The I-COM Data Science Hackathon is a 36-hour marathon, where competing teams develop algorithms using data science analytics to solve predictive modelling challenges on marketers’ datasets.
This year, it was hosted in the beautiful Cruise Terminal in Porto. Unilever and Intel provided the challenges for teams. The attending teams were a mix of academic data scientists (universities), analytics and marketing specialists (agencies).
The team from OMD EMEA took on the Intel challenge –
Business Challenge: What is the impact of discussions in social media and brand health indicators on advertising effectiveness for high consideration purchases such as consumer PC sales in the US?
Prediction Challenge: Predict the sales revenue by CPU brand/device brand combination by month for Jan and Feb 2017.
A sample of the data was provided by sponsors and Intel in advance of the Hackathon for teams to interrogate. The shared data included social (twitter volume), Millward Brown brand health survey data, search, ad spend and sales data.
To cover all aspects, OMD EMEA sent a team with a blended skill set to approach it. Our team included Paul Cuckoo (Global Channel Planning Manager), Harry Daniels (Analyst), Cate McVeigh (Head of Marketing Sciences, Intel team) and Adam Abu-Nab (Social Intelligence Exec Director).
The Hackathon –
The OMD EMEA team created a predictive sales estimator from a combination of MMM (marketing mix models) and data output to show how variable ad spend can affect revenue.
What worked: Consideration was most effective in predicting sales. The consideration data from Millward Brown was effective in allowing us to predict revenue. Consideration was shown to be a strong driver of revenue and we were able to isolate a strong December/Christmas trend.
What didn’t work: Twitter data effects. We weren’t able to truly isolate the effects of the twitter data on media effectiveness.
Finalist teams from Ebiquity and Analytic Partners also presented MMM solutions but instead used a nested approach. This approach carves out relationships with twitter/brand health and spend first, before nesting this in a final revenue model.
Interestingly, dashboard solutions were also presented as outputs. These dashboards could forecast spend required to meet revenue targets based on brand health/twitter indicators.
Our key takeaways –
Do your prep: Sample data prep is the secret ingredient to success for Hackathons. Teams which pre-formatted and did as much data prep work in advance of the hackathon freed up valuable time. This meant they had more time to spend on modelling their solutions, as well as conceptualising and visualising the story they wanted to tell.
A fuller data eco-system is needed for business application: A challenge for all teams was the limitations of the data sources provided. For there to be actual business applications, a fuller eco-system of data sources and metrics could be provided.
For example, a common problem teams faced was the search and social data provided (tweets) was solely volume over time and a mix of owned (brand driven) and earned (user) mentions within that. This limited data caused predictable peaks around owned campaign activity and campaign seasonality trends (Black Friday, Christmas, Apple Launches). This volume was also a mention and not the reach of a mention, which could prove a stronger correlation with ad effectiveness/intent/sales.
The semantics are equally important as the numbers: For social to be used as an indicator for purchase, you need to be able to cut where the real user discussion is happening and the richer semantics out of it. For example, are these mentions positive, negative, intent or consideration based? Can they be correlated and validated with intent/consideration survey data from Millward Brown? For search, what is the context in which people are searching for your brand, not just the volume?
At OMD EMEA, we have the capability to use tools that can cut social and search in these more meaningful ways. There’s also the differing audience discussion environments that need to be considered. A parallel test we ran using our social tools found that more Intel sales/intent discussions and social video views were happening on wider social platforms. For example, YouTube/twitch were platforms that resonated with gamers, while forums were preferred for B2B tech-heads in particular.
Given the nature of a hackathon, it’s understandable that the amount of data provided to teams is managed so that a solution can be turned around in 24 hours. What it has allowed teams to do is test some interesting ideas and models, take these and plug them into the broader data sets they have to work with during their day to day.
MMM still the most useful for marketers
Data science is an exciting field with new techniques that can revolutionise accurate predictions with minimal data. However, to properly answer business questions, regression modelling in the form of MMM has a long way to go before it’s beaten. Feeding that model with all the correct data sources is key to its accuracy.
Hello and welcome to your weekly OMD FWD. This week, Facebook are using AI to be more helpful, watch your favourite shows live on YouTube, Android eats Windows lunch, US teens can’t get enough of mobile video, we introduce you to the Metaverse and more…
Vivian moved to London to join the OMD Programmatic team back in June. The only downside for her so far has been getting used to the London weather! We caught up with Vivian to understand a bit more about her role and the path she took to get where she is today.
What does a typical day in the life of a Senior Programmatic Planner look like?
I would say that I do not have a typical day! With such a vast array of clients, I am literally working on something new each day. Most of my time, you can find me analysing data and numbers to find ways to optimise campaigns. I also spend time building reports for clients to help them understand the steps we have taken and the insights we have uncovered. Moreover, I take part in briefing sessions for clients and pitches, brainstorming ways to make programmatic work for them.
Can you tell us a bit about your role and the path you took to get here?
After graduating university, I worked as a tax accountant for a year. I quickly came to the realisation that my dream of spending the rest of my life as an accountant was bleak. So, I decided to join OMD Sydney in April 2014 as a Digital Assistant.
Thrusting myself into the new world of advertising, I landed with an amazing team of enthusiastic traders looking after a major Australian telco client. Working on their dedicated trading desk (one I have been lucky enough to work with again in London), I learned the ins and outs about digital and, more importantly, programmatic.
Making the leap to London, I joined OMD Programmatic back in June. I have been lucky enough to work on a diverse portfolio of clients including Intel, Footlocker, Allergan, Hilton and Sony Pictures. I would have to say that the only unlucky part is getting used to the London weather!
If you weren’t working on the OMG Programmatic team where would you be working and why?
I would probably still be working up the corporate ladder at an accounting firm somewhere. Most likely, I would be an Audit or Tax accountant doing the same thing every day!
Your favourite thing about OMD/OMG Programmatic is?
The team! I work with an amazing, intelligent and supportive group of people who are always willing to pitch in to help. They share knowledge and learnings on campaigns they have previously worked on. I am learning new things about the industry every week!
Any advice for those looking to follow in your footsteps?
If you love numbers and are curious to work in a space where new technologies and ideas are emerging every day, programmatic advertising is a fascinating space to start! Be curious, ask lots of questions and be willing to learn all the time as the industry is always changing.
Want to search for a job now? Explore current openings at OMD. You can also find out more about life at OMD with #OMDLife
In 2013 we learned that 232M people lived outside their country of origin, with each successive generation becoming more multicultural.
Millennials are the most diverse generation in history. Only 59% are Caucasian and 27% have an immigrant background (Deloitte 2015). So it’s no surprise they’re causing a huge shift in attitudes to diversity and inclusivity.
Once, the diversity issue was moral, and brand responses were tokenistic. Now, millennials see it as empowering. They define it by how it relates to a mix of unique experiences, identities, ideas and opinions. They expect brands to reflect this ‘omnicultural’ mind-set in their media and marketing.
80% of parents say they like seeing diverse families in marketing. 41% of millennial parents are more likely to buy products from brands that use diverse family types in their advertising.
In the past, the term inclusivity primarily implied acceptance and tolerance of gender, race and ethnicity. Now, the focus in on using collaborative tools to drive business impact. Multicultural consumers see themselves as part of a new mainstream. They have access to an infinite combination of choices and products to suit their lifestyles and tastes.
There is now a higher value placed on teamwork – millennials value a culture of connectivity. They feel empowered when they believe their employer fosters an inclusive nature.
They love to share their experiences and explore the cultures of others. In doing so, they influence mainstream consumers and expand the multicultural market opportunity. Their increased social media and technology adoption has accelerated this.
Multicultural consumers tend to gravitate to brands, products and activities that reinforce their cultural roots but also allow them to explore new identities.
Millennials are demanding that brands, assets and campaigns are more creative, provocative and challenging. Brands, therefore, need to recognise that inclusivity starts in-house. They need to deviate from accepted story lines around identity, for example.
Brands can go further than just reflecting a broad range of identities in their advertising. There are huge opportunities in constructing a narrative around a ‘no normal’ mindset. Brands are increasingly representing disabled, homosexual and gender fluid consumers in their advertising.
A great example is US bank Wells Fargo’s #WhyIWork campaign. Their ad featuring a lesbian couple learning sign language before adopting a young deaf girl garnered 1.6m views on YouTube.
A year later, Channel 4 launched its ‘Superhumans Wanted’ initiative. It encouraged brands to creative innovative advertising featuring disabled people. The winning ad was shown during the first ad break of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Finally, OMD was proud to broker a partnership between QuidCo and LGBT+ publication Attitude earlier this year. Timed to coincide with London Fashion Week, it provided Attitude’s readers with a new way to get the catwalk look for less.
Monster has launched a new campaign with OMD, their first in seven years, to reinvigorate the Monster brand in the UK with a specific focus on the millennial audience; potential candidates who are in the earliest years of their career.
Andrew Warner, Vice President Of Marketing at Monster said,
“For too long the job market and career conditions in the UK have seen jobseekers as victims. In terms of competitors, the landscape is ‘functional’ rather than thrilling; category apathy means there is little to distinguish between the major competitor offerings. This campaign, planned and implemented by OMD, aims to reposition jobseekers as heroes – champions – with Monster on their side and in their corner. Monster helps jobseekers ‘Find Better.’”
It’s a bold stance and is supported by a bold, multi-million pound media campaign, combining high-impact Out Of Home and Digital OOH advertising in commuter-saturated areas nationally with high-reach executions across radio, digital and social channels. This includes the BFI IMAX, the largest ad canvas in Europe, and digital screens across major transport hubs in London and nationwide.
Further nationwide coverage is provided by a nationwide radio campaign that manages to keep reach high while still focussing on the ‘Millennial’ audience.
“As well as prominently displaying Monster’s revitalised brand, the media mix speaks to the target audience through their most prevalent channels and will land the brand values as well as driving direct response through digital channels,” added James Jackson, International Executive Director at OMD. “It is well supported by social media campaigning across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and to further target the young jobseeker audience, features Snapchat as a major element.”
The practical outcome of the channel mix is that the varied channels work together to reinforce the refreshed Monster brand and drive candidates and new partners to the Monster site. This campaign is mirrored across European markets.
Monster have big growth ambitions and this campaign is a reflection of that, as is their significant investment in their product offering and a successful drive to increase the number of jobs on their site to 500,000 in the space of a year, helped by aggregating jobs from other sites and partnering with more blue-chip clients such as Sky, Apple and Lloyds. Monster are dedicated to doing more than providing a simple job board and are supporting jobseekers with a wealth of career resources and training initiatives.
By Nil Thyrion, International Design Manager and Daniel Goy, International Designer, OMD EMEA
As a world renowned showcase of the latest in innovative design, D&AD Festival is the culmination of a year in design, advertising and communications. We were therefore very excited and fortunate to attend the three-day festival discovering amazing work and creative talks that are crucial in making sure we’re at the forefront of creativity and design for our clients.
The D&AD festival is made up of judging sessions during which over 220 creative professionals analyse thousands of designs and ultimately award the best creative work of the year. The designs were judged in various categories such as; outdoor advertising, digital design, branding and book design.
Walking around the venue, the Old Truman Brewery, we were surrounded by the most creative, thought provoking, innovative and beautiful work. However what became most clear was that the creative process remains an obsession in the industry, from new to internationally recognised designers. How do we make ideas come to life, how do we get out of routine, and how do we act with a brief? This therefore was a fascinating event, giving us not just an outlook on the work but at the process behind creative excellence.
So why for designers does nothing matter more than the creative process?
If you weren’t able to make the festival we’ve rounded up our five key highlights.
The Mood Tree – Digital Experience
Created by Kerve (a company known for their impressive activations) The Mood Tree was one of the most innovative digital experiences at the festival this year. It certainly created a buzz, people of all ages were engaging in the experience, discussing and tweeting to change the tree’s colours.
The Mood Tree enabled live data to be displayed visually, to an audience that were excited to get involved. The process behind creating such a visual experience relied upon how individuals already engage and communicate through social. These platforms are still being explored in their capabilities, and can push the creative process to develop as the way in which they are used does simultaneously.
For him, “You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t, then you are not looking properly.” What he means is that ideas don’t only come when you are in your office, but during your daily journey to work, throughout the weekend or during your holidays. In a world where many are fishing for the same business, in fashion or marketing, the key to business results is creativity and the ability to surprise and delight people.
Annie Atkins – Designing For films
Annie decided to work within the movie industry after watching Mary Poppins. Taking us through her amazing design work for film she also spoke about the importance of a strict schedule matching with the shooting, the highly detailed pieces of work, and her relation with Wes Anderson when working on The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Annie’s role is crucial in the success of a film as she needs to beautifully articulate the director’s story whilst using observations and solid research (paperwork, signage, historic posters,…) to make the story accurate and relevant. One of the most touching points in her creative process is that she purposefully includes mistakes (like a random letter spacing) because she realises that mistakes are a part of reality.
Two pieces of work created by Annie Atkins created for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Boxtrolls
Ali Ali – 10 Stupid things I learnt in Advertising
Within every work situation we are presented with a risky or a safe path. Director Ali Ali doesn’t seem to take either, instead he goes with what creatively captures him, which takes him beyond the norm and ensures his idea is not tampered with.
During this talk Ali shared his belief in all he creates, drawing from past experiences and applies this to his films. This belief led him to even say no to a client, one in particular who hated an advert he had created, yet Ali was adamant about keeping it the same and this passion caused the client to reconsider. You can find below examples of where Ali has pushed the limits and created something truly spectacular.
YouTube’s global Head of Culture and Trends Kevin Alloca took centre stage to present a showreel of YouTubers creating content specifically for the platform.
The platform’s early adopters are now rewarded for creating and sharing their videos, however Kevin was keen to stress on the importance and influence that raw and real life has. Last month’s most successful YouTube channel was the Hydraulic Press, gaining 44,000 subscribers in just one month. Largely due to the increasingly weekly engagement from subscribers providing ideas for future content – commenting on the objects they want to see squashed.
The creative obsession
To conclude, it is clear that no matter how different, the creative process plays a role within the production of great design, what is imperative is that it remains an obsession by those who use it to create.
The D&AD festival enabled us access to the creative processes behind the most ground-breaking ideas and practices produced by some of the most talented designers in the world. Providing perspectives from various different genres, experiences and backgrounds.
By watching and sharing in their processes, what has become obvious is we must innovate and adapt at the rate of emerging tech and trends, while equally understanding how to push the boundaries and break norms so that our audiences are continually surprised and inspired.
Moving forwards, we are inspired to take these processes into our own day to day work, remembering that it is the key to take someone on an engaging and relative journey with the design we produce. Either way it is likely our processes will continue to be an obsession for much of our creative careers to come.
By Claire Dean, Strategy Director OMD UK, and Chris Evans, Business Director OMD UK
Humans was the brand new drama from Channel 4 that imagined a world where synthetic humans (“synths”) are the new must-have household gadget. It asked what it means to be human – if synths can drive a car and raise a child, what is our role in the world?
Our challenge was to demonstrate the show’s appeal beyond the sci-fi geek and get people to tune in. We needed to do this and stay true to Channel 4’s ‘challenger’ remit of disrupting the status quo.
We realised that the issues that surfaced in the show were already attracting heated public discussion, with commentary from the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk on the risks of artificial intelligence fuelling the debate further.
The idea of synths playing a role in real human life evoked a very emotional response.
Our challenge was to take this cerebral theoretical debate into the mainstream, make it real, and absolutely relevant so that ordinary people weighed in with their viewpoints and tuned in every week to watch.
Making Persona Synthetics a reality
The solution was to launch Persona Synthetics, the fictional company from the show, as a real business, promoting synths as genuine products available for purchase.
To ‘launch’ the Persona Synthetics brand in under eight weeks was a near impossible task. This wasn’t just about planning and booking media: we assembled a SWAT team with key people from across OMD UK and Fuse, partnering with Channel 4 Marketing, 4creative, and our media partners Microsoft and eBay – as well as PR teams from all parties.
Bringing it to life
It started with a Persona Synthetics TV advert, free from any Channel 4 branding. Social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook supported the belief that Persona Synthetics were real, and then came the physical heart of our campaign: a flagship store on London’s Regent Street.
The storefront dominated the high street, sitting next door to the world famous Hamley’s toy shop and across the road from London’s iconic Apple Store. The frontage housed two 90” digital screens which incorporated the latest Microsoft Kinect technology, allowing people to personalise synths through gesture control. We had actors posing as Persona Synthetics employees delivering synths to the store, reinforcing the illusion that these products were available to buy – right there, right then. Print, digital and social ads directed people to the shop, allowing us to behave in every way like a real retail launch.
We secured eBay as our online retail partner where we pretended to auction off two synth models. This was the first time a fictional brand has been sold on the site.
“Convincing the nation that synthetic humans were real products available for purchase and helping to get over six million people to tune into the premiere of Humans was an incredible achievement. We were proud to work with our partners to make this campaign happen and it truly set the benchmark for advertising last year.”
Laura Ward, Channel 4 Group Marketing Manager
The rich mix of campaign elements came together beautifully to produce game-changing results: Persona Synthetics trended as the #1 search on Google and Twitter on opening weekend and within three weeks, Persona Synthetics’ website had over 1 million hits.
Most importantly, a staggering 6.1 million people tuned into episode 1, over three times our target number. Humans became Channel 4’s highest rating originated drama of all time.