How Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” Inspired Game-Changing Marketing Technology


How Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” Inspired Game-Changing Marketing Technology

April 4, 2021

At 9:45 a.m. on January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people crashed near Los Angeles, killing all on board. Millions of fans around the world were stunned by the news, including Sightly’s CRO and GM, Adam Katz, who had grown up watching Bryant’s entire career from beginning to end. 

During the days following the tragedy, Katz was struck by the outpouring of positive sentiment for Bryant. Here was a player who at one point early in his career was considered toxic by most brand sponsors. Now, many years later upon his death, he was being widely revered and remembered for how he’d reformed himself with a mindset he’d adopted and called the ‘Mamba Mentality.’

The perfect marketing and media storm

Fast-forward a couple months to the sudden onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic—quarantines, lockdowns, panic reactions, etc. Brands struggled to pivot, especially those with money locked into upfront agreements.

Fast-forward a couple more months to the BLM protests and marches across the country. Brands again witnessed the need for nimble messaging and media placement in the face of dynamically shifting sentiment.

While making continuous adjustments to keep customers’ brands safe and suitable in their digital media campaigns, the Sightly team noted an explosion in the amount and pace of news.

Every day, every hour, even every moment, there was something new happening digitally, socially, culturally that needed responding to on behalf of each agency and brand customer.

Most of the events and viral trends also had become more complex and nuanced as they ebbed and flowed. Reactions to them evolved over a matter of hours or days, sometimes changing focus and sentiment.

No wonder a survey conducted in May showed that brand CMOs in the US felt their biggest challenge going forward was ‘understanding consumer behavior changes,’ and number three was ‘aligning with new/changing customer sentiment.’1

Brand CMOs challenged by change

Polarizing moment leads to aha moment

An eye-popping moment occurred when the CEO of a client‘s competitor came out backing one of the political parties. The strong reaction in the market to this CEO’s statements suddenly highlighted how polarizing politics and cultural moments like these had become. Sightly was able to leverage the controversy for its customer—but the opportunity went away as quickly as it had arisen.

And this is where Kobe came back into play…

Photo by Alexandra Walt - Kobe Bryant and Mamba Mentality

“I went back to his ‘mentality’ concept and I realized that every brand would react differently to all these moments based on their mindsets,” Katz explained. 

It became obvious that brands needed a wider lens—one that could help them define what was truly suitable and safe, yes—but also one that could identify the opportunities.

Sightly had been developing products that incorporated industry brand safety standards from GARM, IAB, the 4As, etc. “Based on what was happening, we felt we wanted to expand on that and create a platform that gave brands the ability to put their own opinions in market as they see fit, to respond with speed to scenarios the way they feel,” Katz added. “We call it Brand Mentality™.”

Kobe Bryant’s mentality came from the Black Mamba persona he adopted, named after a deadly snake assassin in a Quentin Tarantino film.2 Over time, his Mamba Mentality grew to signify the total focus and dedication to his craft, a mindset that drove him to become one of the greatest and most admired players in the history of the game.

How Mamba Mentality informs Brand Mentality™

In his 2018 book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, Bryant wrote:

“The mindset isn’t about seeking a result—it’s more about the process of getting to that result. It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality.”

In another section of the book, he added this:

“Keep it real. When I was young, my mindset was image, image, image. As I became more experienced I realized: No matter what, people are going to like you or not like you. So be authentic, and let them like you for who you actually are.”3

“What you see from Kobe is the excellence in the details, and continuous refinement,” observed Albert Thompson, Managing Director of Digital at Walton Issacson. “The whole notion of Brand Mentality is it changes as the story changes. And that is very much how the human mind works. Nothing lives on absolute terms anymore. It’s in and out and then moves to a new narrative or just goes away all together.”

Defining its Brand Mentality helps a brand establish its unique mindset and approach in market. It humanizes a brand so it can move with speed to drive outcomes and respond in real time to events, threats and opportunities that arise moment to moment. 

Listen to the full discussion of Brand Mentality in this recent episode of eMarketer’s popular Behind the Numbers podcast.


  1. Biggest Challenge for CMOs? Understanding Consumer Behavior Changes
  2. How Kobe Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality’ changed the NBA, by James Herbert, Jan 29, 2020
  3. The Mamba Mentality—How I Play, by Kobe Bryant, text ©2018 Kobe, Inc.

Brands and Agencies Achieve True Future-Forward Marketing With Sightly’s New Brand Mentality™ Platform


Brands and Agencies Achieve True Future-Forward Marketing With Sightly’s New Brand Mentality™ Platform

March 5, 2021

First-of-Its-Kind Solution Anticipates Threats and Opportunities and Responds With Speed at Scale

Brand mentality and the future-forward marketing revolution

NEW YORK, Mar. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Sightly, a leading marketing and media technology company, today announced the launch of its Brand Mentality™ platform, which combines emotional and cultural intelligence to empower brands and agencies to anticipate threats and opportunities and respond moment-by-moment in market at speed and scale across multiple publishers and contexts.

“We’ve been dealing with brand suitability and safety for years now,” said Sightly Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager, Adam Katz. “And with everything going on in the world today, we realized that you have to establish a

mentality before you can truly deal with suitability and safety. There are too many gray areas. You have to know how you want to act in market before you can determine what is suitable and safe. Then you can move with speed to drive outcomes and respond to events that are happening in real time.”

Because each mentality is unique, one brand’s risk is often another brand’s opportunity. Brand Mentality™ is built to transcend the typical one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it responds dynamically to events and trends for each unique client, nimbly scaling responses across all appropriate digital publishers, networks and channels.

By helping a brand define its unique mentality, Sightly is able to identify emerging opportunities as well as threats from the constant barrage of news, reactions, viral events and trends—and then inject the brand’s true opinions across media and marketing channels. Massive amounts of data gathered from social, traditional and popular media provide an unparalleled depth of cultural and emotional intelligence.

“You can’t overlook the importance of speed now that virality has become a major factor,” said Marissa Price, SVP of Client Services at Sightly. “In my experience working with many brands over the years at both media agencies and solutions providers, trending topics have never gained traction as quickly as they do now. Opportunities come and go in a matter of days. With Brand Mentality™, we can help brands jump into cultural moments when it’s right, and gracefully sidestep them when it’s not.”

social listening

The accelerated pace of change has seriously compressed marketing calendars. eMarketer reported late last year that many U.S. agencies and brand marketers had cut the media planning time in half from pre-pandemic levels. One Sightly customer, a major CPG company, echoed this sentiment saying, “Brand Mentality™ has opened our eyes to the reality of media planning today. We need to prepare for all the crazy things happening in the world.”

“From the beginning, Sightly has innovated to accommodate customer needs,” said Ralph Mack, CEO. “It’s a credit to our team that we recognized the extraordinary problems affecting marketers in the past year, seized the opportunity and innovated a first-of-its-kind, next-generation platform. That’s the Sightly way. It’s a game-changing solution and our customers couldn’t be more thrilled.”

For more information on Sightly’s Brand Mentality™ platform, listen to our recent discussion on eMarketer’s popular “Behind the Numbers” podcast, Brand Mentality™ and the future-forward marketing revolution.


So are we!

Sightly Announces Tech Industry Veteran Stefan Papp as CTO to Accelerate Technological Growth


Sightly Announces Tech Industry Veteran Stefan Papp as CTO
to Accelerate Technological Growth

February 11, 2021

Former Deloitte Digital and Blab Exec to Drive Brand Mentality™ Expansion

Brand Mentality™ anticipate the unexpected

NEW YORKFeb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ –Sightly, a leading media services and technology company, today announced the appointment of 30-year tech industry veteran Stefan Papp as Chief Technology Officer to lead growth of the company’s technology and innovative Brand Mentality™ solution. Papp joins Sightly’s executive team with a wealth of tech and business experience.

Papp will lead the vision and strategy for Sightly technology, closely collaborating with business units to craft advanced systems and architecture that facilitate and drive the company’s objectives, especially the rapid expansion of its disruptive Brand Mentality™ platform.

“Marketers rely on us for our data, speed and solutions to expertly react and drive business outcomes reliably and expediently, given the warp speed of today’s world,” said Ralph Mack, Sightly CEO. “As an organization, we’re in an exciting place of innovation and growth right now. Stefan’s extensive experience with real-time analytics at a big-data scale will be a crucial part of our success as we spread Brand Mentality™ throughout the market to broad industry adoption.”

Sightly’s Brand Mentality™ platform combines emotional and social intelligence with Anticipation Software™ to respond moment to moment with true future-forward marketing.

“In today’s turbulent world where information and events happen at an unprecedented pace, Sightly’s technology is fundamentally transforming the way that marketers react and plan,” said Papp. “Our Brand Mentality™ methodology taps into the fire-hose of public discourse, leveraging advanced technologies, to provide brands with the unique and extremely necessary capability to act on real-time insights at speed, while trends still resonate.”

Papp joins Sightly after serving as the senior vice president of advertising technology for Deloitte Digital. Previously, he was the CTO at the pioneering predictive social intelligence platform, Blab. He also held leadership positions at technology companies including AdReady, Intelligent Effects and Solutions IQ.

rapid changes met with speed


So are we!

Will 2021 Be The Year Of YouTube CTV Advertising?


Will 2021 Be The Year Of YouTube CTV Advertising?

February 4, 2021

eMarketer/Insider Intelligence’s Latest US YouTube Advertising Analyst Report Provides a Deep Dive and Answers

Couple watching YouTube on TV

NEW YORKFeb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Marketers looking either to extend the reach of TV campaigns across digital video or simply leverage the pandemic-accelerated shift of digital video viewing to connected TV (CTV) screens are finding likely solutions in eMarketer/Insider Intelligence’s most recent “US YouTube Advertising 2020” report and forecast.

From now through March, Sightly, a long-time certified YouTube and Premier Google Premier Partner, and one of only 11 members of the YouTube Measurement Program, is sponsoring the report so all marketers can access the $895 report for free.

The report highlights YouTube’s position as both the most-used digital video platform in the US and the single biggest source of supply in the US for CTV advertising.

It also provides an in-depth look at the shift in YouTube viewership to CTV during 2020. This shift has major implications for outcome-focused marketers looking to extend the reach of TV campaigns or follow their digital video audiences to the so-called “first” screen. 

Key Findings and Take-Aways

  • During 2020, 95.4% of US OTT video viewers watched YouTube at least monthly, surpassing even Netflix (74.9%).
  • In 2020, more than 104 million US households– nearly 81% –had connected TV. This represents an 82% increase from 2016.
  • When people watch YouTube on CTV screens, viewing session lengths are longer compared with other devices. In Q3 2020, YouTube view time on CTV was 7.3 minutes vs. 3.6 minutes on mobile and 5.7 minutes on desktop.

The key implication of the report is the accelerated growth of YouTube viewership on CTV screens opens up an enormous opportunity for both TV and digital video advertisers via the platform and its variety of ad formats that cater to a multitude of campaign goals.

Download a free copy of eMarketer/Insider Intelligence’s “US YouTube Advertising 2020” here.


So are we!

In the Living Room: Your Best CTV Strategy for the New Year


In the Living Room: Your Best CTV Strategy for the New Year

January 11, 2021

The year that most of us would rather forget produced effects that will linger well into this new year and beyond for advertisers and media agencies.

Trends in digital video and TV that had been moving incrementally for years suddenly fast-forwarded in 2020, thanks to a surge in demand beginning with lockdowns and quarantines in Q2, and impacts on production, including bellwether traditional TV content like sports events and live audience shows.1

In the Livingroom Young People Watch YouTube on CTV

Cord cutters, cord nevers and on-demanders

For example, while audiences overall have been shifting from traditional TV to streaming video for several years, a couple key statistics indicate how the pandemic has accelerated this trend.

  • Pay TV providers (cable, satellite and telecom) lost the most subscribers ever in one year—6.6 million households—down 7.5% year-over-year. Total households now stand at 77.6, which is down 22.8% from pay TV’s peak in 2014. By the end of 2024, fewer than half of US households will subscribe to a pay TV service.2
  • Connected TV households surpassed the 100 million mark for the first time, topping out at 104.7 million, or almost 81% of US homes. That number is up 82.1% from 2014. By the end of 2024, almost 86% of US households will use connected TV.3

Industry observers and analysts feel these accelerated trends are likely to continue this year and that CTV may have already reached a tipping point in its adoption.

Nielsen reported in June that “the rise in total media consumption during shelter-in-place restrictions was expected and has been well documented to date, but the persistent high levels of CTV use across smart TVs, internet-connected devices and game consoles suggests that life in the new normal includes a heavier dose of connected TV use than before the lockdowns.”4

US Connected TV Households 2020-2024

And Adweek added that this “…underscores the belief among many television streaming executives and onlookers that the pandemic may prompt an acceleration in streaming migration.”5

Get your complimentary copy of eMarketer/Insider Intelligence US YouTube Advertising 2020 report 

US YouTube Advertising 2020 Report

Digital video and CTV top ad formats in 2021

The pandemic has had similar effects on advertising as well. eMarketer/Insider Intelligence reported that time spent with digital video will grow another 19.4% in 2021.6 

And in its annual YouTube advertising report, it spotlighted the digital video platform’s dominance in OTT viewership and its significance for CTV advertisers:

  • YouTube is the largest ad-supported digital video platform in the US in reach and time spent. In 2020, YouTube was watched by 214.9 million Americans, making up 74.2% of US internet users.
  • This year, 95.4% of US OTT video viewers will watch YouTube at least monthly, surpassing even Netflix (74.9%). YouTube is second only to Netflix in share of time spent with OTT video in the US, particularly notable given that YouTube is largely ad-supported. 
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube saw both viewing and ad revenue increase due to behavioral shifts. For TV advertisers, this accelerated trend could make the platform a powerful alternative for those looking to re-allocate ad dollars from television to digital video.
OTT Video Viewer Penetration, by Provider - US, 2020

Your best CTV plans include YouTube

The eMarketer report concludes that in 2021, advertisers wanting to extend the reach of their TV campaigns to digital video and CTV will increasingly target their audiences on YouTube.

Not only is YouTube the most-used digital video platform in the US, it is “the single biggest source of supply in US CTV advertising. YouTube’s outsize role in the US CTV space is particularly striking given that advertisers can’t access CTV inventory on YouTube on non-Google platforms (e.g., Roku).”7

Whether your desired outcome is TV extension or digital video reach, branding or action, your best plan should include a mix of:

  • Audience- or content-targeted YouTube on CTV—then augment it as needed with
  • CTV on other platforms or
  • YouTube across other devices.

Contact Sightly’s strategy team for specific digital video and CTV ideas you could incorporate into your next plans.