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Episode 80 of 91

CMO Tinder, George Felix: Trusting Your Gut, ‘Smelling Like a Man,’ and Swiping Right

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George Felix, now the CMO of Tinder, was marketing Old Spice body wash at a time when the brand was circling the drain. His team at Procter & Gamble almost let their big break slip away when initially passing on the “Hello ladies” campaign - an ad that would later go viral on Facebook and YouTube. George recalls how the agency pitching the idea stood their ground and pressed on with conviction, an experience that taught him a lot about trusting your gut and standing up for what you believe in.In this episode, George and Joubin talk about his close relationship with his father, who passed away in 2006; the unusual way he, as an intern at Procter & Gamble, started a lifelong friendship with his then-boss Kevin Hochman; behind-the-scenes stories making ads for Old Spice and KFC; and the unusual truth about Tinder’s brand that attracted George to the company last year.In this episode, we cover:
George’s education-focused Indian-American parents, and how they wound up in Toledo, Ohio (05:52)
If they could talk one more time, what would he ask his late father? (12:17)
What startups can learn about brand-building from older firms like Procter & Gamble (16:28)
How not having a real desk at P&G helped George network with his colleagues (20:30)
Executing the Old Spice “smell like a man” campaign — and the award-winning TV ad that completely revitalized the brand (25:10)
The crippling fear of ambiguity, and the importance of being “a little uncomfortable” (33:35)
Reviving KFC’s brand with another viral ad, starring Darrell Hammond as Colonel Sanders (37:58)
Why George went to Tinder, and the potential he saw to reshape its brand (44:02)
Spontaneity in dating, and overcoming the stigma against meeting people online (47:29)
The “Tinder Swindler” and why Tinder isn’t just one thing (52:55)
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