The Current Podcast

The Current Podcast

The Current Podcast returns for another season of insights and inspiration from marketing leaders of the world’s most influential brands and agencies. Take a deep dive into the worlds of TV, media, and data-driven marketing, all explained in plain English, alongside co-hosts George Slefo and Ilyse Liffreing. New episodes released every Wednesday.

Episodes

August 10, 2022 24 min
To David Cohen, an industry veteran who now serves as the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s chief executive officer, the media landscape is clear. “The future of video will be streamed,” Cohen says on The Current Podcast. “There is no doubt in my mind that it is going to happen. The main question is how much the industry needs to evolve from now until then.” Cohen breaks down the biggest challenges around being at the center ...
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Campbell Soup Company is synonymous with memories of Mom making soup. Nowadays, the 153-year-old company still wants to hold on to that authentic branding, but to do so in the modern age. Campbell has been refining its data-driven strategies with Marci Raible, vice president of integrated marketing, at the helm. “It’s really easy to ask for a lot of data, but having the strategy for the data you need and how you are going to ex...
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U.S. politicians across the aisle, from ultra-Libertarian to extreme Republican, have used digital advertising to fuel their presidential campaigns. With the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election fast approaching, the time is ripe for new strategies. On the latest episode of The Current Podcast, meet two men who sit — Wizard of Oz style — behind the curtain of political advertising: Billy McBeath and Mike Schneider. McBea...
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Fifteen years into his celebrated career as chief creative officer at BBDO, Greg Hahn — like millions of other people — lost his job at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two months later, however, he launched Mischief @ No Fixed Address, which found immediate success and recently was crowned Ad Age’s Agency of the Year. “That’s kind of mind-blowing,” Hahn, who also acts as chief creative officer of the agency, says on The...
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July 13, 2022 20 min
Not too many people can say they’ve gone from working as a chemical engineer to chief marketing officer, though that’s exactly what Discover CMO Kate Manfred has done. In our latest episode of The Current Podcast, Manfred discusses her unconventional career path from working as an engineer and then consultant to her current role as CMO of Discover. “To make good, robust decisions, you really need to embrace the math and data tha...
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July 6, 2022 18 min
Twelve years into his career, Mike Law took a self-described “sabbatical” from advertising holding company Dentsu when he moved client side to be Director of Media at Pfizer. In the third season of The Current Podcast, Law describes how he’s using the lessons he learned at Pfizer in his second go-around with Dentsu, where he now serves as CEO of the award-winning agency, Carat U.S. Law also touches on the recent work he’s most p...
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To L’Oréal executive Shenan Reed, advertising is part art and part science. Reed went from working with the beauty brand on the agency side to taking over as L’Oréal’s senior VP and head of media in 2020. During that time, she has emphasized approaching customers as people instead of targets and making sure the consumer experience is the best it can be.  “It’s inspiring to be inside and understand how an organization like ours is...
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Parents with children over ten will likely know Roblox as a gaming platform, which bills itself as the ultimate virtual universe that allows create and share experiences with friends. But as the concept of the metaverse has gone mainstream, Roblox is already positioned as a metaverse — a universe of millions of immersive experiences that attracts over 47 million users a day — half of which are now older than 13 years old. Within Ro...
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Dubbing itself “the world’s most global bank,” Citi is evolving its approach to be on the frontlines of marketing, as it strives to set the brand apart from others in the competitive financial services category. Leading with a sharp, data-driven digital marketing strategy, Citi relies on its brand efforts to connect with customers and differentiate the banking experience. In this episode, we speak with Mike Venables, the head of me...
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Marriott is synonymous with travel. With its extensive portfolio of hotel brands and styles and services that suit every type of traveler, it’s no wonder it is leading the way in reengaging travelers. In this episode, we speak with Nicolette Harper, VP of Media at Marriott to hear how the company planned its global relaunch after more than a year of travel restrictions. As wanderlust builds amongst consumers around the world — even...
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February 2, 2022 22 min
As a top-five automaker, and recently ranked #1 in the U.S. by Reputation, Nissan is no stranger to staying ahead of opportunities around the bend. This is especially true under the leadership of U.S. CMO, Allyson Witherspoon. Whether it’s debuting a new e-commerce platform to meet customer demand during a time when dealership visits were impossible, or reimagining launches for 10 new models this year, Allyson leads Nissan’s market...
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At more than 160 years old, Anheuser-Busch — parent company to more than 100 brands including international linchpins like Budweiser, Bud Light and Stella Artois— has a sizable hold on the beer market and yet still innovates, building out its e-commerce initiatives and brand portfolio in recent years into categories like craft beer, seltzer, and canned wines. The company’s adaptability to the ever-changing market and consumer trend...
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January 19, 2022 19 min
About 450 million people visit Pinterest every month to be inspired by pinners’ boards of images and videos featuring everything from wedding dresses to making quick meals. The 11-year-old visual discovery engine has grown its e-commerce capabilities, brand partnerships and continues to add ad formats and features for its expanding creator community. Pinterest's large female user base and its approach to e-commerce have inspire...
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There are a lot of water brands on the market. In fact, the market for bottled water in the United States is estimated to be around $20 billion. And yet, the founders of Liquid Death Mountain Water found an innovative way to enter this market with an in-your-face brand — in a can with a skull on it — that blows away all preconceptions about how to market water. In just four short years, the startup has amassed more Instagram follow...
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As one of the world’s largest producers of electronics, it’s no surprise Samsung’s own mobile marketing is setting the bar. Whether it’s launching its new innovative take on the flip phone with bold new creative, or showcasing its products on reality shows, or digging into data to understand how to best speak to consumers, Samsung’s mobile marketing is on the frontlines of creativity. In this episode, we speak with Janet Lee, VP/CM...
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October 13, 2021 25 min
Visible is an all-digital wireless carrier owned by Verizon, marketed to customers who want a more flexible phone plan that won’t break the bank. It was recently named the “Best Telecom Brand” by Adweek. Since the pandemic, the company has cultivated and expanded its younger, tech-savvy customer base thanks to the marketing leadership of Minjae Ormes, the former Visible CMO who is now at LinkedIn. In this edition of The Current pod...
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In this edition of The Current podcast, we hear from Josh Brandau, the CMO at the Los Angeles Times. Brandau, who comes from the agency world, recently took on the title, and he’s tasked with growing the celebrated publication’s digital subscribers from 400,000 to 1 million in a world where newsprint is declining. With publications caught between subscriptions and digital ads, Brandau offers his insights into how the LA Times is na...
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Spotify started podcast wars. And before it was the podcasting behemoth it is today, it built its name and reputation as a music streaming service. From a small start-up in Sweden, the company has grown to become the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with over 365 million users, including 165 million subscribers, across 178 markets. In this edition of The Current podcast, we hear from Jay Richman, the VP, he...
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Doug Milliken joined The Clorox Company in 1987 before “digital” was even a strategy. After 34 years, he’s now the VP of marketing and digital transformation at the company. Milliken has seen Clorox expand and diversify into the global powerhouse it is today, with a portfolio of brands ranging from its namesake bleach to Burt’s Bees to Kingsford charcoal. We sit down with Milliken and ask him what’s the point of capturing first-par...
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In June 2020, Zena Arnold became the Global Chief Digital and Marketing Officer at Kimberly-Clark — the CPG giant famous for its paper goods such as Cottonelle, Kleenex and Huggies. Its products are used by more than a quarter of the world’s population in 175 countries. Facing the challenge of joining the company amid a global pandemic, Arnold brought lessons from her years as a Google executive into a classic CPG environment. In t...
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