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Takeaways from The Brief.
November 18, 2022

Marketing Brew


You made it to Friday. And Cheetos has a new addition to your Thanksgiving table: Feel free to place the cheese-dust grinder next to the salt and pepper.

In today’s edition:

—Katie Hicks, Ryan Barwick, Jack Appleby


Karma takes all my friends to the summit

Jennifer Healan, VP of US marketing and brand and content engagement at McDonald’s, and Brandon Pracht, managing director of McDonald’s Global at Wieden+Kennedy, on stage at Marketing Brew's The Brief in 2022 The Brief, a Summit Presented by Marketing Brew (Kristoffer Tripplaar)

Earlier this week, marketing leaders, innovators, and experts joined us in New York for our first annual Marketing Brew summit, The Brief.

Questions were asked, wisdom was shared, and finger foods were eaten. For those who weren’t able to join us, here are some takeaways from the day.

Show, don’t tell

When it comes to crafting a brand image, Vans global CMO Kristin Harrer told us, “The No. 1 rule: Don’t use the word authenticity.”

  • She said staying true to Vans’ legacy of supporting the skate community and communities that “other brands don’t pay attention to” is “why consumers describe us as the most authentic brand out there.” Not because it has incorporated the word into its marketing strategy.
  • While Vans has gone viral a few times over the years for things like “Damn, Daniel” and shoe-flipping, Harrer said she doesn’t think brands can reverse-engineer virality, and it’s not something they should try.

American Eagle’s CMO, Craig Brommers, also emphasized the importance of being real—or, rather, BeReal.

  • He said the brand’s presence on the platform, where its social media coordinator engages with the max number of followers allowed on the app (1,000) on things like daily deals and Black Friday behind the scenes—“goes back to what we feel, and that’s about showing the more authentic, real side of yourself.”

Keep reading here.—KH



When ya know, ya grow


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There’s no better feeling than that eureka moment. Gift your team some professional insights and book a demo with Attest.


Twitter troubles

Twitter logo on a phone Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: Twitter

Not all advertisers are yet sold on Elon Musk’s “hardcore” version of Twitter.

As we reported earlier this month, advertising companies including IPG, Havas, and Omnicom were quick to recommend clients pause their ads on the platform after Musk took over, with IPG citing an “unpredictable and chaotic” environment. WPP media agency GroupM has reportedly told clients that ad buys on the platform are “high-risk,” according to Digiday and Platformer.

When Musk took over, some users took advantage of Musk’s new (but since paused) Twitter Blue verification to impersonate brands like the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, which apologized to those who had seen a “misleading message from a fake Lilly account.”

Meanwhile, Semafor and Ad Age have put together running lists of which brands have confirmed they’re pausing their Twitter ad spend.They include Volkswagen, General Mills, Pfizer, GM, Mondelez International, United Airlines, Chipotle, Eli Lilly (lol), and Macy’s, which has paused its ads on Twitter ahead of its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Conversely, NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino, who is chairman of the company’s global advertising sales partnerships, told Ad Age that “there is no surrogate for Twitter” and that it is NBCU’s “single, No. 1 biggest content partner, content distribution partner.”

“He understands safety and transparency…He can learn advertising,” she said.

FWIW: Advertising accounted for 92% of Twitter’s revenue last quarter.

What’s next: Some advertisers are moving money that would’ve gone to Twitter to other platforms. A CPG company is reportedly shifting “roughly $10 million” to TikTok, Google, and streamers, according to the Wall Street Journal. And an agency exec told Digiday that advertisers might put more dollars toward TikTok, for instance, “where the community is much more welcoming and it’s a fun place for brands.”—RB



Should I stay or should I go?

Twitter logo being poured out of glass Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: Okea/Getty Images

Future Social is a weekly newsletter on social media, content, and creators from Jack Appleby, a Morning Brew creator who’s worked in social media for 10 years at companies like Beats by Dre, Microsoft, and Twitch. Check out an excerpt from one of his pieces below, and sign up for Future Social here.

Boy, Elon sure has a way with brands, don’t he? First, he claimed “activist groups” were the reason advertisers started bailing on Twitter, only for media agencies to say, um, not really. (Don’t forget about his quixotic chase of bots.) Threatening became the next tactic, tweeting to expect a “thermonuclear name & shame” of advertisers leaving Twitter “if this continues.”

Childish playground bullying aside, the big question the industry is grappling with has become: Should brands stay on Twitter, or is it time to abandon the bird app? Let’s dig in.—JA



Pivot your partnerships. The economy has not been kind to bottom lines lately, and you may need to rethink your affiliate and influencer strategies to keep these programs afloat.’s new guide has the tools you need to weather economic downturns and uncertainty. Read it here.


French press Francis Scialabba

Mad skills: Meta shared tips for marketers in newly released episodes of its Social Skills series.

Try on: Google released new search tools ahead of the holiday season, including AR shopping capabilities.

Who’s there?: TikTok has a new Audience Insights tool in its Ads Manager platform—here’s how it works.

Retail space race: From DTC upgrades to live social-shopping capabilities, the e-commerce world is *busy.* Marketing Brew discussed the fresh e-comm strategies being leveraged for the holidays and beyond, right here. Sponsored by mntn.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


  • Twitter employees reportedly resigned en masse yesterday after Musk issued an ultimatum: By 5pm, they’d need to commit to an “extremely hardcore” working environment or accept severance.
  • Dentsu told the WSJ that it doesn’t expect to be financially impacted in the near term as a result of its client FTX’s bankruptcy.
  • Amazon’s CEO said there are more layoffs to come next year.
  • The Attorneys General in Tennessee and North Carolina are investigating Ticketmaster after the Taylor Swift ticket-sale fiasco.
  • Roku cut roughly 5% of its workforce due to “economic conditions.”


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Written by Katie Hicks, Ryan Barwick, and Jack Appleby

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