Wilmar's Web Summit: Day 3 Highlights

By Wilmar Tax, 18 May 2020

From lighthearted Gif innovation to taking responsibility as an employee and employer (plus some very cool VR stuff)

I am covering my personal WebSummit, which is according to Reuters the biggest tech conference in Europe and the Guardian calls the Glastonbury for Geeks. Here are the highlights of day three. Every one of them deserves the earned attention Het PR Bureau / HPB Amsterdam strive for as they are all based on deep human, cultural or societal insights. And that’s - to quote one of today’s speakers, Graham McDonnell New York Times’ creative director - rare in our age where “information is cheap and therefore attention becomes expensive”.

Make sure to check out day one and day two!


Photographer Rankin, who has photographed almost every famous person you can imagine, called out when he launched his magazine Dazed it was completely logical to use plus size (plus size should probably be called normal…?) models and have a diverse workforce in every way imaginable.

Also something Richard Edelman - CEO of the world’s largest independent PR Agency builds upon: “You all need to push your employers to take action and take a stand. It will get you better people and colleagues, and better customers and clients. Two-thirds of consumers will only buy a brand because its principles are in line with their own. Brands are the best way to push global change. You can only vote once every four years, but you’re buying brands every day.” Microsoft CEO Brad Smith is also seriously investing in positive change made possible by Microsoft’s technological solution AI for Earth with for example Ocean Mind. This non-profit organisation is striving to crack down on illegal fishing through tech and data. 


One of my personal favorites Framestore’s Mike McGee creates new worlds and new possibilities using AR/VR technology. I already knew them from the kids VR project Fieldtrip to Mars, but he shared the Guardians of the Galaxy ride which was developed with Disney’s imagineers. And in collaboration with Game of Thrones they made a couple of virtual reality experiences “Beyond the Wall” and the “Dead must die”, watch the video here


Giphy’s co-founder Alex Chung made us happy with Giphy’s fun and easy to use functionality such as Giphy AR and Giphy Arcade, two functionalities that go above and beyond what Giphy started with. Giphy Arcade are remixable, shareable microgames whereas the AR variant makes you able to create your own shareable AR Gifs. Furthermore Alex stated people are moving away from social (9 billion posts a day) into private messaging and stories (267 billion a day), something that defines Giphy’s business model as it is one of the few companies that makes money of personalized messages. It reaches over 7 million people every day and has a 18% share of all Google searches.


Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President talked to us about MasterCard’s mission to have be a deeper consumer brand. For example, he created a multilayered sonic architecture (not a jingle guys and girls!), developed in cooperation with amongst others Linkin Park band member and musical artist Mike Shinoda. Raja also revealed he has worked hard to move money away from traditional advertising into earned experience, e.g. by launching the Priceless, a culinary and dining experience.

According to Vampire Diaries star and big time influencer Ian Somerhalder, it is also simply about being authentic, whether you are a brand or an influencer: “I have no intention whatsoever to not be authentic”. The trick is to be authentic and have a frequency of quality; that’s how you get long lasting consumer engagement. It’s also why investors are going to influencers instead of in brands.”

Stay tuned for more WebSummit news later this week.