Lyft and Hulu find a Runaway Success, Apple nabs Shazam, What Makes a Perennial Seller, and a Spotlight on Melissa Waters

Marketing Trends 12/12

The quest for all of us as brand marketers is to drive conversation, because we know if we are driving conversation as a brand people are talking about us, people are having a great experience, and sharing that with people, then we are going to get the growth we are looking for — Melissa Waters, VP of Marketing, Lyft

Marketing News

Apple confirmed that they are buying Shazam [TechCrunch]

How Twitter could make a big comeback in 2018 [DigiDay]

Contagious Founder Paul Kemp Robertson On The Future Of Advertising [Forbes]

Lessons Learned

In our 13 Best Books for 2017, we highlighted Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday. The author of Ego is the Enemy answers the question: What makes something sell years, decades, or even centuries later? A worthwhile read to any marketer or content creator.

“People claim to want to do something that matters, yet they measure themselves against things that don’t, and track their progress not in years but in microseconds. They want to make something timeless, but they focus instead on immediate payoffs and instant gratification.” ― Ryan Holiday


The Art Of The Arc: Storytelling Styles Brands Can Adapt From Film And TV [CMO]

“With more money pouring into digital media at the expense of traditional broadcast channels, marketers have had to change the way they create video content. Much of the talk, and execution, has been around short-form video — so much so that you might be forgiven for thinking there’s little room for long-form content. But you’d be wrong.” — Harvey Cossell.

Read the rest on

Original Content, Series and Shows

We have been watching Hulu’s new original series, Marvel’s Runaways. A different spin on some of new Marvel characters, Runaways tells the stories of six high school kids who suddenly realize their parents are supervillains. Plus they might have magic powers.

What was extremely interesting from a marketing perspective, is that the show is sponsored in part by Los Angeles and Lyft. The show is shot in LA and the characters take Lyft’s everywhere with natural product placement (at least to the trained eye).

I applaud Lyft and Hulu for making sensible nods to the product in a show that engages a younger audience. I’m curious how many cross-promotional pieces of the campaign there are. I would imagine that Lyft is retargeting followers of Runaways with Facebook/Snapchat ads right? Perhaps the actresses and actors will pull up to a future red carpet in a Lyft? Tons of possibilities and the show content is evergreen for years.

Lyft has been a leader in original content that adds value to their community for years. Very cool to see them leading from the front with Hulu. I hope it will inspire more brands to take similar chances.


Melissa Waters is the Vice-President of Marketing for Lyft, who took over an 80 person marketing team department after one day on the job and shifted the advertising focus.

She added to her resume this year as the #14 Business Insider Innovative CMO and member of the AdWeek 50.

Here she sits down with Interbrand Global CEO Jez Frampton to discuss the future of mobility:

Marketing Q&A

Q: What are a few other popular versions of product placement or branded content?

A: Product placement was a classic Spielbergian-move because it has FANTASTIC lifetime value. Here are a few of our faves:


Know a marketing leader who wants to join Lyft as they improve people’s lives through the best transportation? The VP of Product Marketing position is open! Check it out.


Marketing Trends is written and curated by Ian Faison, Chief Content Officer of The Mission. The Mission creates original content, shows, and series for brands and distributes them to our audience of millions. To learn more, connect with us here. Or you can connect with me @ianfaison or email ian [at] themission [dot] co.

Stories, podcasts, and videos to make smart people smarter.

Subscribe to get our best content.