134: Jill Baskin’s new creative vision for Hershey

This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Jill Baskin, CMO at the Hershey Company, where she’s been for just over a year now. Previously, Baskin spent 20 years on the agency side before moving to the client side, joining Mondelēz International. There, she worked on brands like Oreo, Halls, Chips Ahoy! and Cadbury Chocolate.

During the course of their discussion, Baskin talks about the reorganization at Hershey and her development of a small but nimble and effective in-house creative agency. And she also discusses the recent campaign work, “Heartwarming the World,” for the Hershey brand itself, what it’s like to work with nontraditional partners, and her views on the future of the agency model.

Baskin also talked about the impact creating Hershey’s in-house agency has had on people at the company and their partners. “It brings an air of magic to brand management,” says Baskin. “It is so great for the organization. People are so excited by this, and so excited by being more hands-on and more direct and quicker. And for my brand partners, it lets them see the ‘making of the sausage,’ which, I think, is not a bad thing.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include: 

  • From selling ads in the Yellow Pages to Hershey Company CMO: Baskin on how she got started and the transitions in her career along the way. ([1:29])
  • Baskin’s focus on reorganization at Hershey: “I saw it as my job to bring everyone together in service of the brands.” ([3:24])
  • Baskin’s take on how an in-house agency should work. ([5:03])
  • Baskin talks about the ways her in-house agency has been able to move quickly, capitalize on the moment, and connect with consumers. ([10:37])
  • Hershey’s creative collaboration with nontraditional partners. ([14:19])
  • “Heartwarming the World” — Baskin talks about new work for Hershey that is “really right for the brand.” ([18:46])
  • Hershey, Mustafa and Ahmad, and the inimitable Bob Williams. ([21:05])
  • Baskin’s high school debating experience has had a lasting impact on her career: “I swear, I’ve taken it to every job since.” ([27:33])
  • Baskin on the future of marketing: “I think that we’re going to start buying ideas and not whole teams of people.” ([33:17]

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