Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: MikMak, UniLED, Endava and many more

MikMak, the global software company that helps brands grow commerce-first, and CommerceHub, one of the world’s largest commerce networks trusted by more than 40,000 of the world’s leading retailers and brands, has announced that MikMak has purchased ChannelAdvisor’s Shoppable Media and Brand Analytics product lines from CommerceHub. The deal strengthens the breadth and depth of MikMak’s commerce insights and enhances its best-in-class professional services and customer support team with additional resources. It also marks the start of a strategic partnership between MikMak and CommerceHub, which operates the world’s largest commerce network, bolstered by its acquisition of ChannelAdvisor in late 2022. This transaction allows CommerceHub to focus on its world-leading solutions for marketplaces, drop shipping, retail media and digital marketing while partnering with another industry leader to continue to serve mutual customers.

UniLED has collaborated with OPEN Media, Electric Glue and Starling Bank to trial a new Digital Out of Home (DOOH) Screen Energy and Emissions Report. This is the first time that ‘in-use’ DOOH screen energy use and emissions have been recorded live in-situ and reported at a campaign level and by audience impact, for a brand and media agency. The DOOH Screen Energy and Emissions Reporting functionality is being developed in the UniLIVE platform by UniLED, in response to an urgent need by the media industry to accurately measure and reduce its environmental impact. Its aim is to provide a singular, agreed methodology to capture a more efficient and accurate picture of the energy usage of a DOOH campaign. This will assist vendors in identifying the most significant drivers of screen energy consumption and help make more targeted reductions. To make this effective industry-wide, UniLED has issued a ‘call to action’ for more media owners and vendors to agree to share energy consumption data.

Endava, a global provider of digital transformation, agile development and intelligent automation services, has announced its new working relationship with start-up, which will bring a new online comparison marketplace to payments and revolutionise the way businesses find their Payment Service Providers (PSPs). SMEs and corporates will be able to compare PSPs’ offers on key payment acceptance methods, like cards, open banking, crypto and direct debit. This will allow merchants to compare services within different categories, such as merchant accounts, card machines, tap-to-pay, QR code payments, pay by link, payment gateways, virtual terminals and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions for their online, in-store, remote or multichannel retail businesses. There are also plans to integrate a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology.

Immediate Media, owner and publisher of BBC Good Food, has announced a playful, disruptive campaign inspiring foodies of all abilities, backgrounds, and circumstances to hold a Macmillan Coffee Morning in a way that’s right for them. No doilies, cake stands or silverware are in sight in the multi-platform campaign. This year Macmillan Cancer Support are asking people to come together with a simple idea, Let’s do Coffee, and Immediate are driving their audiences to find out about Macmillan Coffee Morning and sign up to host their own event. It features a bespoke campaign hub with recipes and video content including young women footballers enjoying focaccia after the football, allotment gardeners getting together over galettes and a choir enjoying cardamom cookies. The partnership sits across Immediate’s market-leading food portfolio on BBC Good Food, olive, delicious. It also features content on RadioTimes, BBC Gardeners’ World and MadeForMums, including print advertorials, podcast sponsorship, newsletter and social media content. Display ads will further amplify the content. It is expected to reach a total audience of 8.7 million. Immediate’s award-winning content studio, Imagine, has overseen the creative development and execution of the campaign, including video content and imagery.

Rimmel London celebrates the launch of its new Thrill Seeker Pitch Black mascara through a two-fold campaign across both high-impact online and OOH channels. The first-of-its-kind campaign for both Rimmel London and Coty, orchestrated by media agency Zenith UK, will focus exclusively on digital and online channels. The bold move from Rimmel sees the beauty brand changing tack to drive mass awareness and engagement with Gen Z consumers, driving buzz and appetite around both the campaign and new Thrill Seeker Pitch Black product. The campaign, conceptualised by creative and production studio Tommy, will go live in key London locations that align with Rimmel’s core audience, as well as in digital spaces such as TikTok, Snapchat, Meta, YouTube, Vevo and VOD (ITVX, C4, Sky, Amazon Freevee). Drawing on one of London’s most famous landmarks, Tower Bridge, the beauty brand has also partnered with Snap to launch an AR geo-takeover experience. The ‘beauty-first’ interactive activation enables Rimmel to tap into Snapchat’s 21 million monthly active users in the UK, to reach its core demographic of Gen Z and millennial consumers. Snapchatters can transform Tower Bridge into the volumising product by pointing their cameras at the iconic landmark. The multi-product video experience will see the famous towers ‘melt’ into black before transforming into the new Thrill Seeker Pitch Black mascara. This activation follows an already successful OOH positioning from Rimmel earlier this year, that celebrated the beauty brand’s partnership with Maya Jama with a hologauze 3D hologram activation in the same location. Over the weekend of 19th and 20th August Rimmel-branded pedi-cab riders armed with Snap codes will be positioned around Tower Bridge encouraging consumers to scan and interact with this experience, alongside the chance to obtain a sample of the volumising mascara. The alliance with Snap also extends to an interactive in-app AR Lens. Rimmel and Snap will transport Snapchatters to an interactive ‘Rimmel world’, bringing the product to life with a bespoke immersive lens to virtually try on the mascara. In addition to the AR activations, the campaign creative will also run as the first impression for 24 hours within the premium content that lives on Snapchat’s Discover tab. Offline, the campaign enables consumers to Live the London Look and experience the full impact of the product, by gaining access to the before and after visuals of the Thrill Seeker Pitch Black mascara through lenticulars lenses placed on London buses. The Pitch Black colouring of the product is also brought to life across impactful placements including London Underground digital ribbons and digital billoards around London. As part of this, JC Decaux AR D6 “special build” takeovers will sit in both London Westfield shopping centres; the placements’ front and back camera technology is set to encourage users to engage with the campaign, as they observe the Pitch Black product through the AR screens in real environments. The high-impact visual experiences for this campaign created by local London-based creative and production studio, Tommy, with media planning and buying from Zenith UK, will run until 30th August.

WPP has announced the launch of a global strategic partnership with digital experience (DXP) platform provider, Optimizely. As WPP’s first dedicated digital experimentation partnership and Optimizely’s first global strategic partnership, the announcement demonstrates the two organisations’ commitment to supporting clients in delivering optimised digital experiences to each and every customer. With consumer expectations at an all-time high, Optimizely will help WPP’s enterprise clients unlock innovative, digital potential. As a platinum partner, WPP clients will have full access to Optimizely’s full suite of DXP tools including content marketing, content management, commerce and experimentation. By implementing these tools, companies can use data to continuously develop digital experiences that maximise conversion and engagement, leading to better efficiencies and return on development investment. Notably, the partnership also offers clients seamless integration with Optimizely Web Experimentation and Google Analytics 4 (GA4), in light of Google’s upcoming September phase-out of Google Optimize, its web analytics and testing tool. WPP and Optimizely are teaming up to support the seamless transition to a new experimentation platform to help brands deliver relevant content and features. The announcement comes after WPP has been working with Optimizely for 17 years across brands like ACCO Brands, Aegon, Oister and more.

Fiverr International Ltd., the company that is revolutionizing how the world works together, has announced the next phase of its partnership with England and Arsenal star Bukayo Saka, which centers around the launch of an incubator program, Ideatorr. Ideatorr was created to provide young UK entrepreneurs the skills and networks to take their businesses to the next level as Fiverr and Saka continue into their partnership in their mission to level the playing field for diverse entrepreneurs. Ideatorr will be hosted by social impact organization Youth Beyond Borders (YBB). Inspired by Saka’s commitment to supporting his community, the program will target young entrepreneurs driving community-impact, helping them bring their business dreams to life. With the resources from Fiverr and YBB, the program aims to drive positive impact in the communities that supported Saka through his journey to become a professional footballer. Starting on Friday the program will be accepting applicants to join the program. Up to 12 participants from the UK and aged between 18 to 25 will be selected to participate in the eight week incubator program. Instruction will be facilitated by a combination of YBB Facilitators, mentors, and guest speakers. Selected participants will also receive £1,500 worth of Fiverr credits giving them access to some of the world class freelance talent available on Fiverr. Participating mentors among others include Dr. Mark Prince OBE, Founder and Director of The Kiyan Prince Foundation and startup founder and keynote speaker, Ben Keene.

Audeliss, the executive search firm specialising in diversity, has announced a new partnership with government-backed organisation, Progress Together, to help tackle socio-economic inequity within the financial sector. This comes as research from the Bridge Group and City of London Corporation has shed light on the reality of socio-economic inequity in the UK. According to the research, 89% of senior leaders in financial services are from a higher socio-economic background, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds have been found to progress up to 25% slower than their peers, despite no indication of a performance-related gap. To drive change in the sector from leadership level, Audeliss’ partnership with Progress Together will help break down these class barriers, combining its expertise in levelling the playing field for diverse talent with Progress Together’s focus on moving the needle for socio-economic diversity. Social mobility intersects with all other elements of diversity: only 1% of senior leaders are ethnically diverse women who are also from working-class backgrounds. Through this partnership, Audeliss will further incorporate socio-economic diversity into its existing work. Together, Audeliss and Progress Together will host events and webinars over the course of the partnership to encourage Audeliss’ network of business leaders to participate in discussions and learn about the issues around socio-economic status faced by UK businesses.

Open-source content management system (CMS) provider, Umbraco, has announced the formation of a community-led task force to discover ways to reduce the carbon footprint of websites and digital experiences that are developed on the Umbraco platform. The Sustainability Team members will work together with Umbraco HQ to devise and share the latest carbon-conscious practices with Umbraco developers, digital experience designers, business decision-makers, and clients. Since 2005, more than a million websites and digital experiences have been built on the Umbraco platform. It is among the top three CMS platforms used by UK public sector organisations, and the primary CMS used by small to medium membership organisations, such as the British Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons.

Stafford-based technology PR agency Stone Junction has moved into its new offices at the Malthouse on Water Street, Stafford, having spent £60,000 on refurbishment. The 2,500 sqft space, which is 2.5 times bigger than the company’s previous 900 sqft offices, will allow the 34-strong team to accommodate 45 people, creating space for up to 12 new jobs. As well as moving into its new head office in Stafford, Stone Junction also launched its German and Romanian businesses earlier this year, to boost international growth. In 2022, it responded to the cost-of-living crisis by increasing all salaries by £3,000 and raising its starting salary for account executives to £23,000. As a result, the agency has seen its staff retention rate reach 88 percent and the average length of service increase to four years. Most recently, Stone Junction was listed in Campaign’s Best Places to Work, as well as being shortlisted for four awards by the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR), including an inaugural Best Environmental Campaign category. The company is currently advertising for three jobs: PR account manager, PR account executive and public relations apprentice.

The renowned English football club, Burnley FC, has partnered with Visualsoft, an eCommerce provider, to enhance its online retail operations and transform the overall customer experience. Visualsoft designed and launched a brand-new eCommerce site, reinvigorating the customer journey. The new platform offers seamless browsing, navigation and payment processes, providing fans with an enhanced shopping experience. In addition to the improved interface, innovative eCommerce solutions and partner technology integrations were implemented enabling Burnley FC to offer a wider range of options to its fans and significantly boost online sales. Burnley FC’s pre-existing site failed to provide the desired level of engagement and interaction, leading to fewer retail sales. By teaming up with Visualsoft, the club aimed to revamp its online presence and maximise its growing retail potential.