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Candyspace WPP Innovation

Candyspace forms CandyLabs to formalise its ‘unique’ approach to innovation

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By Seb Joseph, News editor

March 8, 2016 | 3 min read

Candyspace is opening CandyLabs, an innovation unit, in a bid to put what it believes is its ability to prioritise the consumer before the product in the shop window for brands.

The division launches this month and is led by creative partner Martin Brierley and technical lead Tom Baker.

Rather than have a separate team, specialists from Candyspace will be pulled to work on special projects, which are billed as an additional service. Should a client have what the agency calls a “discrete problem” they want to explore through experimentation then they could work with Candyspace, which can either create something bespoke in-house, co-fund projects, or offer up its own products.

One example of CandyLabs’ output is ‘Hark!’, which allows consumers to perfectly synch audio with video content displayed on digital-out-of-home formats. The technology uses a web-based URL, where consumers access audio-screen synching, with zero-latency.

Another product from the innovation hub is ‘Reach’, a platform that allows marketers to target ads on outdoor screens using information such as weather, social trends and how crowded an area is. It’s managed via a dashboard, which marketers can use to tweak the messaging of their ads based on the context of the different placements. Lee Jeans recently used the technology (see above) at Selfridges in Manchester to promote its Lee Fit Menswear range.

It serves as a taster of what’s to come from the agency, which global chief executive Tom Thorne aims to “formalise” the “unique” ways Candyspace has been working over the last two years. There are rival offerings available to marketers at the moment that push the technology first rather than the consumer, and Thorne pins the launch’s potential on its ability to “innovate around the consumer experience”.

“We’re putting the connected consumer at the heart of everything that we do,” he added.

The launch comes amid a wave of new and alternative services from agencies as they look to adapt to the needs of marketers, which are increasingly shifting away from traditional campaigns to more service driven ideas or technical expertise. Analog Folk and Iris both made moves to diversify their offerings at the turn of the year, by launching a management consultancy and data hub respectively.

“The clients that we work for will have some form of digital resource internally but that’s likely to be set up in a fairly rigid structure that doesn’t allow for the agile approach to innovation that we have instilled in our teams,” explained Brierley.

“We know that people love the shiny and new [innovations] but we also know that contains various problems in terms of getting things to market swiftly and managing risk around those projects. What we’re trying to do is minimise the risk and speed up the process by creating CandyLabs.”

Candyspace WPP Innovation

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