WPP and Snap launch Augmented Reality partnership

WPP and Snapchat, today announced a global partnership (“The AR Lab”) to help brands build and deliver immersive experiences for consumers using Augmented Reality (“AR”).

With a particular focus on e-commerce, the partnership combines Snap’s leading AR technology with WPP’s integrated capabilities across creative, media, commerce and technology, allowing WPP clients to better connect with their customers on the Snapchat platform and drive meaningful business results through AR.

According to a recent study commissioned by Snap, 94% of people are expecting to use AR for shopping purposes the same as or more than 2022 versus 2021Snap Lego

With advertisers on Snap platforms finding AR campaigns to be significant drivers of business, the partnership will give WPP and its clients access to and mastery of Snap’s AR technology end-to-end, including creative production and measurement.

As Snap’s inaugural Agency AR partner, WPP will collaborate with Snap on new products and technology, such as the recently launched Snapchat Trends tool, which allows teams to use proprietary insights and data to inform creative and campaign development. WPP will also gain access to a custom AR Lab Strategy Guide, which includes best practices to inform creative development using Snap’s AR technology while ensuring that branded AR experiences can be brought to market faster and more easily than ever before.

In addition, WPP and Snap will implement a co-developed custom optimisation scorecard for WPP clients, which will be used to generate more effective campaigns. WPP and Snap’s methodology will provide insights into the performance of these campaigns, allowing teams to measure success and adapt in real-time.

WPP was an early adopter of AR technologies and has led the market by investing in its AR capability and partner ecosystem. GroupM, WPP’s media buying arm, has doubled its 2021 social AR investment in the last year and continues to pave the way for AR and commerce media activations.

AR-Snapchat-filters

The partnership will further develop WPP’s AR capability through a structured learning and development curriculum via the AR Lab Academy, an industry-first training programme centred on AR technology and products.

With support from a dedicated team at Snap, the programme aims to certify a minimum of one thousand WPP employees by the end of this year. In addition, Snap will sponsor a quarterly AR production competition for WPP clients.

The competition will focus on clients in key markets, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom and the United States, and for the most innovative AR experiences, Snap will provide funding to bring the winning campaigns to life on Snapchat at scale.

Sanja Partalo, Executive Vice President, Strategic Development & Partnerships at WPP, said: “AR has a major role to play in the future of marketing and commerce, from virtual try-on to immersive digital experiences. Snap has built an impressive AR platform and we are delighted to partner with them to ensure our people can access Snap’s latest AR technology and in turn develop richer, more innovative commerce solutions for our clients and their customers.”

David Roter, Vice President, Global Agency Partnerships at Snap Inc., said: “Over 200m Snapchatters engage with AR every day. This partnership will help brands reach that community through the camera in ways that are engaging, impactful and drive real business results. We are thrilled to debut this initiative with WPP and look forward to driving this important frontier in marketing and commerce together with their clients around the globe.”

Audio programming that can listen, remember and adjust

Too much screen time we know is a problem.

Covid created more screen time as we went from zoom call to zoom call and more time on the couch with streaming visual content binging. Going from a working screen to an entertainment screen does create some well-being challenges.

Enter audio time.

After years of visual screen dominance, people started to find and enter a new era during Covid– the time with Sound.

Technology is a powerful enabler for this shift as it intensifies and diversifies how we listen.

Apple Walk

Good sound quality triggers positive emotions. When your right moment, music is started at the right time and right place. Your life improves.

Your feelings change; you become uplifted or feel relaxed.

manheadphones

If you think of the opposite, what can happen if bad quality audio triggers negative emotions such as dissatisfaction, annoyance, or disappointment.

Despite a trend in visual and screen time where we can sacrifice quality for convenience, our audio behavior suggests quality matters very much.

I am seeing a growing demand for personalized audio experiences that are immersive, intimate, and fine-tuned by the listener.

Audio and Sound technology enhancements act as a catalyst for this change, offering people unlimited ways to experience Sound is a creative pallet to explore and is only just started.

Consider the explosive growth of podcasting over the last few years – the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream as more than half of Americans and Australian’s over twelve years old have listened to one.

And then there is the rise of smart speakers, the fastest-growing tech sector in the United States and emerging in Australia. Nearly one-third of households have one audio streaming service, and almost every smart speaker owner has more than one device.

Speakers

Who didn’t increase Sound and audio combined with a healthy walk in your Covid lockdown? More and more, produced audio is becoming an essential addition to our daily lives.

And as we enter a post-Covid reality, we are about to turn a corner into a sound-first era. Technology is fueling the audio revolution: it has unleashed the sound experience from any tether. Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music mean that Sound is no longer dependent on a carrier medium or dedicated device. Instead, listening has become mobile and on-demand.

Like an invisible companion, Audio is no longer dependent on a carrier medium or dedicated device. Instead, listening has become mobile and on-demand. Sound accompanies us wherever we go, without interruption.

While audio quality continues to advance both in how it’s produced and delivered. The addition of 3D and surround sound technology will change the category even further.

Sound will accompany us like a kind of halo and open up new virtual spaces for listeners—the ability to combine listening to audio programming with virtual spaces for an entirely new experience.

While advances in mobile and streaming technology have been fundamental to shaping the listening experience of today, A.I. will open the next frontier of personalisation.

Consumers will be seeking audio programming that that can remember and adjust their listening preferences according to different environments.

From waking up, self-love rituals, exercise, entertainment, and downtime.

Audio with A.I. will allow for this level of personalisation, with content, tracks, and moods tailored precisely for each listener and acoustics that auto-adjust as you move through your day.

Sound and audio programming will increase and advance so much in the next decade because the experiential Sound delivered will see consumers’ time on the visual screen be reduced.

And that sounds very positive for our well-being.

What Digital Transformation Is, And What It Is Not

WHAT IS AGILE? HOW TO GET MORE VALUE OUT OF IT? | by Asirinaidu P | Medium

There is a lot digital transformation taking place in many companies across Australia caused from the COVID pandemic and continued city lockdowns which has forced many business changes.

There are valuable aspects businesses can benefit from when undertaking digital transformation, as well as misconceptions that can waste time and money.

In my experience working with enterprise digital transformation, there can be unrealistic expectations of what such an initiative can and should achieve. Often transformation should be preceded, accompanied or followed by other work that can complement it, such as strategic goal-setting, culture change initiatives and organizational design. 

There are both opportunities and some overhyped aspects of digital transformation, here are three common trends;

How Digital Transformation Affects Existing Processes

Phase 2: Analyze the Existing Business Process - Improving Business  Processes [Book]

A common hurdle I run into working with organizations on digital transformation initiatives is the sheer amount of systems and processes that need to be modified in order to enable success. Add to that the fact that many people are creatures of habit, and it’s no wonder that such a high percentage of transformation initiatives are deemed failures. 

A great digital transformation is designed with a deep understanding of the current processes, why (for better or worse) they exist and the problems that they solve. Only by having a good understanding of the current state of things can we design something better. 

An error I have also seen is allowing current processes and the “status quo” to cloud our ability to think of brand new ideas. As long as you make sure that doesn’t happen, you will be in good shape if you understand why the current state exists and allow you and your team freedom to create a new solution. 

This is not a substitute for implementing organization-wide process improvement initiatives or business process optimization, such as the adoption of agile, lean or combinations of any of the time-tested methodologies. 

How Digital Transformation Affects Existing Company Culture

Frontiers | Understanding Culture Clashes and Catalyzing Change: A Culture  Cycle Approach | Psychology

While successful organizations have understood this for a while, any company undergoing a digital transformation initiative will soon learn that company culture and openness to change is at least as important as the technology strategy used. 

Before you begin the intense work of transforming your organization, you need to get buy-in at all levels. If leadership is not on board with your change initiative, nor are the front-line employees implementing the tactical approach (and anyone in between), there are going to be unnecessary hurdles along the way. 

One way to help with this is to educate and involve your entire organization in parts of the process from the very beginning to make them understand the role they play and to give them frequent updates on both successes and challenges. Make sure you celebrate wins along the way and clearly articulate the metrics of success. 

This is not a substitute for intentionally creating a great company culture. Culture change requires its own set of steps and metrics, but a healthy organizational culture will enable your digital transformation initiative to achieve greater success. 

How Digital Transformation Affects Existing Customer Experiences

7 Examples of Bad Customer Service Experience (And How to Fix Them)

The most visible and arguably the most important aspect of digital transformation is how it changes and ideally improves the customer experience. After all, if you can’t improve the interactions your customers have with your organization, your long-term investment in digital transformation is arguably not worth it. Customers who buy more may buy more often and refer others — this is critical to company growth. 

This is not a substitute for meaningfully understanding and measuring customer experience (CX) in the first place. After all, if you don’t understand what success should look like, how do you expect to reach it?

Instead, make sure that your digital transformation has clear customer experience goals in mind. While operational efficiencies and cost-cutting might also be key performance indicators (KPIs) of your transformation initiative, if you can’t meaningfully improve the performance of your customer experience, you are missing a key component. 

It is important to understand what digital transformation can do in order to be realistic about the outcomes you can achieve. In my experience advising enterprise organizations on digital transformation initiatives, I’ve found that knowing what you can and cannot expect will help you create better plans and achieve better results.

WPP wins industry’s most creative company at Cannes Lions 2021

WPP was named the most creative company of the year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. WPP agencies collected a total of 190 Lions, including a Titanium Lion, 12 Grand Prix, 28 Gold, 57 Silver and 92 Bronze, with winners representing 38 different countries.

The award is based on the accumulated points total from agencies within each holding company. It is the first time that WPP has won the Holding Company of the Year award since 2017, and reflects investment in creative talent as part of WPP’s strategy for growth.

Ogilvy was the standout performer, with eight Grand Prix and a Titanium Lion for work including Stevenage Challenge (DAVID) and Moldy Whopper (DAVID and INGO) for Burger King; Courage is Beautiful for Dove (the moving tribute to front-line workers featuring the faces of healthcare professionals, etched with the marks from long hours in protective equipment); and Naming the Invisible by Digital Birth Registration for Telenor Pakistan.

WPP winners and shortlisted entries came from every part of the company, and from across its agencies. AKQA’s H&M Looop, a pioneering in-store recycling system designed to inspire a more sustainable approach to clothing among consumers, picked up a Grand Prix for Design, as did Superunion’s stunning work for sustainable packaging brand Notpla. VMLY&R’s ingenious I Am for Starbucks, which created a safe space for trans people in Brazil to have their names legally changed, was awarded the Glass Lion for Change. Degree Inclusive by Wunderman Thompson for Unilever, the adaptive deodorant for people with upper limb disabilities or visual impairment, was an Innovation Grand Prix winner.

Accessible Technology

Microsoft

One of the great things about my role at WPP AUNZ is working with Microsoft and their passion on creating technology focussed on accessibility. The Microsoft company wide goals and plans are to essentially put solutions in for existing barriers that technology can bring—which are part of systemic ableism—that typically preclude disabled people from being successful, contributing members of society. That includes areas such as employment and education, which unsurprisingly in modern times, is largely driven by technologies created by Microsoft, Apple, and others.

Microsoft under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, a father of three including an adult son with cerebral palsy, has been for sometime improving and innovating with accessible tech.

I remember the Microsoft’s 2014 Super Bowl commercial being very impactful in outlining how technology can support diverse workforces provide companies with a greater range of talent. 

Bringing people with different backgrounds and experiences together can improve problem solving and creativity, while contributing different points of view. A core element of embracing diversity and inclusivity is ensuring that every single employee has access to all the tools and resources they need to enable them to do their best work.

It’s important to create an environment in which, for example, people with dyslexia, vision impairments, language barriers and hearing conditions can work and collaborate to their full potential. Everyone has the right to be heard and understood, and allowing diversity and inclusion to flourish will encourage teams to thrive.

Like many companies, WPP has rolled out Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to encourage collaboration across its global workforce. When COVID-19 hit, more than 95 percent of WPP’s workforce shifted to working from home

WPP was also serving all its clients remotely, and the company wanted to ensure that all client communications were as inclusive as possible. Inadvertently excluding people during creative pitches and client meetings would be a missed opportunity, so using technology to enable all staff to work at the same level was important for a sustainable remote-working model.

Microsoft worked with WPP to train 85 accessible tech champions — people who have an in-depth knowledge of all the accessibility tools available across Microsoft’s products and services so that they could, in turn, help their colleagues.

“Working with Microsoft has enabled us to really speed up our inclusion work,” says Nancy Lengthorn, Managing Partner and Head of Inclusion and Belonging for WPP UK.

“Improving systems and processes is vital to inclusion and diversity, and there can’t be a more critical system to improve than how we communicate with each other. The initiatives we are putting in place will really help us all to be more authentic and more effective, both with each other and our clients. This is about helping everyone to flourish and Microsoft have been a brilliant partner.”

Following the tech champion training sessions, a series of “brown bag” events focusing on diversity and technology took place.

These virtual sessions were made available to WPP, and covered areas such as vision, hearing, cognition, mobility, mental health, wellbeing and dyslexia. Around 800 WPP employees attended the sessions in the UK, and they were also recorded for people to view at their leisure.

“When the pandemic suddenly hit, it was a struggle,” Lengthorn continues. “However, in a way it also democratized everything.

Everyone was in the same boat, and we all had access to the same tools. Some of the barriers were taken away and many people started to notice new things. Perhaps things they hadn’t felt the need to confront in the past – can everyone participate, can everyone hear, does everyone feel they can speak up in a meeting?”

There are more than one billion people in the world with a disability, and for the majority, their disability is invisible. In the UK, 33 percent of surveyed employees responded that they choose not to disclose their disability, hiding their true selves due to fear or embarrassment – often referred to as “Covering”. Many people with dyslexia won’t, for example, disclose they have the condition.

WPP recognised that to help combat this stigma, they had to encourage openness through shared experiences while showcasing the strengths of dyslexic thinking. WPP and Microsoft created an event called The Creative Brilliance of Dyslexia, which included a keynote from Kate Griggs, CEO and founder of the Made by Dyslexia charity.

Role models from across WPP and other companies shared their experiences on the virtual stage, showing that people should embrace diversity. Demos of Microsoft Learning tools were also carried out, in addition to discussions on how managers can help their teams. Topics also covered how you can best help children with dyslexia to build their confidence and enable them to thrive.

“The dyslexia event had a much wider ripple beyond WPP,” says Lengthorn. “Employees also had their friends and family watch the live Teams event. Suddenly everyone found themselves at home, and people were homeschooling children with dyslexia, dealing with new, challenging situations. Bringing together so many people for such an important, positive cause was an amazing thing.”

The past year has been challenging for everyone. The global pandemic has kept friends, family members and co-workers apart, often isolating people from their support bubbles. While remote working isn’t a new phenomenon, shifting an entire workforce to a working from home model while expecting everyone to remain connected is no easy task.

The solution for WPP was Microsoft 365, a platform that provides a scalable and global collaboration platform. Employees in a global company like WPP will often work with people from other countries that don’t have English as a first language. Teams can help overcome language barriers by offering built-in text translation, letting people converse instantly without a delay in communication.

Employees who give PowerPoint presentations on Teams calls can also turn on automatic captioning, which presents subtitles in real-time, allowing employees with hearing loss to follow along more comfortably. There’s also the option to select live translations, which translate subtitles into other languages in real-time, opening up presentations to an international audience. If there are viewers who speak multiple languages, they can use the Microsoft Translator app on their smartphones to have real-time translations in their chosen language, too.

“It’s been an awful year, but some good things have come from it, too. We’ve all had to re-assess how we interact and that gave people a reason to engage with these tools and become closer to each other,” Lengthorn says.

For a company to truly embrace diversity and inclusion, the drive for change needs to come from the top. Leadership is vital in helping to instill a culture that fosters innovation and equal opportunities, and it’s a process that needs to be thorough, and authentic.

WPP has been named a Leader among commerce services providers by Forrester Research, Inc.

The Forrester Wave™: Commerce Services, Q1 2021 evaluation ranks the 14 most significant commerce providers as Leaders, Strong Performers, Contenders or Challengers against their current offering, strategy and market presence. Fulll report found here

WPP received the highest scores possible in 12 criteria including Omnichannel Commerce Strategy, Organisation Design & Change Management, Global or Multibusiness Unit Commerce Architectures and Vision.

The report suggests that “companies seeking help with their commerce transformation should look for service providers that: offer a full set of services including commerce strategy and implementation… have expertise and capacity in their commerce platform – or headless architecture… [and that] focus on their industry region.”

Following the rapid growth of ecommerce and the digitisation of services due to the pandemic, the demand for agile, full-service partners has increased from companies that require omnichannel expertise to support commerce transformation or to adapt existing business strategies around evolving customer needs.

The Forrester report states, “WPP leads with strategy and implementation as well as in Amazon and social selling.” The report gave WPP full scores in the criteria of: global or multibusiness unit commerce architectures; emerging commerce touchpoint services; commerce experiences supporting services; privacy and compliance; programme management; vision; and partner ecosystem.

The Forrester report notes, “Compared with other providers we evaluated, WPP shows strength and higher client satisfaction in commerce strategy services, emerging commerce touchpoint services, commerce experiences supporting services, and programme management… WPP is a good fit for companies seeking a global omnichannel commerce partner with expertise in helping clients navigate and monetise emerging channel options”.

WPP works in collaboration with its partners across all major commerce technology platforms including Adobe, Amazon, Alibaba, Salesforce, SAP, Shopify and Sitecore.

Mozaik Play, empowering people to pursue a career in the creative industries

Mozaik Play | LinkedIn

Today I am excited to announce I have taken an investment and advisory board position at Mozaik Play, the first and only specialised student agency for the creative industries worldwide.

Economic statistics reveal a booming trend the creative industries with the sector providing more than 30 million jobs globally and contributes revenue of US$2.2 trillion.

Mozaik Play was the brainchild of Gabriel Providel, founder and CEO. Gabriel has a strong track record in leading education, digital creative, and technology businesses having previously held roles with Redhill Education and Navitas. I met Gabriel through Simon Ward at Apollo League and organisation that connects leaders with start up companies that fills a real gap on both sides of the investment community for talent.

Gabriel created Mozaik Play two years ago to create a platform to connect the next generation of creative professionals with the most reputable creative media colleges worldwide to fuel growth across the creative economy.

Mozaik Play has over one hundred contractual agreements with the world’s top creative schools across the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, NZ, Singapore, and Malaysia. Creative powerhouses such as GnomonVancouver Film School, and Istituto Marangoni.

Before Mozaik Play, students would struggle to find a way to connect with the right creative college worldwide. Colleges had problems, too, as they did not have the resource or market expertise to recruit the right student worldwide. Even study agents who represent over 10,000 globally would struggle to service creative students because they don’t have the skills or placement contracts with creative schools.

Mozaik Play’s solution was to create a student marketplace connecting students, creative colleges, and recruiters in the creative industries space. Teachers and graduates from these premium colleges have worked on such innovative franchises as Lord of the Rings, Avengers, Frozen, and games like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Minecraft.

Mozaik Play partners with study agents to help them service and place creative students and earn commissions. There are over 8,000 significant schools and universities globally and 10,000+ study agents who help students in every country worldwide choose a course, choose a school, get through the admissions process, apply for a visa and attend in person or study online.

This entire industry is focused on standard courses where admissions are based on grades instead of creative portfolios. Study agents globally struggle to advise students on their creative portfolio and do not have, and cannot quickly get, contracts with creative schools.

What I was excited about was Mozaik Play passion to solve this problem. 

Since launching, Mozaik Play has built an MVO with the core operational infrastructure that supports a growing pipeline. They have established twenty-five global offices and partnerships with study agents and launched an exclusive affiliate deal with the most prominent creative student portal, The Rookies.

Mozaik Play is now in Series A funding round to complete and build the B2B SaaS solution enabling sub-agents and members to across course inventory and tools.

I am very much looking forward to working closely with Gabriel and his team at Mozaik Play in achieving our growth plans across the business and empowering people to pursue a career in the creative industries.

More to come.

Velocitize Talk: Being relevant at the right stage of the journey.

I recently did an interview with Velocitize originally recorded in late 2019 but only just published. 

In this episode I was asked to share my insights into how brands can utilize personalization and voice-driven marketing to strengthen the customer experience, and how to measure Martech ROI. The transcript is pasted below.

Driven by Voice (2:03)

I see voice as part of a marketing-tech strategy. It drives you towards more automation. It drives you into that direction of how to use AI as part of your overall strategy. The output of that is more voice-driven solutions.

Voice, martech and marcom
Source: eMarketer

As peer-to-peer communication continues to evolve—from emails, phone calls, and text messaging to social media, messaging apps, and voice-based assistants—customers regularly interact with voice. In 2019, an estimated one-third of the U.S. population interacted with voice at least once per month.

Typical voice interactions into your phone or to a speaker is conversational. Building customer relationships through voice can be very challenging for brands since the technology remains limited.

According to Good, “The response back on many brands is like a small child. They get the answers wrong or they’re not helpful but that’s changing quickly.” Conversational AI represents the next wave of voice automation. This is due to authentically human-sounding, AI-powered bots.

In fact, the conversational AI platform market will exceed $12B by 2025, according to a study by Research and Markets. As brands figure out how to interact with customers via conversational AI platforms, martech (Marketing Technology) and marcom (Marketing Communications) teams will have a new playing field to explore.

Loyalty is Everything (4:52)

I think personalization is something that consumers really like.

CX, martech and marcom
Source: HubSpot

Brand loyalty is the holy grail for any company. And personalization has become a vehicle for delivering brand loyalty and advocacy. When a customer has a great experience, it solidifies their loyalty. Conversely, if it is a bad experience, it can be a turn off.

Loyalty is the final step in the customer lifecycle. There are many other earlier steps essential to building long-term customer relationships. These can include brand discovery, product education, purchasing process, and post-engagement purchase engagement. 

The best brands build mutually beneficial relationships with customers that translate into a higher customer lifetime value. Good notes that if customers are given the information they require, or they need more information, brands should focus on that conversation. They shouldn’t just suddenly push something on the customer, like a marketing survey. 

Generation Personalization (5:39)

I don’t think consumers really understand the complexities of personal data and what that means. Companies have a real responsibility to make customers aware of what data they have and how they’re going to use that.

Source: WP Engine

Time and time again, experts have recommended, consumers have demanded, and laws have required that brands detail what data they are collecting and how they intend to use it. Customer data is crucial for good customer service, competitive prices, and better products. 

Good recognizes the generational gap that exists when it comes to data privacy. He cites younger generations who have continuously seen the benefit of releasing their data and providing experiences tailored to them. In other words, they’re quite comfortable sharing their data.

Older generations, however, can be confused about how their data can benefit them. In their experience, you only tell people certain things about yourself, Good says. It’s up to brands to create a clear value proposition for their customers, building a trusting relationship over time.

Invest in Martech and Marcom (7:39)

I haven’t met any clients that say, ‘I invested X amount of dollars and I’m completely happy with where I need to be.’ There’s always this feeling that they could go further.

Martech and marcom landscape
Source: chiefmartec.com

The rapid changes in the martech market over the past two decades have resulted in brands investing heavily in a variety of tools, and ultimately a consolidation of both tools and effort. Custom content management tools, outbound email solutions, ad tech, mobile apps and websites have all been a part of the martech and marcom mix that people have been moving through to land on a solution. But then what?

Good says that once they’ve delivered or used a service for some time, they begin to consider the ROI. Marketing ROI can be used to measure the ROI of a specific marketing channel, activity, campaign, or the entire marketing function. It is common for brands to analyze their investment and benefits before renewing a service.

Book Club (11:00)

It’s great reading in regards to research on how companies can be growing at that exponential rate; what are the traits, what are the behaviors that need to drive.

Source: Goodreads

Good recommends the book “Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations are Ten Times Better, Faster, Cheaper than Yours (and What To Do About It),” by Salim Ismail. An Exponential Organization (ExO) is an organization whose impact is “disproportionally large” compared to other businesses because of its use of new organizational techniques. The new techniques can then leverage accelerating technologies.

The book identifies an ExO’s characteristics and contrasts an ExO with an outdated, matrixed, linear organization. One such characteristic of an ExO is the presence of a “Massive Transformative Purpose,” which refers to its aspirational purpose.

WPP and TikTok Announce First-of-Its-Kind Global Agency Partnership

WPP & TikTok

WPP and TikTok today announced an innovative global partnership to enable WPP agencies and clients to tap into the culture-shaping impact and reach of the platform. The partnership allows WPP clients to benefit from unique access and capabilities on the TikTok platform.

Recognising the significant opportunities for brands that both short-form video and digital content continue to present, WPP will have early access to advertising products in development, ensuring WPP and its clients remain at the forefront of innovation as TikTok further develops its suite of products for brands. This includes partnering on marketing API integrations and next-generation formats, such as augmented reality offerings. Subvrsive, a WPP company, was one of the first TikTok Effects Partners.

TikTok will also collaborate with its talented creator community to build a diverse network of creators to partner with WPP and facilitate exclusive opportunities for collaboration with select advertisers. WPP will be the Lead Agency Development Partner to new creator-focused APIs, which will incorporate WPP’s brand safety methodology while leveraging unique brand and marketer data signals. The goal of these new solutions will be to enable brands to gain deeper insights on creators, connect with diverse voices and have early access to these creators for their campaigns.

Additionally, WPP and TikTok will co-create an industry-leading training and accreditation program for WPP agencies, which will secure priority access to content tailored to media and creative disciplines. This program certifies that WPP’s talent is leading the development of best-in-class creative and media solutions on the TikTok platform.

TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics

To further build brand safety solutions on the platform, GroupM, the media buying arm of WPP, and TikTok will continue to work on complete integration with third party verification vendors, developing meaningful first party inclusion and exclusion controls, and alignment with the GARM Brand Safety and Suitability Framework. The companies also intend to jointly conduct market-leading research to guide brands on TikTok best practices and assist them with employing data-informed strategies for driving engagement on the platform. GroupM has already engaged TikTok on niche auction training and will continue advancing buying capabilities through its large network of specialists.

WPP Extraordinary Awards 2020

WPP today revealed the five winners of its first Extraordinary Awards, designed to celebrate and recognise the best work from across the company and its agency brands.

This year’s winners were selected from almost 1,000 entries across five categories. Four reflect WPP’s offer: Communications, Experience, Commerce and Technology, while the fifth – the top prize – is for the best example of Creative Transformation for clients.

90 leaders from across WPP, drawn from all disciplines, from creatives and strategists to planners and technologists, came together to review the entries in a global judging process.

The entries, from 100 cities and all WPP’s networks, encompassed everything from inspired art and copy, powerful communications strategies and inventive media planning to hyper-engaging digital experiences, stunningly effective ecommerce platform design and game-changing martech implementation.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Creativity is more than just a great idea. It has the ability to bring about change and to transform businesses. In a year defined by disruption, we launched these awards to celebrate our people and recognise work that demonstrates the power of creativity to build better futures for our clients and communities.”

The five winners, revealed today during an internal award show for all WPP employees:

Creative Transformation:

Geometry – London, MediaCom – London, Ogilvy – London, 

 

Bootiques: Breaking the Mould of Christmas, Boots 

This cross-agency team broke the mould of Christmas advertising with a multichannel experience that delivered true personalisation at scale for the whole nation to interact with and enjoy.

Communications:

DAVID – Miami and INGO – Stockholm, 


The Moldy Whopper, Burger King 

Against all industry aesthetic practices, the team launched an impactful campaign that featured the iconic Whopper rotting over a period of 35 days. This rule-breaking campaign sent a simple and clear message to consumers – Burger King food has no preservatives.

Experience:

VMLY&R – Melbourne,

 

 A Future Without Change, Monash University 

By showing a future that shouldn’t exist, this integrated campaign – supported by digital OOH, online films, social posts and ongoing VR experiences – helped recruit and inspire the next generation to change it.

Commerce:

Geometry Global – Dubai,

 

Lifebuoy’s Handle on Hygiene 3.0, Unilever 

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the team re-designed and rolled out Handle on Hygiene 3.0, a world-first innovation and impactful shopper activation campaign to improve hygiene, developed in partnership with Barrows.

Technology:

MediaCom – Tel Aviv and Grey – Tel Aviv, Rabbi Bot by Always, P&G 

This customised app, developed in consultation with rabbinical authorities, uses the power of AI to determine the end of a woman’s menstruation cycle, replacing the need for Orthodox Israeli women to undergo uncomfortable, in-person consultations with a rabbi.

For more details on the winning entries, special commendations and the full shortlist, and to hear from the panel of judges, please go to wpp.com/wpp-extraordinary-awards.