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Latest news from The Drum

Brand archaeology: More advertisers should dig out their iconic campaigns instead of disregarding the past
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

The new TV commercial for Lloyds Bank by Adam&EveDDB made me feel a bit emotional.

On the one hand ‘happy/sad’ in response to the evocative imagery and the portrayal of the role of the black horse over 250 years. On the other hand ‘angry/mad’ at the 30 years during which time this brand hasn't used its iconic black horse properly in its advertising. 

Verizon’s Apophis 2029 mobile game seeks to save Earth from killer asteroids
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

US telecoms giant Verizon has announced it is to develop a branded mobile app designed to gamify the process of classifying near Earth objects, a vital task as astronomers survey the skies for potentially killer asteroids.

Unveiled at Cannes Lions Apophis 2029 relies on the uncanny ability of humans to classify objects (even asteroids) with far greater accuracy than super computers, helping NASA scientists to complete the laborious process of figuring out what each object is made of.

The crowd-sourced initiative involves signing up human players to demonstrate their pattern recognition prowess, if sufficient numbers of players agree on the classification of specific objects the information will be duly submitted to NASA vi Verizon’s cloud servers.

Francesca DeMeo, an asteroid researcher at MIT who helped deliver the project, said: “Crowdsourcing, of course, has been done before in science. What's unique about what we're trying to do here is use the science aspect—the crowdsourcing and public input—and combine that with a game. So, it becomes more than just a homework assignment. This is play with an exciting scientific twist to it."

Anyone interested in saving the world will be able to get their hands on the title this autumn.

Humans not algorithms: The Apple Music revolution and the growing influence of the curator
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

As Apple Music users get their ears around the Beats 1 radio station where 'humans not algorithms' spin the tunes, Jonny Kanagasooriam, creative strategy director at Dazed Group, discusses the growing influence of the curator.

Zane Lowe must feel pretty amazing right now. After 12 years championing new music with eyewatering earnestness, the gods have rewarded him. As BBC Radio 1 haemorrhages listeners, he and his family have been handed a one-way ticket to California and a glistening set of Jonathan Ivedesigned keys to the proverbial city.

Handpicked by Jimmy Iovine, Zane, along with two other key ‘tastemakers’ (Apple hasn’t shied away from the word) Julie Adenuga and Ebro Darden, will drive discovery of new music on a global 24-hour media canvas powered by the world’s smartest tech.

It’s yet another revolution from Apple, as the brightest stars in radio contextualise streaming with their expertise, creating a rich new product that elevates both to far more than the sum of their parts.

If that wasn’t enough, through Apple Connect, Zane and co will be empowering musicians to personally stick it to the greatest and greenest threat to the livelihood of artists since Napster – Spotify and the cult of the algorithm. It feels almost Marvelesque, the geekish humanity of Zane against the terminator-like Daniel Ek and his scientific experiments – the most terrifyingly example being a track from humanoid music box Tiesto that syncs to your running pace.

Whether or not you believe the PRready mission of Apple and Beats, one thing is clear. Apple Music has been elevated from a service to a movement through the power of the curator; be it Zane’s bombastic exuberance, Drake high-fiving Apple product guru Eddie Cue or Iovine’s fiery speeches.

Experienced curators have become a shortcut to making products and content credible. Those that began the journey decades ago in print or radio have accrued a huge wealth of behavioral insight into their listeners and readers. Current consumption habits have escalated into the hourly demands of online editorial, making curators walking trend reports with unique taste, giving them peerless cultural relevance. Brands have noticed, and have become clinical in harnessing curators’ expertise to win hearts, minds and, ultimately, wallets.

Do we risk curators’ credibility in appropriating their influence? For an answer to that, watch Instagram – a community built on a universe of meticulously curated worlds and respective audiences – closely over the next year. With Facebook it is standing on the brink of an e-commerce revolution, trialling state of the art ad targeting with ‘learn more’ and ‘shop now’ messaging. Nowhere will the power of the curator be tested more than in the transition of Instagram’s user base, who deal solely in visual social currency, being nudged into becoming real-world shoppers.

Are curators the future of marketing, or are we risking their quiddity by placing them within the unforgiving structure of ‘test and learn’ and the resultant effectiveness we expect of algorithms?

Be careful with Zane, Apple. He’s only human after all.

Start-up cider brand looks to take on larger brewers with ‘100% natural’ claim
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

Start-up cider brewer the Swedish Cider Company is looking to make a splash in the UK with a marketing plan to use its health credentials to tempt drinkers from the sugary flavoured, more established ciders.

The company’s Alska cider is made from 100 per cent natural ingredients and is suitable for vegans whilst being gluten free, characteristics it hopes give it a strong enough niche. Ciders from Sweden are du jour in the category and while proud of its heritage, the brewer wants to stand for something more in order to win around fans of its Kopparberg and Rekorderlig compatriots.

Since its UK launch earlier this summer, the brewer ‘s four per cent-strength ciders are listed in Aldi as well as in selected bars with four flavours; Strawberry & Lime and Nordic Berries, Lemon & Ginger, Pear & Lychee and Peach & Raspberry. Johan Torell, founder of the Swedish Cider Company, said it would look to grow the cider’s presence in London where share and awareness are low.

With a modest budget and limited awareness, cutting through to consumers will not be an easy task for Alska. It is why the business is relying on an aggressive attempt to secure listings in the on and off-trade alongside more targeted social media and PR activity.

This will take the form of promotions around the Vauxhall Summer Screen series, which Alska plans to sponsor with a social media campaign. Fans will be offered tickets and other prizes related to the event throughout the summer with the brewer hoping to exploit its status as the event’s only alcohol supplier.

“What makes our cider different is that it’s a great tasting drink that is 100 per cent natural,” said Torell. “We know from taste tests that Alska tastes better than our competitors but the challenge is trying to get listings for our drinks. There’s definite interest in it so we just have to keep working to grow both in the on and off-trade.”

It is why innovation is key to the future of the brand. In a market where people like to try something different but also stick with the brands they know, Alska believes different combinations could be enough to help establish itself.

The move comes as Molson Coors prepares to ramp up support for Rekorderlig after it acquired the business earlier this month. Torell said the acquisition had both “good and bad” implications for the flavoured cider category in terms of broadening its appeal but also providing tougher competition.

Despite an influx of flavoured ciders in recent times, growth of the category has started to slow. Growth dropped from 66 per cent in 2012 to 20 per cent in 2014, according to Nielsen though the analyst does not think the market has saturated.

Decoding Next: Five trends you need to know including living room-ready VR, pets for hire and the rise of sensory education
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

sparks & honey tracks trends by drawing on dozens of data sources, hundreds of scouts and cultural strategists in our London, New York and Los Angeles offices. In June alone, we covered over 1200 signals. Here are the top five trends we observed.

Lloyds trials ‘tap to bank’ mobile banking service
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

Lloyds Bank has embraced Near Field Communication (NFC) to introduce ‘tap to bank’ functionality on its mobile app designed to streamline the authentication process for mobile banking.

The new trial of 125 people enables them to verify their identity when setting up the mobile banking app by simply tapping a Lloyds Bank contactless debit card against an NFC enabled Android smartphone.

This set-up negates the need to operate automated phone calls and if successful the trial may be extended to encompass authenticating new payments.

Director of innovation and digital development, Marc Lien said: “With the widespread take up of contactless cards and most new smartphones now having NFC technology, this tap to bank trial is developing enhancements to banking processes that many people could benefit from.

“This is one of a raft of new technologies that we’re experimenting with to help our customers.”

On top of this the bank has also announced plans to allow desktop customers the ability to verify requests by logging into their mobile banking app.

BBC re-jigs Wimbledon 2Day highlights show following viewer backlash
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

The BBC has bowed to viewer pressure and re-jigged its unpopular Wimbledon2Day highlights show following a backlash from viewers who lamented the ‘awkward’ chat show format and clamoured for a return to concise analysis and focus on courtside action.

Changes being rolled out at the programme include moving the Wimbledon 2Day set back to the grounds of the All England Club and the removal of a recently introduced live audience.

For recent broadcasts the BBC chose to hire a private hospitality venue for its studio broadcasts, ignoring the hallowed turf of the club itself where the BBC has access to its own studios and rooftop terraces.

A BBC spokeswoman commented: “We said from the outset that Wimbledon 2Day would evolve throughout the Championship.

"Of course we listen to audience feedback and that helps to shape the changes we make. We have moved to a new location, on top of the centre court building, which gives an excellent backdrop of the heart of Wimbledon, as the Championship builds to its climax."

The BBC has not divulged how many complaints it has received from viewers in relation to the new Wimbledon format.

Creative Department: Featuring St Luke’s, Saatchi Masius, TBWA London and more
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

Welcome to The Drum Creative Department, sponsored by Workfront.

As always this section is dedicated to showing the best creative work and gives you, the reader, the chance to decide what we show within The Drum magazine.

You can vote for the work you like best, simply by clicking the 'Like' button beside the work, and the winner will be featured in the next issue of The Drum (22 July) in the Creative Department spread.

Other popular entrants will also be considered for the print edition. Submit your vote before Monday 13 July to guarantee your favourite makes it into the printed magazine.

To submit work for future publication contact For voting updates and more follow The Drum Creative Department on Twitter @TheDrumCreative.

TheLADbible to sponsor Manchester's Hyde United
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

Entertainment and news website theLADbible has announced a shirt and stadium sponsorship deal for non-league club Hyde United, a Manchester club recently bought out by fans.

The deal will see the Walker Lane end at Hyde’s Ewen Fields Stadium renamed as TheLADbible end whilst the website will also become the official shirt sponsor for the Tigers during the 2015/16 season.

Arian Kalantari, co-founder of TheLADbible’s parent company 65twenty said: “We love the community feel and strength of support that Hyde United has built up amongst its fans, and the message that it sends. TheLADbible is a community in the same way and we have the same passion for supporting our community.

 “Hyde have a great sense of humour that comes through in their social feeds and they have already featured on TheLADbible in a way that our audience loved.*

Daz Mellor, director of Hyde United, added: “Football clubs like Hyde rely on sponsorship and It's good to see businesses like TheLADbible helping out non-league football clubs, they have a great team at their offices who have not only been helpful and supportive but like ourselves are keen to get involved and looking forward to the new season ahead.”

TheLADbible has offices in Manchester’s Dale Street and reaches more than 100m people a week.

Tesco appoints Periscopix to boost online sales performance
Posted on Monday July 06, 2015

Tesco has appointed performance marketing agency Periscopix, a Merkle company, to manage its paid search campaigns in UK and Ireland for its main Tesco grocery brand as well as its Tesco Mobile, F&F and Tesco Direct brands.

Periscopix was appointed to manage the campaign by Tesco based on the strength of its analytics relationship with Tesco and the high quality data driven work that it has delivered for the brand in the past.

The 12-month campaign will be spearheaded by Emma Welland, head of search at Periscopix, with work is expected to kick off this week. The agency will be utilising Google’s DoubleClick platform and its own in-house systems to deliver results for the brands. Google recently appointed Periscopix as its UK channel partner for its DoubleClick platform to support UK brands looking to increase their use of the DoubleClick online advertising platform.

The Tesco win comes shortly after Periscopix became Legal & General’s paid search and programmatic display agency, working alongside WPP-agencies, JWT and Wunderman, and a month after Tesco moved its £90m above-the-line advertising account into fellow WPP-owned agency, Mediacom.

Speaking of the appointment of Periscopix, Niall Walsh, head of performance marketing at Tesco, said: "We are delighted to be expanding our partnership with Periscopix. They have demonstrated themselves to be real industry innovators with an approach and culture that we felt was a great fit for Tesco and our ambitions in the channel." 

Periscopix senior vice president Marc Warren, added: “This is another major brand - like Legal and General - that has appointed Periscopix and WPP to work with a digital specialist agency to manage this increasingly complex and specialised market.

"We are thrilled to further develop our relationship with Tesco and this is a tremendously exciting opportunity for Periscopix, a Merkle company. Maximising the performance of Tesco’s search spend will be a hugely complex, dynamic and daunting project – exactly the type of huge challenge that our search superstars thrive on!  We would like to thank Niall and his team for the trust they have shown in appointing Periscopix and look forward to strengthening the relationship between the two companies even further.”

Periscopix, which employs more than 120 people in London, was recently acquired by the large US-based performance marketing agency Merkle, which has 14 offices across the US and employs 2,700 staff. Periscopix is the first of a series of international acquisitions being planned by Merkle in order to support its clients as they expand globally.