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Platforms Featured Global

Shopify meets Spotify: latest partnership introduces ‘virtual merch table’ for artists

Sydney, Australia – Global commerce platform Shopify and global audio streaming platform Spotify have entered a strategic partnership that allows music artists to expand beyond music and traditional merch to build fully realized brands, all with the capabilities of both platforms in their own specialities.

Using the Spotify channel, artists can introduce products to the place where listeners and fans are already engaging with their music most. By connecting their Spotify for Artists accounts with their Shopify online stores, artists can sync their product catalogues and seamlessly showcase products of their choice directly on their Spotify profiles, making it easy for fans to browse and purchase. 

Said feature period is currently in beta testing, and is available to users across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.

“Shopify is already powering the online stores of local and international acts, and the Spotify integration will further empower Aussie and Kiwi artists to showcase their unique talent, brand or creativity, and engage their fans even more effectively,” said Shaun Broughton, managing director for APAC at Shopify.

With Shopify, artist-entrepreneurs have access to an all-in-one commerce platform to manage their brands across multiple touchpoints that not only include leading social and entertainment channels and marketplaces, but now one of the most popular audio streaming services in the world.

“For new artists, Shopify is an easy-to-use, all-in-one commerce platform to start, grow and manage their brands. For artists with large followings and pre-existing businesses, Shopify’s world-class infrastructure effortlessly handles high volumes of traffic, key sales moments, and highly anticipated product drops,” Shopify said in a press statement.

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Marketing Featured Global

COMCO SEA expands to Middle East & Africa

Philippines – COMCO Southeast Asia (SEA), the Integrated communications agency headquartered in the Philippines, has announced that it will be expanding to the Middle East & Africa (MEA). This was revealed in the ‘Blazing Sapphire’ main event to mark its fifth-year celebration, where the agency unveiled several major initiatives including its master plan for the next 10 years. 

The agency said that the launch of COMCO MEA aims to bring COMCO’s brand of meaningful storytelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the rest of the MEA region. The expansion also makes it poised to open doors of opportunities for COMCO’s client partners to take advantage of the multi-cultural team’s knowledge and network of both flourishing and fast-moving markets and to unlock the gateway to launching inter-regional campaigns.

The expansion to MEA is especially momentous to the agency as UAE plays host to the World Expo, which deems to be one of the first and largest international events in the world, taking place every five years and lasting six months. With the COMCO team’s local presence, the agency aims to guide brands that are aiming to get a foothold at Expo 2020 which presents a truly global audience.

COMCO MEA will be spearheaded by Tricia Cusi-Jimenea, COMCO SEA’s business development director, partner and co-founder, and communications professional with over a decade of experience in the MEA market.

Cusi-Jimenea commented that it is an honor and a huge responsibility to bring this brand that they co-founded to MEA, and that as they expand their operations, they are guided by the company’s values of using the power of communication as a tool to not only serve their clients but also the community. 

“From igniting brand love to executing impactful and meaningful campaigns that improve and enrich the lives of our stakeholders, our COMCO MEA team is committed to continuing the trailblazing path that our COMCO SEA family has paved for us,” she said.

During the event, COMCO also gave a glimpse of its 10-year master plan which includes the formation of the COMCO AOX League of Enterprises, the umbrella group for all of COMCO’s existing and upcoming ventures, initiatives, and advocacies. Forming the COMCO AOX League are COMCO Southeast Asia, COMCO Middle East & Africa, SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine, and Citizen COMCO Advocacy Group, as well as Camp COMCO Alumni Society, and upcoming ventures Taro Digital AOX and COMCOffee Club, with more in the pipeline to be unveiled in the next couple of years.

The ‘Blazing Sapphire’ event is part of COMCO SEA’s year-long fifth-anniversary celebration, which also includes the virtual town hall and digital unveiling of COMCO SEA’s brand evolution and the inauguration of the Camp COMCO Alumni Society ‘Unity Games’, among others.

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Platforms Featured Global

Twitter tests new reply-bound ad format

Sydney, Australia – As part of improving the advertising experience on their platform, social media platform Twitter is testing out ad rollouts across tweet conversations.

In a tweet from Bruce Flack, revenue product lead at Twitter, he stated that users in the ad experiment will see ads after the first, third or eighth reply under a tweet. Said ad rollout experiment will be for a select number of global users, both on iOS and Android.

“We see a big opportunity to build an ad offering that creates value and aligns incentives for creators and advertisers. As we experiment with this format over the coming months, we’ll focus on understanding how it performs and how it impacts the people and conversations around it,” Flack stated in his tweet thread.

He also mentioned that they will be testing different frequencies, layouts, contextually relevant ads, different insertion points, among others. Furthermore, they will be examining their learnings on this ad rollout endeavor and figure out if it’s something they want to make permanent.

“We’re excited about trying this out for our advertisers and we’re eager to explore how it could open the door for additional opportunities to reward tweet authors and creators,” Flack added.

Meanwhile, Angus Keene, acting managing director for Twitter Australia, commented that as the platform evolves and brings forward more ways for people to connect and talk, they will continue to evaluate how they extend this offering to their advertisers and partners.

“We are now testing a new ad placement in Tweet conversations for a small percentage of people globally. This group will see ads after the first, third or eighth reply under a Tweet. By introducing this new opportunity, we hope to create value and support users and creators who drive everyday conversation and connection on our platform, while also providing incremental scale for advertisers looking to reach untapped audiences during their most engaged moments in conversations,” Keen explained.

He added, “Over the coming months, we’ll be looking at how this experiment performs and impacts the people and conversations around it.”

This is one of the latest updates from Twitter, including more recently the creation of ‘Communities’ that serves as hubs for users on the platform to discuss similar topics, interests, or hobbies.

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Technology Featured Global

InMobi acquires insights platform Appsumer, bolsters performance marketing solutions for brands

Singapore –  Independent marketing cloud company, InMobi, has just announced the acquisition of Appsumer, performance insights platform for mobile app advertisers, to bring unified intelligence to mobile marketing and deeper understanding of marketing effectiveness.

Appsumer offers marketers no-code integrations with more than 100 marketing channels, customizable dashboards for clients to build and track goals and KPIs, and daily processing of marketing data for more accurate measurement and informed decision making. Through the acquisition, Appsumer’s self-serve technology platform, intellectual property, and team will support InMobi’s end-to-end content, monetization, and marketing stack, as well as empower marketers to assess their performance marketing spend all in one place. 

With third-party identifiers losing their dominance, which complicates the measurement and attribution process, it’s more important than ever that marketers have a clean, crisp view of how their marketing channels are performing. Appsumer’s workspace will allow customers a single source of truth to track performance, analyze results, and use that data to plan more effective campaigns.

Furthermore, InMobi and Appsumer will be building an operating system that makes understanding user acquisition funnels easier by using AI to build predictive capabilities into the platform, helping growth marketers more quickly experiment and iterate to optimize results from their user acquisition strategies.

Shumel Lais, Appsumer’s CEO and founder, will also be joining InMobi and will continue to lead the division, charting its future growth path and product roadmap. The full Appsumer team will be joining InMobi to ensure client service continuity and further develop and support the analytics and automation offering under the InMobi umbrella.

Commenting on the acquisition, Lais said that joining forces with InMobi potentially represents an exponential growth path for their pioneering technology.

“I’m excited that Appsumer has the opportunity to get into the hands of even more developers and marketing teams worldwide to leverage our best of breed offering, making it the default home for growth marketing,” said Lais.

Meanwhile, Abhay Singhal, the co-founder of InMobi Group and CEO of InMobi Marketing Solutions, shared that Appsumer brings a next-generation approach for advertisers to better understand the efficacy of their marketing efforts across multiple channels that growth marketing teams employ daily. 

“The solution makes it easy to map all mobile performance media investment to business outcomes. Shumel and his team are well-known industry leaders and visionaries in their field and will play an instrumental role in driving InMobi’s next wave of growth and innovation,” said Singhal.

Appsumer will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary within the global InMobi organizational structure.

The acquisition of Appsumer comes after the recent launch of InMobi’s InMobi Telco, aimed at helping mobile carriers and handset manufacturers optimize their customer experiences and diversify their revenue streams.

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Marketing Featured Global

PHD’s refreshed visual identity reflects agency’s ‘Make The Leap’ philosophy

London, United Kingdom – Global media network PHD, part of the Omnicom Media Group, has unveiled a new visual brand identity, which mirrors their ‘Make The Leap’ philosophy, a call to leverage the power of imagination to drive disproportionate growth for its clients’ business.

The updated brand identity, created in collaboration with independent design director Cosmo Jameson, has been designed with digital, motion, and audio capabilities in mind and reimagined to fully embody the company’s philosophy.

At the core of the new branding are visual assets that represent PHD’s values of creativity, courage, openness, collaboration, and curiosity – a reflection of the fact that it’s the creativity and innovation of PHD’s talent that powers business growth.

Philippa Brown, worldwide CEO at PHD stated that for over 30 years, the company has put creativity, innovation, and thought leadership at the heart of the business.

“Creativity and the power of imagination are what fuel our industry and we believe that only by making imaginative leaps in creativity can we best help our clients flourish and, therefore, leap forward commercially. The evolution of our identity brings this idea to life, with a contemporary and dynamic mark that positions us for the future,” Brown stated.

Meanwhile, Mark Holden, worldwide chief strategy officer at PHD, commented that their new identity focuses on creativity above all else since he believes that it is the power of imagination that drives disproportionate growth, not just reports and spreadsheets.

“In the modern world, advancements in data and technology have enabled marketers to improve how they target and measure their campaigns. However, while this is hugely important, at PHD, we know that every great campaign starts with a great creative idea,” Holden added.

Avril Canavan, worldwide chief marketing officer at PHD, commented “Our new identity is strategically designed with digital and motion in mind to reflect how we work today as well as being a symbol of our ethos. The brand mark is dynamic and flexible, capable of making a physical leap itself to trigger imagery or film and reveal a world reimagined.”

The new branding is being implemented internally and externally across all of PHD’s over 100 markets.

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Marketing Featured Global

AU comms agency Bastion Collective now Bastion, unveils new world agency model

Australia – Independent communications agency Bastion Collective, which has a presence in the US, Australia, and an integrated offering across Asia, has announced its rebranding as ‘Bastion’.

The rebranding will see a newly created world agency model, which caters to most agencies that still cling to an antiquated model fundamentally broken by the digital age. The agency emphasizes that the model is both ‘wide’ and ‘deep’ as it delivers a breadth of communications services and has strong expertise in each service offered.

Bastion said that the move creates one business with many services carrying the said deep expertise in each one, and wide thinking across the communications spectrum. Its service offerings work together in an integrated approach, as opposed to a collection of disconnected individual agencies. 

With the ‘Think Wide’, it will be offering capabilities such as under market research, brand and creative, and corporate and change communications, under one roof including PR and social media, and digital and customer experience, among others.

Jack Watts, Bastion’s founder and global CEO, commented that they are able to leverage the scale of a multinational across its over 250 staff globally, with the care and agility of an independent. 

“We have integrated Think Wide teams that service integrated accounts. Because we are one business, under one name, under one roof, we can actually all work together for the benefit of our clients, and deliver truly integrated work,” said Watts.

Some former Bastion Collective services have also rebranded “to do what it says on the tin” and better reflect each specialty. The ‘Bastion Effect’ has been rebranded to ‘Bastion Amplify’, while ‘Bastion RM’ is now Bastion Reputation, ‘Bastion EBA’ to ‘Bastion Experience’, and lastly, ‘Bastion Banjo’ changed to ‘Bastion Creative’.

In addition, Bastion said that it has joined Bastion Insights, Bastion Data, Bastion Performance, Bastion Interactive, Bastion Asia, and Bastion Films. It has also implemented company-wide initiatives to bake wide thinking into its culture and provide career development opportunities for employees, including the ‘Think Wide Academy’, which offers individual coaching and formal training in effective communication, business strategy, product sets, and process, and a ‘Think Wide Leap’ program, which enables staff to develop careers and broaden skills by working in another part of the business, and ‘Think Wide Giant Leap’, which is a pilot employee exchange program with Bastion in the US.

Watts noted that as their team members increasingly work with colleagues across the business and build their own skills in ‘thinking widely’, they won’t just become better at their chosen communications discipline, they will become better-integrated communications experts.

“Our objectives from here are to build the largest independent that ever existed in Australia, and build the largest independent on the West Coast of America. We see that as an 18-month to three-year journey. The new world needs a new world agency, and that’s what we intend to create here at Bastion,” stated Watts.

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Marketing Featured Global

dentsu retains Standard Chartered’s global media remit

Singapore – Global media and digital marketing communications network dentsu International has retained the global media remit for financial services company Standard Chartered, extended for five more years following a competitive pitch. Said assignment covers Standard Chartered’s global markets across media planning, strategy and buying.

For Emma Sheller, global head of brand strategy and consumer for private and business banking marketing at Standard Chartered, dentsu came to the table with a deep knowledge of their business, commitment,s and how they can drive growth from the media with an impressive service model and a team aligned to that value set.

“At Standard Chartered, we are here for good. It’s the motivation of our business, and a principle we clearly share with dentsu in the commitments and progress they’re making to be a force for good. We are committed to reducing carbon emissions, lifting participation and improving lives, and setting a new model of globalization based on transparency, fairness and trust. It is important for us to have a partner with shared values and ambitions who would work with us to achieve our goals,” Sheller stated.

Meanwhile, Prerna Mehrotra, CEO for media at dentsu Asia Pacific and Singapore, commented that they are proud of the work they have delivered with Standard Chartered over the course of their previous four-year long relationship, and are excited for the potential of their next five-year commitment.

“We presented Standard Chartered with a team of brilliant people, who felt passionately about delivering performance with purpose for the Standard Chartered business, which set strong foundations for us to build the next five years on. Our vision for good growth, delivered through our ‘one dentsu’ service model across the diverse markets Standard Chartered operates in, delivered the competitive advantage for the team.” Mehrotra added.

Standard Chartered has tapped dentsu in the past for the adoption of dentsu’s programmatic supply solution as part of Standard Chartered’s global campaign ‘Here for good’.

Just recently, the company has also announced other company endeavors, specifically the launch of its gaming solution for APAC.

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Technology Featured Global

Gametech Livewire opens London office, appoints new directors to lead EMEA

Australia – Livewire, the global gaming marketing and gametech company, has officially launched its operation in EMEA, with its first office in London. This move comes after its launch in APAC six months ago,

The expansion aims to provide opportunities for brands who are understanding the importance of marketing to the gaming audience through a range of diverse opportunities, engaging a generation that is turning off traditional forms of media. 

Through this, Livewire will be able to provide gaming marketing and gametech solutions to EMEA brands and clients through the company’s experience, partnerships, and proprietary assets across research and insights, gaming strategy, esports, gaming talent, and in and around game advertising, as well as gaming audience solutions, and direct publisher opportunities.

Following this endeavor, Livewire has also announced the appointment of former Dentsu leads Luke Aldridge and Peter Jacobs as the new directors to lead the EMEA region. 

Aldridge and Jacobs the integrated gaming division DGame for global media agency Dentsu in London. They have a rich gaming and digital marketing experience, working with major clients including Kellogg’s and Mondelez. Both have delivered successful gaming campaigns for their roster of clients across gaming strategy, in-game advertising, talent, and esports.

Commenting on his appointment, Aldridge said that Livewire has a deep understanding of the entire gaming ecosystem and how to approach it like a marketer, which makes it exciting for him to join.

Meanwhile, Jacobs commented he is thrilled to join Livewire in helping marketers in EMEA navigate it successfully.

“We are now seeing some of the biggest brands in the world take advantage of the many opportunities gaming presents to engage audiences in unique and immersive ways. It is a complex and fascinating world – massive audiences, unparalleled engagement, and full of sub-cultures,” said Jacobs.

Indy Khabra and Brad Manuel, the co-founders of Livewire, shared that the opportunity and timing to launch Livewire EMEA with their first office in London allows them to bring their approach to clients in the region. 

They said, “Globally, gaming and esports is now a priority on the marketer’s agenda and brands are looking to form a holistic gaming strategy to connect with the next generation of consumers who are getting harder to reach through the typical media mix requiring expertise. Gaming and esports are growing exponentially across EMEA, and brands at the forefront of this trend will win in the attention economy.” 

“We’re excited that Luke and Pete will lead our EMEA expansion. They are experienced gaming marketers who understand the importance of gaming ecosystem strategy, coupled with great content and gametech,” Khabra and Manuel added. 

In August this year, Livewire has also announced the launch of its new ‘Gaming Audiences by Livewire’, a new suite of gametech solutions that helps customers access end-to-end planning, insights, and measurement tools, activating unique gaming audience segments in ANZ.

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Technology Featured Global

Talkwaker’s latest products to deliver actionable consumer intelligence

Singapore – To accompany its existing Consumer Intelligence Acceleration Platform™, consumer intelligence company Talkwalker has launched new products to deliver brands actionable consumer intelligence to drive business impact, as well as to accelerate growth of Talkwalker’s social listening capabilities.

The new products include Market Intelligence that provides consumer trends analysis and real-time industry datasets, with an app per category, to fast-track innovation; Customer Intelligence which creates a unique single customer view by combining customer and consumer data, social, ratings, and reviews; and Social Intelligence which is an expansion of Talkwalker’s deep social listening capabilities at scale, to help companies protect, measure, and promote their brands.

“Our new products and platform expand our deep listening capabilities into new areas, arming brands with insights that they can benefit from immediately. Only Talkwalker can help them get closer to their customers than ever before, and enable them to shape products, campaigns, and services to meet the market’s ever-growing demands,” said Tod Nielsen, CEO at Talkwalker.

In addition to their recently-launched products, Talkwalker has also launched its new professional services called the Talkwalker Activate team, which offers a broad range of customer services, including training, onboarding and insights, to help clients accelerate their time to value with Talkwalker technologies, from investment to real-world results.

Furthermore, Talkwalker has also announced that the company has been recognized as a Twitter Official Partner, where they demonstrated during their recent Talkwalker ‘Dare to Accelerate’ event that the social media platform can be used by businesses social listening, market research, customer intelligence, and product development.

“We will continue to listen forward and ensure our technologies and solutions are fit for purpose. This will enable brands to profit from actionable consumer intelligence to drive business impact,” Nielsen concluded.