Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA Agency News: VCCP London, Starcom, NOW and many more

O2 has announced it is the official network sponsor for ITV’s hit show Love Island. The sponsorship builds on O2’s recent campaign ‘Roam Freely’, as the award-winning network seeks to remind Love Island fans that O2 is now the only major network that does not charge its customers to roam in Europe up to 25GB. Launching 26th May 2022, the new O2 integrated campaign sees friendly and loveable brand mascot Bubl become a Love Island insider, providing exclusive backstage access to the Islanders at key moments and serving up sizzling content, prizes and perks with Priority for O2 customers and Love Island fans to enjoy. O2 worked with UK agency of record, VCCP London, Product and Service innovation company, Bernadette, and global content studio, Girl&Bear, to mastermind the new creative campaign. Havas Media Group UK, with support from Havas Entertainment JUMP, tabled and brokered the far-reaching licensing deal with ITV and wider media strategy to kick off O2’s Roam Freely Summer by ensuring O2 is present around key moments most relevant to younger audiences. The fully integrated campaign launches with a 10’’ TV ad and social media launch content which will go live across O2 social channels. These will be followed by the creative rolling out on BVOD and Display alongside exclusive content on Love Island’s website and app, promotional materials in O2 stores and merchandise. O2 will run exclusive Priority offers for members to enjoy this summer, as well as giving them the chance to win tickets to Love Island Aftersun and The Finale.

Starcom, part of Publicis Media, has won the UK & EMEA digital assignment for global investment company, abrdn, as part of a competitive pitch. The assignment will be led from London by Starcom’s specialist performance marketing team, Performics, that will support abrdn’s ongoing rebranding efforts and digital transformation across the PLC and all its vectors; Investments, Adviser and Personal. The scope includes all digital assignments for the brand, encompassing customer segmentation insight, paid search, SEO, content, conversion rate optimisation, affiliates, social and programmatic display activity across 28 markets (including the UK, France and Germany). The agency was chosen as abrdn’s partner after proving its excellence working with scaled, multi-language programmes, as well as the wide offering of translation services, in-house tech and innovation tools.

Little Rick, the London-based direct-to-consumer CBD drinks brand, has unveiled a new brand identity and relaunch campaign. The work was developed in partnership with creative agency NOW. Little Rick’s founders came to NOW to help redefine and reinvent its brand, and to create a more premium, adult identity more befitting of its highly-rated product range, which contains more CBD than any of its competitors and is made with a natural full-spectrum CBD oil rather than a lab-made CBD powder which many other brands use. With the UK CBD product market expected to reach a value of £1 billion by 2025, NOW and Little Rick needed to develop a new positioning and identity which would give the brand real standout in an already-saturated space. Recognising that most CBD drinks brands have positioned themselves as health or wellness products, shying away from promoting their true product benefits, NOW and Little Rick chose to buck the trend and instead focus on the drink’s relaxing and stress-relieving properties. Following a period of discovery and consumer research, NOW developed a new brand identity and campaign which dare to tell the truth about CBD: it takes the edge off so we can be ourselves. NOW has created a new brand identity that feels far more premium and adult than its predecessor, with design influences including the work of artist Keith Haring and the imagery of surf culture.

Having selected Blue Yonder last year to digitally transform its end-to-end supply chain and retail operations, Asda, a British retailer with a unique position in the market, is continuing its retail transformation journey with Blue Yonder by selecting Luminate® Commerce solutions to modernise its order management capabilities. Asda will also partner with Bringg, a Blue Yonder technology alliance partner and the leading delivery and fulfilment cloud platform, to make each element of the supply chain seamless, connected and orchestrated.

The official information hub for the UK MICE industry, Conference News (CN), has announced the finalists for CN Agency Awards (CNAA’s), their annual celebration that recognises the excellence of the UK’s most influential and prolific event agencies over the past 12 months. London based agency Goho, who recently celebrated their third birthday, have been shortlisted in the Start-Up agency category.

Vivid Goliath has appointed Havas Entertainment, Havas Media Group’s entertainment and culture agency brand, as its UK media agency of record. Against the backdrop of a competitive toy market and with a need to engage with children in a rapidly fragmenting media landscape, Vivid Goliath has chosen to appoint Havas Entertainment to achieve brand standout. The toy giant will partner with the entertainment specialist to create meaningful moments in culture, in order to cut through the clutter and resonate with children and parents. Working in partnership, Havas Entertainment and Vivid Goliath will harness media including TV, VOD, digital and social channels, with a digitally-led approach. has launched a new campaign to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The new version of Reed’s ‘Love Mondays Again’ campaign features 6 Corgis, famously the Queen’s favourite breed, in the shape of MONDAY. The campaign was created by independent creative agency isobel. isobel’s first campaign for the recruiter, in 2021, featured fluffy Pomeranians spelling Monday, as well as Donuts and Lilos. The Platinum Jubilee Corgis campaign will run across London, in bus and taxi wrap takeovers. Reed is also partnering with the new Crossrail Elizabeth Line, as one of five partner brands launching the new line.  For the launch of the Elizabeth Line, animated versions of the Corgis will run on platforms, as well as carriage takeovers and station OOH. The campaign features the celebratory Jubilee line, “Great job Ma’am”, and the CTA:  “Find a job one adores at”. The campaign runs from Tuesday 24th May for 6 weeks.

Following a competitive four way pitch, Platinum Guild Internationa USA (PGI) has appointed Collective as its digital creative agency. Collective will now handle all of PGI USA’s content creation, digital strategy, performance marketing and web development for its consumer-facing brand, Platinum Born. Collective will be briefed with driving sales and creating a greater bond between Platinum Born and its customers while increasing consumer awareness and establishing Platinum Born as a company that not only cares for the product quality but for its customers as well. Collective will focus on brand growth within the US market, driving more sales as the brand expands. Collective was appointed because of its innovative strategic thinking around how platinum is empowering a new era of women, expressing individuality, uniqueness and personality alongside its creative and tech capabilities.

NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland have partnered with VaynerMedia London to launch a brand-new podcast series called The Business Show. The series will aim to provide listeners with “today’s insights for tomorrow’s challenges” whether they’re an aspiring start-up, savvy small business, or established enterprise. Well known television and radio presenter, Angelica Bell, will host six ‘hero’ episodes each fortnight, speaking to successful entrepreneurs and leaders to find out how they’ve overcome obstacles and grown thriving businesses. Topics discussed include sustainability, customer retention in a cost-of-living crisis and recruitment challenges alongside several others. The week after each hero episode, The Business Show Extra will be released, exploring key themes in more detail alongside additional guests. The Extra show will be hosted by Holly Mackay, founder and managing director of Boring Money, and Eshita Kabra-Davies, founder and CEO of fashion rental app, By Rotation.

Customer experience marketing agency Gekko has announced a new partnership with Vestel, a global manufacturer of consumer electronics, professional display solutions and information technology. Vestel’s solutions help to digitally transform organisations within the corporate, retail, education and hospitality sectors. The partnership, which includes onboarding a Gekko employee as a Visual Solutions Executive, will grow Vestel’s network of partners and resellers. Gekko will be providing field based Visual Solutions Specialists to grow the brand’s share of business with trading partners that include: System Integrators, Visual solutions providers, Public Sector resellers, Education resellers, Central and local Government resellers, Hotel and Service Industry resellers and top VAR’s. The mission will be to increase Vestel’s reseller base and develop a profitable relationship with value added support and training.

Web3 super agency, Hype Partners has launched its Metaverse Studio and named Enara Nazarova as VP of Metaverse (VPM) to lead the Studio. The recent NFT boom has brought about significant demand from brands in luxury, apparel, music and sports looking to create engaging web3 experiences. The Studio will help heritage and emerging brands in these sectors, and beyond, to build resilient communities and launch successful metaverse-native projects. Enara joins Hype with a multidisciplinary background leading marketing initiatives across fashion, media and education. Since 2016 she has been focused on fusing culture with emerging technology and advocating for diverse talent representation in tech. As VPM, Enara will head the company’s Metaverse partnerships and work to develop a suite of next-generation digital experiences at Hype. 

Aberfield Communications has been appointed by Calderdale College to design and deliver an integrated marketing plan to drive enquiries for Collaborative Apprenticeships, a project focused on increasing and improving the quality of apprenticeships in Calderdale and its surrounding areas. The Leeds-based PR, social media and brand communications agency will be creating the marketing strategy for the project, which is set to run until June 2023, before developing and delivering an integrated plan that engages with employers through a combination of paid and earned activity, including PR, case studies, PPC, social media and website and event support. Collaborative Apprenticeships is managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). Calderdale College is supporting the delivery of the project and will be launching a wide range of free training courses and providing support targeted at SMEs in the Calderdale area, designed to help them either introduce or enhance their, apprenticeships.

Aniventure, the animated film production company, selected website design and development agency, Kitty, to design and build their new website. With the launch of new highly-acclaimed projects such as ‘Riverdance’, Aniventure was looking for a new premium website that would showcase the success of their recent projects such as ‘Riverdance’, and create a hub for press and prospective clients to explore their animated worlds. Kitty’s solution was to design and build an engaging and interactive website to showcase their productions, enabling users and press to better explore some of their completed and upcoming work and dive into the development details of each production. The new site was created on WordPress to offer a streamlined user experience to complement Aniventure’s offering. Kitty were able to refresh Aniventures’ branding in line with the new site to reflect their engaging and creative portfolio, whilst still ensuring that Aniventure and its brand was at the heart of it.

Wunderman Thompson has partnered with the RHS, the UK’s largest gardening charity, to launch a new brand strategy and accompanying integrated campaign, showing how the RHS can help all gardeners to ‘speak plant’. The RHS boasts more than 600,000 members, but Wunderman Thompson’s new campaign aims to make it the go-to for gardening advice and inspiration for the UK’s estimated 30 million gardeners – no matter their expertise or experience. The ‘We Speak Plant’ campaign brings the 200 years of RHS knowledge to life with an integrated approach centring around a light-hearted animated film, created by Blinkink, where disgruntled plants air their grievances about the problems they encounter at the hands of gardeners – from being watered too much to being stuck in the shade. The solution? Gardeners need to ‘speak plant’ and the RHS can help them to do it. The campaign, which also features a new visual identity for the charity created by fellow WPP agency and partner, Design Bridge, represents a shift in how it communicates its public gardens, community gardening schemes and sustainable gardening science. It launched on May 23rd across video on demand, out-of-home and across social media, and will run until July.