Cannes Lions



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M&S wanted to create a wider culture of listening to customers throughout the business from Janitor to CEO and to provide an easy access to the real time information generated by social media.

Other tools had the following problems:

• Access: Data was only available to a small group of users on the social team that became isolated on laptop screens. Vital information didn’t get shared around the company.

• Speed: Customer have conversations in real-time but by the time the social team has created a report that information is already irrelevant.

• Understanding: Other tools were complicated to use. The graphs, charts and data where hard to understand and were very dry.

The solution was to take a totally different broadcast lean back approach. All the social data had to be animated and visualised in real time and then displayed on giant screens that were located throughout both M&S Headquarters.

Our proprietary technology employs high speed processing techniques and requires multiple load-sharing servers to handle the massive peaks created by social events. The data is then filtered to create real time streams specifically for each visualisation. The visualisations themselves are individually customizable applications that are constantly connected to the data streams and can be re-configured on the fly.

M&S have chosen 6 visualisations that have been customized to their specifications. These are regularly changed to provide different content, designs, titles and play-out intervals to it keep fresh for the audience. This can be easily done in real time by M&S using a suite of on-line design tools developed for this purpose. A further enhancement was the addition of Social Insights that allows a deeper dive into the content. This allows laptops, smart phones or tablets to quickly view more detailed content, stats, graphs filtered by things like language, geography, sentiment and level of influence or reach.


The M&S Social Wall has been live since Jan 2013 and it has visualised every conversation, photo, like and mention since. It has been seen by the whole organization based at the London HQ. (7000 people)

We have seen the prominence of Social Media grow quickly within M&S and expect it to be extended and rolled out to further locations, perhaps even in-store.

We have called this system a Social Command Centre and Skype, Nokia, Clear Channel and Ogilvy have now adopted it. To make our technology more generally available later this year we will release our ‘build your own visualisation’ subscription platform.

We are constantly adding to our list of data sources, filters and visualisations focused on 3 principle sectors:

1) Social Media Command Centers

2) Live event visualisations – creating real-time social info-graphics capturing conversations for events like Cannes Lions, music festivals and sports events projecting on giant screens.

3) Visualising social data in retail spaces – Using customer generated content shared via social media to drive footfall and recommendation in store.

To date we have been organically funded but are currently looking at expansion with Series A funding in Q4 2013 to fund greater growth.

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