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  • 2024 Influencer & Creator Trends & Projections: New Platforms, New Experiences, Stronger Collabs

    There’s no question that influencer and creator marketing are now integral components of the marketing mix for most brands. The influencer marketing industry has doubled, from a worth of about $10.3 billion in 2021 to $21.1 billion in 2023 (Statista). These numbers, along with the estimated 200 million creators out there, should give marketers much to ponder. As we progress into 2024, here are some influencer and creator trends and projections that can help marketers formulate solid strategies. Influencer & creator marketing continue to differentiate In 2024, we are seeing greater acceptance and understanding of influencers and creators as two unique groups and services. For a short time, influencer marketing was an umbrella term that included creators as a sub-category, but that’s no longer the case. Clients now seek creator marketing AORs, even as they have other influencer agencies already on their roster. There are similarities, but significant differences in the talent and how agencies work with them. Brands are well-served to understand the distinction. TikTok Shop will have its moment Right now, the young marketplace feels a little random – with miscellaneous gadgets and products – but established brands are starting to take it more seriously. Many creators already have affiliate shops and are endorsing products for commission. Some users are sharing positive stories about their purchases, while others complain that TikTok is pushing so much product it’s negatively impacting their experience. Brands should look past content quality and aesthetics when in-app conversions are the goal. Unlike other TikTok creator activations, your best partners (those that sell) don’t necessarily need to be as creative or entertaining as your typical TikTok creator. More influencer & creator events and experiences Whether they are invited as guests, tapped as hosts, or involved or featured in some other way, the marriage of creators and influencers with experiential will continue to rise as more brands seek to connect in more meaningful ways (i.e. create a moment or memory), and influencers and creators seek to build community. Deeper talent collaborations We’re seeing a notable increase in deeper collaborations (vs. one-offs): think ambassador-style partnerships with multiple commitments over time and greater emphasis on co-creation. Come examples are the recent Ice Spice and Dunkin Munchkins Drink and Hailey Bieber’s Erewhon ‘Skin Glaze’ Smoothie. View/watch time will become more significant As longer-form video content and storytelling continues to trend, we’ll see more brands and agencies start to emphasize watch time as much as they would standard engagement metrics such as likes and comments. Liking a post with a double tap is easy. Getting someone to watch a video in full? That’s impressive. LinkedIn emerges as a key platform In 2023, LinkedIn hit 1 billion members, and more than 17 million of these currently identify as creators. Though content and conversations got a bit more personal, LinkedIn has established itself as the go-to for B2B influencer marketing and is poised to continue growing in 2024. Among LinkedIn’s most promising new features are Advanced Analytics, which provides access to much more data, will help brands better understand the impact and return on their collaborations. The platform is also launching its version of the creator newsletter – traditionally one of the most underutilized and overlooked mediums in influencer marketing – which should help to shine a light on creator value. Finally, new labels and tagging options are making it easier to disclose and identify brand partnerships, giving creators inspiration for possible partnerships, and providing brands with more confidence about ensuring FTC compliance on the platform. Politics & AI will bring brand safety to the forefront Brands must rethink any scaled, unmonitored or ‘low-control’ (limited vetting/approvals) influencer and creator marketing solutions. It’s important that influencers and creators stay true to who they are and use their platforms to express themselves and share their perspectives. But what’s acceptable behavior/content for one brand may not be appropriate for another. As global politics and conflict continue to generate heated opinions – and we enter a presidential election year – vetting and monitoring partners will be more critical than ever. In addition, keeping an eye on how your influencer and creator partners leverage AI will become more significant: From copyright and IP issues to discouraging creativity and pushing inaccuracy, industry experts and pros will be key in ensuring AI is used ethically and responsibly.

  • Crispin at CES

    Every year in early January, brands, marketers, and innovators gather in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), one of the biggest displays of new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry. This year’s show took place from January 9th to 12th and Crispin leaders were on the ground touring the convention floor and interacting with the latest tech. North America President, Maggie Malek, and Managing Director of Delivery, Freddy Dabaghi, share what trends stood out and will set the tone for the year to come… The AI of Everything As predicted, AI dominated the conversation at CES 2024. Following the unparalleled buzz around generative AI in 2023, brands have been eager to find ways to jump on the bandwagon, giving rise what many are calling “AI washing.” This offers a caution around those that might claim their product or service incorporates AI, but actually only use the kind of AI sensors or recommendation technology that has been around for years rather than the latest gen AI. To wit, AI is nothing without actual use cases. Another interesting discussion to come from this year’s AI craze is about at scale. Most everything currently out is promoting AI to empower at an individual/small setting level, but what about AI functionality being developed specifically for teams and groups? Since AI learns as it is used, how will scale use impact those learning mechanisms? Related, conversations around AI have moved beyond software into hardware with more advance chips and technology to support the scale benefits. While we know AI is not new and has, for example, been integral in media bidding strategies, this new frontier of AI opens even more doors. AI has been the CES darling this year for a reason – the applications remain endless and exciting. CMOs will continue to have to find the magic middle of leveraging AI for efficiencies while re-investing those savings into areas to drive their business. The new iteration of AI comes at just the right time for marketers, as the formal end of cookies has shifted focus to automating the right creative to contextually personalize advertising in a cookieless world. Put more simply, generative AI can provide more efficient creative production to better reach specific consumers. Every surface is a potential screen Each year CES will invariably have some big-screen-related tech to showcase, but for 2024, the focus was on transparent screens and multi-surface projectors. There was much talk about Samsung’s OLED T screen, which goes completely transparent (like a window) when switched off. This reflects increasing efforts to make tech at home disappear into the background. German optics company Zeiss similarly unveiled its Multifunctional Smart Glass technology during the show. Samsung also got buzz for debuting its Premiere projectors (with the Lightwarp feature) that turn any surface into an interactive display for your home theater. As consumers gain more options for ways and places to view content, so too do marketers gain ample opportunities to advertise. Screens were also front-and-center in the gaming and wearable category. On the gaming front, we saw a variety of curved, extra wide, vertical and 3D screens to make your gaming experience even more immersive. Gaming headsets were all the rage on the convention floor. Apple, of course, owned the digital conversation without even exhibiting at CES with their announcement of Vision Pro expanding the conversation into spatial reality. Purpose-driven tech L’Oréal gave its first keynote at CES, this year, showcasing how it’s intersecting sustainability, inclusivity, accessibility and technology to innovate in the beauty industry. CEO Nicolas Hieronimus talked about tech that can elevate the beauty experience to empower every individual through new cutting-edge formulas, AR power, diagnostics, augmenting beauty devices, or developing new ways of bringing beauty, health and wellbeing to people around the world. An example of this commitment was HAPTA, a smart makeup applicator designed for people with limited arm mobility which helps them apply makeup at home. L’Oréal also announced the acquisition of tech firm Gjosa, which helped to develop the L’Oréal Professionnel Water Saver that allows hair salons to reduce water consumption at the backbar by up to 69%. While CES events in the past have been more focused on concepts, the technology unveiled this year accompanied a much clearer benefit to consumers. Whether it was automating lawn care, pool cleaning, household chores or health sensors, the conversation shifted to utility. Especially as we look toward an aging population, this year saw an influx of healthcare tech driving inclusivity: Robots to help in rehab, health sensors to test for virtually everything, simplified UI and more. We also saw brands like EssilorLuxottica debut reading glasses with hearing aids built in, merging utility with fashion. As Healthcare tech further advances, it will be interesting to see how consumer privacy and targeting advance with it. Moving data outside of healthcare facilities opens up more opportunities for marketers to leverage the data for personalized campaigns. And as consumers see more utility in providing these corporations with their personal data, we are interested to see if this extends into advertising. Sustainability Another key theme at CES this year was sustainability. While EV vehicles and electrified tech retained a role in the eco-conversation, much of the advances here were about a lighter experience: lighter vehicles, lighter computing power required and less electricity needed for things like TV and smart homes. Tech specs often focused on renewable resources and less reliance on plastics when possible. There were also notable advancements in the area of sustainable resources. One brand, Genesis Systems, debuted a device that could create water out of air. This larger system could be integral to areas in droughts or challenged with water scarcity and can provide clean drinking water at scale. For more CES insights from Crispin leaders: Managing Director Freddy Dabaghi for Digiday. Managing Director Freddy Dabaghi for Campaign US. NA President Maggie Malek for The Current. Freddy Dabaghi interviews Elizabeth Erpelding of Albertsons Media Collective.

  • How Hiring Veterans can Improve Agency Culture, Increase Diversity and Boost Business

    Maggie Malek, Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s North America President, addressed the reasons the marketing industry could benefit from ramping up efforts to hire veterans. Read the full piece (as featured in Campaign US) below: Every year about 200,000 veterans transition from service member to civilian life. They bring with them unforgettable lessons in courage and character. And many of them are eager to begin careers in the corporate sector. I spent six years in the U.S. Army Reserves and, upon entering the workforce, tried my hand at many different jobs before landing in the marketing and advertising arena. Over the course of ten years, I rose to become CEO at my first agency, and I know, without question, that the lessons I learned in the military – about how to lead a team, how to build camaraderie in adverse conditions, how to build real trust in those around you – made that path possible for me. There are other success stories like mine, and there can be many more, but only about 10% of veterans are currently employed by professional and business services. There could be a great mutual benefit to come from seeing the marketing industry ramp up its efforts to recruit from this pool of highly skilled men and women. Veterans bring high-level digital skills to a data-driven industry Military experience converges powerfully with the worlds of technology, creativity and innovation that drive the marketing industry. Operations on and off the battlefield have become high tech affairs, with service members acquiring digital skills that translate well to meet the needs of agencies seeking an edge. And developing the ability to adapt and innovate – critical to mission success while in the field – is also key to success in agency life. In addition, nearly 1 million veterans receive benefits for a college education every year, with 40% of them opting to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM – the perfect discipline for today’s data-driven media landscape. Qualities that stand out: Leadership, problem solving and teamwork Vets have a leg up on leadership qualities right off the base, with many learning how to manage and train troops early on. That’s often long before their civilian counterparts enter management roles. These men and women are battle-tested. They run toward hard things rather than shying away from challenging situations. They are problem-solvers who can use the research, preparation and analytical skills they learn in the service to spearhead and drive projects from early stages to fruition. Even more important, they prize teamwork. While this industry has a reputation for favoring competition above other attributes, teamwork and coordination – both internally and with clients – are critical ingredients for success. A commitment to excellence: Core values that any private sector company can benefit from Vets are imbued with discipline, loyalty, integrity and honor. These are values that companies in any industry should seek in their employees. Those who serve develop deep and lasting relationships, social skills that can translate into bonding and team-building in the private sector. Veterans are a diverse group and hiring from this talent pool can help improve diversity, a key factor in driving growth and innovation. And their commitment to excellence is unparalleled. They will work harder than most to bring their best work to the table when given the opportunity. Agencies benefit by breaking out of old hiring models There has been a clear shift in the advertising and marketing industries in the past several years: client needs have evolved and new offerings – such as creator marketing – have risen in prominence. As such, agencies have found themselves hiring from different industries to find just the right candidates for those roles. It’s for reasons like this that agencies need to broaden their view when looking at candidate pools. Bringing in people with non-traditional backgrounds can be a considerable plus, and veterans can help us break the mold of what “creativity and innovation” can look like. At its heart, though, a meaningful shift requires that agencies be able to look at a veteran’s resume and understand that their military experience can bring value beyond where they went to college. Veterans’ organizations can help agencies recruit talent Of course, vets carry scars that can’t always be seen as they reintegrate into civilian life. But it will be worth the effort it takes to attract and retain these talented professionals. To hire service men and women, companies can reach out to organizations like Vets in Tech that help connect veterans with training, education and job opportunities. We have been honored to work with this organization and are excited about the chance to partner with them on initiatives to further channel veterans’ innate aptitude for creativity and innovation to prepare them for careers in our industry. Bottom line: The modern business world is driven by technology, innovation and creativity and there are few better suited to deliver on this challenge than our veterans.

  • Advertising Week: The Creative Agency Identity Crisis

    Crispin Porter + Bogusky joined leading brands and marketers at Advertising Week New York to discuss key business trends and issues shaping the industry across media, marketing, tech, and creativity. North America President Maggie Malek and Global CEO Brad Simms took the stage to dissect one of the largest topics facing agencies today: the future of an agency brand in the face of a consolidating landscape. The day after WPP announced the merger of VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson into VML, Malek and Simms unpacked why we are investing in building back an iconic industry brand, as we continue to watch holding companies retire some of the hottest legacy shops. “Clients come to us through a lot of different doors,” said Malek. “The key to integration goes beyond solely merging capabilities to solve business problems; it requires complementary cultures that bring passion and expertise to each project.” The panel also addressed the importance of scale. As a global collective, Crispin’s size and structure mean that our partners benefit from smaller, more dedicated teams, while still having access to an active and engaged leadership who live and breathe their challenges on a daily basis. “This opportunity we have is so rare,” said Simms. “While so many historic industry names are being jumbled together, we are embracing the Crispin legacy and devoting ourselves to reintroducing it for today.” Both Simms and Malek were enthusiastic about Crispin’s ability to combine the like-minded passions of our integrated teams to best serve clients, and Simms summarized the agency’s mission simply: “We don’t want to be everything to everybody, we want to be the best creative partners that we can be,” he said.

  • 2 Minutes With ... Josh Braithwaite, North America CCO

    Born in a small Australian coal mining town, Josh Braithwaite, chief creative officer of Crispin Porter + Bogusky North America, has seen firsthand the plight of industries that resisted change. Josh and his teams have ignited evolution for some of the biggest brands in the world. He strategically repositioned sports as a creative expression by authoring Adidas' global platform, "Here to Create," taking the company to No.2 in the U.S. and surpassing Nike in China. He made Google famous for more than just search by partnering with Star Wars, Disney and J.J. Abrams. Muse by Clio spent “2 Minutes With” Josh to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, recent work he's admired and his greatest source of happiness. Read more...

  • The End of Strategy?

    Sara Nelson, Group Media Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, shared her insights into the good and bad of new automated tools available to media strategists. Read the full piece (as featured in Mediapost) below: The rise of automation across hands-on-keyboard platforms like Google & Meta has introduced a double-edged sword in media strategy. Without question, there are innovations that have made the process “easier” for marketers: The days of juggling campaigns with exact-match keyword lists or broad-match keyword lists are increasingly in the rear-view mirror, thanks to Google’s Performance Max, which uses your campaign goals and powerful machine-learning to fully automate the creation of one multi-channel campaign. You are not able to choose any keywords but it can show across all match types, and will generate ads across Search, Shopping, Display, Gmail, YouTube, Discover Page, and Maps. Any ingredients you can provide, including video and images, will be used to generate live ads. Likewise, Meta has introduced "Advantage Plus," an AI feature that will automate copy and keywords for your ads on Facebook, as well as optimize creative and – if you allow it – slightly alter images, to optimize your campaign goals. These platform giants certainly know how to appeal to their target audiences and their new developments have been well-received. Campaigns are, undoubtedly, easier to run, and the new offerings also enable smaller businesses to scale up and be more competitive. There is, however, a dark side, as the optimizations may be less than “optimal.” The automation gives a marketer less hands-on control and, if the campaign is not performing up to expectations, it’s very difficult to see which elements are working and which are not, because the reporting is rather simplistic. Marketers who want to be more judicious about spending will find that setting up exclusions in these multimodal campaign types is more complicated. If you know your consumers don’t convert well from YouTube or display ads and want to exclude those media, for example, there is no definitive way to do so within Performance Max. There are potential work-arounds with placement exclusions, negative keywords or other steps, but these are not infallible and not recommended by Google. The advertiser is then left to hand over all optimization power to Google and simply trust it knows best. Marketers might wonder how to regain control of their online campaigns if they’re not going well, but many media platforms seem to take the position that it simply will go well, as the powerful machine learning will continue to collect data and learn to reach an advertiser’s goal. For those with aggressive efficiency goals, the inability to exclude non-converting channels or perform analysis into wasted spend areas is a turn-off. When the backbone of your media strategy is automation, is there really even a role for the strategist? For now, it’s a gray area. Today’s suite of automated AI-powered features has accompanied a lack of transparency into the signals and learnings that are being used to improve performance. The hope is that the reporting capability advances soon to enable and enhance strategic management, rather than prohibit or replace it. Read more...

  • Dean Wei Joins London Team As Chief Creative Officer

    The global team grows with the announcement of Dean Wei joining as Chief Creative Officer in London. Dean will partner with European CEO Helen James, and London-based Chief Strategy Officer David Proudlock to drive growth and creative excellence for CPB London’s expanding portfolio. Dean, who will start at CPB in the summer, joins from Google where he was a consultant to Google Creative Labs. Prior to that, he was the Executive Creative Director of Wieden + Kennedy Delhi and Creative Director for Apple across EMEA. Throughout his impressive career, he has worked to unleash world-class brands into culture, including Nike, Levi’s and Audi, winning multiple Cannes Lions, D&AD Pencils and Clios along the way. Helen said: “Dean has an incredible portfolio of work and experience as a creative leader. Add to that his international track record, and he brings perspective that will complement how we drive impact for our brands across modern markets and culture. We couldn’t be happier to have him join us.” Dean said: “CPB is famous, notorious even, for consistently creating breakthrough work that disrupts the industry. It’s an honor to be part of the CPB team and to join at such a pivotal time of growth. There are big things to come and I look forward to creating work that doesn’t just riff off culture, but creates and shapes it too.” Campaign UK covered the announcement. Read more...

  • The Ad Industry Reacts to Elon Musk’s Rebrand of Twitter to X

    Elon Musk revealed a new logo for Twitter, a "minimalist art deco" X. 'Tweets' will also apparently be replaced, with posts on the platform set to be called 'x's'. The letter features in large parts of Musk's business portfolio and is the name given to a "super app" he has pledged to make since taking over Twitter in October 2022. The concept of such an app is based on WeChat, the Chinese platform that users can interact with in numerous ways, such as messaging, paying bills, shopping, ordering public transport, and more. LBB's Addison Capper spoke with social media and branding leaders from across the advertising industry, including Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Senior Director of Social Marketing, Sam Kendrick, to get a temperature check of its feelings towards the change and its implications for brands. Read more…

  • Halo Top Makes a Pint-Sized Cooler For Ice Cream On The Go

    To help consumers beat the heat, we helped Halo Top create the Pint Pack, a small insulated bag meant to carry a single pint of ice cream. Launched on National Ice Cream Day on July 16, the bag is shaped like a Halo Top pint, with a white quilted exterior and golden lid. The limited-edition bag sold out in seconds and Ad Age even featured the work as Editor's Pick. Read more…

  • Second to None: A New-Look Crispin Porter Bogusky for the Modern Era

    Crispin Porter + Bogusky North America President Maggie Malek sat down with Little Black Book’s Addison Capper to share how “four like-minded, complementary agencies” joined together to reinvigorate a respected creative powerhouse. “Few agencies can claim to have changed the trajectory of the industry in the way that Crispin can,” says Maggie. “Crispin fundamentally changed the way we thought about advertising by blending the lines of creative and media and placing earned at the core of every idea. It was transformative then, and we believe it will be transformative again with the addition of MMI, Observatory and Vitro.” By bringing together what she calls “four like-minded, complementary agencies”, Maggie says that the team is restoring Crispin’s previous integrated model, boosted with the scale required to achieve future growth. Each agency should bring something special to CP+B. MMI specialises in media, influencer and creator; Observatory has deep connections with Hollywood, bringing brand entertainment to the fold; Vitro focuses on boutique creative; and CP+B adds global scale and the significant brand equity it rightly enjoys. Read more...

  • The New Crispin Porter + Bogusky: An Integrated Creative Powerhouse for the Modern Marketer

    Four award-winning agencies within Stagwell have combined forces under CP+B, accelerating its positioning as the agency for modern growth audiences. MMI, Vitro and Observatory will come together within the iconic CP+B banner across North America, adding a collection of new capabilities to create an integrated creative powerhouse. The refreshed CP+B comes in response to the demands of modern marketers who are seeking simplicity, integration, and breakthrough creativity. The trio of agencies enhances CP+B's ability to deliver on those needs through additional centers of excellence in paid and performance media and marketing, content and audience insight and analytics. "For the past six months, we've been reviewing our portfolio of brands in response to the growing demand for integrated solutions that perform across creative, media, and communications," Global CEO Brad Simms said, "This move reclaims CP+B's transformational DNA, and integrates MMI's media and performance marketing, Vitro's boutique creative and Observatory's branded entertainment capabilities." Under the leadership of Simms, CP+B has continued its growth trajectory since August 2022 with a suite of new client partners, including Dropbox, Old Dominion Freight Line, Plackers, Nasonex, adding to its existing portfolio anchored by Buchanan's Scotch Whisky. The new 300+ strong agency brings media, creator and digital at scale to those brands and opens new avenues of growth and integrated storytelling for the existing roster of brands, including Amazon, Marriott, Procter & Gamble, and 19 Crimes. Maggie Malek, formerly the CEO of MMI, has been appointed President, North America, reporting to Simms. Malek has held a number of progressive roles within MMI, most recently leading the agency as CEO since 2019. Under her leadership, the agency has achieved notable growth, client success, staff retention and repeated recognition as a best place to work. "CP+B earned a reputation as an industry disruptor with iconic campaigns that redefined what 'creative' looked like," Malek said. "As the forces around us spark new technologies, channels, and demand for integrated solutions, it's invigorating to marry CP+B's innovative creative spirit with complementary talent and capabilities across media, branded entertainment, content and creator marketing. Breaking through for brands requires the melding of performance and possibility. Our new CP+B team can do that like few others in the industry, and I'm eager to showcase what working with us can unlock for brands." Read more in Adweek...

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