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    Westfield opens in-house agency to be ‘one-stop shop’ for advertisers

    Westfield has set out its ambitions to become a retail media powerhouse. Now it’s launching an in-house agency to become a one-stop shop for advertisers.

    Westfield mall owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) recently shared its plans with The Drum to transform itself into a retail media powerhouse. It has now built the in-house agency Westfield Rise to create campaigns for brands to run across its media inventory.

    With the strapline ‘one platform, one audience, one inventory,’ Westfield Rise pitches the ease of bringing media planning, brand experience expertise and data partnerships under one roof.

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    As the owner of 85 global stores, with 1,700 digital billboards and 230 brand experience locations, URW has lofty plans to double its media revenue by 2024. Opening Westfield Rise is the final phase of its revenue-doubling strategy. 

    To help it reach its goals, URW appointed long-standing senior staffer Candice Mayer-Gillet to head up Westfield Rise as managing director overseeing 50 employees.

    “We [Westfield Rise] can now create bespoke 360 packages with an international team going from briefing to operations and insights,” Mayer-Gillet explains. Westfield Rise was born out of a need by URW to “reorganize” to better focus on the media retail side of the business.

    Prior to Westfield Rise, Mayer-Gillet admits URW’s media proposition wasn’t clear to the market. She says the retailer needed to articulate to brands the “extent of the capabilities we can bring to the table in the media and advertising landscape.”

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    Mayer-Gillet’s team will take care of all media assets on behalf of the brand and feed them into its 50 European stores. Westfield Rise will then be able to plug into URW’s 24 US stores if a brand wants a global campaign. 

    Mayer-Gillet says that transforming URW from a local media offering into a global one has been crucial to improving its offering for brands. One of Westfield Rise’s first campaigns was for Samsung’s latest phone launch, which dropped at the same time in five Westfield locations.

    Mayer-Gillet is seeing a big demand for experiential and gaming-style activations. Recently Westfield Rise executed a Subway campaign where customers could create a footlong on digital out-of-home (DOOH) boards and then a Subway employee would bring them the sandwich.

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    This style of activation was enabled by URW’s ability to blend physical and digital – “that’s a value proposition that differentiates us from other retail media,” Mayer-Gillet says. 

    URW’s media business overhaul follows in the footsteps of retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Tesco, which have already made the transition into media owners.

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