mobiThinking guide to mobile agencies: XS2

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XS2: in brief

Type of agency: full service.
Founded: XS2 was founded in 2008 by Jan Willem Vaartjes & Sander Munsterman.
Acquisitions: N/A.
Main offices: Amsterdam, Netherlands (HQ); Sales offices: London, UK; Singapore; Jakarta, Indonesia; Italy; Brazil.
Employees (in mobile): 36 + freelancers.
Ownership: Privately held.
Contact details: s.seaborn (AT)
Web: XS2theworld; Mobile Web: N/A.
Recent news:
• June 2013 – The Gadget Show promotion wins Silver Mobile Lion.
• June 2012 – 360º NS Royal Waiting Rooms wins Silver Mobile Lion.
Profile submitted by: Scott Seaborn, executive creative director.
Profile first published: July 2013.

Video case study: Channel 5: Gadget Show World Tour, winner of a Silver Mobile Lion, at Cannes 2013.
• The profile continues below.

XS2: in depth

1) Global annual revenue from mobile: Band B US$1-2.5 million.
2) Is the mobile business profitable? Yes.
3) How is the company funded? Privately held.
4) Proportion of business related to mobile: 100%.
5) Business split: strategy/consulting 10%; creative 40%; technical 50%.
6) Key mobile activities: mobile apps; 40%; mobile Web; 20%; mobile advertising; 15%; media buying; 15%; mobile content provision 10%; mobile messaging; 5%.
7) Specialties/expertise: • XS2 specializes in content provision (applications, mobile sites, bespoke tech) and mobile apps, focusing on excellent craftsmanship. The XS2 team is made up of mobile experts from around the world. The work speaks for itself: XS2 has won a Silver Mobile Lion for the Royal Waiting Rooms app (in the Craft category, no less) at Cannes 2012 and followed this up with another Silver Mobile Lion for the Gadget Show World Tour at Cannes 2013.
8) Main competitors: Golden Gekko; TigerSpike; IceMobile.
9) Type of clients/industries: Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG); publishers; corporate and advertising agencies.
10) Client base: Cathay Pacific; Porsche; McDonald’s; I Amsterdam;; Rotterdam Marketing; American Express; Sanoma; Sosro; Boomerang; Radio Decibel; Kas Bank; Bas Trucks; Crosspoint; Weeronline; Dragonair; Batavia Stad; NS; The Hague;; Teleac; Skoda;; FC Twente; PSV; FC Utrecht; FC Groningen; NEC; Flirtsmart; Fanta; Guinness; HSBC ; Wegener; Brabants Dagblad; Tubantia;; deStentor; Eindhovens Dagblad; PZC; de Gelderlander; Mo’Media.
11) Geographical coverage (with % of revenues): Netherlands 50%; UK 20%; Singapore 10% ; Italy 10%; Brazil 10%.
12) Works most closely with (apart from clients): TBWA, Tribal DDB, Ogilvy, McCann Erickson.
13) Award-winning campaigns:
a)Channel 5: Gadget Show World Tour
Cannes Mobile Lions 2012: Silver (Creative use of technology).
At 9pm April 16, 2012, television history was made by broadcasting the world’s first 360 degree dual-screen viewing experience simultaneously on television, mobile and iPad. In the promotion for The Gadget Show World Tour, UK television viewers were invited to enjoy the world’s first 360 degree dual screen mobile viewing experience. The app synched with the TV broadcast in real time. Using the app viewers could turn around with their phone and watch what was going on behind them, above them or anywhere off-screen. Specially scripted scenes and action was happening all around the studio, produced exclusively for the mobile 360 viewers. Directional movement of the mobile device resulted in synchronized movement from the 360 degree TV cameras – the viewer could look anywhere around the studio along a 360 horizontal and vertical axis. The 360 degree dual-screen broadcast was a Gadget Show/Channel 5 led initiative created and developed by XS2, using XS2TheWorld’s proprietary 360 video technology for iPad and mobile. Filming was provided by TTX, London. • (See video case study above).
b) NS: The 360º Royal Waiting Rooms
Cannes Mobile Lions 2012: Silver (Craft: Interface & navigation).
Hidden away from the public, behind the railway station walls of Amsterdam and The Hague, are world leading examples of exquisite craftsmanship: the Royal Waiting Rooms. The rooms were enjoyed exclusively by the Royal Family. The NS wanted to reveal the beauty of the Royal Waiting Rooms to the public, while preserving the delicate decor. Using bespoke 360º motion-based imagery, XS2 was able to capture and publish this incredible physical environment and bring it to life on mobile devices using the creative concept and content developed by YUNE. The app allows users to direct the journey and experience it their own way. By physically moving the device the user is able to navigate through the rooms. Touching hotspots opens information about specific items on-screen. The high-definition imagery allows the user to zoom in and view the fine detail of the awnings that decorate the rooms, just as they would in a museum. Since launch the Royal Waiting Rooms application has been downloaded over 75,000 times. • (See video case study below).
c) Also see:
More XS2 awards.
More XS2 case studies.

Video case study: NS: The 360º NS Royal Waiting Rooms
• The profile continues below.

14) How do you sell mobile to your clients?
We believe that the way in which people consumer media has changed. We work in partnership with clients to make the most of this change. Our approach is one of understanding the format of mobile. There are many things unique to mobile as a format. For example, it is the only medium that combines vision, sound, location and movement. So we can do a lot more with this medium from a creative perspective (than with print or TV, for example). When we approach client briefs we often start with the unique elements of mobile as our palette.
15) What return on investment (ROI) should your clients expect from mobile? N/A.
16) Membership of industry bodies and industry accreditations:
• XS2 is a member of the IAB.
17) What needs to happen to accelerate mobile marketing/Web/services over the next five years?
We are seeing a move form the early days of ‘gimmicks’ – it used to be fine for agencies to produce an app for just about anything. These days, clients are demanding longer-term business solutions, working with roadmaps. Things really are accelerating quickly already, but we will need to see more businesses put mobile at the heart of wider client strategies before we will see huge adoption. At the moment it is only innovative businesses, banks for example, that are starting to put mobile at the heart of their customer strategies.
18) In 2015, mobile will be… A part of the human condition.

• Previous agency profile: BBH
• Next agency profile: Phonevalley
• All profiled agencies: Guide home

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