NEWS11 January 2018

Kantar and Second City Works form performance-based insight joint venture

New business News North America

US – WPP-owned Kantar has joined forces with Second City Works – the corporate services division of improvisation and comedy theatre company, The Second City – to create a new format called Brandstage.

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The aim of the Brandstage collaboration is to establish a creative process to help with brand growth that mixes improv with consumer understanding.

Brandstage will work with marketing organisations on new product innovation, originate marketing and communications ideas, explore customer experience opportunities and “remove the guesswork and over-reliance on dated, silo-based groupthink from critical marketing initiatives” said the company in a statement. 

An initial alliance between Second City Works and Kantar Millward Brown’s qualitative practice, Firefly, started in 2015 when Consumer Theatre was first launched – now renamed Brandstage.

Tim Wragg, CEO of Kantar, Insights, North America said: “Our partnership with Second City Works cements one of our most innovative, impactful offers within Kantar.

“Many clients have already benefited from the power of Brandstage to explore brand growth initiatives and we look forward to expanding our offer to help our clients and WPP partners get the most out of our collaboration.”

Steve Johnston, president of The Second City, said: “We believe laughter, or no laughter at all, is a powerful insight. For the past 60 years, Second City has used its improvisation-based creative techniques to gauge the response of an audience and to measure the totality of an idea. The same methods we use to take the cultural temperature of a captive audience at Second City can be used to determine the effectiveness of a particular campaign, brand message or content territory.”