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Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

Accenture Acquires Mackevision

Accenture has entered into an agreement to acquire Germany-based Mackevision, a leading global producer of 3D-enabled and immersive product content.

The acquisition will add state-of-the-art visualization capabilities to Accenture Interactive’s digital services portfolio – strengthening its ability to create compelling, next-generation customer experiences and industrial, extended reality applications. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Mackevision’s creation, visualization and production services are used for online product configurators, digital and print catalogues, virtual showrooms, point-of-sale kiosks, augmented and virtual reality experiences, as well as broadcast video and feature films. Mackevision has developed a differentiated ability to leverage engineering data to construct ‘digital twins’ of complex physical products. By applying the latest techniques in CGI, visual effects and AR/VR, Mackevision can generate nearly any type of visual content from these twins – effectively turning engineering data into truly immersive product experiences and virtual applications. This highly-specialized approach has the potential to transform product design as well as fuel the next generation of consumer experiences.

The ability to create digital imagery of the highest quality based on ‘digital twins’ is key to Accenture’s vision of delivering a broader set of services around smart, connected products, platforms and business models to a wide range of industries, including automotive, industrial equipment, consumer goods and retail.

Founded in 1994, Mackevision has a team of more than 500 employees and is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, with offices in Munich and Hamburg as well as in the United States, United Kingdom, China, South Korea and Japan.

Mackevision has earned international acclaim for its work on the HBO Series “Game of Thrones” – for which it was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects. The company’s high-end creative and visual effects capability is especially relevant in the growing field of extended reality, where life-like models and environments are considered critical to creating fully-immersive experiences.

“This is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us,” said Jamie Posnanski, global content practice lead, Accenture Interactive. “Mackevision has a deep roster of highly-relevant creative and technical talent in emergent capabilities, and operates with mature offerings on a global scale. It’s rare to find this combination in the market. We are highly impressed by the quality of the work, innovation, leadership, culture and, of course, talent on the Mackevision team, and we are excited for what our combined capabilities can mean for clients.”

“Mackevision’s capabilities will add a whole new dimension of content innovation to our portfolio of services,” added Brian Whipple, head of Accenture Interactive. “The ‘digital twin’ concept has massive implications not only from a scaled media production and marketing standpoint, but also for our broader vision of helping clients render the most compelling experiences possible.”

With clients including Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Mackevision has achieved its most notable success in the automotive industry – where CGI-based and ‘digital twin’ visualization has experienced some of the earliest adoption.

“Mackevision is delighted to become part of the Accenture family,” said Mackevision CEO Armin Pohl. “With our more than 20 years’ experience in 3D visualization, our visionary technology and our efficient Single-Source Publishing (SSP) approach, we create relevant, inspiring product and brand experiences with lasting impact. We have moved from being a content provider to providing relevant end-to-end solutions for our clients, and we’re looking forward to collaborating on creating meaningful client experiences on a global scale under Accenture Interactive.”

Sunday, 14 January 2018 00:00

Advertising and 2018 FIFA World Cup:

How to earn and not be caught Offside

The World Cup will be held on June 14, 2018 in Russia. The events that unite millions of people from all continents have inevitably become not only competitions between the strongest national teams of the world, but also a tournament among advertising and marketing experts.

However, before to start the rush for football fans money, it is useful to know some ins and outs and find out “hidden rocks” that may appear in the way of creating the advertising campaign. And that’s what this review is about. Firstly we will talk about FIFA copyrights, associated prohibitions and the ways of bypassing them.

Sponsorship Cooperation with FIFA

Traditionally, companies that have the right to use the world championship symbols are divided into three large groups.

FIFA partners – corporations that enjoy full advertising and marketing rights for all competitions held under the auspices of the association.
In 2018, such giants as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia, Qatar Airways, VISA, Gazprom and a debutant of the current World Cup – Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, which signed the contract with FIFA in spring 2016, make the list.

Sponsors of FIFA World Cup are companies that reserve the rights for everything that is directly related to a specific World Cup.
Such traditional sponsors as Bud, MacDonald’s, Hisense – a provider of household appliances and electronics, which has already gained experience of sponsoring the 2016 European Football Championship in France, as well as a newcomer, Vivo, Chinese smartphone manufacturer, are responsible for World Cup in Russia.

Regional sponsors. A new model of sharing sponsorship positions that replaced national sponsors, involves cooperation with four corporations for each continent. Rumor has it that expecting 2018 World Cup things are not going the way of organizers with the sale of these sponsorship packages. Thus, only Alfa-Bank currently presents Europe, which, within the championship, will be able to offer its services and products to fans.

One may, and another should play it safe

Before and during 2018 World Cup all these corporations will be free to use tournament and FIFA logos, official symbols, make souvenirs, and distribute tickets for matches to promote their products. What should companies that cannot boast of sponsorship packages do?

The answer is simple – the same, but without piracy and attempts on marketing rights. In its rules, FIFA notes that it welcomes the use of the World Cup as a newsworthy event for all companies, but clearly points out that they should not produce the illusion of advertisers’ involvement in sponsoring the tournament.

Balls, gates, stadiums, images of fans and countries flags – everything what is associated with football may and should be used. The lack of formal agreements with FIFA does not prevent Nike or Pepsi-Cola from creating bright and eye-catching advertising campaigns time and again, and they are second to none of their competitors.

The list of FIFA requirements that need to be met in order to avoid unnecessary legal red-tape in future is not that big, but there are also hidden pitfalls here.

Thus, everything is clear with taboos for the use of official symbols in advertising, as well as FIFA copyright protected photo and video materials.

But beyond that point you need to remember, if expecting the World Cup, you hold a lottery or a promotion, you will not be able to raffle tickets for matches. This is only allowed to copyright holders.

Another rule should become golden for owners of bars and cafes, which traditionally expect good revenue during matches. You can attract fans to your bar by all means, but in this case there should not be “copyright” materials both in your advertising products and in the design of a bar counter itself. That is, you will be allowed to put an advertising poster in the window with the announcement of match broadcasting, made in the colors of the Russian flag or in the form of a football. But if it has the World Cup logo or official fonts, also copyright protected, this will be a violation.

FIFA vs Dr. Dre

Failure to comply with the notorious FIFA copyrights strangely enough often becomes one of the main missteps in the World Cup advertising campaigns. However, sometimes advertisers can sail close to the wind using so-called Ambush marketing, creating a false impression on the audience about the involvement of their brand in the list of official sponsors of the tournament. Here large dose of humor, pre-planned promotions and even personal arrangements with football players are unleashed.

Thus, during the 2012 UEFA European Championship, Nicklas Bendtner, a forward of the Denmark team, was fined 100 thousand euros for that during the celly he showed the name of the bookmaker’s office on his elastic band. Of course, the company was not included into the list of Euro 2012 official sponsors, and it was unlikely that the Dane could not know this. As a result, bookmakers and the football player himself (who, by the way, is known for a great collection of other tricks) got their dose of fame.

The same occurred during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The anger of FIFA was evoked by the producer of headphones Beats by Dr. Dre. Shortly before the World Cup, Beats launched a bright advertising campaign “The Game Before The Game” with such football stars as Neymar, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luis Suárez and Mario Götze. In fact series of videos did not encroach upon the rights of official sponsors, but after the start of the championship the producer was at the center of a small scandal.

The matter is that the official sponsor of the World Cup was Sony, which typically provided all the participants of the tournament with sets of their devices, which included headphones. However, some players safely ignored the demand to use only sponsors’ products and were regularly caught in focus with Monster Beat headphones. However, the representatives of the corporation said, despite the claims from FIFA, they benefited from that PR.

We can remember another example of how FIFA struggles with Ambush-marketing from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In the second half of Netherlands-Denmark match, 36 young Dutch model-thin women in orange dresses were taken in by stewards. That’d be okay, especially since orange is known to be the national color of the Netherlands, but it was this kind of clothes that the beer company Bavaria Beer sold. Note that, the only brewer who had the right to advertise at the stadium was Budweiser. Despite the fact that there was no company’s logo on the dresses, the fans had to continue at the FIFA office, shrugging off accusation of violating marketing rights.

Tver OFAS vs “Afanasiy”

However, if we keep our mind off large corporations having the opportunity to pay for the mess around such scandals, in reality, the violation of license rights will more likely turn into proceedings with antimonopoly services than into worldwide fame.

For example, in St. Petersburg alone several companies were caught in illegal use of FCC symbols in summer 2017. Among others, number of cafes, bars and restaurants got into hot water. Some of them used the Cup’s symbols in indoor decoration, which is forbidden, and a well-known XXXX bars chain got caught using the official logo in their website.

Such giants as retailer “Family”, which used the tournament logo to promote beer and chips, and “M-Video” chain, in stores of which were “pirate” posters with Cup symbols, were “interacting” with OFAS (Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service).

These stories didn’t add karma points to advertisers for sure, although they were disseminated by local media.

Antimonopolists are also vigilant expecting the 2018 World Cup. Thus, in the Tver region, after complaints from FIFA representatives, Afanasiy brewery was held accountable because of the failure to comply with requirements during its promotional activities.

Nevertheless, it is a tribute to PR people who shortly after the scandal launched a campaign in social networks, created on the confrontation between “Russian manufacturer” and “FIFA mafia”. Both bloggers and thematic publics of vk.com (football, beer and patriotic publics) were involved, there began to appear intriguing posts like: “Football fields are Russian, but beer is foreign”. Russian producers who pay taxes to the Treasury of Russia are not allowed even to mention the forthcoming 2018 World Cup, by likes for our team and a link to the promotion website.

Not only about copyrights

Let’s say you have studied up the rules of using the World Cup official symbols, have understood how to stay out of unnecessary trouble, and are ready to comply with or to bypass the prohibitions. Here are a couple of life hacks that will help you make the advertising campaign attractive and eye-catching.

Catch up in the moment. Watch what happens on football fields; matches with epic scores on boards; who of the “dark horses” suddenly becomes a discovery and a toast; and who of the favorites suffers a sudden collapse. And also follow other scandalous, funny and strange moments, which inevitably grow around any World Cup. Watch and use them, the sooner, the better, because the term of such trends is rather short. Do you remember how quickly and ironically Audi played up the story with the ring that failed to open at the Sochi Olympics, try also to catch up in such a moment. Social networks will help you to speed up the transfer of information to consumers. And it does not matter what exactly you promote: booking tables in your pub to watch cup-final or banking services.

Another life hack is timeliness. Make provision for a rainy day but in good time. Many advertisers are now launching long-running promotional activities, and with each passing month their number will only grow, by the beginning of summer reaching the stage of overall insanity.

That is why think of your campaign ahead. And this “ahead” may have different time frames for different goods. Thus, it is better to start advertising gadgets, electronics and a number of other goods long before the start of the World Cup.

For producers of soda, beer and various snacks, as well as for owners of pubs and bars, a week or two counts, when the fans start planning to watch key matches. For food delivery services this is about a day or a couple of hours before the start of the match. At this particular period mass texting and advertising in mobile applications and social networks should be activated.

There are 200 days left until the opening of 2018 World Cup, which means it’s time to start a full-scale preparation of your advertising campaign. Engage your imagination, don’t forget to keep track of football events, observe the rules of fair play.


Written by Alla Shupineva, 4D Business Communication Agency, Russia


WPP announces that its wholly-owned marketing communications network, Ogilvy & Mather (Ogilvy), has acquired a majority stake in ARBA, a digital consultancy.

Founded in Hong Kong in 2012, ARBA offers bespoke digital design and software engineering services with a focus on sales acceleration and customer experience. It specializes in digital strategy and has strong expertise in the financial services industry. With a staff strength of more than 40, ARBA clients include FWD, Prudential, Hang Seng Bank and other financial and insurance providers.

ARBA’s revenues were around HKD 17.3 million, with net assets of around HKD 5.8 million for the year ending March 2017.

The acquisition advances Ogilvy’s existing capabilities in digital strategy and creative through the technical and production strengths of ARBA, which include enterprise mobile apps, responsive web and intranet, as well as CRM and predictive analytics.

The investment continues WPP's strategy of focusing on three key areas that differentiate the Group's offering to clients: technology, data and content. WPP's digital assets include companies such as Acceleration (marketing technology consultancy), Cognifide (content management technology), Conexance (data cooperative), Deeplocal (innovation studio founded as a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University), Marketplace Ignition (Amazon-focused ecommerce), Medialets (mobile ROI measurement), Salmon (e-commerce), The Cocktail (digital consultancy) and Hogarth (digital production technology). WPP also has investments in a number of innovative technology services companies such as Globant and Mutual Mobile, as well as ad technology companies such as AppNexus, Celtra (creative management platform), comScore (data investment management), mySupermarket, Percolate, ScrollMotion and Within Unlimited (VR/AR).

Sunday, 14 January 2018 00:00

The science of igniting brand trust

Institutions that once stood for something are losing face in the wake of new-world phenomena like privacy infringements (e.g. the government’s collection of personal data from some top brands that we’ve trusted with it), as well as major media shifts that have exposed huge cracks in our institutions while simultaneously creating new ones. It’s citizen journalism, for example, that’s been responsible for holding brands accountable for major violations and public slip-ups. But this democratization of information has a dark side—most commonly manifest in the formation of online “echo chambers” and the dissemination of “fake news.”

One of the best times to invest is after a crash. While the erosion of trust carries inevitably negative market consequences, it also represents a rare opportunity for public leaders and brands alike, who understand its mechanics, to invest in new ways of building trust, and with it a sustainable competitive advantage. But how do you forge trust in this epoch of doubt? If we look to science for some answers, we find it all comes back to social connection—the means of which has evolved. These insights will help us understand how trust is cultivated and converted to influence at scale.

The trust-trigger in our brains

Many have studied the strategic advantages of engineering relationships between people and entities, particularly in the digital age. Professor Paul J. Zak, who popularized the field of “neuroeconomics,” has studied the effects of a trigger hormone called oxytocin on human behavior and physiology[1]. Zak and his colleagues have been on the hunt to uncover precisely how oxytocin may be influencing our everyday decisions and actions. According to their findings, oxytocin is part of an adaptive system that allows us to coordinate our behavior in social situations, and is central to the understanding of social relationships[2]. It is also the “social glue” that adheres people and communities, and, as such, the “economic lubricant” that enables us to engage in all sorts of transactions.[3]

In the context of branding and marketing, that last point can explain consumers’ willingness to invest in a brand, an idea, or a product/service. In a series of experiments with Fast Company writer Adam Penenberg, Zak was able to show that stimulating oxytocin levels in subjects actually increases individuals’ generosity towards others, as well as their charity towards organizations (by up to 48 percent, in one experiment)—proving that we’re more willing to actually transact when we’re experiencing a sense of connection. “If we can be induced to give more to a charity, well, it’s not that big a step to being induced to give more to a corporation, or a political party, or even a country,” wrote Penenberg. The implications, he concluded, “are both thrilling and frightening.”

Transmission via social platforms

While oxytocin plays a key role in common experiences of real-world connection—from parent-baby bonding to a casual hug—Zak has shown that social media interactions can also trigger the release of this trust chemical in our brains. In another experiment, 10 minutes of Twitter conversations with both strangers and his students raised Penenberg’s oxytocin levels 13.2 percent (equivalent to those experienced by a groom at a wedding), while lowering the stress hormones cortisol and ACTH by 10.8 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively. Zak explains that the brain can interpret tweeting as if someone is directly interacting with someone else that he or she cares about or has empathy for. E-connection, he asserts, “is processed in the brain like an in-person connection.”[5]. This means big things for brands, for whom social platforms represent a wide-reaching and intimate mechanism for forging and facilitating connections with customers.

However, the power of social stimulae should not be taken for granted: trust doesn’t manifest from a faceless tweet, it must be earned. The oxytocin-responses that Zak studied result from an actual social interaction—whether digital or analog. As Dave Hawley, Vice President of Marketing and Sales Development at SocialChorus, wrote in an interview with the American Marketing Association:

“The challenging part for marketers is to make that social media connection into a human connection, and not an automated or derisive connection,”

He writes about the related reward response—dopamine spikes— that we experience when sharing content, in expectation of a like, share, or repost. “The connection doesn’t happen because the brand wants you to say something nice about them or validate their point of view,” he explained. “It’s actually about validating the audience’s point of view. The goal should be for a brand to validate a person’s point of view about the brand or something related to the brand.”

Converting trust to influence, at scale

Just as social platforms enhance a brand’s ability to connect to people, they amplify people’s ability to influence one another. As such platforms grow, in both scope and purpose, so too has the practice of “influence” marketing. Penenberg’s early predictions support this trend:

“The speed with which social media can affect a company’s ‘trust factor’ may lead to a new focus on what Richard Laermer, CEO of RLM Public Relations in New York and author of several books on viral marketing, calls ‘horizontal growth’.”

The guiding principle behind horizontal growth is that happy customers can sell your brand to others better than you ever could. Rather than using social media as a forum for self-promotion, brands that hand the stage over to their customers and facilitate connections between people will win out, as those individuals advocate across their networks on their behalf. Building those connections relies on equipping people with powerful forms of storytelling, open forums, and real-time engagement. This is where key concepts like transparency and a brand’s “purpose” come in: your purpose can be something that people rally around to start or expand a social dialogue. The more that transparency and purpose guide your conversations and actions, the deeper the connection with people who share similar values, thus building trust, and generating horizontal growth through a network of trustworthy advocates. This new balance of power can be very positive and powerful for those who embrace customers as a key component of their marketing mix—and potentially destructive and embarrassing for those who don’t.

Why now

In today’s climate of reigning cynicism toward public leaders and institutions, brand trust plays a critical role in the procurement of new customers and the conversion of existing ones into believers, loyalists, and evangelists. “There will be a time when marketers need to understand the basic concepts of neuroscience,” Hawley predicted.

“They need to understand a little bit more about how the emotions of the human mind work, and how they can align their messages around it.”

Hawley speaks of a future that’s already here—but it’s about more than messaging, it’s about behavior. That means putting your customers at the heart of your marketing plan, and doing your due diligence to understand and keep pace with how they think. These brands will earn trust, win hearts and minds, increase share of wallet, and mobilize a crowd-in-waiting of like-minded individuals who will defend and promote the brand’s interests across their own interpersonal circles of social influence.






Sunday, 14 January 2018 00:00

Send a Live Video in Direct

You can now send live videos to friends in Direct. With a single tap of the Direct icon, you can send your own live video — or a live video you’re watching — to a friend or a group of friends to encourage them to join in the fun.

When you’re live, just tap the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen and send your live video to friends. You’ll also have this option when going live with a friend. Once sent, the recipient will see your live video in their Direct inbox. Friends can only view your video if you’re currently live. If your live video is over, your friend will see a message saying the video has ended.

If you prefer, you can disable the option to send your live videos in Direct in your stories settings. And if you have a private account, only your followers can view your live video.

As a viewer, you can send a live video to a friend in Direct the same way. While watching a live video, tap the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen and choose who you want to send it to.

Today’s change makes it easy to invite people to watch your live videos and send exciting live videos you’re viewing to your friends in real time. To learn more, visit the Instagram Help Center.

This update is available as part of Instagram version 26 available for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.



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