In a bid to deliver high-quality consumer interactions that don’t blow its clients’ budgets, HaveYouHeard, the communication agency specialising in uncovering unique insights that facilitate the creation of innovative ideas, has established an activations division.
Headed by Victoria Gabler, the division is able to deliver on a brand’s promotional staffing, in-store and on- and off-trade activation, shopper marketing, sampling, tasting and conference needs. It currently works with HaveYouHeard clients Pernod Ricard, Pepsi and Boiler Room, and employs nine permanent staff and has a database of over 2 000 activation specialists to draw on.
According to Gabler, the full-time activations team comprises experienced individuals who have had additional training on the brands they work on. They also have unfettered access to the HaveYouHeard insights, influencer, strategy and creative specialists – a fact, she says, will ensure their activations stand out in a cluttered environment and add more than their share of value.
“At HaveYouHeard there’s constant alignment between the various divisions and specialities,” she said, “we don’t work in isolation. This is very relevant in today’s world of marketing and media where the ‘lines’ have been rubbed out.
“They’ve been replaced by a fast and fluid cultural wave of information, entertainment, marketing, media, news, fact and opinion, ridden by an audience who choose how and when they interact with it. And, if you’re not obsessed with culture – understanding it, commenting on it, being a part of it and ultimately creating it – you’re going to get left behind.
“This is the value that HaveYouHeard brings to the brands and clients it works with, and what we – as the activation team – are fully immersed in. This means that the ideas we generate are exceptionally valid for the audiences we need to reach, and the activations we develop to bring the brands we partner with to the centre of culture, thereby exerting considerable influence on the audience and its behaviour.”
HaveYouHeard co-founder, Jason Stewart, believes Gabler is the ideal person to head the new activations division. “When my partner Ryan McFayden and I realised offering an in-house resource would enable us to ensure a high-quality output while reducing costs for our clients, we looked for someone who had an understanding of challenges brand face in a diverse country across diverse markets,” he said.
“Victoria is that person. She has 18 years industry experience, has lead activation and staffing divisions both locally and internationally, and has a deep understanding of the FMCG industry’s needs and challenges and the value and cost savings that activations and shopper marketing adds to campaigns,” he said.