WPP’s Mindshare has created a new unit called Life+ to explore how brands can take advantage of the growing wearable technology sector. The new unit is headed by Jeff Malmad, managing director of mobile at Mindshare North America.
The shop has struck a partnership with MapMyFitness that enables the agency and its clients to explore opportunities in the wearable tech space utilizing MMF’s tech platform, data and growing fitness community. Other partnerships are planned as well.
Over time, the agency said, clients will glean the know-how needed to create brand-related applications, integrations and product development based on wearable tech program interfaces. One of the earlier gadgets in the space that commanded a lot attention was the Nike FuelBand, a wearable activity tracker that the sports gear company developed a few years back with digital shop RG/A, part of Interpublic.
The MapMyFitness platform engages over 26 million members by supporting over 400 fitness and activity tracking devices and apps on the iOS and Android platforms. MapMyFitness and other wearable technology companies will work with Mindshare client teams on brand integration opportunities.
The agency defines “wearables” as any technology worn by people externally that measures their biometric characteristics. That would include activity trackers, smart watches, augmented reality devices (Google Glass) and fitness watches and sensors among other devices.
“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,” said Norm Johnston, Chief Digital Officer at Mindshare, said. “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.”
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.