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Unilever and ad:tech London identifies Relative Insight’s platform as one to watch

by on November 1, 2015 in Events, Events & Awards, featured item, Lead Article, Nuggets, Rock 'n Roll

Relative Insight, which turns language into data to help brands make more informed decisions, is the new champion of ad:tech London’s Next Big Thing, an initiative  designed to connect global brands with ‘madtech’ startups.

The company was awarded the opportunity to work with Unilever on a pilot worth up to $50,000 and will receive a £5,000 cash prize.

On Wednesday 14 October, CEO Ben Hookway showed the judging panel that Relative Insight is a truly disruptive idea, turning unstructured language into structured data sets, at scale. It can help organisations like Unilever, the world’s second largest advertiser, to better understand their consumers, leading to more effective campaigns. Hookway showcased the company’s ability to better analyse brand and consumer language at scale, by looking at language used across consumer groups, devices, over time, competition and applications.  Whittled down from 120 entries, Relative Insight competed against 15 other startup finalists at the annual conference.

“Given the quality of the competition, we were truly honoured to be crowned the ‘The Next Big Thing’,” said Ben Hookway, CEO of Relative Insight. “From initially developing our technology to fight crime, we’ve worked hard to establish ourselves within the marketing world and we’re delighted to be recognised in this field. We’re looking forward to extending our relationship with Unilever.”

The winner was determined by judges Georgina Park, Global Brand Manager, Unilever; Ian Lane, Principal, Unilever Ventures; Lawrence Weber, Managing Partner Innovation, Karmarama; and Rob Chapman, Director, Founders Forum. Tech London Advocates supported the process with Ken Valledy of Tech2Brand compèring the event.

“Relative Insight demonstrated the type of innovation, enthusiasm and energy that we’re looking for at Unilever and as part of ’The Next Big Thing’ award,” said Jeremy Basset, Head of Unilever Foundry. “Relative Insight’s innovative technology can provide our brands with unique analysis and tracking of the language they and their consumers use, ultimately leading to improved consumer engagement. We’re looking forward to working with Relative Insight in a closer capacity moving forward.”

“ad:tech London is designed to serve the needs of the modern marketer and through The Next Big Thing we have gathered together some of the hottest new technologies and services available for those marketers who want to be ahead of the pack.

For Relative Insight to rise above the other 200 or so applicants to be crowned ad:tech 2016’s Next Big Thing is a testament to a fantastic product and team, and we look forward to watching them grow over the coming years,” said James Drake-Brockman, Head of EMEA & India, ad:tech.

The winners of the 2013 and 2014 competition were Avocarrot and seenit, which have each partnered with Unilever in global markets following their respective wins.

About Relative Insight

Relative Insight turns language into data to give brands valuable intelligence on consumers and competitors. Using Relative Insight’s platform, brands can efficiently analyse all the messages they put out as well as the explosion in online communication among consumers. With this information, marketers can determine the overall attitudes consumers exhibit toward brands and how those attitudes shift over time.

Based on unique comparison techniques developed by an in-house team of language and computer science PhDs, brands can better inform their marketing strategies and measure the success of campaigns by tracking the effect that changes in marketing language have on consumer behaviour and attitudes.

Relative Insight’s technology was built based on 10 years of research at Lancaster University, initially developed to identify criminals for law enforcement agencies (where it still operates). For more information contact, visit, follow @relativeinsight, or monitor the #languageisdata hashtag.




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