MediAvataar's News Desk
AKQA and Grey launch new network model – industry powerhouse offers clients outstanding creativity, innovation and brand-building at global scale
WPP’s AKQA and Grey are uniting to form a new network model, AKQA Group. Grey is renowned for creative storytelling and global brand-building at scale, while AKQA is celebrated for its world-class innovation and experience design skills. With heightened demand for digital transformation and technology-driven capabilities, the combination will create a powerful new proposition for clients as a leading creative solutions company with a worldwide footprint.
The AKQA Group will have 6,000 people in more than 50 countries and a blue-chip client roster that includes more than half of the Fortune 500’s top 20. It will provide a full range of brand experience capabilities across all communications platforms, strengthening the skills and services of both companies for clients.
AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed and Grey Worldwide CEO Michael Houston will partner to lead the new Group. Ahmed will become Chief Executive Officer and Houston will become Global President and Chief Operating Officer of AKQA Group. The AKQA Group will launch with the AKQA and Grey brands, which will be integrated over time into a single company based on client and market needs. The management team and creative leadership will be announced in the coming weeks, comprising leaders from AKQA and Grey.
AKQA and Grey have highly compatible creative cultures and share a common belief in the power of creativity. Between them they have won nearly 600 Cannes Lions in the last decade. The two agencies have complementary, non-competitive client rosters. The combined AKQA Group will have expertise in the media, entertainment and technology sectors as well as packaged goods, healthcare and financial services.
Ajaz Ahmed said: “Our goal is to expand horizons, combining the curiosity, ambition, imagination and pioneering spirit of a startup with the reach of a global enterprise. This is an unparalleled opportunity for AKQA and Grey to bring our shared assets to life into a modern, creatively-led company, building upon our inspiring and useful work to create value for our clients, people and communities.”
Michael Houston said: “This exciting new partnership begins with what consumers expect, clients value, and brands need. Forming a new company that can deliver culture-driving ideas through technology at speed and scale is a potent proposition for our clients, large and small, and will allow us to offer the most powerful creative solutions in the industry.”
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Our clients want outstanding creativity, powered by technology expertise and delivered at a global scale. This new company is designed precisely to meet those needs and is another important step forward in building our future-facing offer for clients.”
Grey, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, is trusted globally by clients from the fastest-growing startups to leading multinationals and government agencies. Over the past five years, the agency has received top industry accolades for creative effectiveness, including: Adweek Global Agency of the Year (twice), the Grand Effie, Effie Agency of the Year, and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Agency of the Year with 395 Cannes Lions. Grey’s growing global Health & Wellness practice counts many of the world’s largest pharma and health-related companies as clients.
AKQA, recognised as a digital pioneer and a creative innovator, has won over 60 Agency of the Year awards; led Gartner’s independent evaluation of Global Marketing Agencies for three years in succession; led IDC’s quantitative and qualitative assessment of success in Customer Experience Design; won two Grand Prix at the most recent Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity; been named by Fast Company as a Best Workplace for Innovators; and achieved a consistent track record of growth since its founding.
The move follows the successful combination of other WPP agencies to create Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R and BCW, which have been among WPP’s best-performing companies by addressing client needs for more integrated, creative and technology-driven solutions.
Facebook today, launched a bundle of features to add an element of fun to your virtual Diwali celebrations this year.
These include personalised greetings with Diwali-ready Avatars and an opportunity to encourage your friends and family to participate in fun challenges and spread festive cheer online.
The new bundle of features include:
Challenge your friends and family - Share a photo or video of how you are celebrating Diwali at home with your family with the hashtag #DiwaliAtHomeChallenge or create a DIY video of how you recycle light bulbs, candleholders, diyas and lanterns, and challenge your friends to share their Diwali related DIY projects by using #DIYDiwaliChallenge.
Start a challenge by simply entering a hashtag in English that ends in the word ‘challenge’, when you go to create a new Facebook post, or tap on the “Try It” button when you see another Challenges post in your News Feed. Add photos and videos to your challenges post this festive season and nominate your friends and family to join in the fun by tagging them.
Dress up your Avatar: Make your short-form text posts even more expressive by sharing a special edition Diwali-themed Avatars Background. Type your own words - in any language - over one of the colorful backgrounds with your personalized Avatar to match the theme.
First, create an Avatar from your mobile device and go to “Create Post” composer on Android or iOS and click “Background Color” and select the Diwali background and you are all set!
New Categories include Health & Wellness, Pharma, Digital Devices, and Socially Conscious Content.
New York Festivals® AME Awards® for the World’s Best Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness™ is now accepting entries for the 2021 competition.
Since 1994, AME has honored innovative campaigns that demonstrate groundbreaking solutions to challenging marketing problems, proving that strategic planning and creative execution can produce extraordinary results.
“We’re excited by the possibilities that come with this year’s competition. 2021 brings new categories to the robust category mix, a world-class jury of dedicated creative & strategic executives, additions to the Advisory Council, and expanded coverage on Effective Perspective blog,” said Gayle Seminara Mandel, Executive Director, AME Awards.
Each year, AME evaluates and updates the competition categories to mirror the evolving industry landscape. For 2021 the competition rolls out multiple new categories in three category groups.
In Products & Services group, AME added Health & Wellness to honor campaigns promoting non-prescription products and services, wellness and personal care, health education and/or awareness. Pharma will showcase campaigns for medical products or services, or to shape understanding of conditions or treatments that are targeted at healthcare professionals, practitioners, or patients.
The Creativity for Positive Impact category group adds Socially Conscious Content to honor communication that shines a spotlight on all aspects of social change and/or awareness of equity, access, participation, and rights within a society on a regional or global level.
“In light of this disruptive pandemic year, AME wanted to address the explosion of virtual events within the industry by adding three additional categories in the Best Use of Medium category group to reflect this work,” said Seminara Mandel.
New Best Use of Medium categories include Professional Conferences or Congresses to honor immersive experiences and virtual events that drive engagement and response from a professional audience. Also added to the powerhouse category mix: Technical Professional Materials/Communications will salute targeted communications designed for the professional audience and Digital Devices will showcase consumer or professional awareness or behavior change that exists on or is activated by digital devices.
AME’s award-winning Grand Jury is recruited from 5 global regions (Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America Middle East & Africa and North America). These strategic innovators will thoughtfully review all entries with global knowledge and perspective from the industry with attention to cultural and economic relevance within their region. Jury selection has now begun for the 2021 Grand Jury.
The results of the 2020 Grand Jury sessions are parsed in the annual AME Report, an industry report that honors and provides rankings for agencies and brands.
The deadline to enter the 2020 AME Awards competition is February 11th, 2021.
Celebrates the deep-rooted tradition of lighting up lives
Beyond just a festival of lights and sounds, Diwali is also an occasion to spread the light of goodness and gratitude in everyone’s life. A day when even the smallest gestures of kindness and concern turn strangers into friends and outsiders into family by sparking off feelings of bonhomie among one and all. Exide BatMobile, the doorstep battery service from Exide Industries decided to tap into this deep-rooted tradition of rekindling the spirit of togetherness through #TheDiwaliInvite, a heart-warming film of a BatMobile service person visiting a customer on the day of Diwali. Effortlessly igniting a fresh, new conversation around the festival, the film makes us realize that the true way of celebrating Diwali is - with anyone and everyone.
The minute-and-a-half long film conceptualised by Wunderman Thompson South Asia, brings alive the true way of celebrating the festival and tries to show that sometimes spreading warmth is all about acknowledging the efforts of all those who always turn up to make our lives easier.
Commenting on the film, Arjun Mukherjee, VP & ECD, Wunderman Thompson, Kolkata, who conceptualised the script says, “The challenge was how to instil an emotional high into a service that touches the lives of people every single day. Probably there’s no better occasion than Diwali, a festival that’s rooted in the spirit of kindness and togetherness, to do that. And sometimes spreading warmth means appreciating and thanking the efforts of all those who always turn up to make our lives easier.”
Created by Wunderman Thompson and directed by Dibyendu Bose, #TheDiwaliInvite has been released online on 11th November, on the occasion of Diwali.
With the return of cricket, ESPNcricinfo offered audiences an unparalleled cricket experience through an extensive line-up of 25 original shows for IPL 2020
ESPNcricinfo partnered with over 40 brands across sectors delivering unique user engagement experiences & content to India’s cricket lovers
As part of the momentous return of live cricket in 2020, ESPNcricinfo launched a strategic line-up of over 25 original shows, including Whirlpool Adaptable Player of the Day, BasicFirst Solve It with Aakash Chopra, Dell Stunning Moments of the Day, and many more to keep audiences hooked to the tournament more than ever before. This is the most by any non-live event digital platform for the IPL, ensuring fans experience IPL 2020 beyond just the LIVE event and the match period. Bringing a new dimension to analyse news, games and issues around the IPL the shows leveraged extensive in-house data and statistics to present content that is unique, intelligent yet easy to consume for the cricket fans. This further strengthens ESPNcricnfo’s industry dominance as a wholesome digital destination uniting fans of the sport and general audiences alike, making it one of the biggest single-sport websites in the world.
Further reiterating its commitment to offering the best of cricketing expertise, ESPNcricinfo created a star-studded entourage comprising the biggest names from the world of cricket and beyond to drive the shows, and keep audiences informed and entertained. Personalities such as Gautam Gambhir, Ian Bishop, Tom Moody, Aakash Chopra, Deep Dasgupta, Ajit Agarkar and Sanjay Manjrekar, actor/anchor and a cricket fan - Aparshakti Khurana, renowned anchor Cyrus Broacha, and in-house presenters Alexis Nunes and Raunak Kapoor brought the platform’s shows alive.
Marking the return of cricket, ESPNcricinfo’s superiority in engaging with millions of fans ensured brands across the spectrum, ranging from e-commerce to telecom, partner with the platform in strengthening their reach to a creative mix of mass audiences. Sponsor support was garnered from brands such as Whirlpool, Dell, My11Circle, KhataBook, and BasicFirst, Apple, One Plus, Amazon, and more - all of which are focused on scaling their audience reach through the medium of sport by creating high value content.
Ramesh Kumar, Vice President, Head of ESPN India and South Asia said, "We are committed to delivering wholesome cricket news, information, compelling match coverage and surround content, all beyond just scores for our fans. Our line-up of premium sponsors this season is a testimony of our credibility to offer well-rounded programming for the fans and value generation for our partner brands, thereby underlining our focus on being scores se lot more!"
Also commenting on the roster of premium sponsors, Akshaya Kolhe, Sales Head, ESPN South Asia said, "Our line-up of over 40 premium sponsors across categories such as e-commerce, consumer durables, electronics, fantasy sports, telecom, Edtech, and even startups, with brands such as Apple, Amazon, Whirlpool, Dell, My11Circle and more, is a reflection of our pursuit of collaborating with advertisers to deliver the best possible content experiences to our fans.”
He further adds, “While the global pandemic did change the way we operate, we did not let it hinder our efficiency in bettering our content and providing our sponsors with maximum visibility and room to grow. With IPL just being the off-set, we are focused on sustaining the value generation momentum for our audiences and advertisers through upcoming marquee properties such as the India vs. Australia series, Big Bash League, and more.”
An insight into the comprehensive content offering delivered by ESPNcricinfo for IPL 2020
Whirlpool presents ESPNcricinfo T20 Time: Out powered by Dell is the flagship show with pre match and post-match analysis, the coverage also promises to push the boundaries beyond the regular. The Whirlpool Adaptable Player of the Day is a daily post-match show where an ESPNcricinfo anchor and a cricket expert dissect the performance of that one player who has been the most adaptable across various situations while dishing out a performance to win the match. Dell Stunning Moments of the Day is where the turning points of every match are talked about, and how they contributed to the eventual outcome. My11Circle Fantasy Pick is a daily show across the IPL for fantasy league users that comprises many valuable and insightful segments such as Pro Tip and Value Pick from the experts. In the show ‘Hafte ka KhataBook' in association with KhataBook, presenter Aparshakti will look at the return of investments made by owners or franchises on players, and whether this return on investment has been good or bad. Similarly, BasicFirst Marksheet of the Match, is a custom post-match show that will assess the winning team’s performance through an interesting statistical analysis. In BasicFirst Solve It with Aakash Chopra, ESPNcricinfo has created ecosystem of fun, enriching videos that bring the basics of cricket to users, fans and students of the game. ESPNcricinfo Runorder is a fan-centric show that promises to play on the light and humorous discussions around some of the most burning issues of IPL. Anchor and actor Cyrus Broacha will host the show.
The other noteworthy ESPNcricinfo original shows are:
Polite Enquiries, one of ESPNcricinfo’s oldest signature shows that invites questions from viewers and has two experts responding
Fact or Myth is a series of to-camera pieces analysing whether various IPL truisms are indeed fact or are myths
Picks of the Week is where talent and other members pick the moment of the week, the player of the week and the surprise of the week
The Chatter is a weekly show where an anchor or a comedian reacts to cricketers’ social media posts
Hot Takes shares a quick take on pressing moments from the game.