Leading PR and content agency, Smarts Communicate, has today announced the launch of a new R&D division called Smart Labs.
Smarts Communicate is the UK’s top ranking consumer PR agency outside of London with a current client portfolio that includes Ministry of Sound, British Airways, BT and Johnnie Walker.
Its new innovation hub, Smarts Labs, is a dedicated space for individuals and teams within the agency to pursue creative ideas beyond the everyday pursuit of delivering big ideas for clients.
Some offerings will result in smarter ways of thinking, others will deliver unique ‘products’ that will benefit the company’s long-term development and some will simply be interesting passion projects; all will provide a creative space for Smarts Communicate’s team to explore and grow.
Pippa Arlow, Global CEO at Smarts Communicate, said: “Innovation is at the heart of what we do and underpins our core values of curiosity, bravery and commitment. For over 20 years, our business success has been driven by creativity and clever thinking. Our ideas have helped some companies get out of the starting blocks and others to become the biggest brands in the world; they’ve changed thinking and changed behaviours.
“That’s why we have established Smarts Labs. It will be part creative hothouse, part-testing ground, part-dream-chaser and the ideas we incubate will change the way we work and think.”
The individual ‘experiments’ taking place within Smarts Labs are each driven by passions and insights brought by team members, and the projects are either wholly or part-funded by the company.
Smarts Labs is built on the principle of collaboration and many of the experiments will see Smarts Communicate partnering with other agencies and individuals to explore specific areas of interest.
Colin Corbridge, Global Strategy Director at Smarts Communicate and experimenter in chief at Smarts Labs said: “We believe we’re at our best when we bring people with different skills and passions together, for example, for the past year we’ve been working on an experimental collaboration with our friends in the fantastic design collective The Space Between.
“It’s the first project we’ve partnered in through Smarts Labs and we call it Tuunio. Tuunio is a social playlisting tool that connects people’s social media feeds to their music streaming services, allowing them to build genuinely collaborative playlists with people from all around the world.
“Tuunio is a great example of what clever thinking and proper collaboration can produce. We are always digging deep into consumer trends and Tuunio was born of the observation that despite the huge boom in music streaming, sharing music on social media was much more difficult than it should be. It’s really been a delight to have the space and time to work with friends to create something as intuitive and fundamentally useful as this.”
Pippa added: “We have a number of exciting Smarts Labs projects in the pipeline and we look forward to sharing them in the next few months – watch this space.”