By

Robert Sawatzky,
Editor, Campaign Asia
Read this piece in Campaign Asia. 

 

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Challenger holding company Stagwell is doubling down on its global affiliate strategy, adding 11 new partner companies to its worldwide network. All but two of the additions are based in Asia where Stagwell has now also opened a second office in Malaysia.   The partners span China, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Italy, and the UK, extending and expanding the network’s media, scaled content and commerce capabilities. Together, some 1,400 marketing practitioners have now been added to Stagwell’s “functional global footprint.”  

Some of the new affiliates, such as China’s SparkX and 99IE, bring specialty expertise in ecommerce and gaming respectively, while India’s Event Capital and Laqshya Live Experiences bring event and experiential chops.  

If you separate the nine subsidiary partners within India’s Laqshya Media Group, the number of new affiliates grows to 19. Media was a key strategic focus, with BushAd also joining from Korea, digital media specialists SuperDrive and SearchGuru joining from Japan and Malaysia respectively, along with three Chinese media companies, including MarketIn and GIMC.   

Not all these affiliate deals make Stagwell their exclusive partner. One of China’s oldest and largest local advertising groups, GIMC, has a track record of partnering with other groups, including joint ventures with Havas and Hakuhodo. Another new content affiliate, Malaysia’s Kingdom Digital, sold a majority stake to Hakuhodo last month.   The two new affiliates added from Europe, Italy’s Caffeina and Digital Mill out of the UK, are both digital content specialists.  

Stagwell’s chief affiliate officer Anas Ghazi and APAC managing director Randy Duax tell Campaign the new affiliations are the result of a mix of inbound interest, strategic planning around capabilities and geographies, but were mostly driven by tangible activations on behalf of clients.  

The global programme

In total, Stagwell now is nearing 80 global partners in more than 60 different markets in less than two years since launching the affiliate programme. Under these deals, there is no immediate monetary investment – both sides merely agree to cooperate on client work. 

For the affiliates, it expands their scope of opportunity beyond their local market without being forced to work for global clients and projects that they don’t want to. For Stagwell it’s a way to expand its global reach and capabilities without needing to raise capital for acquisitions.  For both sides, affiliation is a trial period to feel each other out, which can be a precursor to eventual acquisition as it was with Brand New Galaxy (BNG), a European-based ecommmerce network that was one of Stagwell’s earliest affiliates before the two consummated their relationship through acquisition earlier this year.  

But the programme is not without risk either. It’s hard enough for holding companies, with all their global connective tissues, to deliver the seamlessly integrated global service they’ve been pitching to clients for years, nevermind asking independent agencies with different cultures and objectives to interpret quality, standards, processes the same and deliver what the client wants on terms financially beneficial to all.  But Ghazi already sees proof in acquisitions like BNG and in the number of new business wins emanating from affiliates, referencing a pipeline of yet-to-be-announced deals.  

“With our affiliate partners worldwide, we’ve been able to punch up to win new business and land account expansions across Stagwell—from Hydraltye in Australia and Mashreq Bank in the UAE to our major Lenovo win across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and North America,” Stagwell chairman and CEO Mark Penn added in a statement. “With our model, we’re not just placing random dots on a map, we’re able to provide clients with global execution rooted in local understanding.”  

“It really is working,” Duax says, who explains that not a day goes by without an opportunity from clients pitching a need to expand to another market, or an affiliate referring a piece of business to be expanded out. 

A second footprint in Asia

If many of the new affiliations are the product of client business, so too is Stagwell’s latest landing pad in Kuala Lumpur. A couple of global client wins together with new work for Ink (with Malaysian Airlines) and Assembly will see the latter hire a dozen new people in Malaysia and accelerated the set-up of an office there.  These announcements follow Stagwell’s stated objective last November to expand aggressively in Asia Pacific, relocating Duax to Singapore where he soon after added Coconuts Media as a content affiliate in January.  

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NEW YORK and KUALA LUMPUR, MalaysiaSept. 1, 2022 Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, has expanded its presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region with the opening of its newest global office, Stagwell Malaysia. Stagwell opened its regional headquarters in Singapore in November 2021. Stagwell’s travel content and media brand, Ink, and Assembly, a global omnichannel media agency delivering media and more, will collaborate in the new location.

As part of the office opening, Ink has grown its partnership with Malaysia Airlines to offer sponsorship and advertising opportunities online and offline at the airport, onboard flights, and at home. Ink is actively hiring to support the expansion.

Assembly, which recently won recognition from two of the most prestigious local marketing award bodies, Marketing Excellence Malaysia and MARKies Malaysia, for its leading work in the market across media, will expand its staff to support the growth ambitions of local Malaysian brands and continue to support global businesses in the market.

“As Malaysia celebrates its Independence Day, we are excited to establish our newest global entity in Kuala Lumpur,” said Randy Duax, managing director, Asia-Pacific, Stagwell. “Malaysia’s GDP grew 9% last quarter and e-commerce transactions are expected to grow 25% per year over the next few years. For the kinds of innovative and disruptive clients our network serves and the kind of talent we have in our portfolio, we’re uniquely positioned to amplify brands into, out of, and within Malaysia.”

Stagwell boasts nearly 2,000 employees in the APAC region at agencies including creative network 72andSunny, communications firm Allison+Partners, creative agency Anomaly, global omnichannel media agency Assembly (named the 2021 Media Agency of the Year for Asia-Pacific by The Drum), digital transformation agency Code and Theory, creative collective Forsman & Bodenfors, (named top creative agency in Singapore by Campaign Brief), travel content and media brand INK, multilingual content agency Locaria, path-to-purchase shop MMI Agency, and consumer research agency National Research Group. 

In addition, Stagwell’s innovative affiliate network now boasts 70 active and independent agency brands. In APAC, Stagwell’s affiliate partners include Beyond Media Global (Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Sydney, Taipei), creative agency Enormous (Gurgaon, Mumbai), influencer agency Metric Design Studio (Shanghai), and digital and content full-service agency Serviceplan (Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Seoul).

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

Media Contact:
Sarah Arvizo
pr@stagwellglobal.com

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    First Joint Out-of-Home (OOH) Campaign for Converse Achieves Meaningful Impact  

    NEW YORK and LONDON – May 23, 2022 – Stagwell Media Network, part of Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), today announced the integration of the U.S. OOH teams from the network’s omnichannel media agency, Assembly, with Talon, to offer smarter, data-driven, and creative-led OOH planning, buying, and proprietary technologies to advertisers. This move represents the next phase of the strategic partnership formed at the end of last year. Together, the team has since successfully collaborated with Converse on an innovative OOH program that has driven meaningful results for this influential brand.  

    Jill Rynenberg, Integrated Digital Marketing Manager, Converse commented, “Out-of-home was integral to Converse’s ‘Create Next’ campaign which saw John Boyega, an influential film star, born and raised in South London, join forces with Converse. It was really important to target the hometowns of Boyega and the five young and undiscovered London filmmakers which we were able to deliver through Talon’s bespoke solutions. This was our first out-of-home campaign planned through Assembly and Talon Outdoor, and we were delighted with Talon’s collaborative and data-led approach to planning.” 

    Rynenberg continued, “Using Talon’s proprietary data management platform, ‘Ada,’ billions of device-level audience data points were activated in order to pinpoint a highly targeted bespoke urban audience in these key hometown locations centred around Peckham and Brixton. Talon worked collaboratively with Assembly and Converse to deliver this highly targeted campaign which was delivered at breakneck speed. Talon’s audience-first data intelligence approach to planning allowed us to reach more of the right audience at the right time, ultimately improving ROI on media spend. We look forward to extending this partnership to deliver many more OOH campaigns.”

     “While OOH revenues were impacted by the pandemic, channel innovations, real-time flexibility, and accelerated creativity has repositioned OOH in the mind of consumers and brands, as demonstrated by the Converse campaign,” said Jon Schaaf, Global Chief Investment Officer, Stagwell Media Network. “By further combining our experience, teams, tools, and industry partnerships, our collaboration with Talon will enable marketers to differentiate their brand and offerings from their competition across both upper and lower funnel efforts.”

    Barry Cupples, Talon’s Global CEO said, “Stagwell’s technology-first approach coupled with their deep expertise in media, creative and digital transformation dovetails seamlessly alongside Talon’s. OOH is more powerful than ever; harnessing data-fuelled technology with capabilities for audience targeting and measurement across the customer journey is bringing game-changing opportunities for advertisers.” Cupples continued, “The strengthening of our partnership with combined goals to drive effectiveness and improve business results for clients will undoubtedly deliver better outcomes for brands and add genuine value to the top and bottom line.”

    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 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.

     About Stagwell Media Network:

    Stagwell’s Media Network is a group of leading multichannel agencies home to more than 3,500 experts with an expansive global footprint across 40+ offices in 20 countries, managing close to $5 billion in media. Agencies include omnichannel agencies AssemblyBrand New Galaxy, MMI, Goodstuff and Grason, creative consultancy GALE, B2B specialist Multiview, multi-lingual content agency Locaria, and travel and media experts Ink. The network offers marketers a more dynamic partner for global B2B and B2C solutions spanning data, technology, media, and creativity aimed at accelerating business growth for brands worldwide.

    About Talon:

    Talon Outdoor is the leading global independent Out of Home (OOH) media specialist and technology services company focused on delivering smarter, creative, data-driven integrated OOH communications. Combining independence with a collaborative approach, Talon promotes open and transparent working relationships between many of the world’s leading agencies, clients, and media partners. Headquartered in London with offices in Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Manchester, New York, and Singapore Talon delivers expertise at the global, national, regional, and local levels. Additionally, the agency has built a global OOH planning and buying network covering 100 markets across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information, please visit www.talonoutdoor.com and follow up on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    About Assembly:

    Assembly is made of the ingredients of the modern agency, bringing together data, talent, and technology to deliver a connected set of solutions for media + more to the best brands on the planet. We’re home to more than 1,500 of the industry’s top talent, who bring unmatched global omnichannel media expertise + data, technology, and business consulting capabilities that help brands find the change that fuels growth. Assembly is a proud member of Stagwell, the challenger network built to transform marketing. Visit www.assemblyglobal.com for more information.

    Media Contacts:

    Talon UK: Kate Chaundy – Propeller kate.chaundy@propellergroup.com

    Talon America: Ray Yeung + Nancy Zakhary | Relev8 | ray@relev8.co + nancy@relev8.co

    Stagwell: Beth Sidhu  beth.sidhu@stagwellglobal.com| +1. 202.423.4414

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    By Barbara Evans, Managing Partner, Mediaplus

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    NFTs – short-term hype or a serious, lasting trend? One thing at least is certain: Hardly any other topic is currently shaking up the digital world as much as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs for short. Whether it’s the crypto scene, the games market, the art world or the music world – everyone wants to participate in the latest digital gold rush. The NFT market was worth around $44 billion U.S dollars in 2021 (Chainalysis Inc.), rivaling the global art and antiques market, which generated sales of around $50 billion U.S dollars in the same period. No wonder marketers are interested in the technology. Read on for a short explainer on the phenomenon.

    WHAT ARE NFTS (NON FUNGIBLE TOKENS)?

    Non-fungible means “not arbitrarily replaceable”, i.e., they are individual pieces that cannot be duplicated. The term typically refers to digital assets such as images, videos, animations, audio pieces or graphics. NFTs take on the function of a digital certificate of authenticity and ownership, making the associated digital file a unique and uniquely identifiable asset – which is also quite forgery-proof: each NFT is given an individual ID and stored on a blockchain as a record that can be viewed online.

    Non-fungible tokens are traded in cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. The value of such a digital certificate can sometimes rise to astronomical heights, depending on whether it is a sought-after collector’s item or not. For example:

    • In the spring of 2021, for example, the first tweet ever sent by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006, was auctioned off as an NFT for $2.9 million.
    • The first source code for the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee changed hands as an NFT for $5.4 million.
    • An NFT from the legendary CryptoPunk series, which helped to trigger the hype surrounding tokens, achieved the fabulous price of almost 24 million dollars.
    • The most expensive NFT traded so far is the digital artwork “The Merge” by the artist Pak, which fetched $91.8 million in December 2021.

    HOW ARE NFTS BEING USED IN MARKETING?

    The uses vary across industry.

    • AUCTIONS
      • Just before Christmas, for example, Vodafone auctioned off the first SMS sent via the British mobile company’s network in 1992. The telco giant donated the proceeds – 132,000 euros – to a good cause. The PR effect was far greater: more than 3,500 articles on the campaign were published worldwide in online alone, generating around two billion contacts. Coca-Cola was probably also concerned with the positive PR effect: In the summer of 2021, the beverage manufacturer auctioned four multisensory NFT collectibles for International Friendship Day, which could be experienced and used in different ways. The bright red “Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable,” for example, can be “worn” on the Decentraland 3D virtual reality platform by the avatar of the user who unlocked it. The “Sound Visualizer,” on the other hand, is designed to give an acoustic experience of enjoying an ice-cold Coke, from the fizz of an opening Coke bottle to the refreshing taste. The NFT auction raised a total of more than $ 575.000, which Coca-Cola donated to Special Olympics International.
    • TRANSFERING BRANDS INTO THE METAVERSE
      • Adidas Originals recently launched its first NFT collection under the slogan “Into the Metaverse.” The tokens give owners exclusive access to special products and experiences designed by Adidas in cooperation with NFT pioneers Punks Comic, Gmoney and Bored Ape Yacht Club, who are well-known in the scene. The roughly 30,000 NFTs, worth a total of more than $22 million, sold out in a matter of hours – even though the “physical” goods – a hoodie, tracksuit, and orange beanie – won’t be released until later in 2022. The digital counterparts of these are to be worn by NFT owners ins in the blockchain game “The Sandbox,” where Adidas has purchased a plot of land for its NFT community.
    • INVESTING IN NFT ASSETS
      • Nike is also heavily involved in the NFT business. In 2019, Nike patented the “CryptoKicks” system. Here, the sporting goods manufacturer wants to link limited shoes with a digital asset and “breed” new shoes virtually, which are then produced in real life. Finally, at the end of 2021, the company announced the acquisition of the world’s leading NFT producer RTFKT, which specializes in the design of exclusive digital sports shoes and sneakers.

    WHAT SHOULD BRANDS WATCH OUT FOR AS THEY EXPERIMENT WITH NFTS?

    The business of non-fungible tokens is not without its pitfalls. With the explosion of interest in the technology, the risk of crypto crime is also increasing. Wash trading is also becoming increasingly common in the NFT market — meaning the owner of a digital asset artificially drives up the price of an NFT through continuous buying and selling.

    Additionally, there are questions about the ecological impact of NFTs. Blockchain can consume an enormous amount of energy and leave a large CO2 footprint. Both the production of an NFT and its sale on the blockchain require the computing power of thousands of computers. Brands for whom sustainability is key to positioning could face reputational issues with the use of NFTs.

    WHAT IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR BRANDS NOW?

    It has always been the task of strong brands to be pioneers in emerging technology to drive new dimensions of the consumer experience. For brands whose identities are predicated on being challengers, or strong bridges believe this will also be the case in the area of Web 3.0, that of NFTs. Especially for a brand like Nike, whose essence is to build strong bridges to the popular culture of the new generation again and again, or even to be a cultural core itself, NFTs offer chances and opportunities to build ties that are truly “non-fungible”.

    WHERE DO I GO NEXT?

    Explore Stagwell’s content series on NFTs to learn more about:

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    NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell (NASDAQ:STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing, today announced a meaningful expansion of its global footprint across MENA with three affiliate partnerships: public relations and marketing network Orient Planet Group, data-driven strategy consulting firm, Phronesis Group, and events and talent management firm FLC. Together, the affiliates scale Stagwell’s leading digital transformation, creative production and modern media services while expanding the roster of local and international talent available to Stagwell and its growing global client roster.

    Each will collaborate with Stagwell’s flagship global media agency Assembly in MENA and existing regional affiliate partner Brand New Galaxy. Additionally, the new affiliates will benefit from best-in-class product solutions in the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, a suite of business transformation solutions for in-house marketing teams.

    “Now in its second year, the Global Affiliate Program continues to allow Stagwell to chart agile global expansion and collaborate with regional experts to drive international value for brands. said Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “Our partners at Orient Planet Group are already deeply entrenched with teams across the network, and I’m excited to build on our new partnerships with Phronesis and FLC as we continue our mission to transform marketing.”

    The new affiliates are leaders in creative production, digital media, and data-driven strategy consulting:

    • Phronesis Group is a global strategy consulting firm which helps clients achieve global growth through more effective and efficient marketing communications executions. Focused on measurable client outcomes, Phronesis is headquartered in Chicago with offices in the UK, EU, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Indo-Pacific Region, where they serve a distinct portfolio of clients. These clients include BOD’s and CXO’s of Fortune 100 global corporations, sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms and ministries from emerging market countries.
    • Orient Planet Group is one of the most rapidly growing public relations, marketing and communications consultancies in North Africa and the Middle East. Orient Planet’s expertise in creative communications coupled with contemporary thinking provides unparalleled marketing communications services to its clients across numerous sectors. Orient Planet Group recently extended its strategic partnership with Stagwell global communications firm Allison+Partners, scaling their combined expertise in the region.
    • FLC is a leading Dubai-based production & model management agency that services clients across two key verticals – Print & Video Productions and Fashion Shows – while supporting casting via a range of local and international models, casts, photographers, and stylists.

    “Phronesis is excited to be joining Stagwell through their affiliate partnership program. After an exhaustive review, we found that Stagwell possessed the extraordinary talent, services and will to challenge the traditional holding company status quo with an execution ecosystem that our clients expect,” said Jeffrey Hupe, Chief Executive Officer of Phronesis Group.  “Unlike other strategy consulting firms, we partner with our clients through the entire process from strategy to execution to help them realize growth outcomes that deliver business value.  Our highly disciplined delivery and services execution model is now aligned with a global, premier marketing services holding company that will finally meet client demands by truly integrating their arsenal of services.

    “Orient Planet Group is well-entrenched in the Middle East and North Africa with in-depth understanding of the local landscape,” said Nidal Abou Zaki, Founder and Managing Director of Orient Planet Group. “As the regional affiliate of Stagwell and Allison+Partners and having maintained a strong network and long-standing partnerships over the years, we are encouraged to see more organizations engaging and connecting with their markets across a diverse population.”

    To date, Stagwell’s Global Affiliate Program has added over 50 partners representing countries across Latin America, MENA, Asia-Pacific, and Eastern Europe. In addition to expansion via this program, Stagwell in January 2022 launched an international office in Singapore to accelerate its growth in APAC.

    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.

    Contact: Beth Sidhu
    beth.sidhu@stagwellglobal.com 
    202-423-4414

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    New York, New York – February 23, 2022 – Stagwell, the challenger network built to transform marketing, today announced an expansion of its global marketing services into Africa via new affiliate partnerships with three firms: Incubeta in South Africa, SBI Media in Nigeria, and Orient Planet Group, whose footprint spans North Africa, including Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco. As part of Stagwell’s Global Affiliate Program, these firms will collaborate with agencies across Stagwell’s network to scale omnichannel media, content, and production capabilities for leading global brands. 

    “With the cementing of our partnerships with Incubeta, SBI, and Orient Planet Group, our Global Affiliate Program now empowers Stagwell to scale our modern marketing expertise across six continents, driving further value for our clients,” said Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “By 2025, two-thirds of African households are expected to have increased consumer power in the global economy. As a worldwide leader in culture-moving creativity and modern marketing services, Stagwell’s growth in the region will guide global brands to engage authentically with consumers across Africa.”

    The new cohort of affiliates represent best-in-class digital media and global communications services:

    • Incubeta is a digital-transformation focused network of experts in marketing and technology committed to driving business-wide growth for modern brands. Incubeta has steered digital growth for clients across multiple sectors, including retail, travel, finance FMCG, iGaming, entertainment, automotive, app development and more.
    • Based in Lagos, Nigeria, SBI Media is an innovative full-service agency with a deep focus in media planning and buying. SBI Media’s capabilities span branding, strategy and planning, PR strategy formulation, media management and digital marketing. With SBI Media’s expertise, Stagwell will tap into a rapidly growing digital and traditional media environment with a hyper-localized approach.
    • Orient Planet Group is one of the most rapidly growing public relations, marketing and communications consultancies in North Africa and the Middle East. Orient Planet’s expertise in creative communications coupled with contemporary thinking provides unparalleled marketing communications services to its clients across numerous sectors.

    “Incubeta is a market-leading specialist that uses the power of digital to unlock and amplify business growth potential. We do this through bespoke, localized digital solutions, powered by global expertise,” said Roan Mackintosh. “Stagwell’s focus on digital-first marketing solutions is a strong complement to our expertise, and we’re excited to collaborate with its network to deliver and enable our client’s growth.”

    “We are pleased to join Stagwell, the world’s challenger marketing network. Stagwell’s vision to transform marketing communications is not only in-sync with our DNA, it is at the core of what we stand for at SBI Media Group,” said Rotimi Bankole, Founder and CEO, SBI Media Group. “In 2013, we floated SBI Media Group, and the Nigerian media and marketing landscape has felt our impact. Our story, culture and impact have transformed the way agencies exist in the larger economy.”

     “Africa’s growing economies and the boom in digital technologies provide strong potentials for innovative communications to thrive in the region,” added Nidal Abou Zaki, Founder and Managing Director of Orient Planet Group. “Orient Planet Group is well-entrenched in the Middle East and North Africa with in-depth understanding of the local landscape. As the regional affiliate of Stagwell and Allison + Partners and having maintained a strong network and long-standing partnerships over the years, we are confident to see more organizations engaging and connecting with their markets across a diverse population.”

    Stagwell’s focus will initially be in the North and South African markets, with continued engagement and collaboration in Central Africa, supporting the localized needs of consumers.

    Stagwell’s Global Affiliate Program is an agile solution to global expansion, enabling Stagwell to partner with regional experts to drive added value for clients and scale marketing capabilities into new regions. To date, Stagwell has added over50 affiliates to its roster, representing countries across Latin America, MENA, Asia-Pacific, and Eastern Europe.

    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.

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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 lowerlevel 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.  

     

    Follow Stagwell on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest news, work, and perspectives from the global Stagwell network. 

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    Originally released on

    Campaign Asia

    by Robert Sawatzky

    CONTACT

    Beth Sidhu

    FEATURING

    Stagwell, the US-based marketing holding company, is making good on its recent pledge to grow in Asia-Pacific through its global affiliate programme with a new partnership deal reached with Southeast Asian online news publisher Coconuts Media. Under the affiliate partnership deal, there is no immediate monetary investment. Rather, Stagwell and Coconuts will collaborate on scaled media placement and distribution across the Coconuts network in Southeast Asia. In addition, Stagwell’s agencies, such as 72andSunny, Forsman & Bodenfors, Allison and Partners, Assembly, Ink and others can team up with Coconuts’ in-house marketing agency, Grove, on joint pitches, marketing campaigns and branded content. Revenue sharing will be split on a project by project basis depending on what is involved.

    Coconuts Media, founded by journalist entrepreneur Byron Perry in 2011, has grown steadily over the past decade, publishing online news and lifestyle content to millions across eight local markets (Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Yangon) including documentaries and videos for major streaming services and networks like Discovery and Netflix. 

    “We’re eager to collaborate with Byron and the Coconuts Media team to offer our leading mix of digital and media services to strengthen the APAC offering for our clients,” says Stagwell’s chairman and CEO, Mark Penn. “With the opening of Stagwell’s first-ever APAC headquarters in Singapore and our agencies’ continued success in the region, we’re investing heavily in Asia-Pacific as part of our global expansion this year.”

    In November, Stagwell announced its SVP of executive talent, Randy Duax, would lead the APAC office as managing director starting this month to drive “rapid growth” and expansion. The Coconuts partnership is among the first of these regional efforts from its new regional base. Duax tells Campaign Asia-Pacific the two sides were mutually attracted, with Coconuts already having been on his radar for many years before connecting through the affiliate programme. 

    “We’re super excited about Coconuts,” Duax says. “For us, they’re in a lot of different markets, they’re deep into social commerce, they’ve got first-party data. It fills in a lot of gaps that some clients have been looking for in this part of the world. And they’re very collaborative, which is something we look for.” 

    While it’s less common for news-media publishers to join hands with a single advertising holding company, the deal should allow Coconuts to tap into Stagwell’s media services and research resources and give the company access to a global client base it may not have had before. The latter could be particularly important as Grove, Coconuts’ in-house creative studio for brands, becomes an increasingly important focus for the company.  

    “With our publishing roots as a foundation, we are growing our creative and media-buying services and the business of serving clients as a modern creative agency,” says Perry, the company’s CEO. “Partnering with a challenger marketing network like Stagwell makes total sense as we work with larger, more complex global clients.”

    Affiliate versus acquisition

    What is significant about these affiliate deals is that they’re designed to be the first step on the road to a mutual acquisition agreement. This is something Stagwell made very clear when first announcing its affiliate programme a year ago. 

    “It’s a way to soft introduce [Coconuts] to the holding company,” Duax explains. “We’re not taking ownership, we’re not saying you have to move into this office location. For an entrepreneur, if you want to retain control, that’s the appeal.”

    Since it launched a year ago, Stagwell has signed up nearly 50 affiliates, including others in APAC such as Metric Design Studio in China, Enormous in India, This is Flow in Australia, and Hong Kong-based Beyond Media Global. 

    Making the distinction of how these affiliate deals represent a very different approach from “top-down, holding-company acqusitions”, Duax explains the programme is designed for entrepreneurs looking for global opportunities to bring their own local opportunities and resources in return without the pressure of being forced to work for global clients and projects that they don’t want to.

    Similar to the Worldwide Partners network of purely independent agencies, Stagwell’s affiliate collective is a network of successful entrepreneurs and businesses that want bigger opportunities. “You’ve got creative agencies in some of these markets who maybe have never had a media or research component,” Daux explains. “Maybe they have a client that just needs to reach into one specific market and they don’t have that connection. But they don’t [yet] want to sell to a bigger holding company. So for us it’s an opportunity to see if the partnership works out and if they can execute some of the bigger pieces of business we could bring.“  

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    Originally released on

    FEATURING

    Leading publisher with audience across Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Myanmar to bolster scaled content and media capabilities

    NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell Inc. (NASDAQ: STGW) today announced the next step in its expansion into Asia-Pacific via an affiliate partnership with Coconuts Media, the leading alternative online publisher reaching an audience of millions across Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bali, and Yangon. The partnership meaningfully expands Stagwell’s media investment in the region and adds a key partner with scaled content, production, and distribution capabilities to support global clients.

    Via the partnership, Stagwell and Coconuts will collaborate to offer clients a competitive mix of traditional and digital media services, advice on region-specific consumer trends including the high growth in social commerce sales in APAC, and scaled media placement and distribution opportunities informed by first-party data across the Coconuts Media network. Additionally, Stagwell’s agencies in the region – including Assembly, Allison+Partners, 72andSunny, Forsman & Bodenfors, Ink, and more — will partner with Coconuts’ in-house marketing agency, Grove, in collaborative pitches and marketing campaigns. 

    Coconuts Media’s publications include Coconuts, serving fresh and juicy news from eight cities in Asia; BK Magazine, Bangkok’s leading source for the best places to eat and hang out; and Soimilk, a daily dose of lifestyle news for Thailand’s digital-savvy youth. Grove, Coconuts Media’s in-house creative studio, ideates and manages campaigns for brands, while Coconuts TV produces documentary and unscripted programs for the likes of Netflix, Discovery, and MTV. 

    “With the opening of Stagwell’s first-ever APAC headquarters in Singapore and our agencies’ continued success in the region, we’re investing heavily in Asia-Pacific as part of our global expansion this year,” said Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “We’re eager to collaborate with Byron and the Coconuts Media team to offer our leading mix of digital and media services to strengthen the APAC offering for our clients.”

    “With our publishing roots as a foundation, we are growing our creative and media buying services and the business of serving clients as a modern creative agency,” said Coconuts Media Founder and CEO Byron Perry. “Partnering with a challenger marketing network like Stagwell makes total sense as we work with larger, more complex global clients.”

    The affiliate partnership with Coconuts Media is the latest step in Stagwell’s ambitious global expansion strategy, which has seen the Company add over 40 affiliates in locations across MENA, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. In January 2022, Stagwell also launched a corporate headquarters in Singapore to accelerate business development opportunities across APAC and support regional client partners, led by Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Randy Duax.

    “Coconuts is changing the game when it comes to scaled content and premium media partnerships across APAC,” added Duax. “With the growth of their in-house creative agency and recent media acquisitions, they are a powerful partner as Stagwell rolls up its sleeves to help brands transform their marketing in the region.”

    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.

    About Coconuts Media

    Coconuts Media is Asia’s leading alternative media company.

    Our mission is to inform and entertain our audience by telling true stories that matter across our portfolio of publications:

    • Coconuts, fresh and juicy news on what’s happening Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bali, Yangon, and beyond
    • BK Magazine, Bangkok’s leading source for the best places to eat and hang out
    • Soimilk, a daily dose of lifestyle news for Thailand’s digital-savvy youth

    Coconuts TV, our video brand, produces documentary programs on weird and wondrous stories from Asia for broadcast TV and streaming platforms. Grove, our in-house brand studio, ideates and manages creative campaigns for leading international brands that run on Coconuts brands and beyond.

    Each month we reach an audience of millions across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong through digital, print, audio, and video.

    We are passionate about journalism, the media industry, and telling the untold stories of our region. Learn more at www.coconuts.co

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    Originally released on

    FEATURING

    NEW YORK, and LONDON, Dec. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Stagwell Inc. (NASDAQ: STGW) and Stagwell Media Network today announced a strategic partnership with leading out-of-home (OOH) media specialist Talon to accelerate global growth in OOH advertising. Talon joins Stagwell’s network to expand their collective global presence in offering smarter, data-driven, and creative-led OOH planning, buying, and proprietary technologies to advertisers.

    With the outdoor movement returning to pre-pandemic levels, the global OOH market is rebounding quickly, achieving a 21.8 percent uptick this year and an expected 13.3 percent increase  in 2022, according to WARC. The combination of Talon’s deep investments in market-leading adtech platforms, including Ada, Atlas and Plato and strategy-led OOH leadership, and Stagwell’s global scale offers brands and agencies around the world a powerful path for accessing innovative capabilities to power outcomes-based OOH campaigns.

    “The global digital OOH market is highly fragmented and represents an untapped growth opportunity and Talon has built an impressive portfolio of technology and service capabilities with a deep bench strength of OOH specialists,” said Jon Schaaf, Global Chief Investment Officer of Stagwell. “Our collaboration with Talon will help educate more brands and agencies across the global marketplace on the growing OOH opportunities for tapping into richer behavioral and location insights for quantifying the channel’s true impact across the customer journey.”

    Barry Cupples, Talon’s Global CEO said, “The digital transformation of OOH is bringing game-changing opportunities for advertisers to apply modern, data-driven advertising techniques to target audiences and measure outcomes more precisely than ever. Stagwell is one of the fastest-growing and transformative creative services networks and we look forward to our collaboration in fueling our next stage of growth in making it easier for advertisers in more markets to access and execute captivating and performance-driven OOH campaigns that surround people’s everyday journeys.”

    With its complementary media capability of global digital out of home, Talon joins Stagwell’s diverse network of Affiliate Partners providing unique solutions around the world. Designed to provide brands with capabilities to engage audiences during pivotal moments across cultures, Stagwell’s Affiliate Network spans a host of capabilities including e-commerce, scaled content and media.

    This partnership comes on the heels of Talon’s rapid expansion in the U.S. market. Talon formed a strategic partnership with The Buntin Group to create a new entity named Talon-Buntin America that delivers scale, agility, and expanded capabilities for local and regional brands. In addition, Talon unveiled a new connected video offering, which unifies OTT and digital OOH (DOOH) advertising through a new partnership with MadHive. Earlier this year, Talon formed a North American partnership with Hivestack that makes OOH buying as frictionless as possible with self-serve access for advertisers.

    About Talon:
    Talon Outdoor is the leading global independent Out of Home (OOH) media specialist and technology services company focused on delivering smarter, creative, data-driven integrated OOH communications. Combining independence with a collaborative approach, Talon promotes open and transparent working relationships between many of the world’s leading agencies, clients, and media partners. Headquartered in London with additional offices in Manchester and its affiliate Talon America LLC headquartered in New York City, Talon delivers expertise at the global, national, regional, and local levels. Plexus is Talon’s global OOH planning and buying network that connects over 20 Talon and partner offices around the world enabling expert campaign planning in over 100 markets worldwide. Please visit www.talonoutdoor.com and www.plexusoutdoor.com follow up on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    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.

    About Stagwell Media Network
    Stagwell’s Media Network is a group of leading multichannel agencies home to more than 3,000 experts with an expansive global footprint across 40+ offices in 20 countries, managing close to $5 billion in media. Agencies include AssemblyMMI AgencyMedia Kitchen, and Grason, creative consultancy GALE, B2B specialist Multiview, multilingual content agency Locaria, and travel and media experts Ink. The network offers marketers a more dynamic partner for global B2B and B2C solutions spanning data, technology, media, and creativity aimed at accelerating business growth for brands worldwide.

    Media Contact

    Talon America: Ray Yeung + Nancy Zakhary | Relev8 | ray@relev8.co + nancy@relev8.co
    Stagwell: Beth Sidhu  beth@stagwellglobal.com  | +1. 202.423.4414

    SOURCE Stagwell Inc.

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