Some more clues have emerged about the intended shape of former Havas CEO David Jones’ You & Mr Jones, described (by itself) as “the world’s first brandtech group, aiming to build brands better, faster and cheaper through technology.”
We already know its big (ish), employing 400 or so people in 12 locations. It’s bought three companies – Mofilm, fifty-five & theAmplify – and made nine technology investments: Niantic Labs, Pixlee, Mashable, Beeswax, Gfycat, Partnered, Jivox, Automat & Elsy, and launched two start-ups – Blood and Mosaic. The Jones coffers were, presumably, boosted by the investment in Niantic which developed global phenomenon Pokemom Go.
Clients include Airbnb, Unilever, Samsung, Accenture, Facebook and Netflix although, given the nature of brandtech, we don’t know exactly what Jones does for them.
Now it’s made three new senior appointments (all women, it would be unlike Jones to miss a trick): two new partners in former BBH New York chairman and strategy Head Emma Cookson and Ark Advisors’ Annette Stover, a former senior colleague of Jones at Havas. Former Microsoft CMO Mich Mathews-Spradlin has also joined as an independent director. Another recent hire is former Guardian Media Labs MD Anna Watkins who’s joined Mofilm.
Cookson (left) says: “Throughout my career I’ve been lucky to work with some of the most progressive, smart and future-facing companies and brands. Joining You & Mr Jones gives me the opportunity to extend that privilege. The technology group that David is building has all the hallmarks of an organization that will help shape the future of business and marketing – who wouldn’t be excited to help build that?”
Founder and CEO Jones says: “We’re setting out to build a Brandtech group that combines the best technology available with the brightest minds in the world and I couldn’t be more proud of the talent joining us.
“We are passionate believers and investors in the latest technology from augmented reality to virtual reality, artificial intelligence and bots but we also believe that it’s critical to have some of the smartest minds in the world to help brands leverage the opportunities that technology allows.
“Someone once said that no matter who you are most of the smartest people work for someone else. While that is still true, with these latest hires we’ve got quite a lot of them now working for us! I’m delighted to welcome Emma, Annette and Anna to the team and Mich to the board. I think it speaks volumes for the opportunity we all see to build a Brandtech group that can help businesses use the latest technology to drive growth for their brands.”
That seems pretty clear. But all such companies ultimately reflect what their clients want and supposing one of them, recognising that Cookson is one of the brightest agency planners of her starry generation, says: “do you think you can produce a big ad campaign for us David?”
We’ll see. More from You & Mr Jones soon we hope.