Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA News Roundup: Spike, SheSays, SCAYLE, Cedara and more

Leeds-based digital marketing agency Spike has been appointed by iron supplement specialists Active Iron, following a competitive pitch. Spike will be responsible for developing the full digital strategy for Active Iron, managing organic search, digital PR and outreach services to support the brand’s growth and help establish it as the pre-eminent provider of iron supplements in the UK, Ireland and US markets. The partnership aims to embody the brand’s purpose: ‘Empowering women to embrace the energy from within’. With campaigns focusing on breaking down the stigma behind key women’s health issues, including periods and perimenopause, and promoting products that address crucial, unmet clinical needs.

SheSays, the non-profit organisation championing gender equality in the creative industries, presents The Leadership Programme, in partnership with Hyper Island, to upskill senior, mid and entry-level women and non-binary people through fully-funded online courses leveraging the billions businesses have unspent from the apprenticeship levy fund. Every industry needs well-developed leaders to thrive, yet high inflation and recession fears have shrunk company training budgets when skills shortages are at a record high. Between 2015 and 2019, the L&D budget per employee declined by £200, reaching an average of £1,500. Experts forecast this will lower even further by 2025, reaching 15% less than it was in 2010. In such scenarios, women and non-binary talent get overlooked the most – with four in five women feeling this way. SheSays believes that training and upskilling play a huge role in reaching gender equality, including representation across senior leadership. To back this belief, SheSays are using Government funding streams of between £4,500 and £14,500 per person so that women and non-binary people can #TakeTheLead. SheSays presents The Leadership Programme in partnership with Hyper Island to give access to top-quality leadership training, at no cost to those learning or their employers, simply using employer unspent apprenticeship levy funds. And unlike other training opportunities dedicated to either early-stage or executive leaders, the SheSays initiative doesn’t overlook mid-career leaders with three courses available via Hyper Island, tailored to support the rise to the top, no matter where people are in their leadership journey. Women and non-binary people can apply online by completing the application form by International Women’s Day, 8th March 2024.

Manchester United has announced it has chosen SCAYLE as its official e-commerce platform partner, ensuring United has one of the most modern commerce platforms in the industry. The club’s new e-commerce experience will launch later this year and continue to be evolved in alignment with the club’s ambition of delivering a best in class direct-to-consumer experience for its global fan base. SCAYLE is one of the fastest-growing enterprise e-commerce platforms in the world. It provides the technical backbone for more than 140 online stores and was specifically designed for B2C use cases with a strong focus on the fashion, lifestyle and sports sectors. SCAYLE has a unique retail DNA and provides an innovative technology, with extensive, ready-to-use features and strong flexibility. Putting fan satisfaction at the heart of its plans, Manchester United have appointed SCAYLE to operate a new direct-to-consumer platform that is based on and powered by the SCAYLE commerce engine, dedicated to providing a compelling and customised experience that can quickly adapt to fast-changing requirements. 

Cedara, The Carbon Intelligence Platform, and Assertive Yield, a Total Ad Revenue Management and Optimisation Solution for publishers, proudly announce their strategic partnership aimed at empowering publishers to accelerate their journey towards achieving net zero emissions. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the efforts to create a more sustainable advertising ecosystem. Cedara, which is on a mission to help decarbonise the media industry, will serve as the preferred sustainability partner for Assertive Yield’s clients. Publishers that leverage Cedara’s automated measurement solutions to accurately assess their overall emissions will be able to take advantage of this partnership.  By integrating Assertive Yield’s Traffic Shaping technology, publishers will be able to optimise and reduce bid requests without compromising revenue. This enables publishers to lower their own carbon footprint while advancing towards a more sustainable operational model. 

Sexual wellness brand Lovehoney has appointed brand value agency Boldspace as its UK PR agency. The partnership will see Boldspace work alongside Lovehoney’s existing inhouse team to promote its online products, as well as develop campaigns to help break down the stigma around sex toys and sexual pleasure. Lovehoney, which describes itself as the sexual happiness people, started a new era of sex toy shopping when it was founded back in 2002. Fast forward 20 years and it is now at the forefront of developments in the sexual wellbeing market globally, and on a mission to make a fulfilling sex life available for everyone. The appointment comes after Boldspace supported Lovehoney through its busy retail period in Q4 last year.

The Flywheelers, the integrated comms agency for high-growth businesses and their investors, is announcing the launch of its Investment Practice to support venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) firms that want to raise awareness amongst ambitious founders of the value they bring beyond capital investment. The practice will elevate The Flywheelers’ work with leading VC and PE firms. The launch builds on the agency’s work with RTP Global, 13books Capital, Smedvig Ventures and other investment firms. The practice will deliver The Flywheelers’ fully integrated services across PR, social media, content marketing and digital through its Subscription Model. This approach to comms offers transparent costs for its core services, allowing its clients more flexibility and agility to adapt their programmes as marketing priorities evolve to maximise their comms investment. For investment firms, this allows them to easily flex between their own brand building, portfolio comms, and announcing funding rounds, for example. The Investment Practice will also lead the agency’s activity when announcing new funding rounds.

Home security firm Verisure has appointed Brothers and Sisters as its first creative agency. Verisure has tasked the agency with creating a TV campaign that will raise awareness of its products in a highly competitive home security market. The long-established company ran a competitive pitch after previously handling its creative in-house, spending upwards of £30m on media over the past two years.

89% of businesses are planning to invest in new customer loyalty technology and approaches to improve their customers’ experience in 2024, following a turbulent year for customer retention as brands battled to retain customers amidst a spending crunch. Loyalty marketing technology will form a key part of plans to retain and grow customer spend, with 9 in 10 companies planning to revamp their existing loyalty programmes within the next three years. Almost half – 44% – said that they were not happy with their current loyalty programme. Meanwhile, two thirds (65%) of businesses are looking to replatform their loyalty technology as part of their investment plans. The figures are revealed in loyalty cloud platform Antavo’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024, which surveyed over 600 senior business respondents with a connection to their company’s loyalty approach, analysed more than 30.5 million customer interactions performed on its platform during 2023, and conducted qualitative interviews with 50 experts. The report was written with additional insight from VML (formerly Wunderman Thomspon), EPAM and Frog / Capgemini. 

SnapLogic, a specialist in generative integration, has unveiled GenAI Builder, the world’s first no-code generative AI application development product for enterprise applications and services. Uniquely compatible with both legacy mainframe data, modern databases and APIs, GenAI Builder leverages conversational AI to transform and simplify customer, employee and partner digital experiences. As the latest addition to SnapLogic’s AI suite, GenAI Builder allows organizations to integrate AI with enterprise data to securely enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and personalization of data for every enterprise employee. This applies to multiple types of data, whether in the cloud or on-prem, and can be applied to critical use cases from customer support automation, data analysis and reporting, contract and document review, and personalized marketing. GenAI builder puts the power of LLMs, and the scale of AI, where it matters most; in the hands of every enterprise employee.

CTI Digital, a UK technology, experience and digital marketing agency, has been appointed to lead digital marketing activities for Zip World, a fast-growing and globally recognised outdoor adventure company. Zip World has expanded rapidly in the last ten years, matching the growing demand for adventure tourism in the UK. With seven exhilarating sites across Wales and England, Zip World has been captivating thrill-seekers since its establishment in 2013. Their Penrhyn Quarry site is home to their first venture: Velocity 2, which still holds the spot as the world’s fastest zip line. Facing challenges in the post-pandemic era, especially during the low season, Zip World has appointed CTI Digital to enhance brand visibility and boost bookings. The digital agency is working closely with Zip World to identify strategic solutions, ultimately focusing on optimising paid advertising campaigns to maximise bookings and marketing return on investment. CTI Digital will be dually focused on driving an uplift in traffic, conversion, and sales through paid advertising and also organic uplift via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). By offering both solutions under one roof, CTI Digital is able to offer its clients a higher return on investment.

US Media, a specialist in media solutions in Latin America, and Vevo, the music video network, has announced their advertising sales partnership. Under this agreement, US Media will be the Latin American sales representative for Vevo’s ad inventory in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Peru. US Media will also sell on behalf of Vevo pan-regionally from Miami. The collaboration between US Media and Vevo highlights the potential of the audiovisual market, as Vevo boasts over 800,000 music videos, and distribution across over 35 connected TV (CTV) platforms globally and partnerships with major players in Latin America, such as YouTube, Google TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, and Samsung TV. This partnership will provide brands the opportunity to reach Latin American music fans through video content from the region’s most influential artists, such as KAROL G, Shakira, J Balvin, Anitta, Feid, Dilsinho, and Los Ángeles Azules. 

The World Tourism Organization has entered a new era with a new name and brand: UN Tourism. With this new brand, the Organization reaffirms its status as the United Nations specialized agency for tourism and the global leader of tourism for development, driving social and economic change to ensure that “people and planet” are always center stage. To achieve this goal, UN Tourism engaged the services of Interbrand, the leading global branding agency. Interbrand successfully translated the Organization’s renewed vision for tourism into a new visual identity and brand narrative. This involved renaming the Organization, transitioning from UNWTO to UN Tourism. At the same time, a new brand narrative was meticulously crafted, one that seamlessly aligns with UN Tourism’s central mission and priorities. This narrative pivots around three main messages: the UN as a global altruistic organization, the notion of connecting humans around the world, and the concept of proactivity and movement.