This month’s movers and shakers in the digital industry: Gurgle | Barclaycard and Wembley | Xing | Autotrader | Biz Rendezvous353 | Publicis | MyDaily | Videojug | Adobe Scene 7 | Infiniti | Crunch | Qype | Explainia | Underwired | AudienceScience | Videojug and Dailymotion | JiWire | Foviance | Mousebreaker | Kinect | OpenAmplify | Underwired | Steak | Bigpoint | Tealeaf | Kelkoo
gurgle.com and Annabel Karmel agree commercial advertising deal
Baby feeding and nutrition website annabelkarmel.com has agreed a partnership with baby and parenting site gurgle.com which will see the gurgle.com commercial team selling the advertising space on the Annabel Karmel website. The ad exchange partnership will give advertisers access to one of the largest captive parent audiences in the UK. The two sites combined have an audience of over half a million unique monthly users and over two million e-newsletter subscribers, through gurgle’s parent company Mothercare. The arrangement combines two diverse resources for parents, providing an expansive selection of advice, discussions and articles on all aspects of pregnancy and childcare. gurgle.com’s commercial team, headed by Roz Stoyel, will be able to sell space for adverts on both websites as a package or individually offering an opportunity for advertisers to reach the online parenting audience through banner ads, micro sites and sponsored user reviews. This announcement follows the success of a promotion between Vauxhall and gurgle.com this summer, which saw gurgle.com offering a prize of a new Vauxhall Meriva as well as allowing parents to arrange test drives of the new car.
Wembley Arena first to offer ‘contactless’ payments
Following the announcement of Barclaycard’s sponsorship of Wembley Arena in April, Wembley Arena, A Barclaycard Unwind Experience has become the UK’s first music venue to go contactless. The introduction of contactless payment systems to Wembley Arena – previously mainly a cash venue – is making transactions quicker and easier for customers. With the average contactless transaction 12.5[i] seconds faster than cash, the new system is expected to significantly reduce the time customers spend in queues rather than enjoying concerts and gigs. What’s more, not only do customers spend less time waiting in line because of the innovative technology, Barclaycard customers also have access to a fast track entrance, the Barclaycard Unwind Lounge and even advanced ticketing for events at Wembley Arena.
XING acquires amiando
XING has bought amiando based in Munich, Germany, effective as of January 1, 2011. amiando is the leading provider of online event management and ticketing services in Europe with some 100,000 events successfully organized and processed via the platform in 2009. This move puts XING in a position to offer its more than 10 million members integrated business event services ranging from organization to marketing, billing and execution. The acquisition price comprises a number of components. At the time of acquisition, XING AG will initially pay appr. EUR 5.1 million. An additional payment of up to EUR 5.25 million will also be made on March 31, 2013, if various conditions are met. Examples of these conditions include the current management team remaining within the company and the achievement of specific revenue and profit targets.
Owner Reviews launch on AutoTrader.co.uk
UK motoring website, Auto Trader, has announced the launch of Owner Reviews, allowing Auto Trader customers to write their own car review and share their personal experiences for the first time. The personal Owner Reviews will feature alongside expert reviews from Auto Trader’s editorial team, offering valuable information from both everyday drivers and motoring professionals. The ten best reviews posted will be awarded £1,000 in a competition that kicks off today, plus, the overall winner will spend a day as an Auto Trader journalist, shadowing the company’s expert writing panel.
Irish social network for Biz RendezVous353 launches in UK
RendezVous353.com – the global Irish, and Irish connected, business and social networking website – held its UK launch with a big party in London, where the website is targeting the large Irish community in the capital, believed to run into millions when second and third generation Irish are included. The aim of RendezVous353.com is to connect, inform and entertain and to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, job opportunities and networking among all people with an Irish connection around the world.
Publicis Groupe Acquires Digital District
Publicis Groupe announced has acquired Digital District, a recognized thought leader in the interactive healthcare communications space. Digital District will be aligned under Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) and will become part of the global digital communications arm of PHCG. Digital District will maintain its current location in Dusseldorf (Germany), and will continue to be led by General Manager Aleksandar Stojanovic.nFounded in 2002, Digital District focuses on defining and implementing digital communication strategies. The agency offers a fully integrated suite of innovative interactive solutions, including digital branding, content management, e-commerce strategies, social media, web 2.0, and online marketing. Digital District’s clients include AstraZeneca, Siemens, Bellicon, Weleda, and Sara Lee. The agency outranked 450 interactive agencies and captured the number 1 position in the Benchpark interactive agency quality ranking for the second time in early 2010.
Dannii Minogue and AOL UK Announce Exclusive Web Content Partnership
AOL UK today announces that international music and TV personality Dannii Minogue, will join AOL UK’s new high-end, glossy female website MyDaily as Contributing Editor, on a year-long deal, to create high quality original content and programming. Dannii’s fantastic new role at the heart of MyDaily will see her produce three pieces of brand new content each week throughout 2011. Each month Dannii will get access to some of the most exciting names in the world of entertainment, treating visitors to the site with an exclusive mix of videos and interviews with the biggest names in fashion, film, television and music. MyDaily’s broad content offering will also give Dannii the opportunity to offer her opinions and perspective on a range of other subjects, including everything from culture to women’s issues and global events.
Videojug Hires Marketing Director to Support Growth Plans
Videojug, the original UK pioneer of ‘How-To’ online video has hired Ash Ali as Marketing Director to support its ambitious expansion plans. Ali will oversee all marketing and communications for Videojug, reporting directly to CEO, Tom Laidlaw. Tasked with aggressively promoting the Videojug brand to both consumers and the trade, his remit will include brand development, PR, search, social media, online marketing, CRM programmes, and partnership and affiliate marketing. Ali brings over 11 years commercial, hands-on online marketing and web product development experience to Videojug. With particular expertise in PPC, SEO, e-mail, social media, affiliate and partnership marketing; he boasts a strong track record in boosting traffic and revenues for content and transactional websites. He joins from online takeaway aggregator, Just-Eat.co.uk, where he was Marketing Director for two and half years driving the brand’s integrated marketing efforts.
Anthropologie rolls out Adobe Scene7 on UK website
Fashion and home decor lifestyle retailer Anthropologie has rolled out the Adobe Scene7 platform for rich media imaging and video on its UK website as its international expansion plans continue. The subsidiary of Urban Outfitters also intends to use Adobe Scene7 technology across future European website launches in other languages such as French and German, to ensure a consistent online customer experience. Anthropologie is a multichannel retailer, trading in-store, online and via catalogues. Its UK website launched earlier this year in March.
Infiniti launches Pan European mobile site
Infiniti, the performance automotive brand from Japan, is set to launch a new Pan-European mobile version of its website so that consumers can access Infiniti content while on the move via their PDAs regardless of their location. Digital and direct agency, Tullo Marshall Warren (TMW), has developed the mobile site as part of an on-going strategy to ensure consumers can engage with the brand from all mediums depending on their preference. The site is being rolled out across 15 markets in Europe. TMW has designed the site to use sophisticated device detection in order to cater for all phone handsets, including Smartphones. A full experience is delivered to the handsets while special features, such as streaming video and product carousels, ensure that Smartphone users get the best experience from their phone. Also, Infiniti has included their Infiniti TV section of the website for Smartphone users which includes engaging vehicle and brand videos.
Heart of UK’s Silicon Roundabout picks Crunch.co.uk to sort out the numbers
TechHub – the co-working centre for technology start-ups at the heart of the UK’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ in London’s Old Street – has partnered with Crunch.co.uk for its accounting needs. TechHub CEO Elizabeth Varley and Mike Butcher, Editor of TechCrunch Europe, co-founded TechHub (www.techhub.com) to meet the growing needs of technology entrepreneurs needing a base in London. Desk space, meeting rooms and event space are available cost-effectively, while working alongside like-minded business people encourages collaboration within the community.Aimed at freelancers, contractors and small businesses, Crunch.co.uk combines an expert team of accountants and easy-to-use online software. Its backers include Bebo co-founder Paul Birch and former Skype Chairman Michael van Swaaij. TechHub will promote Crunch.co.uk as its preferred online accounting partner to its extensive community. Crunch.co.uk will also run workshops at TechHub.
Qype goes big on mobile
A series of brand new developments has been announced by Qype, the largest user-generated local review site in Europe, which enforces its commitment to further develop its mobile business. The developments come hot-on-the-heels of recent news that Qype has raised investment from partners including Vodafone Ventures to enhance its mobile offering. The deal also saw a commercial agreement for the Qype app to be uploaded onto supported Vodafone devices.Additionally, recent developments in building Qype’s presence on mobile have included the launch of an enhanced location based app for the iPhone. The app includes new social features such as an activity feed that displays contacts’ reviews, ‘check-ins’ and photo uploads as they are posted so users can stay up-to-date with what their friends are doing and discover new places to visit. Users can also publish their whereabouts to Facebook and Twitter pages making it easier to share recommendations.
Explania.com brings viral animated explanations to UK market
Instruxion, the Brussels based provider of animated explanations and interactive tutorials, has launched Explania.com into the UK market today. Explania.com, headquartered in Belgium, enables businesses to virally distribute and embed short animated movies into their corporate website. The videos are replicated virally and are quickly seeded into the Long Tail of content for that topic because they cover generic topics such as ‘What is RFID?’ or ‘What is ADHD?’ or ‘What is twitter?’ – they’re not advertisements. The Explania.com platform tracks where the videos have appeared, what sites they’re loaded to, number of views, click-throughs and other vital analytics for marketers. The combination of the educational and generic nature of the topics makes the animations spread quickly, which has a dramatic impact on SEO and SEM – making Explania.com a powerful online marketing tool. The viral distribution of animated explanations and the ability for businesses to sponsor them makes Explania a powerful content marketing platform.
UK’s biggest business insurance broker hires Underwired Amaze for eCRM
Simply Business, the UK’s leading online insurance broker for small businesses, has hired digital strategy and eCRM specialist agency Underwired Amaze to develop an eCRM programme. Featured in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for the past three years, Simply Business is insurance broker to some 150,000 small and micro businesses across the UK. Its industry leading online service allows businesses to quickly find tailored insurance products, such as professional indemnity and public liability insurance, and compare quotes from multiple providers. Underwired Amaze has been brought in to develop three campaigns, which will help Simply Business extend its reach amongst small businesses in the UK. Underwired Amaze specialises in ROI-driven eCRM programmes designed to create auditable incremental revenues – its recent campaign for McCain Foods has increased purchase frequency by 3%. The agency’s other clients include Laithwaites Wine, NSPCC and Virgin. The agency is part of Amaze plc, the UK’s fourteenth largest digital agency, and currently ranked fifth in YouGov’s survey of agencies by reputation.
TVGuide.co.uk appoints AudienceScience to deliver precision online targeting
AudienceScience, a global online advertising technology company driving digital marketing, has announced that the UK’s number one TV Listings site, TVGuide.co.uk, will be implementing its data management and audience targeting platform, The Audience Gateway™. The platform will provide TVGuide.co.uk with greater insight into their users, allowing them to create distinct profile segments and offer precision targeting to both existing and new advertisers. Launched 10 years agoTVGuide.co.uk, which allows visitors to search and watch TV online, has 3 million unique users per month and 25 million monthly page impressions, making it the biggest TV listing site in the UK.
Videojug Ramps up Syndication Signing New Deal with Dailymotion
Videojug, the original UK pioneer of ‘how-to’ online video has signed Dailymotion as a new syndication partner. The deal comes as the company passes a key milestone in its development with total global films streams since launch standing at just over half a billion. Videojug has been producing professional, instructional, short-form online video content since 2006. Today Videojug’s huge, ever-expanding library of video content enables many millions of people everywhere to access straightforward, valuable knowledge and advice across thousands of subjects in easy-to-follow tutorial formats, through the website at Videojug.com, on their mobile device with Videojug’s apps for the iPhone and iPad; as well as through its growing syndication network. Currently Videojug has partnerships with YouTube, Yahoo!, Blinx and Yell; as well as foreign language media partners Agora and RTL. Earlier this month Videojug signalled its intention to monetise its library of films off-site with the appointment of Ben Myers as Syndication and Licensing Executive to its in-house sales team.
JiWire Unveils Compass, Unlocking Location Advertising for All Companies
JiWire, the leading location-based mobile media company reaching the on-the-go audience, today launched Compass, a new location-based advertising platform that provides mobile app and public Wi-Fi users with interactive location-related ads. Until now, location-based advertising has largely been limited to companies with physical venues, such as retailers and restaurants. Compass unlocks location for all companies by providing product availability and real time in-stock information, directing consumers to any place where a brand’s products are sold. Location-marketing pioneers Clinique, Groupon, HP and Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image have all signed on as launch partners for the new platform.
Foviance makes senior appointments to drive multi-channel analytics
Foviance, the UK’s leading customer experience consultancy and usability specialist, has appointed Guy Stephens as senior social customer care consultant, and Richard Sedley as commercial director. Both will be based at Foviance’s London headquarters. In his new role as senior social customer care consultant at Foviance, Guy Stephens is already exploring how social media is changing the way companies and customers work and communicate with each other. As Foviance’s new commercial director, Richard Sedley will oversee the expansion of the company’s client development team as well as working to increase the value of the multi-channel services that Foviance already successfully delivers for its clients. Additionally, as course director for social media at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Richard will ensure that Foviance clients are always best placed to take advantage of developments in the social web. Prior to joining Foviance Richard worked at cScape where he launched its Customer Engagement Unit, creating bespoke customer engagement strategies comprising audience research, metrics, analysis and segmentation, multi-channel engagement campaigns and communication optimisation.
Mousebreaker unveils a new look
UK-based-free-to-play games site Mousebreaker has unveiled a brand new look. The site, which delivers 4 million unique users every month, has a new premium look and feel. Kevin Heery, digital development director for IPC Inspire Men & Music, says: “Along with the new look, we’re launching Mousebreaker’s Platinum Games. These are our biggest hits – games such as Jumpers for Goalposts and Blast Billiards that are played millions of times each month. Fans of these games can now expect regular content updates, game specific communities, new levels and challenges and even prizes for the leading players.”
Kinect for Xbox on Stardoll
Stardoll, the world’s largest virtual entertainment and social gaming site for teens interested in fashion, celebrity and entertainment, today announced a promotion with Kinect for Xbox on Stardoll. Running over the next two months, Stardoll have developed an evolving, branded journey that deeply integrates into some of the core user experiences. The campaign kicks off this week with a virtual wide screen television streaming Kinect video content directly into all user’s personal suites – a Stardoll UK first. Central to the promotion is a branded Kinect Club page that regularly updates to showcase the Kinect device and three games (Kinectimals, Dance Central and Sports). Each release comes with matching Stardoll activities so members get a feel for the game’s content within their own environment.
Millward Brown hires OpenAmplify to uncover consumer sentiment
Global research agency, Millward Brown, and Semantic Web Platform, OpenAmplify, have teamed up to provide brands with a deeper understanding of what respondents really mean in their answers to surveys. The partnership adds value to the brand tracking and other studies conducted by WPP-owned Millward Brown, by using semantic technology to bring a human level of understanding to the analysis of verbatim consumer responses. The new service analyses verbatim data from Millward Brown studies to identify and understand what the respondent is saying about a product, service, or brand. The incorporation of OpenAmplify’s technology means the service can rapidly and automatically distinguish what is being said as negative, positive or neutral through automated coding and analysis. In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of what the consumer is saying, the partnership also enables a more cost effective, scalable analysis of open responses from research studies.
Inish Turk Beg hires Underwired Amaze
Inish Turk Beg, the multicategory lifestyle brand from the west coast of Ireland, has hired digital agency Underwired Amaze to develop its digital marketing and social media strategy. The appointment comes at a time of rapid expansion for the brand. In addition to its range of award winning bacon and smoked fish, Inish Turk Beg is launching a unique limited edition Irish whiskey Maiden Voyage, with the first of a series of music CD/Books, The Brilliant Irish Flute, soon to follow. The task also includes the worldwide promotion of the Inish Turk Beg Island itself; the Clew Bay island offers luxury accommodation available for rental and has its own Stud Farm producing Connemara Ponies. Inish Turk Beg’s Nadim Sadek commented, Were delighted to appoint Underwired Amaze on our account. As a multi-category brand operating in six different areas of activity, we need subversive, smart, innovative partners, and they offer us full digital support in growing our commercial activities. Our Food business has expanded since launch throughout the UK and Ireland, and is now making waves in the US; our Whiskey launched this week and is vigorously inviting people to join us in living life at a tilt and our Music initiative, The Brilliant Irish Flute, goes on sale shortly all helped by a partner agency able to support consumer engagement, rather than simply acting as an on-line advertising agency.
MOO.COM appoints Steak to handle international digital account
Full service digital response agency Steak, has been appointed by online print business MOO.COM to handle its international digital marketing activity. The account, which was won in a three-way agency pitch, will see Steak focus on paid search and digital display advertising, and responsible for driving sales and acquiring new customers across UK, USA, Australia and other English speaking territories. Steak will utilise teams in its London, New York and Melbourne offices to manage the MOO account, globally Steak employs 85 people.
Steak’s task is to help raise awareness of the MOO brand and its range of innovative personalised print products and accessories through targeted display campaigns and to drive a high volume of quality traffic to MOO through paid search.
Bigpoint Adds Top Online Games to the Chrome Web Store
Bigpoint, the global market leader in browser-based massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) – today announced that its most popular free-to-play games are available in the Chrome Web Store. Bigpoint has added DarkOrbit, Seafight, Farmerama, and Zoomumba to the online marketplace, all Flash-based titles that together have garnered over 100+ million registered users worldwide. In 2011, Bigpoint will add Unity-based titles to the Chrome Web Store, including Ruined Online, a fast-paced, arena-style combat game set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. Unveiled earlier this year at GDC Online, the title includes high-end graphical and gameplay features common to traditional console games. Under development at Bigpoint’s first North American office in San Francisco, Ruined Online is planned for release early next year.
Hotels4U.com Selects Tealeaf To Increase Web Bookings
Tealeaf’s® Customer Experience Management (CEM) software has been selected by Hotels4U.com to help identify, analyse, and resolve customer struggle on its website. This enhanced customer experience has increased bookings and helped the company recover thousands of pounds of lost revenue every week. The Hotels4U.com website allows customers to book hotels, apartments, villas and transfers in over 30,000 locations worldwide. Since 95 % of revenue is driven through the website, Hotels4U needed to improve its customer experience to meet a growing demand from customers expecting a seamless online experience. Now, instead of hypothesising about site trends, Hotels4U uses Tealeaf to quickly identify customer struggle on the site and immediately take remedial action to uphold the customer experience.
Kelkoo boosts travel arm with new appointment
Kelkoo today announces the appointment of Chris Nixon as Managing Director of Travel for Europe. The appointment highlights Kelkoo’s ongoing commitment to the growth of its brand as the company looks to develop its travel offering to complement its already well established shopping comparison website. As a member of the core Executive team, Chris will report into Kelkoo’s CEO Richard Stables. Nixon will be responsible for building on Kelkoo’s current travel offering and for developing its European strategy, as well as enhancing the current product proposition. In addition, he will look to extend and deepen commercial partnerships and will oversee the planning and strategy for all marketing activities related to the travel category. Chris joins the business from travelsupermarket.com, where he held the position of Managing Director for over eight years. In this role, Chris directed the business through a decade of rapid expansion and played a key part in driving momentous growth to what remains one of the biggest dotcoms in Europe.