The Drum sat down with Havas' global chief executive in Cannes to find out all about the group's new venture with Atom Factory: the SMASHD Group.
The two shops claim to have developed new model for brand and technology consultancy that fuses Havas’ marketing know-how with Atom Factory’s entertainment roots.
The SMASHD Group will be a composition of three core pillars: SMASHD Brand Innovations, a brand consultancy, SMASHD.co, an editorial platform and SMASHD Labs, which is a tech startup accelerator. They will be tied together by a focus on being “culturally fueled with a growth outcome”, according to Benett.
The SMASHD Group's joint venture consultancy hopes to deliver culturally-driven, tech-enabled business solutions to brand marketers through new types of content, applications, platforms and products. To do this, the consultancy will leverage Havas’ global footprint and full set of integrated marketing capabilities alongside Atom Factory’s deep roots in music, media, culture and technology.
It will focus both on reaching new audiences for its clients, and finding value in current customers, by “re-framing brand perception through emerging technology”, the company claims.
The joint venture also includes the existing SMASHD Labs accelerator and SMASHD.co. SMASHD Labs was created by Atom Factory to accelerate early stage businesses by inviting entrepreneurs to build their companies in-house with help from mentors and brands during a 10-week advisory period.
The SMASHD.co editorial platform will cover culture, technology and business news through daily videos, newsletters and content.
James Andrews has been selected to lead the SMASHD Group as chief executive. Andrews is an entrepreneur with cross-sector experience working within creative agencies, early stage technology companies, record labels, and building numerous startups and innovation practices.
Andrews will work to integrate Atom Factory and Havas teams into the group.