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10 things I loved in October; Wendy's, Nike & Levi's

By Lindsay Pattison, Worldwide CEO

October 30, 2019 | 5 min read

Each month, WPP's chief client officer Lindsay Pattison shares her favorite client developments in the world of creativity and technology. Here she takes a look back at what caught her eye in October.

Lindsay Pattison

10 things I loved in October; Wendy's, Nike & Levi's

1) There are so many gems to be found in this podcast. Listen and hear Kurt Kane, chief commercial officer of Wendy’s, chat about taking a brand from 0 to 60 personality-wise, why people on social ask Wendy’s for help with their maths homework, and how being flexible but relentless got him where he is today.

2) The subscription obsession shows no sign of slowing, and I love the way KFC has cheekily adopted the commerce model as their own. Pay $75 for a ‘Seasoned Ticket’ on StubHub and you get a weekly order of 48 KFC chicken wings for nine weeks. A clever move as football season in the US kicks off.

3) This is a great read. As Jack Ma steps down from Alibaba, David Blair (global chief executive of Fitch) analyses what made the flamboyant innovator so successful. The most surprising bit? Nearly half of Alibaba’s senior management team are women – unlike many of its big tech counterparts in the West. Oh, and he likes to dance onstage to Billie Jean at conferences…

4) Nike partnered with Deep Local on an immersive experience at the House of Innovation NYC to launch Nike’s new Joyride Running Shoe. Think immersive games that inspire running, jumping, bouncing, and explosive laughter. There is no better example of turning a functional product attribute into an emotional experience. Warning: May result in extreme joy.

5) Ok this isn’t client news but it’s an excellent idea, punchily put. Sue Unerman, MediaCom’s chief transformation officer, proposes a new interview technique – the classic psychology marshmallow test – to end our addiction to short term targets. Because short-term delivery does not always mean long-term growth…

6) KitKat has been on a bit of a roll recently – last month we heard about the UK’s super-premium Christmas KitKats, this month we hear KitKat Japan replaces their plastic wrapper with a strengthened paper wrapper for good. Japan is KitKat’s largest market with 4 million bars being sold per day – a fitting place for the brand to take a step towards its sustainability goals.

7) There’s no doubt Disney wields huge influence as a business and a brand. Here Bob Iger, their CEO and chairman, muses over how that influence gives them a role to play in policy, politics and social change. Earlier this year he said it would be “very difficult” for the company to continue filming in Georgia if the state’s highly restrictive abortion law is enacted – because his Disney employees would simply not work there. Here he opens up further on why his employees expect him to take a stand.

8) Levi Strauss, American Eagle and Burberry are the three fashion brands with commitments that will actually bring them in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, according to a new report from Standearth. This article does a great job of explaining why labels need to invest more in the sustainability of materials, which contribute over half of most brands’ greenhouse gas output.

9) Big news this month – the Nike CEO and president Mark Parker will be stepping down after 13 years and former eBay CEO John Donahoe will be stepping up to take Nike into its next chapter. Parker has done immense work for our industry – schooling us all in the power of good design, constant innovation, connected retail and purpose-driven marketing. But I’m excited to see where Donahoe will take Nike next.

10) As if we needed more proof that commerce is a high growth area, Verizon announced earlier this month it will pivot its publishing strategy to commerce. They have a host of new products and programming changes, from shoppable video player units to Fireplace, a CMS system designed to make it easier for Verizon Media Group’s writers and content producers to add products and interactive, shoppable elements to stories.


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