ABOUT COLLE MCVOY

Colle McVoy (CM) is a full-service creative agency that builds enduring relationships between forward-thinking brands and people. We believe this time of rapid change is filled with opportunities, so we constantly strive to push the boundaries of creativity, pressure-test best practices and create new brand futures. As a Certified B Corporation, we believe a better future means we have a responsibility to use our expertise as a force for good to benefit all people, communities and the planet.

Frontiers in Focus

Want to explore more of the frontiers of marketing? View more of our work on the cutting edge of AI and immersive brand experiences here

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We’re sure you’ve heard about JOMO (the joy of missing out). Here’s the reality: It’s one thing to miss out, it’s an entirely different thing to find the joy in it. 

To reinforce La-Z-Boy’s new platform, Long Live the Lazy, Colle McVoy’s creative technology team designed and fabricated “The Decliner,” a first-of-its-kind recliner allowing owners to AI-generate a cancellation excuse via SMS simply by pulling the handle. 36,000+ people signed up for a chance to win their own Decliner just in time for National Lazy Day as part of the earned creative brand act. 

Our Approach to Transformation

For a chance to put their feet up with AI assistance and La-Z-Boy style, people were asked to submit the most creative excuses they’ve ever used to protect their JOMO. And, influencers created content to amplify attention to the contest. The innovation was a technological hack—with 225 lines of code directing the AI server and 344 lines for each fabricated chair. An indicator of sorts had to be fashioned to let people know requests were processing, which took the form of an LED-lined puck at the handle base. The tech choices needed to be as reliable as the chairs themselves and couldn’t disrupt La-Z-Boy’s comfort and durability standards.

Our Impact

Colle McVoy drove 1.1B media impressions across 317 placements in the likes of USA Today, Better Homes & Gardens, Architectural Digest and more. People definitely put their feet up, juicing La-Z-Boy’s website traffic by 200% and increasing brand sales by 50% during the first weekend of the campaign.

The La-Z-Boy Decliner has gone on to win several awards, including Best in Technology at the 2023 PRWeek Awards and Best in Research & Consumer Insights in MediaPost’s Planning & Buying Awards. Nearly 13,000 cancellations have been sent by Decliner owners, giddy with AI-assisted JOMO. 

Wondering where to begin with AI implementation in your organization?

Email Beth Sidhu, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Stagwell, to discuss how we can support your organization’s digital goals. 

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Stagwell is a contender for Network of the Year at The 2024 Webby Awards with 23 nominations

With nominations across categories including Marketing, Innovation, Health & Wellness, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and more, Stagwell and its agencies are on course to take home big wins at the 28th Annual Webby Awards, the leading international award recognizing excellence on the internet. Twelve Stagwell agencies are up for consideration in the People’s Voice vote: 72andSunny, Code and Theory, Doner, Instrument, GALE, PRophet, Rhythm, Left Field Labs, Movers+Shakers, Anomaly, Allison, HUNTER and Mediacurrent. Every vote countsclick through the nominations listed below to cast your vote.

Voting takes less than ten seconds:

  1. Click through the links to each nomination
  2. Create an account
  3. Click VOTE

Voting closes on April 18.

72andSunny

Advertising, Media & PR

Wisp: Anti-Choice Ads — Online Guerilla & Innovation

Wisp: Anti-Choice Ads — Video Ad Shortform

United: Believing Everything Changes — Best Media Strategy

Social

Wisp: Made By Choice — Public Service, Social Impact & Activism

NFL: The Table Read — Sports

Anomaly

Video

Johnnie Walker Red Carpet Strides — Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Code and Theory

Advertising, Media & PR

YETI: Map The Gaps — Products & Services

YETI: Map The Gaps — Best Use of Online Media

Amazon: Ads That Work As Hard As You Do — B2B Campaign

 

Apps & Software

Scout by Sutter Health: A Powerful Tool For Building Resilience in Today’s Youth — Health, Wellness & Fitness

Doner

Advertising, Media & PR

The NIL Student Nurse Initiative — Health, Wellness & Pharmaceutical

The NIL Student Nurse Initiative — Best Partnership or Collaboration

Social

Hungry Howie’s: The Missing Slice — Public Service & Activism

GALE

Advertising, Media & PR

Chipotle: Doppelganger — Best Use of Data Driven Media

 

Video

MilkPEP: Wood Milk — Comedy

HUNTER

Advertising, Media & PR

Lactaid: Kelis Partners With Lactaid to Get You to Drink Real Dairy — Best Influencer Endorsements

Instrument

Websites and Mobile Sites

Catona Climate — Corporate Social Responsibility

Figma: Shortcut by Figma — Business Blog/Website

Microsoft: The hidden power of feelings — Health & Wellness

Microsoft: The future of work is neurodiverse — Responsible Innovation

Left Field Labs

Mediacurrent

Movers+Shakers

PRophet

Apps and Software

PRophet Influence: Koalifyed — Marketing & Content Management

Rhythm

Allison

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Stagwell’s agencies led the show at this year’s Campaign U.S. Agency of the Year Awards, one of the biggest U.S. award shows recognizing creative excellence and outstanding business performance across marketing firms. 

Assembly was crowned U.S. Media Agency of the Year, reflecting the impact its investments in data, talent, and technology have had on its clients’ businesses. The agency achieved a record client retention rate of 95%, which has resulted in tremendous growth, securing $30 million in new contracts and 25 net new clients including Carter’s Cole Haan, Vera Bradley, ONE, Inogen and Brooks Running. Additional factors contributing to the win include:

  • Driving the largest revenue growth yet in a seven-year partnership with Ace Hardware;
  • Executing a rebranding and repositioning at the holding-company level in collaboration with partners at Elevance Health and;
  • Launching a first-of-its-kind loyalty program that helped Vivid Seats distinguished itself from competitors such as SeatGeek and StubHub, yielding a 250% growth in repeat user base and quadrupled brand searches.

GALE won U.S. Advertising Agency of the Year for its remarkable blend of advisory/consulting services, media, and storytelling expertise – a model that has driven clear results for client partners such as Chipotle and MilkPep. Editors celebrated the impact of GALE’s work in 2023, including:

Congratulations are also in order for 72andSunny and Code and Theory who were recognized as honorable mentions in the Advertising Agency and Digital Innovation categories. The agencies have a proven track record of recognition for business and creative transformation.

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SXSW 2024: Pulse on Culture for the C[x]O

As an essential convergence point for marketers anticipating the future, SXSW helps businesses unveil the trends at the intersection of culture, commerce, and digital transformation that will shape a new age of consumers. As our teams emerge from SXSW, here are five consumer trends that demand attention, offering insights into what lies ahead. Connecting each trend is an opportunity to build fandom with consumers around your business.

ATHLETES AS BRANDS; A NEW FANDOM HOOK?

Brandon Marshall, former 12-year NFL wide receiver and host of I AM ATHLETE, says today’s athletes are multi-hyphenate leaders – building businesses and nonprofits, and creating identities that go well beyond the field, court or track. For brands, this offers a major opportunity to write a new playbook for partnership that positions athletes as multi-dimensional ambassadors to reach consumers who are hungry for authentic connection. For Kalen Thornton, a former NFL player and current senior PepsiCo executive, the three things to consider are authenticity, connection and distinction. Authenticity is especially crucial in today’s marketing landscape; consumers appreciate genuine connection, and it can make or break whether they transition to long-term brand fans. If CMOs can build stronger partnerships with athletes that reflect that, they’re in a better place to activate athletes as brand storytellers – in turn creating fandom with customers.

Keeping up with Jarvises: The Race to Bots with Benefits

There were few explicit sessions in the advertising track at SXSW on AI –  but of those on the agenda, sessions like “Navigating Advertising Hype Cycles” made it clear marketers are over the buzz, and in the mood for clear use-cases. Here’s one to noodle on. Generative AI is ushering in subtle yet impactful changes in consumer interactions with products and services. The focus extends beyond convenience; whether stated or not, we are now in an arms race to create realistic versions of popular sci-fi bots like Iron Man’s Jarvis. In this “age of anticipation,” as Code and Theory Chairman Dan Gardner calls it, brands must stay ahead by developing or integrating with the best personal assistants available to link their consumer experiences to a broader ecosystem of value. Already, we’re seeing global brands like L’Oreal and Walmart take steps to infuse AI assistants into their brand proposition, whether by providing beauty advice or enhancing moments across the retail experience. Gardner emphasizes the imminent digital transformation of customer experiences, fueled by vast data and AI’s ability to anticipate needs rather than merely reacting. This is an opportunity for every sector, and one that requires keen collaboration between CEOs and their marketing and technology leaders.

“For too long, we’ve been looking at ‘personalization’ as the answer. That was just targeting. Now, we will begin to see industries disrupted by a reimagined approach to delivering value. We are finally at the point where AI plus data can anticipate customer behaviors. This will boost sales in the near term as well as build affinity in the future,” says Gardner.

Adulthood Canceled? Gen Z’s Mid-Life Crisis as an Experiential and Commerce Opportunity

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered seismic shifts in digital transformation, giving rise to entirely new consumer behaviors and sectors. For Gen Z, already wielding significant global purchasing power, the pandemic resulted in missed rite of passage moments, impacting independence and income security. 38% of Gen Z women feel like their lives were ‘canceled,’ and 61% of Gen Z say the pandemic has increased their feelings of loneliness, per Stagwell’s Harris Poll.

At SXSW, conversations in the advertising track like “Building Brands in the Unhappiness Era” converged around the opportunity to create positive and delightful experiences for consumers – a bulwark against the bad vibes COVID left behind. Whether that’s adopting a play-centric approach to brand expression or leaning into branded entertainment, the challenge and opportunity are clear: the most active purchasing group for the next decade is eager to make up for lost time. How will brands help them conquer this opportunity? Strategies that cultivate equity and fandom by incorporating community, connection, and experience into marketing will dominate.

Navigating the New Consumer “Political Brain”

In a polarized landscape, brands risk losing support if they enter politics improperly. Activating consumers’ “political brains” divides the base and diminishes brand support. Stagwell Chairman and CEO Mark Penn says:  “At best, politics splits this country 50–50. If you get involved in politics in any way, whatever your popularity is, it [gets] cut in half. For brands like targeting mass market consumers, you cannot win. You can only win if you’re a smaller niche brand that has a group of customers that would be very compatible with your values or political values, or you’ve expressed those values during a prolonged period of time, so they’re already baked into your brand.”

To insulate themselves, Chief Communications Officers must tread carefully, avoiding making consumers feel like they’re casting a vote with each purchase. They must seek, as well, counsel from perspectives across the political spectrum, acknowledging their consumers are diffuse in their ideology as well.

Beyond the ‘Shop’ Page; Will AI Transform E-Commerce?

“Brands are at a pivotal moment in time when it comes to e-commerce,” says Lauren Kushner, CEO, Kettle. “Many retailers had a booming few years followed by some softness in their conversion funnel and they are taking a hard look at how e-commerce can work harder for them. Enter tools and experiences powered by AI.”

AI is poised to elevate e-commerce by forcing brands to rethink their online interactions, moving beyond the push to a push-and-pull cycle with their customers. With tools and experiences powered by AI, brands can create contextualized and innovative online experiences that anticipate consumer needs. Hyper-personalized recommendations and streamlined purchase flows promise to forge more meaningful connections with brands and drive conversions.

Bring Community to Commerce

As Redscout CEO Ivan Kayser tells it, a modern approach to the marketing mix places community, advocacy, and content at its core. “We are just starting to dig through the rubble of the DTC reckoning, beginning to draw lessons from rule-breaking brands that are operating from a completely new playbook. Brands that are deepening value for and with their existing customers rather than focusing solely acquisition should be watched closely.” Per a new study from Assembly and Dotdash Meredith, unveiled at SoHo House at SXSW on Monday, communities provide marketers with the chance to talk, explore, and support the motivations and values that drive consumer behavior.

The balancing act moving forward is seeking strategies that genuinely benefit the business bottom line – while engaging customers in a manner that doesn’t scream transactional. While on the ground at SXSW, Kayser has been on the lookout for measurement approaches focusing on differentiation, consumer preference, and margin. And for brands that treat every aspect of the business as an expression of the brand, greatly expanding the opportunity to build fandom with each touchpoint. If you can advance short-term revenue goals while building a cohort of customers that will follow, and purchase with you, in the future, you can crack the fandom code. 

Follow Along

In the dynamic realm of SXSW, these trends provide a glimpse into the future, challenging marketers to adapt and innovate in the ever-changing landscape of commerce, culture, and consumer behavior. Follow along with Stagwell on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram as SXSW continues.

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Connect with Stagwell at CES 2024

Stagwell will return to Las Vegas for CES 2024, where we will host a series of conversations at the intersection of business, marketing and impactful technology. Join us for interactive briefings, hands on experiences, and shared discourse to level up your experience at the world’s biggest technology show.

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Boot up! The U.S.’ biggest technology show, CES, is just around the corner and Stagwell is headed to Vegas with our eyes peeled for the technology that will drive marketing and business transformation in 2024. CES is inspirational, no doubt. But for modern business leaders, finding focus on the convention floor can be tricky.

To help the C-Suite parse the fads from the frontiers at CES, Stagwell is launching the first edition of a new insights series, C [×] O. Across some of the biggest creative, technology, and marketing events this year, we’ll bring our brand of smart, quick insights to focus the C [×] O in your organization on the most valuable transformations to track. At CES, we’ll be looking out for trends for the CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, and C(Communications) Officers.

Still getting your plans together for Vegas? Meet our experts here and read on for their predictions of what to expect on the ground.

CEOs: Remember the VCR
David Sable, Vice Chair, Stagwell

CES can be the equivalent of watching a focus group with a loud and polarizing participant who creates a dynamic around one POV that suits their purpose. I refer you, with caution, to the years where we heard that drones would take over the world; AR/VR would change everything we did; Climate issues would be core to all that we buy: TV screens were dead and gone: and of course, AI will rule the world.

In 1970, at CES, Phillips introduced the consumer VCR, bringing a $50,000 TV studio product to our homes…which evolved to the Streaming we have today. Keep your eyes open and your minds free. Think about that VCR, ignore the group think, and see if you can spot what actually might be next. Contrarian thinking may unlock an unpopular or unexpected path to transforming your business. More to come from the floor.

CMOs: Look Out for The Age of Smarter Creativity
Maggie Malek, President, North America, Crispin Porter + Bogusky

CES 2024 will be another chapter in the narrative of finding the balance between technology and people. AI will, of course, be the champion as it’s top of mind for virtually everyone, but 2024 will be about how companies utilize the tech to enable even smarter marketing. CMOs will continue to have to find the right magic middle of leveraging AI for efficiencies while re-investing those savings into areas to drive their business. AI will allow dollars to be spent towards smarter creative; more access to creators as advertisers; reduced media waste with AI-enabled adtech; revitalizing purpose-driven investments from equity to sustainability; and stronger digital experiences to drive personalization in a cookieless world. Life post-pandemic has always been about efficiency, but we’re optimistic 2024 enables brand building to re-emerge even smarter than before.

CTOs: The Quantum Era Puts the CTO-CMO Partnership in Focus
Justin Lewis, Chair, Constellation

Technology transformation surged in 2023 with the adoption of consumer-friendly GenAI. This shift mirrored the early days of social media, swiftly evolving from initial skepticism to a rallying cry for global businesses and tech leaders. CES 2024 promises to chart AI’s continued trajectory as we are treated to tangible results from a year of experimentation across various sectors.

CES will be a pivotal moment for tech leaders, emphasizing the imperative collaboration between Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). Expect organizations to rekindle focus on this partnership, which is essential for transforming innovation into category-defining opportunities. On the ground, I’ll be tracking how immersive tech like AR and VR gains traction, infiltrating education, fitness, and business applications; how industries expand blockchain’s applications, especially in healthcare; and how quantum computing, a game-changing tech, takes the spotlight for its problem-solving prowess and security enhancements, demanding collaboration between tech experts and the government to navigate associated risks.

CCOs: With Mis/Mal/Dis-Information Afoot, 2024 is the Year of Responsible Tech
Ray Day, Vice Chair, Stagwell

For Chief Communications Officers at this year’s CES, “responsible tech” needs to be a major theme. While AI was THE headline of 2023, adopting it – as well as other game-changing technologies – responsibly and ethically will be job one for those of us trusted with stewarding an organization’s reputation. Comms leaders need to be focused on technology and its role in misinformation – especially leading up to the U.S. General Election; polarization and how to use technology to bring people back together; and better anticipating the ever-increasing reputation risks technology will pose in the year ahead.

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What drew more than 5,000 people to SPORT BEACH at Cannes LIONS? Some of the top marketing and business minds on the planet. And, of course, the athletes. They played flag football on the sand, connected with brands over cocktails, and, most importantly, spoke their minds. From NBPA President CJ McCollum on player empowerment to Sue Bird on life after the WNBA, the main stage at SPORT BEACH was a place where major sports figures felt free to talk about more than wins and losses.

 They explored their roles as brands, entrepreneurs, investors, role models, and so much more. Below, check out interviews with film icon and Knicks superfan Spike Lee, and sports legends Maria Sharapova, Carmelo Anthony, and Alan Shearer. You can find all of Stagwell’s Cannes LIONS 2023 coverage on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  

– Beth Sidhu, Chief Brand and Communications Officer

How Spike Lee Helped Make Air Jordan One of the Coolest Sneaker Brands on Earth

The one and only Spike Lee talked about his relationship with Nike and Michael Jordan, what Denzel Washington taught him about creativity, and his biggest regret as an investor. (Hint: It involves Crocs.) Watch the clip.

Maria Sharapova on Her ‘Crazy Journey’ to Tennis and Business Success

Tennis legend Maria Sharapova spoke about what she’s learned from investing in Moncler, her relationship with fans, and her advice to athletes: “equity is ownership.” Watch the clip

Carmelo Anthony Will Never Play Pickleball (But He Would Invest)

Future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony broke down how he chooses business opportunities, the importance of travel, and how went from a wine novice to launching his own wine brand. Watch the clip

Alan Shearer on How Lionel Messi Could Transform Major League Soccer

Soccer star Alan Shearer talked about how money has changed the Premier League, his experience at the World Cup in Qatar, and how social media has changed being an athlete. Watch the clip

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Bonjour! We were at Cannes LIONS, hitting the Palais, fringe stages, and SPORT BEACH to bring you fresh insights every day of the festival. Today in 3 Quick Things: Plug in friends. We’re exploring all things tech at Cannes LIONS 2023. (Miss anything at Cannes? Catch up on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.)

  1. THE AI REVOLUTION IS REAL OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap said AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL·E would lead to an “explosion of creativity” in the marketing industry. His key points: Creatives will use it to generate and enhance ideas more quickly, e.g. easy-to-create storyboards that let agencies explore lots of possibilities. Meanwhile, on the rooftop of the Carlton, Code and Theory’s co-founder and executive chairman Dan Gardner stressed that companies need to embed AI across their entire ecosystems – not just in one-off use cases. DIVE DEEPER: Mark Penn sees AR and AI as the industry’s biggest disruptors
  2. YOU HAVE THE POW(AR) What’s holding back brands on AR? The perception that it’s difficult to create and activate at meaningful scale, said CPB president, North America, Maggie Malek at Hôtel Martinez. But Snap’s AR tools and companies like Stagwell’s ARound are making it easier to target passionate new customers in unique ways.
    Speaking of Snap, it teamed up with Disney to build an immersive AR exhibit at Cannes LIONS. And AR developer Niantic announced Rewarded AR, an ad platform that will allow for branded content in mixed-reality games like Pokémon GO. THE APPLE EFFECT: What Apple’s new $3,499 Vision Pro headset means for brands
  3. DON’T SLEEP ON THE METAVERSE With all the attention on AI, brands may have neglected opportunities in the metaverse. At the Palais, Roblox’s Christina Wootton said that’s a huge mistake: brands (especially fashion labels) have a great opportunity to connect with Gen Z in the metaverse. Plus, she doesn’t see AI and the metaverse as in conflict, noting that brands could use generative AI to populate the metaverse with a ton of enticing content. NEW RESEARCH: NRG’s Fandex says innovation creates fans, and fans are 3.5x more likely to advocate for brands.

Beyond the Stage

Stagwell talked to C-suite marketers, sports luminaries, and other innovators at SPORT BEACH and the Palais. You’ll find fresh, insightful videos on our YouTube page from every day of Cannes LIONS. 

At SPORT BEACH, Olympian Allyson Felix talked to Evin Shutt, Global Chief Executive Officer and Partner, 72andSunny, about founding her footwear company Saysh and women’s sports.

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