Making it onto The Australian Financial Review’s Most Innovative Companies list is applause. Making it onto the list year after year is a standing ovation.
CHE Proximity has topped the AFR’s list of Most Innovative Companies across Australia and New Zealand for the third year running and has won Most Innovative Marketing campaign. It was also awarded third place in this year’s list of Most Innovative Marketing Companies.
M&C has been recognised in the AFR’s Most Innovative Companies list for the fifth time in a row and has topped the list as the Most Innovative Media and Marketing Company in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2017, the agency was ranked the Most Innovative Company in Australia and awarded Best Product Innovation and Best Overall Innovation for the NRMA FireBlanket, a fire detection system created by the agency for the insurance brand. In 2018, the business was recognised for Best Culture of Innovation.
The innovation highlighted this year was the creation of Minerva, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot designed by M&C Saatchi’s CX and data specialists, Lida.
Minerva, or Minnie for short, was built using best-in-class and custom-made machine learning tools to provide a complete overview of the components of advertising. These components involve object identification, optical character recognition (image to text), sentiment analysis, gender/age/emotion classification, colour coding and more. Its data is stored in a database with the ability for AI to extract and visualise trends and enable analysis.
On International Women’s Day 2019, Minnie’s analysis of 80 years of advertising to women in The Australian Women’s Weekly was released. The analysis highlighted the change required by advertisers to amend their depiction of women in advertising.
The initial findings included insights such as the fact that the skin colour of models has not changed. From the 1930s to today, the women in magazine advertisements are still overwhelmingly white-skinned and blonde. Additionally, until the 1980s, the language in advertising in The Australian Women’s Weekly was overwhelmingly patriarchal with the word, man, more prevalent than woman despite the advertising being directed at women.
Based on these findings, M&C Saatchi has since engaged with several brands to help decode their advertising and provide an objective view of how they portray diversity.
M&C Saatchi chief executive officer, Jaimes Leggett, stated, “At M&C Saatchi, we pride ourselves on using creativity to find innovative approaches that solve far-reaching problems. Minnie is a brilliant example of that, as is the work she has done so far in changing advertising for the better. Being recognised by the AFR’s Most Innovative Companies list is a great honour for our teams and the efforts they put into bringing this to life as well as our overall commitment to innovation.”