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NEW YORK, May 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, announced today the winners, honorees and nominees of the 26th Annual Webby Awards, which celebrate the trends, insights and talent that define the future of internet excellence.
Agencies from the Stagwell network recognized this year include 72andSunny, Code and Theory, Colle McVoy, Doner, Hunter, Instrument, and Observatory.
“From social activism to sports to gaming to entertainment and more, our agencies proved once again how they are bridging creativity and technology to transform marketing for the better,” said Stagwell Chairman and CEO Mark Penn. “We are grateful to the Webbys and all of the judges involved on these well-deserved recognitions and look forward to bringing more creative excellence to the digital world.”
For a full list of Stagwell agency winners, honorees and nominees, see below:
NFL – Football is for Everyone
Winner, Advertising, Media & PR, Real-Time Response 2022
Tinder Swipe Night: Killer Weekend
Winner, Advertising, Media & PR, Best Use of Video or Moving Image 2022
Activision/Blizzard Call of Duty – Warzone in Paradise
Winner, Social, Best Influencer Endorsement 2022
Code and Theory
Nylon – Re-introducing an Iconic Publishing Brand
Winner, Websites and Mobile Sites, Magazine 2022
The Vitals: True Nurse Stories
Winner, Advertising, Media & PR, Health, Wellness & Pharmaceutical 2022
Winner, Advertising, Media & PR, Best Branded Editorial Experience 2022
Lilly Singh Celebrates Diwali Traditions and New Beginnings with Johnnie Walker
People’s Voice Winner, Video, Short Form (Branded)
Behold Nick Offerman’s most ambitious Father’s Day gift to date – Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish
People’s Voice Winner, Advertising, Media & PR, Food & Beverage 2022
Honorees and Nominees
NFL – Football is for Everyone
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign 2022
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Social Video 2022
Tinder Swipe Night: Killer Weekend
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Best Video Campaign 2022
Nominee, Social, Best Social Campaign 2022
Honoree, Websites and Mobile Sites, Weird 2022
NFL – As One: The Vince Lombardi Comeback
Nominee, Video, Sports (Branded) 2022
CKE – Hot and Hand-Breaded
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Best Media Strategy 2022
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Best Use of Social Media 2022
Adobe Premiere – Fantastic Voyage
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Best Use of Animation or Motion Graphics 2022
Code and Theory
Giffords — Launching a Powerful Resource to Spark Action on Gun Violence
Honoree, Websites and Mobile Sites, Activism 2022
adidas – End Plastic Waste
Honoree, Advertising, Media & PR, Digital Campaign 2022
Elite Daily – Modern Storytelling for Bustle Digital Group Websites and Mobile Sites
Honoree, Cultural Blog/Website 2022
Honoree, Best Visual Design – Aesthetic 2022
Mask-Up Concert TV
Honoree, Video, Short Form (Branded) 2022
Luke Bryan Campaign
Honoree, Social, Culture & Lifestyle (Series & Campaigns) 2022
Behold Nick Offerman’s most ambitious Father’s Day gift to date – Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish
Honoree, Advertising, Media & PR, Brand Strategy 2022
Honoree, Advertising, Media & PR, Best Launch 2022
Honoree, Websites and Mobile Sites, Activism 2022
Dropbox | For All Things Worth Saving
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Digital Campaign 2022
A Future Begins
Nominee, Video, Animation (Branded) 2022
Nominee, Video, Music (Branded) 2022
Nominee, Advertising, Media & PR, Sustainability & Environment 2022
About Stagwell Inc.
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 10,000+ 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.
Contact: Beth Sidhu
Marketing Frontiers, Thought Leadership
May 05, 2022
March 11-20 2022
Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing, deliver excellence for the world’s most ambitious brands by connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology. That’s why Stagwell loves SXSW, which is all about the intersection of technology, innovation and culture – a great fit for a global company committed to transforming marketing, content, and experiences.
Here’s a roundup of Stagwell showed up at SXSW, what we learned, and what it means for marketers:
The 5 Things You Missed at SXSW
From NFTs and the evolving Web3 landscape to the transformative power of digital audio, Stagwell’s experts share the top five trends and brand takeaways from SXSW 2022.
Get Smart with Matt Maher
Stagwell contributor Matt Maher provided “Get Smart” videos throughout the week, making sure those watching from home didn’t miss a single thing, and that those on the ground could keep up with the hours of programming SXSW put forward this year.
Matt brought his experience as a marketing and technology expert to bear, sifting through the flash to determine which of the new trends and technology have staying power – and how marketers should be parcing them to make the most of every platform.
MATT’S KEY SXSW 2022 TAKEAWAYS:
- THIS WAS NFT’S YEAR AT SXSW but most brands haven’t fully connected the dots to turn NFTs into a sustainable, relevant, brand-building moment. Look to the Doodle x Shopify activation for the most successful implementation.
- CONTENT CREATION ISNT A NUMBERS GAME ANYMORE – from gaming to Instagram, it’s more important to have a dedicating following of 10k than an apathetic community of a million.
- THE METAVERSE CONVERSATION IS MORPHING from enthusiasm to skepticism as it runs against ongoing tech debates – data, privacy and the psychological impact on users over time. We havent’ written it off yet, but brands have some big decisions to make before jumping in.
Matt walks us thorugh all this in more in his Get Smart series from the festival, check them our below and on the Stagwell @ SXSW YouTube playlist.
Stagwell’s on the Ground Recap with Nick Fuller
Why brave the Austin heat (or cold, as it was this year) when you have digital transformation expert Nick Fuller, Managing Partner of Digital Transformation at Stagwell, on the ground to make sense of it all for you? He’s our sherpa for all things technology x marketing, and his takeaways from a weekend on the ground show a bias towards first-mover advantage when it comes to all things Web3. There is also a new interpretation of the age old question of authenticity – whether its in creator partnerships or buy-in on new tech platforms, there’s a huge upside for brands who are operating with a clear vision of their message and where they fit in the market.
Driving the Future of Marketing with Stagwell
Marketing moves fast – and we’re ahead of the curve. On Monday March 14, Stagwell held an invite-only event at Circuit of the Americas, the US’ first and only purpose-built F1 track, to give this industry’s saviest competitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The day started with a panel featuring Bennett Richardson, President of Protocol, Gayle Troberman, CMO of iHeart Media and Sally Shin, Chief Strategy Officer at UnitedMasters, discussing the future of audio marketing. They touched on core themes unearthed by Stagwell’s March Marketing Frontier on the Future of Audio, including the power fo audio and a connective device and the untapped potential of audio as an avenue for first-party data collection.
The group then broke up to make some noise themselves, rotating through a half-day racing school taught by the legendary Skip Barber Racing School. In no time, our marketing pros became driving pros, learning the fundementals for open-wheel race car driving from Skip Barber instructors who among them boasted half a dozen top-place finishes in racing classes across the board. It was an unforgettable day, and a reminder of why pushing the limits and moving quick can transformt he way you see a problem – and see the world.
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Scenes from the track
May 02, 2022
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Stagwell’s agencies are transforming marketing – on one of the most captive fields for national marketing, the Super Bowl. Several of our agencies are showing up at the Big Game this year: Anomaly for Meta, Vroom and Expedia; 72andSunny for the NFL; Forsman & Bodenfors for Polestar; and more. Off the TV screen, our agencies are innovating with omnichannel efforts that tap into the fever and fandom of the big game to drive powerful consumer moments for their brand partners.
We believe that there’s a new definition of success for advertisers at the Super Bowl, and it’s driven by digital transformation and changing consumer expectations around brands and experiences. Stagwell is leading the charge in supporting brands as they navigate this new dynamic – explore Stagwell’s presence at The Game, both traditional and less so, below.
But before you dive in:
Captain Morgan x Anomaly
Captain Morgan’s high-tech punch bowl syncs with real-time game data to keep fans in the loop, even when they’re getting a refill.
Meet the Super Bowl snack table addition you never knew you needed: the Captain Morgan Super Bowl Punch Bowl. Anomaly worked with the Captain Morgan team to bring to life the bowl, featuring stadium-inspired lights and sound, Bluetooth speakers, subwoofers and LED graphic equalizers that sync with real-time game data to create an immersive brand experience.
Plus, don’t miss it’s apperance on Jimmy Fallon.
Cenex x Colle McVoy
Colle McVoy created a new campaign for Cenex that celebrates the quirky, charming and often humorous moments of connection that people experience at their local convenience stores. The campaign shows how its 1,500 locations in 19 states power communities while helping to connect people. It’s the next evolution of the brand’s successful Powered Locally platform and includes six :15 spots, two debuting in a few weeks during Super Bowl 56 in 20 Midwest regional markets.
Crosstown Rivals (premiering 2/13/22)
Local Entertainment (premiering 2/13/22)
CUE Health x Doner
Like COVID itself, at home testing company CUE is quick to adapt, putting together a spot in just eight days with Doner. Voiced by Gal Gadot, the ad positions the smart at home testing technology in conversation with a family’s other smart home devices – just another addition to the growing suite of at technologies that keep us safe, run more efficiently, and provide peace of mind. And while COVID is top of mind now, CUE promises that they’re just getting started.
How COVID Testing Brand CUE Put Together a Super Bowl Ad in 8 Days (AdAge)
Expedia x Anomaly
Ewan McGregor gives a convincing plug for the power of experiences over ‘stuff’
As the travel industry looks to continue to gain footing and recover from COVID-drivel losses, Expedia is leading the pack in its commitment to the Big Game with a spot created by Anomaly. With an emphasis on experiences over things, the spot aims to redefine the relationship between the platform and its customers, while challenging the expectations that travelers may have for Expedia and its sister brand, Vrbo.
‘Ewan McGregor and Expedia have Teamed Up to Give Away Free ‘Trips’ on Super Bowl Sunday’ (Forbes)
‘Why the 2022 Super Bowl Makes Sense for Brands’ (AdAge)
‘Can Super Bowl Ads Make Expedia Group the Nike of Travel?’ (AdWeek)
Groupon x Allison+Partners
Gronk is getting out of town… and opening his hope to one lucky winner for the experience of the lifetime.
Allison+Partners led PR for Groupon’s “Party Like a Player” Super Bowl sweepstakes campaign featuring Rob Gronkowski that underscored the brand’s positioning as the go-to experience marketplace. The team secured coverage in USA Today, TMZ Sports, ABC Audio, Travel + Leisure and many more resulting in 3.7B impressions (and counting) in its first week.
LikeMeat x 72andSunny
LikeMeat is celebrating the Big Game with a TikTok scavenger hunt, created by 72andSunny and Blue Hour Studios. To promote its plant-based Chick’n Wings product launch, LikeMeat has invited TikTok users to hunt for digital clues that crack a secret code. Those who unlock the code have a chance to win two free tickets to the Super Bowl as well as other LikeMeat-branded prizes. It’s yet another example of brands going digital-first for the big day, eschewing traditional spots for lower-budget, higher impact activations to connect with their audiences.
Why a plant-based food company started the first TikTok scavenger hunt featuring Gronk just in time for the Super Bowl (Digiday)
Got Milk? x GALE
The milk industry is making a statement at this year’s Super Bowl – that what you’re seeing on the field is not the whole picture. Their spot, airing on the NFL Network and created by GALE, is an inclusive look at the power of women in sport, even (and especially) where they aren’t expected. Featuring women from across the Women’s Football Alliance, the tagline “Football is Football” encourages a broader look at the game and the powerful changemakers behind it.
NFL x 72andSunny
After topping the USA Today Ad Meter last year, 72andSunny + NFL are returning to the screens this year just before halftime with another spot that aims to capture the magic, legacy and power of the game. Featuring cutting edge puppetry and CGI technology from experts at Swaybox, the ad features legendary NFL talent in unexpected places and spaces – bringing the game right into viewers homes. Get ready to bring down the house.
”They Will Be Blown Away’: NFL’s Next Step in ‘Future-Proofing’ Audience Begins with a Super Bowl Ad’ (USA Today)
‘Behind the NFL’s Super Bowl Ad Plans, Which Include Puppetry and CGI’ (AdAge)
Polestar x Forsman & Bodenfors
In it’s first Super Bowl ad, Polestar, the high-end EV company with roots in Sweden, joined a spate of automakers – with a very different approach. The minimalist 30-second spot, executed by F&B, places a focus on what it doesn’t have – gimmicks, punchlines, scandals and distractions. It’s all about the future, driven by electric.
‘Swedish EV Startup Polestar Makes Super Bowl Debut with a “No Cliche” Approach’ (Ad Age)
Quest Oculus for Meta x Anomaly
In it’s first Super Bowl as the newly-rebranded Meta, Oculus Quest is doubling down on the metaverse, with a clear message to the audience – the metaverse is already here, and we’re waiting for you. The full spot, created by Anomaly and premiered on Good Morning America on Feb. 10, shows a metaverse in full swing – including a very-real post-game concert that will be headlined by the Foo Fighters. Its giving people a reason to visit the virtual reality world Meta is building – and pulling viewers into the future they are creating.
‘Inside Meta’s Super Bowl Commercial for the Metaverse’ (AdAge)
‘Meta’s Super Bowl Commerical Depicts Old Brand’s New Life in the Metaverse’ (AdAge)
Tillamook x 72andSunny
72andSunny created a shoppable, digital only music video, Chedderbration to mark National Cheddar Day coinciding with the Super Bowl. The multimedium campaign includes limited edition merch, unique cheddar-based recipes, and coupons accessible only through the Cheddarbration homepage.
Vroom x Anomaly
Vroom’s Super Bowl 2022 commercial sings the praises of a reliable broker – literally
Anomaly makes a return Super Bowl appearance with Vroom, the online car retailer who is literally singing the praises of having a reliable dealer on your side during the car selling process. The 30 second spot again features high-tempo choreography from celebrity choreograper Mandy Moore.
‘Vroom Releases Super Bowl 56 Ad ‘Flake: The Musical” (AdAge)
In the News, Marketing Frontiers
May 05, 2022
In the News
Apr 21, 2022
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Americans swear by the marketing value of the Super Bowl and a host of mythologies surround ideal slot placement, annual “best of” lists, and more. But price tags, declining viewership, and the global pivot away from traditional TV advertising makes us wonder. As the Super Bowl concludes and the Olympics continue, we asked global leaders from Stagwell and our affiliate partners for their thoughts on this key question: what is the value for modern brands in major sporting tentpoles like the Super Bowl, World Club or Olympics? Explore four POVs below.
WTF (Where’s the Freaking Value?)
Toby Southgate, Global CEO, Forsman & Bodenfors
Welcome, both linear and on-demand viewers, to the annual season of marketing insanity that is the Super Bowl. Welcome to lists, best-ofs, some epic voiceover casting and – for a limited time only! – music licensing and talent fees that’ll make grown adults weep.
This year, as happens with frequency on our rolling global events calendar, we get to layer the Winter Olympics on top of the Super Bowl boondoggle. “Where should I be investing my media dollars?” comes the plaintive cry of marketers across the land. “Who cares, it’s the freakin’ Super Bowl! Snap it up while you can!” And when snapping up comes in at a couple hundred thousand dollars a second – airtime only – then maybe a cynical voice of reason somewhere should ask the simple question: WTF? Where’s the Freakin’ Value?
Whoever it was who really said “half my marketing budget works, I just don’t know which half” could probably hold up the Super Bowl, or any one of the other tentpole global sporting properties, as the primus inter parus examples of this dichotomy. If you’re there and you get it right, people will talk about you. If you’re there and you get it wrong, people will talk about you. If you’re not there, people will talk about you not being there.
For Super Bowl specifically, there’s a purity of value by association that no other event can command. This remains the most-watched live event on the planet. It happens in one evening (unlike the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup), and – here’s the incredible part – it’s maybe the one televised event where real people in the real world will engage in conversations about the advertising they see. You could probably run a very simple segmentation analysis and find 3 major buckets of Super Bowl advertising – the funny, the emotional, and the weird. All have the power to engage and stimulate, or to isolate and offend. But what unites every marketer committing to this opportunity is the knowledge that just being there is no longer enough.
What happens around the 30 seconds your brand is on air? If you do break through sufficiently to provoke a conversation in the real world, how do you keep that momentum moving? How do you translate it into commercial impact? If your agency partners aren’t pushing that agenda as hard as they are the creative execution of the timing of the placement, then they’re not helping you resolve the “which half works?” question. Because now it’s all linked. And it all has to work.
Unifying Moments Make the Investment Worth It
Anna Panczyk – Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board, Brand New Galaxy, UK
For me, the answer is built into the question. Yes, the world is fragmented and people do feel disconnected – and so now, especially after the past two years, there’s a renewed impulse for people to find reasons to connect and be together. Sport offers a great way for brands to connect to families, groups of friends and fans – and sometimes even a whole country – with a straightforward common understanding and message.
Sports allows brands to generate this reach and awareness on a huge scale, but also to tie itself into those personal feelings of togetherness, connection, pride. Sport involves powerful emotions – and let’s not forget, playing, watching and sporting is enjoyable and fun.
On the other hand, being directly commercially involved in these sort of events is one of the most expensive routes to market. Brand Keys research (https://brandkeys.com) showed that only about 20% of the brands that advertise during prestigious events like the Super Bowl actually emotionally engage viewers. So, you could say – and many do - that involvement like this s a waste of money. But the actual impact of these things is harder to measure. There are plenty of Olympic or Super Bowl ads that stay with you, resonate beyond, become shared, transform into memes. And there are plenty of lower–level activation that don’t carry the same cost, but still allow brands to benefit (activations on social media, sales promotions etc).
What sporting events prove to us every time is that it is always about the journey you take, not just the ultimate goal. And the same logic applies to those great campaigns which – yes, at the level of buying a Super Bowl ad, can also be hugely expensive. But brands continue to recognise the fact that these are rare and unique moments to be shared with their potential users or brand lovers. Moments of national unity, mass awareness, positivity, togetherness and fun – which brand wouldn’t want to get involved?!
Sport is the New Fireplace in a Modern Household
Ashish Khazanchi – Managing Partner, Enormous Brands, India
Where does broadcast stand in the time of Reels, Stories, OTT and the severely divided attention economy? Sport, for most, is possibly the last remaining bastion of appointment viewing across the world. The bigger the stage, the bigger the draw of it.
Events like the Super Bowl, FIFA, Olympics, IPL are important for brands for reasons larger than just the univariate way of looking at it for pure reach. The key for brands really is the intense engagement. Sport for most audiences is a part of identity, and identity narratives. There’s intense identification with the heroes and the myths and their teams. This makes big sporting moments the last remaining lean-forward viewing platform in the era of skip ads and incessant scrolling. Sport is the new fireplace in a modern household. It gets families, friends and communities together. There’s joy, conversations, laughter, tears, jubilation and people huddled together over shared nervous energies. These moments are prime for brands to tap into this energy and audience engagement to drive the conversations towards greater brand love.
How Can Culturally Important Moments Help Tell Brand Narratives?
Daniel Felipe Cuervo – Strategic Planning & Growth VP, Buentipo, Colombia
Culturally important moments for each country, such as the Super Bowl, World Cup, or Olympics, are moments that brands should take advantage of, for the good and not for the bad. These types of events are perfect for brands to talk about their values and beliefs beyond the product they want to advertise or sell.
The budget investment that brands need for these spaces should be leveraged as a long-term strategy, rather than their bottom lines in the short-term. Our recommendation to brands: Be smart. Take advantage of this space to create advertising pieces that are highly relevant and above all, tell a story that answers why your brand exists. Go beyond the hunger to sell your product and use this as a chance to communicate your purpose, values and beliefs as a brand.
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These days, good Super Bowl marketing is about more than the ad you run during the big game. Digital marketing’s rise emphasizes creative, omnichannel efforts that leverage emotional resonance and new storytelling mediums to drive business impact. Four key evolutions are changing the ways brands tackle this football tentpole:
- New Definitions of “Super Bowl Campaigns” leave brand marketers to ask: how do I run a Super Bowl campaign that’s more than just the ad?
- New Experiments in Cutting Edge Tech driving powerful new creative dimensions to the consumer experience at and around The Big Game
- New Challengers joining the ranks of advertisers as digital levels the playing field of who can afford to make magic out of a Super Bowl moment
- New Platforms Driving Importance of Social in the ever-evolving Big Game media and content mix.
1. New Definitions of Super Bowl Campaigns
Last year, for the first time since 1983, Anheuser-Busch decided to sit its iconic beer brand Budweiser out of the Super Bowl ad inventory, instead donating the money it would have spent on the ad to support coronavirus vaccination awareness efforts. Stagwell global communications agency Allison+Partners supported the media effort, a strong case study in how you can lead the Super Bowl discourse without appearing in the game. Headlines called the brand a “winner” for the purposeful pivot, and the effort went on to win several effectiveness awards.
While not every brand will find a pivot that works as well, digital marketing is pushing many to consider alternative ways to get Super Bowl ad value without the ad investment. Stunts tied to the game are one approach, but simpler digital activations and content that link brand identity to the underlying currents of sports fandom and entertainment can be winning strategies. See 72andSunny and Tillamook County Creamery’s experiment this year with a shoppable music video released to commemorate National Cheddar Day and the Super Bowl sharing a date on February 13.
2. New Challengers
The Big Game is a whopper investment. The sticker price for spots this year broke records, hitting as high as $7M for some ad inventory. While securing a prime-time spot can wreak ruin on marketing budgets, newer faces have taken to the field in recent years, as digital marketing tools level the playing field for the type and scale of brands that can derive halo value from the Big Game. D.T.C. and e-commerce are flooding the annual roster, with cheeky online retailers like Vroom and other digital natives like DoorDash using it as a platform to scale beyond niche beginnings. Expect the roster to continue diversifying each year, bringing newer, challenger brands to the fore while pushing legacy staples to re-evaluate whether a multi-million dollar spot is the best avenue to drive sustained marketing impact.
3. New Experiments in Cutting Edge Tech
While S.B. viewers will undoubtedly be distracted by digital platforms during the game, the audience remains comparatively rapt in attention during ad breaks, giving brands a solid audience for testing splashy, transformative technology. In recent years, the N.F.L. has run the play on this in partnership with Stagwell creative agency 72andSunny, first by pulling off the game’s first-ever live ad integration transitioning from pre-recorded spot footage to an on-the-field activation. The following year they upped the ante and, well, raised the dead, using holographics, 3D projections, and more to resurrect legendary football coach Vince Lombardi for a resonant message about resilience. This year, Meta is using the Super Bowl as an opportunity to engage consumers on the metaverse technology already available to them via mixed-reality.
As a tactic for driving social conversation the day and week after the Big Game, activations that wield emerging technology to do new, exciting, and yet-untested feats of creativity can be powerful for brands at the Big Game. Aligning experimentation with your product suite, the frontiers of new technology your brand is eager to own, and consumers’ stated interest in the tech will be essential for brands moving forward.
4. New Platforms Driving the Importance of Social
Today’s marketers know this well: it’s no longer about making the right 2-3 assets for a campaign, you need thousands of assets that can cut across social platforms, search, banner, paid, earned, out of Home, and more to amplify your brand’s big game message. At the same time, S.B. advertising is no longer about the crowning jewel of the main campaign film: a dizzying array of shorter cuts, social-specific content, and other branded assets must be prepared to swarm digital channels and amplify the brand’s key messaging.
Social only continues to rise as an essential part of this mix. Close to half of Super Bowl viewers plan to interact on social media during the game, per The Harris Poll/Haven, suggesting advertisers could benefit significantly from the extended post-game conversation on content that makes waves during the game. Marketers should think holistically about the type and mix of content and media needed to drive results.
The Bottom Line
The playbook for what drives value for brands at The Big Game is evolving with new digital tools and alternatives to significant ad investment. This will continue to attract more brands to consider how they can capitalize on the marketing potential of the Big Game while emerging technology will start to reshape the nature of the advertising activations we see each year. Marketers: as you enjoy the excitement of Super Bowl LVI, search for and identify ways brands are making the most out of new formats for social and digital content. Challenge your teams to think beyond the Super Bowl ad to the marketing magic possible when the moment is met with a modern approach to brand marketing.
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Early reactions to Miller Lite’s “Meta Lite Bar” experience – where it will offer virtual beer, games, and a chance to view what would have been its Big Game spot –prove there’s work needed to convince the masses that the Metaverse matters. Steve Colbert ripped into the idea: “Man, I love commercials, but I wish I had to work harder to access them while my avatar drinks this imaginary can of carbonated disappointment.”
While some of his riff is just late-night chum, there are insights about how brands should approach the Metaverse, mixed-reality, and emerging tech that consumers are just beginning to identify and understand. Colbert’s points are top of mind for everyone as big ideas for virtual storefronts, fully immersive VR experiences, and digital avatar ecosystems fill the news.
Two parts of Colbert’s criticism for brands to unravel:
- “Work harder to access” – This is going to be a big barrier to early adoption of Metaverse tech. If consumers don’t find it easy to access brand experiences, they won’t engage. While conditioned consumer behavior is the hardest thing in the world to change (when did you last download an app for something?), the only thing stronger than conditioned behavior is a change to one’s environment. Experiments in AR and mixed-reality, especially powered by mobile, can disrupt and captivate consumers in a memorable and meaningful way. Shared environments with low barriers to access will drive value in this space.
- “While my avatar drinks this imaginary can of carbonated disappointment.” The Metaverse is a shared experience, but virtual reality can be isolating. AR and other tech that allows for shared social experiences will connect us to people and places in exciting and fun ways. While the idea of drinking a digital beer may leave people scratching their heads, if the metaverse dive bar that Miller Lite unveils during the Big Game includes a compelling array of shared content and experiences, the fun consumers are having together in this space will eclipse their initial confusion at the premise.
Many brands will try their hands at Metaversal tech in the coming months. Marketers should learn from early consumer/social reactions to experiments underway at the Big Game and proactively work to solve some of the barriers of consumer adoption in this exciting new space.
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This week marked the National Retail Federation’s 2022 conference, the premiere summit of the world’s largest retailers. Stagwell was listening in, as well as talking with lead retail experts and practitioners from brands like Johnson & Johnson, AERIN, Bayer, Snap, and more.
So what do marketers need to know? We recap the top five trends and takeaways to emerge from the week below.
1. Blended Retail Experience is Here to Stay
The pandemic accelerated a new template for the shopper journey that sees consumers move frequently across brick-and-mortar and digital touchpoints. Consumers want to shop, browse, and discover on their own terms, using the full range of devices, delivery mechanisms, and in-store ecosystems available to them. Expect retail to continue to trend towards convenience – defined on the consumer’s terms – that is supported by digital layers that add function, streamline experiences, or collapse multiple aspects of the purchasing funnel. Marketers need to invest in seamless handoffs between touchpoints urgently.
2. Safety Will Keep Driving In-Store Shopping Behavior
With variants extending the pandemic for who-knows-how long, health and safety will continue to be top of mind for consumers. Telegraphing your brand’s investment into COVID-19 protocols without veering into the realm of pandemic theater/fearmongering is one way brands can remain in favor with today’s consumers. Marketers should ensure their messaging around safety connects with reality for employees, as the employee-as-brand-ambassador trend popularized by big box retailers like Walmart continues.
3. If Your Commerce Isn’t Connected, What Are You Doing?
Enduring supply chain disruptions will put additional pressure on retail shops to adapt technology and digital tools to further connect their enterprises. To keep apace with customer expectations for faster delivery and order fulfilment, brands need to adapt sophisticated inventory tracking and real-time retail dashboards, as well as look to further synchronize marketing and sales activities.
4. Social Commerce Gets a Lift From Live Streaming
Live commerce – a staple abroad but gaining traction across the U.S. – will mainstream in 2022 as brands need to bridge consumers’ platform and content experiences with their shopping habits. The models abound, from the 24-hour shopping livestreams that drive billions in sales during China’s major retail holiday, Double 11, to more curated influencer streams that tap into micro and nano influencers to tell the stories behind products in more authentic ways. This engagement renaissance will be powered by integrated payment portals, QR codes picture-in-picture digital displays, and other technology enabling a seamless step-through discovery to purchase.
5. Retail Cautiously Experiments with the “M” Word
In the absence of the technology infrastructure to support the much-buzzed about Metaverse, retailers are experimenting with what’s available now – mixed reality tools — to power exciting new experiences that tie the physical world to the digital world. Live events and retail supported by augmented reality can power more engaging shared experiences for consumers, while virtual tokens, avatar outfits, and other digital tokens can extend a brand’s product suite into this burgeoning new dimension of the web.
As we reflect on the marketing implications of CES 2022, Web 3.0 is by far the most impactful development that showed up across industries, technologies and capabilities. While in some ways it may be another victim of CES’ shiny veneer versus reality, there are components that are impossible to ignore – namely, the influx of and investment in the metaverse and NFTs.
Stagwell is one of the first movers when it comes to helping brands activate in this nacent space, having supported the launch of MilkPeP’s activation in the Roblox metaverse. On Thursday, January 6, Stagwell convened a lunch and learn, moderated by Axios’ Sara Fischer, to discuss the tactical and theoretical challenges and opportinities presented by Web 3.0. Here are our top 5 takeaways from the conversation:
- COVID WAS A CATALYST, bringing the metaverse into the real world
- BRANDS WILL PLAY A KEY ROLE IN BUILDING TRUST with these technologies and platforms
- NOT EVERY BRAND SHOULD BE IN THE METAVERSE, and not every metaverse is created equal
- METAVERSE + IRL should be a seamless experience
- NFTS are here to stay
Web 3.0 is a nuanced topic, and one that is the opposite of a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on brand, product, buyer demographic and existing marketing activity, the metaverse and NFTs can fill a very important role (which may be… no role at all. More on that later). Learn more about what it means for brands, creative and the future of the online/offline world.
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1. COVID was a catalyst, bringing the metaverse into the real world
The metaverse would have come eventually (in fact it’s already been here…hello, gaming community!), but the pandemic undoubtedly accelerated the timeline. With the majority of the world going digital, tech companies were pushed to develop products, tools and software that allowed us to do so much more from a virtual setting, exposing a more urgent demand for expanded virtual experiences and capabilities from brands.
the role of brands, as it has always been, is to create culture and pioneer what could be coming and help people imagine the art of the possible. They create links for consumers and act as educators for navigating the new space.
2. Brands will play a key role in building trust with these technologies and platforms
There’s a significant opportunity to live your brand values in the metaverse. If done well, brands will ensure their presence is connected and consistent with the way they show up in the real world, ultimately leading to greater consumer loyalty and retention.
3. Not every brand should be in the metaverse, and not every metaverse is created equal
Direct-to-consumer relationships are more important than ever as we move into a cookieless world, so there are real business reasons that support having a presence in the metaverse. But it comes down to understanding your brand’s role, identifying your objectives, and how entering this space would aid in achieving those, and finally, implementing a process for facilitating, tracking, and measuring success.
4. Metaverse + IRL should be a seamless experience
Let’s face it, some consumers are nearing a point of digital saturation. So, it’s important to note that the metaverse is not meant to be all-consuming. People value in-person experiences – there will be points in time that make sense to utilize the metaverse in addition to other consumer touchpoints, while there will be moments where we can come together in the real world and physically be a part of something. Blending the two seamlessly: now that’s a real win.
5. NFTs are here to stay
As these advancements become more democratized in their accessibility, brands will start to use them more, whether it’s for loyalty, or to reignite an old concept or product. Industries will adopt NFTs as a creative means to build community and connect with people who support and protect their brands.
CES 2022 is in the rearview mirror. The technologies that debuted this year will bring accelerated innovation and transform the way consumers get and share information, engage with brands, and experience culture for years to come.
This year, Stagwell hosted a series of virtual floor tours featuring expert commentary on the trends we expect will transform marketing in 2022 and the implications for marketers. Below, we share our top four takeaways:
More Screens, in More Places, More Often (Doing Different Things):
- The trend: Television is evolving from a purely entertainment-focused device to a multi-faceted video display, enabling a sprawling universe of entertainment, lifestyle, home décor, news & information, and communication possibilities supported by the assistance of your favorite AI and voice-enabled tech.
- The implications: More screens, in more places, more often means more media placement channels for brands, greatly expanding the array of consumer distribution touchpoints available. The way content is displayed isn’t the only thing changing; the nature of content itself will adapt to streaming-era behaviors that can more seamlessly connect content to commerce-driving actions via things like QR codes. Perhaps unexpectedly, the TV console in 2022 may find new life as a portal for discovery, addressable content marketing, and a rich source of first-party data.
The Creator Economy is Here – For Everyone:
- The trend: Tools for video creators continue to evolve, giving both the quality and bells and whistles of strong video content that were once reserved for professionals. At the same time, brands are experimenting with ways to give consumers creative control over branded products and services, seen in products like the L’Oreal Colorsonic which allows consumers to make their own custom lipstick.
- The implications: 2022 will be the year technology and brands converge to empower everyone to be a creator of products, not just content. For brands with an imperative to scale compelling across increasingly niche consumer segments, marketing activations that empower the average consumers to use brand assets, products, or other associated content will be a powerful tool for awareness and top-of-funnel marketing.
- The trend: Technology is shifting to focus on the key economic and social challenges that were illuminated by the pandemic, such as food sustainability and labor and supply chain shortages. We saw a heavy emphasis on artificial intelligence and robotics as a tool for tackling these complex challenges of human scale, exemplified in products like John Deere’s fully autonomous tractor or the tradeshow-wide trend towards Electric Vehicles.
- The implications: Brands will have new opportunities to scale the best practices enabled by problem-solving tech, which can unlock exciting new business models, product offerings, and service capabilities. At the same time, renewed corporate interest in the environmental and social footprints of businesses will add pressure for CMOs to ensure marketing communications and operations address their businesses’ impact.
Scaling In-House Marketing:
- The trend: The tech on display in the C Space for marketers underscores the need for a toolbox of scalable, DIY-marketing tools for in-house teams, who are increasingly present at major brands. At CES this year, Stagwell showcased the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, our suite of solutions supporting business transformation for in-house marketers, arrayed across real-time business intelligence, AI-powered comms tech, AR for events, and end-to-end influencer marketing management.
- The implications: With over 77% of organizations now having some form of in-house agency, expect investment in tools & services to support in-house marketing creation and execution to continue. Specifically, brands will be on the hunt for solutions that enable them to unify first-party data, create content at scale, and drive efficiency through their operations via automation.
Originally released on
NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell Inc. (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, today announced its programming and events at CES 2022, including the formal launch of the Stagwell Marketing Cloud. Stagwell’s presence includes a range of activations aimed at decoding what the technologies debuting at CES mean for marketers, brands and consumers, including:
- Stagwell Marketing Cloud Exhibit: The Stagwell Marketing Cloud is debuting at CES via a booth featuring four SaaS products powered by AI, ML and AR. The SMC is a suite of technology products and services that support in-house marketing transformation for modern businesses. Visit booth #CS-10 in the C-Space at Aria.
- Live and Virtual Floor Tours: Led by Stagwell executives from across disciplines and leading technologist Jeff Minsky, Stagwell Media Network Global CEO James Townsend and Stagwell Chief Media Officer Deirdre McGlashan we will take guests on a journey exploring the most compelling technologies being debuted at CES 2022, from the connected home and city to health, sustainability, streaming, and robotics.
- Lunch with Stagwell: Leading practitioners in the areas of digital transformation and media will host two separate luncheons, focusing on how new technologies and tools can elevate brand experiences, from navigating the rise of Web 3.0 to transitioning the structural ways businesses implement technologies.
- CES Cocktails: Hosted in partnership with Brand Innovators, we will convene guests from across industries for cocktails, conversation and the opportunity to reconnect after so long apart.
“Stagwell is launching our the Stagwell Marketing Cloud at CES this year. The Stagwell Marketing Cloud is an innovative suite of products aimed at providing in-house marketers with transformative tools. Incubated by technologists and strategists within Stagwell, we look forward to showcasing the Cloud and demonstrating how the collection of SaaS and DaaS tools can help,” says Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO of Stagwell.
At CES, we will showcase four of products from the Stagwell Marketing Cloud including:
- ARound: An augmented reality creation tool for live events that empowers brand to bring audiences together at scale so they can engage, interact, and socialize in a completely new and meaningful way.
- Harris Brand Platform: A real-time business intelligence application that provides daily insights on brand perception, equity, sales funnels and the impact of marketing campaigns on customer behavior and perceptions.
- Koalifyed: An end-to-end influencer marketing application that brings qualified creators and the world’s top brands together to create credible, engaging content and social experiences that drive connection and culture.
- PRophet: A PR application that utilizes AI and ML to predict media interest, sentiment and spread of a press story prior to pitching, allowing PR professionals to discover new targets and more efficiently pitch and land positive coverage.
For more information or to register for any of Stagwell’s events, please visit: https://stagwellces2022.splashthat.com.
For more information on Stagwell Global and our agency network, please visit www.stagwellglobal.com.
About Stagwell Inc.
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 10,000+ specialists in 20+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com.
SOURCE Stagwell Inc.