Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Nano Interactive, Vevo, Ozone, Sky Media, Captify and many more

Nano Interactive, a specialist in ID-free targeting solutions, has launched a partnership with Circana, an advisor on consumer behaviour. The partnership will enable Nano to bolster its identity-free Intent Personas, combining Circana ProScores™ data with sophisticated modelling techniques to allow areas of opportunity to be identified in a privacy-friendly way. The partnership is based on Nano’s ability to bring real-time consumer journey data, deep contextual analysis and machine learning technology to deliver advertising solutions without relying on identifiers. With Circana’s best-in-class Point of Sale (PoS) data, which utilises in-store sales data to identify shopper profiles likely to drive purchase, this partnership delivers an additional layer of targeting precision, enhanced privacy for users and a simpler, more effective campaign execution for CPG advertisers. To pilot the effectiveness of the partnership, Nano and Circana created a test campaign with a leading premium drinks brand, the Heineken Company, to strengthen brand awareness and market penetration as well as increase consumer consideration for Cruzcampo as a newcomer beer brand in the UK. The campaign has recently been shortlisted for the 2024 Campaign Tech Awards for its ‘Best Use of Data’ category, having shown to deliver unique insights, ID-free audience targeting and robust campaign measurement for Heineken. Nano and Circana utilised in-store shopper sales data to measure brand uplift, helping to optimise campaign spend against product distribution and measure the impact on in-store sales. The campaign illustrated positive impact on brand awareness, driving incremental sales and resulting in strong ROI above the set benchmark by 43%.

Vevo, the music video network, has announced it has launched its app on Telly, the ultimate free TV upgrade for the living room. Vevo will provide Telly TV users with high-quality music videos, including official releases and live performances, as well as originally produced content by Vevo. The partnership expands Vevo’s distribution footprint and unlocks new opportunities for advertisers to connect with hard-to-reach consumers who do not watch traditional TV. Telly is the first dual-screen smart TV offered free to consumers. Telly’s second smart screen enables beyond TV functions including news, sports and weather updates as well as video games, motion tracking fitness, and music powered by Telly’s built in 6 speaker Harman Kardon sound system. 

Digital advertising firm Adludio has launched its new product AdSapiens, offering the only end-to-end AI-powered campaign platform for brands. Leveraging AI, AdSapiens enables marketing teams to plan, build, and execute campaigns within a single dashboard. For the first time, brands can gain data-driven recommendations on how a campaign could be optimized mid-flight, enabling marketers to balance performance and marketing budgets in real-time. AdSapiens is powered by Lorenzo, the name given to Adludio’s unique, proprietary AI platform. Lorenzo uses AI, Machine Learning (ML), Large Language Models (LLM), Computer vision, and historical data to understand how an individual consumer responds to all aspects of an advertisement. This includes everything from creative objects,  text, animation, use of color and all within the necessary brand guidelines and compliance. AdSapiens’ Campaign Recommendation platform gathers data from thousands of past campaigns to power its algorithm, scoring hundreds of markers to analyze best practices for an individual advertising unit. 

The Independent has announced its partnership with Hay Festival Global on a new series of events at Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye between 25 May and 28 May. The Independent’s Editor-in-Chief, Geordie Greig, and Chief Book Critic, Martin Chilton, will host The News Review, where journalists and commentators discuss the latest news live on stage, giving the opportunity for audiences to react and ask questions to the panellists. The Independent and Independent TV will feature in-depth coverage of Hay Festival, with news, interviews and exclusives from a team that includes Patrick Smith, Head of Culture and Lifestyle, and Jessie Thompson, Arts Editor. Hay Festival Global is renowned for launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues. Its programme features writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators from around the world providing big thinking and bold ideas.

The Independent is also launching a brand new initiative, Main Stage, which aims to raise the profile and appreciation of grassroots music venues around the UK. It is the latest in a series of activities designed to utilise The Independent’s huge platform to support and celebrate talent, spaces and events throughout the arts ecosystem. Running in association with the Music Venue Trust (MVT), the charity organisation founded in 2014 to help protect independent music venues, the scheme comes after warnings that the sector is in the middle of a “full-blown crisis”. During the year-long programme, The Independent will highlight one grassroots venue from each of the 12 UK regions per month. And the first of the Main Stage venues has been unveiled this week: the programme is kicking off with The Music Workshop, a recently opened independent venue in Folkestone, Kent. Each month, The Independent’s Music Editor Roisin O’Connor will be speaking to the people behind the chosen establishment, telling its story, highlighting its struggles and successes, and showing why music spaces are so crucial not just culturally and economically, but to communities up and down the UK. Every Main Stage venue will also be featured in The Independent’s weekly Now Hear This newsletter and social media, and be given £5,000 of ad inventory within The Independent.

National apprenticeship provider Apprentify Group has strengthened its position in the technology, software and data space after transitioning around 90% of apprentices following the closure of Global Knowledge Apprenticeships (GKA). The move has also secured jobs for over 30% of former GKA employees and provided continuity of service for a roster of new clients. The decision to step in has given Apprentify a whole new cohort of talent, specialising in tech skills and a range of clients across healthcare, travel and telecommunications. The move follows the acquisition of Juice Academy in the summer of 2023.  

The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) and Microsoft Corp. on Friday announced the creation of an AI Innovation Lab as an expansion of their global strategic relationship. Leveraging cutting-edge generative AI capabilities in Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, the companies will work together to develop solutions that further empower ELC’s more than 20 prestige beauty brands as they create closer consumer connections and increase speed to market with local relevancy. The AI Innovation Lab further positions both companies as leaders at the forefront of reimagining the beauty industry with generative AI. This expanded global strategic relationship will further support and build impactful generative AI use cases across several areas of ELC’s business, including faster response and execution to social trends and consumer demands. ELC and Microsoft have successfully created an internal-facing generative AI chatbot to enhance marketing effectiveness globally. The tool utilizes advanced conversational AI technology to efficiently navigate and further leverage ELC’s proprietary and extensive database of product and claim data, allowing brands to launch locally relevant campaigns more rapidly. The relationship will also enable fast and more effective product innovation. ELC and Microsoft are applying generative AI tools in research and development for quicker product development, allowing scientists and product development specialists to respond to emerging product and ingredient trends more rapidly.

Last year, Sky Media launched Search Behaviour Targeting, allowing brands, for the first time, to target TV audiences based on online search behaviours. Following strong advertiser uptake, Sky Media has enhanced its partnership with Captify, the leader in real time audiences and insights fuelled by search intelligence, offering even more granular and bespoke targeting for brands. With 1.5 billion UK searches tracked each month, the number of categories available for advertisers has more than doubled to eighteen off-the-shelf audiences, meaning greater targeting options and granularity. Alongside this, sectors such as ‘Holidays’ and ‘Home Improvement,’ have been introduced. Sky Media has also enabled bespoke audiences through a custom request process. This allows advertisers to tap into Captify’s extensive list of custom categories, including everything from ‘Pet and Animal’ Interests to ‘Real Estate’ and ‘Fantasy Sport;’ combining Captify’s custom categories to create a bespoke target audience for their campaign. Brands such as British Airways Holidays have utilised the ‘Travel’ search behaviours to expand their campaigns to reach active holiday seekers, as well as kitchen retailers who have targeted those looking to improve their homes.

The UK’s newest self-service digital advertising solution for SMBs, OSSA, has launched, with its sights set on unlocking small business growth in the UK through its AI-powered ad platform. OSSA is targeting small businesses that desperately need to attract new customers but currently don’t have the time, skills, or resources to do digital advertising. The product is a one-stop-shop that enables these business owners to create and publish digital campaigns with ease.  It integrates OpenAI, Shutterstock and Figma to automate the process of creating campaigns.  It uses the social media platform APIs to enable media buying and reporting.  OSSA’s AI model can also think strategically to guide advertising content and media choices.     

Ozone, the digital advertising platform built for brands by publishers, has announced a new agreement with Dow Jones that will allow Ozone’s platform to include the UK audiences of three of its global brands within advertisers’ campaigns for the first time. Covering topics ranging from business and finance to lifestyle and technology, the three Dow Jones brands joining Ozone are The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch. Dow Jones is one of the world’s most trusted publishers of business news and financial information. Each brand in its portfolio aims to educate and empower its influential community through the provision of preeminent news and information, commentary and analysis. The inclusion of Dow Jones’ UK audience will complement those reached by the trusted and brand-safe environments of Ozone’s existing publisher partners. With an audience of the most influential readers across the globe, WSJ reaches 48% of C-Suite and 49% of senior business decision-makers. The inclusion of these three titles will also enhance Ozone’s ability to understand and target affluent, educated and business audiences.

Advertisers are seeking out digital ad formats that capitalise on the engagement offered by the rich array of entertainment online, according to the results of the IAB’s Digital Adspend report for 2023, conducted with PwC. Spend on podcast ads grew by 23% year-on-year, while connected TV (CTV) was up 21% and social video continued to perform strongly with annual growth of 20%. Growth rates in all three categories outperformed the digital ad market as a whole – underscoring the appeal of these channels, which stand to be more immune to upcoming cookie changes than other forms of digital advertising. The latest Digital Adspend data shows that advertisers’ spend is following consumer behaviour, with Digital Dividend research underscoring the value of entertainment-focused digital media to people. In fact, 28% of the population say that they have used ad-supported online entertainment more during the cost-of-living crisis. Overall, the UK digital ad market experienced solid growth of 11% to £29.6bn last year, far outperforming the UK’s GDP which rose by 0.1% in the same period.