Xcellerate Competition Continues to Advance Innovation at GroupM

The Xcellerate competition has come to represent much of what makes GroupM a global leader: innovation combined with execution; a celebration of diversity across businesses and cultures; and a genuine motivation to elevate what brands can accomplish with their media investments.

Teams inside the GroupM network are invited to submit ideas for new solutions, tools, capabilities, or processes that they believe will advance innovation within GroupM and help the organization better serve its clients. A panel of GroupM Nexus global leaders was appointed to score each submission with an emphasis on evaluating its potential value to clients.

Previous years’ Xcellerate winners have established a direct pipeline from pitch to product, yielding viable and impactful solutions. That list includes “Unmissable,” a cross-channel geo optimization solution that spearheaded a number of successes for GroupM clients in 2023, including major wins for Cancer Research U.K.’s Race For Life campaign.

Since the launch of Xcellerate in 2017, more and more teams have answered the call to bring their brightest ideas before a panel of hand-picked judges. Entrants were encouraged to collaborate across borders, disciplines, and businesses. This year, the Xcellerate competition saw a new record for submissions with 110 as well as a wider variety of other ideas.

The submissions encompassed a vast spectrum of topics and technologies across commerce, AI, data, machine learning, mixed modeling, measurement, CTV, audio, influencer marketing, cross-channel execution, DE&I and live-streaming. Submissions ranged from a proposal for a privacy-safe, tracking-free measurement solution to a method to transform brand marketing for traditional consumer products into a performance marketing “machine.”

“Narrowing so many excellent submissions down to one winner was quite a challenge,” says Henry Stokes, Global President, Agency Enablement at GroupM Nexus, and one of more than 10 judges on the global judging panel. “We saw everything from big, blue-sky innovations to very tactical, sophisticated processes. We had to weigh the ultimate long-term potential of each submission against its immediate practicality, which led to a lot of exciting discussions.”

The judges selected three top prize winners, each of which represents an exciting opportunity to build strong, tangible advantages for GroupM clients. This year’s winners include a budget optimizer tool designed to maximize eCommerce performance, an AI-powered sustainability tool, and a groundbreaking end-to-end audio reach planner.

I’m truly inspired to see so many brilliant minds from all over the world being motivated to find new ways to make advertising work better for people and brands. I believe this year’s ideas represent the ambition and scope of GroupM at its very finest.”

– Nicolas Bidon, Global CEO of GroupM Nexus

The winners will now be invited to present their pitches to a wider GroupM audience. The goal is to educate the organization about the value of these new ideas and then find the best ways in which to test their innovation.