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Press: CityAM – Keeping in the Loop With Stephen Upstone

Written and Printed in CityAM, October 31st.

Stephen Upstone, chief executive and founder of LoopMe, is pondering his company's reach.

"I think that out of the top 10 global brands, as rated by Interbrand, we work with eight of them,” he says.

His business has touched 1.5bn people, handles 500bn bits of data a day, and has opened offices from Los Angeles to Bangalore. Not bad for a four year old company.

Like so many tech companies, LoopMe operates in the background, exerting a subtle influence over our digital lives.

“Think of it as a software platform that puts video ads into apps and mobile websites,” says Upstone. “But what we do that’s particularly different is use artificial intelligence (AI) and a huge amount of data to improves customer experience, and advertisers’ results.”

Mobile revolution

As we move away from desktop to spend more time gazing into our phones, LoopMe has moved in to capitalise on the mobile revolution. “Before video ads couldn’t really be played on mobile because the bandwidth wasn’t strong enough,” says Upstone, but “now 68 per cent of the time we spend digitally is with mobile, and video is king.”

Video advertising is (and always has been) so successful, says Upstone, because it “instills empathy in people. It creates a really strong emotional connection and makes them feel better about brands.” The uptake of video on mobile has been nothing short of a game changer for advertisers – there’s no denying it works, but the wastage, that is, showing people irrelevant adverts, was mammoth.

Read the rest of the article on CityAM here.

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Press: VideoNet – The 360 Degree Revolution

Written in VideoNet & Digital Marketing Magazine, 28/10/16

Creating compelling advertising content which resonates with users and generates an impact has never been easy. Some brands like John Lewis, Evian and Coca Cola make it look effortless, with timeless advertising that appeals to a wide range of audiences. For others it hasn’t quite been so simple, and as users become more ad-savvy and critical of traditional advertising, brands are seeking out new ways to create content which is genuinely engaging and offers users value for their time and attention.

360o video and Virtual Reality have truly come into their own this year, with a huge presence at all large marketing events – the latest being at dmexco, where Samsung’s CMO Marc Mathieu took to the stage to discuss Samsung’s VR Studio which opened in January. These channels, which are beginning to mature, could offer brands the platform they need to deliver users a valuable experience.

To build brand loyalty today, advertisers must offer something more to the consumer, and immersive, tangible 360ocontent is a solution which is becoming more widely available to creatives. By leveraging brand partnerships to essentially bring users to the centre of a concert crowd, the tunnel before a Manchester City game, or even the site of a remote village in Ethopia, brands can solidify their voice and establish much more fully what they stand for. Outstanding implementation of 360o and VR will not only make users sit back and think ‘wow’ but will truly convey a sense of the brand’s identity. The challenge will be recruiting creatives who have the vision and the expertise to develop advertising which truly delivers an unforgettable experience.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Press: Chief Marketer – Why Data Is Key

Written in Chief Marketer, 30th September

John Wanamaker once said ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half’. It’s a question which has troubled marketers since the 1800s, and even with the huge amounts of data available today, it can be difficult for brands to judge which elements of their advertising campaign have been truly effective.

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Digital advertising represents a huge leap forward in how advertising campaigns can be tracked and measured. Unlike offline campaigns, digital advertising delivers trackable, actionable metrics in real-time. By using a tag, ad tech providers are able to easily identify whether a user has clicked on an ad, watched a video (and if so, for how long), whether the audio was on and if they carried out an online action via the ad unit. It is also highly advisable to track whether the ad was viewable. By working with a third party verification provider, brands receive insights into whether an ad is viewable and consequently the true value of the impression or view.

While these actionable metrics are extremely useful, particularly for performance-based campaigns which are popular among brands like Netflix and Uber, where the end goal is for a user to perform an online action (sign up online or download the app), the challenge is when a user is being driven to carry out a purchase offline. How can the advertising campaign and final purchase be linked?

Location data, thrown up by our constant use of smartphones, provides another piece to the attribution puzzle. Each time an ad call is received from an app where a user has enabled location services, details of their current location is delivered via a lat/long co-ordinate (it’s important to note location can be determined in other ways, such as WiFi or user input but geo co-ordinates are the most accurate). These co-ordinates are assigned to the advertiser ID, which remains anonymous, and over time build up a picture of the user’s location behavior.

Read the full article here.

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Press: What’s the Real Value of your Advertising Campaign? – Exchange Wire

Imagine you are an account manager looking through an end-of-campaign report: 95% viewable, 70% completion rate, 60% audibility, 5% click-through rate, on target – it has all the hallmarks of a successful mobile video advertising campaign. But, did it have a genuine effect on marketing goals and move the consumer along the path to purchase? In short, what real value did that advertising campaign deliver? Stephen Upstone (pictured below) founder and CEO, LoopMe explains to ExchangeWire that improved metric adoption for campaign measurement is needed industry-wide to ensure we can deliver against brand requirements.

Measuring the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns is not as simple as it might appear. Although digital advertising is by nature highly trackable, choosing the right metrics can be problematic – the Advertising Research Foundation have identified 197 digital metrics, while the IAB have a conservative 30, deciding which will prove value is no easy task. As an industry, we have traditionally fallen back on two key metrics when it comes to measuring efficiency across digital campaigns: clicks and views. But do these metrics actually move the dial when it comes to getting users into stores and making a purchase?

Read the full article here.

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Three Things to Look Out For at New Video Frontiers

New Video Frontiers UK kicks off this Wednesday at London’s King’s Place, packed with speakers tackling topics including programmatic, VR, global focuses and new steps in video distribution over the coming years. With such a packed two day agenda, we thought we’d give you a few pointers as to what we’re going to be looking out for. Got your own tips? Why not email us and let us know on [email protected] .

1)      Day One - Imagining the Agency of the Future – 11:55

With an advertising industry constantly in a state of transition and innovation, agencies have to strive to make sure they’re always at the top of their game – providing relevant services and creative acumen for brands. New Video Frontiers’ agency panel on the future of the market should be an exciting discussion on the topic – with a range of agencies and brands providing their opinions including Havas, Publicis and Huawei technologies.

2)      Day Two – Is Video the Publisher’s Panacea? – 10:20

With the IAB Ad Spend H1 2016 report last week showing just how much is being invested in digital video advertising, publishers are certainly in the midst of rethinking their video strategies to maximise revenues. Opinions from MailOnline and Trinity Mirror will certainly give an industry insight into the situation facing all publishers.

3)      Day Two – Creating New Advertising Models for VR & AR – 14:30

Rounding off the event is an exciting discussion on perhaps two of the biggest innovations in video over the last decade – virtual and augmented reality. With the rise and fall of Pokemon Go this summer, AR has been thrust into the mainstream, where it will be heavily and thoroughly scrutinised by advertisers. A panel discussion with a variety of speakers from different backgrounds, this will certainly be one new video frontier fittingly rounding out the event on its second day.

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Video of the Week: WCFF have an important message

Using a Les Miserables song in an advert may seem like a cliche, but the WCFF is definitely one organisation that could get away with it. Here the tone of finality and melancholy is perfectly used to show the pertinence of the issues - never shying away from potentially graphic images to really make the message hit home.

The whole video is in anticipation for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, which opens this week in New York. You can find out more about the event at  http://www.wcff.org. The event aims to champion the welfare of endangered and exploited species across the world - including (but certainly not limited to) those in the ad.

You can also watch the ad below:

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Video of the Week: A Heartwrenching Depiction of Digital Loneliness

Black Mirror is returning to screens across the globe next week on Netflix, and the healthy dosing of dystopia doesn't stop there for the month in this heartwrenching ad. 8 million people in France are categorised as lonely - bereft of caregivers and close family to attend on them whenever necessary. This new ad campaign shows how, no matter how far we innovate, nothing beats close, intimate contact. It's a sad, important message - one that has surely had an impact in France.

The ad is shot beautifully - the longer tracking shots, the lilting music, all plucking the heartstrings whenever necessary; juxtaposing the normal and the abnormal.

Watch it below:

 

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5 Things to Look Out for at IAB Engage London

IAB Engage UK kicks off its two-day spell at the London Barbican on Wednesday, with an agenda full of relevant and innovative topics as well as high quality speakers. For those wanting to be on top of their game when the conference starts, we thought we’d run down 5 things to look out for over the 48 hours (apart from our red LoopMe t-shirts of course…).

1)      Mark Read – CEO of Wunderman, Day One, 16:10

Wunderman has become one of the leading networks of digital companies in the world, employing thousands across almost every conceivable market. Global CEO Mark Read has done an enormous amount to make sure Wunderman remains a cutting edge institution, so much so that in 2015 he was named as The Drum’s Digital Individual of the Year. It will be exciting to see what topic he decides to tackle during his fireside chat on Wednesday.

2)      Caitlin Moran – Columnist and Author, Day One, 16:40

Caitlin Moran has carved an incredibly powerful niche for herself as one of the forefront writers on contemporary issues; her regular column at The Times now being one of the most renowned features in modern publishing while her books have sold millions of copies in a variety of countries. No doubt her astute observations will contribute to a wonderful fireside chat with IAB Director of Marketing Alex Kozloff.

3)      Gary Lineker – Former Footballer and Broadcaster, Day Two, 16:20

On top of his unparalleled record as a footballer, Gary Lineker has gone on to become one of the most respected broadcasters of the present day with his fixture on Match of the Day. For those at Engage however, it’s fair to say that Lineker has a special place in the advertising hall of fame – his legendary appearances on Walkers crisp adverts being a fantastic matching of celebrity endorsement and brand identity.

4)      Poorna Bell – Executive Editor, Huffington Post, Day One, 11:20

In the tumultuous political climate, the Huffington Post has had a tough job staying on top of every relevant and burning issue while also guaranteeing a consistent number of quality articles. Coupled with all the issues facing the modern day publisher, there will certainly be no shortage of topics for Poorna to dig into.

5)      Dr Hannah Fry – Science Presenter and Author, Day Two, 12:40

Data has been a big buzzword within the digital advertising community for a number of years, but only recently has it been coupled with the notion of creating user stories or brand journeys. Dr Hannah Fry, author of The Mathematics of Love, will be going into more detail about this in her talk on Day Two – certainly one not to miss!

See the full agenda for IAB Engage here and do not hesitate to come find us through [email protected]

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LoopMe Nominated for Five Awards at the EMMAs

LoopMe are very excited to announce we've been nominated five times at the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards! The EMMAs are an amazing night organised by Mobile Marketing Magazine, specially celebrating all the best in mobile practices and mobile advertising across the last year. The shortlist features over 100 entries from global brands and agencies across 29 categories. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in London on 17 November - fingers crossed for all involved!

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You can read the full shortlist here.

 

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Video of the Week: Getting to the Hart of Beckham

One of the main criticisms of a large portion of new comedy films is how they rarely invest in impressive visuals, instead relying on improvised lines or comedic sequences to deliver their skits. As a result, it becomes vastly more exciting when ads start creating something more intriguing and visually stimulating - here coming as a two-hander between Kevin Hart and David Beckham.

Beckham is not averse to doing comedy skits (having done so with James Corden on a few occasions) and is a fairly confident screen presence - something that Becks could always use to his advantage further down the line. It's nice to see Kevin Hart also being less frenetic than his usual self - the actor has certainly developed somewhat.

For H&M this is a nice distraction from their usual ads, playing on comedy rather than their products. Seeing more in a similar vein down the line is an exciting prospect.

Check out the ad here: