WPP global digital agency Wunderman quickly found its new global CEO from within its own ranks, promoting EMEA CEO Mel Edwards to the position today.
Edwards will oversee 9,200 employees across 200 offices worldwide. She succeeds Mark Read, who was named Martin Sorrell’s successor as CEO of WPP after being appointed co-COO in the aftermath of Sorrell’s resignation.
“Mel is an exceptional leader who demonstrated her ability to build the business by winning new clients and developing existing ones, attracting top talent and integrating technology into our offer,” Read said in a statement. “The agency has become a powerhouse in Europe, and I have every confidence that it will continue its success globally with her leadership of an outstanding team around the world.”
“I’ve been honored to call Wunderman my home for the past six years. It’s a place that empowers people to do their best work and attracts today’s brightest talent,” Edwards said. “I’m proud to accept this new responsibility as Global CEO and I’m excited to work with the people of Wunderman to drive the agency forward.”
Edwards has served as EMEA CEO for over three years. Over the past year, she led efforts to consolidate Wunderman’s place on Shell’s “Agency of the Future” roster, launched on-site practice Wunderman Inside and brought in such talent as Wunderman Inside managing director James Sanderson, client lead Jason Warnes and global client consulting lead Kathryn Arbour. Before being named EMEA CEO, Edwards served as U.K. CEO for Wunderman, beginning in 2012. During her time at Wunderman, she has played an instrumental role in helping win and retain clients including Shell, Samsung Europe, BT Group and EY. Before joining Wunderman, she served as CEO for M&C Saatchi’s LIDA.
The appointment follows Wunderman promoting Robyn Tombacher to the new role of COO, North America in August. Wunderman hired Helder Santo as president of its New York office in May, and Daniel Bonner joined the agency as global chief creative officer in March.
Leanne Fremar, the senior vice president and executive creative director at Starbucks, is joining the financial firm JPMorgan Chase as chief brand officer, the company announced Thursday.
Fremar will lead brand strategy for JPMorgan Chase and the firm’s subsidiaries, Chase and J.P. Morgan. She will lead global brand initiatives and creative campaigns across the brands.
“This is an extraordinary brand, an extraordinary team and an extraordinary leadership team, and it’s an honor to be joining,” Fremar told Adweek.
Fremar will report to Kristin Lemkau, JPMorgan Chase’s chief marketing officer, and she will work with business marketers companywide on various campaigns and brand initiatives.
“It’s a big job, and we really needed somebody who was special,” Lemkau told Adweek. “It’s hard to find someone who is a true creative and somebody who deeply understands creative and who is also a deeply commercial thinker; because the work we create should be beautiful, but it should also drive real business outcomes.”
Fremar will be the first chief brand officer at the company responsible for JPMorgan Chase and the two subsidiary brands. Previous brand officers oversaw individual brands at the firm.
Part of Fremar’s role will be to manage JPMorgan Chase’s internal agency, Inner Circle, and relationships with outside agencies. Inner Circle, which JPMorgan Chase created in 2015, has saved the company $20 million in marketing costs, Lemkau said, and the firm plans to use it even more. The goal of bringing more creative in-house was a major reason Fremar, who headed Starbucks’ in-house creative studio, was the right fit, Lemkau said.
Unlike Amazon Go, where customers need to use an Amazon Go app to enter the store, anyone can walk into the store, pick up a beverage, and walk right out. Customers then text Dirty Lemon which beverage they grabbed and in five minutes, a 24-hour customer representative charges their credit card (new customers are prompted to open up an account). A few safety precautions include cameras monitoring the space, a heat map tracker to see how many people are visiting the store and a RFID tracker to see what products are taken out of the refrigerator (which holds 1,000 bottles).
“We think this is a really great controlled way of ultimately providing a really valuable experience to our customers,” said Zak Normandin, founder and CEO, DirtyLemon. “It’s a relatively low risk for us to be able to do something innovative and unique for the brand and with our customers.”
To bring people into this new space, Dirty Lemon is reaching out to its 25,000-member customer database, inviting them in and offering up the first bottle for free. The company’s VIP members—customers who order a Dirty Lemon case at least once a month—will get an extra perk: a 1,300 square foot cocktail bar, where the brand plans on hosting events and screenings and use the area as a lab to try new flavors, according to Normandin. (The company’s previous pop-up in Nolita last summer tested out two flavors, +Matcha and +Rose, that became best sellers and were eventually bottled.)
“It’s going to be a SoHo house type of programming schedule,” Normandin said. “We want this to be a place where people can come, have a drink after work, or take friends on the weekend.”
Normandin is betting on getting more out of the storefront than just sales. He thinks of the brand as more of a technology company than a beverage company, and he plans on proving that concept with the store. With Dirty Lemon’s recent acquisition of Poncho, a former weather chatbot service, Normandin said Dirty Lemon has “incorporated” all of Poncho’s technology around a conversational bot experience into its own platform. The new technology is less automated than Poncho, but it’s allowed Dirty Lemon to automatically process different types of orders, like a two cases of one flavor for one day and another flavor for another day. Before, Normandin said, it had to be done manually.
The storefront is also Dirty Lemon’s next bet to attract new customers, as the price to serve ads to a consumer continues to climb and is “too expensive” for the company to acquire a consumer at a certain price. Normandin explained that it’s not just beverage companies who are going after their customer (a millennial femal that’s “educated and has a high discretionary income”), but all types of companies.
“We believe in the power of experience and building community, and this achieves that in a big way,” Normandin said. “By creating a physical experience and community around a location, I think we’re able to build much more longevity with consumers.”
The company, which has more than 150,000 customers across the United States, plans on taking its “Drug Store” concept to three more locations in 2019: another in New York, Chicago, and Miami.
“Shifting our advertising spend from digital acquisition to these physical experiences is, we think, a much more effective way of connecting with consumers,” Normandin said.
Today Snapchat parent company Snap, Inc. announced new partnerships with 25 media companies to create daily content for its Our Stories product.
These partners, which range from traditional media outlets and longtime Snap partners like CNN and NBC to digital publishers like Refinery29 and LADbible, influencer platform Whalar and sports media upstart Wave, will release daily editorial units that mix their own original material with user-generated content drawn from Snapchat’s millions of active users around the world.
Perhaps most importantly, these new content streams will provide Snapchat with another opportunity to serve programmatic ads to those users. Each media partner will also take an undisclosed portion of the resulting revenue.
“If publishers use content submitted by Snap users from all over the world to create stories, the byproduct will be better viewership and engagement.”
—Brian Verne, CEO, Wave
“It’s going to be a different experience than the traditional kind of publisher experience that exists on Snapchat today,” said Brian Verne, CEO of Wave, which currently claims to be the fourth-largest sports publisher by total audience. “Their Our Stories portal will be opened up to exclusive publishing partners, one of which is us. If publishers use content submitted by Snap users from all over the world to create stories, the byproduct will be better viewership and engagement. As a value proposition for advertisers, that would seemingly be a more premium product. That’s why we were so excited.”
The idea is to make it easier for these publishers to monetize the content they curate for Snapchat while giving them more creative freedom on the platform.
“It’s a revenue agreement between publishers and Snap, but they are handling all the inventory,” said Allison Bodack, manager of communications for ad sales, data strategy and analytics at CNN parent company Turner. “There will be ads inserted into the stories.”
Bodack noted that these stories will have no universal format or length, predicting that they will change day-to-day.
“When this proposition came forward, a few things made it a natural fit. I have a social discovery team whose job is to identify and curate UGC content,” she continued. The new arrangement includes a dashboard tool enabling them to more easily facilitate these narratives.
“I still think it’s a platform that a younger audience is actively using and engaged on. It also doesn’t hurt that there are ad units available.”
—Allison Bodack, manager of communications for ad sales, data strategy and analytics, Turner
A party with direct knowledge of the new arrangement also said that, for the first time, Snap’s media partners will have access to the Our Stories API portal that had been exclusively available to the company’s own in-house team. In other words, CNN and others can stitch together the material created by journalists around the world who are already active on Snapchat with publicly submitted UGC content from the estimated 3 billion snaps created every day while adding custom graphics, text or other elements.
Additionally, each piece of content will have a unique, shareable URL via the Stories Everywhere feature so the partners can simultaneously publish on other platforms.
The news comes amid reports that Snapchat is losing users to Instagram, which essentially copied its primary feature for Instagram Stories just over two years ago. (Unlike Snapchat, Instagram does not have a built-in platform for publishers to monetize their content.)
“As an emerging media brand, you need to be everywhere,” said Verne, who told Adweek that his company shares Snap’s conviction that the future of media is a “decentralized model” that’s more reliant on content created by its own audience. “I think the results speak for themselves in terms of viewership.”
Bodack said, “I still think it’s a platform that a younger audience is actively using and engaged on. So how we contribute and distribute [our] exceptional journalism and narratives is still valuable.”
“It also doesn’t hurt that there are ad units available,” she added.