Data & Tech

Coworking with Lindsey Lionheart O’Brien

She's CMO of Mozilla.
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Lindsey Lionheart O’Brien

· 4 min read

Each week, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Lindsey Lionheart O’Brien is the chief marketing officer of Mozilla, where she markets products like Mozilla VPN, Firefox Relay, and the Firefox browser. Prior to her role at Mozilla, she led corporate-level marketing for Facebook and at GoldieBlox, an organization centered on bridging the gender gap in STEM.

Favorite project you’ve worked on? Our five-day Berlin Reclaim the Internet event in October 2023. This marked Mozilla’s 25th anniversary and brought together a diverse group of global artists, activists, luminaries, and technologists to celebrate what an open, accessible, and supportive internet can achieve. As part of this campaign, we also celebrated empowering individuals who are shaping the future of the internet to be happier and healthier at Mozilla’s first-ever Rise 25 Awards. We honored 25 people who are shaping the future of the internet by creating technologies that are more ethical, responsible, and equitable and content that is more inclusive and diverse. I was able to read and hear inspiring stories from artists, activists, filmmakers, builders, engineers, and technical people worldwide who hold the same values of creating a safer internet.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? One of my favorite campaigns from 2023 would have to be Mattel’s work in the promotion of the Barbie movie. When I was at GoldieBlox, I spent a good amount of time talking about how Barbie was problematic for girls and wanting to change the futures of girls who may otherwise have Barbie-only upbringings. But with the Barbie movie, Mattel managed to transform that brand into something that means the opposite. They took a huge risk, but it clearly paid off.

Another favorite of mine includes the spectacular feat that both Taylor Swift and Beyoncé managed with their billion-dollar global tours. Both are their own brands outside of just their music, and to take their global tours and turn them into documentary films was a genius move. They really know how to market themselves and their brands in a way that connects directly with their fans, making their fans marketers in and of themselves.

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One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile: I’m a big fan of street art—so much so that any time I travel, I look up maps with locations for street art in the cities I’m in. One of my favorite accounts to follow is @bona_berlin on Instagram—it’s wildly colorful, creative, and inspiring. My dream is to one day open a gallery and workspace to help support street artists.

What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Least? I’m looking forward to how transparent, ethical, and privacy-conscious marketing evolves during a time when our data has become one of the most valuable currencies in the online world. The current use of our data is often clouded in mystery, and consumers are increasingly concerned about their lack of control over how their data is used. This trend allows marketers to show the importance of creating a safer internet for people through privacy-preserving advertising. Of course, there are downsides when personal data falls into the wrong hands.

I am least optimistic about the outdated marketing approaches that disregard the importance of user control over data. We must always prioritize people’s data and privacy; failing to do so could lead to a disconnect between marketers and consumers. As we stand at this fork in the road, we have two options: either recreate the wheel with the same faulty systems that exist today, just using different technologies, or opt for progress and build a better model with more privacy built in.

What’s one marketing-related podcast/social account/series you’d recommend? This podcast is not necessarily marketing-focused, but I love listening to Las Culturistas with Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers. As marketers, it’s critical for us to stay in touch with what is happening around the world, especially as digital marketing becomes more and more challenging. We must consume content that taps into the zeitgeist to make sure we are on trend with what everyone is currently interested in. This podcast does a great job of doing that and really has its fingers on the pulse of what everyone is talking about—plus, it has two hilarious entertainers.

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Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.