Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The NDA News Roundup: Peacock Engineering, ELVIS, Griffin and more

IBM expert Matthew Deadman has been appointed the first Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Peacock Engineering, a global specialist in designing and delivering Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solutions built on IBM Maximo. With a background in inventing and pioneering IoT solutions, Deadman has a long-standing relationship with Peacock Engineering, having worked closely with the company in his previous tenures at IBM, and through IBM’s distributor Arrow, where Deadman led the business to achieve £80 million of IBM revenue per year through its team of more than 20 people. He will also be joined by Helen Fearne, the new Head of PMO, while Dominic Bramley becomes Head of Pre-Sales Technical Services in a further move to increase the company’s IBM expertise. 

Birds Eye Green Cuisine is to launch a new integrated campaign urging people to “Stuff Veganuary” as it seeks to stand out amongst the January noise and encourage meat eaters to try its products. The push, which goes live on the 26th December, was developed in partnership with creative agency ELVIS. With so many plant-based brands launching campaigns to coincide with Veganuary each year, ELVIS and Birds Eye worked to develop a bold creative platform with real cut through, going against category norms and taking a challenger brand approach to the annual event. The cheeky but empowering “Stuff Veganuary and do what you can-uary” aims to reject the pressures to go completely vegan in January, instead encouraging people to do what they can to reduce their meat intake, by trying Green Cuisine’s range of plant-based foods. The campaign reflects Birds Eye Green Cuisine’s ‘Freedom’ positioning and its ongoing efforts to free people from the labels, pressures and pretention of plant-based eating. A TV spot depicts a family sitting around a table as they find out how Birds Eye Green Cuisine can make it easy to eat meat-free more frequently. It ends with the line, “Stuff Veganuary, just do what you can-uary, with Birds Eye Green Cuisine”. The push will run across TV, video-on-demand, digital, social, programmatic, shopper channels and out-of-home touchpoints. Media planning and buying for the campaign is by Zenith, TV production is by Hogarth, shopper activity is by Juice, and PR is led by Cirkle.

Full-stack Banking as a Service (BaaS) provider Griffin has announced the addition of two new members to its executive team: Chris Forlano as VP of Product and Laura Hauser as VP of Marketing. Forlano brings over 25 years of experience leading transformation in the banking, payments, and fintech spaces. He’s worked for some of the world’s largest financial institutions, including HSBC, NatWest, and Visa, and in early-stage startups, and he has shaped, designed, and delivered state-of-the-art digital banking solutions for both. At Griffin, Forlano will lead the strategy and development of the company’s ambitious full-stack banking platform, in addition to launching standalone products to address specific market pain points. Hauser has worked for some of the most innovative technology-driven companies in the B2B space, including Atlassian, Nextroll (formerly AdRoll), and UK-based IT solutions company, Adaptavist, where she ran global marketing. She helped Atlassian grow its marketplace revenue from $100M to $250M and increased its developer relations footprint globally. She specialises in turning disruptive complex technology into accessible solutions that drive new value and enhance the customer journey. Hauser will lead Griffin’s go-to-market strategy, bolstering the company’s brand positioning to attract new clients to scale the business.

SAP SE has announced that the UK’s third largest supermarket chain, Asda, has expanded its strategic partnership by choosing RISE with SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure as the Digital Core for its future platform, supported by SAP Business Technology Platform and SAP Ariba solutions to digitalise procurement operations. The move to RISE with SAP will provide Asda with an agile and single Digital Core platform to deliver automation and simplification of business processes in the cloud, enhanced (consumer-grade) user experience, real-time data and insights and near real-time sales, inventory and process visibility. This will enable the business to respond more adeptly to the needs and behaviours of its customers and the wider market.

McCann Worldgroup agency, McCann Manchester, has appointed Dan Noller as Digital Creative Director. Noller joins following an eight-year stint at AnalogFolk where he worked with brands such as Unilever, Sainsbury’s and BT. In 2020 he was named one of Campaign’s Star Players. Noller will report to McCann Manchester’s Chief Creative Officer, Dave Price and Executive Creative Director, Imogen Tazzyman. Noller will also join the agency’s Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Council to focus on a number of initiatives to help drive awareness of the creative industry amongst under-represented groups in the region.

Luxury fashion and apparel brand Dolce&Gabbana launched the 2021 edition of #DGHolidays on November 27, to much anticipation. Leading creative technology and content production studio Happy Finish, in collaboration with Italian design studio Happycentro, were tasked with bringing the magic and joy of the holiday season to a theatre scene by creating a stop motion film featuring Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana puppets singing and dancing in a Broadway-inspired setting. 

Following a three-way competitive pitch that began in August, Impero has been appointed as lead creative and strategic agency for Christian Aid’s brand communications. The agency has been contracted for a three-year term and has been tasked to boost fundraising and supporter engagement. Christian Aid has engaged Impero to create an integrated campaign and new positioning that will return the charity to its roots, reminding people of the important work it does to tackle injustice and help the world’s poorest. This pitch win, which was led by consultants R&D founded by Tim Doust, follows a run of new business success for Impero, including winning EO in a competitive pitch against Mother and BBH in the Summer.

Digital marketing agency and MarTech disruptor, Modo25, has hired four team members across data science, management and the company’s newest department, CRO (conversion rate optimisation), despite a challenging market within digital. At the start of 2021, Modo25 committed to creating 40 new jobs in digital. To do this, the company created a recruitment team to hire not only for Modo25 but retained clients as well. So far, the agency has hired 24 people with a further 16 jobs advertised on their website achieving the initial target. Within the agency, Luke McDermott joins as Head of CRO, previously of WMG and Contentology. McDermott is heading up a new department and team within the agency to start delivering industry-leading CRO work. Lucy Topping starts in the business as a Senior Performance Marketing Manager within the affiliate marketing team. Topping brings unrivalled experience to the department having worked within the affiliate teams at both Missguided and iProspect in the past. Emily Southwell is the company’s new Partner Manager. Day-to-day, Southwell will be nurturing and sourcing clients and partners for the agency. Emily has experience within eCommerce having spent the past three years at Bidnamic. Rosie Beeston is the latest team member of the Data Science team powering the company’s MarTech platform, BOSCO™. Having previously worked at Esoterix Systems, Beeston has a PhD in Astrophysics.

Zoopla is preparing to unveil its first ten week major marketing campaign since appointing Zenith as their new media agency set to go live on 20th December. Zoopla will resurrect its two successful 30 second television adverts, ‘Bricks and Mortar’ and ‘Neighbours’, which evoke Zoopla’s understanding of how the pandemic has led to a reassessment of home for many. For the first time, the adverts will also highlight Zoopla’s search functionality and, as a result, will help to drive consumers to find their next home on Zoopla. The adverts, which were produced in conjunction with Zoopla’s creative agency Lucky Generals, are voiced over by actress Diane Morgan (star of BBC Two comedy, Motherland) and will air across Channel 4, Sky, and ITV, in primetime slots such as Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and The Great New Year Bake Off. The fully integrated campaign will appear across a breadth of media channels, including TV, YouTube, VOD and display, continuing to build on Zoopla’s fresh new look and feel unveiled as part of its rebrand in the Spring. Marketing technology agency Byte is leading on Zoopla’s carefully created social strategy across Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, while TikTok will also be tested for the first time. The campaign will drive a national presence for Zoopla, overlaid with specific audience targeting.

Pet health and insurtech company, Bought By Many, has acquired VetBox, the UK pet health subscription and fulfilment business, in a major step in the extension of its offering beyond insurance. The full acquisition of the business follows an initial investment from Bought By Many in VetBox in 2020. The acquisition of VetBox draws on investment from a $350m Series D funding round in June 2021 after the company gained unicorn status with a valuation of over $2bn through its holding company Many Group. The investment in Many Group represented one of the largest funding rounds in European insurtech in 2021. The acquisition signifies a major step towards the extension of Bought By Many’s offering beyond insurance and into the preventative wellness space.

Dan Berry, UNRVLD CEO, is delighted to confirm the recent appointment of Paul Heywood to the UNRVLD non-executive board. Heywood brings further additive skills to an already highly-skilled team. This reflects UNRVLD’s ongoing commitment to world-class governance as a progressive business. Heywood serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Puppet, Chairman of European Cloud Service Provider DevOpsGroup and is a Partner at US strategic growth and investment firm, York IE. Heywood’s executive focus is on reimagining and scaling go-to-market models in services delivering greater customer centricity and impact. Heywood’s appointment brings further strength to UNRVLD’s mission to advance ambitious brands with game-changing digital experiences.

Merlin Entertainments has appointed Wavemaker as its new UK media agency as it consolidates its media spend across its theme parks and resorts and indoor attractions for the first time. Wavemaker was appointed after a competitive pitch process overseen by Oystercatchers. This follows an extensive review by Merlin of its marketing activity as it looks to continue its ambitious growth and capitalise on pent up demand among UK consumers following the lifting of COVID restrictions and the return of international visitors. Merlin previously separated out its media spend between its UK Midway indoor attractions – which include The London Eye, Madame Tussauds, The Dungeons, SEA LIFE, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centres, the Blackpool Tower and DreamWorks’ Shrek’s Adventure! London – and its Resort Theme Parks, which include Alton Towers, LEGOLAND® Windsor, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Warwick Castle. Merlin has also appointed Wavemaker as its media agency for its Midway attractions in Europe, which include SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds and The Dungeons.

Mediaocean, the mission-critical platform for omnichannel advertising, has named David Berkowitz as Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications. Leveraging decades of experience and a widely respected career across top strategic marketing posts, Berkowitz will oversee key functions for Mediaocean, including global public relations, analyst relations, corporate messaging and content. Prior to founding and running his own consultancy, Serial Marketer, Berkowitz’s roles have included Head of Marketing at Storyhunter and Chief Strategy Officer at Sysomos (acquired by Meltwater in 2018). He was also Chief Marketing Officer at MRY, leading efforts for clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Visa and Pizza Hut. Previously Berkowitz was Vice President at 360i, crafting mobile marketing strategies for brands like Bravo, Coca-Cola and Oreo. He has also held leadership posts at iCrossing, Unicast, and research firm eMarketer, now Insider Intelligence. As a popular thought leader and columnist, Berkowitz has contributed nearly 1,000 bylines to Ad Age, MediaPost, VentureBeat, Mashable, Adweek and others.

Ellers Farm Distillery is a brand-new carbon-neutral distillery and visitor attraction currently nearing completion in North Yorkshire – led by an award-winning team from Heineken, Chase, Diageo, Molson Coors and more. To support the scale of Ellers Farm Distillery’s ambitious growth plans, and to launch the range of drinks brands soon to come out of the distillery, it has appointed three agencies to deliver strategy, creative, integrated PR, events, marketing and more on a retained basis. YesMore drinks marketing agency has been appointed to lead overarching marketing strategy and creative; PR firm Hatch has been hired to drive trade and consumer communications, while Limegreentangerine will manage brand and website. All three were chosen following a competitive pitch process. The roster of agencies will deliver work across the full portfolio of forthcoming brands from Ellers Farm Distillery.

Roland DG has created the world’s first “dress release” – a press release printed onto a dress – using its latest cutting-edge textile printer, the Texart XT-640S-F. In a first for the fashion, textiles and printing industry, the dress acts as a medium to showcase the benefits of XT-640S-F, a printer that excels at short-run garment printing for the ‘fashion drop’ generation. It also shows off the cutting-edge white ink and bright colour capabilities of the new machine, alongside text which reveals its benefits and unique qualities. The dress, which pays homage to the world of fashion design, was created in two fashion capitals of the world: designed and sewn in London, UK, and printed using a Roland Texart XT-640S-F in Milan, Italy. The company collaborated with designer, Fabia Goff, who has previously worked with top UK brands such as John Lewis and Laura Ashley, to create the pattern. It incorporates textual elements of a press release alongside a stunning design inspired by current fashion trends and Japanese art and culture to celebrate Roland DG’s Japanese heritage.

Back Market, the refurbished tech marketplace that was recently valued at $3.2billion, has retained Words + Pixels for its corporate and consumer PR as the company establishes its presence in the UK. Words + Pixels will work with Back Market to deliver campaigns and creative storytelling which focus on shifting perceptions around the quality of refurbished tech, how tech buying habits can be more sustainable, and how refurbished devices can help close the digital divide.