Issue 86: Nothing Lost in Translation
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”

As I sat down to write about Bill Murray's Super Bowl spot and Korea's Oscar milestone, this is one of those headlines that wrote itself.

Okay, enough gloating. 

You know who wouldn't gloat? Bill Murray.

He should though. There are few comic actors who connect with people on an individual level through such a range of misery and joy as he does. In the "Groundhog Day" sequel, we skipped over the misery.

CNBC described how the ad came together. You could say the ad took years or days depending on how you define it. Relationships matter. So does asking for what you want, especially when you do so in a way that is tailored to the recipient.

Last week, I also wrote about how parody ads fell flat. Somehow, I neglected to mention Baby Nut.

Baby Nut wasn't my favorite ad. It was a smart PR campaign, getting way more attention than it should have, especially since there wasn't a product launch or any other significant announcement. Jeep got Bill Murray to recreate a classic film on the perfect day, Hyundai got to tout autonomous parking (I have no clue if that's even a new feature), and Google helped a fictional man keep his wife's memory alive. While Google was saving a fictional elderly guy, Planters was killing off a fictional elderly peanut, and then reincarnating it.

Planters continues to pour money into Baby Nut. I keep seeing @mrpeanut promote Baby Nut posts on Twitter. It doesn't seem to be extending any popularity to the owner of @planters, a cryptocurrency enthusiast from the Netherlands with 230 followers.

What's most impressive with Planters is that it upstaged Disney at its own game. While Disney couldn't get any Baby Yoda merchandise in stores for the holiday season, Planters has a Baby Nut store that it keeps plugging. It is selling socks for $28, or approximately the cost of 192 1-oz packs of salted Planters peanuts on Amazon. Maybe the model wearing the Baby Nut Peekaboo Pocket Tee whose right arm is covered in tattoos is wearing the tee ironically? I can't see him wearing that tee when he's out downing White Claw at the axe-throwing bar.

There are two things the Baby Nut store does well: the cursor turns into Baby Nut, and when you roll over merch, Baby Nut pops up from behind the products. I still don't get the long-term play here, but I've thought way too much about this. I had no problem with Planters sticking with a giant peanut wearing a monocle and sporting a cane and spats. I still sometimes eat cereal with a leprechaun on the box, and my favorite cereal that I only discovered as an adult features a pink version of a 19th-century horror icon on the box. Baby Nut is getting under my skin.

I hope I don't have to write any more about Baby Nut, though I will if the app breaks down in the Democratic Nevada primary and Baby Nut somehow wins the whole thing.

Speaking of surprises, I'm behind on seeing movies so I haven't caught "Parasite," and I didn't watch the Academy Awards. Still, I love that language is no longer a barrier for earning Hollywood's top honor. Great stories come from everywhere, as does the talent to bring those stories to life. Cheers to Bong Joon-ho; in his honor, I hope to soon enjoy a glass of makgeolli (my favorite adult beverage).

There's plenty more to write, but I'm trying to fight a bug and get a little rest. I'll be away next week on vacation taking in some of that glorious Caribbean sun, so I'll see your inbox 2/26.

Meanwhile, that gives you plenty of time to answer my favorite question: What are you making of yourself? I look forward to hearing from you.



I don't wish the demise of any above-board business, but I never got the appeal of Brandless. It managed to raise $292.5 million for an offering that stripped away all branding and sold products for near-dollar-store prices. Brandless never seemed like it could be a meaningful e-commerce company. It wasn't clear that they had the best products or the most value. Even on Amazon, its house brands only work with reviews and with easy comparisons to other brands. Take this as a reminder that brands matter, or take it as a reminder that consumers don't care what VCs think. Beyond this particular story, kudos to Politico for launching Protocol. The daily news roundup delivered via email and audio is terrific, and their team is impressive.

How has recruiting changed over the past two decades? Don Leon shares his experience. There have been some positive developments: candidates have gotten smarter about researching opportunities, and employers expect employees to do their homework.

As a fellow generalist, I appreciated Stephane Gringer breaking down why generalists are needed and how they can avoid the worst stereotypes about them.

Jason Falls shares a surprising finding from Casper's IPO filing, as Casper wrote, "Use of social media and influencers may materially and adversely affect our reputation." What? Aren't influencers supposed to help, especially when it comes to a hot D2C brand? Falls takes a firm look at Casper's checkered influencer past.


Following the debut of Berky's Marketing English in issue 84, I'll include a couple of entries here weekly. Send in any other topics I should cover

A sponsored video clip running as a break during or between television programming, giving viewers a much-needed mental respite during sporting matches, reality television, and local news programs.

Such ads are also called “spots.” They are very easy to spot. Most are very hard to remember.

Radio ads are also known as commercials. This may be technically accurate, but few people ever refer to such ads as commercials. Call them spots, even though it is impossible to spot a spot on the radio.


Want to include your event below? Just reply with the details.

February 20
I'm a big fan of this org; you should check out this event featuring Gregory Wilkins (soul artist), B. Anderson (meditation teacher & community organizer), Quemuel Arroyo (global head of community at Charge), Sandra Okerulu (stylist & costume designer), and ScienZe (hip hop artist). More info: "The #RedefiningBadassery series celebrates the richness of our culture, community and history through storytelling. This event not only amplifies stories from underheard voices, but also different ways of storytelling, from slam poetry to musical performances, for an inclusive and inspiring experience."

February 25
Hosted by SimilarWeb, they have some terrific speakers like my friend Kevin Lee of Did-It fame, and I'll be going to this one.  

March 4
Serial Marketers has teamed up with First Wednesdays to bring back this long-standing tradition in NYC. Every month, we meet at the top-floor penthouse bar from 6-9. While Zack Rosenberg and Rachel Herskovitz post the event links on Facebook, if you want the recurring invite on your calendar, just let me know, and I'll add you to it. I'm also now sending updates via Meetup.

(I'll have more updates on SXSW as we get closer.)
March 11, 2020
Austin, TX
Attention Designers! Place by Design is a pitch competition aimed at showcasing innovative and invigorating design in the public sphere. Urbanists, artists, architects, and designers have the opportunity to present their scalable solutions for improving our shared landscape.

Awards ceremony: March 27, 2020, in Venice, Italy
Voting ends today!
BOLD Awards recognizes top companies, projects and individuals powering breakthroughs around the world.

April 29-30
I loved this event so much in New York that I'm joining them in Chicago as both a speaker and media sponsor. I'll be speaking about how to build and run a successful B2B community, and of course I will be including examples from many others, with a bit of experience covering mistakes I've made that others can learn from.

May 13-14, 2020
"The premier global gathering in visual tech" is run by one of my favorite firms of any sort out there, LDV Capital. They specialize in bringing some of the best people together in all sorts of ways.


Reach out to me if you want introductions or any additional information, and let me know if you have other job postings you'd like to share. There have also been many job updates within Serial Marketers, so if you're part of that, be sure to check the #jobs channel for more. 

Product Marketing Manager
LiveIntent writes, "The Product Marketing Manager (PMM) will play a key role in refining and communicating the value proposition of LiveIntent products to marketers and publishers." Apply below or see Kerel in Serial Marketers.  

Account Manager, Programmatic
Via David K. in Slack: The Account Manager is responsible for all phases of the Varick post-sale process. This entails supporting the Sales Team through the post-campaign life cycle post campaign analysis, wrap up reporting, and liasoning with traders to ensure campaign success. The Account Manager collaborates across all operational teams as well as communicates directly with clients to provide consultative support and best in class client service through strategic thinking.

VP Marketing
See details here. Reach out if you want me to refer you their way:

A strategic and creative marketing professional that has a wide breadth of experience in multiple marketing disciplines. This person:
*Will excel at building Axio's brand voice and image
*Can project manage and execute effective demand generation campaigns through events, social media, and online channels
*Has interest or curiosity about the cybersecurity space and the evolution of the industry.

Axio helps organizations understand cyber exposure, calculate risk, and make data-driven decisions that improve their security and risk posture.  

Director of Product Marketing
Via Dorothy in Slack: "I’m hiring a Director (head) of Product Marketing at Paxos in NYC. Paxos is a B2B fintech startup using blockchain tech, building infrastructure to make assets more accessible and to make them move faster in a new, open financial system. The company is full of mission-driven, smart, kind, humble, ambitious and collaborative people. Looking for a player/coach to build and run this brand new function." DM or email her in Slack, or apply directly. I can make an intro as needed.

Marketing Director (Product)
This is an opportunity to be their first marketing hire. See lots of details in the description. They also have customer success roles open. If you're in Slack, you can find the post and contact Melissa.

Senior Account Manager
Brooklyn, NY
Via my friend David Yarus. Let me know if you want me to refer you: "Looking for a rockstar client-service account lead for one of our core accounts. Ideally 6+ years agency CS experience, tired of the big agency world and seeking quality of life and work/life/vibe-alignment. Competitive comp. Need someone who loves owning the client relationship, understands digital / social / performance, and down with light team travel & WFH Wednesdays."

Other job resources:
-Ad Ops Online: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more
-ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted
-Facebook Groups: NYC Ad Jobs & Networking
-TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups
-VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I'll share them.


David Berkowitz, publisher


100+ TECH RECOMMENDATIONS (updated regularly)

18 TYPES OF STARTUP MARKETERS (now in quiz form, thanks to Riddle)

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