DEPT® wins the most awards in Lovie Awards’ history
Shortly after being named Agency Network of the Year by the Webby Awards, DEPT® is the Agency of the Year at the Lovie Awards for the second time, winning a record of 43 awards with clients including Amazon Prime, HAPE, Philips, and H&M.
Now in its thirteenth year, the Lovies honour the best of the European Internet across Websites, Apps, Mobile Sites & Podcasts, Social, Internet Video and Online Advertising. One of the world’s fastest growing agencies, DEPT® picked up 7 gold, 9 silver and 6 bronze awards. The projects were also popular with the public, securing an additional 21 People’s Lovie Awards. With a total of 43 awards, DEPT® is the most awarded agency in The Lovie Awards’ history.
“To be named both Agency of the Year at the Lovies and Network of the Year at the Webby’s in the same year is just mind-blowing,” said Dimi Albers, CEO, DEPT®. “We always try to do what hasn’t been done before to help our clients stay ahead, and the winning projects this year really showcase our pioneering work across Web3, commerce and tech. We’re super-proud of all the Depsters who get these amazing projects off the ground, and we thank our awesome clients who give us the opportunities to do what we do best.”
The award-winning projects
The unique Web3 experience the team created for fashion brand H&Mbeyond which turned their showroom into an immersive, virtual experience, won two Bronze Lovies and two People’s Lovie Winner in the Web3, NFTs & Metaverse categories for Best Brand Integration / Brand Strategy and Business, Fashion & Retail. HYPEWEAR by ABOUT YOU, the first online shop for digital NFT fashion, won the Silver Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Web3, NFTs & Metaverse: Commerce, Finance & Governance, and a Bronze Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Web3, NFTs & Metaverse: Best Innovation or Use of Technology.
The magical, branded immersive experience that digitally F-Cut, the customisation tool created for sustainable accessories brand FREITAG that enables customers to design their own bags from recycled truck tarpaulins, won a Gold Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Websites: Best Design – Aesthetic, and a Silver Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Websites: Retail & Shopping. The website and app that takes visitors on a personalised tour of the Mauritshuis art museum won a Bronze Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Websites: Art. The magical, branded immersive experience that digitally brings de Bijenkorf’s wonderful shopping experience to life, won the Gold Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Apps, Mobile & Voice: Best Visual Design for both DOGSTUDIO/DEPT® and DEPT®.
The “Made for everybody and every body” campaign created for Philips that promotes male body positivity won the Gold Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Social: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The humorous, festive campaign,“Felix & The Perfect Gift” created for bol.com won the Silver Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Advertising: Video Advertising Long Form. The campaign to promote bol.com’s ‘Big Toy-App’, which entertained children in an adventure to help Sinterklaas solve “The Mystery of the Missing Toys” and resulted in over 6.3 million interactive games played, won a Silver Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Apps, Mobile & Voice: Integrated Mobile Experience.
The innovative experience BYTE/DEPT® created for Amazon Prime for the launch of Without Remorse, which saw Twitch streamers taking part in a live, real life gaming experience, took home seven awards: the Gold Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Video: Best Narrative Experience; Silver in Advertising: Best PR Campaign; Silver and People’s Lovie Winner in Video: Live Experiences, and Bronze and People’s Lovie Winner in Video: Best Audience Integration.
DOGSTUDIO/DEPT® had a hat-trick of winners, with its stunning immersive experience for the Tomorrowland festival winning the Gold Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Websites: Best User Experience, and the Gold Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Web3, NFTs & Metaverse: Conference, Festival or Party. For HAPE, the creation of walking, 3D, NFT HAPES won the Gold Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Websites: Best Use of Animation & Motion Graphics, and the Silver Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Web3, NFTs & Metaverse: Entertainment, Gaming & Sport. And the digital version of the biggest event in the world, Virtual Expo Dubai, won a Silver Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Web3, NFTs & Metaverse: Art, Culture, Music & Film.
Hello Monday (part of DEPT®), won the Silver Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Websites: Schools & Education for the truly innovative and engaging state-of-the-art digital exhibition experience it created for the Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show.
Finally, DEPT®’s very own Meta Festival – the first 24hr event in the Metaverse – which featured 109 speakers, was broadcast across three timezones, and attracted 12,000 registrations from 109 countries, won the Bronze Lovie and People’s Lovie Winner in Web3, NFTs & Metaverse: Best Community.
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Global Head of Marketing
DEPT® launches biggest campaign of the year for smart
Integrated communications team smart FLUX has developed the biggest campaign of the year for car brand smart Europe GmbH. Launching on 25 October 2022 under the statement “This is smart”, it marks the start of the pre-order phase for the new compact SUV, smart #1, which will officially launch in the European market at the end of 2022. The campaign shows how effective communication can be when creative, media, data and tech are combined.
An urban companion
smart, which is historically known for primarily solving parking problems in the city with its small vehicles, is transforming itself into a provider of intelligent, premium electromobility as it enters the compact car segment. To support this transformation, smart is radically changing its sales model and communication strategy to a customer-centric, data-based, and hyper-personalised approach. For this, smart relies on the communication group smart FLUX, which designs and controls the marketing for the European market. The latest campaign, “This is smart”, heralds the pre-order phase of smart’s first compact SUV with the main goal of generating pre-orders for the new vehicle. The campaign was devised and delivered by DEPT®, which is part of smart FLUX.
The campaign faces the challenge of bringing both the new brand positioning and the first member of a new product family closer to smart’s target group. Under the claim “This is smart“, the past and future of the car manufacturer are linked; the launch of the brand’s first compact SUV will show that smart’s well-known avant-garde and future-oriented spirit can be extended to different shapes and sizes. The campaign also positions smart on a cultural level as an advocate and promoter of progressive ideas that allow the target group to look to the future with optimism.
Björn Schick, Chief Experience Officer at smart Europe GmbH: “With “This is smart”, we are starting with the positioning of the smart brand as an ‘urban companion’, which also fully meets the zeitgeist of the modern, urban target group with a product like the smart #1. It’s about future-oriented and solution-oriented ideas that actively enrich people’s everyday lives, such as our digital key which can be shared with a network of friends and thus forms an approach to shared mobility.”
A brand experience that communicates the attitude of smart
DEPT® was responsible for the creative conception and production of the idea, as well as the development and execution of the full-funnel campaign architecture, which combines an effective media mix, a solid platform, the right tech set-up and data infrastructure into a holistic customer journey. The focus of the campaign is on modern digital formats, touchpoints and channels such as TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Spotify and Twitch.
Together, smart and DEPT® are also focusing on the expansion of creative automation technology, which enables the automated production of thousands of assets and, thus, the creation of hyper-relevant content for CRM, onsite and social media, as well as data-supported adjustments to the creative mid-flight.
Josephine Gerves, Managing Director of smart FLUX, DEPT®, said: “With this campaign, we want to connect with people who care about urban life, mobility and the environment, and who care about interacting with brands that tick like themselves. We have created a brand experience that communicates the attitude of smart; an attitude with which the target group can identify.”
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Head of Marketing, Europe
An update on our #goodcompany mission
When we released the first-ever DEPT® Impact Report last year, we were still in the midst of our B Corp journey.
Since then, we’ve not only achieved B Corp certification, we’ve also been named one of the Best for the World™ B Corps in the Governance category – meaning that our score for Governance was among the top 5% of B Corps of our size.
But, as we said last year, that’s only the beginning.
Our journey towards becoming a #goodcompany continues, but with this year we’re very excited to share the progress we’ve made over the course of 2021 in our newest Impact Report.
Here’s a snapshot.
We’re bigger than ever, but still small enough to care. Following the addition of 10 exciting new DEPT® teams, our total number of Depsters jumped from 1,300 in 2020 to over 3,000 spread across 18 countries in 5 continents as of the time of this report’s release. Although we’ve nearly doubled in size, we’re still powered by the culture and creativity of a smaller agency.
Our 1% for good mission just got bigger. In 2021, 0.67% of our revenue was donated to charity or through pro bono work, up from 0.5% in 2020. That might not sound like much, but bear in mind that it’s not just our size that’s bigger than ever – our revenue is as well. And so is the 1% of our revenue we’re on a mission to give back, whether that’s through donation or pro bono work.
We’re confident we’ve established a better benchmark for our carbon footprint. Our footprint in 2021 measured just under 10,500 t/CO2, up from 5,500 t/CO2 in 2020. Given the impact of the pandemic on offices, travel, and commuting, however, we’ve always known that our 2020 footprint would be an outlier. In any case, we remain a Climate Neutral company, and have continued to offset the entirety of our footprint through our friends at Terra Neutra.
Gender equality is on track. The percentage of women at DEPT® has increased from 42% to 46% and we’re confident that we’ll reach 50% in 2022. Additionally, 42% of DEPT® managers identify as women or nonbinary – meaning we’ve achieved the incremental goal of 40% we set last year!
Other aspects of DE&I – including race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation – are making steady progress. While challenges with our previous people data system prevented us from collecting data on these aspects of identity last year, we’ve already made the switch to a better system. Furthermore, we’ve come to realize that DE&I looks different depending on the country or region of the world we’re working within. We’re now pivoting toward a series of regional DE&I Strategic Planning processes, assisted by global initiatives like anonymous recruitment.
Helping other good companies do more good. Our work pioneers tech and marketing to help brands stay ahead. But we specifically want to make sure our pioneering work is helping purpose-driven companies achieve their missions of creating a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive world. To that end, over the course of the past year, 8.6% of our revenue came from purpose-driven work and we completed 99 impact projects.
As the world evolves, we’re determined to evolve with it in a positive way.
View the full 2021 Impact Report.
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Global Impact Manager
DEMO: the world’s largest open-air design exhibition
On October 6, DEMO – Design in Motion Festival – will take over 5,000+ digital screens across the Netherlands to showcase the best motion design work from across the world. After receiving over 5,300 submissions, this unique, public exhibition of creative work will feature 815 moving artworks by designers from 54 countries.
DEMO 2022 is the second edition of the festival that took over all digital screens at Amsterdam Central Station for an entire day in 2019. This year, all of the Netherlands will be turned into an open-air exhibition, with all digital screens at train stations, metros, motorways, petrol stations, airports, shopping centers, and streets showcasing moving artwork for 24 hours. Tours will be organized in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, where designers will provide explanations of the works. In the Royal Waiting Room at Amsterdam Central Station, a seminar will take place about the role of and importance motion design in this digital age.
The final selection of 815 works from 5,332 entries was made by a team of curators: Liza Enebeis, creative director of Studio Dumbar/DEPT® and initiator of DEMO; interdisciplinary designer Koos Breen; experimental motion designer Connor Campbell; creative coder Tim Rodenbröker, and 3D animation studio YONK.
The exhibition will showcase work by designers across the world including Dirk Koy (Switzerland), ines alpha (France), Sucuk und Bratwurst (Germany), Wang & Söderström (Sweden), Yehwan Song (South Korea), BUCK Design (USA), Melissa Santamaría (Mexico), Hey Studio (Spain), Michiel Schuurman (Netherlands), Studio Feixen (Switzerland), PPPanik (Germany), Raman Djafari (Germany) and Hassan Rahim (USA).
The program on all screens has been divided into nine themes, including ‘Happy Hour’, ‘Better than Real’, ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Type Only’. The themes will be alternated by ‘takeovers’, during which the motion work of one designer will be highlighted simultaneously on all screens.
In the Royal Waiting Room at Amsterdam Central Station, DEMO has organized a publicly accessible program featuring various talks about motion design. The program consists of renowned speakers including Connor Campbell (UK), a motion designer known for work with brands such as Nike, Apple and MTV; video and installation artist, 3D animation studio YONK (Netherlands), working for META and the New York Times; Sander Sturing (Netherlands), lead creative coder at Studio Dumbar/DEPT®; web artist and designer Yehwan Song (South Korea), and Tim Rodenbröker (Germany), creative coder and educator.
All day, there will be tours at Amsterdam Central Station, Rotterdam and Utrecht, during which groups will be guided past digital screens by a motion designer explaining the work. The public program and tours are free of charge.
DEMO is an initiative by Studio Dumbar/DEPT® in collaboration with Global. The digital screens were generously made available by Out of Home operators in the Netherlands. See demofestival.com for full details.
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Head of Marketing US
Take a peek into the future of commerce, customer journeys and more at DEPT® Commerce Day
On Thursday, October 13th, leaders across a range of industries, including retail, fashion and consumer goods, will gather to share insights about the future of commerce at the virtual DEPT® Commerce Day. From evolving customer journeys, the cookieless world and the rise of Web3, the event will explore the opportunities and challenges for how brands attract, engage and retain customers both today and in the future.
Speakers for the virtual event include leaders from Gucci, Inter Milan, eBay, Vogue Business, FREITAG, C&A, Design Holding, Electrolux, Magasin and more.
“There has never been a more exciting, yet challenging, time to be in commerce,” said Jonathan Whiteside, Global SVP Technology & Engineering at DEPT®. “The tech platforms that are powering commerce continue to evolve at lightning speed, consumer demand for personalized omnichannel experiences is stronger than ever, and the emergence of Web3 has created added complexity, along with massive opportunities, for innovation. Brands must make bold decisions and embrace how dynamic commerce has become. DEPT® Commerce Day will bring together brand leaders who are embracing change and inspiring the experiences of tomorrow.”
The virtual event will be centered around several key themes, including:
- Technology – Discover the tech that is dominating commerce in 2022 and beyond, from leading commerce platforms to headless solutions, composable commerce and more.
- Marketing – Learn how to build an omnichannel commerce experience for today’s consumers, discover how leveraging creative automation can help brands to scale campaigns at speed, unearth the top tips to maximize marketplaces, and be inspired by social commerce strategies.
- Web3 – From metaverse experiences to NFTs, learn how Web3 technology is shaping the future of commerce.
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Head of Marketing US
Vote for DEPT® at the Lovie Awards 2022
It’s a record year for DEPT® at the 2022 Lovie Awards, with 22 award nominations and 11 shortlisted projects. Named Agency of the Year at the Lovies in 2020 and Global Network of the Year at the 2022 Webby awards, DEPT®, BYTE/DEPT®, Dogstudio (part of DEPT®), and Hello Monday (part of DEPT®) are celebrating a bumper year of Lovie recognition.
From the virtual world we created for H&Mbeyond., the magical digital experience we crafted for Bijenkorf, the inclusive campaign for Philips, and the live video experience for Amazon Prime, this year’s nominations span websites, Web3, advertising and apps. Nominated clients include HAPE, Philips, Freitag, H&M, HYPEWEAR by About You, Bol.com, Amazon Prime, Tomorrowland, Virtual Expo Dubai, Bijenkorf, Mauritshuis, the Bartlett School of Architecture, and our very own Meta Festival.
In addition to the award nominations, DEPT® was also acknowledged in the official shortlist for ten categories with our clients Jaeger-Lecoultre, Tomorrowland, Virtual Expo Dubai, Hyperwear by About You, Bijenkorf, Bol.com, Mauritshuis and Freitag.
Vote for your favorite DEPT® entry!
Voting is now open till October 6 and winners will be announced later in the month.
- Amazon Without Remorse, BYTE/DEPT®: Advertising in Best PR Campaign; Video in Live Experiences; Video in Best Narrative Experience; Video in Best Audience Integration
- H&M – A unique Web3 experience for H&Mbeyond.: Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Business, Fashion & Retail; Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Best Brand Integration / Brand Strategy
- HYPEWEAR by ABOUT YOU – the first online shop for digital fashion: Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Commerce, Finance & Governance; Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Best Innovation or Use of Technology
- HAPE PRIME, Dogstudio (part of DEPT®): Websites in Best Use of Animation & Motion Graphics; Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Entertainment, Gaming & Sport
- Philips: Made for everybody and every body: Social in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Tomorrowland, Dogstudio (part of DEPT®): Websites in Best User Experience; Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Conference, Festival or Party
- FREITAG F-Cut: Websites in Best Design – Aesthetic; Websites in Retail & Shopping.
- Meta Festival 2022: Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Best Community
- Virtual Expo Dubai, Dogstudio (part of DEPT®): Web3, NFTs & Metaverse in Art, Culture, Music & Film
- Bol.com – Felix & The Perfect Gift: Advertising in Video Advertising Long Form, Mystery Box – Apps, Mobile & Voice in Integrated Mobile Experience
- Bijenkorf (Amaze & Admire): Apps, Mobile & Voice in Best Visual Design
- Mauritshuis (Site + Audiotour): Websites in Art
- Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show, Hello Monday (part of DEPT®): Websites in Schools & Education
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Head of Marketing US
DEPT® continues APAC expansion with Australia’s Two Bulls
Two Bulls, an award-winning digital product studio based in Australia, has joined DEPT®, one of the fastest-growing digital agencies in the world. With clients including Verizon, Hasbro and MailChimp, Two Bulls specializes in solving complex challenges with simple digital solutions by converging innovative engineering, creative perspective and thoughtful design. The Melbourne-based agency marks DEPT®’s expansion in Australia and the wider APAC region and will bolster its global digital product services offerings.
“At Two Bulls, we don’t just love our work because the challenges are easy, we love it because solving them is meaningful,” said James Kane, CEO, Two Bulls. “Finding a partner with a similar culture, client base, and understanding of the digital reality was one of the most important factors for us when deciding to join as the first agency in the APAC region. Being B Corp certified is, of course, a big plus too. DEPT® is on an incredible adventure to become the best agency in the world, and we can’t wait to add our local knowledge and pioneering spirit into the mix.”
Founded in 2009, Two Bulls works across multiple industries, with particular experience in health, family and public sector. Its team of 100+ creative engineers have pioneered the Australian digital products market on a mission to solve complex and meaningful problems in simple ways. Two Bulls’ family division, Two Moos, is an internationally acclaimed player in the games and family entertainment business. It counts the development of ‘Sesame Street Yourself’ and ‘The Wiggles Fun Time with Faces’, both featured as App of The Day, among its many successes.
“We’ve admired Two Bulls from afar for a while now; they really are Australia’s go-to studio for digital product strategy and design,” said Dimi Albers, CEO, DEPT®. “They know how to effectively combine technology and marketing, have long standing relations with their clients and, most importantly, don’t forget to have a lot of fun along the way. I’m sure that their entrepreneurial spirit will help drive DEPT® forward in Australia, the wider APAC region and beyond.”
Founded in Amsterdam in 2015, DEPT® has quickly grown across the globe, from 150 people in The Netherlands to more than 3,500 people in seventeen countries across five continents, working with brands including Google, Philips, eBay, Patagonia, ASOS, and Diageo. The agency launched in Asia Pacific at the start of the year, headed up by former Havas Group APAC CEO Vishnu Mohan, and is planning further expansion in the region.
“Asia Pacific is an important part of our vision of being the best global digital agency in the world,” said Mohan. “We are working hard to bring the full DEPT® value proposition to life in the region, and joining forces with such a talented, pioneering team like Two Bulls will be hugely beneficial to our clients.”
Now part of DEPT®, Two Bulls will continue to operate under the leadership of James Kane, Founder and CEO, and Evan Davey, Founding Partner. JEGI CLARITY brokered the deal.
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Head of Marketing US
Thousands of entries received for DEMO – the largest motion design festival in the world
Organizers of the Design in Motion Festival (DEMO) – the largest motion design festival in the world – have received 5,300 entries from more than 1,500 designers in 81 countries. The second edition of the DEMO will take place on 6 October 2022, and will broadcast the best motion design from around the world on 5,000 digital screens in the Netherlands for 24 hours.
The final selection of work that will be displayed by the DEMO Festival curators includes 816 entries grouped into 9 themes. The selection includes new talents, well-known designers and studios like Dirk Koy (Switzerland), ines alpha (France), Sucuk und Bratwurst (Germany), Wang & Söderström (Sweden), Yehwan Song (South Korea), BUCK Design (USA/Netherlands), Melissa Santamaría (Mexico), Hey Studio (Spain), Michiel Schuurman (Netherlands), Studio Feixen (Switzerland), PPPanik (Germany), Raman Djafari (Germany) and Hassan Rahim (USA).
Public program and guided tours on 6 October
In the Royal Waiting Room at Amsterdam Central Station, where the first edition of DEMO took place, a public programme will be organised with in-depth talks on the motion design profession.
The programme includes leading speakers such as Connor Campbell (UK), a motion designer known for his work for brands such as Nike, Apple and MTV, Natalia Stuyk (a video and installation artist from Spain), and 3D animation studio YONK (Netherlands) who work with Meta and the New York Times. There will also be lectures by specialists such as Sander Sturing of Studio Dumbar/DEPT® (a creative coder for the Netherlands), Yehwan Song (a web artist and designer from South Korea), and creative coder and educator Tim Rodenbröker (Germany).
All day long, there will be guided tours at Amsterdam Central Station, in Rotterdam and Utrecht, where groups can visit the digital screens with a designer and get insightful explanations.
The public programme and the tours are free. Tickets can be reserved via the demofestival.com from 13th September.
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Head of Marketing US
We hosted the first 24H festival in the metaverse: here’s what we learned.
Everyone’s talking about the metaverse. But, according to our research, only 16% of people understand what it is.
That’s why DEPT® and Journee transformed this year’s Meta Festival into a historic 24H virtual celebration: an event within the metaverse, about the metaverse. From construction to content to PR, this is what we learned.
Building a metaverse
Meta Festival took place in Metapolis, a metaverse that we created in partnership with Journee.
Collaborating on a metaverse with a company like Journee saved us an immense amount of time, while also allowing us to create a unique immersive experience that was fully aligned with the Meta Festival brand.
While platforms like Roblox or Decentraland also offer the ability to create a custom 3D virtual event space, working within one of their platforms would have put us under the constraints of a separate brand.
On the other hand, building a metaverse on our own from the ground up would have been a massive undertaking. A project like that could easily take a team a year or more to complete, and we didn’t have the time or engineering availability to dedicate to that kind of endeavor.
Working with Journee enabled our team to get the best of both worlds, sparing us an inordinate investment of time and energy while also giving us complete creative control over the look, feel, and function of Metapolis.
Designing with Unreal Engine
Our creativity in designing Metapolis was powered by Epic Games’s Unreal Engine 5, the suite of virtual world building tools that Fast Company has predicted could become key to the breakthrough of the metaverse.
Unreal Engine is what makes the creative possibilities of metaverse events almost limitless. One of the ways we let our creativity run wild was by pulling inspiration from Travis Scott’s iconic Fortnite performance and adding our own digital giant to Metapolis: a runway-walking HAPE.
Limitations to consider
Of course, the technology around metaverses is still evolving and there are important limitations to consider even with Unreal Engine.
Unreal Engine applications are streamed to user devices via Pixel Streaming which, as a cloud-based service, can only host so many users at a time.
The risk of reaching capacity in Metapolis made it necessary to create a locally hosted domain where users could wait before entering. We created what we called our “Desktop,” which featured a few applications as well as a chat.
The Desktop also linked to a YouTube livestream of each of the three regional panel sessions, to ensure that even if someone was unable to enter the metaverse, they wouldn’t miss out on our live content. The same livestream was also broadcast on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Twitch to make the content available to not just attendees but also to our followers on those platforms.
With upwards of 12 thousand registrants for Meta Festival and a last-minute technical error that capped Metapolis capacity at ~1000 users, we were happy to see that the Desktop kept anyone who had to wait to enter Metapolis sufficiently entertained.
Providing content that educates…
We assembled over 100 speakers from top-shelf brands across industries, including Volkswagen, H&M, WIRED, Forrester, Algorand, Heineken, Epic Games, Netflix, and more.
These speakers prerecorded talks that we incorporated as a major feature of the Metapolis landscape. The landscape was divided into sections that included areas dedicated to four core themes: Diehard Tech, Immersive Experiences, Betterverse, and Pop Culture. Each area contained viewing screens that attendees could approach with their metaverse avatars and use to stream a relevant talk.
Providing prerecorded content helped ease the strain of a 24H festival on our event crew, while still providing valuable insights to attendees. That said, the general feedback was that watching the talks from a screen in the metaverse felt underwhelming. The delivery of the content simply didn’t match the experience around it.
By contrast, our live regional panels earned rave reviews.
Each of the three live panel sessions took place on the Metapolis Main Stage and kicked off at 2 pm local time in Singapore, Amsterdam, and New York. These were all hosted live from a studio space in Amsterdam and featured 35-minute sessions with 3-5 speakers discussing each of the four core Meta Festival themes.
Providing regional content helped ensure our 24H event had global appeal and presenting it live gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions and feed off of the buzz of the in-studio hosts.
Overall, the live panels were more interactive, exciting, and met the high standard set by the overall experience of the metaverse.
…and also entertains.
Although the majority of content was focused on providing deeper insight into the metaverse and Web3, we also wanted to make sure that Meta Festival would still entertain and amuse.
We created a live Playground available outside Metapolis on the Desktop that embraced everything and anything. From a lesson in Wim Hof breathing to a magic act, to a plant parenting workshop, and even an introduction to the world of yodeling: there was something for everyone to sit back and enjoy.
Within Metapolis, we also made sure to incorporate elements of the Playground with a few fun Easter eggs. Attendees who stumbled upon the Boiler Room could stream a DJ set or, if they found the giant Listening Point ear, they could tune into an ASMR experience. Other surprises included a hoverboard for avatars to ride, a fortune-telling wheel, and a cannon that blasted Hello Kitty bubbles.
Overall, the Playground and other pieces of Meta Festival entertainment were important to help break up the technical content. That said, attendees wanted to see more of it integrated into the metaverse experience of the event.
Promoting a metaverse event
A three-pronged approach across PR, email, and social helped us successfully promote Meta Festival and achieve more than 12.5 thousand registrations from 109 countries.
With so much buzz around the metaverse and Web3, Meta Festival received coverage in more than a dozen articles and inclusions from Ad Age, Adweek, Business Insider, The Drum, Campaign, Persoenlich, Fast Company, and more.
On the PR front, our biggest takeaways were that it helped to have journalists either be invited to or participate in Meta Festival either as attendees or speakers. The recap articles that followed, whether they were from a partnership or not, were all examples of some of our best Meta Festival coverage.
We launched a ten-week email campaign for Meta Festival to a number of different contact lists, including newsletter subscribers, clients, and prospects.
The best open and clickthrough rate came from the emails sent to users who had previously engaged with DEPT®’s metaverse and Web3-related content and previous events. Looking ahead, segmenting our contact lists based on their download topics could help ensure we reach our target audience faster.
Our social reach spanned DEPT® accounts, as well as Meta Festival accounts, for LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. For the first time, we also experimented with using TikTok, Youtube, and Reddit to generate registrations and interest.
Between organic and paid posts, we generated a total of 7.94 million impressions, 92.9 thousand clicks, and a 1.17% average CTR.
Of all of these platforms, our best performing one was the Meta Festival LinkedIn account, which earned a 19.6% CTR. Another top performer was our DEPT® Instagram account, which recorded 36.6 thousand impressions. Facebook scored the lowest engagement, with a 0.2% CTR.
Across platforms, we noted that video content drove the best performance on LinkedIn and Twitter, while for Instagram a combination of content worked best. Of the platforms we experimented with for the first time, YouTube was the most effective with TikTok performing well enough for us to make a point of creating a strategy to grow our presence there.
Looking ahead at the future of metaverse events
Early in 2022, Forrester estimated that 76% of B2C marketing executives would invest in metaverse events this year.
Considering the fact that only 16% of people understand what the metaverse is, 76% might seem bold.
But the reality is that not only is the metaverse getting bigger, better, and more popular; events like Meta Festival are too:
- More than 12.5 thousand people registered for this year’s 24H event, with a respectable 50% joining us in the metaverse.
- We generated more than 10,000 leads from the 5,000 brands in attendance.
- Over 100 countries were represented, spanning the entire globe from Panama to Mauritius, Dubai to Myanmar, and Tanzania to Kazakhstan.
That’s a pretty big evolution from last year’s small Berlin-based festival.
And, from sponsorship opportunities to VR headset capability, there’s only more we can accomplish from here.
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Brand & experience design studio ShopTalk joins DEPT®
Premium brand and experience design studio ShopTalk has joined DEPT®, one of the fastest growing digital agencies in the world. With clients including Arm, Heinz, Innocent, and Piëch, ShopTalk specialises in combining talent and technology to create impactful brand experiences. The London-based agency will bolster DEPT®’s creative practice in the UK, while opening up DEPT®’s full service offering to ShopTalk’s existing client base.
“At ShopTalk, we’re passionate about using brand and creative as powerful commercial tools for companies large and small, lifting them to great things,” said Paul Ferry, Director and co-founder of ShopTalk. “What really resonated with us at DEPT® was the boutique level of service that they offer their clients, but with the talent, expertise and scale to provide brand experiences akin to that of a global network agency.”
“DEPT® have been making waves in the creative industry for some time now,” said James Wood, Creative Director and co-founder of ShopTalk. “It was inspiring to spend time with their teams across Europe to witness how they combine marketing, technology and creativity to deliver next-level brand experiences. We’re so excited about this next step for ShopTalk.”
ShopTalk has a number of long-standing clients including enterprise technology provider Arm, where it acts as brand guardian over all elements of design. For Swiss electric car manufacturer Piëch, the studio has created a brand and digital-first design system that perfectly balances the company’s European heritage with its tech mindset, to appeal to the next generation of sports car enthusiasts. For Heinz, ShopTalk ensured brand consistency across its global website for 5,700+ products in 18 markets.
“Paul, James, and their team have built an awesome team culture and deliver premium brand experiences and top-notch creative, while staying fast and flexible,” said Dimi Albers, Global CEO of DEPT®. “The team has tons of experience and will bring our branding and experience design work to the next-level.”
As of today, the studio will be co-branded to SHOPTALK/DEPT®, and will continue to operate under the leadership of its founders and existing management team. Founded in Amsterdam in 2015, DEPT® has quickly grown across the globe, from 150 people in The Netherlands to more than 3,000 people in seventeen countries across five continents, working with brands including Google, Philips, eBay, Patagonia, ASOS, and Diageo. ShopTalk is the fifth agency to join DEPT® this year following multidisciplinary creative agency Dogstudio, US-based growth marketing agency 3Q Digital, renowned creative studio Hello Monday, and data science and engineering firm, Raybeam.
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