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Publicis creates new agency after winning global Mercedes-Benz brief

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Publicis has been appointed as the global network and digital agency for Mercedes-Benz following a six-month pitch.

Dubbing it one of the holding company’s most “significant wins”, chief executive Arthur Sadoun said it has opened a new agency in Berlin that will service the account.

In an email to staff, seen by The Drum, Sadoun said the agency will be called Publicis Emil after Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler's “original transformation partner”, Emil Jellinek who created the auto brand.

It will be led by Justin Billingsley, chief operating officer for Publicis Communications alongside Maggie Lonergan, who will head up European operations and Claire Molyneux, who will focus on its other global markets.

Over the coming months, talent will be drawn from its main hubs –Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient, and Publicis One – with a view to it being fully operational for 1 July.

“[It] demonstrates how far we've managed to take our own transformation in a very short space of time,” Sadoun said.

“A win like this would not have been possible if we hadn't begun more than two years ago to radically change the way we work, by breaking down silos, putting our clients at the heart of everything we do, integrating Sapient and developing global initiatives like PeopleCloud and Spine."

From Mercedes, the brief on paper is relatively simple; be better. “Best digital know-how, best systems, best creativity, best consultancy, best condition," Sadoun quoted the VP of marketing, Jens Thiemer, as saying.

Mercedes-Benz, ranked by Interbrand as the world's ninth most valuable in the word, has faced the same pressures as other automakers in trying to keep pace with the changing consumer behaviour that digital has brought.

In 2015 it laid out an ambition to create a fleet of connected cars that would act as "mobile living rooms" while more recently it collaborated with Google Home, the voice-activated personal assistant, to allow people to interact with a car from home.

For Publicis, the win is a significant milestone as it continues to convince advertisers of its 'Power of One' model. The likes of Walmart and HP have been among the few to have subscribed the the promise of integrated marketing at scale since it was announced two years ago. But after an estimated $10bn in media billings was put under review in January alone, the opportunities to prove its value are coming thick and fast.

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Manchester United unveils official global mobile app

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Manchester United has unveiled an official mobile app powered by its digital transformation partner, HCL.

The new app features exclusive content, including the United Now feed – which collates the latest news, polls, stats, videos and blogs about the club– and a live matchday experience, including line ups, up-to-the-second match updates, live blogging, player stats and score updates from rivals.

The app will also provide exclusive content and behind-the-scenes player access.

Manchester United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold said: “This app will allow our 659 million Manchester United followers to easily connect to the club they love, wherever they are in the world. Fans will now have the opportunity to follow all Manchester United matches through the app with up-to-the-second notifications and updates.

"The app was created by a dedicated project team from HCL Technologies and Manchester United, ensuring a truly collaborative approach to the project. The team not only built the new app and website, but also created an advanced underlying platform that will give the club the ability to adapt as new technologies emerge.”

HCL Technologies’ corporate vice president, Ashish Gupta said: “Our partnership with Manchester United has been one of continuous co-innovation. HCL’s digital experience platform has driven significant business transformation combining digital product strategy and technology innovation to deliver a compelling user experience. The Manchester United official app has received excellent reviews from a worldwide fan base with downloads in over 210 markets."

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The Drum presents: Tom Ollerton talks to Rachel Falconer, head of Goldsmiths Digital Studios

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Talking about the latest marketing technology in order to make sense of it for brands and agencies to apply it through his podcast 'Shiny New Object' is Tom Ollerton, AI consultant and the former innovation director at We Are Social. In this latest installment, Rachel Falconer, head of Goldsmiths Digital Studios offers her thoughts on the impact blockchain will have on the marketing industry.

Each episode of The Shiny New Object Podcast will be distributed in partnership with The Drum and can be followed by subscribing through the Apple podcast app (which also currently features the SheSays Says series) here on the website or follow The Drum's SoundCloud page.

Tom Ollerton is a consultant in the field of creative artificial intelligence. He helps brands use the speed and scale of AI to make their content and media budgets work harder. Tom runs a monthly meetup called ‘I’ll Be Back’ that studies the intersection of creativity, ads and AI. Each week he interviews an influential marketer about their favourite new marketing technology.

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Sony Pictures Network unveils a digital campaign for the 18th Asian Games

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Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India has unveiled the #KoiKasarNahi (No stone will be left unturned) campaign for the 18th Asian Games to be held in Indonesia.

As part of the campaign, SPN will be hosting a ‘Fan Flame’ on its microsite . Inspired by the Asian Games torch that burns in the cauldron for the duration of the Games, the virtual Fan Flame will have message of support that will be passed on to the participating Indian athletes.

To feature on the virtual Fan Flame, fans will need to use hashtag #KoiKasaNahi on social media platforms. SPN will broadcast live more than 300+ hours of the Asian Games in both Hindi and English.

It will also have a live studio show with panelists like wrestler Jagdish Kaliraman, hockey champions Sandeep Singh, Viren Rasquinha, and Jagbir Singh, tennis players Somdev Devvarman and Gaurav Natekar, badminton player Aparna Popat, and expert columnists Ayaz Memon and Boria Majumdar.

Rajesh Kaul, president, Sports and Distribution Business, Sony Pictures Networks India said: “At Sony Pictures Networks India we have always promoted a multi-sport culture and it doesn't get bigger than the 18th Asian Games.

"As our athletes compete across 36 sports and against sportspeople from 45 countries, we will bring fans and viewers the ultimate experience to enjoy the Asian Games. As patriotic fans, it’s our utmost duty to give our unrelenting support to our athletes just as they will give on this stage.”

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