Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA News Roundup: The Kite Factory, Jaywing, the7stars, Havas Entertainment and more

The Kite Factory is teaming up with Samaritans, the leading suicide prevention charity in the UK and ROI, to manage Samaritans’ media planning and buying for the next three years. This comes at a pivotal moment for the charity, as it seeks to maximise its brand awareness and impact in a rapidly changing media and fundraising landscape. The agency has been tasked with developing a comprehensive paid media strategy, diversifying Samaritans’ channel mix and delivering campaigns while improving consistency and effectiveness. The partnership will see The Kite Factory collaborating closely with creative agencies, Samaritans’ internal Creative Services and Digital Engagement teams, to deliver integrated campaigns that resonate with audiences and drive results. To kick off, The Kite Factory will be helping to amplify Samaritans’ new “Believe in Tomorrow” campaign, as TCS London Marathon’s Charity of the Year 2024.

Integrated marketing agency, Jaywing, is excited to unveil its recent partnership with Kao Salon Division. Following a competitive pitch process involving five other agencies, Jaywing is proud to have been selected as the chosen partner. Jaywing is providing Goldwell, a division of Kao Salon with paid media services and strategic support, optimising value and efficiency through paid social channels to facilitate the company’s incremental growth. With a legacy spanning over 75 years, Goldwell is committed to delivering salon-professional products and exceptional services. Utilising the latest innovations and expertise of highly trained stylists, Goldwell ensures customers achieve stunning hair and remarkable looks. Serving as a strategic partner, Jaywing will be extending its assistance across the EMEA market, encompassing various brands within the Kao Salon Division, including Goldwell, Kerasilk, KMS, and Varis. The agency will initially focus on reshaping and raising the brand’s perception within the market.  

JD Williams, a platform within N Brown Group plc, the inclusive fashion and homeware digital retail platform, has revealed its brand-new campaign in collaboration with Sky Media and Channel 5, in a deal negotiated by the7stars, to target its midlife audience. The partnership will use both JD Williams and Sky Media’s rich data capabilities to ensure the campaign is reaching the retail platform’s target customer (women aged 45 – 65). This data ecosystem will mean Sky Media can tailor campaign messaging to specific customer groups, maximising the relevance and engagement of the creative. JD Williams continues to take a stand against the ‘invisibility’ of midlife women, celebrating their relevance, roles and individuality in its new campaign fronted by the stars of Sky Media’s channel portfolio. A series of 10” TV idents, 30” and 60” spots will feature TV personality and comedian, Judi Love (Out of Order, Comedy Central), and Channel 5 presenter Helen Skelton (Springtime on The Farm, Dan and Helen’s Pennine Adventure), being interviewed by fashion guru, Gok Wan. The interview delves into their lives to discuss how their style and fashion confidence has changed in midlife. From the 15th March, JD Williams will also be the exclusive sponsor of Channel 5 content that leans into the theme of Inspired Living; including female-fronted shows such as The Hotel Inspector and Susan Calman’s Great British Cities. In a creative extension of the TV activity, customers can enjoy longform (10 minute) versions of the interviews on During these, Gok will explore Judi and Helen’s individual style using JD Williams’ fashion, shapewear and beauty products, and giving viewers a peek into their lives and wardrobes. All aforementioned content has been produced by Sky Media. Leveraging Sky’s full ecosystem of content platforms (linear TV, BVOD, Shortform VOD and AdSmart from Sky), a QR will be used to direct viewers to, allowing JD Williams the ability to measure and target its campaign further, as well as gain a deeper understanding of a customer’s shopping journey. Meanwhile, measured activation across Sky Media’s and Channel 5’s digital and social channels, will reinforce the campaign’s message and give viewers even more content to explore. Live from the 14th of March, through to the 9th of May, the integrated media strategy crafted by the7stars will see the campaign play out across Channel 5 and Sky channels, Global OOH sites, Smooth FM & Heart FM 5, Hearst’s Good Housekeeping and Red Magazines as well as paid and organic social.

Operating in the hospitality sector, Cendyn is a global leader of integrated hotel solutions and has just unveiled a revamped brand identity created by London branding agency Design by Structure (Structure). Cendyn has undergone significant evolution recently, dedicating time to creating a fully integrated platform following the strategic acquisition of several pivotal technology partners. To reflect this evolution, the company approached Structure with a brief to develop the strategy, brand logo & identity, consolidate its portfolio offering and produce marketing templates to support the comms. An intensive deep dive into Cendyn’s product portfolio, revealed the foundations for the new value proposition, Find, Book, Grow. This embodies Cendyn’s robust array of integrated solutions–empowering hoteliers to attract new guests, secure direct bookings, and boost revenue growth. The company is also launching a new consolidated ‘Revenue Growth Package’ – powered by AI – which is designed to unlock a hotel’s full revenue potential across the digital landscape. In restructuring and consolidating the product portfolio, the focus has changed to client benefits over product lead offers that are value driven, easy to understand and easy to buy. 

Global video games publisher THQ Nordic invited some of the world’s most famous content creators, like PewDiePie, Gnu and Rubius, to take on the iconic horror game Alone in the Dark in-real-life. Content creators were dared to wander alone in the shadows, invited to immerse themselves in an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime haunted house experience, mirroring the game’s chilling terrors. Armed only with a flashlight and their wits, they sought to test their courage in the heart of darkness. Founded in 2011, THQ Nordic is famous for producing fan-favourite games such as Darksiders, Destroy All Humans and Biomutant. On 20 March, THQ Nordic is releasing ‘Alone in the Dark’, a re-imagination of the eponymous survival single-player horror game made in 1992. Set in the gothic American South, gamers play as Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood to uncover the terrors of Derceto Manor. Film actors David Harbour (Stranger Things, Black Widow) and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve, Free Guy) bring to life the protagonist characters with their voices, appearances and acting skills. Ahead of the game’s release THQ Nordic, in partnership with Havas Entertainment and Realm Pictures, converted a mansion on the private D’Oyly Carte Island into a ‘haunted house’ inspired by Alone in the Dark’s terrifying dilapidated Derceto Manor. For the invite-only immersive experience, THQ Nordic sent hand-crafted Alone in the Dark themed Puzzle Boxes out across the globe to 20 of the world’s biggest gaming and consumer influencers and press, including Rubius, DAZDawko, AngryJoeShowMissMikkaaAnnieFuchsia and PlayStation Access.

A new company called &above will combine the “best of design, development and video production, with a focus on human storytelling”. It will be operational from the 13th of March, with a striking new brand identity also unveiled representing the company’s core values of adaptivity and inquisitiveness. The new 25-strong London-based agency will continue to be headed by Jordan Richards, CEO, along with Josh King, CTO who brings deep experience in tech solutions, and Tom Baker, CCO, as creative lead. &above will soon see a Chief Strategy Officer joining the team, and its technology arm will also expand as it adds more talent in data science and digital product development.

Odeeo, the in-game audio advertiser has launched its new Publisher Portal which gives games publishers access to industry-first comprehensive features, such as analytics and reporting tools previously only available for traditional display and video ads, including impressions, revenue and engagement rates. Previously across the in-game audio ad industry, publishers had limited control over ad placements and measurement, which could be a slow and manual process. Running in beta for over 3 months, the Odeeo Publisher Portal has been rapidly adopted by clients, giving them new insights into performance, and helping them refine their monetization strategies. By streamlining the management of audio ads and providing insights into audiences, inventory and performance, the Odeeo Publisher Portal can identify untapped ad monetization revenue streams. The simplification of ad management allows publishers to spend more time focused on their game experience. Early beta testers of the Odeeo Publisher Portal highlight the greater control over their monetization strategy, and as a result, improved ad performance, its user-friendly interface, advanced analytics, and customizable ad placements.

French start-up, Nexx360, has launched in the UK to provide publishers with a wide range of benefits. Its server-side approach to programmatic advertising technology helps publishers to increase revenues, enhance users’ browsing experiences and reduce their carbon footprint in a platform-neutral and easily operated environment. The Nexx360 Programmatic Cloud enables publishers to connect with multiple adtech partners (supply-side platforms, or SSPs) using cloud-based, server-side bidding solutions. It contrasts with traditional client-side exchanges where bid request activity takes place in the browser of the end device which uses significant bandwidth (processing power); the client-side approach slows down website performance (thereby compromising user experience) because publishers need an increasingly diverse roster of programmatic partners to get the best price for their inventory and maximise revenue. Nexx360’s cloud technology uses minimum bandwidth for server-side transactions. Publishers can therefore integrate as many supply-side platform (SSP) partners as they want to increase competition for their inventory and maximise revenue without slowing page load speeds; a variety of available partners with different attributes also allows each campaign to be optimised based on its specific objectives. At the same time, the solution enables publishers to reduce the number of global requests with a ‘bid throttling’ (or ‘traffic shaping’) feature. This algorithm classifies advertising requests according to their relevance, retaining only those with the potential to generate revenue, resulting in less waste in the inventory offered to monetisation partners. This functionality (available at no extra cost to publishers using the platform) reduces carbon emissions and helps publishers to meet their sustainability objectives.