Engine Creative has launched a new social-first practice, NGN-LAB, and added a new brand partnerships capability to its integrated offering – both of which will be headed up by new hire Matthew Harrington who joins as Head of Editorial & Brand Partnerships.
NGN-LAB is a social-first creative practice designed to offer agile growth solutions for new and existing clients via its team of in-house creators and external network of cultural specialists, editors and influencers.
NGN-LAB will provide a holistic approach to brand growth through social-first content and commerce, as well as enhancing social creativity and innovation across Engine’s wider creative output.
Harrington, who reports to Engine Creative CEO, Ete Davies, will also be responsible for leading and developing brand partnerships as a key part of Engine Creative’s integrated advertising offering – enabling clients to find further, authentic, ways to engage with new audiences and expand into new categories.
One example of this is the recent Kiyan Prince Foundation x EA Sports partnership, which saw Engine devise a ground-breaking anti-knife crime campaign on the 15th anniversary of the schoolboy football prodigy’s death.
This leveraged gaming and sponsorship from major brands in addition to cutting-edge technology used to create a virtual likeness of Kiyan as the 30-year-old he would be today.
Harrington founded AMV’s creative partnership division AMV/CO, working with major brands including Pepsi, Mars, Bodyform and Diageo and developed multi-award-winning partnerships including the ‘Trash Isles’ campaign which won two Grand Prix at Cannes Lions alongside and the Grand-Prix-winning ‘Blood Normal’ work for Libresse.
Harrington is the former Head of Brand Advertising for Red Bull and he also worked at R/GA leading the Nike digital account.
He founded his own partnership consultancy, With X Us, after leaving AMV in 2018, developing partnerships with brands directly, including Jaguar Land Rover and Samsung, supporting agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and adam&eve, and social publishers LADbible and Jungle Creations.
Ete Davies said: “We’re very pleased to have Matt join us. Social is the arena where communities and creators – both create and influence modern culture – at lightning speed.
“Progressive brands need to be social at their core in order to stay culturally relevant and to take advantage of the growth opportunities created by social commerce innovation, which have short-cut the journey from inspiration to conversion.
“We see this as brand building at the frontier of marketing and Matt has the perfect skills, experience and vision to help our clients with this.”
Matthew Harrington said: “Social is where culture thrives. For so many brands it’s now the heart of the ecosystem and where the most innovative creators are making, connecting and influencing.
“I’m delighted to get the opportunity to help bring so many great minds together to collaborate and enable our clients to connect more deeply with new audiences.”