Staff Writer
Oct 19, 2023

We Are Social Singapore unveils revamped innovation and future tech arm, .XYZ

At Campaign Game Changers, We Are Social Singapore debuts its revamped innovation arm, .XYZ, with a refreshed proposition.

We Are Social Singapore unveils revamped innovation and future tech arm, .XYZ
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Socially-led creative agency We Are Social has announced the relaunch of its innovation and future tech arm, .XYZ. Taking the stage at Game Changers — Campaign’s one-day event celebrating innovative, tech-enabled marketing — We Are Social Singapore’s head of strategy, James Honda-Pinder, said, “Technological change is like waves of the tide rolling in — hard to swim against, unstoppable, and going to hit all of us standing on the shore one day. The important thing is to understand which of the waves to pay attention to.”


James Honda-Pinder, head of strategy, and Agalia Tan, planner, We Are Social Singapore, during their keynote session at Game Changers.

Tech is developing at a faster rate than ever before. Think about the technological breakthroughs from the last two years alone, from blockchain to NFTs, the metaverse, and generative AI. But those are just a few examples among a sea of new innovations, and rapid advancements in technology are creating a future that feels both exciting and unpredictable — a daunting concept for marketers. During We Are Social’s keynote session, Honda-Pinder emphasised the importance of strategy in distinguishing which emerging technologies have disruptive, paradigm-shifting potential — and which ones won’t outlive the hype cycle. “As marketers and agency folks alike, it can be difficult to understand which baskets you want to put your eggs into and which ones you want to avoid to ensure that you’re not wasting your time, headspace, resources, and energy. One of the things that we want to help you answer is: how can you spot the enduring technologies from the emerging?” he asked. 

Enter .XYZ. Backed by We Are Social’s network of 1,300 staff in 20 global offices, .XYZ presents an opportunity for brands to tap into WAS’ expertise while pushing boundaries in creativity and innovation. Originally launched in 2021 to explore opportunities in the web3 space, .XYZ has been reimagined as the new specialist division of WAS Singapore centred around future tech-enabled creativity. The goal of .XYZ is to harness bleeding-edge tech to help brands create innovative experiences across emerging technologies and platforms. To cut through the hype cycle and zero in on enduring shifts in technology, .XYZ uses a customised framework built around five key principles, as detailed by Honda-Pinder in his keynote. Instead of specialising in a single area, the team’s mission is to help brands navigate the future by bringing business and brand strategy together with innovation. 
 
Led by We Are Social’s Southeast Asia CEO, Christina Chong, .XYZ comprises 30 creatives, strategists, and creative technologists from the agency’s global network with experts across the spectrum of spatial, distributed, cognitive and phygital tech. Under Chong’s stewardship, .XYZ will be further developing its core offerings in three key areas:
 
  • Future strategy: Tapping into We Are Social’s deep understanding of emerging technologies and market dynamics, .XYZ unlocks new possibilities for brands to hone their competitive edge. Going beyond ideation, the team also implements and develops the operational framework required for execution while managing risks.
  • Creative innovation: Designing and building immersive reality experiences ranging from extended reality to the metaverse, futuristic fusions of generative art and blockchain technology, immersive social gaming adventures, and the development of virtual influencers and worlds.
  • Virtual production: Leveraging cutting-edge technology and techniques, .XYZ delivers virtual production that pushes the boundaries of creativity, from captivating visuals to jaw-dropping virtual events and game experiences.
From building in-game experiences in Roblox to promote environmental awareness to creating Asia’s first metalabel, and developing an AI-powered fashion assistant to elevate the retail experience, the team has already put its expertise to work for some of the biggest brands in the world.
 

.XYZ’s virtual influencer, Cinder, is the perfect encapsulation of the team’s capabilities. Designed entirely in-house and brought to life through the latest innovations in virtual production, Cinder marks a departure from the static, pre-rendered virtual influencers of yesterday. Powered by AI, Cinder can interact with social media users in real-time — having done so at the recently concluded SXSW, where she ran her own ‘Cyber Sip’ food truck — and has already been seen creating content on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitch.

 
Another of .XYZ’s flagship projects was the development of Adidas Metaversal Studios, a virtual version of MakerLab, the brand’s hub for ideation and experimentation, to further Adidas’ efforts in democratising creativity. Using the latest in augmented reality techniques, .XYZ created Metaversal Studios as a virtual space where customers could paint custom designs on the latest drops and get personalised sneakers. To extend the concept, the .XYZ team used projection mapping to incorporate in-store activations and minted the sneakers as NFTs for fans to flex with online.
 
Besides the ideation and execution of technologically ambitious projects, what .XYZ offers to forward-thinking brands is education. Through thought leadership content, webinars, and ‘Future Gazing’ workshops, brands can discover new realms of possibility and future-proof their strategies.
 
To learn more, visit the .XYZ website.
Source:
Campaign Asia

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