Starcom, a Publicis media agency, won Ubisoft’s global media planning and buying account after a competitive pitch. WPP’s GroupM was the account incumbent. After Havas Media reversed course and sold the publisher of video games to other stakeholders, Vivendi acquired a majority stake in the company. It was reappointed in late 2015.
Starcom wins Ubisoft’s global media planning and buying account
At the time, the UK contributed £16 million to the £20 million value of the Ubisoft account. It included Australia and 17 European countries. Presumably, GroupM, under the direction of GroupM France, repitched the account.
Starcom’s initial activity is expected to begin in early 2025. The newest installment in Ubisoft’s well-liked Assassin’s Creed game series, “Assassin’s Creed Codename: Red,” is scheduled for release during the company’s 2025 fiscal year, which ends in March 2025. In terms of creative collaboration, Ubisoft has previously worked with DDB Paris on a film for “Far Cry 5” in 2018 as well as the cinema, TV, and digital promotion of “Far Cry 6” in 2021.
Dubai, UAE – February 13, 2024 – UM MENAT has joined Google’s International Growth Agency Program (IGAP), an exclusive and invitation-only partnership program extended to Google’s top-tier agencies worldwide. This partnership solidifies UM’s commitment to scaling the region’s position on the global stage.
IGAP by Google will equip UM with exclusive tools, resources, and valuable data, empowering the agency to facilitate growth and support clients at various stages of global expansion. This encompasses assistance in identifying international growth prospects, developing effective go-to-market strategies, providing consultation on localization, payments, customer experience, logistics through Google and its partner network, and implementing international best practices to ensure performance parity with domestic markets.
Commenting on UM joining Google’s International Growth Program, Walid Stephan, Head of Agency Partners at Google MENA, said,
“We are very excited to have UM MENA completing the Google IGAP program. This equips them with key tools and insights that allow them to elevate the export strategy and new market expansion of their clients to a new level, opening up global opportunities.”
James Dutton, Regional Director – Digital & Head of Product at UM MENAT, added,
“We are experiencing an extraordinary moment in history. In a world marred by uncertainty, economic challenges, and increasing polarization, the Middle East stands out as a beacon of growth, development, and prosperity. Empowering our clients to expand into global markets is the next phase where we will change the game. Building on the significant success of our pilot global expansion clients, we look forward to extending our global expansion client portfolio alongside Google.”
UM is a global media agency committed to Futureproofing our clients’ businesses for the now and the next. We leverage the transformational power of rich business analytics and real-time intelligence to maximize growth and activate the full consumer journey across content and connections. Our consultative approach and agile model, rooted in diversity, equity and belonging, drive better business outcomes for brands.
As the leading global media network in IPG Mediabrands, UM operates in over 100 countries, with more than 5,000 people innovating on a roster of global clients including Emirates, Accenture, American Express, stc, General Mills, GoPro, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co, Mattel and Upfield.
Publicis Commerce India has announced the release of the inaugural Digital Growth Marketing Playbook. The playbook, when used in tandem with Amazon Ads, describes how advertisers can embrace a growth marketing strategy, moving away from concentrating on stand-alone campaigns and toward considering how marketing can help achieve overall business growth.
The objective of the digital growth marketing playbook
The purpose of this playbook is to give a marketer’s perspective on growth marketing and to offer specific actions that a brand can take to facilitate growth marketing. It clarifies the top worries that marketers have, with a focus on short- to mid-term growth, especially in response to evolving consumer preferences and behaviors.
It lists the main obstacles that marketers must overcome as rising costs, unpredictable demand, technological disruptions, and heightened competition. The Digital Growth Marketing Playbook provides strategic steps for brands to successfully adopt growth marketing and offers insights into marketers’ perspectives on the strategy, based on a survey of 100 senior marketers. The playbook includes brand-specific strategies that consider the unique opportunities and problems that every business cohort encounters.
CX in digital advertising
The playbook also examines the evolution of the customer experience in digital advertising, adding conversion and retention to the marketing funnel and explaining why it is important for brands to look beyond return on advertising spend (ROAS). Key performance indicators such as customer lifetime value, the share of branded searches, and new-to-brand customers are also highlighted.
Levers of business growth
Three main levers are identified in the playbook for business growth:
- Get new clients: leveraging important events and managing both short- and long-term growth to reach new audiences and progressively increase market segment share.
- Enhance Share of Wallet: Introduce new products and promote expansion with highly valuable customer experiences.
- Boost Loyalty: Long-term success depends on attracting and keeping consumers who are committed to your brand.
These company growth levers correspond to important growth marketing strategies that instruct marketers on how to adapt their strategy, adjust execution, and gauge success. Growth marketers are using retail media channels more and more frequently. Retail media is fully understood by 97% of marketers, and 69% of them have used it or are currently using it for growth marketing initiatives.
Use of retail media formats
To improve reach and performance, the playbook suggests utilizing a variety of retail media formats, such as display and video ads in addition to native ad formats. Additionally, it promotes the adoption of an “always-on” advertising approach to raise brand awareness and volume of brand searches.
Here’s what they said
Anshul Garg, managing partner & head at Publicis Commerce India, said,
“Growth marketing goes beyond a mere collection of brand awareness and general promotional marketing strategies. It signifies a shift in the approach to marketing and placing comprehensive growth at its core. Armed with Digital Growth Marketing Playbook’s strategic insights, marketers can fully harness the potential of growth marketing to elevate their businesses to unprecedented levels of success.”
Kapil Sharma, director, of growth customer sales at Amazon Ads, added,
“Growth marketing can help brands across all categories and price points to unlock additional opportunities with strategic and long-term focus towards marketing. The inaugural edition of the Digital Growth Marketing Playbook offers directional steps to brands in the marketing world, providing insights, strategies and practical guidance to help businesses of all sizes achieve their goals.”
Havas has announced the acquisition of Ledger Bennett, a global B2B marketing agency with headquarters in the United Kingdom. This move will expand Havas’ capabilities in the rapidly expanding B2B market in the United Kingdom and abroad. Ledger Bennett will now be affiliated with the Havas Media Network and branded as “Ledger Bennett, a Havas Company.” Havas recently made a strategic acquisition of Ledger Bennett to modernize its operating model. It is in response to client demands for faster organizational transformation toward greater customer focus.
Havas announces acquisition of Ledger Bennett
Established in 1985 by Nicholas Ledger, Ledger Bennett has established itself as a formidable force in business-to-business (B2B) marketing thanks to its comprehensive ‘Forever Customer’ offering. This proposition generates enduring value and a smooth brand encounter throughout the B2B marketing process, in line with Havas’ customer-centric evolution strategy. Ledger Bennett currently serves clients in the industrial, tech, and B2B services sectors, including GE Digital and LinkedIn, and is active in EMEA, APAC, and North America.
Fastest growing B2B agency
Since Andrea Glenn took over as CEO in 2022, Ledger Bennett’s revenue has increased by 50%. This is thanks to acquisitions such as Expleo, Aptean, and Indeed. Ledger Bennett was named the fifth fastest-growing B2B agency in the United States in 2023 by the B2B Marketing Awards, which were held under her direction. With its progressive “Fluid Talent” model, marketing talent is seamlessly integrated into a client’s organization. It gives them the scale and skills they require as demands come and go. Its concept has brought it recognition across the industry for projects like its GE Digital “Mastering the Balance” campaign, among other things.
Expanding B2B capabilities with the acquisition
Havas made the acquisition as the most recent move in its effort to broaden the range of services it offers. Additionally, to better serve its clients’ evolving digital and data needs as they become more customer-focused. To strengthen its capabilities in performance marketing, dynamic creative and content services, and ecommerce, Havas has acquired Search Laboratory, additive+, and Expert Edge (now Havas Market UK) over the past two years. Along with Havas Play, a global creative cultural partnerships and activations agency, the company also brought Havas Media Network’s audience and data platform, Converged, to the United Kingdom in 2023. This is because agencies are rushing to implement cookie-less cross-platform planning-to-activation solutions.
Since two-thirds (66%) of B2B marketers expect their budget to increase or remain the same over the next 12 months, Ledger Bennett gives Havas’s B2B capabilities even more scale and depth to meet the exponential. Moreover, it gives ongoing growth in B2B marketing requirements and budgets. The fully integrated offering from Ledger Bennett also enhances the B2B services provided by Havas Media Network members Maitland and Gate One, two other Havas Village London agencies. Ledger Bennett intends to explore the untapped potential of current Havas Village functionalities. These include CX and e-commerce, for business-to-business applications.
B2B journey in U.K
To officially begin its B2B journey, Havas Media Network UK established a specialized division in 2022 called Havas Business. Havas Business currently works with companies like 3M, JDE Professional, and Maersk. Furthermore, it was awarded the Grand Prix at WARC B2B effectiveness for the past two years. Under Ledger Bennett, Havas Business will unite, creating a B2B specialty within the Havas Media Network with over 100 employees.
The London-based employees of Ledger Bennett will relocate to Havas Village London in March 2024. Andrea Glenn, the CEO of the agency, will lead it and report to Patrick Affleck, CEO of Havas Media Network UK, and Ireland.
Here’s what they said
Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and Global CEO, Havas, said,
We are excited to welcome Andrea, the Ledger Bennett team and its impressive list of clients into our Havas family. Bringing together marketing, sales, customer and product teams under the goal of maximizing customer lifetime value is going to be critical for the best brands in the next five years. Ledger Bennett brings a go-to-market solution to our Village that perfectly supports our One Havas strategy. The growth of B2B marketing continues to accelerate and will be important for B2B brands as well as B2C brands with B2B potential.
Patrick Affleck, CEO, Havas Media Network UK & Ireland, commented,
B2B marketing is ripe for disruption and Ledger Bennett are genuine disruptors within this space. Its ‘Forever Customer’ proposition, which focuses on creating lifetime value is both unique and differentiating and will bring further sophistication to our existing B2B offering. Andrea has done an incredible job at turning Ledger Bennett into a fast-growing business with immediate expansion potential and a compelling highly scalable solution. Importantly, Ledger Bennett is trusted by some of the world’s most ambitious, progressive and sophisticated global businesses, and I’m excited about what we can further build and achieve together.
Andrea Glenn, CEO, Ledger Bennett, a Havas company, added,
When we started this process, we wanted to disrupt B2B marketing. Our conversations with Havas have been energising and there’s a palpable ambitious appetite to scale B2B within Havas Media Network and throughout Havas. That’s convinced us Havas would be a great place to accelerate our growth with a combined offering of progressive B2B capabilities from Ledger Bennett and B2C firepower from Havas.
Sondos Effat has been promoted to the prestigious role of Managing Director at FP7McCann, the top creative agency in Egypt, with immediate effect. Sondos has had a distinguished 14 years at FP7McCan Cairo, where she has continuously shown remarkable leadership and strategic acumen.
Here’s what they said
Sahar Zoghby, CEO of MCN Cairo said,
Sondos Effat’s journey within FP7McCann Cairo has been marked by outstanding achievements and a steadfast commitment to excellence. Having excelled in various roles within Account Management, she ascended to the role of General Manager five years ago, where her strategic acumen and business leadership skills shone brightly. Her ability to navigate client relationships seamlessly and build secure connections has positioned her as a notable figure in the Egyptian advertising industry.
Tarek Mikans, FP7McCann MENAT CEO endorsed the promotion by commenting,
Throughout her career, Sondos has earned the trust of both the strategy and creative communities, solidifying her reputation as a respected and influential professional. Her promotion to Managing Director is a testament to her dedication, expertise, and significant contributions to the agency’s success. FP7McCann Cairo is poised for continued success under Sondos Effat’s leadership, and her promotion marks a significant milestone in the agency’s journey
Sondos Effat expressed her excitement about the new role, stating,
I eagerly anticipate leading the next chapter of the FP7McCann Cairo story, creating more history with the strongest team in Egypt.
Danish construction toy manufacturer Lego has selected Gozoop Group to manage its creative account in India. 2024 marks the company’s 92nd anniversary of its founding. It was established in 1932. According to reports, the company employs over 25,000 people and has about 42 offices worldwide. Bhavana Mandon, Marketing Director for India at Lego, was recently elevated to the position of Country Manager.
Gozoop wins Lego’s creative mandate in India
Lego has built Legoland amusement parks all over the world to take advantage of its large consumer base, much like some well-known media companies have done. Additionally, Gozoop Group just won BN Group, a manufacturer of edible oil, an integrated marketing mandate. The group’s Mumbai office will handle the mandate. Gozoop is an independent integrated marketing group serving India and the Middle East with more than 300 marketing experts. Lego’s victory follows several significant account victories for Gozoop, such as those involving Godrej Properties and Builder Ashwin Sheth Group.
Here’s what they said
As reported by Storyboard18,
Bhavana Mandon said,
Being able to inspire and develop children for over 90 years is legendary and I am honored to be a part of this amazing journey of building the Brand Legacy in India. Immensely excited and thrilled with the idea of bringing smiles to the faces of kids and adults, I look forward to building this truly iconic and purpose-driven Brand in India.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), in collaboration with the Media Rating Council (MRC), has released Augmented Reality (AR) Measurement Guidelines, which provide a framework for clear and consistent definitions and evaluation metrics for advertising within Augmented Reality Campaigns. The guidelines are available for public comment until March 9th, 2024.
The AR Measurement Guidelines
The growing adoption of augmented reality advertising lacks standardized measurement practices, resulting in challenges such as fragmented data interpretation, inaccurate performance assessment, and limited cross-platform measurement. To tackle these issues and promote the expansion of the industry, the MRC and IAB have worked together to publish their Augmented Reality (AR) Measurement Guidelines for public feedback. Advertisers and marketers can use the IAB AR Measurement Guidelines as a guide to measure the number of media delivered and assess how well their media campaigns achieved their business goals.
The objective of the guidelines
- Ad delivery, viewability, audience, engagement, and performance metrics should all be measured uniformly in AR campaigns.
- Verify that there is equity and openness in the AR advertising market for both buyers and sellers.
- In the context of attribution, highlight the distinctive features of augmented reality (AR), such as interactive and immersive formats, non-physical product interactions, and physical interactions related to browsing.
Why should one care about the AR Measurement Guidelines
Given the predicted growth rate of the Augmented Reality ad market, it is only appropriate that there be an early effort to define deliverability, viewability, engagement, and performance. In-game advertising has already been addressed by the IAB. As previously mentioned, because AR users can engage with both the virtual augmentation and the real world, the situation is more complicated. A completely immersive virtual reality experience is not covered by the guidelines.
The guidelines constitute a substantial discussion of metrics, including:
- Invalid traffic.
- User attribution and audience.
Important Points within the AR Measurement Guidelines
- The MRC worked with the IAB Augmented Reality Measurement Guidelines Task Force to develop the guidelines.
- The US AR advertising market is expected to generate $1.2 billion in revenue by 2024, underscoring the necessity for uniform measurement procedures within the industry.
- To encourage brands, publishers, agencies, and ad tech companies to participate, the guidelines are available for public comment.
Here’s what they said
Zoe Soon, VP, Experience Center, IAB said,
Brands are increasingly utilizing AR in their media campaigns to connect with consumers in more meaningful and immersive ways. The Augmented Reality advertising market is projected to generate $1.2 Billion in revenue in the U.S. this year. Thus, as an industry, we need to establish a greater consistency on how we define and measure AR advertising to foster fairness and transparency for buyers and sellers.
Ron Pinelli, SVP Digital Research and Standards, MRC remarked,
The efforts to draft these guidelines involved developing a deep understanding of the AR measurement landscape through collaboration with the IAB AR Measurement Guidelines Task Force, we created a measurement framework for ad delivery, audience, engagement, and outcomes that provides consistency with other digital measurement while reflecting unique aspects of the AR environment. This public comment period is an opportunity for all members of the digital advertising community – brands, publishers, agencies, and ad tech companies – to join the conversation and share their feedback regarding AR advertising measurement and work together to address the present and future of AR advertising experiences.
Ty Ahmad-Taylor, Vice President, Product Growth, Snap Inc added,
Over the last decade, we’ve seen first-hand the value augmented reality (AR) has for our community and for brands looking to engage consumers. We’re excited to partner with IAB and MRC, and help the industry navigate effective AR campaign measurement. The AR Measurement Guidelines Task Force is playing a leading role in defining the future of AR advertising, and we look forward to using these guidelines to help partners maximize their AR outcomes.
Google Bard was so 2023. Google is renaming its AI platform Bard, which it first unveiled a year ago to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Gemini, the name of its family of large language models (LLMs). The rebranding is a result of Google’s chatbot, Bard, adopting the new “Gemini” model in December. Following an earlier leak that hinted at the name change, the tech giant confirmed that it is ditching the old name in favor of a new one.
Google rebrands AI chatbot Bard to Gemini and more
Google has launched a free artificial intelligence app that will allow people to write, interpret what they’re reading, and handle a variety of other tasks in their lives. Additionally, Google revealed new ways for users to access the AI tool: iPhone users can use Gemini within the Google app on iOS, and Android users can download a new, dedicated Gemini app.
The company’s commitment to pursuing and making significant investments in AI assistants, or agents—a term that is frequently used to describe tools ranging from chatbots to coding assistants and other productivity tools—is highlighted by Google’s rebranding and app offerings. With the Gemini name change, Google has finally established itself in the AI competition. The business will undoubtedly continue to develop new AI models and tools in addition to testing out experimental AI features. But Google now possesses the three essential elements for success in the AI space: a premium subscription service, a mobile app, and a strong brand.
Soon be available on iOS and android
The free AI chatbot is available at gemini.google.com. Users will be redirected to the new domain when they visit the old Bard website. The company also released the Gemini Android mobile app at the same time as the rebranding. In the upcoming weeks, the chatbot will be available to iPhone users on the official Google app for iOS.
Though Google’s voice assistant will continue to exist, business executives predict that Gemini will overtake other applications as the primary means by which users utilize technology to assist with planning, creating, and thinking. It represents Google’s next step into a riskier and newer direction while keeping its original mission of “organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful” front and center.
Gemini Advanced vs ChatGPT Plus
The arrival of Google’s response to ChatGPT Plus is the other significant announcement. The company has formally introduced Gemini Advanced, which runs Gemini Ultra, its most powerful AI model, along with the rebrand. The Gemini Advanced option aims to expand on the nearly 100 million global users that Google claims it has already drawn. The majority of these users pay $2 to $10 a month for extra storage to back up documents, images, and other digital content. The Gemini Advanced option will be powered by AI technology called “Ultra 1.0.” Google currently charges $10 per month for 2TB of storage, so the company feels the AI technology is worth an extra $10 per month for the Gemini Advanced subscription.
Subscription model for the AI chatbot
The tech giant is charging $19.99 a month for a subscription, which is similar to ChatGPT’s $20 monthly cost for ChatGPT Plus, the advanced model. At launch, Gemini Advanced will be available in more than 150 nations and territories, but only in English. Future expansion of language options is planned, including Korean and Japanese. According to rumors, it is intelligent enough to work as a personal tutor for a variety of subjects and excels at computer coding, logical reasoning, and creative projects.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted the capabilities of Gemini Advanced, claiming it can outperform human experts in massive multitask language understanding or MMLU. This involves evaluating knowledge and problem-solving skills in 57 different subjects, including math, physics, history, law, medicine, and ethics. After the two-month free trial period, users will be charged $20 per month for Google Gemini Advanced. The primary Gemini website is another place to find upgrade offers.
Bringing Gemini’s capabilities to more products
Additionally, Gemini models will be available for everyday consumer and business products like Google Cloud and Workspace.
With Duet AI, over a million users have already benefited from features like “Help me write.” It increases productivity and creativity. Soon, users with the Google One AI Premium plan will be able to use Duet AI as Gemini for Workspace and Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Meet.
In the upcoming weeks, Duet AI will also become Gemini for cloud customers. Along with a host of other advantages, Gemini will help businesses increase productivity. Furthermore, it will also help developers write code more quickly, and organizations defend themselves against cyberattacks.
Moving into the AI realm
The release of the Gemini app highlights the need to add more artificial intelligence to smartphones. These are devices that people carry with them everywhere. This is in line with a trend that Samsung and Google started last month with their most recent Galaxy smartphones. Moreover, Google started last fall with the release of their most recent Pixel smartphones.
AI behavior concerns
Concerns that AI will behave badly on its own or be manipulated by humans for evil intent. It can include spreading false information in politics or torturing their enemies, which are growing as technology becomes more complex. Because of this potential, Europe has already passed laws governing the use of AI. Furthermore, the United States and other nations have followed suit.
In the future, AI agents might arrange a get-together by looking through everyone’s calendars. By doing so, they can make sure there are no conflicts, and plan trips and events. Furthermore, they can also purchase gifts for family members, or carry out a particular task like outbound sales. However, at the moment, Gemini’s capabilities are mainly restricted to activities like creating to-do lists, summarizing, and assisting with coding.
Here’s what they said
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said in the blog post,
Bard has been the best way for people to directly experience our most capable models. To reflect the advanced technology at its core, Bard will now simply be called Gemini. It’s available in 40 languages on the web and will soon be accessible through a new Gemini app on Android and the Google app on iOS.
Air India Express has awarded the creative mandate to Omnicom. The contract has been signed, and the account is of a retainer nature. It was a multi-agency pitch in which the company sought to refresh its brand identity and create content that would appeal to younger audiences.
Omnicom secures creative mandate for Air India Express
Air India began implementing its new worldwide brand identity across all touchpoints last year. The major airline started the exercise by completely switching to digital and online platforms and rebranding at the airports in Delhi and Mumbai. In August, the company revealed its new brand identity.
Air India rebranding
Air India Express and AirAsia India, two subsidiaries of Tata-owned Air India, unveiled the redesigned new Boeing 737-8 aircraft bearing the redesigned Air India Express branding in October 2023. The airline encouraged customers to “Fly As You Are” with its sleek, contemporary design, vivid colors, and aircraft livery.
Air India’s new brand colors include Air India red, aubergine, rose gold, and gold accents. The updated designs feature these colors. The Tata Group-owned airline, said that visitors will start to notice the new branding at different touchpoints, such as check-in counters, boarding gates, lounges, and newly created boarding cards, beginning with the airports in Delhi and Mumbai.
Air India recently unveiled new Manish Malhotra-designed uniforms for its cabin and cockpit crews. The company plans to gradually implement the new uniforms over the next few months. It will mark the beginning of Air India’s first Airbus A350 aircraft service.
Publicis Groupe Middle East has appointed Ahmed Younis, also known as Fizo in the industry, as its new CCO for Publicis Communications KSA, overseeing Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi. Known as one of the top ten creative leaders in the Middle East and North Africa, Younis will spearhead Groupe’s creative agenda in the Kingdom and cultivate a cooperative team that produces exceptional work for clients.
Ahmed Younis named chief creative officer for Publicis Communications KSA
Younis has a remarkable 25-year history in social media marketing, digital strategy, and creative leadership. His campaigns have had a major influence on the local advertising industry. He was Head of Creative Strategy at Meta MENA before joining Publicis Groupe ME, where he was instrumental in creating campaigns and strategies that advanced digital marketing in the area. He has firsthand experience managing multinational, cross-functional teams, and he made a substantial contribution to the creation of millions of dollars in revenue during big events like the World Cup and Ramadan.
Younis’ commendable background
Prior to joining Meta, Younis spent nearly ten years working for international clients like Coca-Cola, Orange, Nestle, McDonald’s, and the UN World Food Programme at FP7 McCann Cairo. He has received multiple awards from prestigious events such as LIA, D&AD, MENA Effies, Andy’s, and Cannes Lions.
Here’s what they said
Bassel Kakish, CEO at Publicis Groupe ME&T, said,
Ahmed Younis, is one of the most celebrated creative leaders in this region and he has been instrumental in showcasing regional creative excellence globally. With Saudi Arabia fast emerging as a thriving creative hub, Ahmed taking the creative helm ensures we not only stay ahead of the curve but help define the creative narrative of the Kingdom. Under his leadership, we are well-positioned to deliver transformative work for our clients.
Ahmed Younis, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Communications KSA, commented,
It’s exciting to join a team I’ve admired for so long. The Groupe’s work has always inspired me, and this feels like a homecoming as everyone is so welcoming. I’m looking forward to utilising my creative leadership and experience to build stronger connections and drive success with our partners.