Category: In the News

Push Works and Matters

fashion designer

When fashion designer Laura Ashley said,” We don’t want to push our ideas on to customers. We simply want to make what they want,” she certainly wasn’t addressing strategy to her marketing people. CMOs know that push notifications aren’t just essential. Push works, and push matters.

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Alexei Orlov: Entrepreneur of Month

alexei orlov

Founder and President of mtm choice worldwide, Alexei Orlov is a tested-and-tried pro in global marketing and business leadership. With extensive experience spanning 50 brands, 40 countries and 30 years, Orlov has built a reputation in delivering highly-targeted media optimization and brand activation.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, being part of Volkswagen’s top Leadership Team, Orlov spearheaded the company’s commercial excellence in the Chinese division. Worth noting, Orlov was co-responsible for the brand’s integrity and marketing for the organization’s key brands. Brands in Volkswagen’s portfolio that benefited from Orlov’s marketing prowess include Volkswagen, Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, Seat, and Škoda.

Key Insights from Alexei Orlov

#1. Exciting Trend

According to Orlov, a trend that really excites him is the rapid shift towards social and digital authenticity. While data protection is an important facet in the digital world, it’s important to ensure that people get involved with systems rooted in authentic products. With this in mind, rules and regulations governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) should have well-outlined permissions that show authentic substance, rather than prevent data breaches alone.

#2. Entrepreneur’s Most Important Strategy

Orlov’s most important strategy is to become a great practitioner that makes a difference in any identifiable market opportunity. The highly-skilled entrepreneur notes that leaving room to pivot is an important aspect of achieving any goal. With this approach, the entrepreneur has managed to make fundamental changes that were absolutely necessary, despite being difficult. From financing operations, developing key strategies, to building exceptional teams, making fundamental changes is an important facet that can lead to success.

What’s more, leaving room to pivot means an entrepreneur accepts not getting everything right, while not allowing oneself to be whimsical. Since businesses have a lot at stake, pausing for a while longer to create a  plan that makes an entrepreneur feel resolved is important.

Key Accomplishments

Over Orlov’s extensive career, he has accomplished several noteworthy feats. These are:

#1. Funding and Acquisitions

Upon inception, Orlov’s Boutique Holding Group – mtm choice worldwide – raised more than $30 million, helping the brand complete several acquisitions of reputable agencies in the media/brand activation space. To support the top-tier acquisitions, the agency secured $100 million in the third round of financing.

Under Alexei Orlov, mtm was in acquisition negotiations with six additional brands. With more rounds of funding and Orlov’s extensive expertise, the agency would secure a lead position among top brands in the media/brand activation space.

#2. Key Awards

With extensive experience and contribution to the marketing space, Orlov secured the CMO of the year award in the ASEAN market for the years 2012 and 2013. The awards were granted by the World Brand Congress.

Orlov’s expertise catapulted Proximity’s award-winning team to the lead position, securing the 2013 Cannes Gold Lion Award for creating one of the largest social media platforms in the automotive industry. The platform, dubbed “the People’s Car Project,” had more than 108 million YouKu followers and 28 million active users.

Due to Orlov’s unique approach, the award-winning entrepreneur also secured a keynote speaker position at the esteemed Global Brand Forum.

#3. Advisory Roles

Thanks to the entrepreneur’s prowess, companies look up to unique insights and advice offered in steering leadership through branding, communication, and overcoming operational challenges. With a war-chest that’s built with marketing and entrepreneurship experience, Orlov is a go-to advisor for brands seeking distinctive advantages in cluttered trading environments.

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Kraft Kills “Noods” Campaign After Customer Comments

kraft customer

Ask any stand-up comedian, and they will tell you that the way to find the line is to cross it. But that truism doesn’t always translate well. Just ask Kraft Foods. The company was forced to apologize and pull an online advertising campaign recently after its core target market rebelled against the theme and content of the message.

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BTS Dragged into Politics After Comments


Sometimes, an attempt at being appreciative and inclusive can go sideways. Just ask popular Korean boy band BTS. Recently, the leader of the band, who goes by the stage name RM, drew the ire of many in China for remarks RM made about “sacrifices” his countrymen have made in the past.

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Big 10 Conference to Kick Off in October

college football 2020 trends

In August, college football conferences were asked to peer into their crystal balls and make a prediction about the safety of their student athletes in the age of COVID-19. Several conferences said they were going ahead with their seasons, albeit with some limitations and added regulations. The Big 10, however, home to such NCAA powerhouse programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State, decided that the conference was not going to play, at least until spring 2021, if at all.

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Newton Ready to Build for his Future

nfl pr strat

When Tom Brady went south to Tampa, much of the attention usually paid to the New England Patriots went with him. “Tampa Tom” became the tagline and the hashtag, while New England just went to work, looking for a replacement for the six-time Super Bowl champion.

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Djokovic Ejected From US Open

Djokovic Ejected From US Open

This was already going to be a strange U.S. Open. With some of tennis’ top stars not even bothering to show up for the competition due to COVID-19 concerns, most expected tennis superstar – and number 1 ranked player – Novak Djokovic to run away with the title in the men’s division.

That, as it turned out, was not to be. Instead, Djokovic was tossed out of the tournament after hitting a line judge with an errant ball. At the time, Novak was trailing in the first set of his fourth-round match against Carreno Busta. Angry with himself and his play, while walking off the court, Djokovic smacked a ball, which, according to press reports, “flew right at the line judge, who dropped to her knees…”

The top-seeded player and tournament favorite immediately expressed regret, rushing over to see the line judge. Once the judge was attended to, after a conversation involving the tournament referee and the chair umpire, Djokovic was given a chance to offer his side of the incident. The decision was made that, despite the obvious lack of intent on Novak’s part, the player should be expelled from the tournament.

Speaking to the press after the incident, tournament referee Soeren Friemel said it was clear Djokovic did not act intentionally to strike the line umpire, “He said, ‘Yes, I was angry. I hit the ball. I hit the line umpire. The facts are very clear. But it wasn’t my intent… I didn’t do it on purpose…’ So, (Djokovic) did not believe he should be defaulted for it… We all agree he didn’t do it on purpose, but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire…”

According to the judges, the consequences for those facts were for Djokovic to leave the tournament. After some more discussion, Djokovic eventually agreed to shake hands with Busta and leave the court. While he did not speak with reporters directly after the incident, opting instead to leave the tournament grounds, Djokovic did later release a statement on social media.

“I’m extremely sorry to have caused (the judge) such stress. So unintended. So wrong. Thank God she is feeling okay… This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth as a player and human being… I apologize…”

While it was disappointing for fans and sponsors to see the top seed exit the tournament in that fashion, his statement after the fact seemed to strike the right chord. People understood he made a mistake and regretted it, and it appears that the player’s apology is being accepted as sincere, and his statement about maturing through it is being welcomed.

Djokovic came into the tournament a perfect 26-0 this season, winner of five of the last seven Grand Slam tournaments. In the record books, this will show as a loss, but the presence and message the player sends in the weeks and months ahead will show a lot more.

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Netflix Flexes Talent for Picking Winners and Getting the Royal Treatment

netflix public relations

Ever since Netflix started producing original content, the streaming service began to transform the small screen marketplace. With massive hits like Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, Narcos, Daredevil, and Ozark, the streaming service changed the way people watched – and talked about – television, while transforming the kind of programming people could see on TV. Sure, there have been some “misses” over the years, but for the most part, Netflix has gotten significant to acceptable ROI from its original programming.

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Facebook Doubles Down on Challenging Misinformation

facebook misinformation

Social media titan, Facebook, is continuing to position itself and a tech brand fighting back hard against misinformation. After a fiasco during the last presidential election that brought the company year after year of negative publicity and bruised consumer PR, Facebook is promising to do better, as Americans prepare to vote in the next Presidential election this November.

In a recent statement, Facebook said the platform would be “restricting” new political ads up to a week prior to election day, as well as removing posts that “convey misinformation about COVID-19 and voting.”

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What Ramifications will ESPN Coverage Shift Have on the Brand?

espn coverage

For years now, ESPN’s stable media channels have obeyed a hard and fast rule: “Stick to sports.” That rule was in play a few years ago when the network denounced an employee, Jemele Hill, for tweeting negative comments about the U.S. President. Recently, though, some people, both viewers and professional media critics, have noticed a shift, at least in the application of that policy.

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