From Holographic catalogues to Whispering Windows: Welcome to the home of connected brands
VMLY&R's new immersive space helps brands experience cutting edge technology
24 October 2022
You can't work in marketing without being constantly bombarded by white papers, think pieces, conference speeches and articles proclaiming new technology is reshaping how we shop and play, and therefore how you must do your job.
But nothing really drives the impact home like personally experiencing the latest commerce and entertainment gadgets.
VMLY&R has just opened the doors of its Home of Connected Brands to help marketers do exactly that.
The Home of Connected Brands helps marketers test and trial connected experiences across hybrid environments to enhance value and engagement at every single touchpoint.
Embedded in the VMLY&R offices at WPP's Sea Containers campus, the new immersive space is a series of high-spec, high-tech rooms that have been fitted with myriad examples of new technology. It features six environments, including the new iteration of VMLY&R Commerce’s pioneering 360-degree retail space, and can be adapted to showcase innovation opportunities for any brand owner, and marketers can experience hands-on the latest devices.
Jon Cook, VMLY&R's global CEO, said the immersive space allows brands to reimagine their consumer engagement: "This takes conceptual ideas to prototypes, giving us real-time interactions to spark transformation.”
As well as demonstrations of the tech itself, the space delivers cultural and behaviour insights into how brands will be able to sit seamlessly - digitally, and physically - in our everyday lives, at home, in play, in retail.
Debbie Ellison, the global chief digital officer of VMLY&R Commerce, explained: “Channels viewed in isolation often feel disconnected, uncomfortable. This new space forces us to look at how brands live more innovatively and effectively across channels. With the continuous explosion of new channels comes infinite opportunities for brands to generate awareness, drive engagement, and creatively connect to seamless and frictionless purchase moments."
To deliver the space, the agency has partnered with tech companies including Pixel Artworks, BrandLab360, StoreLab, EyeKandy, SocialVend, ArcStream, Hypersvn and Orion Star.
Tech on display includes holographic store catalogues; Whispering Windows softly transmitting brand messages; Microsoft’s Seeing AI technology that helps the visually impaired hear spoken product information; and robots that deliver your food or clean your home.
The six experiences in the space are:
Home: From socially connected smart glasses, personalized cleaning and live shopping experiences, brands can reach people in their own homes through devices from smart TVs to games consoles.
Play: A bit of fun breaks down new technology barriers for brands. An interactive touch-table, webAR, holograms, social vending, and even metaverse experiences connect people with brands through cutting-edge innovation.
Social: Engage with real time feeds where people interact with each other and/or brands, where clients can tap into the power of influence and culture.
Out of Home: Emotion, gender, age determination data and anamorphic technology transform conversations into warm, personalized, relevant experiences.
QSR: The next generation of interactive technology gamifies the quick serve restaurant experience, a Magic Mirror augments food ordering while an AI delivery robot delivers with a smile.
The Flagship 2.0: A full 3D floor to ceiling sensory experience taking brands inside the store, at the forecourt, pop ups and more, re-creating over 150 physical and virtual retail environments where brands can prototype and test creative commerce ideas prior to production. Linked to the agency’s Connected Commerce Platform, brands and agency innovate with data and proprietary tools to drive shopper engagement and conversion.
Beth Ann Kaminkow, the global CEO for VMLY&R Commerce, said: “We broke new industry ground in commerce when we launched the first iteration of The Flagship – and I’m thrilled to see this evolve to the cornerstone of The Home of Connected Brands. The unique space is part of our promise of putting commerce at the centre of brand and customer experience to help clients become more resilient and achieve more differentiation in an ever-changing marketing ecosystem.”
The Home of Connected Brands will also become the VMLY&R network’s Centre of Learning, Growth and Experience for proprietary training sessions, such as the agency’s Human-Centred Design (HCD) certification programme - a people-driven approach to problem-solving and product development.
Technology Showcased in the Home of Connected Brands
Pioneers in light and pixel technology, Pixel Artworks designs and delivers awe-inspiring shared immersive experiences for clients looking to build unique, deep and lasting connections with people.
Global pioneers of V-commerce and one of the earlier adopters of Metaverse technology, the BrandLab360 platform enables companies and corporations of all sizes to elevate business using virtual reality and gamification.
With over 150 retail Virtual Stores and more than 150,000 Virtual Products, when coupled with its Connect™ system, StoreLab enables people to build the Perfect and Future store, at a planogram or at a macro store layout with the world’s most realistic VR. IT integrateS with 1st party data to bring NPD, campaigns & insights to life inside a life-like store, to deliver playbooks that engage and drive change.
EyeKandy is a world-leading development agency for Augmented Reality in commerce. It partners with brands and retailers across the globe to produce engaging AR experiences that drive shopper engagement and help them to sell more with AR.
SocialVend makes smart vending easily accessible for brands and agencies. Whether to roll out an international automated retail revenue stream or just wow customers at a single day event.
ArcStream’s stunning use of creative technology combines cutting-edge video displays and highly engaging interactive elements, with breath-taking results. It has built a global reputation for creative excellence by continually pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved using the most sophisticated digital and interactive technologies.
HYPERVSN is the award-winning technology company responsible for developing the highly disruptive 3D holographic display that provides an immersive experience for viewers. From its global HQ in London, HYPERVSN services partners and customers in over 50 countries across the globe.
Orion Star is committed to creating the next generation of revolutionary products based on artificial intelligence technology, so that people can be released from repeated physical workload, making human work and life more intelligent and interesting, and making society and the world better with technology.