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VCCP Launches Global Gaming Proposition VCCP+

Wednesday 05 October 2022

VCCP Group, the global challenger network, has today announced the launch of a global gaming proposition, VCCP+. On a mission to help brands navigate and leverage the 2.7 billion person Gaming Multiverse, VCCP+ will deliver data-backed solutions to help brands build long-term value in the space and challenge the ways gaming is traditionally viewed and activated. With a unique approach and offering, VCCP+ will aim to upskill and tip the balance for modern marketers.

The current obsession with the Metaverse pipe dream is distracting the much needed attention away from the single largest unmet audience opportunity in marketing. The power of games as a medium and culture has been alarmingly misunderstood for too long. Gaming today is much more than just playing video games. It is a complex, thriving multiverse of distinct and diverse platforms, media and cultures – from content, to influencers, lifestyle, design, entertainment, and sports. With a third of the world’s population in its mix, gaming has a larger audience than even Facebook. But it’s not just its sheer size. Every touchpoint across the multiverse surpasses that of existing social and traditional channels of communication. Gaming content viewership on YouTube, for example, is bigger than HBO, Netflix, and Hulu combined. And these numbers will only continue to accelerate with a new generation of audience where gaming is a core part of their identity and social life.

Despite its popularity and abundance of opportunities, brands, marketers and even agencies have only really scratched the surface of gaming’s potential as the force in marketing to leverage. Investment in gaming is currently 100 times less than ad spend on Facebook and four times less than in print. VCCP+ aims to disrupt this status quo and will arm future-facing brands with the right data, expertise, ideas, and partnerships for an immediate marketing future where a gaming strategy and an always-on plan will be a critical necessity.

Jonny Shaw, CEO of VCCP+ said: “The gaming space is completely misunderstood, misused or relegated to being an experiment for marketers. It is the biggest unmet audience opportunity there is in marketing. Gaming represents the biggest entertainment vertical in the world and is constantly ignored by brands. As 90% of Gen Z identify as gamers, the audience of tomorrow is everyone. VCCP+ is here to challenge the status quo and offer brands a way to engage and tap into this demographic in a way that is authentic and will reduce media wastage.”

The traditional one-size-fits-all model will not work in the gaming multiverse. Launching with a proprietary methodology and tools built from the ground up to aid brands and marketers in making the right decisions, VCCP+ brings data-rich, actionable insights from the complex landscape with the goal of delivering long-term engagement and value, with the capabilities to measure and optimise marketing activities in the space.

Backed by a worldwide network of talent and partners, VCCP+ will tap into coders from VCCP CX and makers in the world of design and art, motion and 3D tech, from VCCP’s recently launched global content studio, Girl&Bear. Supporting this and working at the speed of culture, VCCP+ will also team up with leading production and content partners, collaborators at the intersections of sports, lifestyle and entertainment, as well as gaming publishers and influencers.

VCCP+ launches as a new practice within all VCCP offices worldwide, including New York, where it is headquartered, Madrid, Prague, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Sydney and Shanghai, and will be offered as core service to clients such as White Claw, Google and O2.

VCCP Joins Pitch Positive Pledge

VCCP are proud to have joined over 70 companies in pledging their commitment to Pitch Positive Pledge, a newly launched cross-industry pledge that aims to tackle systemic pitching behaviour and drive better outcomes across the industry for its people, the planet and profit.

The joint initiative established by the IPA and ISBA seeks to improve the behaviours of agencies and advertisers around pitching for the benefit of the industry people, the planet and profit. Samsung, Boots, Virgin Media O2, Nationwide Building Society, Nestle, as well as PWC, AAR, Wunderman Thompson, BBH among others, have also pledged their involvement.

With almost 40% of the industry workforce reporting feeling stressed and anxious in the last twelve months, the Pledge, supported by Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and Nabs, brings together the two trade associations, their members, procurement professionals and intermediaries, to focus on making the pitching process more intentional, accountable and responsible for both advertisers and agencies. In doing so, it aims to drive better outcomes including more transparency and better mental wellbeing, resulting in better quality work, fewer costs and less wastage.

Speaking of the Pledge, the IPA President and our Vice Chairman & International CEO, Julian Douglas (aka Dougie) said: “One of the very few positives that the coronavirus has delivered is an inflection point, a discontinuous moment to change things, and an opportunity to tackle the long standing challenges facing our industry.

“One of those challenges has been pitching, of which the negative impacts are so high. As we have seen from the latest industry figures, mental health issues have increased significantly among industry members. Now is the time to change and the feedback we’ve received is that people feel like they can. This change won’t happen unless we all play our part, which is why I’m delighted to have such support and collaboration from the outset.”

“The Pitch Positive Pledge isn’t a marketing tool. It is a call for a change in behaviour across the industry. By signing up to the Pledge, agencies and clients are making a clear commitment to the positive mental health of their people. In tandem, we hope it will lead to better wealth for their businesses by cutting down on unnecessary waste, in terms of resources, time and energy. This is our chance to really make a difference for the benefit of our current industry employees and for future generations for whom we hope conditions will be fairer and even more enjoyable.”

Historically pitch guides have focused on the process and ‘how to’ of pitching and have lacked the consideration of both human and environmental costs. This initiative seeks to address the systemic pitching behaviours, providing a new perspective.

The full pledge can be found on www.pitchpositivepledge.co.uk and details the core commitments agencies and clients must adhere to and outlines the various considerations they must take into account during the three stages of the pitch process – before, during and after. In summary, these comprise:

The B2B Bears 2022

Welcome to The Challengers, our VCCP Business B2B podcast series where in each
episode, we go into the woods and challenge a bear.

Hear B2B leaders’ views on what’s holding B2B back and how to realise its full potential.
Across six podcasts we’re slaying the bears that need to be banished, with candour and
perspective in 20min roar sized chunks.

Available on your favourite device via Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple.

VCCP Group Launches Bernadette

Bernadette brings together strategy & execution to make breakthrough products & services.

VCCP Group, the global challenger network, has today announced the launch of a new breed of Product & Service Innovation company, Bernadette. Born out of the 12 year heritage of the customer experience arm of the VCCP Group, VCCP CX, Bernadette is on a mission to bridge the gap between ‘digital strategy’ and the execution of ‘digital experiences’ to make breakthrough products & services.

Strategies, like ideas, are worthless to brands if they cannot be executed. Likewise, isolated and incremental improvements are highly unlikely to make a big impact. Bernadette has been engineered to put strategy into action, with a focus on helping brands break through – whether that’s the design and delivery of digital products and services that truly stand apart, or helping clients break through the many internal barriers standing in the way of getting there in the first place. Bernadette is directly targeting the big digital transformation consultancies, who typically lack practical execution experience – and the smaller digital execution agencies, who are typically divorced from brand purpose.

Bernadette launches with a commitment to bring strategy and execution together in one uncompromising collaborative solution – inventing new category-leading products and services, supercharging existing ones, and activating customer engagement and advocacy with digital experiences. In the process Bernadette will help their clients speed time to market, save wasted time and money, ensure that brand purpose and impact is delivered tangibly from idea to customer touchpoint and launch truly landmark digital experiences that go the distance – across the whole digital ecosystem. To directly underpin this commitment with their business model, Bernadette will work actively to tie its revenues directly to the desired outcomes for its client engagements – breaking the traditional rate card-based, project by project agency model.

With a team of 85 specialists from the world of strategy, design and engineering, Bernadette is headquartered in London and led by CEO, Scott Ewings. Ewings notably led Fjord, Ustwo and Potato in the UK, helping to establish them all as outstanding digital product and venture studios.

 

Sponsors Line Up To Join The Hundred

After a spectacular inaugural season in 2021, The Hundred returns to stadiums and screens across the UK in August. We’ve been busy helping the ECB secure more partners for the bold new tournament, ahead of its second year.

Over the past fortnight, three new brands have come on board. The first, Xplora, becomes the Official Children’s Smartwatch Supplier, with the aim of encouraging kids to stay active and strike a balance between screen time and physical exercise.

Software experts, Sage, joined as the Official Insights Partner of the tournament in a multi-year deal, bringing consumers and fans closer to the high pressure decision-making that underpins the competition. Branding will feature on umpire’s clothing. As part of that agreement, Sage will also be a Presenting Partner of The Hundred Draft from 2023 onward.

To round things off, a deal was also agreed that will see British fruit drink specialists, Robinsons, make a splash as Official Soft Drinks Partner.

Robinsons has a shared aim to help people make more informed choices and live healthier lives, and The Hundred will feature on pack across Robinsons’ no added sugar range, with weekly ticket giveaways offered to consumers. The brand will also put its name to the Strategic Time Out, where the bowling side can rehydrate and recuperate during play.

The Hundred now boasts twelve sponsors, alongside broadcast partnerships with BBC and Sky Sports, in what has been a real commercial success story. We are delighted to have helped the tournament on that journey so far, and look forward to working closely with the ECB on developing this proposition further in the future.

Celebrate Team USA Week

US OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE MARK ATHLETES’ ACHIEVEMENTS

In December 2021, the USOPC partnered with us to develop and produce a comprehensive experiential program to establish a marquee celebratory moment for Team USA Athletes.

On May 1-4, 2022, Team USA Olympians and Paralympians from both the Tokyo and Beijing Games. For the first time, Summer and Winter Athletes were brought together as a unified team – in one place, at one time – for Team USA Week, a landmark moment for the movement.

Held in Washington DC at the historic Washington Hilton, the unforgettable three-day program consisted of pillar events and a robust hospitality program that celebrated the accomplishments and supported the personal and professional growth of the Athletes. The program concluded with the Athletes’ visit to the White House to meet the President on May 4.

We developed and produced three pillar events along with several extension activations and content capture opportunities. The pillar events included:

Athlete Summit – a day of programming that educated, informed and provided professional resources for more than 400 Athletes with the goal of providing diverse offerings to address the varied needs of athletes
Team USA Service & Hope Impact Day – a day for Athletes to give back to the DC community and inspire them to make an impact in their own communities. Athletes teamed up to create play kits to encourage kids to be active and participate in sports at home. After building the kits, athletes went out into the community to deliver them in person to youth organizations.
The Celebration – a spectacular celebration befitting of Olympians and Paralympians hosted by disability activist Lolo Spencer and featuring performances by Walk the Moon and America’s Got Talent winner Dustin Tavella.
Additionally, we served as general liaison with the hotel and managed venue use, food and beverage. Hospitality activities at the hotel included a welcome reception and Athlete Lounge sponsored by Toyota.

The experiences were anchored by large-scale environmental graphics with Team USA Branding. Developed by CSM, the hotel was transformed into Team USA Week, featuring Olympic and Paralympic athletes teams to celebrate their crowning achievements.

Delivering a Show Stopping Saudi Grand Prix

HELPING PARTNERS ACTIVATE ACROSS THE RACE WEEKEND IN JEDDAH

The spectacular Jeddah Corniche Circuit lit up again over three unforgettable days for its second consecutive year on the Formula One calendar. World Champion Max Verstappen claimed the highest step of the podium on Sunday 28th March after an exhilarating 50 lap race.

For a second year in a row, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix did not disappoint as 180,000 fans watched the second race of the season from the grandstands.

The first year saw an amazing 12 brands represented at the event, however, 2022 saw that increase to 13. Brands were showcased across the main and central fan-zones with experiential and modern booths ensuring that all visitors were entertained throughout the weekend.

The entertainment didn’t stop when the track action finished, as both Saturday and Sunday saw an array of international stars perform in the concert area. The likes of DJ Rehab, Black Eyed Peas and Chris Brown, amongst others, created an atmosphere that has set the bar high for the rest of the season.

We were appointed in early 2021 by Saudi Motorsport Company to be the exclusive sponsorship agency and as such were active in brokering deals with partners such as Bank AlBilad and helped shape the commercial stream by securing several multi-million, multi-year deals across 12 different sectors. Along with the commercial assistance, we also helped the 13 partners to activate rights across the three-day event, providing assistance with ticketing, accreditation, hospitality, fan zone activations and more.

Jules Rimet Trophy Tours the Middle East

HELPING COCA-COLA BRING THE MAGIC OF THE FIFA WORLD CUP TO FANS AROUND THE WORLD

As part of Coca-Cola’s longstanding FIFA World Cup partnership, we are once again delighted to be delivering the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola across all Middle Eastern markets, including the spectacular global kick-off event in the UAE which took place 12 May.

FIFA World Cup™ winners Iker Casillas and Kaká added star power to the first event of the tour at the Coca-Cola Arena Dubai – under the banner of ‘Believing Is Magic’ – before sending the real FIFA World Cup™ Trophy on a global journey that will take in 51 different countries, including all 32 qualified countries for the very first time.

As part of the showcase event, global media, Coca-Cola customers and local youth teams were invited to enjoy interactive football experiences, and see the real FIFA World Cup™ Trophy up close, along with competition winners who booked their place through an on-pack promotion.

From the UAE, the tour moved directly on to two stunning venues – the Royal Opera House Muscat, and JACC Kuwait – accompanied by another FIFA World Cup winner and legend of the game, Gilberto Silva.

Other markets delivered by our team include Bahrain, Lebanon and Uzbekistan during June, before the real FIFA World Cup™ Trophy returns to the Middle East for events in Saudi Arabia and finally Qatar in November.

CSM Acquires Phoenix Management Group

MOVE REAFFIRMS POSITION AS UK’S LEADING CRICKET AGENCY
We are pleased to announce the formal acquisition of Phoenix Management Group, England’s leading cricket talent management business.

Set up in 2018 by former professional cricketer, Neil Fairbrother, Phoenix manages some of the biggest names in English cricket such as Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Stuart Broad, Liam Livingstone, Nat Sciver and current Men’s Test captain Ben Stokes. Phoenix also looks after several ex-players and media personalities including Isa Guha, David Lloyd and Michael Vaughan.

Already established as the number one agency for athlete representation in rugby, the acquisition further bolsters our talent offering and will create the undisputed market leader in English cricket. Phoenix’s players and personalities join our existing cricket clients, which include Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, Reece Topley and Matthew Potts.

Matt Vandrau, Group CEO at CSM, said: “We are delighted to have brought Phoenix Management Group into the business. Having played cricket with and against Neil in the 90’s, I know first-hand how driven and committed he is. It’s little surprise he went on to build such a successful talent management agency. Neil’s expertise, coupled with our own experience in this space, positions us collectively as the undisputed market leaders within English cricket both commercially and from a talent management perspective. We look forward to working with Neil and his team.”

Neil Fairbrother, Founder of Phoenix Management Group, said: “Everyone here at Phoenix is excited by the prospect of working closely with CSM. As an established global agency, operating across the full spectrum of sport and entertainment, we feel they can help elevate our business to a new level. We can’t wait to get going and look forward to what’s in store for the whole Phoenix family in the months and years ahead.”

CSM were advised by Womble Bond Dickinson. The shareholders of Phoenix Management Group were advised by Seneca, Laytons and Claritas.

Celebrating with HBO MAX, Tokyo Vice Style

HBO MAX PREMIERES NEW SHOW, TOKYO VICE

For the premiere of its newest show, Tokyo Vice, HBO Max wanted to create an immersive experience to celebrate in a unique and exciting way.

We partnered with HBO Max’s Multicultural Marketing Team to invite a group of influencers to embark on a scavenger hunt through Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, CA. Influencers went from business to business to uncover the “secret location” of a speakeasy after party.

Once they used the clues from the hunt to discover the secret hot spot, they discovered a #TokyoVice takeover at Far Bar filled with in-world experiences, izakaya-style eats, photo moments throughout the space, live beats by DJ Terry Urban, and a room full of influencers and guests to celebrate the night, Tokyo Vice style.