Nick Gray and Dudley Nevill-Spencer

Live & Breathe partners with the Virtual Influencer Agency and appoints Dudley Nevill-Spencer as strategy & innovation director

Shopper marketing specialist Live & Breathe today announced that it will be partnering with The Virtual Influencer Agency (VIA), the world’s first agency to specialise in the creating, marketing, management and representation of virtual influencers and virtual influencer marketing campaigns on behalf of brands.

As part of this expansion it has appointed Dudley Nevill-Spencer, founder of the VIA, as its new strategy & innovation director, bringing an entirely new perspective to retailers and brands looking for new ways to inspire and impact the shopper journey.

Nevill-Spencer is a highly-regarded figure in the Influencer marketing community, named as one of the top 50 players in the world of influencer marketing in 2018. He specialises in ‘future-proofing’ brands, taking advantage of the latest technology and data tools to develop coherent communications, experiential and innovation campaigns that assimilate with rapid social, technological and cultural changes.

He has conducted strategy and innovation campaigns for some of the world’s largest alcohol, automotive, FMCG, hospitality, lifestyle, luxury, technology and utilities companies including Amazon, British Gas, Diageo, The European Union, Estee Lauder, Grey Goose, Honda, Nike, Porsche and Swatch.

In his new role at Live & Breathe, he will look at how ‘traditional’ retail categories and brands can take advantage of the latest machine learning data tools, innovation tech, social media, and influencer techniques. Those insights will help them to create better communications plans and identify new channels they can employ and reframe their marketing briefs.

His experience includes virtual influencers, customer geolocation strategies, image recognition, perceptual engineering and VR-, AR- and ML-led campaigns.

Nick Gray, MD of Live & Breathe MD, said: “As an agency that specialises in understanding the shopper and their motivations, we believe that virtual influencers are a new and highly effective channel for our brand clients that will only continue to grow in importance.Dudley’s appointment also marks a new era for our company and for the entire shopper marketing industry. We’re amalgamating a planning role with an entirely new approach to innovation, making the most of the fact that he doesn’t have a shopper marketing background and isn’t stuck in traditional ways of thinking.With the pace of change in technology, plus the opportunities created by applying new approaches to traditional retail categories, we’re creating a unique dynamic that reinvents shopper marketing.”

Dudley Nevill-Spencer, says: “I’m thrilled about the partnership with Live & Breathe. It has the vision to understand the role that virtual influencers will play in the future of marketing, as well as the detailed processes and skills to ensure consistent and creative delivery of content and campaigns. My focus has always been on understanding how technology and culture change the behaviour of consumers. It’s why I got into influencer marketing way back in 2006, as it was clear that influential individuals were going to grow through social and become legitimate media channels. Virtual influencers are the next – and I believe more powerful – step in this evolution. Live & Breathe has a great roster of FMCG and retail clients and it’s exciting to be working with these forward-thinking brands on future-proofing strategies.”

Nevill-Spencer will report into Nick Gray.