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As we look to the future of marketing, one thing is certain: Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) will play a major role in shaping the industry. From generative A.I. revolutionizing the way we approach creativity to predictive A.I. providing unprecedented insights and analytics, the potential of A.I. in marketing is vast and exciting.  

But what exactly does the next decade hold for this rapidly evolving field? We asked some of the top minds across Stagwell, including leaders from the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, PRophet, Code and Theory, Colle McVoy, Yamamoto, Concentric Health Experience, and Vitro, to share their predictions and insights on the future of A.I. in marketing.  

A.I. Won’t Eat the World – But it Will Give Consumers Time and Brands Opportunity

Mansoor Basha, Chief Technology Officer, Stagwell Marketing Cloud

“AI and ML are at the forefront of driving digital transformation across industries and will undoubtedly continue to do so. In a 2011 op-ed, Marc Andreessen observed an environment in which software was increasingly becoming king, famously stating that ‘software is eating the world.’ His observation came about a decade after the peak of the 1990s dot-com bubble as companies like Facebook and Skype were booming. Looking to the next decade, I believe that AI and ML will be eating the world, changing the way we work, live, and interact with brands. 

I predict that as AI technology changes everything around us—with things like driverless cars and more efficient, sustainable systems—consumers will have more time on their hands. This will give brands the opportunity to leverage more pointed channels to reach audiences that have more free time to participate. AI will find brands’ ideal audiences and reach consumers in the right place at the right time, especially as AR and VR go mainstream. 

And as the hype around ChatGPT and generative AI simmers down, marketing teams will become more comfortable adopting a wide range of AI tools that help them build powerful workflows that drive innovation, aid in decision making, and create new business models. ChatGPT will be an entry point for many marketing teams as they look for relevant ways to use new technologies in their day-to-day work.”
 

Enhance, Not Replace

Aaron Kwittken, Founder and CEO, PRophet

“Generative AI, while not perfect, is the needle that pierced the veil of doubt and fear amongst marketers when it comes to adopting AI technology. The current limitations are only encumbered by the lack of data needed to make it more performative. 

When paired with the right inputs, this technology will make marketers more efficient by enabling them to create base content faster and better, freeing them up for higher value tasks like editing and strategy deployment. In addition to content creation for press releases, social posts, pitches, marketing collateral, blogs, and more, I see this technology as a huge aid when it comes to legal and compliance issues, especially when working with third parties like influencers and celebrity spokespeople.

Make no mistake, though, the downsides will need to be managed. 

Generative AI may reduce the need for junior staff; could be used as an accelerant to create and spread mis and disinformation; and could make professionals more complacent, less creative, and more transactional. This is where it will be on marketers to get creative about how they use this tool to enhance their current activities, not replace them.” 

The Key Word with A.I.? Enablement

Dan Gardner, Code and Theory Co-Founder and Executive Chairman

“At the moment, where we will see AI transformation is in how we conduct business. While traditional creative shops may be focused on stunts and activations, I believe the key word here is ‘enablement,’ and how the technology allows businesses to do what they haven’t been able to do before.

Where the technology is built into systems that yield long-term results. What this looks like exactly, we still do not know for certain, but I do know that technology at its best is when it has the power to drive meaningful change in people’s lives.” 

Watch Out for A.I.’s “WordPress” Era

Yamamoto Digital Team

In the end it’s not the technology that sells, it’s the story it tells.”  

Welcome to AI as shiny new toy, with machine learning, natural language processing and open access combining to create a sandbox for early adopters. Expect showy, public activations (e.g. Ryan Reynolds reading an AI-generated script for Mint Mobile) as well as backstage experimentation. We marketers will find it hard to pass on an instant first draft of everything we do.  

Then AI enters its WordPress phase. Smaller players will benefit from “good enough” templates that auto-generate content. Meanwhile experts will game AI’s limitations to circumvent the inevitable commoditization.  

There are also threats. To brand safety. To copyright laws. To beliefs about creativity. We’ll have hard conversations about everything from unconscious bias to criminal misuse. Then, in ten years, full impact. We imagine a golden age of hyper-targeted, account-based marketing. We also predict AI depreciating the value of individual assets a la Napster killing the compact disc. Expect real people to respond with bespoke, humanistic, artisan campaigns.   

Finally, a confession. That tasty quote at the top? ChatGPT wrote it. The prompt: Crystalize the future of AI in the haunted, optimistic voice of Don Draper. How’d we do?  

Sturgeon’s Law

Tom Sullivan, CEO, Vitro

RESPONSE TO YOUR PROMPT, FROM CHAT GPT (195 words) 

AI is already revolutionizing marketing…and this continue over the next decade. A big step will be through the use of machine learning algorithms to analyze consumer data and make more targeted, personalized recommendations. This will likely include personalized email campaigns, targeted social media ads, and customized product recommendations on e-commerce sites.

Or course…there are chatbots and virtual assistants. These tools allow companies to interact with customers in real-time, providing immediate support and assistance. They will also be able to handle routine tasks, freeing up human customer service reps to handle more complex inquiries. As time marches on these will continue to get better (and seem even more human). 

AI will also have a major impact on content marketing, as machine learning algorithms will be able to analyze consumer data and create more effective content. This could include personalized blog posts, videos, and other types of content that are more likely to engage and convert consumers. 

Overall, the use of AI in marketing is likely to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the customer experience. Whilst there may be some initial disruptions as companies adopt these new technologies, the long-term benefits are likely to be significant. 

RESPONSE TO YOUR PROMPT, FROM TOM (195 words) 

See above. It’s so generative. It’s Sturgeon’s Law (90% of everything is crap). My guess is…AI will generate at least 50% of marketing assets/thinking. It’ll probably all be pretty smart…pretty good. But when it gets to emotional storytelling, powerful creative…it’ll be just like people, generating a lot of “crap”. AI is digital. Digital is binary. Zeroes and Ones. Blacks and whites. Much of creativity comes from the muted tones, the instincts and intuitions…the random brain synapses that live in the grays. I’ve spent a lot of time playing with AI in several arts (music, writing, imagery). Some of it really interesting, and maybe even gives bits of inspiration…but so much of it is just a mashup of elements we’ve seen before. Usually…you can tell AI was the ghost in the machine, right away.  

These are relatively early days, and they are super exciting…but here are three watchouts that come to mind:  racial biases and presenting incorrect information as true fact. And…look at the “open” in Open AI. It seems to be claiming that everything is open source. So I wonder; will I will end up being a windfall for intellectual property attorneys? Time will tell.   

The InkWell is Half Full for Copywriters

 

John Neerland, VP, Group Creative Director, Colle McVoy

Over the past month, ChatGPT has hit the world, the industry and advertising copywriters in particular, like a ton of virtual bricks.  

The reaction from writers I’ve talked to has ranged from cautious pessimism to downright dread. Gallows humor abounds. One writer quipped that it might finally be time to get HVAC certified.  

But I’m choosing, for now, to see the inkwell as half full. Just like Photoshop didn’t eliminate art directors and designers, ChatGPT won’t make copywriters obsolete.   

Out of the gate, ChatGPT is only as good as the inputs it receives. And even then, ask it to write headlines for a specific product or brand and you get a list that feels more like 50s newspaper retail ads than the One Show.   

So, if it isn’t pumping out pencil-worthy lines just yet, how can copywriters harness ChatGPT (and not be trampled by it)? Some initial ways include using it to get over blank page syndrome, getting unstuck from one idea or approach, exploring new tones and styles, making copy more search friendly and speeding up the more mundane writing tasks to free up time for more interesting ones.   

Over the next decade, my hope is that copywriters find ways to leverage AI not only as a technological aid to make their work easier and more efficient, but a tool to help make their ideas bigger and their writing better than they’ve ever imagined. Or maybe that’s just what the bots want us to believe. 

—-

This piece is part of Stagwell’s Marketing Frontiers content series on Artificial Intelligence. Visit this page to view other perspectives and work from Stagwell’s global teams on A.I.

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We’re home from CES 2023 and abuzz with the latest tech powering the next chapter of modern marketing. Read on for three quick things you need to know about how technology will impact brand marketing this year. Reach out if you’d like to connect on any of these trends. 

TECH RISING = DATA RISING

While the tech at CES is dazzling in its own right, the data it unlocks for brands is the true thought-provoker as we leave Vegas. Every tech advancement is generating fresh ways to capture first-party data from consumers. It’s on marketers to scope these technologies with a healthy mix of skepticism about privacy implications and eagerness about the ability to (more) seamlessly connect consumers to brands.  

Watch this Space: Pinterest announced a new data clean room collaboration with LiveRamp and Albertsons as the latter seeks to build a retail media network. 

Get Smart on Impact: Do Consumers Understand the Bargain of Digital Data?

THE THREE C’S

Whether it was ever-more integrated home devices, new content partnerships, or gifting modern travelers with free wifi, the power of truly connected brands to drive performance is clear. In the year ahead, marketers need to prioritize linking content, commerce, and community in order to effectively serve consumers and boost brand efforts. Tech companies learned “built it and they will come” is a bad way to engage consumers; marketers, too, need to focus on delivering the content consumers want, when they want it, and engage digital and IRl communities to power better experiences.

Watch this Space: Delta announces Delta Sync, a new chapter of connected travel.

Get Smart on Impact: How Warner Music Group is Preparing for Connected Consumers in 2023

TECH IS ABOUT TO HAVE A POLITICAL YEAR

TECH IS ABOUT TO HAVE A POLITICAL YEAR  – The subtext on the convention floor this year was that tech is about to face increased scrutiny and possibly even regulatory action from governments around the world in the year ahead amid growing concerns that products and services are veering us closer to “1984” than 2023. Expect the industry’s practices around data privacy, competition, and content moderation to come under close examination and consider the reputational risks of marketing certain products or services if they are perceived as “bad tech.”  

Watch this Space: How TikTok Became a Diplomatic Crisis

Get Smart on Impact: Mark Penn in Forbes on Twitter, TikTok, and the Year Ahead  

🤖 Category Transformations

Check out the announcements from the past week we predict will drive the biggest vertical transformations in the year ahead. 

Live from the Stagwell Content Studio @ CES 2023

Stagwell’s Content Studio returned at CES, delivering behind-the-scenes interviews with C-Suite execs at the world’s most ambitious brands on the trends and transformations they’re tracking at CES.

In this episode, Qualcomm CMO Don McGuire and Stagwell Chairman and CEO Mark Penn share why artificial intelligence and augmented reality are the two trends to bet on in 2023.

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Sarah Arvizo
Stagwell
pr@stagwellglobal.com 

 Specialty Media Business Unit from the Stagwell Marketing Cloud is Incubating New Connected Marketing Mediums and Inventory for Brands

NEW YORK and LAS VEGAS – Jan. 4, 2023 – Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, today announced a Specialty Media business unit to create net new brand and performance inventory. The unitpart of the Stagwell Marketing Couldwill build media formats that offer brands novel ways to reach, engage, and monetize key consumer segments across sports, travel, retail, news and dining.  

“Stagwell is bringing new experiences to consumers whether they are at the stadium, in a restaurant or getting on an airplane. Along with these experiences come a wealth of creative marketing opportunities,” said Mark Penn, chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “Stagwell is at the forefront of these transformative technical innovations and new forms of richly targeted marketing.”  

Shared Augmented Reality (AR) Platform for Stadiums: ARound, a first-of-its-kind fan engagement platform, is a new stadium-level augmented reality platform, already in use by the Minnesota Twins MLB team at Target Field and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. ARound uses 3D spatial computing to map large-scale venues and localize content to individual users, enabling attendees to see the same real-time 3D effects and participate in the same shared experiences. This is a new, connected marketing medium, enabling brands to reach fans at scale with stadium-wide AR games, contests, effects, and a remote experience amplifying the energy and excitement of gamedays. 

QR Code-Powered Advertising Platform for Restaurants and Bars: Stagwell Marketing Cloud is developing an advanced digital out-of-home platform that directly integrates into digital menu and point-of-sale systems to serve contextual ads native to the customer’s experience. The platform provides brands with rich customer profiles and a new channel to place relevant, dynamic messages that complement the user’s current experience; for example, a promotional offer for a specialty cocktail designed to warm consumers during winter, a recommended wine to pair with the dinner meal, or an aperitif to complement dessert, generating rich first-party data in the process. 

Media Marketplace for Travel: Stagwell’s Ink, the world’s leading travel media company, has launched “The Travel Marketplace,” a one-stop shop for brands to get unparalleled access to 5 million passengers a day. The new platform offers access to an unmatched portfolio of channels including airport TV screens, WiFi sponsorship, multi-channel digital and physical platforms, inflight entertainment, branded travel documents, targeted social media, and more. With exposure to international and domestic brands including United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue and others, 2,500+ screens across 90 North American airports via Stagwell’s ReachTV, and exclusive first-party passenger data to drive smart targeting, brands can now easily engage across diversified performance mediums that reach travelers at every stage of their journey. 

Today’s commitment is part of a larger focus at Stagwell on transforming media solutions through impactful technology to be announced throughout CES. Further announcements will come from business agency GALE and global omnichannel media shop Assembly. 

About Stagwell  

Stagwell is the challenger holding company built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com.  

Media Contact 
Sarah Arvizo 
pr@stagwellglobal.com 

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Headed to CES 2023? Before you board for Vegas, get smart with our top predictions for the technology and trends that will dominate the show and impact marketing transformation for the upcoming year. Stagwell will be on the ground sharing our vision for transforming marketing through impactful technology. Reach out if you’d like to connect.

ADS HERE, DATA EVERYWHERE

Expect every piece of consumer technology that debuts this year to (eventually) double as a marketing or media platform. Devices will continue to get smarter – and better at data collection. And new AR/VR layers will only multiply the potential ways for brands to show up in consumers’ lives. 

Watch This Space: Plug into Thursday’s C-Space Keynote with Delta, Netflix, Instacart, Epic Games, and more: Building Connection & Community in a Non-Stop World.”

Get Smart on Impact: Every Company is Now a Digital Marketing Company – Whether it Wants to Be Or Not 

GENERATIVE A.I. IS THE DARLING OF THE SHOW 

Expect every piece of consumer technology that debuts this year to (eventually) double as a marketing or media platform. Devices will continue to get smarter – and better at data collection. And new AR/VR layers will only multiply the potential ways for brands to show up in consumers’ lives. 

Watch This Space: Plug into Thursday’s C-Space Keynote with Delta, Netflix, Instacart, Epic Games, and more: Building Connection & Community in a Non-Stop World.”

Get Smart on Impact: Every Company is Now a Digital Marketing Company – Whether it Wants to Be Or Not 

EXITING OUR “TECH AS ENTERTAINMENT” ERA

Expect every piece of consumer technology that debuts this year to (eventually) double as a marketing or media platform. Devices will continue to get smarter – and better at data collection. And new AR/VR layers will only multiply the potential ways for brands to show up in consumers’ lives. 

Watch This Space: Plug into Thursday’s C-Space Keynote with Delta, Netflix, Instacart, Epic Games, and more: Building Connection & Community in a Non-Stop World.”

Get Smart on Impact: Every Company is Now a Digital Marketing Company – Whether it Wants to Be Or Not 

🤖 Category Transformations

We’re watching these sessions for vertical-transforming announcements at CES. Check back with us in a week for our POVs on their news:

Coming Soon: CES Content Studio

As thousands descend on Las Vegas for CES, Stagwell’s Content Studio returns to deliver behind-the-scenes interviews with business leaders across electronics, food and drink, luxury goods, media, sports, tourism and more. Hear from them on the trends and transformations they’re tracking at CES. Follow our LinkedIn and YouTube to keep up with the series as it publishes during CES.

 Reach out at ces2023@stagwellglobal.com if you are an executive that would like an interview.

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Celebrates GALE as part of AOY Shortlist

Stagwell – just 1% of the market – is 20% of the AOY list

Observatory Included on the Small AOY Shortlist

NEW YORK – Dec. 12, 2022 – Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, celebrates its strategic and creative agency Anomaly which has been named U.S. Agency of the Year by Adweek, the American trade publication covering the advertising, marketing, and media industries.

Adweek editors applauded Anomaly’s ‘monster’ year of new business wins, which included 16 accounts ranging from Dunkin’, Vans, and the ‘pitch of the year’: Bud Light U.S. Additionally, Adweek said “the agency’s Super Bowl spot for Meta Quest tugged on our heartstrings.”

Business agency GALE – which continued its trajectory of triple-digit growth in 2022 – was also shortlisted by Adweek as U.S. Agency of the Year, one of only 10 agencies recognized. GALE’s notable 2022 new business wins include H&R Block and Dropbox, and it was earlier named to Adweek’s list of Fastest Growing Agencies for 2022.  

“Our challenger network – just 1% of the market – boasts 20% of Adweek’s prestigious list. We’re proud to celebrate Anomaly as Adweek’s 2022 Agency of the Year. Led by Carl Johnson, Karina Wilsher and great office leaders in New York and Los Angeles, Anomaly lodged a remarkable year of new business growth and creative innovation. I am also excited to see GALE shortlisted for Agency of the Year and proud of Brad Simms and the fast-growing team there,” said Mark Penn, chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “I also want to congratulate Brendan Shields-Shimizu and the Observatory team on their recognition on the Small Agency of the Year short list for continuing to innovate for clients in a variety of formats.”

“If you define and fully commit to what you believe; identify what must remain and must change, what you’re prepared to do, and more importantly not do, then you can make significant progress in a turbulent, unpredictable world. We do and we did,” noted Anomaly co-founder Carl Johnson.

Observatory, based in Los Angeles, was also included on the shortlist in the U.S. Small Agency of the Year category, recognized for selling a variety of work including an action figure of Martha Stewart, two docuseries, a podcast, a film, and a concert. It also received nods for developing 15 sports films for clients as well as creating a sequel to an iconic Chipotle ad.

About Stagwell

Stagwell is the challenger holding company built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing.  Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com.

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Los Angeles Rams and ARound Introduce the Next Generation of Stadium Augmented Reality, Sponsored by SoFi

ARound Expands Stadium-Wide AR With Addition of In-Venue Broadcast Integration on SoFi Stadium’s Infinity Screen, In-Home Fan Experience; SoFi Signs on as First ARound Brand Sponsor

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK – Dec. 5, 2022 – The Los Angeles Rams are introducing a new fan-focused technology experience at the stadium and at home. Debuting at yesterday’s game, fans at SoFi Stadium were the first to experience shared augmented reality (AR) in an NFL game with the launch of ARound, a next-generation fan engagement platform designed to enhance gameday fun with live, real-world AR experiences, sponsored by SoFi, digital personal finance company and SoFi Stadium naming rights partner. First launched in August with the Minnesota Twins, ARound expanded its platform to include in-venue broadcast integration as well as an at-home AR experience.

ARound, part of the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, uses 3D spatial computing to localize content to individual users throughout the venue, enabling SoFi Stadium’s 70,000 attendees to see the same real-time 3D effects and participate in the same shared experiences. Using the ARound Stadium app, fans point their smartphone at the field to open up a universe of AR effects, interacting with the physical venue and fellow fans in real time. ARound and the Rams have taken shared AR several steps further through new fan experiences custom to the Rams and to the NFL:   

  • Infinity Screen AR: Fans can view effects like “Rampede” and “Make Noise” come to life on the Rams’ state-of-the-art 70,000-sq. foot videoboard, The Infinity Screen, with AR experiences incorporated into the gameday production in real time, such as when a touchdown is scored or when the team takes the field.
  • Players in 3D: Key player callouts including Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner, Cooper Kupp, Jalen Ramsey, Matt Gay, and Matthew Stafford are featured through special effects, making their personalities larger than life.
  • The Best Seat in the House, At-Home AR Experience: Fans can join the gameday festivities and contests through a life-size virtual stadium experience from their homes, mirroring what’s happening during the game at SoFi Stadium. 
  • SoFi: Official ARound Sponsor: Opening the door to this new, connected marketing medium, digital personal finance company and SoFi Stadium naming rights partner SoFi has signed on as ARound’s first platform partner with stadium-wide AR games, contests, effects, and a remote experience amplifying the energy and excitement of Rams gamedays and the SoFi brand. 

“We are thrilled to team with ARound and SoFi to incorporate AR into gamedays at the Rams House in unprecedented ways,” said Marissa Daly, VP & GM, Los Angeles Rams Studios. “This experience is a continuation of the game-changing ways we’ve partnered with SoFi at SoFi Stadium and across Los Angeles to elevate the fan experience on gamedays and beyond.”

“Fans come to the stadium to feel closer to the game, to the players, and to other fans. We developed ARound to enhance those feelings through highly immersive and interactive AR experiences that complement the action on the field,” said Josh Beatty, founder and CEO, ARound. “And with products like Apple and Google AR Glasses already in development we’re excited to open up the living room to blended TV experiences we know are the future of broadcast entertainment.”

“At SoFi, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation to create seamless experiences for our members, all while fulfilling our mission of helping our members achieve financial independence,” said Lauren Stafford Webb, CMO, SoFi. “We are proud to sponsor ARound’s first-of-its-kind technology for Los Angeles Rams fans at the iconic SoFi Stadium to make their experience even more spectacular.”

Journalists interested in covering the Rams launch can access the press kit here.

 About ARound

ARound is a first-of-its-kind stadium-level shared augmented reality platform and is part of the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, a proprietary suite of SaaS and DaaS solutions build for the modern marketer. ARound keeps audiences engaged by capturing their attention through immersive, interactive and shared experiences with fellow fans across the venue. Where other AR products offer isolating, singular experiences, ARound’s massive multi-user AR – which uses 3D spatial computing to localize content – redefines what it means to be part of a connected fan experience. It was the winner of Stagwell’s annual innovation competition which invests in new product ideas proposed by the network’s 13,000+ employees. ARound and the Stagwell Marketing Cloud are a part of Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network build to transform marketing.

 About Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles’ original professional sports team and Super Bowl LVI Champions – stand as one of the oldest franchises in the National Football League and since its founding in 1937, have garnered four World Championships and sent 30 of its members to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As a professional sports team, the organization is committed to be a valuable civic partner and serving the greater Los Angeles area 365 days a year. The Rams play their home games at SoFi Stadium, which is located at Hollywood Park, a 298-acre sports and entertainment destination being developed by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke in Inglewood, CA.

About SoFi

SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing and protecting give our over four million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of ambitious people. SoFi is also the naming rights partner of SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams. For more information, visit SoFi.com or download our iOS and Android apps.

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Missed Advertising Week New York this week? We distill the biggest brand takeaways on brand fandom, political advertising, and media channel transformations below. Follow Stagwell on LinkedIn to keep up with the insights.

Rise of Brand Fandom – Move over, sports teams and celebrities. 

Fifty-seven percent of consumers consider themselves a fan of a brand or product – higher than sports (48%), movies (52%), celebrities (54%), or online influencers/personalities (37%). 

The brands that take a holistic stake in consumers’ lives will drive loyalty, affinity, and advocacy–and not just in the moment. Fandom is not a fad or a flash in the pan; 2 in 5 brand fans have been fans for over 10 years. Focus on helping consumers develop their personalities through your brand by delivering marketing, events and experiences, and content that gives them a platform to express that personality.  

“Fandom is critical in the luxury space. Luxury is no longer defined as the most expensive thing –it’s defined by insider knowledge. We’re seeing a dispersion of brands being considered ‘wealth’ and ‘luxury,’ and price point alone won’t keep you in that luxury equity space. It’s important to have fan bases that really think of your brand as luxury.” – Neda Whitney, SVP, Head of Marketing, Americas, Christie’s

Political is the Biggest Media Story of 2022 – Get ready for hotter cyclical media environments as political advertisers diversify digital media channels to engage more voters.

Brands will feel the effect of political messaging as political advertisers spend a record $3 billion in the last three weeks of the election alone.

Many ads will tell Americans they’re poorer than ever because of inflation, for example – how will brands push back and get consumers to continue spending? Brands can no longer afford to be apolitical but risk looking too performative if they don’t back up their positions with actions. Lyft decided to foreground its identity as a transportation company when deciding to act, and as a result, it has provided ride services for voting, vaccines, and reproductive rights.

“We saw in 2016 that so many people chose not to vote because they didn’t have access to transportation. So we asked ourselves: how can we make an impact there? We created a voter access program and saw its immediate impact in 2020. It’s about looking at the issues consumers care about and our services. It’s our job to listen – to talk to elected officials and let them know we can come in as a partner to solve some of the issues our consumers care about.” – Heather Foster, Head of Government Affairs, Lyft

Digital Channels and Political Advocacy – Are political advertisers about to have the digital marketing efficacy reckoning?

This cycle will be the first many realize media buys are not driving impact because of mistargeting. Many voters in battleground districts no longer have traditional television – but there’s a disconnect between ad spending and consumption, with most dollars still going to broadcast. Brands need to get more comfortable shifting the media mix and taking risks with bourgeoning digital channels.

“The idea that there’s the TV generation and then there’s the kids – it’s an antiquated view. The fact is cord cutting is mainstream – now the majority of the population – and the idea that we can say we have a TV strategy and a different digital strategy is fraught with disaster. As we iterate, brands need to think about messaging across the full funnel, and know that TV and streaming work really well together because it allows us to do that. The future will be integrated streaming and linear in a really incremental fashion.” – Ashwin Navin, CEO SambaTV

Resurgence of OOH – OOH is resurging because OOH is modern.

When you start treating it like programmatic or digital it becomes a valuable tool in the funnel. Driving consumer engagement and social amplification through use of the OOH medium. (The Harris Poll found TikTok and other social media platforms are a major source of OOH ad visibility: 82% of TikTok users report frequently noticing OOH ads in content in their feeds, with nearly identical impact reported by Facebook and Instagram users.) And don’t sleep on the innovation underway here: location-based insights, shared AR capabilities, and more are all letting advertisers do more at scale. Embrace the underlying technology capabilities of Out of Home as a resilient pillar of your media plan for 2023.

”Out of home isn’t changing – the strategy is. Media is the new experiential and Out of Home is where people are. The technology that sits behind Out of Home is driving a different strategy lens, a different creative lens, and a different content lens.” – Brad Simms, CEO, GALE Partners.

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Campaigns this cycle are in a content arms race and that has one top Democratic firm eyeing companies that do influencer marketing.

Early in 2020, SKDK made the first two acquisitions in the firm’s history ,  acquiring Seward Square, which had an expertise in digital persuasion, and making its founder, Jason Rosenbaum, the head of its digital practice. It also bought financial/corporate media relations shop Sloane & Company 

Now, as Doug Thornell prepares to take over from Josh Isay as the next CEO of SKDK, the firm has influencer marketing companies in its sights.

“[I]f you’re looking at how both corporate brands and also other entities are communicating and trying to reach customers, social media influencers are becoming more and more important and many of these folks are viewed as trusted voices,” Thornell told C&E. “I think that’s an important part of where we’re headed.”

OTT is another critical part of this cycle’s content race.

“We’re doing a lot more OTT streaming content than we have,” said Thornell, a 12-year veteran of the media/comms consulting firm who will remain head of its political advertising department until he takes over from Isay in January. “That’s just going to become where the market goes.”

As for finding the right media balance heading toward the November election: “It’s OTT, it’s streaming, scalable content and it’s also figuring out how you deploy social media influencers in a smart and appropriate way. Those are the things we’re looking at.”

Thornell recently spoke to C&E in a wide-ranging interview about the future of the consulting industry, but he also touched on a more immediate debate for the left: whether to invest in base mobilization or persuasion advertising at the end of a midterm cycle that has been one of the most tumultuous in recent memory.

“I think it’s a mistake for any campaign or, quite frankly, the Democratic Party to think about these folks as just GOTV targets who you communicate [with in the] last three to four weeks,” he said. “You have to treat them as persuasion targets that you communicate with very early on.”

Thornell noted that he ran a program for the NAACP in 2020 that advertised in 30 markets, starting in July with a message to recruit volunteers through radio, digital and some TV. The program then deployed those volunteers in the fall to talk to infrequent voters.

“It was heavily focused on digital content that was motivational,” he said. “It’s not just Black voters, or Hispanic voters, this is young voters, too. These are voters who should be voting Democratic, who will if they feel like they have skin in the game. I believe that base voters are persuasion voters and we need to treat them that way.”

He also touched on the “immense” appetite for content in this cycle.

“It’s a mixture of things that we’re used to traditionally like the 30-second TV spot, but now [it’s also] quick 6-second, 15-second videos. More content can get out there, not just on paid platforms, but also social platforms. I look at all my campaigns that I’m working on now, and they’re just putting out a ton of content. The more organic it looks and authentic it looks, the better.”

Part of what’s helping SKDK meet the content needs of its clients is its staffing strategy. In 2021, they hired an additional creative director, Ryan Rose, to focus on that vertical. At the same time, the firm is working on retaining talent and ensuring that its offices, where staff are required to work at least three days a week while in town, is a place they want to come.

“Collaboration is really important and I think seeing each other some number of days a week is really important — especially for younger people who are just getting out of college or this is their first or second job,” Thornell said, noting perks like a free, healthy lunch await staff at the office.

“I know just from my own experience in terms of coming off campaigns and working on the Hill, how important it was to see people at work everyday and build that network so that I could get to a place like this.

“You can do really good work outside of the office, too. I think we’ve found a good sweet spot here.”

Editor’s Note: This article has been amended to clarify that SKDK does do some influencer marketing work in-house.

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CONTACT:

Sarah Arvizo
Stagwell
pr@stagwellglobal.com 

Stagwell’s fastest-growing network transforms for the convergence of creative, media, and commerce.

NEW YORKOct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, has expanded and rebranded the Stagwell Media Network to the Brand Performance Network, closing a crucial gap in the industry to produce and deliver connected solutions that perform across creative, media and commerce.

“‘Creative + Media + Commerce’ – the new equation for modern marketing – is simple, but executing against it is complex. Brands need truly integrated partners to navigate this convergence,” said Mark Penn, chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “The Stagwell Media Network has clearly resonated well with clients; look at its breakout performance and recent substantial client wins. Now, with this expansion, we’ve fully integrated creative and media, and are scaling our growing expertise in e-commerce solutions, creating a group able to activate the full equation of modern brand performance.”

The proximity of Creative X Media X Commerce is core to the Brand Performance Network’s evolved offering. Now, the network is home to more than 6,000 experts across 60 locations in 20 countries worldwide, representing award-winning creative and managing close to $5 billion in media and commerce. 

In August 2022, Stagwell integrated iconic creative agencies Crispin Porter Bogusky, Forsman & Bodenfors, Observatory and Vitro into the Brand Performance Network; Stagwell at the time also reported the Media Network posted 33% net revenue growth in the second quarter of 2022, making it Stagwell’s fastest-growing integrated network.  

“We launched the network a year ago in response to the needs of the modern marketer, to be omnichannel, data and tech-enabled, and global,” said James Townsend, global CEO of Assembly and the Brand Performance Network. “Today, we’re evolving again to reflect the drive we’ve seen from blue-chip global brands rightly demanding truly connected creative, media, and commerce solutions to unlock transformation and growth for their businesses. This will offer our people more opportunity and our clients even more value.”

“Today’s announcement is a great moment to welcome the new creative agencies and their leadership teams to the network,” said Brad Simms, president and CEO, GALE, and global chief product officer of the Brand Performance Network. “Their compelling and impactful work perfectly complements strategic media execution and personifies our focus on brand performance.” 

All agencies within the network will continue to operate under their individual brands, consistent with Stagwell’s fundamental belief in collaboration between complementary groups over agency consolidation. Brands within the network will retain their cultures and unique capability sets, while scaling through more integrated work.

The new identity is being designed by business agency GALE

About Stagwell
Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com.

About the Brand Performance Network
Stagwell’s Brand Performance Network is a group of leading creative, media, and commerce agencies home to more than 6,000 experts with an expansive global footprint across 60 offices in 20 countries, managing $5 billion in media. The network includes creative agencies GALEForsman & BodenforsCrispin Porter BoguskyVitro, and Observatory, media agencies AssemblyMMI AgencyGoodstuff and Grason, B2B specialists Multiview, multi-lingual content agency Locaria, travel and media experts Ink, and commerce experts Brand New Galaxy. The network offers marketers a more dynamic partner for global B2B and B2C connected solutions spanning data, technology, media, and creativity aimed at accelerating business growth for brands worldwide.

Contact: 
Beth Sidhu
pr@stagwellglobal.com

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Originally Released On

PR Newswire

CONTACT:

Sarah Arvizo
Stagwell
pr@stagwellglobal.com 

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, announced its second-annual sponsorship of Advertising Week New York, the world’s largest annual gathering of marketing, media, and technology leaders. Stagwell will host two panels on the Advertising Week New York stage, sharing insider insights into the implications for brands of the explosion of political media spending and fresh insights from a new global survey on brand fandom. 

The panels will feature experts from Stagwell’s flagship omnichannel media agency Assembly and leading technology, content, and culture insights firm National Research Group (NRG):  

  • Buzz & Devotion: The Fan Economy That Makes the Niche Mainstream in Today’s Culture – Monday 10/17 @ 1:15p: Fan culture has a powerful impact on a brand’s ascension into relevance, power and popularity. Informed by new, original research, we will bring brand experts from McDonald’s together with NRG to explore the pathways for brands to successfully build and activate a fan community. Insights from NRG’s latest thought leadership research will combine with lessons learned from the birthplace of fandom — sports and entertainment — to unlock powerful insights that help brands connect and grow their most devout and influential customers. 
  • Talk Politics to Me: Why Every Brand Today Needs a Dose of Political Know-How– Thursday 10/20 @ 1:15p:  Political is THE media story of Q4 2022, and it’s never been a more critical time for all advertisers to know the rules of the game.  Join Assembly, a global omnichannel media agency – with an only-of-its-kind full-service political strategy and media practice – and experts from Lyft and SambaTV for a discussion on the path forward for brands in a politically charged media environment and the convergence of political, advocacy, and commercial advertising.  

Also at Advertising Week New York:  

In addition to staged programming, Stagwell is proud to partner with Brand Innovators to deliver access to intimate thought leadership with leading CMOs and agency experts. Sign up to follow along with insights and other content from Advertising Week New York.  

About Stagwell 

Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing.  Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com. 

 

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