Seth Matlins

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  • Managing Director, Forbes CMO Network
  • Expert on Purpose/Values-Driven Marketing and Award-Winning Brand Marketer
  • Former President Rock the Vote, Founder CAA Marketing, Global CMO Live Nation, Former Head of Cultural Strategy and Insights at Endeavor’s 160over90
  • Anti-Photoshop Crusader and Author of The Truth in Advertising Act (HR 4341)



Seth Matlins is an award-winning brand marketer and renowned expert on purpose- and values-driven marketing. For over 20 years, Seth has designed brand, human, and culturally-driven solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing global brands – his ideas have shaped brands, businesses, and the cultural landscape itself. He is an intrepid innovator, and as Managing Director of Forbes' CMO Network, has insight and access to the challenges facing the world's biggest brands, and the people who lead them. 

He's served as President of Rock the Vote, founded the marketing division for CAA, was the first Global CMO for Live Nation, launched his own double-bottom-line women’s brand and company, and was the former Head of Cultural Strategy and Insights at Endeavor’s 160over90 agency. As a thought leader on the role of ‘purpose’-driven marketing, Seth invigorates audiences with focused insights on leveraging ‘purpose’ as a strategic and financial driver for companies across industries.

Seth is the author of both federal legislation, The Truth in Advertising Act (HR 4341), which called on the FTC and advertising industry to consider the unintended consequences of photoshopped ads and images, and The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed, now in its 7th printing. An in-demand authority on marketing, cultural and brand strategy, and creativity, Seth is passionate about tailoring unique and indelible talks that will generate long-lasting change.

 

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Culture Change: Rewriting the Purpose/Profit Narrative

Those companies thinking they need to choose between purpose and profit are out of step with the cultural narrative—and data. Today, purpose well activated is a strategic and financial driver. ...

Those companies thinking they need to choose between purpose and profit are out of step with the cultural narrative—and data. Today, purpose well activated is a strategic and financial driver.

Brands: Get Past the Fear of Change and Embrace the Fear of Irrelevance

In a marketing, media, and consumer landscape where 75% of brands could disappear overnight and no one would notice or care, businesses and brands need to embrace the fear irrelevance more than anything else.  ...

In a marketing, media, and consumer landscape where 75% of brands could disappear overnight and no one would notice or care, businesses and brands need to embrace the fear irrelevance more than anything else. 

It’s Not CSR—It’s Marketing

Across the biggest and smallest companies in the world, CSR and ESG reporting are increasing exponentially. But no business will get credit for doing what they should be. Instead, companies need to embrace the decades old doing well by doing good adage more fully, and turn CSR into reasons into mark ...

Across the biggest and smallest companies in the world, CSR and ESG reporting are increasing exponentially. But no business will get credit for doing what they should be. Instead, companies need to embrace the decades old doing well by doing good adage more fully, and turn CSR into reasons into marketing-driven reasons to care—and buy.

Cancel Culture Is Here to Stay: Brands Better Get Used To It

Cancel Culture is the exercise of consumer power, among today’s increasingly conscious consumers. It’s not a reflection of intolerance so much as an impatience with the state of the world and expectations that brands play an active part in making the world a better one. ...

Cancel Culture is the exercise of consumer power, among today’s increasingly conscious consumers. It’s not a reflection of intolerance so much as an impatience with the state of the world and expectations that brands play an active part in making the world a better one.

Mr. Rogers Was Right

It goes without saying that there are troubled times. But, as Fred Rogers said, in scary times we should “look for the helpers.” Advice that brands, like children, should heed. ...

It goes without saying that there are troubled times. But, as Fred Rogers said, in scary times we should “look for the helpers.” Advice that brands, like children, should heed.

Market and Mindset Shifts: The Evolution of the Conscious Consumer (Times have changed and so have why—and how—people buy?)

The conscious consumerism that began in the 60s with the Whole Earth Catalogue has evolved, and so have the wants, needs and expectations of the people evolving it. To survive—let alone thrive—in today’s competitive landscape, brands need to market to these mindset shifts. ...

The conscious consumerism that began in the 60s with the Whole Earth Catalogue has evolved, and so have the wants, needs and expectations of the people evolving it. To survive—let alone thrive—in today’s competitive landscape, brands need to market to these mindset shifts.

On Being More Human (as Brands and Companies)

Among the lessons business should take from the Pandemic, among the greatest global humanitarian crisis of the past 100 years, is the need to think, be and act more human. They’re not “consumers” or “customers”; “agencies”, “vendors’ or “clients”…they’re people. We need to act and market accordingly ...

Among the lessons business should take from the Pandemic, among the greatest global humanitarian crisis of the past 100 years, is the need to think, be and act more human. They’re not “consumers” or “customers”; “agencies”, “vendors’ or “clients”…they’re people. We need to act and market accordingly.

Driving Brand Equity Through Shared Values and Passions

In a world where most brands don’t matter to most people, the surest way to brand affection and likability is by marketing to shared values and passions. ...

In a world where most brands don’t matter to most people, the surest way to brand affection and likability is by marketing to shared values and passions.

Winning on Values In a World of Good-Enough Alternatives

84% of Amazon searches are by category not brand. In this world of good-enough alternatives, embracing a shared-values marketing mindset is the fastest path to meaningful, brand distinctiveness and de-commoditization. ...

84% of Amazon searches are by category not brand. In this world of good-enough alternatives, embracing a shared-values marketing mindset is the fastest path to meaningful, brand distinctiveness and de-commoditization.

How to Drive Cultural Relevance and Resonance

The data is clear. Brands that are seen as culturally relevant outperform those that aren’t across health and sales metrics. This talk breaks it all down and provides an actionable template for moving forward. ...

The data is clear. Brands that are seen as culturally relevant outperform those that aren’t across health and sales metrics. This talk breaks it all down and provides an actionable template for moving forward.

The Activist CMO

Since 2016, there have been countless articles on  “Activist” CEOs, from Apple, Salesforce, Sephora, AirBnB. It’s past time for the Activist CMO to join this conversation.  ...

Since 2016, there have been countless articles on  “Activist” CEOs, from Apple, Salesforce, Sephora, AirBnB. It’s past time for the Activist CMO to join this conversation. 

The Activist CEO

An exploration of what has accelerated the growing ranks of Activist CEO’s and a pointed POV on where it’s all heading, and what the implications for brands and companies are. ...

An exploration of what has accelerated the growing ranks of Activist CEO’s and a pointed POV on where it’s all heading, and what the implications for brands and companies are.

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Biography

Seth Matlins is an award-winning marketer who has spent his career both in and advising the C-suite of some of the world’s biggest global brands.

He is currently the Managing Director of the Forbes CMO Network, having joined Forbes in February of 2022. In this role he is charged with overseeing and building the editorial, content, programming strategy and development for one of the most influential communities of marketers globally, which includes the annual Forbes CMO Summit; the World’s Most Influential CMOs list; the Entrepreneurial CMOs list, and signature events at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, and a growing portfolio of editorial initiatives.

Prior to Forbes, he was EVP of Cultural Strategy and Insights at Hollywood powerhouse Endeavor’s full-service cultural marketing agency 160/90, where he founded and oversaw the agency’s Strategic Planning, Cultural Insights, Purpose-Driven Marketing, and Entertainment Marketing practices. He also sat on Endeavor's DEI board of advisors.

Previously, he was  the Global CMO of Live Nation; founder of That Was Then Enterprises, a brand-strategy and development consultancy, helping businesses reframe the purpose:profit narrative, where, he conceived and led the introduction of federal legislation, The Truth in Advertising Act (HR 4345), introduced in Congress in 2014 and again in 2016 with bi-partisan support, as an integrated part of a movement working to protect women and children from the health consequences perpetuated by “photoshopped” ads and images. This work, led directly to his award-winning CVS Beauty Mark campaign, while at Endeavor.

Before Live Nation, Seth started the Marketing Practice for legendary Hollywood, agency CAA. Prior to CAA, he was President of Rock the Vote.

He is also the co-author of The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed (Abrams, 2016), now in its 7th printing.