ROUND UP: AI & Scams Are Everywhere

LinkedIn Kills Lookalikes, TikToks Are Getting Longer & More

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In today’s edition:

  • AI Celebrity Scams

  • Google’s New AI Ad Tool

  • Tons of New Social Media Features

& More. But first, a word from today’s sponsor 👇

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The new look is here! The Marketer’s Playbook has had a facelift, with a new logo, new colours, and even a mascot (see footer of email)!

I’d love to know how you like the new branding, so make sure to reply to this email to let me know!

In the future, I’ll be peppering in more long-form content as well, providing my thoughts, strategies, and more on complex marketing topics. Until then, though, everything else remains the same, with the exception of a small update to the (News) Bites section! It’s the same old Marketer’s Playbook you’ve come to love, with a cool new outfit. Enjoy!

Happy learning,
Cory Dobbin


Google Ads has announced that they’ve officially integrated their largest AI model, Gemini. The new conversational experience, now fully accessible to English-speaking advertisers in the U.S. and U.K., assists in creating optimized search campaigns. Users can input their website URL, and the AI generates relevant ad content, including keywords and creatives. This tool has been shown to improve ad quality and performance, with a future update to suggest campaign-specific images using generative AI. Also, it’s worth noting that all AI-generated images will be watermarked for identification, of course. Check out Google’s resource below for a deeper explanation.


You may have seen a few articles here or there of DTC darling brands being sued for various reasons, whether that is infringing on trademarks, not getting proper permissions for assets and more. As it turns out, this is pretty common, and the US gov’t is pushing to get more strict with these rules. To that end, Barry Hott put together a thread of the top posts breaking these cases down from DTC Twitter’s favourite lawyer - Robert Freund. Check out Barry’s thread below to give yourself a quick crash course on exactly what you shouldn’t do.


Somewhat surprisingly, LinkedIn has announced in a help article uploaded relatively quietly that they are discontinuing support for Lookalike audiences. For those familiar with Meta Ads, these are the bread and butter of many ad accounts. As it turns out, they aren’t quite as popular on LinkedIn, though they haven’t actually said why they’re sunsetting them. Either way, they do recommend using Predictive Audiences or Audience Expansions as a replacement for this change, which takes effect on February 29th. For more info, check out LinkedIn’s help article below.


Have you seen the Jennifer Aniston ‘Free MacBook Pro’ ad that’s been shared like wildfire lately? For those who are less gullible, it should have been clear that this was a fake video used to scam people through ads, but unfortunately, many users are not quite as astute and fell for it. Beyond this one example, there have been a handful of others, too, prompting a lot of discussion about the implications of AI visual and auto replication. I wonder if we will see laws come into play soon surrounding the use of other people’s voices in AI. Strange times, indeed. Check out the YouTube video below for a breakdown of the Jennifer Aniston scam and an article from The New Indian Express covering YouTube’s >1k video takedown in an attempt to address this.


X just released an incredibly comprehensive and interactive marketing calendar, marking every important potential marketing opportunity for the year. Check out their calendar here.


As part of an upcoming beta test feature, Instagram released a preview of their new ‘flipside’ profiles, which are a separate, private version of your profile for a subset of friends. Check out Matt Navarra’s screenshot here.


TikTok has started testing 30-minute uploads on their platform as they continue to move towards encouraging longer-form content. Check out this article from Social Media Today for more info. Strangely, they are also encouraging users to upload >1-minute long videos in horizontal format. I'm not sure what they’re planning here, but it’s a pretty large stray from the path.


This one kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it? For more info, check out SocialMediaToday’s article here.


Video is the new black among social platforms, apparently. X has announced that a dedicated video tab is coming to mobile feeds soon! Check out this tweet from X News Daily for some screenshots.


In a new influencer-fuel campaign, Cera Ve goes all-in with the celebrity endorsement, but this time it really works. In a handful of viral TikTok videos framed as candid, UGC-style uploads, Michael Cera is seen interacting with the Cera Ve brand in a number of ways - first, in the video below, signing Cera Ve bottles and putting stickers on them in a department store, then in an image shared where he’s walking down the street with two transparent tote bins filled with Cera Ve. Honestly, I love this. It’s authentic, it’s funny, it doesn’t steer too far away from the product in an effort to feel funny, but it also doesn’t focus solely on the product itself either. In terms of creating positive brand equity, I think this campaign is a hit.


Cerave and Michael Cera may be teaming up for a Super Bowl spot 👀 And it’s reminding me so much of the 2019 spot from Bubly with Michael B... See more

Plus, the Bobbi Althoff interview is very (intentionally) awkward.


#MichaelCera walks off #bobbialthoff Podcast. #thereallygoodpodcast


Agency: 1984

This doesn’t really require too much explanation. It is a simple, to-the-point, relatable and understandable commercial that adds a little comedic flare without being on the nose. How’s that for word salad?! Overall, I love this ad. While I don’t personally buy into the idea that you’d only wait for HEINZ (I much prefer hot sauce), the idea of waiting for your condiments before touching your food is highly relatable. I miss when commercials could be this short and simple. It brings me back.

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