Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA News Roundup: the7stars, Reddit, Kitty, Optable, OKX and more

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Following a competitive pitch process, Wanderlust have appointed web design and development agency, Kitty. Kitty will redesign and rebuild the independent travel magazine’s website, as well as ensure the changes implemented improve UX as well as flexibility of functionality. Kitty’s sister agency, ROAST, have also been appointed to provide SEO expertise ensuring smooth site migration and effective IA implementation throughout. Wanderlust joins Kitty’s roster of travel clients, including White Desert, Neilson, Cookson  Adventures and Ultima Travel.  

Optable, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) data collaboration platform and clean room solution designed for the advertising ecosystem, has secured $20M USD in Series A financing from a syndicate of investors, which includes Hearst Ventures, Brightspark Ventures, Desjardins Ventures, Deloitte Ventures, asterX, and others. The new capital will enable it to scale up its global presence, technical talent, and product development, focusing on building new data collaboration solutions to address the needs of the industry. Optable and Hearst have also entered into a commercial agreement that will allow Hearst to amplify the value of their first-party data through Optable’s advanced data clean room approach. The collaboration will also enable interoperability with other data clean room solutions, allowing advertisers to benefit from a wider range of data sources.

OKX, a Web3 technology company and Training Kit Partner of Manchester City, have kicked off a new interactive metaverse avatar campaign with the Club. The new experience at playforthecity.com gives fans the opportunity to personalise their own digital avatars in Manchester City training kits and pre-match warm-up apparel with OKX branding. To mark the kick-off, a hero video featuring top Manchester City players as giant avatars exploring Manchester as fans make their way to the stadium will be debuted in a multi-channel campaign during Manchester City’s home clash with fellow Premier League title contenders Arsenal. The activation utilises Yahoo’s premium content creation team and technology platforms to bring the football experience to life for many Manchester City fans. The hero video will be distributed through digital Out of Home locations, video, display and native formats across mobile, tablet and TV screens. The video will announce the new experience and inspire fans to “Play for the City” and get their own personalised digital avatars in the Manchester City x OKX kit. Playforthecity.com allows fans to create their own bespoke avatars in seconds, giving them the ability to use their new avatars across 4,000 metaverse games and apps. By sharing their avatars on social media using #playforthecity fans are also entered into a prize draw for a chance to win epic Man City and OKX prizes.

New research from Vodafone Business and RingCentral has revealed the leading bugbears for hybrid workers when working from home. Issues with broadband connectivity (25%) and tech not working properly (23%) lead the list, followed by video calls freezing mid-flow (15%), and calls dropping out (11%). Other issues were of a more personal nature including missing out on ‘office banter’ with co-workers (23%), family members walking in on virtual calls (20%) and feeling lonely (16%). Vodafone and RingCentral surveyed more than 2,000 workers* across businesses of all shapes and sizes in the UK. With organisations now adapting their workplace policies to suit the requirements of staff who need to work remotely or split their time between the office and elsewhere, the findings found that workers wanted to feel connected to their organisation and empowered by the tools they were provided with.  

The Evening Standard Art Prize is back, with £5,000 up for grabs. First held in 2017, and this year open to artists working in the fields of sculpture, textiles, ceramics, glassware, jewellery and wood carving, the competition provides an invaluable opportunity for artistic talent across the country to get their work in front of an impressive judging panel and catch the eye of important industry figures. The art world can be difficult to break into without connection and support, so the chance for up-and-coming artists to platform their work is exciting for both emerging talent and established industry figures alike. Previous entrants and winners have gone on to have their own solo exhibitions and brand collaborations. This year, Evening Standard has joined forces with respected perfume brand Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle to offer the chance for 12 shortlisted artists to show their work at an exhibition in central London, plus a £5,000 cash prize and a bespoke fragrance for the winner. This year’s theme is ‘A portrait of you’. Artists working in the above media are invited to submit images of a work, or a coherent series of works, that celebrates self-expression and the individuality and personality that can be shown through their art form. Judges will be looking for entries that showcase both the artist’s technique and their individualism.

London-based independent media agency, the7stars, has announced the launch of Prospero, the first fully managed, transparent, programmatic omni-channel trading model in the UK. Built to bring real disruption and change to the programmatic marketplace, Prospero provides marketers with consolidation of all programmatic supply, both inventory and data, into a single platform, complete visibility and control across the entire programmatic ecosystem, both demand and supply side, and premium publisher and privacy first data focus. By breaking down the programmatic supply chain and enabling the full optimisation of each stage, Prospero can significantly reduce the proportion of a brand’s media budget being spent on technology, data, and management fees that are not adding incremental value to media campaigns. As a result, a greater portion of the media budget is invested with premium publishers, leading to better results for brands. Launch clients, including Sofology, Avanti, and Sandals, have already experienced game-changing results. For campaigns handled through Prospero, clients have seen, on average, an increase in working media spend of 20-25% compared to the latest ISBA/PwC benchmarks. Powered by Hawk’s omni-channel technology, Prospero delivers high-quality, impactful inventory across connected TV (CTV), digital out-of-home (DOOH), digital audio, digital video, digital display, and in-game. Following a competitive pitch process, the7stars partnered with Hawk in an exclusive relationship that offers unparalleled levels of transparency in the market.

Reddit has launched its first regional sales hub in Amsterdam to service their customers in continental Europe. The Amsterdam Hub, which will be led by Reddit EMEA Head of Mid-Market and Small Business (SMB) Sales, Susanne Mostertman, will consolidate Reddit’s scaled EMEA business, their largest opportunity in the region, into a central base and support a wide range of clients across Europe. The Hub will be home to over 50 employees (“Snoos”), hailing from over 10 countries with experience working in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish and other European languages. In addition to growing their Sales presence in Amsterdam, the Hub will also be home to Reddit’s growing EMEA Ads Engineering team.