WPP‘s global media agency Mindshare has set up a global wearable technology group called Life+ to help brands take advantage of the nascent technology.
Life+ will be headed by Jeff Malmad, managing director of mobile at Mindshare North America, and is designed to help brands understand the opportunity that wearable technology presents, whilst ensuring issues around privacy and consumer utility are considered and prioritized from the start. As such, Mindshare clients will be able to work with the world’s leading wearable technology companies to learn, discuss and eventually create, brand related applications, integrations and product developments based on wearable tech APIs (application programming interfaces).
Life+ has already formed a strategic partnership with MapMyFitness, a technology in the emerging connected fitness category, building on its advanced technology, data, and rapidly growing global fitness community to create opportunities for Mindshare clients. The MapMyFitness platform engages over 26 million members by supporting over 400 cutting-edge fitness and activity tracking devices, along with top ranked fitness tracking apps on iOS and Android.
The partnership began at an event in New York on July 8, where Life+ and MapMyFitness worked with Mindshare clients to research consumer receptivity points within their quantifiable ecosystems, including adaptive messaging opportunities based on physical state and needs. MapMyFitness will be joined by other, undisclosed, wearable technology companies to work with Mindshare client teams on brand integration opportunities as part of Life+.
Mindshare defines ‘wearables’ as any technology worn by a human externally that is ‘beyond the three screens’ and that integrates with a human’s own biometric characteristics, which includes activity trackers (Jawbone), smart watches (Samsung Galaxy Gear), augmented reality devices (Google Glass) fitness watches and sensors (Garmin) and the broader spectrum of health-related devices.
Commenting on the launch, Norm Johnston, chief digital officer at Mindshare, says: “Twenty years after the launch of the first Internet advertisement, and a year after the long-awaited mobile tipping point, digital marketing is now entering a third and radically different chapter. This new, expanded Internet will give smart brands a chance to give consumers valuable brand content and utilities in a myriad of new hyper-connected destinations. Mindshare look forward to helping our clients navigate and accelerate their efforts in this space.”
The launch of Life+ follows Mindshare’s launch of Audio+ in November 2013, a tie-up with audio recognition service Shazam to audit, map and leverage a brand’s audio assets.