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Olly Whitman takes on creative director role at Synergy Creative

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Olly Whitman joins Synergy Creative's expanding team as creative director, tasked with leading and growing the agency's creative studio, as well as overseeing the agency’s creative output across its existing client base, including brands like Argos, Lidl, Vodafone, Odeon Cinemas Group and Simplyhealth.

Whitman has over 15 years' experience working across a diverse range of clients and agencies, joining Synergy from Six where he was design director and creative lead on the agency’s branding projects for blue chip clients. He brings a mix of concept generation, art direction and team management skills to the business, and will be looking to grow the creative team headcount and skillset further.

“A week in and I’ve been really impressed by the people, culture and creativity at Synergy," shared Whitman. "With everything from global rebrands and virtual reality experiences to change programmes and business transformation, the creative opportunity here is massive. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Whitman’s appointment means Synergy’s co-founder and previous creative director, Giles Hicks, now takes on a new role as executive creative director, focusing on new business growth and fulfilling the increasing demand for Synergy’s creativity and innovation programmes.

He commented: “The past 12 months have been great for us at Synergy, we’ve added some fantastic new brands to our books and as our capability grows we need a creative director to inspire the team to continued excellent creative work. We’ve found that in Olly and we’re delighted he’s joined the team.”

Whitman takes his place on Synergy’s management team alongside the recently promoted Chris Giddings and Rhiannon Stroud. The trio sit alongside client services director Emma Holland and co-founders Gemma McGrattan, Nicky Clark and Giles Hicks to help guide and shape the future of the agency.

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InMobi becomes Sprint’s exclusive in-app, CTV ad platform by buying the telco’s ad firm

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Graphic provided by InMobi

Graphic provided by InMobi

When a brand wants to advertise to telco subscribers, the process can involve many participants. But today mobile marketing platform InMobi took another step toward its vision of a more unified approach, with the announcement that it is buying Sprint’s mobile data and ad company Pinsight Media.

Exclusive data access. As a result of the purchase, InMobi co-founder Abhay Singhal told me, his company will now have the exclusive right to Sprint subscriber data for in-app advertising and for connected TV (CTV)/Over-the-Top TV (OTT), the latter which InMobi is currently field testing. Deal terms were not made public.

Essentially, InMobi now becomes Sprint’s in-app and CTV/OTT ad and data platform.

Although Pinsight also offers mobile web advertising, Singhal said his company was not equipped to handle that inventory.

What this could mean for marketing to telco subscribers. Singhal said this is the first time InMobi will act in this capacity, as the exclusive ad platform and data processor for a telco and, to his knowledge, the first time it has been tried anywhere.

While other telcos like Verizon — and, previously, Sprint — have tried to develop this capability in-house, Singhal said it makes sense for a telco to farm out the need for an efficient mobile platform to target and deliver ads, and to generate insights about subscribers, because of the complexity involved.

“Telcos have had huge aspirations to create large ad units,” he said, “but they didn’t have the skillsets.”

In fact, he noted, InMobi is now in discussions “with about ten” other telcos worldwide to offer a similar service, with none of them involving mobile web ads. In the event deals are signed with others, he said, each telco’s data will remain individually siloed.

Sprint itself is in the process of merging with T-Mobile, and Singhal said it wasn’t yet clear what the arrangement will be for T-Mobile’s subscriber data and ad delivery. The data used by Pinsight is anonymized to a degree, and Sprint handles getting user permission.

Why this matters for marketers. As an external platform for Sprint’s in-app and CTV ads — and potentially for other telcos’ inventory — InMobi can provide a consistent and unified experience for marketers in an otherwise fragmented market.

Singhal also points out that brand marketers rarely know definitively about their users, except for the users’ interaction with the brand. Everything else — what the user did before entering the brand’s store, what she did afterward, and so on — involves matching data sets, often from other providers and often probabilistically.

By contrast, he said, telco subscriber data can provide a more consistent and reliable picture of a brand’s users, because virtually everyone carries their mobile phone everywhere. In that scenario, InMobi could offer a more complete understanding of a brand’s customers and potential customers inside a mobile or Internet service network.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

The post InMobi becomes Sprint’s exclusive in-app, CTV ad platform by buying the telco’s ad firm appeared first on Marketing Land.

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InMobi becomes Sprint’s exclusive in-app, CTV ad platform by buying the telco’s ad firm

Published

on

Graphic provided by InMobi

Graphic provided by InMobi

When a brand wants to advertise to telco subscribers, the process can involve many participants. But today mobile marketing platform InMobi took another step toward its vision of a more unified approach, with the announcement that it is buying Sprint’s mobile data and ad company Pinsight Media.

Exclusive data access. As a result of the purchase, InMobi co-founder Abhay Singhal told me, his company will now have the exclusive right to Sprint subscriber data for in-app advertising and for connected TV (CTV)/Over-the-Top TV (OTT), the latter which InMobi is currently field testing. Deal terms were not made public.

Essentially, InMobi now becomes Sprint’s in-app and CTV/OTT ad and data platform.

Although Pinsight also offers mobile web advertising, Singhal said his company was not equipped to handle that inventory.

What this could mean for marketing to telco subscribers. Singhal said this is the first time InMobi will act in this capacity, as the exclusive ad platform and data processor for a telco and, to his knowledge, the first time it has been tried anywhere.

While other telcos like Verizon — and, previously, Sprint — have tried to develop this capability in-house, Singhal said it makes sense for a telco to farm out the need for an efficient mobile platform to target and deliver ads, and to generate insights about subscribers, because of the complexity involved.

“Telcos have had huge aspirations to create large ad units,” he said, “but they didn’t have the skillsets.”

In fact, he noted, InMobi is now in discussions “with about ten” other telcos worldwide to offer a similar service, with none of them involving mobile web ads. In the event deals are signed with others, he said, each telco’s data will remain individually siloed.

Sprint itself is in the process of merging with T-Mobile, and Singhal said it wasn’t yet clear what the arrangement will be for T-Mobile’s subscriber data and ad delivery. The data used by Pinsight is anonymized to a degree, and Sprint handles getting user permission.

Why this matters for marketers. As an external platform for Sprint’s in-app and CTV ads — and potentially for other telcos’ inventory — InMobi can provide a consistent and unified experience for marketers in an otherwise fragmented market.

Singhal also points out that brand marketers rarely know definitively about their users, except for the users’ interaction with the brand. Everything else — what the user did before entering the brand’s store, what she did afterward, and so on — involves matching data sets, often from other providers and often probabilistically.

By contrast, he said, telco subscriber data can provide a more consistent and reliable picture of a brand’s users, because virtually everyone carries their mobile phone everywhere. In that scenario, InMobi could offer a more complete understanding of a brand’s customers and potential customers inside a mobile or Internet service network.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

The post InMobi becomes Sprint’s exclusive in-app, CTV ad platform by buying the telco’s ad firm appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Google ushers in the Age of Conversational Ads with the launch of AdLingo

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Marketers now have a new generally-available ad type for their campaigns: conversational ads.

That’s the result of Google’s launch on Tuesday of its new AdLingo conversational marketing platform, which provides a display ad-like framework into which conversational ads can be placed.

Concurrent with the AdLingo announcement, Google said it was working with three providers of conversational ads: ad/marketing intelligence firm Valassis Digital, conversational commerce provider LivePerson, and chatbot provider Take.

A display ad performing like a messaging app. AdLingo provides the first generally available format for conversational ads outside of messaging apps. “Google provides the ad,” Valassis VP of Strategy Mike Balducci told me, “and we serve the chat.” In essence, he said, Google has built a display ad that performs like a messaging app.

Some history. Previous efforts have included ads on Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps, and IBM’s Watson Ads, which launched in 2016 only on the IBM-owned Weather.com and the Weather Channel app and which have recently been made available for any publisher. IBM’s ads, of course, may offer a deeper and more convincing interaction because it is conversation powered by Watson, the Jeopardy-winning supercomputer.

Balducci noted that his company has been providing conversational ads since 2016, mostly on Messenger, using the Microsoft Bot Framework and the Luis.ai natural language processor.

He added that the responses in Valassis’ AdLingo ads, such as a campaign for Kia, have mostly been canned, with the ad seeking limited info instead of conducting a wide-ranging conversation.

The Kia ads, for instance, question the user about currently owned cars in order to estimate a trade-in value, and offer access to inventory for nearby dealers.

Delivery and cost basis. AdLingo ads are served programmatically through Google’s ad network, and, like most display ads, the cost is impression-based CPM. But the real value to marketers is the user interaction, which could last minutes and for which there is no additional charge.

Why it matters to marketers. While Balducci said he didn’t have any stats yet as to whether conversational ads work better than regular ones, one clear advantage is that marketers can now present conversational ads outside the walls of messaging apps, notably Facebook Messenger, and, until recently, IBM’s Weather properties.

The interaction data received by the brand is essentially the same as has been available through, say, Messenger. But, Balducci added, his initial estimates indicate that the cost of engagement for conversational ads through Google’s AdLingo is lower than on Messenger.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology,

The post Google ushers in the Age of Conversational Ads with the launch of AdLingo appeared first on Marketing Land.

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