Three former leaders of VMLY&R ANZ, ex-regional CEO Aden Hepburn; regional strategy and innovation director, Dave Di Veroli; and Sydney managing partner, Miles Scott, have formed brand experience and innovation company, Akcelo.
Akcelo aims to “build brands for the experience era” by bridging the disconnect between a brand’s DNA and the experience a consumer has when they engage with it across an ecosystem of touchpoints, its services spanning services creative, customer experience and technology. Its name comes from the Esperanto word meaning acceleration.
l-r: Dave Di Veroli, Miles Scott & Aden Hepburn
The company has already been appointed Lion Australia across its portfolio of beer brands including Furphy, Guinness, XXXX and James Squire, following a competitive pitch. Akcelo will deliver brand experiences for Lion and its work will cover creative, digital, social, content, CRM, technology and data. Akcelo is also working with a number of major local and international brands and has a fully staffed team working across strategy, creative, social, technology, mobility, UX, CX and design.
Hepburn launched WPP’s global digital creative agency VML in Australia in 2012 and built it into an award-winning business for leading brands such as McDonald’s, Netflix and Google. He later took the helm as CEO of VMLY&R ANZ following the merger of WPP’s global creative agency Y&R with VML in 2018.
Hepburn stated, “The move to invest in improving customer experiences has created a homogenisation of experiences, which while frictionless, can be immediately forgettable.
“CMOs and business leaders are looking for partners that are customer-obsessed, technically-savvy and also able to deliver creative differentiation. We started Akcelo to bring experience, emotion, creativity and technology together so the brand experience (BX) is memorable across the entire customer journey.”
Scott added, “We’ve architected a new model and quickly built a talented team to hit the ground running. We’re already working with great brands, such as Lion, who understand the importance of BX and how it can grow their business.”
Di Veroli who lectures on brand experience at the Miami Ad School noted, “The new differentiator is the infusion of brand and creativity into the customer experience, creating moments worth talking about. For brands to win and ultimately drive increased growth, they need to create an affinity beyond convenience, through powerful brand experiences that capture the imagination of current and future customers. At the heart of BX is creating unique signature experiences that only your brand can deliver.”
Akcelo’s first work for Lion was creating Furphy Fridays, a virtual night at the pub hosted by comedian Matt Okine and Australia cricket captain, Aaron Finch.