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Uncensored CMO

Author: Jon Evans

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The Uncensored CMO was created to explore the good, the bad and quite frankly downright ugly truth about marketing theory & practice.
138 Episodes
Listeners of have shown me time and again that you want more B2B content, so in this episode I'm joined again by the Les and Peter of B2B, Jon Lombardo and Peter Weinberg (previously of the LinkedIn B2B Institute). We discuss why B2B marketing departments need to put their focus on building brands rather than talking about product features, why distinctive assets continue to be an essential part of any brand, and we find out what the B2B boys will be doing now they've left LinkedIn.Find out more about Jon & Peter's new company here: - Start00:49 - The Les and Peter of B2B02:34 - The biggest B2B revelations03:52 - Is B2B really different to B2C?06:28 - Determining buying cycles08:25 - The brand building opportunity in B2B20:05 - Why B2B companies need to create fluent devices30:48 - Why Jon and Peter left LinkedIn to start a new company33:37 - What does Evidenza do38:19 - Why AI-powered market research is going to be revolutionary
Every year, the advertising industry descend upon the south of France to meet up in Cannes over a glass of rosé to celebrate the power of creativity. So I thought it was about time that I caught up with the CEO of Lions, Simon Cook, to discuss why creativity matters.The conversation ranges from how can you make the case for creativity in business while budgets are strained, to what you can expect this year from Cannes Lions.Timestamps00:00 - Start01:37 - Origins of Cannes Lions03:38 - The scale of Cannes Lions05:19 - Creative marketer of the year07:16 - State of the Nation research09:30 - Friction between agencies and clients12:47 - Jon’s two Cannes Lions with Lucozade15:15 - The return of humour at Cannes17:46 - Trends and themes for Cannes Lions 202418:39 - Will we see an AI category at Cannes?20:01 - Big names at Cannes Lions 202421:14 - Cannes for creative effectiveness, or just celebrating the craft?23:56 - Cannes embracing creators25:27 - Jon’s pitch for a low budget category27:57 - Advice on how to win a Lion30:20 - How Simon Cook got the CEO job at Cannes Lions32:40 - Challenges Simon has faced as CEO35:09 - Dealing with criticism of Cannes Lions37:02 - The Cannes Lions legacy38:06 - Simon’s proudest moment
In this episode, we talk about one of my all time favourite brands, Cadbury. They're also one of the best performers on the System1 database, consistently creating five star work. To find out more about the work I'm joined by David Boscawen from VCCP, also known as Bosco, and Gui Ferreira who's recently joined Cadbury, bringing an outside perspective on what it means to take over an iconic brand with 200 years of heritage.Timestamps:00:00 Intro00:46 Gui's background03:27 David's background04:20 How VCCP and Cadbury started working together in 201714:24 David and Gui's favourite Cadbury ads21:08 Compound creativity and consistency31:30 Key to a successful client agency relationship39:55 How to write a good brief47:03 Cadbury business results49:41 Future of the Cadbury brand
In this episode, we're talking about a very, very serious topic. Humour. It turns out humour is not just funny, but it's good for business. In fact, humour in advertising is one of the most effective things you can do to make people remember you and buy your products.I'm catching up with someone who knows all about humour. Trevor Robinson was the creative behind some of the most iconic and funniest ads of all time, including Tango from the 1990s. And I caught up with Trevor to find out more about what makes advertising funny, how do you do it, and what are the funniest ads of all time.Timestamps00:00 - Start00:48 - How Trevor got into advertising03:50 - Landing the Britvic client05:49 - The Tango Ad11:11 - Haribo kids ad20:00 - You need to entertain for commercial gain28:11 - The importance of talent29:30 - How to direct a great ad38:23 - Have we lost humour in the past few years?41:48 - The funniest ads of all time
Monzo Bank has fast become Britain's favourite bank, offering a customer focused online banking approach that consumers were craving. When Monzo started in 2015 they managed to challenge the incumbent banks with their distinctive "hot coral" card and referral scheme. 9 years later they are an established brand in the category and AJ Coyne has been tasked with creating emotional advertising to help continue to grow their market share.Timestamps00:00 - Intro00:44 - AJ’s marketing background02:49 - What can clients learn from agencies07:40 - AJ’s time at Klarna09:48 - Taking the CMO job at Monzo10:49 - The emotion of money14:02 - Focusing on a world class customer experience23:07 - Positioning Monzo as a bank in a sea of neo banks24:09 - Monzo’s new brand campaign27:22 - Embedding Monzo in culture29:15 - Advice for being a young CMO33:05 - How to deal with things going wrong36:33 - Fostering creativity in an organisation37:55 - How AJ is creating the Monzo culture38:45 - AJ’s parting advice
Colleen DeCourcy is the Chief Creative Officer at Snap, having previously spent over a decade at Wieden+Kennedy as co-president and Chief Creative Officer, working on some of the largest brand accounts in the world. In this episode we talk about Colleen's time at W+K, some of her favourite quotes from Dan Wieden and how she's now tackling brand at Snapchat.Timestamps00:00 - Intro01:22 - Colleen DeCourcy background03:30 - Winning creative leader of the decade06:30 - Colleen’s tenure at Wieden+Kennedy13:50 - The TIME Interview18:39 - From retirement to joining Snapchat21:56 - The challenges of Snapchat26:49 - Creating happiness in social media30:02 - The 3D Chess of Being CCO and CMO at Snapchat36:12 - What’s it like working for Evan Spiegel39:07 - Advice to young marketers from Colleen DeCourcy
Scott Galloway is Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business and host of the Prof G and Pivot podcasts. In this episode Prof G lives up to the billing as the most uncensored guest on the podcast ever. We cover lots of ground, including his secret to success with Prof G media, what the #1 skill for all marketers should be, why brand is dead and how to build wealth. We recorded this episode as Scott releases his new book The Algebra of Wealth: A Simple Formula For Success, buy on Amazon UK, or US.LinksJon's LinkedInJon's TwitterWatch the Uncensored CMO on YouTubeTimestamps00:00:00 - Intro00:00:57 - 25 year overnight success00:01:28 - Scott’s biggest failures00:07:38 - How Scott scaled himself00:13:24 - Daniel Kahneman’s impact on Scott00:20:26 - How social media has a negative impact on the world00:28:45 - Scott Galloway on being late00:31:14 - The most important skill for a marketer00:33:32 - The Era of Brand is Dead00:40:19 - Scott’s new book opening Aurelius quote00:42:53 - The power of compound interest00:43:53 - Scott’s advice to young people00:48:33 - Growing your network grows wealth00:56:33 - What does the agency of the future look like?01:03:33 - How to get social media right01:04:50 - Why big firms should stop certification based hiring
Today we're talking about more Boom! and less bust with Scott Morrison, the inspirational, energizing coach that teaches marketing teams how to be more successful, how to turn around business, how to win pitches and more.Timestamps00:00 - Intro00:47 - Where did the name Boom come from01:31 - Scott’s background at Saatchi&Saatchi04:57 - What is Nike’s secret sauce09:48 - Scott’s career failures13:27 - Working on the Diesel brand17:37 - How to go from bust to Boom!40:11 - How to pitch to CMOs
Today we're talking about what makes a great CMO. One of the CMOs that I've admired throughout his career is Craig Inglis, who famously was a CMO for John Lewis for many years, making those ads that you saw at Christmas and really defining the genre of Christmas advertising.Timestamps00:00:00 - Intro00:00:50 - Craig’s marketing background00:02:25 - Craig’s biggest marketing failures00:09:34 - How to have a long tenure as a CMO00:13:24 - How to be a great CMO00:23:53 - Guessing the most emotional John Lewis ads00:28:50 - How to move from rational to emotional strategy in retail00:31:17 - How to sell in creative ideas to rational CEOs and CFOs00:36:00 - The business impact of Monty the Penguin for John Lewis00:38:50 - How John Lewis ads does long and short00:41:00 - Focusing on customer experience00:51:48 - From large consumer brands to B2B00:55:11 - Being the chair of the Marketing Society01:00:34 - Working for The Entertainer
One of my favourite campaigns of all time is "Should've Gone to Specsavers" an idea that has completely transformed the Specsavers business. I speak to their CMO, Peter Wright and the MD of their in house creative team, Nicola Wardell, about how they've taken the idea and produced some of the best advertising on the System1 database.Watch the episode on YouTube.Timestamps:00:00 - Intro00:59 - How Peter and Nicola ended up on Guernsey03:02 - The Specsavers story04:37 - The secret to Specsavers’ success09:04 - Family owned vs corporate business10:38 - How the “should’ve gone to Specsavers” line was created14:17 - The world’s longest running straplines16:17 - The serious case for humour - Tower Block ad20:18 - Specsavers Vet Ad21:14 - A cross channel idea24:29 - Why Specsavers do all creative in house25:52 - How to attract talent to Guernsey29:23 - Being the client and the agency33:56 - Advice for creating an in-house team34:37 - Wear in vs wear out at Specsavers43:08 - Creating the culture at Specsavers50:14 - Launching the audiology business53:38 - How technology will shape the future of the business56:07 - Peter and Nicola’s proudest work
How does someone create advertising for a brand that is over 150 years old? That is exactly what Stephen O'Kelly has been tasked with as Global Brand Director at Guinness, one of the most iconic brands in the world. Recorded from the Connoisseur bar at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, this episode of Uncensored CMO is special. Not just because of how much history is involved in the brand, but the fact that Stephen is a fourth generation employee, carrying on the legacy of his family.
Vikki Ross is a copywriting expert. Having worked for some major brand in the past two decades, she knows a thing or two about branding and tone of voice. This episode is a copywriting masterclass. We start by delving into the principles of great copy, before looking at it in action with our very own Copy Safari (where we go out into the world to find real ads), and then round off by asking the big question; is AI going to replace copywriters?LinksEats, Shoots and Leaves bookElements of F*cking Style bookBland BookVikki's TwitterVikki's LinkedInTimestamps00:00:00 - Intro00:00:59 - How Vicki got into copywriting00:03:53 - Advice for people wanting to get into copywriting00:07:34 - Why are car ads so bad?00:09:39 - Is copywriting intimidating?00:11:26 - Why copywriters need a good brief00:14:50 - When copy goes wrong00:18:17 - The principles of great copy00:23:03 - This sentence has five words00:25:49 - Power of a six word story00:26:47 - #CopySafari00:30:13 - Prime - It’s Right Here00:31:58 - Nurofen and Nuromol00:35:28 - Why marketers should work with lawyers00:38:39 - Uber Eats - Just a tap away00:41:19 - Subway - Saver Subs00:43:00 - Lebara Mobile - Blady Blah00:44:27 - Sacla - Spaghetti You Won’t Forgetti00:45:56 - - Meet your power suite00:47:32 - TFL - See it, say it, sorted00:49:42 - Greatest copywriting examples of of recent times00:52:00 - Vikki’s favourite campaigns she’s worked on00:55:05 - Will AI take copywriter’s jobs?01:03:28 - Advice for clients on copy
We're doing things a little bit differently this week. I've just recorded a webinar with Mark Ritson on advertising effectiveness with a very special guest, the VP for global marketing, Gui Ferreira from Mondelez. They are responsible for some of the epic Cadbury work that has scored right at the top of the System1 charts. We discussed what makes their advertising so good, what are the principles of advertising effectiveness and what can we learn?Watch the ads referenced in this podcast:Cadbury GarageOreo TwistTimestamps:00:00 Intro03:23 Why creativity matters04:31 Investing in creativity08:00 Being forced into short term tactics10:46 How to write a better brief14:45 Distinctive assets (Oreo Ad)20:10 Cadbury Garage Ad22:07 Orlando Chart23:21 Cadbury Generosity27:24 How Cadbury approaches creative development29:22 Data vs creative judgement32:53 How to measure creative40:15 Q&A
Today I'm joined by Mike Cessario, the founder and CEO of Liquid Death, a water brand worth $1.4b. With the use of creative brand marketing and punk aesthetic, Mike was able to break into the biggest beverage category in the US and disrupt market dominated by huge brands such as Coke and Pepsi. This is a truly inspirational story on how you can defy the odds, break convention, disrupt a category and do it all on a shoestring budget. If you're a challenger brand, this is a must listen.Timestamps00:00:00 - Intro00:01:10 - Mike’s background00:06:24 - Mike’s brandy startup00:10:33 - Navigating regulation00:12:46 - The benefits of being an outsider distrupting an industry00:14:57 - Coming up with the idea for Liquid Death00:19:30 - How to create an innovative brand00:23:48 - Selling the Liquid Death concept00:27:08 - Raising money for Liquid Death00:29:50 - Launching on Amazon00:30:52 - Generating demand in the early days00:31:46 - Figuring out distribution networks for the drinks industry00:35:45 - Why limited budgets helped Liquid Death grow00:44:11 - Why D2C was pivotal for Liquid Death00:46:12 - Liquid Death’s unique Super Bowl campaign00:49:54 - The power of the Liquid Death merch00:53:00 - Innovation for the future of Liquid Death00:54:15 - Scaling and exit00:56:02 - Having famous investors00:57:29 - Maintaining the challenger spirit01:01:58 - Mike’s advice to aspiring founders
As Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle Taite leads Intuit Mailchimp’s Marketing teams and is responsible for the business’ end-to-end brand, acquisition, performance, product, and lifecycle marketing activities globally in addition to Mailchimp's in-house creative agency Wink. Joining just after Mailchimp's $12b acquisition, Michelle had the task of integrating their marketing into the wider Intuit team.Intro00:00 - Intro00:48 - Starting out desigining sneakers02:39 - From New Balance to Unilever04:13 - Doing purpose work for Dove05:15 - Michelle’s favourite work at Unilever06:27 - From CPG to SaaS09:29 - What is Mailchimp and why is it successful11:06 - Staying close to the customer13:26 - How to market to marketers14:54 - Email is not dead16:15 - Integrating an acquired company20:40 - Performance vs brand marketing25:16 - How AI will enhance creativity29:20 - Mailchimp's distinctive assets33:21 - How marketing influences the product35:56 - How to market to marketers38:35 - Obsessing about the 95% not in market40:45 - Top CMO advice from Michelle
Jo Shoesmith is the Global Chief Creative Officer at Amazon. She leads lead brand creative, design, production, social, and brand identity functions, as well as agency partnerships, in the largest fixed marketing portfolio investment at Amazon. 00:00 - Intro01:04 - From rural Australia to Los Angeles01:58 - From agency to client side04:44 - That famous Jeff Bezos marketing quote05:50 - What does the Chief Creative Officer at Amazon do07:41 - Creating emotional, brand building advertising09:22 - Using the brand distintive assets10:33 - Creating inclusive advertising13:05 - Advice for writing a really good brief14:43 - Tenets to inform great creative15:45 - Benefits of having in house creative (and working with agencies)17:42 - Managing global creative teams19:36 - What’s it like making a Super Bowl ad22:42 - Innovation within Amazon24:12 - Making things happen in a huge business25:13 - Simplifying complex creative ideas28:23 - Work Jo is most proud of31:39 - How Amazon are using AI33:44 - Advice to a young Jo
Today I'm speaking with Whyte and Mackay Marketing Director Janice McIntosh and Mr President (their agency) CCO Jon Gledstone about the launch of their new campaign for The Woodsman brand. The "Well Earned" campaign score a whopping 4.8 stars on the System1 test and saw the launch of a brand character, Barry the Beaver, in a move that defies convention in the traditional Whisky category. From internal battles to hurdles presented by the regulators, both Whyte and Mackay and Mr President had to overcome some barriers to bring this campaign to life.Timestamps00:00 - Intro01:01 - Inventing The Woodsman01:42 - Creating a brand dominated by big players04:00 - Standing out in a product dominated category05:46 - Balancing demand and supply06:31 - Availablity of the brand07:11 - Overcoming perception barriers09:15 - Coming up with the “Well Earned” positioning13:06 - How to sell in breaking convention16:00 - How the agency helped sell the idea18:29 - Creating a new character20:02 - Characters vs Celebrities21:07 - Using humour in a traditional category23:23 - Creating a physical barry the beaver24:18 - The importance of craft in the ad26:07 - Staying on the right side of regulations28:23 - A good client agency relationship30:09 - How important is testing and data to back up creative decisions31:53 - The importance of mental and physical availability33:32 - The results35:01 - What’s next for the brand?
Bozoma Saint John is a Hall of Fame Inducted Marketing Executive, Entrepreneur and Author of her memoir, The Urgent Life. Her career has included roles as the Global CMO of Netflix, CMO of Endeavor, CBO of Uber, Head of Marketing of Apple Music & iTunes and Head of Music and Entertainment Marketing at PepsiCo.Follow BozInstagramLinkedInTwitter/XHer book - This Urgent LifeFollow JonJon's LinkedInJon's TwitterWatch the Uncensored CMO on YouTubeTimestamps00:00 - Start01:34 - Why Boz wrote such an emotional book05:02 - The reception to the book08:32 - Encountering Spike Lee13:32 - Making decisions based on intuition16:05 - Working for founder led brands20:36 - Leading marketing at large organisations23:55 - Managing the relationship with the CEO and CFO28:42 - Hire Boz, Get Boz - how to have confidence in yourself31:57 - Why you shouldn’t “play the game”33:06 - Dawn always comes; dealing with grief41:09 - Making the choice to change your life45:11 - From corporate jobs to entrepreneur48:24 - What’s next for Boz?
Today we’re diving deep into the high-stakes world of Super Bowl advertising with a very special guest—Ricardo Marques, the VP of Marketing for Michelob ULTRA. Ricardo, a veteran with 19 years at AB Inbev and the marketing maestro behind Michelob ULTRA's growth. He is here to share his playbook on how to score big during the most anticipated advertising event on American television.In this episode we get an exclusive look at how Michelob ULTRA prepares for the Super Bowl. Ricardo breaks down the importance of the Super Bowl as a platform, not just for audience reach but for creating conversations and excitement around the brand.But is Super Bowl advertising really worth the investment? Ricardo weighs in on the multifaceted approach to this question, assessing the creative, the conversion, and the long game of brand relevance. Key performance indicators, the intricate balance of novelty versus authenticity, and the seismic impact of this year's Super Bowl on Michelob ULTRA's growth trajectory are all on the table.Timestamps00:00 - Intro00:55 - Why the Super Bowl is such a landmark event for advertisers03:07 - Ricardo’s background03:56 - The best advertisers in Super Bowl history05:05 - Michelob’s Super Bowl history06:03 - Launch before game day, or on the day?07:23 - Michelob’s Ad for 202410:04 - Is a Super Bowl ad worth $7m?11:09 - KPIs for a successful Super Bowl Ad11:48 - How involved are distributors in the process12:50 - The 2024 Michelob ULTRA Super Bowl Ad with Leo Messi16:14 - The briefing process for a Super Bowl ad17:25 - Brand positioning for a more premium beer18:39 - The core ingredients for a successful ad21:02 - The impact of celebrities in ads22:46 - Advice for people making their first big budget campaign27:26 - Selling in the campaign internally28:52 - Tying campaigns into global events31:25 - Using AI in activations33:57 - McEnroe vs McEnroe36:35 - Lap Against the Legends38:14 - Blind man commentating on NBA game41:45 - How has the brand performed from the campaigns42:38 - The secret to sustained success as a marketer47:29 - Who is Ricardo supporting for the Super Bowl?
Today we're joined by Jessica Myers, CMO of The Very Group. Previously Jess was CMO at Metro Bank and has since made the transition to the highly competitive retail market. At Very, she has overseen the launch of a brand new fluent device; the pink flamingoes. The campaign featuring the new characters scored a whopping 5.7 stars on the System1 scoring platform, Test Your Ad, amongst the very best ads made this year.Timestamps00:00 - Intro00:52 - Jess’ background06:11 - Marketing academy fellowship07:13 - From big brand to challenger brand10:46 - The modern marketer11:57 - From finance to retail15:31 - Dealing with the challenges of joining a new business18:03 - Nailing positioning22:09 - Doing long term marketing in retail23:39 - Agency selection process for Very27:22 - Understanding your customer31:50 - The power of testing creative36:36 - The increasing standard of advertising38:28 - Creating a new fluent device - The Flamingoes43:20 - The future of the brand46:08 - Jess’ advice to aspiring marketers