Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA Agency News:, Wavemaker, EssenceMediacom, The Kite Factory and many more, the partnership management platform, has announced it has acquired SaaSquatch, a best-in-class provider of customer referral software. Combining SaaSquatch’s technology with’s platform empowers brands to build authentic and valuable partnerships with their customers while providing them the ability to manage all their partnerships from one platform. The acquisition marks the company’s fifth in three years, including Activate in 2020, Affluent and Trackonomics in 2021, and Pressboard in 2022. Adding SaaSquatch to’s current offering is a natural extension of the company’s leading partnership management platform, allowing brands to leverage the power of their customers’ influence through a single platform for managing all partnership types.  

Independent creative agency Joint and dairy shaker uppers, The Collective, famous for its thick ‘n’ creamy Gourmet yoghurt sandwiched between two layers of fruit compote, are cheekily teasing some of the UKs most famous sandwich brands. The brand, who bring great taste and exciting eating experiences to consumers, are using a touring billboard parked outside the likes of Subway and Pret a Manger, with a message exclaiming ‘Call that a sandwich? THIS is a sandwich.’ next to a pot of yoghurt showing off its unique triple layer. They then tagged the sandwich brands on their social channels to start up a conversation. The creative is part of a larger through the line campaign including OOH and social, targeted in London and the south east.

Biscuit brand belVita is proud to unveil a new multichannel campaign to launch its partnership with food waste charity FareShare as part of its mission to help fight food insecurity and donate up to 100,000 meals to those in need. Currently in the UK, over 13 million people don’t know where their next meal is coming from, with 3 million adults reported to have gone without food for an entire day due to affordability or access issues. FareShare works with the food industry to receive food, that would otherwise go to waste, to a network of 8,500 charities across the UK These groups help tackle the root causes of poverty, providing vital services including breakfast and after school clubs, lunch clubs for older people and domestic violence shelters. The ‘Give a Smile’ campaign – which runs until 30th October – has been developed in partnership with creative agency elvis and stems from the belVita brand belief that positive energy holds a lot of power in the world. The initiative will harness this power and create a chain reaction of ‘giving back’, supported by new research that reveals Brits are more likely to be philanthropic, when feeling positive themselves.

Edinburgh Napier University has appointed The Kite Factory to oversee its first ever always-on brand awareness campaign. With increasing competition in student recruitment, the agency is tasked with rolling out an integrated media campaign that will increase ENU’s brand recognition through engaging key audiences with multi-channel storytelling, while increasing student consideration to drive recruitment targets.

Wavemaker has launched ‘Transformative Growth Consulting’ a complete business transformation product which sits within its Global Consultancy practice. The end-to-end toolkit will be deployed by Wavemaker consultants who work with clients to diagnose missed growth opportunities due to lack of adoption of new, future-proofed marketing practices such as AI-based innovation, addressability, eCommerce and advanced analytics. The consultants run pilots to test the growth potential available from leveraging the various practices, both individually and in combination. Wavemaker’s own activation specialists run the pilots in conjunction with ‘business-as-usual’ marketing to prove impact, and then roll learnings back into the day-to-day media plan.

Following the renewal of its commercial contract with DFS Group earlier this year, WPP media agency EssenceMediacom, has announced that it has won Sofology’s digital brief, consolidating the full media scope. Already holding a Linear TV and Broadcast VOD scope, EssenceMediacom has now expanded the brief to include Sofology’s £4m spend on digital channels, including search, increasing their full spend with the brand to £10m across all channels. Using breakthroughs in 1st party data and full-funnel strategy, EssenceMediacom will be working to drive revenue growth for the brand across all channels.

Independent media agency Medialab and creative production agency cain&abelDDB are raising a glass in conjunction with the first one day international, as Laithwaites extends its partnership with Sky Media as the Official Wine Partner of England Cricket following a record-breaking summer of The Ashes. The deal will feature across seven matches – four against New Zealand and three against Ireland – spanning Sky Sports’ broadcast coverage. Earlier this year, Laithwaites announced its multi-year partnership with England Cricket and its co-sponsorship of cricket coverage on Sky Sports ahead of the eagerly awaited Ashes Series. Working closely with cain&abel and Medialab, Laithwaites has been bringing wine and cricket together across the summer in a series of idents that celebrate cricketing moments. The opening fixture of the 2023 Ashes delivered a record-breaking peak audience of a staggering 2.12 million, marking the highest viewing figures ever for a Test match.

Independent hospital provider Spire Healthcare has unveiled a major new multichannel brand awareness campaign, “The sooner you’re better, the better”. The push was developed in partnership with M&C Saatchi London. The campaign seeks to make the brand front-of-mind for people aged 35+ who are open to the idea of private healthcare. It positions Spire as the ‘fast-track health service’, getting people back to their lives, loved ones and the things they love, sooner. “Leap”, a 30-second TV spot directed by Chris Hewitt at Knucklehead, employs CGI-enabled magic realism to bring to life the story of swift recovery, getting back to being yourself and returning to what you love doing. The film opens in a Spire hospital. As a patient receives positive news about his treatment, the consultation room around him begins to transform. The patient finds himself bathed in sunlight standing on a cliff. He then leaps from the cliff to join his wife and children for a special moment playing in the sea below as he looks forward to getting back to what he loves. A second TV ad, “Hike”, will launch in early 2024. Media planning and buying for the campaign is by Smithfield. Activity is running across TV, print, social, digital display, web and door drops.

Aviva has joined forces with ITV to launch a series of interactive ‘virtual puzzle’ ads, bringing to life how one of the UK’s leading insurance, wealth and retirement businesses is helping to solve the nation’s financial puzzles. The series of five 20-second, co-branded ads were made by ITV Creative. They will air throughout ITV’s programmed game shows such as Tipping Point and The Chase, and in some instances the Rugby World Cup games, offering viewers the chance to play along and take part in the virtual puzzles from home. From anagrams and rearranging matches, to ‘match the pairs’, the puzzles have been designed with Aviva’s core audience in mind – meaning that all members of the family can take part. The puzzle partnership will incorporate “light entertainment energy” and officially airs on 2nd September at 7pm until 31 October 2023. It builds on the momentum of Aviva’s successful ‘Make It Click’ campaign – which acknowledges how confusing and intimidating finances can be – and forms part of Aviva’s wider strategy with Publicis Media, increasing the affinity between Aviva and its core audience. Aviva has worked with Publicis Media on the strategy, planning, management and measurement of the campaign. The latter utilises Right Reach, a proprietary Publicis Media tool that helps clients navigate the fragmenting and inflationary media landscape, to identify the most impactful reach.

UK Finance has unveiled a new TV spot and other activity as part of its £5 million “Reach Out” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the support available from mortgage lenders for those customers who are concerned about higher monthly repayment costs. The rapid response, multichannel push was developed in partnership with M&C Saatchi London, which UK Finance appointed in July. Following an initial burst of the campaign which debuted on the 31st July, running across out-of-home, print, radio and digital channels, today sees the launch of a hero TV spot, along with new out-of-home and digital activity. The push encourages people to “Reach Out” to their lender, underlining a simple and positive message. The 30-second TV spot, directed by Mr Yankey at Armoury London, harnesses a memorable audio signature: a newly recorded version of the famous Four Tops track “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”. Media agency Goodstuff is overseeing media planning and buying for the campaign.

Aurum Solutions, global next-generation reconciliation software specialist, has appointed Spider PR to develop and deliver a holistic communications strategy to enhance brand awareness and reputation across the industry, positioning the business and team as leading experts in reconciliation.  Aurum’s mission is simple: empower CFOs and their teams through management of financial data. Spider’s corporate and B2B team will work hand-in-hand with Aurum to raise awareness of how automated and integrated solutions will benefit financial professionals, allowing them to focus on people, strategy and service. Spider’s strategy will put the expertise, knowledge, and innovative mindset at Aurum at its core, utilising key platforms and creating opportunities for the team to share valuable insight, news and successes. Case studies will provide first-hand proof of Aurum Solutions’ positive business impact, while award entries will further cement the team’s position as leaders and innovators. Aurum and Spider hit the ground running with the unveiling of a complete brand transformation as the next step in the evolution of their journey. The strategic initiative reflects Aurum’s commitment to continuous innovation and a refreshed brand identity that best resonates with the changing and evolving company. 

E-commerce agency AYKO, experts in the development and growth of integrated e-commerce solutions as well as one of the largest independently owned Adobe Gold, Shopify Plus & Google certified agencies, are proud to announce that they have reached the e-commerce specialism in Adobe. This recognition celebrates AYKO’s demonstrated expertise and proficiency in working with Adobe’s products and solutions. Adobe offers a partner program to recognise and collaborate with organisations that have in-depth knowledge of Adobe’s technologies and can provide specialised services, solutions, and support to their clients. This specialism showcases the agency’s deep understanding and expertise in using Adobe’s suite of tools. This recognition will instil trust in clients who seek top-tier solutions for their e-commerce needs.

VCCP London has unveiled its expanded Creator Team and onsite facilities to offer specialist support and deliver authentic, creative content to its clients. By putting a spotlight on the role of the creator and boosting the agency’s offer, VCCP London will tap into the booming creator economy which has seen massive growth and now encompasses more than 50 million people around the world. The approach allows for agile content creation built natively on social platforms for a fast turnaround, responding to client needs and cultural moments. VCCP’s Creators are ideally suited to adapt campaigns for different platforms merging existing assets with natively created effects, they can also offer always-on reactive content and live event coverage. The move forms part of VCCP London’s ongoing evolution of its approach to social media. The team is headed up by two Social Creative Directors, David Feldman and recent hire Milan Desai formerly of TikTok and Expedia. Lucy Cooper and Becky Harrison are taking on new roles as VCCP Creators and will be joined by new hire Matt Nicholas, a previous UK Young Cannes Lions winner, as a Senior Creator. The whole Creator Team will consist of ten in-house creators with access to a network of 5 million external creators. Current and prospective clients will benefit from access to award-winning specialists to create innovative and engaging social content as well as the new VCCP Creator Studio, a dedicated space for agile content creation fitted out with lighting, coloramas and props. VCCP Clients will also be able to use the facilities at the Creator Studio. The new supercharged offering will enable more opportunities for VCCP London to run always-on social as well as integrated social campaigns such as their recent work for O2 and Love Island, which saw O2 go behind the scenes at Casa Amor with exclusive updates and content from the Islanders nightly during the show’s run.