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Our Marketing Team’s Top Takeaways From Marketing Brew’s The Brief

  • Insights

Our Integrated Marketing team hit the road today to visit The Brief: A Summit Presented by Marketing Brew, featuring voices from top strategic marketers and the brand leadership behind some of the most compelling work in the marketplace. We plan to leverage these key findings alongside our industry best practices to continue educating and serving our marketing clients according to their brands’ needs.


Whether this helps in assessing your brand’s marketing plan or informs a discussion with us to assess how we can help with your marketing goals, here are the top takeaways: 


Lean Into Fan Truths 

In a conversation between Jennifer Healan, VP, US Marketing, Brand Content and Engagement at McDonald’s and Brandon Pracht, Managing Partner at Wieden + Kennedy; they focused on one thing specifically—if your brand is lucky enough to have fans, lean into their truths.

In other words, what fans say about your brand is always true and relevant, even more so than what brand leaders say about their own brand. This philosophy led to other profound brand wisdom:


Share the pen. In other words, if a partnership is core to a brand truth, don’t let your brand guidelines get in the way of a new feel that a partner can provide. Case in point: Travis Scott and McDonald’s. 

Travis Scott loves McDonald’s. The fans love Travis Scott. Let him take the pen. The results revealed the truth.


And, in what is music to our ears as a digital marketing agency, the partnership here between McDonald’s and Wieden Kennedy started with an honest drive to make change. According to Healan, the first step is to “get your idea out of the Powerpoint.” 



Don’t Go to a Partner with a Fully Baked Idea

General Mills Global Creative Director Melissa Wildermuth—who oversees brand strategy for all 100+ General Mills brands across the world (think Betty Crocker, Lucky Charms, Totino’s)—expects any partnership to be a full collaboration. So, don’t come to that meeting with a brief. Half-baked ideas, with the right partnerships, become fully baked and golden and flaky much faster in tandem. Take it from the woman in charge of branding for Pillsbury. 


There are many examples from her impressive portfolio of work, but here are three noteworthy ones: 


Loki Charms. It was already a meme. Melissa and her team just had to pull it off. That they did and then some (they sold out in minutes). 

Or LeBron James on the Wheaties cover. It’s an iconic place for an athlete. But LeBron has done it all. He’d only participate if we could feature what he wanted—something that would benefit the work of the LeBron James Family Foundation in Akron Ohio. And they did it with design skills to boot. 


Totino’s Buffalo Chicken Pizza Rolls. Mess-less Buffalo Chicken Wings for gamers.


Bonus wisdom: What is the secret to these great ideas? They can be explained in 15 seconds or less from one person, to the next, to the next…



What does creativity mean for your brand? 

Vans Global Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Harrer knows creativity is in Vans’ DNA—but the definition of creativity is evolving. Every brand touts creativity as a key brand tenet. She asked herself, “What part of the creativity pie will Vans continue to own?” 


And to do this, she and her team interrogated creativity. Creativity used to be creating something, then showing it to somebody else for external validation. 


But today, in a world filled with the constant pursuit of external validation on social media, creativity is something done for internal validation.


It’s grown from self-expression to self-exploration. And Vans never left.


They even went viral last weekend the good old fashioned (with help from TikTok) way, folks spreading the news about a sale. With that, she was asked, “Can you reverse engineer virality?”


Her answer was firm. “No, and you shouldn’t.” Dammmmn Daniel



Rewire the Way People Think

33. Still single. Why?


More importantly, why does our society ask that? Cue this ad from the people at Mojo Supermarket, told to The Brief crowd by Mo Said, its Founder and Creative Director. It flips those societal tropes on its head, and gives power to dating adults.


Which evokes Mojo Supermarket’s—and any good marketer’s—most challenging goal: to rewire the way people think. 


The Streetsense Marketing Team activates brands & places, communicates with audiences through them, and drives demand for them. We engage, convert, and delight through integrated marketing strategies & ongoing implementation, including: content & social media marketing, performance marketing, interactive design & development, and events & activations. See more of our work here, sign-up for our “branding and marketing” newsletter, or contact us to discuss your marketing project. 


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