Data & Tech

Coworking with Michele Morelli

She’s SVP, marketing and communications at Foursquare.
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Michele Morelli

· 3 min read

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

Michele Morelli is SVP of marketing and communications at Foursquare. Prior to Foursquare, she served in marketing and communications roles at AOL, Oath, and Toluna Corporate.

Favorite project you’ve worked on? The AOL Newfront of 2016 stands out as my favorite project, as it represented a groundbreaking shift in how advertisers engage with digital content. My team and I orchestrated a transformation of New York City’s South Street Seaport into a vibrant block party, showcasing unique experiences and offerings from each of our brands, including HuffPost and TechCrunch. Witnessing the culmination of our efforts on site, with thousands of attendees interacting with our creations against the backdrop of performances by artists like Snoop Dogg, was amazing. The event garnered immense social impressions, surpassing even the NBA All-Star Game that year.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? My favorite example of effective advertising isn’t actually a campaign; it’s a 2015 Geico commercial. Back when YouTube initially launched, users couldn’t skip ads, so when the announcement came that users would soon have the option to skip after five seconds, it sent ripples through the advertising industry. Many creatives and media agencies were concerned about how to capture viewers’ attention without the guaranteed “eyeball time.” What made the Geico commercial stand out was its direct approach to this change. It embraced the shift head-on and became a part of the cultural conversation. The ad acknowledged the upcoming skip option by saying, “You can’t skip this ad because it’s already over,” before launching into a scene where a dog takes over a family dinner party. It was engaging, funny, and cleverly used the limitations of the platform to its advantage.

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One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile: I’m obsessive about consumer privacy and personal data collection.

What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Least? In a surprise to no one, I’m feeling most optimistic about all the benefits AI and LLMs—like OpenAI's GPT-3—offer. I see a broad range of capabilities that can significantly benefit marketing organizations. To be fair, AI has been used by organizations and frankly, in marketing, for years, but it’s the acceleration of the user-friendly interface that can interpret and act on simple language that has really captured imaginations. The most obvious and exciting uses for current AI include personalized content creation, predictive analytics, and ad targeting and optimization.

As for the trend I’m least excited about, anything where there is essentially a monopoly—or large corporations overindexing their share of the market. I see monopolistic competition as something that can stifle innovation and impend the natural acceleration of technological evolution.

What’s one marketing-related podcast/social account/series you’d recommend? I’ve been enjoying the Remarkable Marketing podcast lately. The show brings on new guests on every episode to talk about how today’s media ecosystem is shaping marketing trends everywhere. It’s a great creative exercise to get into the mind of other marketing leaders and understand how they are interacting with emerging media.

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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.