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Building a Cult Brand, Ad Effectiveness, and Love ❤

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This week, a couple of folks from our team (myself included) are headed to Dana Point, CA, for the ANA Brand Masters Conference.

The stated theme of the event is "Highly Effective Brands that Drive Results,” and the agenda is certainly tailored to this theme, with a heavy focus on:

  • Segmentation data/targeting
  • Customer experience
  • Proving ROI

This may be my subconscious at work (the conference does start the day after Valentine’s Day), but I’ve spotted what seems to be another common thread throughout the agenda…and that is: human emotion.

Marketing magic happens when marketers use real consumer insights to tap into genuine human emotion.

As made evident by the investments advertisers have recently made at The Grammys and Super Bowl, there is nothing more emotionally evocative than music.

More personally, there’s a reason people have created mixtapes, burned CDs, and built playlists for people (and occasions) they care most about. Music = emotion.

ANA Brand Masters: What We’re Looking Forward to Most

MAX, we’ve demonstrated how bringing real consumer insights and data to bare, as it relates to people’s taste in music, helps to tie that human emotion back to brand effectiveness and real results.

It’s these perfect combinations of left brain/right brain, data and humanity, science and art, that drive the most meaningful results for everyone, including consumers.

Following this line of thinking, here are the sessions at ANA Brand Masters we are most excited to attend:


1. Taco Bell: Building A Mass Market, Indie Cult Brand 

Marisa Thalberg, CMO of Taco Bell, will share her perspective on how Taco Bell achieves success by navigating between the requirements of a broad-reaching, multi-billion dollar mass market business… and the qualities that make it a cult-like, culture-centric brand that transcends its category.


  • Marisa Thalberg (Chief Marketing Officer, Taco Bell Corporation)


2. Let’s Talk: Advertising Effectiveness

In a fireside chat, Aaron Fetters, SVP, comScore Marketing Solutions and a leading advertiser will debate whether or not the industry is too focused on targeting and validation and not enough on an advertising effectiveness.


  • Aaron Fetters (Senior Vice President of Marketing Solutions, comScore)
  • Nathan James (Senior Manager, Analytics, PepsiCo North America Beverages)


3. Love - It's What Makes A Subaru, A Subaru

Moving away from rational sales messages, Subaru embraced an emotional approach by positioning the car as the co-conspirator to living a bigger life. A move that has propelled Subaru from the best kept secret to the darling of the automotive industry. It’s amazing what a little love can do.


  • Alan Bethke (Senior Vice President, Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc.)
  • Marcus Fischer (President, Chief Strategy Officer, Carmichael Lynch)

Are you attending the ANA Brand Masters Conference? If so, which sessions are you looking forward to most?

PS- Keep an eye out for us…Carlos Diaz and Rosemary Waldrip will both be there!

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