Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Playable Factory, Firehaus, Appetite Creative and more

Playable Factory, a global creator of playable ad tools for mobile games and brands, has announced a pioneering new suite of graphics editor features for its playable ads toolkit, Gearbox. The new features empower mobile game developers and publishers to create infinite variations of existing playable ad content. The new Gearbox graphics editor allows mobile marketers to make real-time changes to playable ads with zero coding experience needed, refreshing visual identities, and enabling rapid A/B testing of ads. New features include enhanced colour filters, pixelation and cartoon-outlines, offering limitless creative freedom and versatility.

Firehaus, a brand consultancy, has scooped the Company Shop Group account amongst a trio of new business wins. The win comes alongside project work for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and Tickitto where Firehaus will work on their rebrand. Beth Pope, Founder and Brand Partner at Firehaus comments “In the wake of COP26 the time is never more right for businesses such as Company Shop Group. We’re delighted to be playing a part in how the brand builds much greater awareness around its incredible and innovative offering and the positive impact it has on both people and planet.” Firehaus will also be working with UKRI to create branding and collateral for ‘Interact’, an exciting new research initiative within Made Smarter Innovation, the UK Government’s industrial innovation fund for digital manufacturing. Meanwhile, Tickitto is an innovative business that is changing the way the world buys tickets. The start-up recently received £4.5m in investment and is in the process of rebranding.  

Food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has launched a new ‘universal’ connected experience accessed via its smart packaging, available to all brands. In a first for the packaging industry, the new Tetra Pak Iberia connected experience, created in partnership with digital experiences studio Appetite Creative, looks to help a variety of brands engage directly with customers without the need for initial digital development costs. The ‘white labelled’ web-based app, accessed via QR codes found on Tetra Pak packaging, can be easily adapted, and tailored by brand and product requirements. It tracks real-time interaction, such as the product flavour scanned, average engagement time, location, scan rate, number of visitors, return visitors and social media shares, including GDPR compliant personal data to enable the brand to optimise its marketing and better understand customers. The connected experience can be adapted to the specific needs of each brand and product, to create a bespoke digital marketing solution for each type of audience. Divided into two different segments, the app offers versions suitable for young people and adults. Both options offer templated functionality which includes quizzes, AR experience to showcase the brand’s packaging in 360 degrees, interactive games with leaderboards and competition prizes. As well as the option to ‘share a selfie’ with branded filters via social media and encourage friends to join the game too. Offering a variety of games, including some focused on environmental sustainability, the app includes quizzes which not only give tips and advice, but also explains how the company tries to be more sustainable every day. It uses fun interactive games to engage users and those with high scores are rewarded with a variety of high value competition prizes including iPhone 12, iPads, electric bicycles, or a Nintendo Switch, among others. The new connected experience is currently only available to Tetra Pak brands in southern Europe, with more countries due to be added soon. 

AvaTrade, an online broker with millions of users, has launched its exciting new multi-channel brand campaign, Be More Bolt. The television advert features global sporting icon and eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt – the company’s official Brand Ambassador. Produced in partnership with Huddle Creative, the 30-second advert has been broadcast across mainstream TV channels. The commercial gives us an insight into what makes Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, tick, as well as what drives him to succeed and what inspires him to try new things, even after he’s left the track. He’s now a musician, a father and importantly, an investor. He wants the audience to “make the jump” and join him to trade online with AvaTrade, which is demonstrated by Bolt making the jump – from a plane. The advert is inspired by the exciting and professional nature of trading with AvaTrade and communicates that you can ‘Be More Bolt’ by signing up to AvaTrade. This television advert featuring Usain Bolt will enhance AvaTrade’s position as a gold standard, world-leading online broker that is focused on providing its clients with the best training, technology, risk management tools, and educational guides needed be successful while building a winning mentality to aid in their endeavours.

Global data and measurement-driven media agency Essence has unveiled its first-ever social commerce report, which investigates the rapidly growing trend of consumers buying products and services directly on social platforms. The report illustrates the significant opportunity brands have in social commerce, with three out of four people surveyed saying they are likely or highly likely to buy through social media in the future. Social commerce is forecast to account for 13% of total ecommerce sales in China this year. According to the Essence survey, 41% of respondents worldwide made purchases or intend to make purchases involving social platforms. While social media platforms have always provided an environment for buyers and sellers to interact, the survey demonstrates a shift towards organised commerce on platforms. Increasingly, social commerce enables discovery, browsing and purchasing to take place on one platform without the need to interact with any external websites or applications. Ultimately, it creates a seamless experience with fewer clicks and higher potential revenue and conversion rates.

AstroPay has announced that it has signed agreements to partner with leading international e-commerce platforms including WooCommerce, VTEX and PrestaShop to expand its e-commerce reach and access wider consumer base in new markets. Merchants using the platforms or trading on marketplaces will now have the option to effortlessly download AstroPay’s online payment plugin and add the function to their checkout pages, enabling them to receive payments instantly and directly on the platform while allowing customers to conveniently make online purchases using AstroPay. This functionality allows merchants to actively grow and connect to global consumers, while allowing users to make payments conveniently and securely with their preferred payment methods.

Since Pipedrive was founded in Estonia in 2010, the company has been growing significantly. Pipedrive, the global sales-first CRM and revenue management platform for SMBs, recently integrated Google Workspace, Microsoft, and Zoom into the platform; another step towards becoming the all-in-one revenue intelligence platform. So far, Pipedrive’s success has been impressive worldwide: since November 2020, the company belongs to the ranks of the European unicorns; more than 800 employees work for Pipedrive; more than 95,000 companies from 175 countries use the platform. Now the Estonian founded SaaS provider is opening a new office in Berlin – the tenth in eight different countries. In addition, Pipedrive already operates a data center in Frankfurt am Main. Pipedrive’s Berlin office is initially home to the company’s global marketing hub, as well as its design, sales, and support engineering teams. Having currently 25 employees at its Berlin office, Pipedrive plans to increase the team significantly next year. Julia Denike is Pipedrive’s Global Head of Markets and is leading the new Berlin office . Previously, Denike was a management consultant for McKinsey for six years. There, she was responsible for go-to-market, launch, and growth strategies for various digital companies. With her experience, Pipedrive is planning a large-scale foray into the German market.

Adverty has announced a partnership with Smart as it seeks to widen access to its market-leading programmatic in-game inventory for advertisers globally. Adverty AB (publ), the in-game platform for advertisers, agencies and game developers, is expanding its footprint with a global partnership with Smart; a independent ad tech platform. The goal of this integration is to provide advertisers with easy access to a large pool of thematic advertising inventory, enabling them to increase their reach and campaign performance while respecting the user experience. Smart is a global advertising technology company, created in 2001, that offers ad serving, programmatic monetisation and buying solutions to both publishers and advertisers. This integration will increase Adverty’s programmatic reach for brands and advertisers looking to enter the increasingly influential world of gaming. Publishers will benefit from direct access to greater demand, allowing them to better leverage and optimise the monetisation of their in-game advertising formats. The move strengthens Adverty’s mission to be the leading in-game advertising platform to associate with the very strongest SSPs – making it easier for ad buyers to access the latest in-game advertising inventory, at a time when the market is waking up to the critical importance of gaming within media.

PubMatic, a sell-side platform that delivers superior outcomes for digital advertising, announced that Verve Group, a global consumer-first advertising suite, and Scream Malmo, a Swedish full-service media agency, have successfully employed the ID5 ID within PubMatic to reach and effectively target new consumers on mobile web and desktop at scale. Verve Group and Scream Malmo partnered with PubMatic to reinvent mobile web addressability for a leading weight loss brand. A/B tests were conducted via private marketplace (PMP) deals on mobile web (iOS & Android) and desktop. The initial phase of the test saw campaigns running without applying an identity solution and in the second phase ID5’s ID was activated via PubMatic. The results showed a 21% increase in reach across all browser types when the ID5 ID was applied. Furthermore, Verve Group and Scream saw a 30% increase in reach on mobile web, rising to 90% on iOS inventory.

ING has announced that it is cooperating with Amazon via its “DealWise” cashback service. Approximately 2.9 million ING current account holders can now benefit from 5% cashback on qualified Amazon orders in categories such as electronics & computers, Amazon devices, toys and clothing until 31st December. The cashback amount and the categories are updated monthly, and are visible during the purchase process. The offer extends to the Amazon Marketplace, and applies to all new and existing Amazon customers. Books and vouchers, however, are excluded. In order to receive the reimbursement, ING customers will select “Cashback Service” in the internet banking or banking app and then go to Amazon via “DealWise”. With “DealWise” customers can now choose from over 1,000 online shops, including Amazon. The saved cashback amount is automatically credited to the respective ING current account after the return period has expired. 

Global cyber security provider F-Secure has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the Switzerland-based CyberPeace Institute, an independent non-governmental organization whose mission is to protect the security, dignity, and equity of people in cyberspace. The letter outlines a broad plan for cooperation in a number of areas, including the forensic analysis of cyber incidents which increasingly affect vulnerable communities. Particularly telling examples of attacks that harm vulnerable communities are those targeting healthcare providers: they are low-risk, high-reward crimes that have become a significant problem. According to a recent report, healthcare was one of the five sectors most frequently victimized by human-operated ransomware, and accounted for nearly ten percent of Microsoft’s Detection and Response team’s ransomware engagements from July 2020 to June 2021. 

the7stars, in close collaboration with Google, has launched an AV fluid planning approach designed to unlock specialist YouTube marketing opportunities for clients. The move recognises YouTube as a natural extension of AV activity, following a year of unprecedented change which has seen the number of people viewing the app via TV screens increase to 25 million in the UK1. In May 2021, buoyed by the pandemic, over 25% of logged-in YouTube CTV viewers watched content almost exclusively (90% +) on the TV screen2 and the average online adult in the UK watched 60 minutes of YouTube per day across all devices including connected TVs3. To address this step change, the7stars is using YouTube to maximise effectiveness through experimentation in high quality content. As part of the restructure the agency has provided additional training to AV planners to utilise a digital buy as part of a joined up AV presence. As part of the Partnership, the7stars has invested in wrap-around ad tech including Halo, their creative technology tool, built in alignment with Google’s custom machine learning solution. Halo enables the7stars to optimise video creative for digital environments and surface creative insights in real time alongside Supernova, the7stars’ in-house production studio.

Favrit, the successful Nordic technology company has launched in the UK market. Favrit aims to revolutionise the way restaurants and bars are run by making operations simple and profitable via its hybrid mobile ordering solution which uniquely combines a digital and personal service to ensure the best guest experience. Differentiating itself from its POS and digital competitors, Favrit, is a guest experience platform that can be used by food and beverage brands, hotels, restaurants, and consumers alike, all in one simple, easy to use platform.

Launching out of stealth mode, PRISM is an all-purpose, curated exchange for artists, musicians and creatives that facilitates the creation and transacting of NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens). The PRISM marketplace is built by NuPay Technologies, the creators of the upcoming NuPay blockchain. PRISM addresses the issues and misconceptions of blockchains and NFT marketplaces, in particular, the concerns of artists and the protection of their works. PRISM will make use of a patent-pending art protection encryption mechanism, ProtectArt, providing artists the ability to protect their artworks. ProtectArt is unique in its abilities and exclusively created for the PRISM marketplace. Developed by NuPay’s CTO, Nathan Trudeau, ProtectArt makes use of state-of-the-aft file tracking techniques, to track down buyers attempting to resell NFTs unlawfully. To better tackle the adoption issues of blockchain and crypto-powered marketplaces of old, PRISM has partnered with CIRCLE to handle crypto currency and FIAT purchases and payouts for its users*. PRISM can also today announce its partnership with renowned artist Gary Lang, who is showcasing and selling NFTs in PRISM’s curated web platform from today’s launch. 

Payguru, a TPAY MOBILE company, has announced the launch of a new use case for Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) in partnership with Iyzico, the provider of virtual Point of Sale solutions (POS) in Turkey. Turkish consumers will be able to top up “Pay with Iyzico”, the most popular mobile wallet in the country, by DCB – improving financial access for consumers who do not have credit or debit cards. The first-ever digital wallet top-ups via DCB are available in Turkey and Nike, Puma, Yves Rocher and intimissimi are among the international brands that have chosen Iyzico as a trusted partner in Turkey. The technology will enable local merchants to reach and accept payments seamlessly, transforming the way businesses and individuals pay and receive money in Turkey. 

A challenger digital outdoor media business has launched, with plans to roll out more than 1,000 sites across the UK. SmartSanitiser couples high-quality, instantly updatable digital screens with automated hand sanitiser dispensers, to deliver new out-of-home opportunities for brands looking to deliver direct messages to consumers across the country. The screens represent an innovative new way of advertisers reaching their audience, providing increased brand prominence owed to the ‘up-close’ interaction required to use the station. With data increasingly driving marketing decisions, and in keeping with the ethos of Smart Group and Inkspotwifi, SmartSanitiser will use consumer insight to deliver the most targeted campaigns possible for customers, ensuring the best return on investment and delivering relevant and time sensitive content to audiences across the UK.

Visual Data Media Services was honored for its commitment to diversity and inclusion in professional career development, taking home the “Company Award for Investment in Women” at the 2021 Rise Awards. Rise, the advocacy group for gender diversity in the media technology sector, announced the winners on November 18 at its annual awards ceremony held as part of the DPP Tech Leaders’ Briefing. Visual Data was recognized for consistently fostering a supportive work environment that empowers women working in the media and entertainment industries. Accepting the award on behalf of Visual Data were Vicky Wise and Raakhi Shah.   

Outbrain Inc., a recommendation platform for the open web, has announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire video intelligence AG (“vi”), a Swiss-based contextual video technology platform for digital and Connected TV media owners. vi’s contextual and machine learning technology enables media owners to enhance user engagement and monetization by adding relevant video content to articles. It also provides advertisers with high-impact, highly viewable, brand-safe video ad inventory that drives awareness and user engagement. 

Mirakl, the industry’s first and most advanced enterprise marketplace SaaS platform, and AGORA, a social and live-shopping platform dedicated to beauty and wellness, has announced the launch of the AGORA marketplace. Inspired by the rise of social and live shopping commerce in Asia,  AGORA is the UK’s next-generation beauty commerce app combining a unique livestream shopping experience with a marketplace of thousands of products, powered by the Mirakl Marketplace Platform.  AGORA was founded with the vision of bringing the breadth and excitement of the offline beauty experience online, so that consumers can truly experience products through passionate content creators before making their purchases.