Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA Agency News: Zenith, Spark Foundry, Jungle Creations, Impero and more

The Macallan, owned by The Edrington Group, is partnering with Evening Standard to launch a ‘takeover’ of several London Underground stations as part of their multi-media digital & billboard campaign, devised and brokered by media agency Zenith. Tube takeovers go live at King’s Cross and Waterloo today, consisting of  ‘tunnel’ dominating 12-sheets, and large format digital screens. Alongside this, as the campaign peaks, today’s issue of the Evening Standard will feature a Double Cask cover wrap, making The Macallan unmissable for commuters. The campaign takes an audience-first approach, positioning the brand at the forefront of culture; not just by focusing on the whisky, but using the Evening Standard’s data-fuelled knowledge of its readers to weave in bespoke content suited to their interests. Led by Zenith, the strategy aims to firmly embed The Macallan in the minds of our recruitment audience, rendering the brand ubiquitous in their everyday lives. Not only that, it re-enforces the brand’s position as a category-leading, luxury player in the whisky market, cementing its premium status. The key component of the partnership is a bespoke ‘Discover Extraordinary’ content hub on the Evening Standard site, hosting custom articles and videos, with content ranging from ‘How oysters became London’s latest ‘it’ food’ to ‘Eight of London’s cosiest bars’ – all designed uniquely with The Macallan’s audience’s passions and interests in mind.

Spark Foundry and Jungle Creations’ people-focused media brand VT have launched a new digital campaign for Mexican-Inspired brand, Taco Bell UK, cutting through the noise by inviting people not to talk about Christmas. In the video, Taco Bell highlights how each year an average of 55,000 birthdays are forgotten due to being held in the same month as Christmas. We hear stories from various individuals who don’t enjoy the Christmas period because of this. The creative highlights how they have had countless overlooked birthdays and missed presents, telling them to reclaim the celebrations and disrupt the usual festivities to make their December birthday front and centre by showing that tacos can be the ultimate freedom food this December. This tongue in cheek campaign, aimed at a younger audience of 16–34-year-olds, will run across social throughout the month of December, amplified across VT’s social media channels including TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. The creative was produced by Jungle Creations, with Spark Foundry handling the media strategy, planning and buying, and SPP Media who brokered and managed the partnership.

Creative agency Impero has announced the launch of ‘Tis the season to slay it’, George at ASDA’s first standalone Christmas partywear campaign. In order to position themselves as a credible player within the high street fashion landscape this Christmas, George looked to do something different from the usual Christmas ad and instead tap into a meaningful insight, whilst still celebrating the season. The resulting campaign is a celebration of New York Ball Culture, a loud and proud counter-cultural phenomenon rooted in necessity and defiance. Impero’s film sees the lead character Jabarri, enter a traditional British pub at Christmas. Knowing how society sometimes receives gender non-conforming and trans people, Jabarri visibly becomes worried about the sparkling outfit they had initially loved. Then, fortified by music and an inner confidence, they push through the feared judgement and discomfort and dance their way into changing the whole atmosphere in the pub, to one of complete inclusivity and celebration. In the words of the campaign – they “Slay it”. With George donating £100,000 in 2021 to Diversity Roles Models to support them to end LGTBQ+ bullying in schools, Impero built on this by partnering with them to feature in the campaign itself. The campaign execution is based on the learning that going home at Christmas is not always easy. 44% of LGBTQ+ people feel like they cannot go home for the holidays as their “true selves” – this sentiment is particularly true for those within the queer community. Empathy, empowerment and confidence are key weapons against this, so Impero wanted to highlight them within the George Christmas campaign. The TikTok challenge element of the campaign challenges users to strut and reveal their most glamorous Christmas outfits, whilst showing some big, positive attitude and killer poses. It invites participants to explore their femininity through clothes and to be celebrated not judged for it. This sense of joy is spread throughout all campaign touchpoints; from big, bold and confident OOH executions, through to 6” paid social cut downs, featuring influencers strutting and posing in their all-glittering, George Christmas party wear.

Design & technology agency Rufus Leonard walked away with the top prize at the 2021 Digital Impact Awards, after being named Digital Agency of the Year for its development of WWF UK’s My Footprint app. The Digital Impact Awards judges described Rufus Leonard’s work as: “Smart, timely and expertly executed (…) A worthy winner of the Digital Agency of the Year accolade”. Setting the industry-wide benchmark in digital stakeholder engagement, the Digital Impact Awards have honoured the best corporate digital communications work across Europe for more than a decade. Winners were announced during a gala dinner ceremony at Park Plaza Riverbank London on 25th November.

Integrated B2B technology marketing agency, Fox Agency has doubled the size and revenue of its PR division in the past year, after winning a succession of new clients in the fast-evolving telco, IoT, digital imaging and travel eSIM markets. Having taken the decision to specialise in B2B technology just 18 months ago, the UK marketing agency has defied the challenging trading conditions caused by Covid-19, and month on month revenue growth has led to a substantial recruitment drive within the PR team. Sony Digital Imaging Europe, OV, part of Manx Telecom, and BreatheSIM are amongst the recent retained client wins. With expanded global PR remits for existing clients including Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Fellowes Europe, as well as more new business pitches scheduled before the end of the year. Along with global client wins, Fox Agency has also bolstered its team with multiple hires including the appointment of Natalie Trice as Senior PR Director. Trice has 25 years’ global PR experience working for clients including Epson, HP, CNN, and Nortel. As well as driving successful multi-continent campaigns, she has the extensive team management, training, and coaching experience, that will be key to the growth of Fox Agency’s PR team and the success of its clients. Spearheaded by Trice, who has an impressive track record in coaching PR professionals and business owners and is also the author of PR School: A Masterclass in Publicity for You and Your Business, Fox Agency has launched its own PR Academy and plans to set a precedent when it comes to recruiting, training, and retaining tech PR talent for the future.

As Christmas 2021 draws closer, this much-loved time of year for the majority can be a period that induces anxiety and depression for others. Creative agency Leith has worked with Gas Music, a music and sound design company, in aid of Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity, to create a song that promotes positive mental health and well-being over the festive period. Research has shown that one in four people experience anxiety and depression over Christmas, and experts have found that listening to too much Christmas music can actually exacerbate these feelings and could cause further distress to those suffering. However, research into how music can be used as a tool to combat mental health problems has found that alternative types of music can help people to feel better. 78% of people use music to improve their mood when feeling anxious, and up to 88% use it to help with their depression. With this in mind, Leith worked with Gas Music to re-engineer old Christmas hymns and songs into an upbeat track that could help people over the festive period. The track is set to 432 Hz, the frequency which research has shown has a positive effect on mental health and calming effect on the mind. The track also features old interviews with psychiatrists and people living with depression, establishing the importance of talking about the conditions.

Sustainable active lifestyle brand Zen Running Club has selected Wilderness, the independent social media agency, to create its social launch campaign for its innovative ZR 01 plant-based, vegan-approved running shoe. Wilderness has been tasked with driving mass awareness across social for the brand and the ZR 01 lightweight performance running shoe and positively impact sales of the new shoes. The campaign leverages Zen Running Club’s “Made from good decisions” brand messaging to build brand awareness and cut through amongst conscious consumers with sporty and active lifestyles who value a performance running product with style. The campaign creative includes photography by Daniel Riera, with shoots on location in Barcelona and Berlin, to capture the running lifestyle mood of the brand. The ZR 01 will initially be available online in Europe and the US on 24. November, with planned pop-ups in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Berlin and more.

VaynerMedia London has created a new campaign for UNICEF to support the global fight against Covid-19. The global campaign framework and toolkit, including a powerful look and feel design system, will run on UNICEF’s digital channels globally and is offered to corporate partners and foundations who fund and support these critical efforts. The media assets consist of a hero film and supporting assets – featuring The Chemical Brothers’ Galvanize soundtrack – that will serve as an anthem for colleagues, partners and volunteers working to bring the pandemic under control and galvanize support from people across the globe. Sharing the message ‘it’s not over for anyone until it’s over for everyone’, the campaign is a rallying cry to support UNICEF’s ambitious target of urgently delivering more than two billion COVID-19 vaccines globally to ensure fair, equitable and affordable distribution worldwide. This is the latest campaign in VaynerMedia’s long-standing work with UNICEF and will launch in early December across UNICEF’s website and social media channels.

O2 and The Big Issue have announced a partnership which will set up over 200 of the magazine’s vendors each month with free data plans. This will include 7GB of data, a free sim, unlimited calls and texts, enabling vendors to make cashless sales, access essential online services and stay connected. The partnership comes as part of the National Databank initiative launched by O2 and Good Things Foundation. The scheme works like a “food bank for data”, tackling data poverty by providing free mobile data to people in need. For every plan the award-winning network sells this Christmas, O2 has announced it will in turn donate 10GB of data to the Databank so it’s there for someone who really needs it, free of charge. The Databank is designed to support O2’s data pledge to get more than 255,000 people living in poverty connected by the end of 2023. As part of its drive to help end the digital divide, O2 has committed to setting up over 200 Big Issue vendors with data plans each month to help them go cashless and grow their business. The Big Issue has seen how important this is, since vendors started to offer cashless selling in 2019, many have seen sales increase by a third or more. The partnership has been launched as a multi-platform content series across The Big Issue’s expanding media platforms, mapping Big Issue vendors’ journeys as they become cashless and are able to stay better connected to essential services and support. JUMP, part of Havas Entertainment, negotiated the deal and will continue to manage the partnership throughout the campaign period.

What’s Possible Group-owned, Hubble, the agency that provides a single solution for international marketers working in centralised teams, has announced that it has won the media business for workspace scheduling experts, Condeco, across the US, UK and Europe. This win will see Hubble support Condeco as it launches its scheduling software – a smart, simple-to-use workspace booking platform that will transform the world of work. The campaign started with a soft launch in the US and will be extended to a larger launch in 2022. Targeting C-Suite decision-makers and employees of progressive knowledge-based companies wanting to invest in flexible working solutions, the campaign will launch across channels including social, connected TV, audio, and digital display. Hubble will kick-off this campaign with a 90-second film and smaller cutdowns; five display executions; and an audio ad for a ‘day in my flexible working life’ podcast hosted by experienced TV anchor, Juliet Mann, who specialises in business news and has worked for CNBC, TRT World, CNN, Sky News, LBC Radio and Reuters.

Loud Mouth Media has announced its latest awards success and recent client win as it partners with British motoring association The AA for campaign support. With clients including Harry Corry, Tourism Northern Ireland, BBC and Volvo, this latest win has seen Loud Mouth Media’s specialisms across PPC, SEO, Social Advertising, Performance Creative and Digital Strategy increase its revenue hit £1.6Million in 2021. In the campaign, which will include support with PPC, Loud Mouth Media will be working with The AA to build out a digital strategy that will help drive brand awareness in Ireland.

Honda Motorcycles, the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, has launched a full 360 pan-European integrated campaign. The new campaign is designed to appeal to a broad demographic of both current riders, and future riders, and will support Honda Motorcycles’ ambition of increasing its market share in Europe. Unlike previous campaigns, the new brand positioning focuses on the experience of the Honda bike rider, rather than the bike itself, a further nod to dreams which is at the heart of the new campaign. The campaign launches with a 2 minute hero film celebrating a restless spirit which is rooted all the way back to the origins of Honda Motorcycles’. The emotive brand film was produced by Other Lands and Band Originale, and takes the audience on a powerful journey, paying homage to Honda Motorcycles’ founding engineers who first dared to dream, and showcases Honda Motorcycles as the brand it is today. The film includes a cameo from Honda long-term ambassador and current MotoGP rider Marc Márquez who is the youngest rider to win a MotoGP championship. The new campaign, created by VCCP, is the first piece of work to run since winning the European business at the end of 2020. The pan-European brief is being run out of VCCP London and VCCP Madrid.

Cubitts, the modern spectacle maker, has hired Words + Pixels to raise its profile as a British, values-led brand through creative strategy and corporate and consumer PR as the brand continues to expand across the UK. The brand is on a mission to champion inclusivity and the circular economy within the spectacles and fashion industry through a design-led approach to manufacturing, innovation and tech. Words + Pixels will be retained to help the business raise its profile as a British brand with values at its core through a series of campaigns, product and store launches and creative storytelling that aim to challenge the industry and drive meaningful change.