WPP's Mindshare and Possible Partner for Content Offering

Collaborating on Ad Buying, Storytelling

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The Loop at Mindshare, where agency staffers react to real-time data or events.
The Loop at Mindshare, where agency staffers react to real-time data or events.

As many agencies fly solo in their attempts to offer brands both paid advertising services and content that can travel well in social media, two WPP shops have decided that they may be better off working together. Media agency Mindshare and digital shop Possible are combining their digital creative and high-tech ad buying capabilities for a content offering called Content+.

Staffers from Mindshare Entertainment and Possible's content arm will sit together in a number of Mindshare offices around the world to bring together digital creative and production talent with targeted, real-time buying, especially around social channels. The move also rebrands Mindshare Entertainment in North America as Mindshare Content+ Entertainment, Mindshare said.

"When Shane and I met, it was like this complimentary love affair," said David Lang, president of Mindshare entertainment. "We focus in areas he doesn't and vice versa. The missing link for us is what Possible does in light-touch, real-time content."

That means social media for sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Vine, Mr. Lang said, while Mindshare's branded entertainment group has focused on longer-form content with high production value.

For Possible, the collaboration means access to Mindshare's data and automated ad buying systems, as well as the buying power needed for bigger partnerships with digital media companies. "We're bringing different role types to the mix," said Possible CEO Shane Atchison. "We have journalists, photographers, videographers."

Mindshare's Loop -- which the agency describes as a physical "war room" meant to plan paid, owned and "earned" media using real-time data feeds -- will play a role in the new endeavor. Possible and Mindshare creatives sitting together in the Loop might use a data feed from the Weather Channel, for example, to decide that they want to change a client message and create content based on the changing weather. They would then distribute it immediately through paid ads and social media.

"In the past [Shane's] client would have to call the media agency and figure out what [budget] can move," Mr. Lang said. "Now someone from Shane's team is sitting in the Loop with our creative, with a media person right there."

"The difference is speed, cost, efficiency and lack of redundancy," added Mr. Atchison.

The joint venture will exist across the globe and "manifest itself in different ways," said Mr. Lang. The focus in China, for example, will likely be e-commerce, a Possible specialty, he said.

Possible and Mindshare teams will convene mostly in The Loop at Mindshare "partnership hubs" in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai, the agency said.

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