a hybrid laptop, wireless headphones, and two smart speakers.

Alexa Finds New Home in Sonos Speaker
Kaya Yurieff, CNN  

Sonos is known for its speakers, but now they’re ready to talk back. The home sound system company revealed the new Sonos One at an event in New York City on Wednesday. It’s the first Sonos speaker to have a voice assistant built in. It may be a voice you recognize: Alexa, Amazon’s built-in voice assistant to its own smart Echo speaker.

Premier League Auction Will Test Facebook’s Sports Ambitions
David Hellier et al., Bloomberg

If the world’s biggest technology companies are going to become major global players in the world of sports, the English Premier League will provide a clear sign. The world’s top soccer league is about to negotiate new rights to broadcast its matches in the U.K.

Jack Dorsey’s Two-Year Anniversary as Twitter CEO in Charts
Rani Molla, Recode

A lot has happened at Twitter in the two years since Jack Dorsey returned as CEO of the company he co-founded. Twitter changed how its timeline works, won (and then lost) NFL streaming rights, and shuttered its looping-video app, Vine. And last week, it launched 280-character tweets — double its longtime limit.

PR and Marketing

Airbnb Marketing Chief Jonathan Mildenhall Steps Down
Suzanne Vranica, The Wall Street Journal

After more than three years as the marketing czar of Airbnb Inc., Jonathan Mildenhall is departing the home-rental company where he was known for promoting diversity in advertising and guiding the brand through the controversies that came with its rapid growth.

Amazon Is Testing Its Own Delivery Service to Rival FedEx and UPS
Spencer Soper, Bloomberg Inc. is experimenting with a new delivery service intended to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses, according to two people familiar with the plan, which will push the online retailer deeper into functions handled by longtime partners United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.

Verizon’s Top Media Executive Marni Walden to Leave
Ryan Knutson, The Wall Street Journal

Verizon Communications Inc. said its top media executive, Marni Walden, is leaving in February and her responsibilities will be split among existing executives at the telecom giant.

Divided Uber Board Reaches Peace with SoftBank, Governance Deal
Paresh Dave, Reuters

Uber Technologies Inc’s fractured board declared peace on Tuesday, attempting to put months of strife behind it by unanimously passing a series of measures to shore up corporate governance, bring in major investor SoftBank and diminish the power of former Chief Executive Travis Kalanick.

Walmart Puts Its Eggs in a Time-Saving Basket: Grocery Pickup
Michael Corkery, The New York Times

Seeking an edge against Amazon, the retail giant is pushing a service that delivers your order to your car. Customers never have to step inside the store.

Senators Are Shocked That Equifax Was Just Awarded a Federal Contract
Julia Horowitz, CNN 

Republican and Democratic senators are gobsmacked that Equifax just received a government contract to help the IRS guard against fraud. Just last month, the credit monitoring agency announced a massive security breach that may have exposed the sensitive personal information of as many as 145.5 million people.

As Marketers Meet in Orlando, Here’s What We Want to Hear
E.J. Schultz et al., AdAge

Just when you’ve recovered from Advertising Week, the Association of National Advertisers comes along with its biggest event of the year. More than 2,500 marketers, agencies and marketing vendors will fill the Orlando World Center Marriott starting Wednesday for four days of presentations by chief marketing officers at some of the biggest advertisers on the planet, including Procter & Gamble, Walmart, KFC, Cadillac, JPMorgan Chase and State Farm.

LA Stakes Claim to World Creative Capital Via New Branding Effort
Larissa Faw, MediaPost

The city of Los Angeles and its agency 72andSunny have unveiled the city’s new brand positioning as the creative capital of the world. The “LA Original” logo inserts iconic messages and images, like a heart and ocean waves between an elongated letter L and A.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Key Trends in Social and Digital News Media
Kristen Bialik and Katerina Eva Matsa, Pew Research Center

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Rupert Murdoch Is the Media’s Unlikely Hero in the War Against Facebook and Google
Steven Perlberg et al., BuzzFeed

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As Millennials Demand More Meaning, Older Brands Are Not Aging Well
Sebastian Buck, Fast Company

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When Facebook and Google are ‘Weaponized,’ the Victim is Reality
Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

Well-intentioned warnings to journalists were circulating early this week as the news of the Las Vegas massacre broke. But the purveyors of viral lies weren’t listening to this good advice, and never will.