Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA News Roundup: elvis, Cohesity, M&C Saatchi London and many more

Lyle’s Golden Syrup is launching a brand-new creative platform and multichannel campaign, “Absolutely Golden”. The push was developed in partnership with creative agency elvis. It is the first work to launch since Tate & Lyle Sugars appointed the shop as its lead UK creative agency at the end of last year With Lyle’s core family audience growing older and with more competitors than ever before, the brand needed to develop a creative platform that made a big impact with a younger audience and regained share of voice, focussing on messaging around taste and versatility. Lyle’s has partnered with elvis to develop an iconic above-the-line campaign for its iconic 140-year-old product, aiming to breathe new life into the nation’s favourite syrup. The push seeks to unlock Lyle’s potential for sustained value growth, and to re-establish it as “the brand for me” amongst family households. The unexpectedly playful new creative platform shows just what a drop of Lyle’s Golden Syrup represents to people, portraying what they feel and see when they use the product. At the centre of the campaign are two hero TV spots, directed by Rob Davies at Craft Films, both starring the same family in their kitchen, as their food experience is elevated by Lyle’s Golden Syrup. In line with elvis’ B Corp accreditation and Better World strategy, which sees it focus on delivering against the core principles of equity, sustainability, community and kindness in every aspect of its business, the campaign concept was designed to minimise food waste and encourage responsible consumption, by focussing on the impact a single drop of syrup can have.

Cohesity has announced the appointment of Kit Beall to the role of Chief Revenue Officer. A business development and enterprise tech veteran, Beall brings more than 30 years of highly relevant experience to Cohesity, with deep expertise in software, cloud, security, artificial intelligence (AI) and managed services. In this role, Beall will utilise his vast international experience in overseeing all sales and partner functions worldwide. Prior to joining Cohesity, Beall was senior vice president of global accounts and telcos at VMware, where he was responsible for managing, growing, and advising VMware’s largest and most strategic global accounts, including some of VMware’s key verticals such as financial services. Prior to that, Beall was chief operations officer and senior vice president of global field sales at Uhana, an AI platform for 5G mobile networks.

M&C Saatchi London has further bolstered its production capabilities with the appointment of former Marks & Spencer production lead Rachel “Chops” Amess to the newly created role of Head of Integrated Production. Starting her career at DDB London, Amess has held production roles at many of the industry’s best creative agencies, including VCCP, Droga5, Adam & Eve DDB, Grey London and AMV BBDO.Between March 2021 and April 2022, she was Film Production Lead at Marks & Spencer, setting up the retailer’s in-house production capabilities following their move away from a traditional client-agency model. During her time there, she oversaw all production across multiple platforms, including the brand’s acclaimed 2021 Christmas campaign starring Percy Pig (voiced by Tom Holland), as well as the launch of the retailer’s advertiser-funded ITV1 show Cooking with the Stars and YouTube spin-off show, Extra Helpings. Amess’ other production career highlights include VCCP’s “Meerkats” work for Compare the Market, a domestic violence charity film for FKA Twigs, climate change documentary The Birdman (a finalist at the Tribeca Film Festival), and major campaigns for Lloyds Bank, Volkswagen and Oxfam, amongst many others. M&C Saatchi London has also further boosted its creative department, following its appointment of creative teams Alex Lucas and Jon Farley and Holly Sutton-Williams and Dan Lacey earlier this year, with the appointment of Max Lowe as an Art Director and creative partner to Amy Parkhill. Lowe previously spent nearly three years at The Corner and has also had stints at Havas and Gravity Road. His campaigns include the award-winning Adidas “It’s Coming Hame” work.

Heriot-Watt University has announced the appointment of Grant Wheeler as Head of Commercialisation, a key strategic role which aims to transform innovative academic research into business and entrepreneurship opportunities. Wheeler will be responsible for delivering Heriot-Watt University’s enterprise ambitions and will work with academics, students and industry partners to translate research into new services, products and spin-out companies which aim to solve societal and industry challenges and add value to Scotland’s economy. He brings more than two decades of experience in enterprise creation and technology commercialisation spanning a range of roles within the UK innovation ecosystem and has a proven track record in early-stage and scale-up company engagement, high-profile strategic projects and the development of impact-driven commercialisation opportunities. 

Global experience design company, Imagination, has created a world-first driving experience for the launch of Ford’s new all-electric Explorer™ SUV; Ford’s first volume passenger electric car designed and built in Europe. The virtual car launch will set a new standard for brand experiences in the automotive industry. Imagination has flipped the traditional in-person car reveal on its head and produced an immersive virtual event for the unveiling of Ford’s new electric vehicle. Powered by the gaming platform Unreal Engine, the event harnesses cutting-edge pixel streaming technology that will allow users to interact with the car in a hyperreal digital environment without the need for owning high-powered hardware. It will be the first-ever pixel-streamed experience of its kind and will set a new standard for future reveals in the automotive sector, where audiences can enjoy fully immersive experiences from the comfort of their own home.  

Global direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce leader, ESW, whose brand partners include LK Bennett, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew and EBEL, has announced two strategic sales appointments as it continues to scale growth in the United Kingdom. Jonathan Sheard brings more than 20 years sales and business development leadership experience in the payment, fintech and logistics industries to his new role as Vice President, Sales at ESW UK.  Formerly Head of Enterprise sales for Klarna, Sheard’s last role was UK Sales Director at Inpost – the parcel locker service. Sheard brings extensive retail sales leadership, securing career wins with internationally renowned brands including ASOS, Frasers Group, Ralph Lauren, VF Corp, SHEIN, Schuh, Boohoo Group and Arcadia. Dan Horlor joins ESW as Sales Director for the United Kingdom. Horlor has spent 15 years in the ecommerce and payments industries working with global brands including Amazon, PayPal, Klarna and Braintree, where new business wins included Burberry, JD Sports, Decathlon and McLaren. 

Market Logic Software is announcing general availability of DeepSights™, the world’s first AI Assistant trained to answer business questions about market research and intelligence. The product is specifically designed to place trusted corporate market insights at the fingertips of decision-makers across the enterprise, whenever and wherever they are needed. DeepSights’ game-changing capabilities break through the barriers commonly holding companies back from acting fast and at scale on the highly valuable intelligence they hold. Leveraging GPT, the OpenAI Large Language Model (LLM), DeepSights opens the door to interactive, insights-powered decision-making for businesses 24/7.  

Community based hair care brand Curlsmith has hired independent agency isobel as its first ever creative agency, to launch its new product in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. Curlsmith was founded in 2018, and has grown rapidly, through social media, to become a market leader for products specifically for curly, coily and wavy hair. It is stocked in all Ulta Beauty stores in the US. The brand was bought by Helen of Troy, a US based multi-national consumer group, in 2022, and has recently gained significant increases in distribution, including and is expanding further in the UK. isobel have been appointed to create a new campaign, to launch Curlsmith’s exciting new product (out on 4th April) across social and digital channels, as well as gain broader awareness of the brand. isobel will work alongside Curlsmith’s LA based media agency, MuteSix.

Storyblok, the content management system (CMS) category company that empowers both developers and marketing teams to create better content experiences across all digital channels, has released The State of CMS 2023 report for the UK to show how companies use their content management systems. The report found that more than half of UK businesses need multiple CMSs to manage their communications, with 7% using more than four. Using more than one CMS can cause disorganised workflows, content siloing, and communication issues, as well as increasing costs and reducing efficiency., the partnership management platform, has announced the appointment of Michelle Denman as Chief People Officer (CPO). Denman brings more than three decades of experience in human resources, people development, talent acquisition and organisational development. As CPO, she will lead’s people function, developing and executing the company’s strategy to attract, develop and retain the very best talent. She will also focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts ranging from ensuring a diverse workforce to ensuring equitable and inclusive treatment of all team members. Prior to joining, Denman led people, culture and human resources for major global companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Chase Bank, Trend Micro, and AppSense. She has helped several companies foster positive cultures, attract top talent and align HR strategy with business goals, and has a passion for developing the business acumen and consulting skills of HR professionals so they can truly provide value to the businesses they serve.

Syndio, a workplace equity platform provider, has announced it has appointed Ambassador Suzan (Suzi) LeVine to its Strategic Advisory Board. LeVine – the former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein and an accomplished senior executive – brings a wealth of knowledge in developing landmark diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging programs and will be focused on evolving Syndio’s strategy, especially in Europe. LeVine is a senior executive with over 25 years of experience leading global organisations across government, corporate and non-profit sectors. LeVine has a deep focus and passion for equitable workforce development as well as for ESG, channeling her own career experiences from the start of her career when she didn’t feel she had received equal pay to her time in leadership to embrace and introduce transformational workplace programs and policies to boost retention and improve equity. For example, while serving as an ambassador under the Obama administration, LeVine focused heavily on gender and diversity, networking with influential stakeholders and delivering high-profile presentations, including a tedx Zurich talk on why diversity matters.

Leeds-based PR and brand communications agency Aberfield Communications is continuing its growth with the appointment of Kieran Harris as PR Consultant and Joshua Madsen-Jensen as a PR Intern. Harris joins the agency with two-years of PR experience working on some of the world’s largest gaming and tech brands such as NVIDIA, ASUS, and Frontier Developments. Prior to transitioning to PR, Harris worked as the Senior Editor for Gamereactor, the Nordic region’s leading online gaming magazine, where he was responsible for managing and planning the content output for the UK version of the website. Joshua Madsen-Jensen joins Aberfield as a PR Intern and will support the team alongside studying for an MA in International Marketing and Design Management at the University of Leeds. Madsen-Jensen’s recent appointment demonstrates Aberfield’s commitment to nurturing and developing emerging talent in the PR industry.

Ozone, a premium UK digital advertising platform built for brands by publishers, has announced a new partnership with PinkNews, the world’s largest and most influential LBGTQ+ media brand. The new relationship will see PinkNews become part of Ozone’s centralised audience proposition for advertisers. By offering a single point of access to premium audiences, Ozone’s platform offers a complementary way for advertisers to work with premium publishers. Where PinkNews continues to excel in delivering rich, cross-media solutions that really engage LGBTQ+ consumers on behalf of advertisers, Ozone’s focus will be delivering scale and depth of audience for the same brands, across a broader portfolio of quality, content-driven environments. Every new publisher joining the alliance adds greater depth to the context-rich insight and activation capabilities of Ozone’s platform.

Adform, the global programmatic advertising platform, announces two new hires to its senior leadership team: Annabelle Dudman joining as SVP Commercial Excellence, and Paul Confrey as VP Global Agency Partnerships. Annabelle Dudman joins Adform from Sony PlayStation, where she spearheaded the company’s digital planning and forecasting as VP Global Sales Planning, after previous senior leadership roles with Spotify and Microsoft. She brings a wealth of experience in sales operations, client services, finance and business planning. Paul Confrey joins Adform as VP Global Agency Partnerships, to build on the company’s strong track record of collaborating with key agency networks worldwide. With a rich background comprising global agencies, in-house, and entrepreneurial experience, Confrey’s professional acumen was developed in various roles for GM, Wunderman and Young & Rubicam. Most recently, Confrey started as non-exec marketing lead at Prometheus Space Technologies, an environmental, deep-space tech start-up.

With businesses under increased pressure to maximize marketing efficiencies, mobile marketing analytics suite Adjust has unveiled Pulse, a monitoring and alerting solution that empowers marketers with essential insights to know when to optimize their mobile campaign performance. Pulse enables marketers to easily create highly customizable alerts and reduce the noise of unhelpful updates so they can immediately focus on what matters. With Pulse, marketers can track the metrics that matter to them — everything from installs to retention to ad spend — to help optimize budgets and campaign performance more effectively, customize how and when they and their teams are notified through Slack or email, optimize alerts from the get-go with tools like built-in previews using historical data and create alerts for multiple apps for faster setup and more holistic reporting.

idhl has announced two new hires for its Web Division; welcoming to the Group Mandy Basra as their Technology Partnerships Manager and Andrew Loades as their Business Development Director. A new position for the Group, Basra’s role as Technology Partnerships Manager will see her look to improve how idhl’s Web Division brands engage with partners to support business initiatives.  Joining the idhl Group from a Shopify Plus agency as Partnerships Manager, Basra is well-placed to lead the way on partner relationships. Loades’s appointment as Business Development Director for idhl’s latest acquisition, eCommerce agency Ampersand, demonstrates the Group’s dedication to driving growth across their brands. With 13 years of experience under his belt, Loades is well-versed in the intricacies of navigating new business.

The Independent has announced that it will be the exclusive news partner of The Great Escape music festival. In a sign of the title’s enduring commitment to championing emerging talent, the multi-faceted relationship will include the launch of The Independent Stage at The Old Market, Brighton. On 12 May, The Independent Stage will feature The Pretenders, one of the most legendary acts in music, with TBA support from some of today’s most exciting new artists. The Independent will run extensive editorial around The Great Escape with announcements, competitions, interviews and exclusives. Meanwhile, Roisin O’ Connor, The Independent’s Culture & Lifestyle News Editor, will appear at the festival’s conference, hosting an In Conversation with… session.

Raptor PR, a pure B2B PR agency dedicated to the global video games industry, is thrilled to announce two major new client wins and a significant addition to its growing team of specialist communications experts. The company has been appointed agency of record by Ultra, a next-generation PC games store, and SuperScale, a successful data and analytics company which powers mobile games growth. Continuing its own recent growth, Raptor PR also has hired legendary games industry writer, Craig Chapple, as its new Head of Content. Ultra is a next generation PC gaming store and ecosystem which is championing a better deal for game developers, gamers, content creators, and esports players. Its expanding global team is made up of veterans from major global publishers and gametech companies. SuperScale helps mobile game developers and publishers such as EA, BoomBit and Fingersoft make better use of their data in order to grow the mobile games in their portfolios. The company was founded in Slovakia in 2015 and last year opened a dedicated London office. Raptor PR is creating data-driven integrated communications campaigns for both companies to take their stories to market with high impact. Craig Chapple joins the Raptor PR team after previously serving as Mobile Insights Strategist at Sensor Tower and Senior Editor at leading mobile games trade media outlet, PocketGamer.Biz, having held additional roles at Nintendo UK and Develop magazine. As a games industry specialist, Chapple will spearhead written content for Raptor PR; serving as a valuable talent for the B2B agency’s client base. Chapple is also a contributor to leading games industry resource Naavik. 

Everyone has the right to use public transport without fearing that they will be abused or experience a hate crime. This is why Transport for London has a zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse on its network and keeping customers safe is its top priority. As part of its commitment, TfL, with the help of agency of record VCCP London and Wavemaker UK has launched the integrated ‘TfL Stands against Hate – Bystander Intervention’. Bystanders can play an important role in preventing or discouraging incidents before they can and help victims feel less isolated. To ensure that this campaign is helpful to customers, TfL, VCCP and Wavemaker UK worked together closely with a team of experts to identify what actions people could take. They also worked with customer focus groups as the campaign developed to make sure it was informed by the people who will be using the transport network. Through research, TfL identified a genuine knowledge gap around indirect interventions like engaging with the victim of abuse rather than confronting the perpetrator and how this was more likely to diffuse the situation. This follows behavioural research revealing that 63% of customers said they would feel more confident in intervening in an incident if they had more information on how to help. London-based Illustrator, Raj Dhunna, developed the campaign creative, taking into consideration the customer research. The campaign features distinctive illustrations that bring to life the different ways that travellers can safely intervene if they witness a hate crime or abuse.

Future Lions, AKQA and Cannes Lion’s annual global competition which celebrates young people’s bold and progressive ideas, is now open for entries. This year’s Future Lions theme is a call for young people to protect what is most important about our home planet – life itself. Celebrating its 17th year, AKQA is proud to announce Volvo Cars as the official client partner and Forbes CMO Network as the media partner for Future Lions 2023. Feeling safe is about much more than physical safety. The rise in awareness of mental health creates more need for psychological safety, and the climate crisis raises the focus on planetary safety. A physical manifestation of Volvo Cars’ Safety in Mind vision, the newly released Volvo EX90 displays new technologies designed to help keep you safe on the road, and makes you feel safe too. To maintain the position as a pioneer of the protection of people and the planet, Volvo Cars is inviting young people to find new and innovative solutions to prove it beyond the car. Working with Oscar-nominated animator and film director Thierry Marchand, his passion for visual storytelling has transformed this year’s theme into a beautifully hand-drawn animated campaign. Featuring the Future Lion Cubs on a mission to make lives safer, easier and happier in an intricate, dense world, each moment intends to inspire teams to interpret the brief to make a difference – whether to the world, a community or an individual. Four winning teams will be selected to pitch their ideas live to Volvo Cars. The awards will take place at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June 2023, and each winning team will receive a prestigious Future Lions trophy, bespoke to this year’s theme.

As German exports slow after a period of sustained growth, businesses are increasingly  looking to external support to break into key export markets. And in an increasingly global world, businesses which develop an “English-first” marketing strategy; rather than adapting their existing German go-to-market approach, are seeing most traction on the world stage. An overwhelming 97.4% of mid-sized German businesses need external support to enter international markets, citing legal, bureaucratic, and cultural challenges. Despite these challenges, 44% of businesses surveyed have plans to enter new markets, and scale in established markets following the  pandemic. These findings have been highlighted by global B2B tech marketing and PR specialist, Fox Agency which recently opened its first office in Germany. The office, based in Düsseldorf, will deliver global strategic marketing solutions to clients across the DACH region. These solutions will be specifically designed for businesses based in the region  looking to grow globally. The region will be headed up by Søren Kristensen, who joins Fox Agency as Client Strategy Director and Head of DACH. He brings more than 25 years of experience working in senior marketing roles for the likes of TMD Friction, Trelleborg Wheel Systems, and most recently Deutz AG, where he was the Global Marketing Leader. Kristensen’s skills span strategy, communication, branding, and leadership, and he is an expert in developing and  delivering on global brand strategies and go-to-market plans rooted in insight.