Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Hawk, Kantar, AdLiven and many more

Hawk, a European player in omnichannel digital communication, with an established presence in France, the UK and Germany, is to further strengthen its footprint in Europe with  the expansion into two new markets. The company is opening an office in Spain (Madrid), which will be led by Zdenka Prieto, who joins from Axel Springer Spain; previous positions include sales director at economics publisher, Revista Capital and sales manager at business publisher, elEconomista.  Prieto will be supported in her role to develop Hawk’s adoption in the Spanish market by Teresa Orellana, previously advertising director at Bluemedia. Hawk is also expanding into Belgium; its new Brussels office will be headed up by Aline Gervasi, who was formerly country manager at performance marketing operation Kwanko, and head of programmatic at native content specialist, Ligatus before that. Prieto and Gervasi will report directly to Nicolas Sistac, recently promoted to chief revenue officer at Hawk.

Kantar, the marketing data and analytics company, has established a new marketing effectiveness practice to help brands determine their marketing strategy and measure the return on their investment. Based in the UK while advising clients globally, the new practice will be led by Dom Boyd, Managing Director UKI for Kantar Insights, and Richard McLeod, who now becomes head of marketing effectiveness. McLeod was previously head of media in the UK. The team brings together expertise, data and insight from Kantar’s analytics, media, creative, brand and consulting offers to help organisations better assess and deliver marketing impact across a wide range of metrics and disciplines. The practice will work with marketers to identify the right balance of long-term brand-building investment and performance marketing spend for their business.  This includes advising brands at the planning stage and then supporting their ongoing monitoring and measurement, incorporating creative quality and channel impact. 

AdLiven, the creative ad platform for mobile and app advertisers, has launched the industry’s first AI-based asset generation tool for creating and managing playable ads. This innovative tool is designed to streamline asset production for playable ads, making the process faster and more efficient than ever before. The AI image generation tool uses advanced algorithms to generate high-quality images based on three inputs: an existing ad, an image, or a manual text prompt. This ensures that advertisers can produce a consistent and visually appealing set of assets, saving time and resources but also ensuring that advertisers can produce assets that can be used to drive engagement and increase conversion rates. AdLiven is dedicated to providing advertisers with cutting-edge technology solutions that help them achieve their marketing goals. The launch of this AI image-generation tool is just one example of the company’s commitment to innovation and excellence. 

Luxury automotive brand, Genesis, is to launch a new brand activation, SEOUL RACER, which will see it host a one-off large-scale arcade gaming experience tonight. Inside the V&A South Kensington’s Exhibition Road Courtyard, the Genesis electric GV60 car will power a free interactive driving game, which will be projected onto the facade of the V&A. It is the first event of its kind at the historic museum. The new activation was developed in partnership with strategic and creative company ScienceMagic, which was appointed in early 2022 to support the launch of three new electric cars, starting with the GV60.

Rokt, the specialist in ecommerce technology, is announcing a new partnership with Oracle Red Bull Racing, the Formula One (F1) team and winner of last year’s Constructors and Drivers Championships. Rokt will become an official team partner and the two organisations will work together on various initiatives to foster greater diversity in F1 racing and beyond. The partnership will furthermore see the launch of a search to recruit female ethletes to join the Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports team in different capacities and help make sim racing a safe and welcoming space for female gamers.

Cyanite, a tech company with various software solutions in AI-powered music tagging and search, has launched the first search engine that can instantly translate complex text input into its closest musical equivalent. Similar to image creation services like Dall-E and Midjourney, users can now find matching music by telling the AI exactly what they need – in their own language and unbound to a prefixed set of keywords. Now, users can insert a full scene description, a synch briefing or just a hunch about a sound, and Cyanite’s Free Text Search will provide a list of suitable tracks. The search requests may be as complex as “A city lost to time, its buildings half buried by the jungle that has claimed it” or as simple as “Walking down a dusty highway”. The technology empowers any user – regardless of their music knowledge – to delve deeper into huge music libraries to discover the perfect music for a specific application such as a movie trailer or YouTube video, vastly reducing the complexity of music search. It also opens up new licensing opportunities for music companies to a far wider range of potential music buyers.  

B2B marketers are holding their nerve and investing in long-term marketing strategies despite the economic slowdown, research by The Marketing Practice finds. 76% of B2B marketing leaders are allocating between 40-60% of their resources to long-term goals. This compares with only a third (33%) of respondents that were thinking long-term in 2020. The findings come as The Marketing Practice releases its annual B2B marketing effectiveness barometer study which involved over 800 marketing decision makers from the US, UK, Australia and Germany. 68% of respondents also said that they were encouraged to take risks and experiment. It illustrates that the short-termism that dominated marketing strategies during the pandemic has now departed, and marketers are intent on protecting budget that aligns to future business performance.  

Diversity, inclusivity and social justice is cited by 82% of respondents to WARC’s global Marketer’s Toolkit survey as being important to their 2023 marketing strategies – a third of which (33%) said DEI would significantly impact their marketing plans. To help marketers navigate challenges and implement successful DEI strategies, specifically around the representation of diverse audiences and in their hiring practices, WARC, the global authority of marketing effectiveness, has launched a DEI hub featuring the latest best practice, research, expert guidance and case studies. WARC has partnered with some of the leading organisations driving change in the industry, making the WARC DEI hub a one-stop destination for the best content on tackling the issue. Partners include the Advertising Association (AA) in the UK, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) in the US, creative analytics company CreativeX, International Advertising Association (IAA) – the global network of industry leaders, IPSOS – the global leader in market research, MMA – the world’s leading trade association architecting the future of marketing, Outvertising – providers of LGBTQIA+ training and development resources, System1 – the leading marketing and brand consultancy, and the Unstereotype Alliance, convened by UN Women – the United Nation’s entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Additional partners will be announced in due course.