Chaffic Haddad joins VML MENA as Chief Creative Officer

Chaffic Haddad has been appointed as Chief Creative Officer in VML MENA. Haddad, prior to joining VML, was with Wunderman Thompson, MENA as Chief Creative Officer. Chaffic Haddad has made the announcement of his joining on his LinkedIn: “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as Chief Creative Officer, VML MENA.”He has over a decade of experience in creative advertising.

Creative Agencies, Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, Join Forces to Become VML

WPP, one of the world's leading advertising and marketing services companies, has announced a significant development in its client offerings. This move involves the merger of Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, creating a new entity known as VML. This strategic move establishes VML as the world's largest creative company, bringing together top creative agencies with world-class capabilities in commerce, customer experience, and marketing technology. VML is poised to support clients with creative brand growth strategies and transformation initiatives, bolstered by robust data operations, cutting-edge technology platforms, and partnerships with leading tech firms. Additionally, VML will offer specialized services for healthcare companies and B2B marketers.The merger is set to leverage the strengths of both agencies, making them highly complementary. It will result in a combined workforce of over 30,000 professionals across 64 global markets. The new management team will be led by Jon Cook, the new VML Global CEO, and Mel Edwards, VML Global President. Together, they aim to capitalize on the interconnectedness of brand experience, commerce, and customer experiences, with a focus on creativity and depth in customer experience and commerce.Mark Read, CEO of WPP, emphasized the importance of scale in the rapidly changing marketing landscape and stated that VML's integration of creativity and expertise in data and marketing technology will deliver a competitive edge for ambitious brands. The creation of VML aligns with WPP's ongoing efforts to reshape its offerings for the future, simplify its operations, and provide clients with fully integrated capabilities in every market.Both Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R, prior to their merger, have gained recognition for their creativity and expertise, and have been celebrated by various industry awards and rankings. Their extensive capabilities have also been acknowledged by technology partners and industry analysts.The merger is expected to result in an even stronger, fully integrated suite of services for clients across the globe, responding to the demand for seamless connections between brand advertising and technology solutions.Key leadership appointments within VML include Debbi Vandeven as Global Chief Creative Officer, Eric Campbell as Global Chief Client Officer, Juan Pablo Jurado as CEO of LATAM, Ewen Sturgeon as CEO of EMEA, and Audrey Kuah and Yi-Chung Tay as Co-CEOs of APAC. The merger aims to drive growth and innovation for clients across markets, marking a significant step in the evolving landscape of modern marketing.

Wunderman Thompson takes AI help to evaluate emotional responses to ads

Wunderman Thompson has developed a technology that enables the analysis of consumers' emotional responses to advertisements. This technology also identifies the specific elements within a video that capture their attention. This valuable insight allows clients to make adjustments to their advertising campaigns in order to achieve the desired emotional response from their audience.Reveal, the new technology, combines traditional creative testing techniques with proprietary and licensed technology. Clients select a group of consumers, provided by panel providers, which match their target audience. This panel will then opt to have their faces recorded “for a couple of minutes” as they watch the client’s video ad — similar to how ‘measurement providers measure audience attention levels’. Wunderman Thompson’s machine learning model then analyses the recording for seven micro expressions: anger, disgust, fear, happy, neutral, sad and surprise. The agency has also licensed technology that tracks consumers’ eyes as they focus on specific objects within a video.Face tracking is combined with feedback from a consumer survey. This process can take a weak; after the analysis, the video recordings are deleted.It took about eight months to create the tool. The company decided to develop a proprietary emotions detection model because existing models, such as those within Google’s Cloud Vision API, were limited to macro expressions.Lucile Ripa, Head, Analytics and Data Science, Wunderman Thompson, said: “Our promise is that we are faster and quicker [than other creative testing] because we’ve got all this automation, so it will not take months and months to build a big report full of KPIs, we want to be much more agile and dynamic to be able to test our clients’ creative at multiple points — not only when it’s completely final.”The agency believes this will result in more effective ads as well as a better consumer experience.David Lloyd, EMEA Managing Director, Wunderman Thompson-Data shares: “Essentially, we’re just trying to measure positive emotions so that ultimately we get more positive emotions from consumers seeing the ads.”According to Wunderman Thompson, it has lined up trials of the solution with some of its “major” clients, including one in travel and leisure, over the coming weeks and months.Lloyd added: “We know we’re not going to be able to compete with the likes of Google and Microsoft in terms of their investment in data science and technology. So we have a lot of focus around what we do and what we don’t do.”

Saudi Arabia claims first-ever Grand Prix at Cannes Lions Festival

Riyadh: In a remarkable feat, Saudi Arabia has achieved its inaugural Grand Prix victory at the esteemed Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.Wunderman Thompson Riyadh emerged triumphant, securing the Grand Prix in Creative Commerce for their groundbreaking 'Subconscious Order' campaign executed for HungerStation.Rayyan Aoun, Executive Creative Director of Wunderman Thompson KSA, expressed his enthusiasm, describing this achievement as a pivotal milestone for Saudi Arabia.Aoun further emphasized the historic significance of this triumph, highlighting that it marks the first time a campaign from the Kingdom has ever clinched the prestigious Grand Prix, a globally recognized accolade for creative excellence.Through a collaborative effort with Wunderman Thompson's global creative data team, the campaign ingeniously combines consumer insights and cutting-edge technology to deliver an enhanced consumer experience.The 'Subconscious Order' app, designed to tap into users' subconscious minds by tracking their eye movements, assists them in deciding the type of food they desire most at any given moment.The underlying objective of the campaign, as described by Wunderman Thompson, is to alleviate the frustrations associated with decision fatigue that consumers often encounter when choosing their meals.Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, Jury President of the Creative Commerce Lions, commended the campaign's transformative approach, remarking how it transcends the transactional realm to evoke emotional connections. Furthermore, the campaign successfully addresses the challenge of choice overload, thereby facilitating the discovery of new food options and places to order from.Crimi-Lamanna further noted the importance for brands to provide substantial value in exchange for individuals sharing their facial data, and she commended 'Subconscious Order' for accomplishing this feat admirably. She lauded the campaign as a remarkable example of leveraging AI in commerce, demonstrating a bold and courageous endeavor to redefine the user experience.