Here are all of the posts in the ‘News’ category.

Our new home in London

by Jim Coleman in News

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It’s been over seven years since We Are Social’s co-founders, Robin and Nathan, set-up the agency with just their laptops and some borrowed office space. Fast forward to today, and we’re now over 150 people in London (not to mention our 400+ colleagues around the world) and it’s safe to say, we’ve come a long way since those early days.

We’d been based in Clerkenwell for as long as even most of the veterans here can remember, and our St John’s Sq home served us well. But in the last few years we’ve established whole new departments, won loads of great clients and become a bigger force in the marketing landscape.

So, with our Farringdon HQ no longer big enough to accommodate us, it was time to take We Are Social to a new home more fitting of the agency we are today. As you may have read in Campaign last week, we’ve moved to the amazing Alphabeta building in Finsbury Square.

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Spanning 27,000 feet (over double the size of our last office), our space at Alphabeta has been designed by YourStudio to help our teams to be amazing at their jobs, and to deliver what our clients expect from a forward thinking agency.

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The biggest change is undoubtedly our new in-house production capabilities. We now have three bespoke photo and film studios, allowing us to work on professional-quality production. We’ve been creating fast turnaround film, animation and photography content for our clients over the last three years, but now we’ll be able to do more of this at scale.

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At We Are Social we also like to put on a good show, as anyone who’s attended one of our Social Smackdowns or 101 events can attest to. We’ll be doing more of this from now on, with a large ‘Town Hall’ area designed for large-scale seminars and speaker events.

Alphabeta has already been featured by the BBC due to the fact we’re apparently London’s first cycle-in office (it’s easier than the reporter makes it looks here, I promise!) – and for sporting fanatics there’s also a basketball court and squash courts on site. And of course, no We Are Social office would be complete without our precious ping pong and foosball tables.


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We’ve been here for just over a week, and already the agency feels like a more energetic, creative place to be; we’re looking forward to creating lots more award-winning work under our new roof. Here’s to the beginning of another chapter in We Are Social’s growth!

We Are Social currently has 15 open roles across its client services, creative, research & insight, editorial, strategy and design teams. For more information on how you can be part of one of the world’s fastest growing agencies, contact Lauren Tibbetts.


We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #277

by Laura Muldoon in News

Facebook drives increased investment in social
Investment in social media is going up – and there’s a clear indication of whose pocket it’s ending up in. eMarketer stated last week that social media ad spend is accelerating even faster than expected, now predicted to hit $25.1 billion in 2015, over a billion dollars more than it initially projected in April. It won’t be a surprise to many that Facebook is the company responsible for this growth – Facebook and Instagram’s ad business is expected to grow 42 percent y-o-y to $16.3 billion, or 65 percent of brands’ social media budgets in 2015. The platform continues to out-perform poor old Twitter, which is expected to pull in $2 billion in ad revenue (roughly 8 percent of total social budgets). While this is a 62 percent increase over Twitter’s 2014’s revenue, eMarketer had previously expected growth of 67 percent for the platform.

Facebook lures in TV spend with new ad products
Facebook wants a slice of the ever-lucrative TV advertising pie and what Facebook wants, it gets. The platform has created a series of ad products to appeal to those launching big budget integrated campaigns, which includes target-rating points (TRP) buying, using Neilsen to verify how well ads on Facebook perform in conjunction with their TV equivalent. Facebook’s Director of Ads Product Marketing, Graham Mudd, told Adweek:

TV ad campaigns supplemented by Facebook advertising provide an ideal combination for marketers to both reach large audiences and build their brands. Now we’re making it even easier to extend and augment TV campaigns through the introduction of TRP Buying, so advertisers can plan, buy and measure Facebook ads using the same guarantees and Nielsen verification they’re used to with TV.

Facebook will be hoping that the data proves the value of investment in the platform, perhaps over and above that of traditional channels. Other new ad products include allowing videos in its carousel ad unit, which up to now only featured photos.

Facebook brings 360-degree videos to News Feeds
Next up – Facebook! Yes, this week’s mashup has a theme, folks. This time the platform is dabbling in a bit of virtual reality, with the introduction of 360-degree videos. Fittingly, the first 360 vid was made by Disney and Lucasfilm to promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and brands like GoPro, Mountain Dew and Discovery are already lined up to try it out. Facebook coughed up $2 billion for VR company Oculus Rift last year, so expect more updates like this in the future.

Notes gets a revamp
Pinterest has recently launched… only kidding, it’s Facebook again! The platform’s Notes function, which allows you to write longer posts, has historically been pretty dull – so it’s had a revamp. Notes users can add a cover photo, caption and resize images, and format their text into headers, quotes or bullets. Facebook suggests that you might like to recap your summer vacation or update people with an important life event. I for one can’t wait to read long form versions of Sarah’s crazy holiday to Greece, Tom’s first birthday party and Laura and Steve’s fabulous Caribbean wedding.


Facebook updates Instant Articles
Facebook’s Instant Articles – which allows readers to consume news stories in-app rather than being redirected to an external site – was a controversial announcement last year, with publishers concerned about the level of control it would give Facebook. But it seems that the function is still very much on the platform’s agenda, with Facebook announcing plans to ramp up Instant Articles by expanding the number of users who can see them and the number of publishers that can create them. One of the function’s biggest fans is the Washington Post, which says it will start running every single one of its stories on Facebook via Instant Articles.

Instagram community hits 400,000,000
Facebook-owned (yep, we had to get it in there somewhere) Instagram has hit a massive 400 million users. It’s also getting more and more global, with 75 percent of its community living outside the US and, among the last 100 million to join, more than half live in Europe and Asia. Très bien.

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Twitter tests polls within tweets
The latest Twitter feature to be bubbling up to the social surface is polls. Perhaps in an attempt to keep up with the ever evolving Facebook and Instagram this new Twitter format has been sighted on staff and a few verified accounts so far but it is unconfirmed when or indeed if it will ever be fully rolled out. For the time being you can only pose two options for polls so that rules out ‘Will you be my boyfriend? Yes/No/Maybe’ for now. Damn.


Periscope creates its own version of a retweet using screenshots
A new version of Periscope has been released where users are now able to share screenshots of the streams they watch, creating the Periscope version of a retweet and making the whole experience a lot more social. It also makes everyone else watching that stream aware that a screenshot has been taken. The screenshot sharing aspect will help promotion of streams which currently appear as quite an uninspiring link in Twitter.

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Pinterest blows its developer sandbox wide open
Pinterest has announced that it is giving developers access to its APIs for building new apps and third-party integrations. Now anyone can start building away, they just need Pinterest’s approval before going public. That’s my ‘suet puddings for swingers serving suggestions’ app idea out the window then isn’t it. Since May, developers have submitted more than 5,000 ideas for apps and Pinterest has already been working with IFTT, Polyvore and Topshop to launch integrations. Polyvore has already reported that it has increased traffic from Pinterest by 35%, while the number of pins saved from the company has jumped tenfold.

Maggi presents Singapore’s first ‘social’ cookbook on Instagram
Nestlé Singapore with We Are Social has launched a new Instagram campaign in an attempt to engage a new generation of aspiring chefs, with an aim to put the fun back into cooking. The activity takes advantage of Instagram’s rising popularity in Singapore, with Maggi releasing two new recipes each month in line with their brand belief that ‘Happiness is Homemade’. Clicking on specific photo tags will direct users to the corresponding recipe page and also in the direction of their YouTube page for longer ‘how-to’ videos.


Tweet-powered sculpture raises awareness of gay blood donor restrictions
As part of the London Design Festival, a rainbow comprised of liquid has been created which is missing one vital colour: red. Users who tweet #PutRedBack will trigger a single drop of red liquid to fall into the empty part of the rainbow. The installation has been made to raise awareness of the restrictions on gay men donating blood in the UK and coincides with a petition started by charity Freedom To Donate that will lead to a government debate on current blood donation guidelines.


Twitter creates Popemoji for Pope’s US tour
Papal ferula? Check! Papal mitre? Check! Papal emoji? CHECK! It’s every modern pope’s prerogative to have their own emoji these days and that’s just what Pope Francis got from Twitter as he embarked on his US tour last week.

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With four different emoji attached to respective hashtags, users tweeted by their tens of thousands in anticipation of his arrival and according to Topsy, an hour after landing in Washington, there had been 42,000 tweets about his visit.


Of course some brands were quick to jump on this spike of social activity, especially those with legitimate ties; for instance Fiat, one of the official ‘Popemobile’ providers and papal bed supplier Loom & Leaf. Data also showed that many big brands stayed quiet with the majority of the top 300 brands on Twitter steering clear of the conversation.


London Fashion Week steals the show

by Prashant Mistry in News

One of the most exciting times for fashionistas has come and gone for yet another year. Yes, you guessed it, ‘Fashion Week’- where top fashion designers from all over the world showcase their spring/summer collections for the following year. The events were attended by exclusive A-listers and top high flying brands. Through the use of social media, the rest of the world have been allowed that little extra peek at what goes on behind the scenes.

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As you may have read in the Evening Standard today, we’ve used Brandwatch to look at how engaged social media users were. How many conversations were generated about the designers and their collections, how many were about the front row, and most importantly, who actually made the cut?

Here is our low-down of what people were talking about on social at the events:

New York Fashion Week (NYFW)
Alexander Wang was the brand that had the best Twitter performance, being mentioned in 7,664 throughout the week, overtaking all competitors. The catwalk show itself generated 4,461 tweets, with high profile celebrities such as The Weeknd, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj in attendance.

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The hashtag #WANG10 was used throughout social media, with the brand encouraging the social community to watch the show on their website, and documenting the celebrities in attendance on Instagram, with two posts receiving an impressive 77.9k combined likes. Gigi Hadid, Kylie, Kendall Jenner and Brooklyn Beckham were some of the most tweeted buzzwords coming out of the NYFW conversations. Yet, the best performing tweet of NYFW was posted by @CalvinKlein featuring Kendall Jenner backstage, which achieved 1.2k retweets and 3.5k favourites.

In the run up to NYFW, there were a lot of reports in the press about innovations going on during the event, but these didn’t seem to have an impact on social conversation, apart from Periscope. The app generated 8,034 mentions, and also had a steady presence throughout, with fashion shows being broadcast from brands such as Rebecca Minkoff, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren.

However, the best performing brand, Alexander Wang, accounted for just 0.45% of overall NYFW conversation. Perhaps this shows that, in line with today’s celeb obsessed culture, it’s the people in the front row that are pulling in the eyeballs, rather than the big brands on the catwalk.

London Fashion Week (LFW)
LFW was more positive for brands on social overall. Burberry came the closest to making a splash on social, accounting for 1.8% of all LFW tweets, over 7 times more than the second highest performing competitor, Topshop Unique.

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Burberry’s success on social was across various platforms such as Snapchat, with its ‘Burberry Snapchat show,’ in order to exclusively unveil their latest range prior to their catwalk show.


The #Burberry hashtag was the third most used throughout conversations, and the brand also provided the top tweet throughout the week; the runway picture of ‘The cut out ankle boot with The Belt Bag’, which achieved just over 2.5k retweets, and 6.3k favourites.

There were around 7k posts about LFW on Instagram during the week, mostly from ‘regrammed’ images of catwalks. And several brands used Periscope to offer exclusive content to consumers, such as River Island, Vivienne Westwood, and Hunter Boots, showing that more brands were becoming increasingly innovative with their social content.


How did they stack up?
Overall, LFW created more buzz on social media platforms than NYFW, with 2.5m tweets, compared to the 1.6m for NYFW.

Amongst brands, again LFW came out top, with Burberry the clear winner reaching 46,718 mentions, compared to the top mentioned brand during NYFW, Alexander Wang, with 7,664.

Burberry’s social strategy went from strength to strength, outperforming others by a significant margin. Through using their influential social channels, and Snapchat in particular, Burberry managed to stay relevant amongst all the noise. For both events however, it was the the high-profile attendees rather than the fashion collections that dominated the main conversations on social.

Brands showcasing their collections at future New York events will have to up their social game, and take notes from Burberry in how to generate huge engagement by mixing up content across social platforms.

Social Media Week in a Playdough nutshell

by Sophie Fitzgerald in News

As we bid farewell to Social Media Week London for another year, we take a fond look back at our events over the week…

We kicked off our trio of events with The Greatest Social Media Pub Quiz Ever to grace Social Media Week. Partnering up with the amazing Ticketmaster at their HQ in Angel, we challenged our teams to test their social media knowledge to the limit. Our winners, The One Eyed Smurfs, emerged victorious by proving their knowledge in all things from Lenny Kravitz’s costume malfunction (#penisgate), to knowing which delicious pizza brand allowed Twitter users to order their food using emojis in a campaign.

Emojis were the hot topic at the quiz, with teams being challenged to create a new emoji, out of playdough, glitter and pipe cleaner. Art Attack eat your heart out! The winning team’s creation was a beautiful electric blue unicorn, we can only assume that Emoji saw this beautiful creation, as recent news has just suggested they are in fact creating a unicorn emoji!

Thank you to our partner in crime, Ticketmaster for helping us host a fantastic evening!

The meaty filling in our Social Media Week sandwich of events was Live Tweeting 101, led by our brilliant Senior Editor, Sarah Hecks.

Sarah took the SMW audience on a whistle-stop tour through the world of Live Tweeting. Offering insight into how to spot live event opportunities relevant to your brand, how to engage with your audience, and when your event has ended, how to keep the social buzz going.

Read more of Sarah’s live tweeting tips here.

Lastly, we drew our events at Social Media Week to a close with Innovate or Die, a practical guide on how to approach innovation. The session was kicked off by our very own Writer, Charlotte Miller, who took us through examples of innovative social thinking from our latest edition of The Curiosity Stop.

Charlotte showed us how using emojis to express your road rage can bring something new to your audience, and what an ear embedded in an arm can teach us about engaging with industry extremes.


The next chapter in our innovation session was looking at how to hack social with our Marketing and Innovation Director, Tom Ollerton. Tom gave insight into how We Are Social approaches innovation and revealed the secrets behind our most successful hack days. Tom finished the hack insight by showcasing our newest hack, built in a day for one day only, Humper. Real Time Communication allows people to play a SIMMs type game, involving randy rabbits, online in real time, through a browser – without downloading anything. This is a contemporary technology that hasn’t been used by many marketers.


Saving the big guns until last, we had Jeremy Basset from Unilever Foundry, and Mark Adams from Vice, talking about how innovation can make an impact in their businesses. Jeremy showed us behind the scenes at how Unilever partner with start ups to ensure that the 86 year old company stays at the forefront of disruptive thinking and technology. Mark gave a no holds barred presentation on some of the biggest social media myths, and how Vice innovate with content in previously busy sectors like women’s publishing. Mark described social paid content as zombie content that was never really alive, and how great social media should nourish a community not interrupt it.

We’ve had a blast at Social Media Week and can’t wait for this time next year. If you’re from a brand and are interested in attending any of our events, we host events every month so keep an eye on our blog for more details.

Innovative sleep technology

by Tom Ollerton in News

The Drum recently published this article by myself and Alastair Cole looking at the innovations that are trying to help us sleep betterThey’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.

In January 1986 the Space Shuttle Challenger took off from Kennedy Space Centre with seven crew members hoping to better understand the universe beyond earth. Within seconds, the ship exploded killing all on board. Several key managers on the project had showed up to work having had two hours sleep.

This edition of the Innovation Ramble looks at the innovations that are trying to help us sleep better and the innovative science trying to crack the codes of our body clocks.

The Challenger disaster took place at the end of a decade synonymous with the all-night, work hard/play hard culture of Gen X. A lifestyle made cool by Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen in Wall Street set in New York – the city that “never sleeps”. It wasn’t always like that.

In the preceding centuries, the night was a place populated by people of disrepute – criminals, prostitutes and drunks. So we stayed home, and enjoyed two sleeps spanning 14 hours, waking for a couple of hours in between. This time was used to pray, meditate on dreams. It was only as we became increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency that we started sleeping in one consolidated block. Today, in the United States, 250,000 drivers fall asleep at the wheel every day, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School resulting in 100,000 crashes.

So how can innovation help us get better sleep?

Sprayable Sleep is a spray can which emulates the body’s natural melatonin production, bypassing the digestive system and making the application more natural than taking the chemical in pill form. Hush earplugs send you to sleep with soothing sounds by masking unwanted sound up to 70 dB with more pleasant, soothing noises. A small speaker driver in each earplug plays locally-stored noise, masking sounds for up to 10 hours.

There are many sleep tracking smartphone apps, wearables and sleep mats that give you data on your sleep patterns. Nintendo has filed patents in this space which indicate hardware that will project your sleep patterns on the wall next to your bed as you wake up. Quantifying your sleep isn’t a solution to serious sleepy time issues. If we want to innovate and truly change they way we sleep we need to look further than the app store.

At Oxford University prof Russell Foster was granted £3m to investigate a new discovery called the sleep “switch”. The ventral lateral pre-optic nuclei is the on/off switch for the neural system that keeps us awake. The research raises the possibility of developing a drug to allow our bodies to ignore the light/dark cycle. This could help with jet lag, insomnia – even depression and autism.

Recent innovative research has also shown that sleep deprivation might actually be a good thing. The Wellcome Trust-funded research which investigated the effects of sleep deprivation in a clinical setting. Subjects were shown film scenes containing traumatic content. They were then either sent home to get a full night’s sleep, or deprived of sleep in the laboratory. Scientists noted that those deprived of sleep experienced fewer bad memories of the films than those who got a good night’s sleep at home. The reason for this is that sleep reinforces neural pathways for memories that are powerful and important to us. So depriving a trauma sufferer a good night’s sleep can help disrupt these pathways being formed and consequently relieve the stress.

Sleep is a fundamental human process and it’s unlikely we’ll be able to meaningfully affect it any time soon. However lucid dreaming, the ability to be consciously aware while in a dream, is becoming a reality. Tech-infused sleep masks and head-bands are enabling users to cognitively influence their dreams.

Devices such as the RemeeNeurodreamer and Aurora play music and show light patterns while you’re in REM, the deepest stage of sleep. With practice and dedication, these companies claim that their devices will help you to achieve lucid dreaming. With this innovative technology the hope is that we will overcome recurring nightmares, expanding creative output and simply have fun.

If this is all a bit straight laced for you then turn to Lemmy, the Motorhead frontman who took so much speed he stayed up for two weeks. Or as he put it in their classic The Ace of Spades – “that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t wanna live forever”.