02 February 2023 04:21

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Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

WPP invests in podcasting company Gimlet

WPP announces that it is investing US$5 million for a minority stake in Gimlet Media, Inc. (“Gimlet”), an award-winning global podcasting company based in the US.

Gimlet’s advertising and branded-content clients include Alphabet Inc., Ford Motor Company, PepsiCo, Match Group, eBay, Blue Apron, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft Corporation. Gimlet is based in Brooklyn, New York and was founded in 2014. It employs 85 people.

Gimlet’s podcasts are downloaded over 12 million times per month in over 190 countries worldwide. Gimlet’s programming includes critical and commercial hits spanning a variety of verticals like StartUp (business), Reply All (internet culture), Mogul (music), Homecoming (scripted fiction), Uncivil (history), Science Vs (science), Crimetown (true crime), The Nod (Black culture), among many others. Gimlet also produces branded podcasts on behalf of advertisers looking to connect with Gimlet’s sought-after millennial audience on a deeper plane. In the past, year Gimlet has produced hit branded podcasts including DTR ‘Define the Relationship’ (Tinder/Match Group), Open for Business (eBay), The Venture (Virgin Atlantic), The Secret to Victory (Gatorade), and future (Microsoft). Since its founding, Gimlet has raised US$27 million in funding.

The investment continues WPP's strategy of focusing on three key areas that differentiate the Group's offering to clients: technology, data and content. The Group has invested in digital content companies like Russell Simmons' All Def Digital, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), MRC, Mic, Mitú, Refinery29, Uproxx Media Group and VICE.

Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

OYO raises $250 million in financing

● Hero Enterprise joins as a new investor along with existing investors – Softbank, Sequoia India, Lightspeed and Greenoaks Capital

● Company plans to expand presence in South-East Asia

OYO – India’s largest hospitality company – has raised $250 million (INR 1600 crore)* in a Series D financing round led by SoftBank through SoftBank Vision Fund with participation from existing investors Sequoia India, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Greenoaks Capital. Hero Enterprise has also joined the round as a new investor.

Speaking about the development, Ritesh Agarwal – Founder & CEO, OYO said, “In less than four years, OYO has become India’s largest hospitality company in terms of network presence and inventory. Travellers and city-dwellers alike have embraced our offering of hassle-free and affordable stay accommodation, available anytime anywhere, at the touch of a button. We are now focusing on further accelerating network coverage to consolidate our leadership in economy through OYO Rooms and mid-market category through Townhouse brands. We will also deploy fresh capital to take our made-in-India business model to international markets which are characterised by a similar supply-demand imbalance in real-estate and hospitality.”

Justin Wilson, SoftBank’s Board representative on OYO remarked, “OYO has solidified its position in India as the leading accommodation brand for consumer affordability and high quality standards. We're excited to continue to support OYO as they further expand their position in India and bring the OYO promise of affordability and elevated hospitality to other markets around the world."

Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise, added, “As a business family, we have always set new paradigms; so OYO’s unique business model excites us. The differentiated thinking and ingenuity that Ritesh and his team bring to this industry gives us confidence that OYO can scale, innovate and set new benchmarks in customer experience. We are delighted to join other marquee investors in OYO’s exciting journey towards becoming a global brand.”

Sharing more details on the growth strategy, Ritesh elaborated, “The deal reinforces investor confidence in our unique business model and our view of the hospitality and short-stays opportunity in India. Our teams have developed industry-leading expertise undertaking the world’s fastest hotel transformations. We are developing capabilities to add 10,000 rooms to our network each month. Over 95% of OYO’s demand comes through our own channels with no commissions to pay, and the business has a solid growth outlook. The fresh capital infusion will support our organic expansion to newer markets in India and abroad. It will also enable us to bring additional resources to accelerate enhancement of customer experience and strengthen our technology stack.”

Mindshare, the global media agency network that is part of WPP, has developed ANNA, the global media agency world’s first programmable approach to DSP and DCO control and is launching the offering with partners AppNexus and Jivox.

ANNA is a combination of people, process and technology that creates code that programs DSPs and DCOs as opposed to humans manually configuring them and moves Mindshare clients from the era of ‘programmatic’ media into an era of ‘programmable’ media.

In practical terms a media planner that would have previously set up tens of targeting strategies per campaign through a web based DSP interface – setting variables such as audience types, bids, locations, times and contextual settings - can now use ANNA to create code that configures millions of buying strategies instantly. ANNA is built on top of AppNexus’ programmable platform to achieve this.

At the same time ANNA also automates the loading of creative rules into the DCO system – which ties high definition media targeting to the precise and relevant creative served dynamically, in real time, to individual consumers across all devices and channels at unprecedented scale.

Adam Ray, Global Chief Innovation Officer at Mindshare FAST, said: ‘This one change from human-based DSP/DCO configuration to an integrated code-based DSP/DCO configuration will have profound implications for the industry. What’s beautiful about ANNA is not only the automation of the legwork associated with campaign configuration through the DSP/DCO but also that it enables new levels of complexity to be easily included in the design of both the media and creative elements of the campaign – something previously out of reach of manual configuration. This in turn leads to new and significant opportunities in how clients choose to communicate with their audiences and frees up the human element to spend more time ‘upstream’ with the data, uncovering insights, turning these into strategic actions and providing the rules that can be re-coded through ANNA directly back into both the DSP and DCO technology at the same time.The introduction of the AppNexus Programmable Bidder and the Jivox DCO decision engine allows ANNA to deliver unprecedented scale globally for our clients.

“At AppNexus, we focus on delivering a powerful, programmable platform on which our clients can develop unique solutions that drive real world results,” said Bobby Mohr, Senior Director, Global Accounts, AppNexus. “ANNA is a great example of this, and we are excited to support Mindshare as they leverage the AppNexus Programmable Bidder to deliver truly differentiated solutions for marketers.”

Diaz Nesamoney, Chairman and CEO of Jivox said: “ANNA is a significant win for brands and media teams. The integration between Mindshare FAST’s media approach and Jivox’s API will help streamline targeting and significantly improve messaging relevance via personalization, while providing brands with high quality creative. Brands that leverage ANNA will quickly see meaningful increases in campaign performance and workflow efficiencies.”

ANNA has also been developed to seamlessly integrate with GroupM’s mPlatform and Mindshare global clients joining the ANNA beta programme will be the first to benefit.

Mindshare, AppNexus and Jivox will be showcasing the new service at DMEXCO to key clients.

Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

MEC and Maxus merge to become WAVEMAKER

The new billion-dollar revenue, media, content and technology agency to be created from the merger of MEC and Maxus will be named ‘WAVEMAKER’.

Making waves happens when media, content and technology come together - activating against our unrivalled purchase journey understanding for the clients we represent.

The brand mark WAVEMAKER reflects the agency’s heritage, born from WPP and GroupM.

Tim Castree, global CEO of MEC and Wavemaker, said: “Our purpose is to provide advertisers with the power to transform and grow their business through our Purchase Journey obsession; and importantly to do this through the integration of Purchase Journey insights and data with [m]PLATFORM, GroupM’s proprietary global audience technology. Our Wavemaker brand and positioning is a compelling manifestation of that purpose.”

Kelly Clark, global CEO of GroupM, added: “Wavemaker is an exciting new global agency brand with a powerful proposition for clients. Tim and his team have the full support of GroupM’s scale, resources and expertise.”

The brand, along with a new visual identity, will go live locally as the merger completes in each country, to be finalised by January 2018. Wavemaker will have offices in 90 countries and over 8,500 employees. Major global clients include L’Oreal, Vodafone, Marriott, Colgate-Palmolive and Paramount.

Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

Introducing the LinkedIn Audience Network

A new way to reach even more professionals with your Sponsored Content campaigns

One of the biggest challenges for marketers is reaching the people who matter most to your business. While LinkedIn Sponsored Content has always let you reach a professional audience in the newsfeed, what if you could reach even more professionals by promoting your content beyond LinkedIn -- on other premium apps and websites where those same professionals also spend their time?

Today, we are excited to announce the LinkedIn Audience Network, a native advertising network that enables you to reach even more professionals with your ads by placing your Sponsored Content on high-quality, third-party publishers across mobile and desktop.

The LinkedIn Audience Network is designed to increase your marketing footprint beyond the LinkedIn platform so you can extend your campaign’s reach, deliver on your budget more easily and get your content in front of the right people, wherever they are.

To date, more than 6,000 LinkedIn advertisers have participated in our Audience Network beta program. On average, these advertisers have seen a 3-13% increase in unique impressions served, and up to an 80% increase in unique clicks. This means that advertisers running campaigns in the Audience Network are reaching new people they hadn’t yet engaged on one of LinkedIn’s owned and operated properties.

For example, Hiscox, a financial services and insurance provider, improved their campaign reach and performance by running their Sponsored Content on the Audience Network. “When we reviewed campaigns that ran on the LinkedIn Audience Network, we saw a level of engagement that was nearly 4X greater than the benchmark for the financial services industry,” said Gyawu Mahama, U.S. communications and marketing manager at Hiscox.

Understanding your campaign performance is crucial to measuring your advertising ROI. When you deliver ads on the LinkedIn Audience Network, you can download performance reports that include clicks, impressions, and engagement that your ads get specifically through the network. This allows you to compare your network performance to your onsite performance.

At LinkedIn, it’s our top priority to promote your content in a high-quality and brand-safe context. To that end, we’ve taken measures to ensure brand safety within Audience Network placements and give you control over your network campaigns, including the ability to block IAB categories and upload custom block lists.

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