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In advance of the Top 100 Interactive Agencies 2012, coming in May, new media age talks to the previous year’s agencies in the Most Respected table about their predictions for the year ahead. First up is Nick Roope, co-founder and executive creative director of digital agency Poke.
Poke, which celebrates its tenth birthday this month, was named second most repected agency, as voted for by its peers, in last year’s Top 100.
Nick Roope, the agency’s co-founder and creative director, believes 2012 will be the year of the digital start-up.
“In this space, one thing that’s interesting and exciting and a little nerve wracking is how hot the whole start-up thing is getting again,” he told new media age.
“We work with [start-ups] Skype and the Huffington Post and you can really feel that getting heated up again,” he said. “There’re very compelling returns [on investment] stories around digital businesses again, we’re seeing a lot of money being raised and seeing some pretty interesting price tags on IPOs and trade sales in the US. Subsequently, bright people are jumping in and lots of money is following those people and those ideas, which is creating a cycle creating more momentum; it’s exciting seeing new entrants and new possible clients.”
However, Roope holds cautions over this digital bubble leading to a repeat of what happened in 2001, when the dotcom bubble burst.
“There’s concern that if it heats up too much and it goes crazy and ends up doing what happened before, then it has a big cost for our sector,” he said. After the whole thing crashed [the dot-com bubble burst in 2000], people taking an interest in the area diminished.”
Roope cited Zeebox, the social TV app, which this week announced it had sold a 10% stake of the business to BSkyB, as a start-up to watch out for. The deal with Sky was reportedly worth around $15m (£9.7m).
Reflecting on the past year, Roope selected The Gauge, a project for the launch of the Huffington Post in the UK, as one of the agency’s highlights. The Gauge invited users to agree or disagree with a daily proposition and compared their opinion with Huffington Post’s bloggers.
Roope also cited working on a global project for luxury brand Mulberry as a highlight of the year. The ongoing project includes the overhaul of Mulberry’s digital platform and m-commerce.
Roope said fashion brand Diesel was one of the best wins of 2011. Roope wouldn’t be drawn into the detail of the project, other than to say it will revolve around a “new clothes launch”.