This week on PMW: Pinterest shopping tools, Sky Glass and taco temptations

How did Taco Bell use WhatsApp to drive in-store sales? And how can Pinterest's new shopping tools boost conversions? We look back at the biggest news, campaigns and moves in performance marketing this week...

Power up: new tools for performance marketers

Pinterest has launched a raft of social shopping updates and is introducing a new marketing campaign that celebrates how the platform helps people find what they love. New Pinterest shopping features include; Idea ads with paid partnership, ‘slideshow for collections, shopping ads, merchant details, product tagging, a feed optimisation playbook with best practices, advanced filtering. a new API and a campaign budgets tool.  Based on Pinterest’s research, 89% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest for inspiration in their path to purchase. Shoppers on Pinterest are 40% more likely to say they love shopping, compared to people who don’t use Pinterest (GfK research). 

Martech specialist Lancelot Media London has launched Adwatch UK, a tool that uses Blockchain to certify advertising campaigns and protect ad budgets. Spanish Adtech company AdWatch employs Blockchain technology to address the gaps which currently exist in ad data processing and integrity checks. This week the product goes into restricted release in the UK. Lancelot will deploy the tool to analyse and secure all client digital campaigns, from origin to destination. The firm will work with a selected number of UK based media agencies dedicated to the elimination of ad fraud, before AdWatch UK goes to general release early next year. AdWatch’s launch case and success story was for the Volvo XC90 model in 2019 in collaboration with the Mindshare and Xaxis teams to build a bespoke and innovative approach to drive sales.

As CTV grows as an ad channel, Sky has launched a new smart TV set called Sky Glass. The new technology aims to replace satellite dishes and boxes. It claims that it wants to ‘bin’ set-top boxes and satellite dishes with this new streaming TV which integrates all the hardware. Although it will require a Sky subscription, content from BBC iPlayer, Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, ITV Hub and All4 will also be available. Sky has not yet named the hardware partner who will make the device.

Amazon has launched its first non-food store in the UK, called Amazon 4-star. The shop, in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford, will sell around 2,000 of its most popular and best-rated products. It's called Amazon 4-star, because every item has been given more than four stars by customers. This will be the first Amazon 4-star store outside the US, where there are already more than 30 outlets. The range of products, which takes in books, consumer electronics, toys, games and homeware, reflects what Amazon customers are buying online.

OMG UK has partnered with specialist MarTech, Goa Marketing on a bespoke paid search audience check called 'The OMG Search Toolkit'. It will be used across all OMG UK clients, giving them access to detailed analysis that will maximise the health of paid search campaigns at no extra cost.  The partnership reflects the changing paid search landscape, in which the proliferation of automation and data has meant new tools are required to create market leading work. Populating these automated systems with reliable and current first-party data to set  more accurate target audiences and informed bidding strategies is becoming a crucial facet of success, enabling brands to differentiate from the competition. 

Get inspired: latest campaigns and brand wins

Native ad platform Taboola has announced that its 2021 campaign with pet food company Lily’s Kitchen reached over 1.1 million target consumers in just eight months, using Taboola’s High Impact solution. Lily’s Kitchen tested 15-, 30- and 40-second video creatives, driving over 1,167,648 completed views in just eight months. Visible Click-Through Rate (vCTR) increased by 9% from February to August of this year, and completion rate increased by 14% in the same timeframe.

This week, Taco Bell UK offered the UK the chance to taste an emoji by exchanging taco emojis for free Crunchy Tacos to celebrate National Taco Day 2021. Available all day on National Taco Day (Monday 4th October), taco fans could claim a free Crunchy Taco simply by WhatsApping the taco emoji from their phone. Each texter could then head to one of the 71 Taco Bell UK restaurants nationwide and exchange their taco emoji text for a real-life taco. To drive taco-lovers to Taco Bell, media agency Spark Foundry activated paid media, digital OOH and social, directly tapping into the key demographic of 16–34-year-olds.  The first 100 fans to visit the London Baker Street restaurant receive their Taco from YouTuber and social media favourite, Chunkz. Taco Bell successfully brought the taco emoji to the masses in 2015 through a petition that received more than 33,000 signatures urging the Unicode Consortium to include the emoji on smartphones.

The first ever campaign from the new UK government department Office for Health Improvement and Disparities went live this week. Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Day the campaign aims to encourage people to get their bespoke mind plan and/or discover tips and advice for specific mental health issues.  Through various pieces of research, the teams (M&C Saatchi, Wavemaker, OmniGOV, freuds and 23red) found that people are desperate for solutions to help them manage their mental health. They don’t want to dwell on the problem. This led to a campaign strategy that made the path to the mind plan and the various condition-specific tips, as frictionless and easy to access as possible.The campaign is supported by a national TV advert (voiced by Stephen Fry) as well as VOD, social, digital, PR and partnerships

Media agency Hearts & Science UK has just been appointed as the media agency partner for Hargreaves Lansdown, it's the investment platform for private investors and also a FTSE 100 company. Hearts & Science’s activity will cover brand campaigns across media channels including AV, OOH, Publishing, Radio and Digital. The agency will promote Hargreaves as a platform to empower people to save and invest with confidence and help them build their financial resilience over the long-term.

TikTok and Media Smart have released a collection of new educational resources to help 13-17-year-olds understand how advertising works on the platform, as well as the best ways to keep safe online. The resources have been developed after research from youth culture specialists Livity revealed growing demand from both young people and their parents for easily accessible advice on understanding the commercial side of digital platforms. Alongside teachers in schools, the new content can be used by parents and guardians who want to help 13-17-year-olds use TikTok confidently and securely.

Sky Media is collaborating with PwC UK on a content series which highlights cross-industry perspectives on some of the most significant business challenges of today. The partnership titled ‘Better Solved Together’ features a whole host of leaders and experts across entertainment, health and wellness, nature, fitness, sports and space. Contributors will look to bring these business communities together through collaborative problem solving. The series will be hosted by TV and radio personality Angellica Bell. The content launch is part of PwC’s larger ‘The New Equation’ new brand positioning and will be shown on Sky News, Sky News’ Youtube and on PwC’s social media.

Clubhouse’s Global Mental Health Awareness Day event will be running for 24hrs with countries across the world hosting specific schedules to raise awareness around this year’s theme ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. The event is the first of its kind as Clubhouse seeks to unite its global community and provide country-specific content on the day. Kicking off on 10th October from 5am BST, the room will travel from Australia to Japan, South Korea to France and Mexico to the UK (and many more nations), featuring motivational speakers, mindfulness tips, meditation sessions and honest conversations around mental health across the globe.

Market research leader Toluna has been awarded with the Mahatma Award 2021 for its contribution to the market research industry during the pandemic in India. Toluna worked tirelessly to create a vaccination camp in India to support the market research sector during the height of the pandemic in the country, designing an initiative to organise and sponsor the cost of a Covid vaccination camp, working in partnership with the Market Research Society of India (MRSI). 

The changing marketing landscape: partnerships, mergers and rebrands

In another sign that the lines between brand marketing and performance marketing are blurring, Omnicom Media Group has bought agency Jump 450 Media as the agency holding companies looks to diversify and modernise its  practices.  Founded in 2016 and based in New York, performance marketing agency Jump 450 Media leverages algorithmic scaling strategies, rapid creative testing, and robust data analytics to optimize digital media spend and drive customer acquisition for high-growth and enterprise clients in various industries. Jump 450 Media will continue to be led by its current management team. The acquisition will build the foundation for a dedicated performance media platform and business operation within OMG.

Former execs at Facebook and Disney have raised $4.5m for their live video platform 100ms which enables any business to quickly host Zoom-style engagement through their app. Before 100ms, setting up live video for brands had taken months and was a very expensive affair. Kshitij Gupta, Aniket Behera and Sarvesh Dwivedi solved these problems while building some of the world’s largest live video infrastructure deployments at Facebook and Disney. They launched 100ms in October 2020 with a view to democratise access to live video infrastructure for everyone.

Brand Metrics has struck a major partnership with Ringier Advertising, the Swiss marketing unit of Ringier AG, a leading, international acting Media Company headquartered in Switzerland. Brand Metrics has had a successful working relationship with Ringier Advertising as they bagged major brands like L'Oreal and delivered powerful insights into their campaigns. Brand Metrics’ unique algorithm uses a single question with five answer options to provide reliable information on qualitative advertising impact. This can be applied to native, display and video advertising.  Both the companies are now working to support Swiss advertiser campaigns and provide evidence of brand lift on all campaigns.

European Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) Puzzel has bought Swedish digital engagement company Vergic, as it continues its vision to power the future of commerce with smart experiences. Puzzel will integrate Vergic’s site messaging, chatbot, engagement rule engine, video and co-browsing capabilities into its cloud Customer Service Platform, with the acquisition, its third in just three years, demonstrating Puzzel’s commitment to bringing continuous innovation to customers.

Ones to watch: movers and shakers in performance marketing

Consumer insights provider Toluna has appointed Cate Rubenstein as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing. Cate will be responsible for expanding and elevating the Toluna brand as the company continues its rapid growth. Rubenstein brings extensive experience in global marketing for major worldwide brands across consumer insights, entertainment, media, and lifestyle industries. She has relocated from Los Angeles to New York City for the role Toluna is the parent company of Harris Interactive and KuRunData. 

Shopware, one of the leading providers of ecommerce solutions, has made two critical new hires from Adobe’s Magento. Shopware welcomes Kathleen Claes, to the position of Director of Partnerships & Alliances and Katy Wilson to Partner Manager. They join Ben Marks – also formerly of Magento – who was hired by Shopware in March 2021 as Director of Global Market Development, and will play critical roles in continuing to build Shopware’s international growth.

Personified advertising company Ogury has appointed  Blandine Kouyaté as Chief People Officer, to support Ogury’s growing team of talent and strengthen its position as a global leader in mobile advertising. Blandine has over 20 years of experience in HR and spent several of those years as HR director at Yahoo Europe. She is now set to take on the position to transform Ogury’s HR strategy and provide the best employee experience, evidenced by her seasoned resumé and visionary approach to challenges. Ogury recently reported approximately 60% YoY revenue growth for the first semester of 2021.

Martech leader Access Intelligence has appointed Jay Krall as Global VP of Data to expand data acquisition and enrichment as well as deliver best-in-class data governance and security across all Access Intelligence products globally. Additionally, IBM’s Lisa Gilbert has been appointed Non-Executive Director with immediate effect. Both appointments come at a time of ambitious growth plans for Access Intelligence, following a $13.5 million fundraiser in December 2020. The business recently announced it is merging its operations after a $67 million takeover with the largest APAC media monitoring, intelligence and insights solution provider, Isentia. This is part of Access Intelligence’s action plan to spearhead innovation in the media intelligence market and serve a 6,000 strong global client base across 4 continents and 10 markets.

Iconic creative ad awards organisation D&AD has recently announced their new president, Rebecca Wright. Rebecca will focus her efforts on continuing D&AD’s legacy of inspiring and facilitating creative learning through programmes such as New Blood and Shift, driving inclusivity and diversity. D&AD also announces that Richard Brim, Chief Creative Officer at adam&eveDDB, will become Deputy President, automatically succeeding to the Presidency in 2022/2023.  As the organisation’s first President from the world of education, Rebecca will focus her efforts on continuing D&AD’s legacy of inspiring and facilitating creative learning, particularly pertinent as the organisation celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2022. She will lead D&AD’s exploration of the diverse routes of creative learning, including underrepresented and emerging voices.

AdTonos, run by Radio Net Media which monetises podcasts, audiobooks, music and radio streams of over 200 recognised publishers across the UK, EU, LATAM and the US, has appointed Paul Smith as Senior VP of Sales to support the global growth of sales, with a primary focus on the UK. Paul has over 12 years of experience in the Radio Industry successfully managing multiple Commercial teams across the UK, representing some of the largest market-leading brands. Paul spent much of his career with Global becoming the youngest Commercial Director at the time, managing some of the biggest relationships across the group.

London-based ecommerce marketplace aisle 3 is making two more senior hires as it embarks on its seed funding round. Dr. Pedro Balage has been named Director of Machine Learning and Dr. Luis Daniel López-Sánchez adds 10 years of practical knowledge to the Machine Learning team. Pedro has a PhD in artificial intelligence  and comes from a data science background having held a senior position at FarFetch. Luis is an Experienced Machine Learning Engineer with a PhD in Mathematics from Madrid University. Founded in 2020 by senior Amazon and Lastminute alumni, aisle 3 is a disruptive eCommerce marketplace that aims to fix the current fragmented shopping experience by creating a 'universal view of online shopping'.