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We See Things

Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

MAY 23, 2019 //     

What China's changing design aesthetic tells us

Credit: Campaign AsiaWhen I close my eyes and think of China, this is what I see Swirling dragons and sweeping calligraphy. Elegant, refined porcelain. Extravagant architecture from dynasties past. 

Fast forward to the 20th century. I'm surrounded by walls covered with propaganda posters and a see of bicycles. I walk along streets lined with imitation logos, bumping shoulders with people carrying fake LV bags.  READ MORE
MAY 23, 2019 //     

Starbucks drives further business transformation with introduction of store pre-visit order app

Credit: The Drum

Starbucks Now, a mobile order and payment service, has been released by the coffee giant across 300 stores in Beijing and Shanghai.

The feature, available through Starbucks Rewards, will allow customers to place orders in advance of their visits to a Starbucks store and will be further rolled-out across China over the coming year.

MAY 22, 2019 //     

Indonesia restricts WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram usage following deadly riots

Credit: TechCrunch

Indonesia is the latest nation to hit the hammer on social media after the government restricted the use of WhatsApp  and Instagram following deadly riots yesterday.

Numerous Indonesia-based users are today reporting difficulties sending multimedia messages via WhatsApp, which is one of the country’s most popular chat apps, and posting content to Facebook,  while the hashtag #instagramdown is trending among the country’s Twitter users due to problems accessing the Facebook-owned photo app.

MAY 22, 2019 //     


Credit: Epic Games

Nike Inc.’s newest sneaker release is entirely digital.

Nike’s Jordan Brand has partnered with Fortnite, the uber-popular video game made by Epic Games, to unveil two new characters wearing classic Jordan sneakers. They come in a few different colors including red and black, the colors of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers' purple and yellow.

MAY 21, 2019 //     

How quintessentially British brand Fortnum & Mason plans to crack China

Credit: The Drum

Fortnum & Mason is gearing up for the launch of its first fully owned and operated shop overseas as it gets ready to land in Hong Kong. However, the luxury grocer is treading international waters with care as it looks to both preserve its heritage status and learn from the mistakes made by others in entering the market.

Zoe Colegrave, head of online and marketing for the royal supplier told The Drum how the business viewed the move – which will see it take up a 7000-square-foot space in the K11 ‘art mall’ just on the island’s waterfront – as being a “door opener into the mainland China and the wider APAC area.

MAY 17, 2019 //     

Advertisers Pack into Game of Thrones Season 8 Finale in U.K.


Marketers in the U.S. have watched “Game of Thrones” from the outside looking in, unable to buy commercials in the show because it runs on advertising-free HBO.

But brands in the U.K. have enjoyed the opportunity to have their ads appear during “Game of Thrones” as it runs there on pay-television channel Sky Atlantic. That includes the imminent and much-anticipated series finale, which arrives this Sunday in the U.S. and on Monday in the U.K.

MAY 16, 2019 //     

Lime Ads Evoke a Mission Beyond Renting Out Scooters


The scooter-rental startup Lime has started a campaign meant to associate its brand with a higher purpose as its fledgling niche continues to encounter controversy.

One video in the campaign follows a woman who became a “juicer,” the company’s term for the independent contractors who roam cities recharging and repositioning its scooters, after a car accident kept her from returning to more regular work. In the video, she says becoming a juicer on the side enabled her to spend more time with her children.

MAY 16, 2019 //     

How beer ads are changing to suit modern drinkers' tastes

Credit: Guinness, Amstel, Carlsberg and BrewDog ads

Beer ads are changing. From Carlsberg admitting it is probably not the best lager in the world after all to anti-advertising BrewDog starting to, er, advertise, something is stirring in the marketing teams of the world's big breweries.

Here The Drum takes a look at how some of the most loved, most popular and most notorious beer brands have changed their advertising approach in recent times.

MAY 16, 2019 //     

Taco Bell Is Opening a Boutique, Branded Hotel Called The Bell

Credit: Adweek

Have you ever been in a Taco Bell and looked around wistfully, thinking, “Man, if only I could SLEEP here”?

If the answer is yes, then you might want to be the first to book a room at The Bell: a Taco Bell Hotel and Resort.

MAY 14, 2019 //     

US journalism has become more subjective: study

Credit: CC0 Public DomainU.S.-based journalism has gradually shifted away from objective news and offers more opinion-based content that appeals to emotion and relies heavily on argumentation and advocacy, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

In a unique analysis on news discourse and presentation, researchers found that the changes occurred over a 28-year-period (1989 to 2017) as journalism expanded beyond traditional media, such as newspapers and broadcast networks, to newer media, such as 24-hour cable channels and digital outlets. Notably, these measurable changes vary in extent and nature for different news platforms.
MAY 14, 2019 //     

Fom PSAS To Twitch, Feeding America Tries To Make Non-Profit Marketing Stand Out

Credit: Feeding America

When Catherine Davis joined the largest U.S. hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, she was struck by the reactions people had to the issue.

“I thought: OK, so everybody is going to want to help people that are hungry, and in fact, that’s not true,” says Davis, the non-profit’s chief marketing and communications officer. “People have a lot of biases.”

MAY 13, 2019 //     

What Lies Ahead for Marketers as the Tide Turns Against Ad Targeting

Credit: Getty Images

Get the right ad in front of the right person at the right time. It’s the advertising adage, one that’s been around for decades. But in the digital age, the industry sure has taken that saying to heart, deploying tools that follow customers around the web, tracking who they are and their every move to deduce when’s the right time to drop the perfect ad in front of a potential consumer’s eyeballs.

And while marketers aren’t complaining, the concern from regulators and the public about over-reaching in targeting and tracking is growing louder. Marketers, industry experts say, need to brace not just for business changes around targeting but for a larger moral reckoning over data tracking and ad-targeting practices.

MAY 9, 2019 //     

Singapore passes controversial ‘fake news’ law which critics fear will stifle free speech

Credit: TechCrunch

Singapore has passed a controversial bill that could equip the government with extensive powers to police online media and free speech.

The bill was first drafted last month and, as had been expected, it passed 72-9 in Singapore’s parliament, dominated by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) party, late on Wednesday.

AGENCY NEWS // MAY 8, 2019 //     

2019 SABRE Awards North America Winners

Credit: Holmes ReportThe 2019 North American SABRE Awards, which recognizes Superior Achievement in Branding Reputation and Engagement, were announced at the awards ceremony on May 7 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York along with the Agencies of the Year and Best Agencies to Work For. READ MORE
MAY 7, 2019 //     

Beak-careful! TfL’s Graeme and Steve are an internet sensation on traffic cameras

Credit: PRWeek

The gulls, nicknamed Graeme and Steve by TfL, made a surprise appearance on traffic cameras at a junction on the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel in Poplar, East London – no doubt warning drivers of fowl traffic ahead.

The birds’ antics, which include posing and appearing to talk to the camera, quickly earned them a place in people’s hearts and minds, as well giving TfL some of its best public engagement to date on Twitter.

MAY 6, 2019 //     

Misplaced Coffee Cup on ‘Game of Thrones’ Brews Buzz for Starbucks

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in 'Game of Thrones.' PHOTO: HELEN SLOAN/HBO

Plenty of brands would like to find a way into an ad-free smash TV show like HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” On Sunday night, Starbucks Corp. seemed to have lucked its way there.

Observant viewers noticed that something strongly resembling a Starbucks coffee cup appeared in one scene on a table before Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke.

AGENCY NEWS // MAY 6, 2019 //     

2019 Best Agencies to Work For EMEA

Credit: Holmes Report

Best Agency to Work For is possibly the only predictive award the Holmes Report gives out. By this, we mean there’s a direct correlation between the agencies on this list and those that take home our biggest honor (often times at some point in the future) — Agency of the Year recognition. That’s, in part, because firms that take culture seriously tend to attract and retain smart and creative talent who, in turn, produce stellar work. It’s a simple formula but one that’s easily overlooked amid the breathless pace and tremendous pressures that are a seemingly inevitable reality of agency life. But this pace is exactly why agencies shouldn’t underestimate the power its culture has on the work its employees produce.

The firms recognized on the rankings include a few holding companies firms, but mostly independents. Some have generous benefits, others prioritize professional development or interesting work that keeps talent engaged. We’re working on an in-depth feature that will more deeply explore the factors that drive employee engagement within our industry. All participating firms can also obtain their own results mapped against either the industry or its competitive set. (For more information on this, see FAQ.) 

MAY 1, 2019 //     


Credit: istock

Mondelez International, the company behind Ritz Crackers and Cadbury chocolate, says it’s exploring the use of CBD in snacks—but don't expect to find it in your Oreos.

"We’ve ... been looking at what are the claimed benefits from CBD,” Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put said in a recent interview with CNBC. “We’re getting ready, but obviously we want to stay within what is legal and play it the right way.”

APRIL 30, 2019 //     

‘Opportunity as a first-mover’: Mountain Dew is spending 40% of its marketing dollars targeting gamers

Credit: Digiday

Mountain Dew is setting its sight on gamers.

Taking a page out of Redbull’s playbook, the PepsiCo brand is looking to be a first-mover in a niche industry, subbing in gamers and esports for extreme sports.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 29, 2019 //     

Global top 250 PR Agency Ranking 2019

Credit: Holmes ReportGlobal PR agency ranking: Revenue numbers for many agencies include subsidiaries—including research, advertising, and specialist PR firms — many of which operate under separate brands but nevertheless report into the listed PR agency. Full methodology here. For firms that submitted numbers in pounds sterling, euros or other non-USD currencies, conversions were made using exchange rates as of 12/31/2018. In some cases, where last year’s submitted numbers were used for comparison purposes, USD growth numbers may be lower because of exchange rate fluctuations than they would have been in constant currency terms. Accordingly, we also include a constant currency growth metric. Aside from well-known agencies for which we have estimated fee income, the Rankings are totally dependent on submitted fee income; many agencies, often well-known, choose not to submit their numbers. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 23, 2019 //     

Nimble, fast midsize firms make their mark

Credit: PRWeek

It’s been the time of midsized firms for a while now, and this year’s data in the annual Agency Business Report does nothing to dispel that trend.

Agencies such as Prosek Partners (+21%), M Booth (+17%), Zeno Group (+14%), and Allison+Partners (+12%) far outperformed their big box rivals in global growth percentage stakes in 2018.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 23, 2019 //     


Credit: PRWeekWhile Allison+Partners added high-profile brands to its client roster last year, 75% of its revenue growth was organic, with Google Ads and Google Commerce, Zenni Optical, and real estate investment firm Cortland Partners increasing their year-over-year budgets the most. Remits expanded beyond product and brand PR to the shop’s diversified service offerings and geographies outside the U.S. where Allison+Partners has doubled down on, namely Asia and Europe. 

"We had one of our best years of organic growth — nine of our 10 largest clients carried over to this year with expanded mandates," says Scott Allison, cofounder, global chairman and CEO. "It was a year of client stability." READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 23, 2019 //     

Rankings tables: PRWeek Agency Business Report 2019

Credit: PRWeek

Rankings Tables are set to Global Rankings as the default tab. To select from 23 other regional or practice sector data views, toggle between the different tabs.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 16, 2019 //     

Best Agencies to Work For

Best Agency to Work For is possibly the only predictive award the Holmes Report gives out. By this, we mean there’s a direct correlation between the agencies on this list and those that take home our biggest honor (often times at some point in the future) — Agency of the Year. That’s, in part, because firms that take culture seriously tend to attract and retain smart and creative talent who, in turn, produce stellar work. It’s a simple formula but one that’s easily overlooked amid the breathless pace and tremendous pressures that are an  inevitable reality of agency life. But this pace is exactly why agencies shouldn’t underestimate the power its culture has on the work its employees produce.

The firms recognized on the rankings include a few holding companies firms, but mostly independents. Some have generous benefits, others prioritize professional development or interesting work that keeps talent engaged. We’re working on a series of stories explore the factors that drive recruitment, retention and engagement within our industry. All participating firms can also obtain their own results mapped against either the industry or its competitive set. (For more information on this, see FAQ.) 

APRIL 9, 2019 //     

Say So: Mobility Culture: Imagine What’s Possible

Credit: iStockBy: Marcus Gamo and Lisa Rosenberg

Allison+Partners’ latest industry report, The Birth of Mobility Culture, explores the implications for brand marketers of changing definitions of transportation. The study uncovered a shift from car culture to mobility culture, one that will be driven forward by Gen Z. Senior Vice President and Automotive Specialty Group Lead Marcus Gamo introduced the new study at a communications panel with executives from Toyota, Uber and Trōv.  In this installment of “Say So,” he and agency Chief Creative Officer Lisa Rosenberg discuss what stood out, as well as the impact mobility culture may have on the future of how we get from here to there.


Marcus: I’m still amazed at how far we’ve come so quickly in accepting and consuming new modes of transportation. I had to laugh during one of our conversations about the thought that we were warned not too long ago about the risks of getting together with a stranger you’d meet online … or getting into a car with a stranger for a ride. Now, it’s incredibly common, accepted and rewarded for using our smartphones to Uber to a bar or restaurant to meet someone you’ve only connected with through Tinder! This really does speak to a dramatic shift in our values and behavior. What really stood out to me from the study and our panel conversation was that the birth of this new culture was sparked by our youngest group of consumers – Gen Z. These consumers are placing more emphasis on “we” values, such as shared time and experiences, rather than “me” values, which have defined other generations … especially Millennials.

Lisa:  That is so funny! I remember telling my kids when they were little never to get in cars with strangers and, now that they are teenagers (and squarely Gen Z), they think nothing about hopping into an UberPool and heading to a party hosted by someone they “know” only on social. It will be interesting to see how mobility culture evolves as this generation drives it forward. I can imagine brands outside of the mobility space looking to partner with a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft as a way to capitalize on these “we” values and offer customized, branded experiences that can be shared and enjoyed with others. Who’s to say that in a few years you won’t be able to order up a “Beauty Bar Uber” so that you and a girlfriend can have your hair and makeup done while in route to a night on the town.

Marcus: I think you’re exactly right! If we look around our current mobility world today, there’s a real desire for drivers and passengers alike to rethink how they spend time on the road. The infotainment system of the past, with those in the car passively listening to music, a podcast or even taking a call, will look much more like James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. We heard from Gen Z that they value a connection between mobility and engagement, especially with each other. If the entertainment value of the drive or ride experience is determined by the time spent with others, we can imagine the positive benefits. No longer is that drive home from work a commute. It’s a happy hour that doesn’t focus on the total time spent in the car. This may open people to the idea of moving and traveling further out from a city center, and create new communities, jobs and economic centers.  

Lisa: I think you’re on to something, especially when you consider the behaviors and preferences of Gen Z. This is a generation that’s just now entering the workforce for the first time. From what we’ve seen, they are going to flip today’s discussion of work-life balance on its head and will expect flexibility when it comes to how, when and where they work. If a commute is no longer the dreaded drag that it is for many today, we may see a generational shift away from urban centers and a return to the great outdoors. I can see it now – 20-somethings traversing the New York tri-state in the Jetson’s-like pods from my favorite television show growing up, while enjoying breakfast with friends before parachuting down to their offices’ drop zone in time for their first morning meeting. If that’s the mobility culture we’re driving towards, sign me up – it sounds like fun!

Marcus Gamo is a Senior Vice President and the agency's Automotive Specialty Group Lead and Lisa Rosenberg is the agency's Chief Creative Officer.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 8, 2019 //     

2019 North America Midsize PR Agencies of the Year

Credit: Holmes Report

The 2019 North America PR Agencies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 150 submissions and 50 face-to-face meetings with the best PR firms across the US and Canada.

Analysis of each of the 70 finalists across 14 categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or below. Winners are unveiled at the 2019 North American SABRE Awards on May 7 at Cipriani 42nd St in New York. 

APRIL 5, 2019 //     

New AP Style and grammar changes: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the change

Credit: TeachingEnglishBy: Jacques Couret

You can’t teach a dog new tricks, and the same often holds true for copy editors.

We’re a critical bunch, naturally adverse to changes to grammar and style rules after decades of upholding them and acting as the last line of defense between creative copy and an audience eager to find an embarrassing error. I believe the young kids call these people “Grammar Nazis”? I digress…

So when the Associated Press Stylebook update and American Copy Editors Society Conference hit every spring, people like me clench their teeth, cross their fingers and hope the higher powers don’t mess with beloved tradition. Inevitably, they do mess with beloved tradition and set off nerdy online and intra-newsroom grammar debates I enjoy as much as a glass of Islay scotch.

For those not as inclined to such fussy academic quarreling, I present some key AP Style and English grammar changes that will make writing in your professional life much easier.


New AP Stylebook Rules

Percent vs. % – It is now acceptable to use “%” instead of having to write out “percent.” There should be no space between the numeral and the symbol. If the percentage is less than one, place a “0” before the decimal. Correct: “A survey shows 99.9% of Allison+Partners employees agree The Beatles are the greatest rock band of all time. Who cares what the 0.1% think?”

Hyphenated race – Race designations, such as African American, Asian American, Italian American and so forth, no longer require hyphens.

Casualty/Casualties – do not use the word “casualty” or “casualties” because AP deems the word “vague and can refer to either injuries or deaths. Instead, be specific about what is meant. If authorities use the term, press for specifics. If specifics aren’t available, say so: Officer Riya Kumar said the crash resulted in casualties, but she did not know whether those were injuries or deaths.”

Cocktail – it is no longer acceptable to use the word “cocktail” to describe a mixture of drugs. It’s now proper to write “drug combination,” “drugs” or “medications.”

Suspect – do not use the word “suspect” to describe “a person of unknown identity who definitely committed a crime. In other words, don’t substitute suspect for robber, killer, rapist, etc., in describing an event, even if authorities phrase it that way. Correct: Police said the robber stole 14 diamond rings; the thief ran away. Incorrect: Police said the suspect stole 14 diamond rings; the suspect ran away. Conversely, don’t substitute robber, killer, rapist, etc., when suspect is indeed the correct word. Correct: Police arrested the suspect the next day. Incorrect: Police arrested the robber the next day.”

Grammar change from the American Copy Editors Society

Split Infinitives – In a nod to the spoken word, it is now OK to split an infinitive in professional writing. For those who took naps in English 101, an infinitive is the “to form” of the verb. To go. To eat. To sleep. The old rule was to always place an adverb after the verb and never between the “to” and the verb. An example from Star Trek: “To boldly go where no man has gone before…” is now correct. Formerly, a copy editor would have corrected that phrase to read “to go boldly.” Split infinitives are now acceptable, meaning the written word will sound better to the ear.

In a related note, most contemporary grammarians now give their blessing to end sentences with prepositions. The great Sir Winston Churchill himself once mocked someone who criticized him for ending a sentence with a preposition by saying: "That is the sort of thing up with which I will not put!"

The “never end a sentence with a preposition” rule is arbitrary. It’s a rule a British essayist popularized centuries ago based on language roots in Latin, where it is not possible to end a  sentence with a preposition. Scholarly English grammarians who wished to apply Latin rules to English (a square peg in a round hole if there ever was one) should not dictate how we write today. If we have to rewrite sentences to avoid putting prepositions at the end, it can read and sound awkward. It’s better to go with what sounds better.

These are all rules you can live easily with.

Jacques Couret is editorial manager for All Told.

APRIL 2, 2019 //     

Shouldn’t every day be Equal Pay Day?

Credit: CNN.comBy: Anne Colaiacovo

When I began my career, it was understood that men needed to make more money faster than women because men, “had different financial pressures,” or “were responsible for caring for a family” or “had certain expectations for themselves by certain ages.” The thought was that women would wait. We’d be patient, understanding… because we’re women and that’s what we’re good at, right?

Not this woman! Not the women who came before me. And, thankfully, not the women AND men ahead of me.

Today is Equal Pay Day, which the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) started in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages. The date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned the previous year.


Unfortunately for millions of women, today is still not an equal pay day. I’m grateful this hasn’t been my experience, thanks in part to my own doing and in part to the people I have chosen to surround myself with. I’ve been blessed with the luxury of choice, while most women are not.

Last week, the House Education and Labor Committee voted to advance legislation that would strengthen protections for female workers and help close the gender wage gap. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), aims to advance women’s pay by prohibiting employers from requesting salary histories and preventing them from retaliating against employees for disclosing their pay. The bill also calls for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect wage data based on sex, race and national origin to better determine if employers are responsible for discriminatory practices. It will next go for a vote in the Senate.

Those of us with the luxury of choice must now choose to speak for those who do not have it -- speak with our votes, speak with our actions and speak with our power.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “it will take until 2059 for women to reach pay parity if change continues at the current pace. Black women would have to wait until 2119 for equal pay, and Latina women until 2224.” We simply cannot wait that long.

In my role at Allison+Partners, I work with my partners and colleagues to ensure pay gaps do not exist at our agency. I’m proud of that, but it’s a small piece. For those of us who can, we must choose the companies we work at wisely. Ask the right questions. Do the research not just for ourselves, but for others. If employers know the best female talent in the country simply won’t work for their organizations, they will be forced to address their shortcomings.

We have the power to hold our companies responsible, to hold our industries responsible, to hold our politicians responsible and to hold ourselves responsible.

Anne Colaiacovo is President, North America at Allison+Partners.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 1, 2019 //     

April Fools' Day: 5 brands (and a PR firm) you definitely shouldn't trust today

Credit: PRWeek

It’s bad enough that friends and family are out to get you, but each year it seems more and more of the country’s biggest brands feel compelled to produce April Fools’ Day pranks.  

The results are in from an April Fools’ Day poll PRWeek posted last week, asking comms pros if it’s wise to send a fake press release to reporters. 

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 31, 2019 //     


**April Fools!**

Innovative Program with Over-the-Top Perks Designed to Attract and Retain Industry’s Top Talent

In a day and age where office perks are a dime-a-dozen, global marketing communications agency Allison+Partners is upping the ante on the corporate “perk off.” The agency is changing its long-standing company motto from “It’s About the Work” to “It’s About the Perks,” and introducing a series of enviable new perks for current and future agency employees.


“While we have long been proud of our popular employee benefits such as Workout Wednesdays, birthday days off and paid sabbaticals after only five years, the competition for talent inspired us to boldly go where no agency has gone before,” said Allison+Partners’ Chairman + CEO Scott Allison. “What we’ve landed on is not only breakthrough in our industry, but some of the best perks in the entire world, bar none.”

Allison+Partners’ new perks were sourced through active and purposeful googling of the agency’s competitors, aspirational targeting of companies we’re nothing like and general pipe-dreaming. They include:

  • Chocolate Fountain to End All Chocolate Fountains – A 6-foot-tall, 85 percent dark cacao nibs fountain enhanced with vegan collagen will be placed in each office to enable 24-hour dipping pleasure for employees.  According to a newly released survey, 87% of workers indicated they are open to extending their workday by an additional two hours if bribed with chocolate.
  • Grapes on Demand – A duo of office assistants will float seamlessly from desk to desk to peel and feed employees grapes and fan them with oversized palm fronds while they work. It’s hands-free grape eating perfection! During a recent employee engagement survey, we found 98% of employees prefer grapes over every other fruit. We take these results seriously.
  • Sloth Therapy Room – Who needs puppies when you have fuzzy sloths in a sound proof room with classical music playing in the background!? While puppies have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety by more than 80%, surveys have shown that cuddling sloths leads to over the top euhphoria in more than 100% of people.
  • Forget “bring your kids to work day,” we’re announcing Bring Your Kids to Work Every Day and equipping our offices with changing tables and branded diaper genies.  Science has shown that crying can actually produce a soothing effect similar to white noise and beach waves, when it reaches a decibel equal to a dozen kids crying at once. 
  • Remote Working Gone Wild – We’ll offer a once in a lifetime Mars employee exchange program enabling employees to work for six months from the fourth planet from the sun. Let’s face it, space is hotter than ever.
  • Staff manicures are so last year.  As a pet-friendly agency, we are offering weekly manicures to the staff’s pets, custom nail art included.   Pet manicures was the top #trending item on social media in the month of March.  
  • We’ll replace the traditional holiday party with twice yearly, all-staff trips to the North Pole, reindeer rides included.   While zero percent of adults still actually believe in Santa, let’s face it, we all want to.
  • Why should parental leave only be for actual parents? We’re offering parental leave when your work-wife or work-husband gets a new pet (reptiles included). A wise unknown and random person once said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” We believe it.  
  • To save on commute time and maximize efficiency, we’ll introduce on-demand autonomous driving sleep chambers to take all employees to and from work. Studies by important people have shown that R.E.M. can best be achieved in autonomous driving vehicles.

Additional information on the ground-breaking new perks can be found on April 1 at

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 25, 2019 //     

2019 SABRE Awards North America finalists

Credit: Holmes ReportThe 2019 North American SABRE Awards, which recognizes Superior Achievement in Branding Reputation and Engagement, includes around 300 campaigns on its shortlist, selected from among more than 2000 entries. The campaigns were evaluated by a jury of industry leaders.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 7 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York along with the Agencies of the Year and Best Agencies to Work For READ MORE
MARCH 22, 2019 //     

The Perfection Fallacy: Four Ways to Achieve Your Career Goals That Have Nothing to Do with Being Perfect

By: Lauren Bayse and Chelsea Russo

“It’s OK not to have everything done perfectly.” If you’re like us, you’ve heard this before and you know it’s true, but it can be hard to truly believe. However, when it comes from Padma Lakshmi—producer, actress, model and host of Top Chef—you start to actually believe perhaps perfection isn’t an attainable or worthwhile goal.

The theme of perfection and how it can hinder women from “getting things done,” resonated during The Cut’s 2019 “How I Get It Done” event, which featured a roster of impressive “lady bosses,” including Robin Roberts, Aidy Bryant, Hope Solo and Maya Rudolph. All of these women agreed collectively perfection is an unfair, unproductive goal with which women burden themselves. So, the next time you find yourself obsessing over perfection at work, try obsessing over these four things instead:



Building a network of female (and male) cohorts is the most important thing you can do for your career. You can never truly know how your career trajectory will play out, so it’s important to cultivate meaningful connections wherever you can.

It’s equally important to remember building a network doesn’t mean setting up a few coffee dates to hastily compile a list of people you can ask to serve as references. Rather, networking is about finding people who appreciate and support your ambitions and passions. Natasha Lyonne and Greta Lee of Netflix’s “Russian Doll” shared their now strong and steady working relationship was born through a series of meetings and shared passion projects over time—it wasn’t built overnight. The pair’s relationship started as two women simply admiring and supporting each other’s long-term career goals.


Change is uncomfortable, challenging and often unwanted. However, it’s also inevitable. Author A.M. Homes summed up: “[Change] is super important, because I think it gets dangerous when you become so routinized that you actually can’t do something another way.” This is particularly true for those of us in industries, like public relations, constantly impacted by technology’s evolution.

While it’s natural to react apprehensively to an organizational restructure, a new colleague or a different role, take solace that navigating change challenges everyone. Seek advice from friends and mentors, and remember there is no such thing as managing change perfectly. Be kind to yourself and know—more often than not—change is good.  


It’s easy to recognize our flaws, but it’s much harder to identify and leverage our strengths. Topeka Sam, founder of The Ladies of Hope Ministries and Hope House NYC, witnessed firsthand in federal prison the disparity of incarceration on women. Realizing her affinity for community building and fundraising, she used her voice and network to advocate successfully for prison reform and help women transition out of the federal prison system.

In moments of perceived failure, it can be remarkably difficult to recognize our strengths. Lean on friends and reflect on past triumphs to help you identify the unique qualities you bring to the table. We all have strengths—it’s just a matter of finding them and acting on them.


Perfection’s ability to stifle women’s career progression came up in different ways during the event. But at the day’s close, The Cut Editor-in-Chief Stella Bugbee really summed it up: “You don’t have to be perfect to set out and achieve your goals. The best thing you can do is just start doing.”

So often, as women, we feel the need to anticipate every possible outcome of our actions to avoid our own self-imposed notions of failure. This type of thinking holds us back from taking the risks necessary to get ahead in our careers. It’s easier to talk ourselves out of having difficult conversations, like asking for that promotion, instead of just going for it and seeing what happens. The next time you prepare pros and cons ahead of a big meeting or new venture, feel empowered to throw the “plan” out the window and just put the wheels in motion. Your instincts are stronger than you think.

So, here’s to saying “no” to perfection and “yes” to ambition, tenacity and empowerment. We’ll never be perfect, but we don’t need to be.

Lauren Bayse is a director and Chelsea Russo is an account manager in Allison+Partners' corporate practice.

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 20, 2019 //     

Denny's brings on Allison+Partners as PR AOR

Credit: PRWeek

SPARTANBURG, SC: Denny’s has selected Allison+Partners as its PR AOR after the restaurant chain reorganized part of its marcomms structure.

Denny’s hired the agency after the chain restructured a "small portion" of its marketing functions for "even greater efficiencies" in recent months, said John Dillon, chief brand officer and SVP for the company.

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 18, 2019 //     

Asia-Pacific News In Brief (March 18, 2019)

Credit: Holmes ReportSINGAPORE — Allison+Partners has made two senior hires in Singapore, further strengthening its consumer marketing and technology practices. Robin Chang has joined as a VP, and will be responsible for overseeing consumer clients such as Bosch, Carousell and Nippon Paint, as well as the expansion of business in the region. Natashia Jaya has been hired as director and is charged with leading Singapore technology clients such as Waze and Citrix. Both will report to Serina Tan, managing director of Asia-Pacific and general manager of Singapore.   READ MORE
MARCH 18, 2019 //     

Remembering My Mentor, Henri Bollinger

Embed from Getty Images

By: Scott Pansky

Starting to write something on a blank piece of paper is always the hardest place to begin. Most of us find it easier to edit than to write something from scratch. What most don’t recognize is that’s how our life begins, and we can take our directions anywhere we want to go.

I start here, because when I think about mentorship, I think of ways we are mentored, where mentorship comes from or even signals that we might miss and come back to when someone provides us counsel. Some provide you with their gut instincts, some provide you with knowledge and some tell stories about how they have learned lessons the hard way.


When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was asked to open a public relations office for Connors Communications, the agency Scott Allison, Andy Hardie Brown, Jonathan Heit and I worked at together before Allison+Partners. I still remember my conversation with Scott when he asked me to open the office. I shared my fears of building something new, in a location that I had never lived and in a space I was not yet comfortable in. As a true friend and mentor, Scott told me not to worry, and that he would surround me with great people.

Two of those people came out from Connors’ New York office. One of those was Jonathan Heit who, today, has grown to become our company’s global president and a good friend. Another person was a gentleman named Jeffrey Bollinger. Jeffrey asked me if I had heard of his father, a famous entertainment publicist. I had not. So, he brought his dad to our office. You never know how one meeting could change your life and how being open to new opportunities can lead you down new trails. Just like the blank piece of paper, Henri asked what my goals were to build our office. I shared that we wanted to be the leading firm that helped build entertainment and tech companies as they began to transition content onto the web and other platforms, not yet knowing how mobile was ready to blast off.

Henri said he could help. He introduced me to the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society, which he had started with industry friends. Less than a year later after chairing a technology committee, I became the president of the organization. Over the next four years, I helped grow the membership from 200 people to more than 600. Networking with industry leaders, helped build a solid foundation of relationships that I still have today. Henri also introduced me to UCLA Extension, where I taught for more than 17 years in his shadow.

What I remember most about Henri’s mentorship, is his ongoing personal counsel. He was the father of three kids, and understood the balancing act of juggling work and a large family. His advice was always on mark. He never provided answers, just stories, and let his experiences help guide mine. He saw each choice as an opportunity to do something new. He inspired me greatly, contributing so much to who I am today. And through our recently established scholarship program at UCLA in his name, I know he will continue to have an impact on others for years to come.

At Allison+Partners, we recognize the importance of mentorship and developed a program many years ago that empower our team members to find peer-to-peer relationships or even outside mentorships in areas that they are passionate in. Each is a blank piece of paper waiting to be shaped and groomed for a career that can take them anywhere. I will miss Henri, as my paper is only halfway done. Yet his guidance and positivity will continue to direct me.

Scott Pansky is a co-founder at Allison+Partners. 

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 13, 2019 //     


Intersection of technology and transportation driving change; Gen Z to drive it forward

SAN FRANCISCO (March 13, 2019) – A new report from Allison+Partners suggests that changing definitions of transportation and an influx of new mobility solutions are paving the way for the birth of a new culture – the mobility culture. Resulting from the intersection of transportation and technology, this cultural shift will be driven forward by a new generation of consumers – those just now coming of driving/ride-sharing age.  Much in the way Baby Boomers in their teens and twenties defined American car culture, Gen Z will ultimately become synonymous with mobility culture. The study, dubbed The Birth of Mobility Culture, also explores implications for brand marketers as consumer values shift from “me” to “we” and access to new mobility options increase.


The report, based on a survey of U.S. consumers fielded in January 2019, reveals a clear shift in consumer attitudes, values and behaviors between generations and with more transportation options available than ever before.

Key findings that highlight this shift include:

  • Cars remain at the center of today’s transportation equation, but how they’re used is changing. While roughly 70 percent of licensed Americans drive their vehicles daily, 38 percent of those without a driver’s license say they have no need for one. With Gen Z, the numbers become even more significant — nearly 70 percent of Gen Z respondents do not have their driver’s license and 30 percent of those who do not currently possess their driver’s license have no intention or desire to get one.
  • Car culture shifts from “me” to “we.” Younger generations, including Gen Z, have begun to see automotive benefits that move beyond convenience to relaxation and social experiences. When asked why they would purchase an autonomous vehicle, Gen Z consumers cited relaxation as a primary factor (65 percent) – almost equal to convenience (67 percent).
  • For Gen Z, the car has become less aspirational. Gen Z sees cars more as appliances than any other generation, with more than half of Gen Z respondents (56 percent) indicating a car represents essentially no more than a means of transportation.
  • Technology and transportation have become synonymous. The excitement for autonomous technologies is driven by Gen Z, due largely to a high trust level with technology. Ultimately, 60 percent believe they will use autonomous vehicles by 2029.

“Not only will the car itself change drastically with the advent of new technology and mobility solutions, but its role in our lives and in culture will also evolve,” said Marcus Gamo, Senior Vice President and Automotive Specialty Group Lead at Allison+Partners. “Our automotive practice was born out of an authentic passion for disruptive brands that are redefining mobility, with a deep understanding that the most important attributes of transportation for consumers are trust and loyalty.”

The report also reveals that despite changing American consumer values and behaviors, brands remain more relevant than ever. For marketers, however, the introduction of this new mobility culture will require a revamped approach to effectively garner consumer loyalty and advocacy:

  • Reinforce how technology enhances the experience. With consumers conditioned to expect technology innovation at a faster rate than the traditional new vehicle introduction timeline, it’s important for marketers to reinforce how technology features enhance the ride experience, contribute to vehicle safety and support a future where transportation options come together in concert.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the shift from “me” to “we.” It will be more important to underscore the benefits of a particular mobility option to communities of people (such as a city, university or corporate campus), rather than to just individual drivers.
  • Focus on building relationships during the journey, not at the finish line. Younger consumers value authentic relationships with brands, and it takes time to foster that trust. Understand their values, what advancements in automotive technology excite them and, equally important, their concerns about the future of mobility. Use this information to inform how to communicate and engage with them about your brand.
  • Consider new avenues for introducing mobility options. The traditional auto show has been the core of how automakers, motorcycle brands, RV makers and others have introduced new vehicles to a rabid group of automotive enthusiasts. Due to this shift in values and attitudes, marketers must now plan for more values-based, communal and experiential local market activations, where influencers help create and share the story and consumers can experience brand value in a real and authentic way.

“As consumer relationships with cars evolve, automotive and transportation industry marketers must change how they engage with younger audiences, especially Gen Z,” said Lisa Rosenberg, Co-Chair of Allison+Partners’ Consumer Marketing practice. “Being headquartered in San Francisco with deep roots in technology, Allison+Partners has been at the forefront of cultural movements since our inception. We believe that brands that embrace this cultural shift and provide opportunities for consumers to be active participants are the ones that will win with a generation whose favorite currency is social.”


Allison+Partners compiled this report using data from an online survey of 1,035 people in the U.S. over the age of 16 conducted in January 2019. Fielding was conducted using the Qualtrics Insights Platform and the panel was sourced from Lucid.

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 13, 2019 //     

Gen Z Shifts 'Car Culture' To 'Mobility Culture'

Credit: MediaPost

Baby boomers defined American “car culture” --  now Gen Z is creating a new “mobility culture” in its place, according to a report.

“The Birth of Mobility Culture,” from Allison+Partners, explores the implications for brand marketers of changing definitions of transportation. Generational values have evolved, says Marcus Gamo, senior vice president and automotive specialty group lead at Allison+Partners. 

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2019 //     

Anne Colaiacovo, Hall of Femme 2019

What would you do if you weren't in PR?
I would be an interior designer or a registered dietician.

Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.
All my recent fist-pumping victories have been around the successes of my team – watching people get that promotion they really worked for or winning that pitch they gave everything to.

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2019 //     

Former MMC Digital/Innovation Head David Richeson Joins Allison+Partners

NEW YORK — Former MMC digital and innovation head David Richeson has joined Allison+Partners as an SVP in the firm's All Told division, which focuses on digital innovation and influence.

Richeson left MMC at the end of 2018 after five years as chief of digital innovation and influence. Since his departure, and the exit of chief integration officer Diana Littman, MMC has consolidated its digital and influencer units under a new brand engagement group led by new hire Gretchen Ramsey. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2019 //     

Asia-Pacific News In Brief (March 11, 2019)

SINGAPORE — Serina Tan has been promoted to managing director, Asia Pacific, at Allison+Partners. Tan (pictured) will hold the newly created role in addition to her existing role as general manager of the agency’s Singapore office. Her new role is focused on building connectivity and collaboration among the firm’s Asia-Pacific operations. In addition, the firm has announced two senior hires in Singapore that will further strengthen its consumer marketing and technology practices. Robin Chang has joined as VP and will be responsible for overseeing consumer clients such as Bosch, Carousell and Nippon Paint, and the expansion of business in the region. Natashia Jaya has been hired as director and is charged with leading Singapore technology clients such as Waze and Citrix. Both will report to Tan. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 8, 2019 //     

On the Move: DiGennaro Hires Stephanie Agresta; Allison+Partners Ups Serina Tan; NYC & Co. Promotes Christopher Heywood

Allison+Partners has promoted Serina Tan to managing director, Asia Pacific, a newly created role. Tan will continue in her existing role as general manager of the agency’s Singapore office and will work to fostering greater collaboration between the more than 140 team members across the region. In addition to her previous work as an independent consultant, she has served as regional account director for Porter Novelli and an account manager at Golin. Allison+Partners’ Singapore office has also brought on Robin Chang as vice president and Natashia Jaya as director.  READ MORE
MARCH 7, 2019 //     


SINGAPORE (March 7, 2019) – Allison+Partners today announced two senior hires in Singapore that will further strengthen its Consumer Marketing and Technology practices. Robin Chang has joined as vice president and will be responsible for overseeing consumer clients such as Bosch, Carousell and Nippon Paint, and the expansion of business in the region. Natashia Jaya has been hired as director and is charged with leading Singapore technology clients such as Waze and Citrix. Both will report to Serina Tan, managing director of Asia-Pacific and general manager of Singapore. READ MORE

“Over the past four years, Allison+Partners’ presence and client roster has grown immensely in Singapore. We are now working with some of the largest consumer and technology brands in the world on everything from integrated to B2B marketing,” said Tan. “Robin and Natashia’s deep expertise in these areas will not only add immediate value to our clients, but also strengthen our ability to grow across Singapore and the region.”

Chang joins the agency with more than a decade of experience driving award-winning public relations, integrated marketing and digital campaigns for corporate and consumer brands. He previously served at PRecious Communications, where he led the agency’s Consumer practice, helped evolve the firm’s digital offering and contributed to the agency’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific market. Chang’s client experience includes working with brands such as Artbox Singapore, Ascott, Celestial Tiger Entertainment, foodpanda, Funding Societies, German National Tourism Board, honestbee, Lufthansa, NBCUniversal, Singapore Kindness Movement, Porsche, YOTEL and more. His work with Artbox Singapore and Funding Societies were recognized with Marketing PR Awards (Silver) 2018 and PRISM Awards 2017 respectively.

Jaya brings more than 10 years of experience in public relations to the agency, with a career that spans the U.S., Indonesia and Singapore. She was previously with Porter Novelli Singapore where she served as the Asia-Pacific lead for many of its key technology clients. Prior to that, she worked at Burson-Marsteller in Indonesia, overseeing both technology and corporate clients. Jaya has extensive experience in managing regional PR programs across multiple markets in Asia-Pacific, and has worked with brands such as HP Inc., Western Digital Corporation, Citrix, Applied Materials, Qualcomm, Huawei and more.

MARCH 7, 2019 //     


Tan Takes on Newly-Created Role to Drive Collaboration Across Region from Agency’s Fast-Growing Singapore Hub

SINGAPORE (March 7, 2019) – Allison+Partners today announced the promotion of Serina Tan to managing director, Asia Pacific. This newly-created role will be in addition to her existing role as general manager of the agency’s Singapore office, and will focus on creating more connective tissue and collaboration between the more than 140 team members across the region.


“Serina’s impressive leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit has not only driven the exponential growth of our Singapore office, but also helped expand our work into other offices across Asia Pacific,” said Jonathan Heit, Allison+Partners’ global president. “Leveraging this talent in her new role to create an additional strategic bridge between our Asia Pacific offices and leadership in the U.S. and Europe was a natural progression and recognition of her significant accomplishments. This will also facilitate the cultivation of new business opportunities and client integration regionally and globally as we continue to scale.”

Since 2014, Tan has driven triple-digit growth in Singapore, which has become an important hub for Allison+Partners in Asia. The office continues to be one of the agency’s fastest-growing offices in the network, serving a portfolio of global consumer and technology brands such as The Software Alliance (BSA), Bosch, Waze, ThoughtWorks, Carousell, Nippon Paint and Citrix. Tan has also been instrumental in diversifying the agency’s services in the region to include more integrated marketing communications work in partnership with senior leadership globally through All Told.  

“I am honored to have the best of both worlds – the opportunity to collaborate more with my colleagues around the world, and to continue to serve our amazing clients and team in Singapore,” Tan said. “I look forward to working closely with our global and regional colleagues to foster closer global connectivity and further expand the Allison+Partners footprint.”

Prior to joining Allison+Partners, Serina spent more than 14 years leading successful communications campaigns, developing global cause-related programs and managing hot-button consumer issues for global clients such as McDonald’s and HP. She has lived in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia, and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Japanese.

MARCH 7, 2019 //     

The Future of Influencer Marketing: 'It's Disrupting the Way We View Producers and Consumers'

Influencer marketing has been described as “the Wild West” or “swimming in the ocean” — because, compared traditional media relations, the rules are ambiguous or  inconsistent.

“Historically, journalists were the channel for third-party validation to education and potentially inspire,” said Gabriel Stricker, VP of communications for Niantic, the AR gaming company behind Pokémon Go. “Then, it became the companies doing that directly. And now it’s clearly not journalists or companies — it’s people educating and inspiring people.”

The Holmes Report convened communications and marketing leaders in San Francisco last month as part of its first-ever salon series at the 6th IN2 Innovation Summit. During the Future of Influencer Marketing salon, sponsored by Allison + Partners, the conversation spanned identifying, measuring and engaging with influencers across the B2C and B2B sectors.

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019 //     

Kimpton Will Expand on Its ‘Room 301’ Experiment by Offering Similar Experiences Worldwide

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, a boutique hotel brand of IHG, today is rolling out a new initiative that will let guests book special rooms at many of its hotels and participate in unique experiences offered in each, all designed to let them enjoy deeper human experiences.

According to Kathleen Reidenbach, chief commercial officer of Kimpton, the concept for the rollout stems from the values and culture established by the brand’s founder, Bill Kimpton, in 1981 (it was acquired by IHG in 2014) She said it was important to Kimpton that the company’s values focus on humanity and “an environment where employees feel warm and welcome. Bill Kimpton prioritized personal growth and development.”

FEBRUARY 27, 2019 //     

Unleash Your Inner Writer: Tips for Writing in An Agency Environment

Credit: Next Avenue

By: Riley McBride Smith

In marketing and communications, writing is arguably one of the most critical skills to master. Yet, drafting messaging, a blog post, a complex press release, a speech or a byline is often just listed as another item on our to-do list rather than being recognized as a task that requires a unique environment and significantly more time.

Early on in my career, I struggled to find the time and the mind space I knew was needed to write well in the hustle of an agency environment. However, along the way, I’ve learned some best practices that have helped set me up for success.


Don’t Rush the Process

The communications industry is fast-moving and deadlines are pretty much always ASAP. However, while some tasks can be expedited, more time should be allotted for complex writing projects. If you’re drafting a longer piece of content in 30 – 45 minutes without the opportunity to set it down and revisit, there’s a good chance it won’t be nearly as polished, thoughtful, or well-written as a piece written over several hours. Managers can help by giving writers on their teams enough lead time to tackle complex writing projects and by also weighing the time needed to complete the assignment appropriately and reallocating work as needed.

Set Aside Dedicated and Uninterrupted Writing Time

One thing that makes writing different than other tasks is the level of focus and uninterrupted time required to write. Spending ten minutes here and 15 minutes there in between calls and answering emails will lead to disjointed work that inevitably will take longer to draft. Writers will find they are much more efficient when they’re able to draft without frequent interruptions. Finding your rhythm and focus is important and so try to set aside several hours (depending on the length and type of writing project) so you can pull together a complete first draft or a full section. In our line of work, several hours of uninterrupted time will rarely emerge in your busy day, so the onus is on you to find ways to create that interrupted writing time in your schedule. Whether that means getting into the office earlier or finding a block of time in the evening, it’s important to create the environment you need to produce your best work.

Time of Day Matters

I recently attended the Digital Summit in Washington D.C. where social scientist Daniel Pink delivered a keynote inspired by his recent book “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, which provides a fascinating look at how time of day impacts cognitive function and ability. The research overwhelmingly shows that the most productive time of day for most people is in the morning. During this time of the day, people are more focused, able to ignore distractions and generally more positive and optimistic. Unfortunately, research shows that productivity begins to decline in early afternoon during what Pink calls the “trough” of your day. During this time, your mood and focus are both at all day lows and as a result, concentration and efficiency will suffer. You begin to recover later in the day and, while you won’t reach the peak of productivity you had in the morning, your mood will improve and you will become slightly more flexible, collaborative and creative. While each individual is different, keeping this in mind as you prioritize your writing projects may help. Most importantly, try to focus on what time of day YOU feel best. There is a small subset of people that are true night owls and can produce some of their best work in the evenings. (Ruth Bader Ginsburg notoriously works past midnight!) It’s up to you to find those magic hours when the writing comes easiest.

The Secret to Great Writing is Rewriting

The more you reread, redraft and refine your writing, the better it will be. Sometimes getting the first draft down on paper is the biggest challenge. Take a mental break and revisit it with fresh eyes, spend more time wordsmithing and streamlining. You may be shocked by how much your writing can improve between the first, second draft and third drafts. Also always try to pass it along to a third party, as even the best writers can benefit from an outside perspective.  

In the agency world, there are times when you won’t have the luxury of uninterrupted time to deliver great writing, but when you do, try to create an environment that will set you up for success.

Riley McBride Smith is an account director in Allison+Partners’ Washington D.C. office.

FEBRUARY 26, 2019 //     

MAC Cosmetics China taps into New Retail experience with new integrated centre

Credit: Marketing InteractiveM•A•C Cosmetics China has launched its new Experience Centre which integrates both online and offline brand experiences into the customer journey, blending product discovery, social engagement and purchase in one occasion. It aims to introduce interactive cosmetics retail experiences in China. READ MORE
FEBRUARY 26, 2019 //     

What Influencers Wish Marketers Knew

Credit: Allison+PartnersBy: Brent Diggins

Studies about influencer marketing are often eager to dissect every detail and produce endless data on marketers, things like marketer pain points, spends or perceived effectiveness. And there are mounds of them. 

But what about the influencers? Marketers continue to devote more spend to them and rely on their creative ability and network to produce results in this flexible and unique marketing channel. Yet, few have sat down with influencers at broad scale to uncover their opinions, particularly in context with marketer viewpoints.

To uncover more about the marketer/influencer dynamic, Allison+Partners conducted qualitative interviews of both marketers and influencers that operate in the same arenas and asked them complementary questions. The study found there was a large divide between influencers and marketers on many topics, from the length of an ideal engagement to the essential question of return on investment.

While exploring the divide with influencers, there were topics that screamed to the top. These insights are things that influencers wished marketers knew for the sake of mutual success, improvement and continued growth of the industry.

We Can Help Optimize Your Campaign

Optimization is a standard practice for most marketing channels. Not so much in influencer marketing, according the influencers surveyed. Influencers indicated that it is rare for marketers to ask for active campaign data and even more unusual that adjustments are made midstream.

It is easy for influencers to see what type of content is performing best (or not) in both numbers and by understanding the pulse of their audience. They can help marketers understand the channel mix, where to allocate resources or even what message is resonating. This leads to better outcomes.  

Longer Engagements Produce Better Results

One topic that the influencers strongly agreed upon is that longer engagements would produce better results. They believe their followers will see brand partnerships as more authentic and will become more familiar with the brand as they see it more. They also feel that micro-relationships, like one-post campaigns, are ad-like, which can discredit both the brand and influencer.

Content Lives Longer than You Realize

Many influencers provided anecdotes of high-performing content, especially on blogs, that lived long after the influencer marketing campaign ended. Examples of continued performance include content interaction, traffic generated to a website and appearance in search results.

As an opportunity, marketers could engage with the influencer to amplify that content where it lives or extend it through paid support. At the very least, reengaging past successful partners or content should be top of mind.

We Know Our Audience Better than You Can  

Often, marketers are going blindly into relationships with influencers. Influencers said that marketers rarely work with them to understand their audience and what may resonate, everything from tone to type of content. Sure, marketers may have tools to gain audience insights or more in-depth information about influencer, but influencers believe that their innate understanding of their audience, what they like and what they don’t like, is something that can only be truly understood by them.

If given the opportunity to provide deeper audience insights, influencers believe they can add great value to marketers at multiple stages, from planning to optimization.

Be Open to Changes in Your Creative Asks

If you offer no flexibility in your creative brief or campaign, you may not get the results that you want. Since influencers believe they know their audience better than anyone, they also believe that, if given flexibility in creative, they can produce better outcomes.

Many influencers bemoaned stringent creative briefs, especially those that provide canned content and copy with no room for personalization, which leads to a lack of authenticity and ultimately performance.

You Need to Ask Us for Our Opinions

Influencers believe that marketers need to learn to work outside of accustomed transactional relationships. Many insist that marketers see them only as a contractor, not a partner, and therefore rarely ask them for their opinions.

At the same time, influencers are self-admittedly bashful about sharing their unsolicited opinions. While some of this communication gap is surely a two-way issue, marketers need to understand that influencers do have useful insights to share.

Search for Authenticity

One topic that influencers strongly believe in is “authenticity.” They believe that authenticity is one of their greatest attributes and is a strong indicator of success. However, authenticity most often emerges in comments and interactions, places that marketers don’t typically look. They also believe that marketers can spot inauthentic influencers by going deeper and looking for posts with little quality interaction.

We Have Data You Probably Want

Influencers have a mine of untapped data that marketers rarely ask for. Influencers said the most requested data points are page views, reach or engagements and little else beyond. However, influencers aren’t sharing more than is asked, as they are unsure if it would be wanted or useful.

With platform analytics continuing to advance, there is more data available to influencers than ever. In addition to platform-driven data, influencers also can provide anecdotal data including messages they may have received and benchmark context.

Moving Forward as Partners

As the industry continues to invest in influencer marketing, it is time to revisit the marketer and influencer relationship. It is time to look at influencers not only as conduits, but as partners. As marketers, we must take the step forward to bridge the gaps that exist. It is our responsibility to unleash the full potential of influencer marketing. See our infographic for tips we recommend for both marketers and influencers to help bridge the gap.

Brent Diggins is the managing director of measurement + analytics at Allison+Partners, a global marketing and communications firm. 

This article was originally posted on

FEBRUARY 25, 2019 //     

Hellmann's heavenly opportunity: How the mayo brand is capitalizing on an Oscars shout-out

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ: Hellmann’s has offered comedian Amy Poehler a lifetime supply of mayonnaise after she gave the brand an unexpected shoutout during Sunday’s Academy Awards. READ MORE
FEBRUARY 25, 2019 //     

Most economists see U.S. recession by 2021, survey shows

Credit: iStockMore than three-quarters of business economists expect the U.S. to enter a recession by the end of 2021, though a majority still anticipate the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates this year. READ MORE

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When two great agencies come together, the results are better than chocolate.

OneChocolate is now part of Allison+Partners