Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: The Evening Standard, WeArisma, Magnite and more

Beginning last Thursday, The Evening Standard began broadcasting an exclusive animated version of its daily front cover to thousands of Londoners every day, in partnership with Outernet London, the high-tech new entertainment district on track to become the number one visitor attraction in the UK. The Evening Standard’s daily front cover will be broadcast across Outernet’s 23,000 square feet of wrap-around, floor-to-ceiling 16k-enabled screens. The live broadcast space, located right outside Tottenham Court Road Tube station, is free to visit and home to the world’s largest LED canvas by pixel density. The Evening Standard will leverage Outernet London’s unique setting to engage with the 123,000 weekly visitors who come to interact with the most advanced immersive screens in the world. The partnership marks the latest step in the Evening Standard’s accelerating digital strategy. QR codes will appear on the Outernet’s screens, taking visitors straight to the Evening Standard on their phones so they can scroll through the online edition, featuring more detailed analysis on the day’s top stories, as well as picking up the free print version handed out at Tube stations. The initiative will bring additional readers to the 1.3 million daily people that currently consume Evening Standard content.

New data from influencer and earned media analytics platform, WeArisma, which analysed Barbie-related content for 14 notable fashion brands, reveals which have been boosted the most by their Barbie X Brand X Influencer Collaborations. Fossil’s partnership saw its Barbie-related content accounting for 24% of its overall media value amongst influential sources between March and July, which values the content generated by influencers, celebrities and the press. This was followed by Superga (12.7%) and Cotton On (11%). When analysing which of the notable fashion brands generated the largest total media value from their Barbie collaborations, Zara rose to the top with its Barbie-related content delivering $6.8M in media value. This was followed by Primark ($4.6M), ALDO ($3.7M) and Forever 21 ($2.4M). A common thread amongst these brands is that they collaborated with well-known influencers such as Alessandra (@aly_sf) unboxing a pair of Aldo’s Barbie heels on TikTok and Dominique (@playygirldom) sharing her shopping experience at Forever 21 on TikTok, which helped to boost these figures. 

Magnite, the world’s largest independent sell-side advertising company, announced a technical integration with FreeWheel, a global technology platform for the television advertising industry, to enhance the ability of FreeWheel technology users to see multiple sources of demand in one platform, across both programmatic and direct transactions. FreeWheel will integrate programmatic requests from Magnite into its TV platform to provide FreeWheel’s publisher clients with enhanced unified decisioning capabilities, now inclusive of Magnite’s programmatic technology. This means that mutual publisher clients will have better insight into ad creative, frequency capping and holistic management across systems and sales execution types. This will enable those inventory owners on the FreeWheel platform to better maximize yield, while also improving the overall experience for advertisers, including better alignment to media goals and adherence to business rules.

The critical skills shortage in the tech, digital and creative sectors will be addressed after the Sussex jobs board and global talent consultancy ICP Search joined forces with leading non-profit membership organisation Wired Sussex. Tech, digital and creative industries are worth £1bn to the local economy but face an ongoing shortage of the skilled talent necessary to help them expand. To overcome this challenge and ICP Search will be working in close partnership with Wired Sussex, combining their expertise to help tech, digital and creative organisations in Sussex scale and gain access to incredible talent. Together the organisations will make job vacancies easier to find, make leading employers from the tech, digital and creative sectors more visible and will combine forces to reach as many qualified candidates as possible. By streamlining the recruitment process and promoting vacancies together, this initiative will create a more robust talent pipeline for the tech, digital, and creative industries. It will also address issues such as skills development, talent retention and diversity and inclusion within the industry.

Brands can score a ‘Sport Dividend’ through effective sport sponsorship, according to a major new study by global sports and marketing agency FUSE in partnership with creative effectiveness platform System1. The study, The Sport Dividend: Unlocking Incremental Brand Growth Through Sport Sponsorship, revealed that a range of activations associated with sport sponsorship, from advertising to digital content, has the potential to drive stronger growth than traditional, brand-led communications. Specifically, sponsorship wins by eliciting more intense feelings of happiness – happiness supports memory structures around a particular brand that come to the fore when we are in the market to make a purchase decision. As a result, sport sponsorship activation is predicted to achieve stronger long-term and short-term business effects for brands – ‘The Sport Dividend.’ The Sport Dividend can be achieved by all brands, both B2C and B2B regardless of size, share and budget, with positive implications for creative quality and media spend.

Four-fifths of advertising professionals (81%) say they need to get “more adventurous”. That’s according to the latest data from Bango, from a survey of 300 US and UK ad professionals working both in-house and agency-side. As they seek to be more “adventurous”, they’re also looking to diversify the data which informs their methods, with 83% saying they are actively exploring new sources of data for targeting their ads. However, it’s not proving easy. Despite their willingness to trial new technologies and venture into new territories, 60% say that it’s “never been more difficult” to reach the right audiences online. This difficulty can be attributed to the turbulent state of digital advertising, which has been impacted by both reduced consumer spending and declining marketing budgets. Combined with growing demands for data privacy, these factors now present significant obstacles for effective ad targeting.

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) UK has launched OMG Impact, an ESG accountability tool to help advertisers gain greater visibility of the societal and environmental impact of investment across the media supply chain. OMG Impact, powered by global ESG data specialist Legacy Media, allows OMG UK to measure media owners on environmental, social and governance practices. The group will use this to benchmark how media investment strategies align with clients’ ESG commitments. The UK Government is the first to use the new ESG tool, which will be available to other UK clients across the group in coming months.  The tool provides an ESG index for historical media investment (powered using Legacy Media data) with the ability to deep dive into scores around 12 ESG categories ranging from Energy and Climate Change, through Community and Development to Diversity and Labour Rights.  The data is refreshed monthly to ensure that media owner efforts in this area are recognised, and OMG will work with media partners to highlight the areas where they are behind their peers. OMG Impact was developed to help the UK Government and OMG UK’s private sector clients make responsible and better-informed media investment decisions based on the ESG credentials of media partners. The new tool complements the current focus on climate to also align reporting to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The UK Government will access OMG Impact – which will be integrated into the Omni open operating system that supports all Omnicom agencies – through its Omnicom Media Group buying agency OmniGov at MG OMD. The partnership between OMG UK and Legacy Media allows OMG clients to make ESG a reporting metric so that the wider impact of their media supply chain investment can be measured. Legacy Media will have access to OMG’s resources and in-house specialists to grow its dataset of rated media suppliers, utilising a methodology agreed by both parties. Notably, this will allow OMG to expand measurement to media specialising in underrepresented groups including minority owned media channels, small and medium enterprises. OMG will share its ESG data to any media owners that have been measured by Omnicom teams to support the work that is taking place across the industry. 

Over half (51%) of UK consumers say that the targeted content they receive online is often “boring” or “unhelpful.”  That’s according to new research from Optimizely, the digital experience platform (DXP) provider, which reveals that while personalisation holds great potential for enhancing customer loyalty, the reliance on assumptions and outdated technology remain major obstacles. Based on a comprehensive study of 100 UK marketing leaders and 1,000 UK consumers, the Personalised to Personal report shows that an overwhelming 70% of consumers feel frustrated that the promotions they receive are not directly relevant to their personal interests. Concerningly, 83% of marketers admitted that their current personalisation efforts heavily rely on assumptions about customers rather than high-quality insights. 71% also acknowledged that generalisations still form the foundation of too many personalisation campaigns, pointing to a significant gap between the personalised experiences consumers desire and what brands currently provide. The study also shed light on how outdated technologies hinder effective personalisation. Only 33% of marketers claimed to possess the necessary technology to deliver hyper-personalised experiences tailored to individual customers. These shortcomings largely stem from outdated technology, with a staggering 74% of marketers feeling that their current personalisation tools are no longer adequate. However, the report also highlights the immense potential of personalisation to foster customer loyalty. A notable 65% of consumers are more loyal to a brand that has taken the time to understand them on a deeper, more personal level.

Open-source content management system (CMS) provider, Umbraco, has announced its new platinum partner programme, which supplements the current Registered, Silver and Gold partnerships. The additional tier allows digital agencies that are building enterprise-level digital experiences on Umbraco to access additional resources, incentives and rewards to support their business growth. Umbraco is the largest open-source .Net CMS in the world. More than quarter of a million developers contribute updates and extensions, backed by a commercial organisation which provides ongoing management of the core CMS. The current channel programme has 300 international partners with Registered, Silver and Gold status and 100 Technology Partners who contribute software packages to extend the core CMS. The new Platinum Programme provides additional go-to-market support for partners that offer full Umbraco solutions with an emphasis on building highly-scalable, cloud-native enterprise solutions for end-clients. Each partnership tier offers training, incremental incentives and rewards, that are designed to promote partners’ performance. Umbraco is keen to ensure that the programme is fully transparent, so that partners have a clear path to growth.

Fiverr International Ltd. has delivered new major product releases. A brand new Business Solutions suite for mid and large-size businesses, all-new Fiverr Pro, and the debut of its neural network-powered Fiverr Neo™ to tackle the complex task of matching talent with customers. This continues a more than decade-long tradition of product innovation to provide talented individuals and professional agencies access to new opportunities and for businesses of all sizes to access much-needed talent. These releases, on the heels of recent launches including Fiverr Enterprise, Fiverr Certified, and partnerships with brands like Amazon Ads and Stripe, are a step function in Fiverr’s commitment to revolutionizing how people work together in an ever-more connected world, where engaging with global talent is a business necessity. Fiverr believe in empowering their community by helping freelancers and businesses dream bigger and create incredible things together.

UK-based Azumi Limited has selected Oracle MICROS Simphony Cloud Point-Of-Sale (POS) to upscale its restaurant management in selected locations. The award-winning restaurant group is known for its contemporary dining brands including Zuma, ROKA, ETARU, Oblix at The Shard, and INKO NITO. With Oracle, the group will be able to unify reporting and get real-time insights into its operations to help to keep costs down and adapt to the changing needs of its customers. With Oracle’s customizable reporting, Azumi now has streamlined access to business insights by restaurant location throughout the year. This allows the group to monitor the popularity of their top menu items, as well as other essential metrics, including peak dining times and total patrons. Leveraging MICROS Simphony’s open APIs, Azumi also uses SevenRoom’s table reservation system to have a more holistic view of their diners through personalised guest profiles, from reservations to ordering and loyalty. 

The UK’s online self-exclusion scheme, GAMSTOP, has recorded a 12% year-on-year increase in sign-ups in the first half of 2023. More than 48,000 consumers registered for the scheme in the first six months of the year, choosing to exclude themselves from all licensed online gambling sites. In March, GAMSTOP recorded its biggest ever month for sign-ups and a new monthly record was then set in May. The data for the first half of 2023 highlighted a 30% growth in the number of 16–24-year-olds signing up for the scheme, representing 21% of new registrants. Research published by GAMSTOP and the education charity, YGAM in January, found that one in four students who gamble may be experiencing harm and one in two say that gambling has affected their university experience. Data for the first half of 2023 shows that 50% of new registrants chose to exclude themselves for five years, the maximum period available. There was a 71%-29% male/female split in new registrants, which is consistent with the all-time trends. More than 390,000 people have registered with GAMSTOP since its inception five years ago, excluding themselves from all UK operators for a period of either six months, a year or five years.

Brightcove, the world’s most trusted streaming technology company, has announced an agreement where global media and tech giant Yahoo will leverage and broadly integrate Brightcove’s award-winning streaming technology platform across its portfolio of digital properties. As the exclusive streaming technology provider for Yahoo, Brightcove will power its video streaming from end to end, supporting its massive and growing consumer demand. Chosen for Brightcove’s ability to deliver globally at scale with the highest quality and security, Brightcove technology will ensure reliable, streamlined, and cost-efficient streaming operations for Yahoo. Brightcove’s technical solutions will provide Yahoo with an optimized video-on-demand (VOD) publishing and delivery workflow, live streaming and linear capabilities, monetization solutions, and an industry-leading player and app framework.

Channel 4 documentary about British comedian Rosie Jones highlights the role technology can play in protecting social media users from toxic online hate – it’s time to embrace it and make social media social. This is the view of Joel Bailey, co-founder and Product & Service Director of UK social media moderating tool, Arwen AI, who featured in a Channel 4 documentary broadcast on Thursday, July 20, about the shocking ableist and homophobic abuse directed towards British comedian Rosie Jones. Arwen AI, who have been working with Rosie since the beginning of 2022 have developed a solution which enables high-profile individuals and brands – as well as regular social media users – to remove spam, hate and abusive comments from social media by automatically detecting unwanted content. The solution can help protect social media users from toxic online environments while also increasing commercial opportunities for high-profile individuals working with brands and sponsors by creating safer, more positive and inclusive online communities. In the unflinching Channel 4 documentary, Rosie – who has cerebral palsy – revealed the vile abuse she and other disabled people receive online daily, where she is often called the ‘R’ word and even receives rape and death threats because of her disability.