Fold7 takes majority stake in experiential startup amid rising popularity among brand marketers

Fold7

Independent creative agency Fold7 has taken a majority share in an experiential start-up led by Andrew Casher (pictured above, middle), in the hopes of cashing on a marketing channel the IPA predicts will grow faster than internet spend in 2017.

The division – called Hyperactive – will act as an autonomous agency within Fold7, with Eurostar and luxury brand Tag Heuer its founding clients.

However, Fold7 will use the expertise of Casher and his team of five when its own clients – which include Carlsberg and Hilton – look for experiential work.

Fold7 chief executive Marc Nohr (above, left) – who will take a director role along with creative founder Ryan Newey (above, right) – told The Drum that it is reflective of the value now being placed on experiential among ‘top table’ brand marketers who might have simply seen it as an add-on in the past.

“As humans we are immersed in technology more than we ever have been before, but at the same time value real-world experiences precisely because of that. Just as our digital content offering has burgeoned, so has our experiential,” he said.

“But the two are closely related. Take Carlsberg, which has a massive poster in Shoreditch with a beer tap. Was that advertising? Experiential? We filmed it and it was watched all over the world, so was it a social campaign? For a lot of our clients, like Carlsberg, they want a that real-world presence. Loads of our clients are doing it anyway, so why don’t we help them.”

The IPA Bellwether Report suggested that 'events' marketing will command an increasing share of budgets (expected to be up 13.4 per cent for 2017), compared to internet (up 10.9 per cent) and PR (up 2.3 per cent).

Hyperactive will sit within Fold7's walls alongside Film7 – its production arm – meaning work such as the Carlsberg Tap Poster should be easier and quicker to produce for existing and new clients.

Casher is well known to Fold7, having overseen the marketing for Ministry of Sound when it was a client of the agency before he moved to Havas SE Cake. He said that Fold7 shared the same philosophy, making it an easy decision to bring it into the mix.

“We both want to produce big, creative, innovative ideas for clients that challenge and we want to leverage those ideas beyond just the point of impact and to think about the PR value, the social value and so on…,” he said. “It felt like a natural fit”.

It terms of its growth plans, Casher will bring fresh talent into the team as new clients come on board. The team in place have a shared background in entertainment and technology, leading Casher to predict that it will likely pitch for work in those sectors.

In the meantime, it will continue to work with Tag Heuer to activate its partnership with the Premier League with a series of pop-up events this month and is developing VR content for Eurostar.

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Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is Brands Editor at The Drum. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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