On its twentieth anniversary, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment has boosted its strategic offer and doubled down on its position as the passions agency.
Managing director Laura Coller said, “Twenty years ago we were the first agency to fuse the worlds of sport and entertainment. Then we were the first to adopt a positioning around passions. As we move into the next twenty years, we’ll continue pioneering approaches that enable brands to better connect with consumers whose behaviour towards their passions is constantly and rapidly evolving.”
Recently commissioned research by the agency revealed that 63 per cent of people use their passions as a way to engage with others in the real world, showing that the real value for marketers isn’t just in connecting brands to consumers through passions, but in helping brands connect consumers to each other through the things they love.
Coller added, “This demands a shift in how we look at audience needs and we believe there has been a demonstrable move away from the tropes of traditional fandom, towards what we call Fancom. Away from mass homogenised groups following a single attitude and towards communities coalescing around intersectional interests and behaviours.”
From the 2,016 people who responded to the study, 8,276 passions were noted, meaning that the average person has at least 4.1 passions. Looking deeper into the data, a quarter have at least 7.
Coller continued, “For brands, that’s a minimum of between 4 and 7 different opportunities to connect, and with the study highlighting that fans have an overall commitment score of 8.4 out of 10 to their passions these opportunities are too good to miss, which is why I’m proud to launch Passion Pulse, an expanded strategic offer comprising the brightest thinkers at the heart of sport and entertainment culture.”
Strategy partner Neil Hopkins said, “Passion Pulse is our future-thinking strategic arm that will empower clients to rule with both their heads and their hearts. Looking at passions today and the emergence of atomised subcultures around them, it’s clear that a shift in how agencies and brands view fans and their behaviour is needed. As such, we’re no longer using the term ‘fandom’ which implies mass homogenous groups following one attitude. We believe that the future of passion marketing is in ‘Fancom’ which is a proprietary term we’re adopting to represent coalescing fan communities and the opportunity for brands to be at the centre of them.”
Coller continued, “Fancom is an audience behaviour but also something we can incite and build around brands to both grow their audiences concentrically as well as to deepen their connections emotionally. We’re excited to introduce the process to existing and future clients as our Passion Pulse team takes them beyond expected approaches towards fan culture and into a better understanding of the contemporary fan who is discerning, borderless and a co-author of the space they occupy.”.
The agency’s approach to building Fancom is a fusion tool comprising research, data and strategy processes, AI technology and human expertise. Senior strategist Ant Firth-Clark says, “We’ll enable clients to go beyond what fans say they do, mined through surface level data, and deep into how they actually behave through a system that interrogates what they say they do, what they actually do and how they organise and collaborate around, and across, their passions.”
The agency has also released a new report ‘Fandom Is Dead. Welcome To Fancom’ that explores Fancom behaviours within different passion spaces.
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