WPP has been named as an ‘Inclusive Employer’ by the Diversity Council Australia (DCA). This status is the only award of its kind in Australia, recognising organisations that ensure inclusion as part of their business operations.
To be deemed an ‘Inclusive Employer’, an organisation must prove they are actively committed to inclusion by exceeding the National Index Benchmark on at least five out of six of the inclusivity measures. These measures are Awareness, Engagement, Inclusive Organizational Climate, Inclusive Leadership, Inclusive Team and Exclusion. WPP surpassed the benchmarks in all six areas.
Creating an inclusive workplace is fundamental to WPP’s purpose of using creativity to build better futures for our people, planet, client and communities. The Inclusive Employer status is a welcome recognition of WPP’s mission build and foster an inclusive culture of belonging, one that is equitable and respectful of diverse thought and individual expression.
Being the employer of choice for all is central to WPP’s people strategy and is supported by initiatives like WPP’s Reconciliation Action Plan, Inclusion Council, and Unite, an LGBTQ+ community united to ensure diverse thinking and creativity within the network.
Says Rose Herceg, president for Australia and New Zealand, WPP: “WPP is delighted to have been named an Inclusive Employer by the Diversity Council Australia, having exceeded the National Index Benchmark across all six inclusivity measures following a company-wide Inclusive Employer Index Survey.
This result is a testament to WPP’s commitment to being the employer of choice for all as we build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities. We believe that ultimately diversity produces extraordinary creativity, manifested in the work we do for our clients and the impact we have on the world. It is the very reason we put the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion at the centre of everything we do at WPP.”
I’m one of the old heads and been lucky enough to be appointed to lead and coordinate the group. This talented bunch will meet regularly and already has a series of programs, events, and activities planned for 2023. It’s all about our WPP agency creative teams participating in and gaining more insight into creating powerful creative ideas and work.
Creative Excellence is our collective goal, an ambition, a drive, and a spirit. It’s a destination and a journey. And almost as importantly, it’s a discipline made of many ever- evolving programs and processes.
All the most creative brands or agencies we admire around the world go way beyond the “Get brief, answer brief, sell idea, produce, repeat.” model. They all spend time conceptualising what their creative voice is, train their people, elevate creative standards and are relentless hunters for opportunities. What we all see now from the outside –the creative fame- was built over years of processes by great people with a vision and a set of principles.
In the Most Creative Company in the World, the pursuit of Creative Excellence should be nothing short of exhilarating. We all joined this industry for the work, and that’s what it’s all about: setting up the framework for our teams to make the best work of their lives in your markets, globally or on your agency brand.
We formed the council to talk about the work. To celebrate it. To study it, let’s try, fail and try again. Let’s explore new platforms and new crafts, and open to new perspectives. I will keep you posted of our developments.
Almost 285 million people worldwide aren’t able to enjoy live sport to the fullest due to visual impairment.
For people living with blindness or low vision, the experience of broadcast sport is severely limited. On television, sports coverage relies heavily on visuals, while radio commentary can be too slow to give fans a true sense of the action.
Developed by AKQA in partnership with Tennis Australia and Monash University, Action Audio draws on ball monitoring using computer vision to emphasise key moments of play. It does so with a 3D sound design system that has been developed in collaboration with the blind and low vision community.
Action Audio launched as a pilot during the finals of the 2021 Australian Open tennis tournament. After the success of the pilot, Action Audio was made available across every match at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena for the 2022 tournament.
Via Australian Open radio and Google Assistant, audiences could listen to Action Audio together with the live radio commentary of each game.
Using voice commands, visually impaired tennis fans could ask Google to stream the Action Audio live feed and access information about how Action Audio works, to learn more about the experience.
WPP has reported this week strong first half of 2022 with broad-based growth, sustained demand from clients and the growth guidance upgraded again. This reflects the improved competitive position of our creative businesses, with their growing capabilities in commerce, experience and technology posting $AUD11.790 billion (£6.755 billion) in revenue, up 10.2%, and like-for-like revenue up 8.7% from 2021.
The report identifies that “The integration of agency, technology, and consulting services brings together a converging landscape of holding companies, digital networks, and management consultancies. The result elevates the industry beyond advertising delivered by individual agency brands to marketing solutions delivered by teams of specialists. However, turning disparate, global capabilities into integrated solutions is much easier pitched than delivered. The best integrated marketing providers orchestrate their vast expertise in digital experience (DX), data, creative, and media with fluidity, not friction.”
The report assessed providers against 17 criteria spanning three categories: Current Offering, Strategy, and Market Presence. Among these categories, WPP received the highest scores possible in seven criteria, including creative and content services, customer data strategy and activation services, digital experience services, workforce strategy and performance.
The Forrester report notes, “WPP pioneers end-to-end marketing solutions with global creativity and scale… They include scaled, data-driven creative capabilities; integrated digital experience development; media performance prowess; and strong identity management and robust measurement and analytics. Client references support the company’s ability to orchestrate marketing campaigns and technology across regions.”
Very strong growth driven by demand for digital services, ecommerce and technology; exceptional new business performance; over £1 billion returned to shareholders; sustained momentum into 2022.
The pace of growth in digital advertising has continued to accelerate, reflecting the seismic shift in the way people consume media. GroupM estimates that global digital advertising spend grew by 30.5% in 2021, and now accounts for 64.4% of total spend, up from 59.3% in 2020.
Within digital, one of the big drivers of growth has been the explosion in ecommerce. The pandemic accelerated a widespread shift towards shopping online, amplifying the number of opportunities for brands to connect to consumers on digital channels, while also levelling the playing field for challenger brands. GroupM estimates that global retail ecommerce advanced 20.4% in 2021.
Two other factors are playing a significant role in the growth in advertising spend. New, app-based or digital-first businesses are able to afford to invest a greater proportion of their income into marketing to grow scale fast because they lack the physical presence (and associated costs such as rent) of traditional businesses.
In turn, more traditional advertisers such as consumer packaged goods companies are investing in retail and commerce media – engaging with customers closer to the digital point of sale. This is blurring the lines between the marketing budget and the sales promotion budget, significantly growing the addressable market for marketing services businesses.
We have seen the acceleration of two significant trends, in data and purpose, that we expect to continue. The shift to digital and omnichannel commerce is driving companies to increase investment in data-driven marketing, which requires better (and privacy-compliant) customer data as well as marketing technology transformation. We are also witnessing very strong demand for strategic advice on purpose, sustainability and broader social issues. 85% of consumers believe that brands should represent something more than just profit, and brands perceived as having a high positive impact on society are estimated to be more than twice as valuable as brands that are not.
Digital-first businesses are spending more on marketing to grow quickly because they don’t have the costs associated with physical stores.
Traditional advertisers are investing in retail and commerce media, blurring the lines between their marketing and sales promotion budgets, and boosting markets for marketing services businesses.
Underpinning our success this year is the strength of our creative work. We were honoured to be recognised as the most-awarded company at the 2021 Cannes Lions Festival, with winners representing 38 different countries. Each of our global integrated creative agencies won a Grand Prix. In addition, WPP topped WARC’s 2021 global agency rankings across all three categories – creative, media and effectiveness – reflecting the breadth of our capabilities.
The metaverse presents a new frontier of creative opportunities for brands to engage with consumers, through virtual worlds connecting gaming, augmented and virtual reality, NFTs and the blockchain. Clients are seizing the opportunity and seeking our partnership to experiment in ways to bring experiences to life in this new channel. Our agencies are already delivering metaverse projects for clients including Wendy’s, Under Armour and Pfizer. To take the ideas to the next level, Hogarth recently announced the launch of The Metaverse Foundry, a global team of over 700 creatives, producers, visual artists and technologists focused on delivering the most creative and compelling metaverse experiences for our clients.
The Wunderman Thompson Intelligence report “The Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2022,” is an essential trend almanac offering a snapshot of the year ahead and the most compelling trends to keep on the radar.
This must have report that you can download here, takes a look at the near future and is packed with 100 emerging trends across 10 sectors, spanning culture, tech, beauty and more.
One trend I really loved was Trend 26: Meditative Travel
Meditative apps for wellness are finding new space in the travel sector, giving stressed and anxious travellers access to therapeutic sessions to ease their minds during their journey.
Waze and Headspace are collaborating to make commuting less stressful. Drive with Headspace, launched in October 2021, incorporates the meditative, relaxing Headspace experience into the navigation app with five mood selections: Aware, Bright, Joyful, Hopeful and Open.
Users can change their in-app icons and car image to reflect their mood, change the navigation narrator to Headspace’s director of meditation, Eve Lewis Prieto, and listen to meditative music curated by Headspace on Spotify. Available in four languages, the integration is meant to help drivers “find more joy and meaning on the road,” according to Waze.
The Avanti West Coast train operator in the United Kingdom will offer app-based hypnotherapy for its passengers, to help them when feeling overwhelmed, tired and more. Announced in October 2021, the 20-minute sessions will guide listeners with tips for power napping, guidance for improving productivity, and tools for confidence building.
The hypnotherapy app Clementine is free to riders on the West Coast Main Line services, because the “onboard journey experience is as important as getting to the destination itself,” according to an Avanti West Coast representative.
Delta Airlines will soon offer custom Peloton relaxation, meditation and stretching classes on planes with seatback screens. Announced in November 2021, the partnership aims to help passengers relax on their flights, with sessions lasting five to 20 minutes taught by some of the fitness app’s popular instructors.
When I joined WPP three years ago, I was impressed with a new company’s purpose of using creativity to build better futures for our people, planet, clients, and communities.
As we break for Christmas and look worldwide, our agency’s work for clients has lived up to that purpose in a challenging year for humanity.
Client work included everything from helping to design the world’s first carbon-neutral TV to an AI-powered campaign that supported local businesses across India for Diwali and an immersive experience on the plastic crisis that helped protect over 22,000 square kilometres of ocean.
In a pandemic many parts of the world, people still can’t access COVID-19 vaccines. So WPP this month teamed up with the WHO Foundation to give everyone at the company the chance to buy a gift that truly matters this festive season.
The $5 vaccine campaign calls on people everywhere to play their part in vaccinating the world by spending the price of a coffee on a shot that could save someone’s life.
The money raised will fund COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income countries, protecting those who need vaccines the most.
As well as creating and delivering the pro bono $5V campaign (thanks to Ogilvy, Blue State, Landor & Fitch and GroupM), WPP is donating 10,000 vaccines on behalf of our clients, and will match every $5V bought by our own people.
Commercially, too, we’ve had an outstanding year, as the company grew at the fastest rate in its history.
A string of wins in many of the year’s biggest pitches – from Unilever and Bayer to Beiersdorf, L’Oréal and Sainsbury’s – culminated in the Coca-Cola Company the biggest of them all.
There really is no other organisation quite like WPP. Being part of this incredible company – with our 100,000 talented people, huge range of capabilities and presence in 110 different countries – means you get to be part of a unique opportunity to help bring about change in ways that others in our industry cannot. That’s why we call ourselves the creative transformation company.
The campaign was created by Wunderman Thompson Australia, in collaboration with Activista, Framestore and Mindpool, the “Don’t Choose Extinction“ campaign is designed to engage the world in a drive towards a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
The much heralded Glasgow Climate Summit begins this Sunday to what many are calling humankind’s last chance to seriously tackle climate change.
UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
As a precursor to the hotly (is that the right word?) anticipated global leader talkfest (that includes president Biden on its guest list), the UN Development Programme has released a new campaign urging world leaders to do more on emissions.
The two-and-a-half-minute spot is called “Don’t Choose Extinction” and stars Frankie, a CGI animated dinosaur who delivers a powerful address to the UN General Assembly.
Frankie’s voiced by acting legend Jack Black and even stars actual UN members and officials.
“Listen up, people,” Frankie declares, “I know a thing or two about extinction. Going extinct is a bad thing. And driving yourselves extinct in 70 million years? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
Frankie then calls out governments for spending billions of dollars on fossil fuel subsidies and says rebuilding economies after the pandemic offers a chance to do things differently.
A spokesperson for the UN Development Programme said the campaign was designed “to shine a spotlight on fossil fuel subsidies and how they are canceling out significant progress towards ending climate change and are driving inequality by benefiting the rich”.
The ad’s voiced in a variety of languages including Jack Black (English), Eliza Gonzalez (Spanish), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish) and Aissa Maiga (French).
João Braga, chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson Australia, said: “This behaviour change campaign gave us the largest possible target audience anyone could have. With 7 billion people to speak to and a challenge of this calibre, we needed deep creative thinking from every discipline.
“This digital experience is only just the start of our work with the UNDP to help end the excuses around climate change for good and provide people from all walks of life the understanding and the facts they need to make a difference. We’re even working to take this idea as far as outer-space, by naming real asteroids after these excuses”.
The experience allows users to click into the excuses on the website, each pictured as an asteroid rocketing towards Earth, where they will find information and tools to provide direct action.
The tools, created by Wunderman Thompson Australia, will be rolled out in phases in the coming months and include:
The Chrome Plugin Thesaurus Rex, designed to help people navigate the terms around fossil fuels online.
The Voice of Reason, an Alexa skill that disarmingly rebuts every climate change myth or excuse.
A spin on The Birds and The Bees with an e-book that gives children the arguments they need to convince their parents and peers.
Boaz Paldi, global partnership and engagement manager for United Nations Development Programme, said: “With this initiative, we want to spotlight the climate crisis and at the same time energize the debate about some of the economic solutions that are out there to get us on a path to de-carbonization.
“Addressing fossil fuel subsidies is a critical issue in the fight against climate change. The campaign gives hope that despite the trajectory we seem to be on there is still time to act and solutions to fight for.
“Creativity and technology are two of the necessary tools we need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and move towards a green transition. It’s why we needed the best minds in the industry to partner with us in our journey to make these goals a reality.”
To deliver scale and to amplify the message, UNDP offices across the world in 170 countries will activate the campaign.
This is the first phase of the global advocacy campaign, where Wunderman Thompson Australia will continue to work with the UNDP to launch more initiatives in the coming months.
United Nations Development Programme
Director of Advocacy, Marketing and Communications: Anjali Kwatra
Global Engagement & Partnership Manager: Boaz Paldi
Senior Consultant, Creative Strategy: Nick Garrett
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
I think personalization is something that consumers really like.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.