Here Are 6 TV Shows CMOs Think You Should Be Watching

cmo tv mobile

There’s no question that Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) know good content when they see it. The delivery of a strong message that aligns with a brand’s purpose is essentially the foundation of what the position can bring to a company. They can draw inspiration from competitors, market research and even the media they personally consume. 

The TV shows that marketing gurus watch can be a true reflection of their passions outside the workplace. On The CMO Podcast, host Jim Stengel (former CMO at Procter & Gamble) interviews top CMOs about what motivates them and how they approach their work. He also probes them about their personal interests and recommendations on books, podcasts, craft brews and, yes, television. 

Here are what these top executives are watching now. 

1. 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians'

Kourtney and Kim Kardashian on set of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ in 2012. / Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Recommended by: Ann Lewnes - CMO and EVP at Adobe

Not what you expected a C-suite exec to be watching? Think again. Adobe’s Ann Lewnes watches at least an hour of television each night, and the Kardashians are one of her go-to indulgences. Besides the never-ending drama the family offers, Lewnes says the show surprisingly has workplace applications, as well. 

“Nobody knows marketing more than the Kardashians, so I learn from them. I learn from them and from Kanye,” Lewnes told Stengel.   

2. 'Street Food'

street food
Production still from 'Street Food' in Taiwan. / M.Synchrony/Netflix

Recommended by: Lorraine Barber-Miller - SVP and CMO at ADP

Netflix’s Street Food gives viewers a taste of local cuisine from countries around the world. From Thailand to Japan to South Korea, the show’s creators take viewers on a cultural journey. For Lorraine Barber-Miller of ADP, the show touches upon her many interests outside of work. 

“A world that had been unknown of me has kind of opened up as I’ve seen the importance of street food in Southeast Asia and how important it is to culture and the legacy in keeping that culture alive,” Barber-Miller said. “I’m probably fascinated by the show lately because of my love of cultures and food and really understanding legacy long term and how things thrive over centuries and generations.”   

3. 'Dead to Me'

dead to me
Production still of Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate from season one of ‘Dead to Me.’ / Netflix

Recommended by: Ann Lewnes - CMO and EVP at Adobe

Though Lewnes does love the Kardashians, she also watches a wide spectrum of television shows and is a self-proclaimed “total TV crazy hound.” She just watched Netflix’s drama Dead to Me, which she describes as “a show about two kind of crazy women who end up in a very weird situation.” Sound intriguing? Lownes added that in the marketing industry it’s important to stay on top of new media, so her TV watching informs her work. And, of course, gives her a chance for some much-needed RNR. 

“That’s like the only thing I do that’s relaxing.” 

4. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

marvelous maisel
Rachel Brosnahan on the set of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.’ / Bobby Bank/GC Images/Getty Images

Recommended by: Dean Aragon - GVP at Shell

Shell’s Dean Aragon says that family is his greatest passion, so it’s not surprising that he’s enjoying The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. The show follows Midge Maisel, a young woman who discovers a passion for stand-up comedy. Family dynamics play a significant role as Midge navigates keeping her passion project a secret from her parents. The fast-paced repartee between characters as well as Midge’s comedic chops make the series endlessly bingeable. Oh, and it just racked up 20 Emmy nominations for its second season.   

5. 'Ozark'

Production still of Skylar Gaertner, Sofia Hublitz, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in season two of ‘Ozark.’ / Netflix

Recommended by: Alex Josephson - Head of Global Brand Strategy at Twitter

Twitter’s Alex Josephson is patiently waiting for Ozark to return to Netflix for a third season. The show’s premise involves a family that must relocate from Chicago to Missouri after a botched money laundering scheme. Josephson praises the performances of Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, leading him to call Ozark “probably, right now, my favorite show that’s still in running.” In addition, he loves documentaries and recommends two: The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and The Case Against Adnan Syed.

6. 'Game of Thrones'

game of thrones
Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright and Sophie Turner on set of ‘Game of Thrones’ season eight. / Macall B. Polay/HBO

Recommended by: Scott Galloway - NYU Marketing Professor 

No surprise here. Though not an official CMO, marketing professor Scott Galloway has studied the industry’s remarkable progression and has an acute understanding of how the industry functions. He also has a sharp eye for good content and is “obsessed” (his words) with Game of Thrones. Galloway said he is amazed by the show’s evolution and appreciates that the premise was likely a very tough sell. 

“Whoever is the producer who greenlighted this thing should be given the Medal of Freedom, because if someone had said, ‘We’re gonna have these battles in Iceland and then we’re gonna have dragons,’ it could have been so expensive but so bad at the same time if they hadn’t pulled it off,” Galloway said. He added that he believes television will be the defining art form of our age. 

“You want the key to happiness? Watch more television. There’s just amazing TV out there right now.” 

You heard it here. Now get to streaming. 

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