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Future’s Mobile Industry Awards partners with Sky Ocean Rescue to #PassOnPlastic Global specialist media platform, Future plc, has partnered with Sky Ocean Rescue to remove single-use plastics from the Mobile Industry Awards ceremony. This will be Future’s first ever single-use plastic-free event, with the intention of encouraging the mobile industry to come together to drive the use of single-use plastic out of their product packaging, supply and operations. Future is trying to turn the tide on plastic consumption in order to improve their plastic footprint. The Mobile Industry Awards and Sky Ocean Rescue are an excellent example of how companies can join forces for the better. The drive behind the change stems from the fact that every minute, the equivalent of a truck load of plastic enters our oceans, never to be removed. If nothing changes, by 2050 the plastic in the ocean could outweigh the fish. In January 2017 Sky launched the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign to help stop our oceans from drowning in plastic. Leading by example, Sky has committed to remove all single-use plastic from its business and supply chain by 2020. With its scale and its innovative nature, we believe that the mobile industry has power to influence and encourage the use of recyclable materials in place of single-use plastic. The Mobile Industry Awards is the perfect opportunity to help boost the momentum around this campaign in the industry. Zillah Byng-Thorne, Chief Executive at Future says, “We all need to take responsibility for single-use plastic consumption and the Mobile Industry Awards is the perfect platform to spark change within the industry. Small changes can make a huge difference and I’m delighted Future is getting behind such a worthy cause.” Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business & Sky Ocean Rescue commented : “Sky Ocean Rescue’s mission is to inspire simple, everyday changes to stop our oceans from drowning in plastic. That’s why we’re working with the mobile industry to inspire changes that will turn off the plastic tap, including plastic-free packaging for SIM cards and mobile phones. We all need to play our part and turn inspiration in to action.” Mark Fermor, Mobile Industry Lead at Future Plc: “I’m delighted to partner with Sky Ocean Rescue. The Mobile Industry Awards 2018 brings together many of the top decision makers and influencers in the UK market, and together we can go a long way to help improve the health of our planet – starting with single-use plastics.” This partnership marks the latest in a number of incentives by Future to become a more environmentally conscious company. Read more TCO launch The Mighty-Mighty, a new breed of outdoor and action sports agency The Mighty-Mighty’s launch clients include Telefonica/O2 and Nike across their Skateboard, Energy and Basketball categories. Phil Young will lead the agency, which will focus on delivering premium storytelling and events outside of more traditional sports categories. Phil has built a formidable reputation for delivering authentic content, events and marketing activations after establishing himself in the action sports scene as a lifestyle and sports presenter for Channel 4 and as a magazine columnist. He comes to TCO after three years as creative lead at Factory Media, where he developed the Selfridges skatepark with HTC, campaigns for Ford, Mini, Volvo and Nikon, alongside international activations and global launches for Nike. “TCO is one the most creative voices in youth and alternative culture,” Phil says. “The opportunity to join the team with The Mighty-Mighty and bring my action and outdoor experience to the business allows us to further deliver exciting brand storytelling to a content-driven audience. As our name implies, at The Mighty-Mighty we’re not afraid to reach for the sky and offer alternative takes on brand stories and activations.” TCO Co-Founder and Publisher Vince Medeiros adds: “Phil and I go way back. We have a shared history in action sports, and have always said we should work together some day. Well, that day has come. I’m beyond stoked to be able to marry TCO’s premium creative and execution with Phil’s talent, experience and unmatched credibility across actions sports and outdoor culture.” Q&A with Phil Young //Mighty Mighty – Why Now?// //Filmmaker and snowboarding pioneer Phil Young explains why 2018 is the perfect time to launch Mighty Mighty, his new action sports agency.// What is the opportunity for marketeers who want to get involved? The average age of someone who watches football on Sky Sports is 43 years old, and it is getting older every year. ‘Alternative’ or action sports offer a much younger and emotionally connected demographic to marketers.  Through Mighty Mighty we give an alternative view for marketers who want to do something different and more engaging targeting an often misunderstood audience. This is a space that offers huge potential to break new ground. Snowboarding is the most watched sport at the Winter Olympics, and the most anticipated new sports coming into the next sSummer Olympics are Skateboarding and Surfing. Why? Because not only are they truly exciting, but we know that with them comes a sense of freedom that oozes with cool and sticks up two fingers to the world. Who doesn’t want that? Lots of marketers talk about ‘authenticity’ as a key tool for engaging younger consumers. Do you see that as being a driver in people working with Mighty Mighty? Action sports have spent the last 40 years developing and maturing, and what we’ve seen is that these sports often don’t inherently have any rules. The only rule is actually authenticity. The sports themselves are by their very nature freestyle and creative. They are platforms for self-expression and creative exploration, not just in how they are performed but how their respective cultures resonate through street style and attitude. So if a brand can ensure authenticity by working with the right partner, they have an opportunity to do something fresh, new and exciting.  Marketeers may not be so easily connected to this world. How are you going to overcome that, and how do you see action sports fans behaving differently from a mainstream football audience? One of the key priorities for launching Mighty Mighty is to offer brands a credible connection to alternative sports, which we believe offer much higher engagement than traditional sports. If you’re watching a game of football, you are passive; you have an emotional ride but it is totally outside of your control. With surfing, skateboarding, bikes, snowboarding and the like, most fans are also participants. If they don’t land a trick or it doesn’t’ ‘click’ that day, they have a bad day.  They are solely in charge of the actions and of the emotions they generate. Ride smoother, link tricks, learn something new and they win. The rewards from action sports are immediate. Our audience are participants; they take the knocks; they have the highs and lows and they come back for more. Their emotional investment is far greater and so is their desire to connect with and see others get those highs and live vicariously through them. Read more Twitch – the future of interactive video? “We’re building content for the interactivity of live video — that’s the future, engaging with viewers in ways that are not possible on live TV.” That’s the ambition of Buzzfeed outlined by Andrew Kimmel, who is head of live video at the channel. Yet the platform that Kimmel is harnessing to build that future might surprise you. It is not YouTube, or even Facebook Live, but a platform that until recently has been largely under the radar in the UK, especially for brands – Twitch. Twitch is not a new disruption-hungry startup powered by VC money. Rather is is the bastard child of the service Justintv, which you may remember was a fleetingly popular video service that did much to popularise the concept of lifecasting. Justintv is long gone, but the live video streaming service it spawned continues to this day, and some publishers and brands are starting to think it could be a very important platform in the future. Although it has a comparatively low profile in the UK Twitch has amassed a huge global audience. It is the leading live streaming video service for video games in the US, and as of February 2018 could boast two million broadcasters monthly and 15 million daily active users. Part of its success too is that it is powered by one of key giants of the tech world, Amazon which acquired Twitch in 2014. European ambitions Twitch has been active in Europe for around four years, but it has only really been in the last 12 months that it has ramped up its commercial operations in the continent and apparently been rewarded with increased revenue. One of the key reasons for its low profile is that it’s only really operating in niches. Its bread and butter consumers are gamers who upload live videos of their exploits complete with commentary. This then sparks interaction from their viewers and followers via the accompanying message board. More recently the platform debuted IRL (In Real Life) which gives broadcasters the opportunity to share events that are happening around them in a similar way to say Facebook Live. A few years in from its launch and IRL is a bizarre channel – a mixture of teens experimenting with soft drugs through to live chats about Bitcoin. It is an odd space, but it clearly has potential. Away from the gaming there are also growing channels for music, live chat and food, but it is early days for these. This one-day video storytelling workshop is designed to equip content marketers with the knowledge and tools they need to take advantage of the growth of video. Twitch’s VP of sales for Europe Steve Ford recently told Marketing Week: “When I introduce Twitch to new advertisers, I tell them 10 years ago if I had told you the most enjoyable TV show would be one about watching other people watching TV shows, you would say I was bonkers. Yet here we are. “Twitch can be the Gogglebox of live streaming. The fact we filmed an ad for Kellogg’s  just for our platform shows how far we’ve come. We really believe the world’s half a billion gamers is a market we can realistically target.” The Gogglebox elements inspired Buzzfeed which has so far run four live streams on the chanel, the latest being live footage of the royal wedding. Some pundits have ascribed the new enthusiasm for Twitch as a reaction against Facebook. Media brands were courted by the platform for its Facebook Live opportunity. Now that is has stopped the incentives, coupled with an increasing scepticism about Facebook over its recent privacy and security issues, it has meant that companies are looking at other audiences. Twitch does have a couple of key advantages over Facebook Live too. For the latter the content is placed in news feeds, with Twitch it is presented in an easy to find, searchable way more akin to YouTube. For Twitch too the live content is archived and can be watched at a later stage. What it does not have yet though is the reach of Facebook and its ancillary companies. For now though Twitch is  a platform to keep an eye on. If interacting with a young, tech-savvy highly engaged audience is on your priority list then you should explore further. Ashley Norris, Content Consultant, The CMA Read more The future of sports marketing Sports marketing is in something of a transitional period. The shift to social and digital is ongoing, but the evolution has thrown up as many questions as it has answers. Significant changes in American sports are sure to impact on marketers in Europe, while at the same time new technologies like Augmented Reality might soon create amazing new immersive opportunities for brands. Keeping on top of it all is tricky. Fortunately the CMA has a Sporting special Digital Breakfast on Wednesday 16th May. Here we invited the speakers, plus other significant commentators on the intersection of sports and marketing, to offer their views as to how they see their role developing in the coming months and years. The four participants are Jim Dowling, MD of Cake (an agency owned by the Havas Group which has a heritage in sports marketing), Andrew Ko, CEO & Cofounder @Personalyze (a data analytics company that has worked with some big sporting names), Chris Gratton Head of Sports and Entertainment at FleishmanHillard Fishburn (an agency that boasts many sports clients) and Ivan Lazarov, Group Head of Sales at Bridge Studio, the creative content team at News UK. What do you think has been the biggest change in sports content marketing in recent years? Jim Dowling, MD of Cake  – Ultimately, that younger audiences appear not to have the patience to watch live, televised sport. The average age of a live televised football watcher is over forty years old, and gets older by a year, each year. In addition, there appears a greater intolerance of ‘official’ media commentators and punditry. Fan generated content, through channels like Arsenal Fan TV, or alternative opinion or content through the likes of Copa 90 is breathing new life into football culture; which other sports will ape, follow or take inspiration from. Andrew Ko, CEO & Co-Founder of Personalyze – I think the biggest change in sports content marketing is the shift in using more and more data to determine what to put out there. It’s not just about putting stuff out there blindly anymore, but really understanding your audience and posting content that really resonates with your intended fan base. Chris Gratton Head of Sports and Entertainment at FleishmanHillard Fishburn – The explosion of video as a centrepiece and absolute staple within sports content marketing and in particular deals done with rights holders has been a huge step change. For a long time the contractual rights granted to brands had been focused on pure media value, mainly for on-pitch exposure (mainly boards and backdrops) however there has been a recent shift with most brands now looking for digital rights and in particular those that allow them to tell an authentic, credible story via consistent and continuous high quality content output. Ivan Lazarov Group Head of Sales at Bridge Studio, the creative content team at News UK –  The idea of building communities to engage people first. We’ve been working hard to get writers commenting and conversing with subscribers beneath articles to build this idea that you are part of a club, which hopefully means they are less likely to churn. This is an idea that spreads to marketing as well. I was listening to a podcast a little while back about how NFL stores in the US are increasingly places you go for an experience, AR/VR areas where you play in a match, meet your heroes etc and they don’t try very hard to flog things to you, they just want you to fall in love with the NFL because then they have you buying things for life. What is the biggest challenge in reaching out to sports consumers on behalf of brands? Chris Gratton – Due to the drastic increase in quantity of content available to an individual generally and in the sports arena, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to cut through with their output. The challenge is that you are competing against so much noise, which in some cases has significant paid support, that to stand out you need to be authentic, credible and sometimes disruptive. Tapping into cultural trends whilst staying true to both the sport and your brand is very important and the thing that is increasingly lost within brand content output. There is often a lack of true value add or differentiation by many brands within the sports arena who forget about genuinely what the fan wants to see, hear and in many cases love. Ivan Lazarov – Being authentic to your audience and creating a unique piece of branded content that is as watchable as if it was non branded and is true to both brand and publisher values. Jim Dowling – The same as it’s always been. How is your brand going to improve the sports experience for the consumer in a relevant way? Andrew Ko – Again, the biggest change in sports content marketing also becomes its biggest challenge as well. And that is trying to truly understand the target audience and knowing what kind of content to put out that gets the highest engagement. Posting engaging content on social, particularly, has become an arms race to see who can. Are social platforms still important? Or should brands be building their own content portals? Ivan lazarov – Social platforms are still important but it is vital to move away from clickbait headlines and create content that is original and true to our own values and not copying formats from other brands and publishers. It is also vital to understand the role of each social platform and create content that is desirable to our audiences in the way the want to consume it. Facebook seem to make promoting Facebook groups rather than pages and are now rewarding content that creates the most discussion in its newsfeed to show you more engaging content and less clickbait. The other thing that we are finding from a content point of view is that we have to offer far more than the facts, even if people go to you because you are a trusted source. Even when it comes to exclusive news they are only exclusive for so long, our strategy for The Times is to offer analysis of what is going on and say to people “we’ll make you understand it.” So if we can we try to make that clear in what we put out on social – be that the words or increasingly graphics or gifs that shout “this is analysis”. Part of this is because the biggest challenge for most people – especially during a World Cup, say – is the sheer volume of content kicking around. You may have the best article ever but getting people to see it is difficult. We support content that we think will resonate hardest via paid promotions and we also push our writers to tweet out stories that we think can take off but we do it sparingly – the reason people engage more with them than the brand is because they are authentic/genuine in how they act and we wish to maintain that. Jim Dowling – Sport fans are a part of the human race, and like the majority, their content journey generally begins when they pick up their smartphone, and tap the requisite social media icon. It’s where it begins. Brands should concern themselves first and foremost, with the quality of content they produce. Channels come next. Andrew Ko – Social platforms are definitely still important as the customer-base has already been built up. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are mediums to 2+ billion eyeballs globally, ready to consume whatever content is shown to them. And the best part of social is that it’s digital and, thus, should be better equipped to track ROI versus traditional media like TV and billboards. I say “should” because it’s not quite there yet, but I believe it’ll get there within the next 5 years. Chris Gratton – The old adage of ‘fish where the fish are’ remains true, particularly for brands in sports where the fan is more than likely indifferent about your brand and extremely passionate about the sport. Therefore trying to move individuals into a brand platform to consume content about their sport feels unnatural, disingenuous and inauthentic. In addition, a brand content portal attempting to host a considerable amount of owned content needs both extremely high quality credible content, continuous output and a lot of money to drive traffic to establish itself on the map which is why many brands do not even attempt this approach. Most will leverage social as a hosting platform to allow cross pollination of content from authentic sports channels to their own platforms. Many also use established players in the space to host branded content on their behalf, both to tap into the existing audience but also the feel of authenticity you gain from partnering with a trusted fan platform or destination. How do you see technology changing sports marketing and content in the coming years? Andrew Ko – I believe technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality will help sports brands find new ways in engaging with their audience. It’ll bring a new level of interaction to fans that could probably only occur in the sports venue in the past. I know Sky Sports tried this with their 3D broadcasts of some Premier League games a while back, but imagine sitting at home using VR to fully immerse yourself in games as though you were right in the stadium! Then think of the potential of turning that into a personal marketing channel to that individual. I think it will be game-changing. Chris Gratton – Technology is integral in sport and has been for a number of years both on and off the different fields of play, however it has with everything had varying levels of success often in early and in some cases arguably too early adoption, something very relevant at present with conversations around VAR in the Premier League. The most exciting technological developments however are really going to come in for the fan and in particular in terms of how they consume the sport both in the stadium and at home. The connected stadium is being built for the future and you can look at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta as the pinnacle with the Premier League following close behind. The new build for Spurs is almost complete and Crystal Palace, Chelsea and others won’t be far behind as everyone looks to push the boundaries when it comes to incorporating tech to improve all areas of the experience. From a content point of view, VR and AR both broke onto the scene a few years ago within sport again with varying successes in different areas so it interesting to see how this affects the fan experience when someone truly cracks it. A couple of football clubs, namely Liverpool  and most recently Man United have used VR to give fans a behind the scenes experience that they will never receive (particularly for overseas fans who may never get to the stadium) which is where something like VR at present has great strength. The investment in sports is vast so it is natural for tech development to be high in the space. Jim Dowling – AR is one to watch. Apple are investing time and resource into the AR capabilities of their handsets, primarily to drive education-based applications. However, if used smartly and creatively, AR could make a lively difference to the viewing experience whether on the sofa or in the stadium. Ivan lazarov – Technology is constantly evolving allowing us to understanding our audiences better and interpret audience data to write compelling content.  A further evolution in tech is within voice. AR/VR is fun but can be very expensive. Voice on the other hand is pretty cheap and easy and with Wireless radio we can create content easily which can be tailored for platforms like Google and Alexa. Do you think we take our sports marketing cues from the USA? Or we are doing things in a British/European way? Jim Dowling – It depends on what the sport is. We can all learn from each other. The US market have often have led us in the use of technology. Stadia and smartphone experiences, for example, are ahead of much of Europe. That said, the depth of UK fan culture; beyond the results on the pitch are often the envy of US sports. Andrew Ko – I’m Canadian so I think I have an unbiased view of this question. I think it’s a hybrid path that we are taking here in the UK. Americans like things that are really “in-your-face”. However, I don’t think that kind of tactic resonates with the British/Europeans. I mean, there aren’t even replays of goals scored at Old Trafford on the big screens! I think elements of the flashy American-way have crept up into sports marketing in the UK over the past few years, but I don’t think it will fully switch over as that would turn off a lot of Brits. Chris Gratton – The traditional US sports experience is very different to the one we know however many rights holders and brands are taking cues from the USA, in particular with regards to the on-site fan experience. Pepsi for example, have attempted to replicate the Super Bowl model of halftime shows within UEFA Champions League, pulling big artists like Alicia Keys and The Black Eyed Peas to play and elevate both the sport and their brand exposure as a result. As mentioned previously, new stadium builds are certainly taking the USA lead in terms of how they enhance every touchpoint for a fan on matchday whilst driving revenue. There are nuances and very stark cultural differences regarding what drives a fan not only from US – Europe but within every country and therefore everything must be tailored locally in some way to ensure relevance, credibility and authenticity. Read more about the Digital Breakfast and book tickets here. Ashley Norris, Content Consultant, The CMA Read more Future partners with FOX Sports in exclusive digital partnership with FourFourTwo FOX Sports has reached an exclusive agreement with Future publishing to license the popular football media brand and platform, FourFourTwo, in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Under the agreement, which commenced on May 1st 2018, FOX Sports will manage the digital operations of the FourFourTwo digital destinations and co-promote content across both brands’ growing digital platforms. Since launching in 2013, FourFourTwo has experienced rapid growth in these four markets, peaking at 3 million monthly unique users online and a monthly social reach in excess of 50 million. Italo Zanzi, EVP and Managing Director of Sports, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, FOX Networks Group, said: “FourFourTwo is the ideal partner for our rapidly expanding FOX Sports Asia local digital and social platforms, and further strengthens the FOX Sports English football content offering that includes The John Dykes Show, Spurs TV and Chelsea TV. This partnership also makes it a lot easier for brands to connect to a highly passionate football fan base at scale, in a brand-safe environment.” FOX Sports Asia Editor-in-Chief, James Marley , added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with one of the most iconic global football publishing brands. FourFourTwo is renowned for its insightful, authentic and entertaining coverage of the world’s most popular sport. That’s a perfect fit for FOX Sports and together we will provide an unmissable experience for our rapidly growing community of sports fans across the region.”  FourFourTwo’s Global Brand Director Andy Jackson said, “We’re delighted to have reached agreement with FOX Sports to continue the great work our Asia team has produced over the last 5 years to establish and grow the digital footprint of the brand in the region and with FOX Sports, I believe we’ve found the perfect partner to build on this solid base and take the brand forward. I look forward to working with the FOX Sports team in Asia to achieve this in the future.” Read more CMA Member Exclusive Discount on VR & AR Training Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) 1 Day Training Masterclass London Fri 29th June Background to this workshop By 2021, the combined market size of augmented and virtual reality is expected to reach 215 billion U.S. dollars. All around us we are now seeing examples of where both VR and AR can reshape existing ways of doing things- buying a new home, educating children, interacting with a doctor or watching a concert with VR and the recent launches of Apple’s AR Kit and Google’s ARC Core proves the tech giants continued investment in Augmented Reality applications. Some commentators now believe in the next 18 months that AR has a higher potential for growth than its more higher profile VR cousin. What is certain is that both VR and AR advances and price points decline enable these immersive technologies to offer incredible almost limitless creative opportunities ranging from experiences based to live-action, replicating traditional storytelling and filmmaking, pioneering 360 content production computer-generated content for learning and education and much more. About this 1 Day Workshop: On this 1 day workshop you be will introduce attendees to the fundamental pillars and creative possibilities of virtual reality and augmented technology which are disrupting the entertainment, engineering, property and healthcare industries. Attendees will learn how to create and manage immersive technology environments, design 3D scenes and be taught the essential element of interactivity using Oculus Rift and Touch technology Who should attend This workshop is designed for marketing professionals, creatives, technologists, storytellers, writers and film producers, senior strategists and entrepreneurs who wish to fully understand the core principles and practical applications of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology Training Venue: Wework Southcentral The workshop will be held at Wework Southcentral, 33 Stamford St, South Bank, London SE1 9PY: https://goo.gl/maps/oe12djGqEWL2 What you will learn by attending this workshop The workshop will include the following modules Introduction to VR and AR – A brief history of VR and AR, – The titans of VR and AR explained; Oculus/Facebook, Samsung, Sony, Apple and Google. – The essential ingredients of presence (Tracking, FoV, peripherals, haptics, foveated rendering, locomotion, 3D audio etc) – The continued rise of MR and AR (Inside-out tracking, MS HoloLens (I will try and bring one) and why it is so important. Content and Distribution – VR, AR and 360 content distribution platforms – What content is working and what is not – The commercial landscape – Software development platforms – Introduction to social VR – Creative tools VR production process explained – 360 degree capture – 360 video formats – Editing 360 content – Capturing 360 sound and core principles of 360 production – How to make a simple webVR app – Group 360 photo tour project, from concept to delivery Use cases for immersive technology – How immersive is revolutionising multiple verticals, from healthcare, recruitment, productivity to training. – Integration of VR into existing workflows – Practical applications of ARKit and ARCore The Future of VR and AR – The new 180 degree format – Volumetric video capture and photogrammetry – Making a simple VR animation (each person will need their laptop) – Artificial intelligence, 5G and IOT – what these will mean for immersive – Q  and A About your Virtual Reality Workshop Trainer- Jonathan Tustain Jonathan Tustain has been fascinated and deeply involved in the virtual reality and AR industry all his life and has been immersed in the industry since 2012. He is founder of London’s largest VR meetup group, VR Developers Meetup and is well known in London VR circles, writing for founding mobile VR company Proteus and freefly VR and acts as a consultant for many companies and agencies seeking to test VR applications and speaks at regular VR events such as 2018 recent Future Tech Now VR in London He has written features and stories for Shots.net (for example – The future of digital actors), How it Works magazine and Yahoo and shoots video reports from VR events such as VRLO. Testimonials: Below are some customer feedback from attendees who have attended our workshops in 2017/2018: “I wanted to say that I had an EXTREMELY useful day at the VR Workshop – it covered all of the questions I had and I took away a lot of ideas as my knowledge about VR was greatly enhanced after this day. What I loved the most was the demo and examples given, the opportunity to play around with the equipment and to see the endless VR possibilities within a day. The VR Workshop has broadened my perspectives and awaken my imagination. A HUGE THANK YOU to both of you for organizing and running this great workshop – it will certainly make a difference to my line of work”  In-house Digital Executive- Knight Frank ‘As a producer for a production company I found this course incredibly useful. I was specifically looking for a workshop that was really practical and would expand my knowledge of the production process, trends and how best to use VR creatively. This course certainly delivered on these requirements and has inspired me to go learn more about this space’ Production manage- leading Ad Agency in London “We really enjoyed this workshop.  Jonathan clearly had a huge wealth of knowledge of the VR industry and was able to cover a lot of the positive aspects and pitfalls of VR.  It was an very interesting journey through the history of VR and also the different types of virtual media that existed. In many respects, this has given us more confidence in identifying the type of virtual media that would benefit a training solution we could offer in our area of business. We’re greatly appreciative to Jonathan for bringing some clarification to this from the huge range of VR choices. We made many notes of websites and facts concerning AR, VR and mixed reality that were really useful. It was also great that Jonathan had an understanding of the different range of tools that we could use to get started on VR. Jonathan also gave us some good leads on future VR training events, some of which we’ve signed up to already.” Digital Services Producer, The Police Cost to attend £450 is our normal retail rate Special rate for CMA members! Let’s Learn Digital are offering CMA members a special rate of £400 to attend our next workshop To reserve your place booking here: To redeem this offer, CMA members will just need to enter a code at the checkout. To get the code, please email: Hugo.deSoissons@the-cma.com Please contact us on david@letslearndigital.com or call direct on 07989 985922 if you have any questions on the above course. Read more Five of the biggest and boldest PR campaigns of 2018 so far… From Kanye West causing a storm on Twitter to a storm of a very different kind, 2018 has already seen a number of bold and reactive campaigns dominate the headlines. To help you get some inspiration for the year ahead, here is a run down of the five biggest PR campaigns so far by AM+A Marketing + Media Relations. 1 .Kanye West Hits the Headlines with Twitter Re-launch Tweeting and being retweeted by the world’s most followed man on Twitter has done no harm to the Kanye West brand, who has managed to maximise media coverage following the re-launch of his account. After Kanye West bigged up Donald Trump, celebrities, news bulletins and retweets in the thousands made the world aware Kanye was back. It is clear Kanye West certainly knows how to get the media talking, ahead of the planned release of a new album and tour dates. But the outcome of Kanye West’s very public return to Twitter has not only showcased the power of the Yeezy brand, but has set him on course to top the sales charts. 2. Royal Wedding: Harry and Meghan Break the Mould Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding has consistently hit the headlines since their engagement was announced back in November. Their do-good wedding has let go of some long standing royal traditions, reflecting rather, the pair’s charitable image. Instead of inviting politicians and diplomats, the young couple have sent invites to 1,200 members of the public for their positive contributions to their communities. The pair have also opted for eco and Bee friendly flowers, supporting the first ever World Bee Day, set to take place the following day. Does this prove going against the grain is the key to a successful campaign? 3. The Beast From the East and Soaring Temperatures Cause a Stir British weather has dominated the news and online conversations since the start of the year. From a huge snowstorm that crippled the country and economic growth, to the hottest week in April for nearly 100 years. The British weather has given PRs and brands a helping hand in creating reactive campaigns with impact. A trend that is set to continue, with fast giant McDonald’s and the Met Office this week announcing a collaboration to bring the UK’s unpredictable weather to life, reimagining a typical menu as live forecasts. 4. CALM: #Project84 Suicide Sculptures In March, charity CALM teamed up with sculptor Mark Jenkins to tackle one of the leading causes of death among men in Britain. Every two hours a man in the UK takes his own life, that’s 84 every week. To raise awareness the campaign saw 84 sculptures installed on top of the ITV Tower to bring discussion around male suicide into the public eye. The campaign garnered a huge reaction on social media, as the charity sought to tackle the enormous issue head on. 5. Cancer Research UK ‘Fat Shames’ to Drive Message Home We can’t fault Cancer Research for sticking by its bold message on this one. The charity filled our streets with giant billboards highlighting obesity as the second biggest cause of cancer. Despite an overweight nation up in arms, the UK cancer charity got people talking, “I passed 3 of these fat-shaming ads on my 15 min walk home and one of them was a giant billboard and yet I’m not miraculously thin yet.” What impressed us about the campaign? The PR team responded to their angry followers efficiently and stuck by their message throughout. A Marr + Associates Read more Best car campaigns: are Paloma Faith, Will.I.Am and Nicki Minaj worth the price tag? Automotive brands have been aligning themselves with music to deliver new car campaigns and marketing initiatives. We spoke to various experts within the industry to gauge the effectiveness of these initiatives… Music and car campaigns go together like… well, the connection has been there since Paul and Joseph Galvin developed the first dashboard radio and named it the “Motorola” (short for motorized Victrola) and demonstrated it in a Studebaker back in 1930. Music has provided the soundtrack for generations on the road, launching countless spin-off driving-themed compilation albums and lyrics like: ‘When this wonderful world gets heavy / And I need to find my escape / I just keep the wheels rolling, radio scrolling / ‘Til my sins wash away’ – Maren Morris, My Church Strangely, the connection hasn’t been as overt in car campaigns despite some memorable moments: remember a Citroen emerging out of Grace Jones’ mouth in the desert or James Brown beating the devil in a short film with Clive Owen and Gary Oldman for BMW? As music videos have started to feature product placement, so have the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Britney Spears among others obliged for the likes of Volvo and Lamborghini – you can enjoy a romp through the most shameless/shameful product placements here. Definitely worth doing if only for Avril Lavigne’s ‘Oh my new Sony phone is ringing.’ Recently the link between music and car campaigns has come into focus again with three key outings: Paloma Faith for Skoda, Nicki Minaj for Mercedes and Will.I.Am for Lexus. ‘With car sales nose-diving manufacturers are turning to ever new sales tactics. For years, Jaguar Land Rover have used celebs from both the film and music world, it helps bring the brand to a new, younger demographic. Skoda are the newest non premium brand to try this tie in, by using Paloma Faith as their frontwoman for the Karoq SUV,’ says Adam Tudor-Lane, editor of top automotive blog, carwitter.com So how do the three of the most recent offerings shape up online? Will.I.Am for Lexus Year: 2014 Dedicated website: For the NX, yes (though no mention there of Will.I.Am) Song: Whatever this video is, then yes – though bondage-outfits, nuns, gunplay and ultraviolence don’t necessarily make the most brand-friendly output. 200k views as of April 2018. Other coverage: Various videos including a stunt where Lexus developed a racing track with lasers that are triggered to play musical sequences when a car passes the threshold. Reason to believe: Will.I.Am had previously shown some car love by commissioning a $900k custom-made car, created by West Coast Custom. The musician also helped create a special edition model of the NX featuring exclusive styling tweaks like a set of four 180-degree cameras positioned around the NX’s exterior which capture panoramic photos and video as you drive, which can display instantly on your smartphone via built-in Bluetooth. But it didn’t go on sale. : ( Paloma Faith for Skoda Year: 2018 Dedicated website: Yes: www.skoda.co.uk/paloma-faith Song:  Yes, a cover of Mama Cass’s ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’. More bondagey outfits (Paloma) and (presumably) a ‘young Paloma’ handing out flyers, auditioning Flashdance-style etc.   Other coverage: Various videos; a cappella, lyric video, interview, Skoda hosted a private Paloma gig. Reason to believe: Kirsten Stagg, head of marketing at Skoda UK, said: “Make your Own Kind of Music celebrates that it’s good to go your own way and be an individual, an attitude that is shared between Skoda and Paloma.” Sony’s Cassandra Gracey said: “The Paloma Skoda campaign has been brilliant. It’s amplifying Paloma’s message, you’re seeing her story, it’s emotional so you buy into it because it’s true.’ Paloma Faith said: “The reality of Skoda is it was the car people took the piss out of you for having. That’s how they enticed me in really, it was like that thing or person who people tease for being who they are but is now celebrated for being who they are.” So, it’s all about going your own way. And if that’s not reason enough to believe there’s a charity angle that syncs with the Prince’s Trust and Skoda Driver’s Seat Initiative looking for young people ‘driven by something different’. Nicki Minaj for Mercedes Year: 2018 Dedicated website: Not including Nicki, no. Song: Nope. Ultimately this is a guest appearance. Driver wants to hear some hip hop and Nicki miraculously appears in the front seat – yes, that’s how close to real the Mercedes Benz A-Class is. She’s on screen for less than 10 seconds. But 300k views as of April 2018 Other coverage: Not that we can find, so sorry, just the ad. Reason to believe: Nicki’s previously flirted with the brand – most tellingly, in 2015.   @NICKIMINAJ We just wanna be your favorite 😘 #Pinkprint pic.twitter.com/HsoGL0Y4Oe — Mercedes-Benz USAㅤ (@MBUSA) September 25, 2015   And of course, she’s referenced them numerous times – not necessarily in a brand-friendly way…? So I’ma just tell myself that it works for me Take a real long drive in the Mercedes And I might pop a couple of them Percocets Yeah, that’ll make me transform to Hercules. – ‘Here I Am’ – Nicki Minaj So she’s put in the work. : / The Paloma approach is obviously the most evolved, run like a classic music marketing campaign and has been pretty much unmissable for anyone in the UK. ‘It is a very difficult thing to measure whether pop stars showing off a certain car brand can make a significant increase or influence in car sales. My thoughts on this a few years ago would have been very sceptical. However, over time this kind of marketing has been proven to work with other products, so it is very likely to be able to work with cars also. They certainly have the attention of their audience,’ says Paul Hadley, MotorVerso.com Looking at Paloma as a case study, she’s certainly wooed her fans with Skoda across the period. #makeyourownkindofmusic #drivenbysomethingdifferent @SKODAUK pic by Will Bremridge pic.twitter.com/U4i8YtYRwv — Paloma Faith (@Palomafaith) March 29, 2018 And from where we’re standing, it’s unquestionable that this kind of partnership benefits the artist – financially if nothing else. ‘To me it seems like artists selling themselves out, using their persona and fanbase in return for a hefty pay cheque. Ultimately how many young mums are going to buy a Skoda Karoq because it’s shown for a few short seconds with Ms Faith behind the wheel? ‘As a brand building exercise it makes more sense but going back to the JLR scenario it takes years of commitment with multiple stars to get the message across,’ says Adam Tudor-Lane. The challenge when bringing two premium brands together in a campaign is that the message can dissipate if the pairing is not totally aligned. What’s interesting is that there’s little user comment on the ad or the car from our dive across Twitter. Despite the initiative, the only ones making a direct correlation between car and song around #makeyourownkindofmusic are those involved in the campaign, the Driver Seat initiative and these few: #makeyourownkindofmusic why have #Skoda used a beautiful gay anthem to flog their shit car 😡 @SKODAUK — Will (@Littlecub647) April 12, 2018 After a long list of poor ad campaigns from car makers and some spectacularly poor choice of music in the TV advertising in the UK in early 2018, we have a great attempt and a innovative approach from @SKODAUK #MakeYourOwnKindOfMusic https://t.co/jIb6gs6v71 @Palomafaith 👏🏾 — Absowebly Team (@Absowebly) April 16, 2018   Ultimately the car brands are buying media coverage – but in the shape of celebrity. While a well-worn tactic, again it seems to reflect the increasing disjoin between top-down approaches and those borne out of user-focussed insight. ‘Knowing the importance of women buying and influencing some 80% of all car sales, I’m surprised that so few TV programmes, adverts, newspapers, magazines and motoring forums set out to actively cater for women drivers, other than Mumsnet and Good Housekeeping perhaps,’ says Steph Savill from the award winning motoring club, Foxy Lady Drivers Club. ‘Many women I know rely on their cars for school runs, getting to work on time, doing the shopping, maintaining their independence and feeling safe travelling alone at night. In the main we’re practical and budget-conscious motorists, putting safety, reliability and the environment towards the top of our agenda. We’d prefer not to pay for extras which may explain the success of the entry-level ‘Another One Drives A Duster’ Dacia campaign. ‘So I’m not sure that Paloma Faith driving a Skoda, despite a good story about both making good in the end, tells me anything I want to know about the cars themselves. ‘When I first test drove the Lexus CT 200h, the celebrity endorsement was from Kylie and her message was ‘sssh’ – to illustrate how quiet an electric car was. ‘The fact that I remember this 7 years later suggests that this advert was memorable but it was because I wanted to experience driving a car that was noiseless when I stopped at traffic lights!’ Of course, music also has the potential to initiate brand love, which is not necessarily so metric-driven. Presumably something the Paloma campaign is angling for. Arnon Woolfson, music strategist and executive producer who’s worked with the likes of Sony, Universal Music, Mercedes F1, NFL and Beats by Dre, says, ‘Reaching younger audiences is a common need amongst brands but targeting 15-24 year-olds for marketers in recent years has been extremely challenging (that demographic are often labelled ‘ghosts’ as they are so difficult to reach). ‘However, looking at UK behaviour, 18% of this audience listen to radio in the living room, 23% at work, 30% in the bedroom, 32% in the kitchen and 63% in the car – making music in cars an interesting opportunity.’ (Source: Radio & The Digital Native RAB, 2014) Because of the long development process, the automotive industry has historically struggled to support the latest in-car music technology, resulting in CD-players lasting longer in cars than they have elsewhere. Yet this is changing as automotive brands start to incorporate streaming services. Arnon continues: ‘With music being the #1 passion point for millennials, it can be a powerful and emotive tool for marketers. A music strategy does not have to solely be about the use of a track in an advertisement. ‘Fully embracing music should in fact be about the development of an end-to-end solution built of a number of music driven components, aligned side by side and wrapped up with a campaign concept. ‘This could mean using the car to unlock experiences; concerts and live activations and socially driven elements, which lead to a substantial number of opportunities to create content (be that music itself or visual materials). ‘The majority of the highest reaching and engaging video assets sitting online are musically driven. Maybe more of an opportunity than most marketers realise…’ Seemingly, it’s still early days for music-inspired car campaigns and everyone appears to be feeling their way. While music can be an effective approach to connect with potential consumers, it’s more likely that a soundtrack, a genre of music or group of artists are a better way of doing such things than relying solely on one artist to do so. While music can engage, raise awareness and deliver real-world opportunities to connect with the brand, it’s vital not to forget that the things users most want to discover may still be pretty basic: read our feature on automotive content marketing gold. Bring the two together however and this type of campaign could be just the kind of innovative automotive marketing development that really helps benefit the industry. Howard Wilmot, Dialogue Read more Why PR companies are embracing content On Thursday 19th April, Birmingham City University hosted a conference curated by the Midlands branch of the CIPR – the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. It is a body which seeks to maintain industry standards and ensure best practice in the discipline. There were many great sessions, which among other things looked at the how the BBC serves the Midlands and how technology will change the way PRs interact with the media in the future. Jane Hunt, founder and marketing director of JBH, talked through their recent case study of yesLDN, in which the company worked with social media influencers to deliver a highly creative and ultimately very successful campaign that sought to inspire urban youngsters. JBH taking home Gold at the 2017 International Content Marketing Awards She was followed by Kirsty Spencer, MD of Made by Sonder who talked more generally about the issues facing companies as they seek to interact with their customers harnessing paid, owned and earned media to achieve their goals. She referenced the company’s award winning ‘For The Ride’ campaign for Triumph Motorcycles. Sonder’s award winning ForTheRide.com The growing awareness of PR companies of the power of content in communications strategies was also underlined by the recent decision of Lansons to join the CMA. As an organisation we currently boast many members that offer integrated approaches to their clients, though Lansons is arguably first with a heritage in earned media. So why are PR companies increasingly talking up their content creation credentials? And why has membership of the CMA become so attractive to Lansons, and potentially many other companies? The short answer is that PR is evolving. The challenge of media relations The days when PRs worked with clients on messaging, and then simply punted out releases to the media are gone forever. The changing nature of the media has meant that many journalists are time poor, while at the same time receive hundreds of releases per day. The best PR companies have cultivated excellent relationships with these journalists which helps them cut through the noise and achieve coverage. The relationship is symbiotic too as the journalists need trusted sources that they know will point them in the direction of credible and interesting stories untainted by fake news. Nevertheless PR companies are increasingly challenged with finding creative ways to ensure that their clients appear in print and online. Some of this involves creating content, such as thought leadership articles which are placed in trade titles, videos which are added to online features and blog and social media posts. Content is now front and centre of what many PR companies do – a fact reflected in the way that so many journalists have jumped ship and joined PR companies as heads of editorial. The integration of paid owned and earned content Another factor that has impacted on the way that PR is evolving is the growth of social media. Brands need to communicate their core messages and for many companies their customers are most accessible via social media networks. A siloed approach, where social output and media relations are separate from each other, is inefficient and can cause issues with messaging. PR companies have therefore evolved integrated approaches where they combine paid, owned and earned media. This, for example, might involve the creation of a large piece of content, which could be placed on the brand’s website. This might then be atomised into smaller chunks for consumption on platforms like Medium, or offered to the media as thought leadership. The content is then further dissected to be placed on the social channels. It may also drive media relations activity. This is often complemented by a paid social approach where content distribution is turbocharged on Facebook, Twitter etc via display adverts. Some brands are also experimenting with content recommendation engines like Outbrain and Taboola. Ultimately this is a contemporary communication strategy and one that many companies in both the B2B and B2C fields are adopting. The fear that other agencies are eating their lunch The danger with offering an integrated approach is differentiation. Many companies, from SEO based experts through to mainstream publishing outfits, also offer a similar suite of services, albeit with a slightly different emphasis. PR companies therefore need to not only underline their media relations heritage, but also display to brands that they have significant content creation experience. Which is why the CMA is becoming a natural home for PR companies. “Historically, ‘content’ has been the homeland of the marketers, advertisers, publishers and even the ‘social agencies’.  PR and comms consultancies haven’t really had a look in because it’s been assumed that ‘content’ isn’t really our thing,” explains Claire Southeard, Board Director of Lansons “Firstly, that’s daft.  We all produce content every day. But secondly, PRs probably have more of a claim to ‘content’ than anyone.  We are, after all, the storytellers. Of course, the truth is, no one owns content. But all communicators must embrace it because, ultimately, that’s our job.  Not to produce content for its own sake. But to create compelling, distinctive, storytelling content that helps businesses and people better understand each other; whether that’s customers, investors, policy-makers, journalists, bloggers or employees.” CMA accreditation underlines to brands that agencies take content very seriously, while the CMA’s events give PR execs a chance to keep learning about content and the way that its future is being shaped by technology. It gives them the knowledge and skills to keep ahead of their rivals As Claire Southeard, Board Director of Lansons wrote in her blog post “We’ve joined the CMA; to learn, share and grow with others who think the same way. It’s great to be on board and, funnily enough, it feels like we’re exactly where we belong…” If you want to find out more about what the CMA can offer to PR agencies contact us here. Ashley Norris, Content Consultant, The CMA Read more Read More News Articles »
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