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.
WPP’s media investment division, GroupM, has announced the first-to-market GroupM Ad Innovation Accelerator, a program designed to redefine audience and advertiser engagement. Working together with a team of highly skilled TV/video programmers and developers, the company is investigating and creating new video ad formats that will be widely used in ad-supported streaming environments. Participating in the initiative are interactive TV developers BrightLine and KERV, as well as streaming providers Disney, Peacock, Roku, Telly, and YouTube.
Ad Innovation Accelerator
The goal of the Ad Innovation Accelerator, led by GroupM’s investment team that leads the industry, is to transform the 30-second ad spot for streaming audiences while improving brand-viewer relationships and producing quantifiable outcomes for participating GroupM advertisers. The working group will plan and develop scalable ad formats that are intended to be widely used in ad-supported streaming environments with a shared vision. The first users of this program will be Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediacom clients of GroupM in North America.
GroupM described the initiative as a “first-to-market program aimed at redefining engagement between advertisers and audiences,” but it was unclear how long use of the formats would remain exclusive to GroupM clients and if/when they would be made available to other advertisers and agencies. This program discusses evolving viewer preferences and suggests a possible way to advertise streaming services more successfully. Additionally, it aims to improve the relationship between viewers and brands, providing advertisers who work with GroupM with quantifiable results.
GroupM’s Ad Innovation Accelerator plans
This Year, Next Year 2023 End-of-Year Forecast from GroupM predicts that CTV advertising in North America will rise 14.9% in 2024, up from 9.4% in 2023. Early in 2024, the newly established working group will meet. GroupM’s Ad Innovation Accelerator partners have mutually decided to:
- Arrange quarterly meetings and recurring innovation sessions to set objectives. Decide on outputs for newly developed advertising models and techniques.
- In Q1 2024, start pilot projects.
- Utilizing test-and-learn methods, co-create advertising formats for agnostic use throughout the media ecosystem.
- Examine the effectiveness and efficiency of media campaigns by applying the most recent standards and procedures.
Members of the working group will work closely with GroupM advertisers. They indicate a desire to test novel formats and procedures. Early in 2024, benchmark testing will be completed in advance of 2024-2025 upfront planning. Throughout 2024, GroupM’s Ad Innovation Accelerator will expand to additional markets. It will create and test novel ad formats for both established and new media.
Here’s what they said
Andrew Meaden, Global Head of Investment, GroupM said,
We have to craft a future of our industry where engagement, innovation, and outcomes converge. As we shape the next era of media where advertising works better for people, it is critical we continue to innovate new advertising experiences with our partners around the world to ensure brands are meeting audiences where they are. With more ad-supported options emerging, advertisers must respect audiences’ preferences and use cutting-edge technology to deliver more personalized content.
Mike Fisher, Executive Director, Investment Innovation, GroupM U.S. commented,
Brands advertising in ad-supported streaming environments have an incredible opportunity to engage with attentive consumers, but the rapidly evolving media landscape makes it difficult for advertisers to efficiently and resourcefully launch interactive advertising campaigns. Our clients need a simple way to activate interoperable and attributable campaigns across the ad-supported streaming ecosystem. With key stakeholders at the same table, we will shape impactful outcomes that allow advertisers to execute creative, engaging and effective campaigns.
Matt Sweeney, Chief Investment Officer, GroupM U.S. added,
Building on a legacy of setting industry benchmarks and driving responsible media investment, our program is rooted in shared discovery, proven success and forward-thinking. We’re encouraged by our partners’ collective commitments to impactful advertising and their leadership in advancing new ad formats, specifically for streaming video. Uniting partners with varying objectives to streamline ad development will have a multitude of benefits for our advertisers, ultimately allowing for quick iteration and better interoperability across platforms. That’s a win-win for our industry.
Jubilant FoodWorks Limited, a food service company based in Noida and a Domino’s franchise in India, is said to have given GroupM India the media mandate. GroupM’s Open Mind, a specialized division, will handle the business. It is estimated that the account is valued at INR 200 crore. The previous owner of the account was Havas Media. All of the big agencies reportedly took part in the pitch for the company’s Domino’s pizza restaurant brand.
GroupM bags Domino’s Pizza Media Mandate
The master franchise for Domino’s Pizza is owned by Jubilant FoodWorks Limited, an Indian food service company, and it is valid in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal. The company also owns the brands Dunkin Donuts in India and Popeyes in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. Ekdum! and Hong’s Kitchen are two more restaurant brands owned by the company. It is owned by Shyam Sundar Bhartia and Hari Bhartia and is part of the Jubilant Bhartia Group.
First Launched in 1996
Since its 1996 launch in New Delhi, India has grown to become Domino’s Pizza’s largest market outside of the US. Additionally, the company is notable for being the first in India to introduce online and mobile ordering for food service.
Wavemaker won the $20 million-rated media mandate for insurance group Allianz. The global pitch saw the company aligning its media operations within GroupM. GroupM has been appointed as the global media partner. Australia’s Spark Foundry by Publicis Groupe, did not take part in the global pitch. PHD made it to the last round of pitching. Wavemaker has had a fantastic year, highlighted by this most recent victory. At the end of November, the agency was named B&T’s Media Agency of the Year, in addition to winning several new accounts.
GroupM reappointed as a global media partner
WPP’s media investment group, GroupM, has been reappointed globally as the media partner. Various GroupM agencies are handling the account both globally and market-by-market. Mindshare is poised to take the lead in two-thirds of markets and throughout the world. Allianz will still receive services from EssenceMediacom in the nine foreign markets where it was the incumbent. The company will receive support from mSix&Partners in Germany, the home base of Allianz. The company also uses Omnicom, Publicis agencies, and Jellyfish as non-GroupM players.
Responsibilities as per the media mandate
The mandate includes full-funnel media strategy, planning, purchasing, and campaign execution. Allianz chose GroupM and its agencies because they could provide deep market-level expertise to support local teams in navigating the complexity of the market while also coordinating efficient and consistent media performance globally.
Here’s what they said
Allianz SE’s head of global brand management and marketing, Christian Deuringe said,
With the new partnership, we are able to deploy our One-Brand strategy perfectly and connect with our customers in an even more relevant way across the entire customer journey. The new set-up combines the strengths of globally managed strategies with tailored roll-outs in local markets. We also expect significant synergies through more standardized processes and performance measurement.
In collaboration with Google Chrome, GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, announced the opening of the world’s largest post-cookie technology readiness program. GroupM clients come together as part of this global initiative to gain a faster understanding of Google Privacy Sandbox APIs and how they are used in advertising. Clients who are willing to participate will have access to the learning program, which will enable them to evaluate and enhance their preparedness for third-party cookie deprecation in a practical setting with their own audiences and products. The collaboration’s goal is to eventually replace Chrome’s current reliance on third-party cookies.
Readiness Program for post-third-party cookies
In collaboration with Google Chrome, GroupM has introduced the first global post-cookie technology readiness initiative. To assist with technical troubleshooting, clients will be able to anonymously share test results. Additionally, as the test progresses, Google representatives will provide resources and direct feedback to GroupM clients. For the time being, they will only be offering this to GroupM. GroupM intends to utilize its global reach as the top media-buying agency to perform a meta-analysis of individual brand tests. The data will be anonymized and aggregated to facilitate learning and ultimately produce a meta-study.
Additionally, GroupM’s ad-tech partners’ solutions will be tested on the market first for participating advertisers. In a post-cookie world, the program is supposed to educate clients on targeting, optimization, and measurement of digital investments in display and video. Participating brands may share their thoughts on Privacy Sandbox features and utilize their current media plans and budgets without having to make any additional financial commitments.
Characteristics of the program
Unified Guidelines: GroupM is developing a unified testing framework based on the post-cookie testing guidelines provided by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). GroupM will collaborate with ad tech partners and advertisers to comprehend their plans for integrating privacy technologies. These will include Privacy Sandbox APIs and will overlay pertinent tests when feasible.
Anonymous Data: In addition to the brand’s own Privacy Sandbox program, GroupM will perform an anonymized meta-analysis across individual brand tests in order to maximize the learning potential for each participating advertiser. As part of group learning and ultimately a meta-study, this data will be aggregated and anonymized.
Enhanced Learning: With global ad tech partners, participating advertisers will have direct access to testing across GroupM alpha and beta. Participating clients will gain access to GroupM’s collective knowledge. Additionally, they will learn at the forefront of this industry-altering change as first-to-market testers.
What’s in it for advertisers?
This program offers advertisers the chance to prepare for the eventual deprecation of third-party cookies. It paves the way for brands to target, optimize, and measure without them. One of the many ways GroupM will assist clients in modifying their marketing strategies to stay relevant and successful in a post-cookie world is through this program.
Google’s third-party cookies phaseout
Subject to resolving any competition concerns with the CMA, Google confirmed its plans to start deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome in H2 2024. It is doing so in an effort to better protect people’s online privacy. With GroupM and Google launching a post-cookie readiness program, it appears that the era of long-standing tracking and targeting technology is drawing to an end.
GroupM – Google Chrome partnership
GroupM will be in a better position to assist its clients in developing digital strategies that make use of Privacy Sandbox technologies. This is thanks to its partnership with Google Chrome. Learnings will be made available to GroupM. Moreover, participating clients prior to the scheduled deprecation date of third-party cookies in Chrome. Along with important ad tech partners, they can also offer input on Privacy Sandbox features. They can further assist in defining new internet privacy regulations that allow online content creators and publishers to maintain free content. Through the use of current media plans and budgets, the Privacy Sandbox program optimizes current campaigns. It does so in a way that is both future-proof and privacy-centric without requiring additional funding.
Here’s what they said
Christian Juhl, GroupM’s Global CEO said
We strongly believe advertising can and should respect people’s privacy while continuing to deliver exceptional value for consumers and advertisers. Since Google publicly declared their intention to deprecate third-party cookies, we’ve been collaborating closely with the Chrome team, our clients, and other partners to ensure our clients won’t miss a beat when the transition happens. The program we’re announcing today is an exciting step forward in that collaboration that will allow our clients to test existing preparations and enable us to develop new approaches where necessary.
Anthony Chavez, Vice President, Privacy Sandbox, Google added,
This program is a key step in our ongoing efforts to ready the industry for the transition to the post-cookie era. GroupM is well equipped to help advertisers with their third-party cookie deprecation preparation efforts. Along with their ad tech providers, this initiative will help GroupM’s clients as they work to integrate the capabilities that the Privacy Sandbox provides. Through this readiness program, GroupM and its clients will play an important role in helping to create a more private internet for everyone.
GroupM, the media investment division of WPP launched a global partnership with Amazon Ads. As a result of the collaboration, Amazon’s clientele will have access to novel ad formats created for creator-led shoppable content. The partnership enables GroupM clients to use customized formats to promote creative content within the Amazon DSP and in Amazon-sponsored brand placements. The Goat Agency, the influencer marketing specialist that WPP obtained earlier in 2023 designed the initiative.
Bespoke Features of the creator-led shoppable content
Only GroupM clients can access the solution through Goat. With audiences on Amazon.com, the relationship enables advertisers to better generate commercial outcomes. Important characteristics of these unique bespoke formats include:
DSP Amplification Off-site
The Goat Agency’s exclusive creator ad format will be available throughout the Amazon DSP both onsite and offsite, linking content and advertising possibilities in retail media. It has been improved by Amazon’s extensive analytics.
Sponsored Brands Integration
Exclusive to GroupM and Goat customers, Sponsored Brands, an above-the-fold Amazon.com Ad placement, will now incorporate creator-led shoppable content created by The Goat Agency. The ad experience extends the path onsite with the same influencer-led content driving greater engagement and revenue for brands, complementing Amazon DSP off-site amplification.
Enhanced Programmatic Creative Optimization
The Goat Agency’s unique creative will be cyclically informed by insights from campaigns used with Amazon Ads to improve audience targeting. Clients will benefit from enhanced commercial results by matching creator content with the audiences most inclined to make purchases by genre of content across both display and video media. This is thanks to Goat’s experience and Amazon Ads Audience Targeting.
Inspiration for Brand Pages
By uploading creator material to Product Pages and Brand Stores, Amazon could potentially increase conversion rates and transform Brand Pages into destinations for consumer inspiration.
Here’s what they said
Samantha Bukowski, Global Head of Commerce, GroupM Nexus said,
The development of this new capability is an important step we’re taking to better connect the creativity and engagement of creator marketing with the scale and sophistication of GroupM Nexus’s commerce capabilities. We’re excited to continue this collaboration with Amazon to further integrate inspirational content in commerce advertising in ways that deliver value for clients and Amazon’s consumers.
Amy Armstrong, Director of Global Customer Development Amazon Ads added,
We are excited to see how GroupM leverages this new ability to deliver creator content directly in the shopping experience and the benefit it will have for our mutual customers. GroupM is a valued customer of Amazon Ads, and we look forward to collaborating with them on innovative projects like this in the future.
Dafydd Woodward, Global Chief Operating Officer, The Goat Agency stated,
Beyond our proprietary style of content, one of Goat’s most significant points of differentiation is the ability to deliver high-rigor performance and guaranteed outcomes to clients through creator marketing. Our collaboration with Amazon Ads is a natural fit that is already delivering performance improvements on client campaigns across multiple markets.
Nilam Atodaria, Global Product Director at The Goat Agency commented,
Teaming up with Amazon Ads creates valuable opportunities for clients looking to activate creator-led campaigns in a performance-centric way. This collaboration allows us to deliver greater value for our clients by deploying more engaging and intelligent campaigns that drive measurable business outcomes. This unique combination brings an alternative version of Social Commerce, one which puts consumers and their shopping habits at the heart of product development.
About The Goat Agency
The Goat Agency (Goat), a global award-winning agency has been a part of GroupM Nexus since 2023. It delivers specialist content to niche audiences at scale. The business collaborates with top companies to use influencers as a performance media channel to promote digital transformation and competitive advantage. Goat has worked with, kept, and scaled some of the most interesting companies in the world since 2015, delivering social media and influencer campaigns in over 70 countries and 28 languages. Presently, Goat employs more than 350 people who operate in 35 different local markets, disseminating influencer content through all media platforms, executing industry-leading awareness and consideration campaigns, and generating sales for customers.
GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, and Criteo, a commerce media company announced a pilot collaboration in Asia Pacific (APAC). For GroupM clients in the area, the alliance intends to improve omnichannel commerce media capabilities. The first-ever partnership in APAC combines GroupM’s patented media solutions, privacy-safe commerce audiences, and proximity-based insights to enable omnichannel commerce through the integration of in-store and retail media.
Criteo’s omnichannel monetization solution
For better media planning, budgeting, and best-in-class activation, GroupM’s clients will have access to Criteo’s insights technology. New degrees of relevance, optimization, and conversion are made possible. The collaboration will increase GroupM’s clients’ access to Criteo’s comprehensive omnichannel monetization solution. Additionally, it enables merchants to manage their complete media inventory for both physical retail and the Internet. It will make it possible for brands and agencies to easily find and buy omnichannel media from top retailers.
GroupM media asset activation
360° media asset activation, including in-store activations like point-of-sale displays, out-of-store activations like inbox sampling, and online activations like email and social, are tools that are accessible to GroupM clients. By examining strategic prospects across media-buying capabilities and analytics to support predictive decision-making, Criteo and GroupM also intend to advance their cooperation. As a response to the ongoing acceleration of commerce media, cooperative attempts to create best practices in the field seek to open up a wide range of interesting possibilities.
Here’s what they said
Anita Munro, Chief Investment Officer, GroupM APAC said,
The innovation in commerce that will be made possible through this collaboration with Criteo is a significant and hugely exciting development for advertisers in APAC, and for our industry as a whole. Combining Criteo’s commerce media capabilities with our own not only strengthens our commerce offering in the region, but also allows us to set a new standard for what’s possible in advertising by bringing products, media, clients and consumers closer than ever before.
Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director, Enterprise, APAC at Criteo stated,
Together with GroupM, we are honored to usher in the next era of omnichannel marketing in the region. This partnership represents a union of industry leadership, and we are optimistic that it will drive greater integration across omnichannel campaigns and elevate success for brands and advertisers.
A+E Networks and GroupM Motion Entertainment will collaborate, according to GroupM, the media investment division of WPP. The collaboration aims to assist GroupM’s Diverse Voices Accelerator (DVA). It is an increased effort to support diverse creatives in premium content creation, financing, distribution, and marketing. As the newest partner to GroupM’s DVA, A+E Networks debuted the original documentary “761st Tank Battalion: The Original Black Panthers” on The HISTORY Channel. It also had Domino’s backing it up with a commitment.
Insights into the partnership
The partnership will combine A+E Network’s audience reach and engagement with GroupM Motion Entertainment’s best-in-class expertise. It will cover the company’s portfolio of brands, including A&E, Lifetime, The HISTORY Channel, and others. A component of GroupM’s Media Inclusion Initiative (MII) is the DVA. It is a comprehensive plan for allocating funding to and opening doors for various media businesses and content producers. It is also a crucial component of GroupM’s Responsible Investment Framework.
The HISTORY Channel’s documentary in collaboration with GroupM Motion Entertainment.
The production company Revelations Entertainment, run by Lori McCreary and Academy Award®-winning actor Morgan Freeman were the executive producers of the documentary “761st Tank Battalion: The Original Black Panthers.” It was also created in collaboration with GroupM Motion Entertainment. The 761st Tank Battalion, the first Black Tank regiment to serve in combat during WWII, is the subject of this compelling documentary. It delves much more deeply into the significant conflicts they encountered overseas during combat and at home in the United States due to racism. The documentary won praise for bringing attention to this mostly ignored period of American history.
Most recently, GroupM’s Diverse Voices Accelerator led to the creation of the program. It is a project that links media companies with advertisers in order to introduce diversely framed, inclusive programs. As an extension of the brand’s larger goal to promote equity in entertainment, Domino’s, a founding partner of the DVA, keeps making deliberate media investments.
Here’s what they said
Peter Olsen, President of Ad Sales for A+E Networks said,
A+E Networks is committed to sharing diverse stories and ensuring that our content reflects the global audiences who consume our programming across our platforms. Our partnership with GroupM’s Diverse Voices Accelerator has matched our best-in-class programming with powerful brands like Domino’s who share A+E’s dedication to advancing authentic storytelling from a diversity of voices and perspectives behind the camera, in addition to on-screen.
Kate Trumbull, Domino’s senior vice president – chief brand officer added,
Domino’s is proud to support programming that reflects diverse voices and stories. It’s important that we advertise and invest in media that reflects the diversity of our customers, team members, and communities we serve every day.
Chet Fenster, Chief Content Officer, Programming & Strategy, GroupM Motion Entertainment, NA commented,
We’re proud to bring together members of the advertising community with diverse filmmakers whose stories deserve to be seen, heard and known. We’re thrilled to work with A+E Networks and Domino’s, who share our vision and understand the importance of bringing these projects to fruition.
SeenThis, a streaming technology provider, and WPP’s media investment division, GroupM, have formed a global alliance. The project will make it possible for the biggest media buyer in the world to cut back on and steer clear of pointless carbon emissions from online advertising. Through the ground-breaking partnership, GroupM and its agencies will be able to control and propel media decarbonization by delivering creative work by utilizing SeenThis’ knowledge and patented technology. Additionally, it will enhance display advertising campaigns’ effectiveness. Both businesses will be able to harmonize their approaches thanks to the relationship. SeenThis methodology will be incorporated into GroupM’s carbon calculator. Planners and purchasers will also be able to track a campaign-by-campaign basis. As a result, GroupM’s agencies will have greater power to improve and provide more comprehensive supply chain decisions for sharing data through digital channels.
Why the efforts for Media Decarbonisation?
The long-standing problem of climate change has recently gained attention. Businesses are making efforts to lessen their ecological impact and support a greener environment. In November 2022, GroupM made its initial announcement about a global structure to promote media decarbonization. The goal was to hasten the decarbonization of the media supply chain globally. In five significant economies, programmatic advertising was found to produce more than 215,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each month. The figures roughly equate to 24 million gallons of fuel. In terms of monthly program emissions overall,
- Australia – 9.3 m.t
- France – 22.7 m.t
- Great Britain – 30.8 m.t
- Germany – 52.5 m.t
- US – 100 m.t
Programmatic emissions from the UK additionally produce emissions equivalent to driving a car 36 miles per gallon more than 26 times around the globe. The internet also represents at least 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The percentage is on par with the aviation industry and contributes to the media industry’s overall emissions.
The collaboration strengthens a number of ongoing initiatives within the media sector to link increased ad performance and efficacy with sustainability initiatives. Fanning went on to say that the most recent collaboration with SeenThis was a crucial milestone in the organization’s mission to decarbonize the media supply chain.
SeenThis – GroupM’s strides in green advertising.
For some time, SeenThis has been researching the connection between data corruption and CO2 emissions. This has resulted in the publication of a white paper authored in association with top scientists and an emissions overview. The essay is a thorough investigation into how the internet and media play a significant role in rendering carbon footprints. Advertisers can analyze data transfer and associated emissions from creative delivery initiatives using the report. To quantify data transmission and develop a deeper understanding of campaign emissions, GroupM’s agencies will primarily use the SeenThis emissions dashboard. Ultimately, the data will be directly incorporated into GroupM’s services for the execution of display campaigns. The capacity of SeenThis’ technology to function with all significant ad servers, publishers’ networks, and outside sources allows both client and agency to achieve more with a standard media budget.
Here’s what they said
Ed Fanning, GroupM Global Head of Partnerships, Advertising, and Retail Technology commented
As the world’s leading media investment company, the team at GroupM is on a mission to develop tools and technologies that ensure that carbon emissions are considered a part of the media planning process. This partnership builds on the global framework for media decarbonization we announced in 2022 and is an important step in our commitment to decarbonize our media supply chain.
Jesper Benon, CEO at SeenThis, added
We are excited to extend the benefits of the SeenThis solution to new and existing GroupM clients, as our proprietary streaming addresses the trade-off that otherwise exists between performance and sustainability in the digital ecosystem. GroupM agencies are able to increase performance while minimizing carbon emissions, and at the same time helping drive attention and unlock creative capabilities. We deliver lightning-fast ad-loading that attains higher attention from users, which translates into fewer wasted impressions and a more efficient use of resources.
SeenThis, a Swedish technology firm, has been improving display experiences for everyone since 2017. It is revolutionizing how digital material is distributed and how it affects the environment in comparison to more established forms of technology. It uses its ground-breaking adaptive streaming technology to do so. The company is on a mission to alter the internet—for good—with billions of streams provided for 1000+ brands in 40+ countries. SeenThis’s seven offices throughout the world have a common goal to build an Internet that is both incredibly fast and energy-efficient.
The media investment division of WPP, GroupM, has launched a programmatic marketplace covering everything from Connected TV and online video and display ads. This is a result of GroupM’s licensing deals with SSP platforms Magnite and Pubmatic.
GroupM believes that the Premium Marketplace will allow advertisers more transparency in this otherwise lopsided ecosystem of internet ads.
The GroupM Premium Marketplace is an integrated and unified programmatic marketplace created through worldwide collaboration agreements with Magnite in North America and PubMatic in Europe and the Middle East. It comes in response to an RFP that urged vendors to show their capabilities in the fast-growing CTV industry as well as in high-growth areas.
GroupM also expands on its previous SPO efforts, codenamed Premium Supply, which saw it centralize programmatic spending to a small number of SSPs, including Magnite, PubMatic, and Index Exchange, strategies that have been deployed on Madison Avenue.
According to a press release, GroupM Premium Marketplace will –
“provide clients with direct and advantaged access to high-quality publisher inventory”