Havas Digital brings Mobext to Canada

The new mobile shop will bring app and site expertise combined with metrics to the Canadian media table.

Havas Digital’s mobile agency, Mobext has launched in Canada operating out of a Toronto office. The Canadian operation will leverage that expertise in mobile site and app development to Canada, combined with Havas Digital’s analytics strength.

Mobext launched in the US and Spain in 2008, and now has operations in nine countries worldwide.

The decision was made to bring the mobile agency to Canada this year after many internal and client-facing conversations about the state of the industry in the country, says Kirk Cavell, mobile strategist and head of the Toronto office (pictured).

“Even though people have been saying it is the time for mobile for about a decade now it seems like the market is becoming ripe,” he says. “It seems like things are finally catching up and marketers are paying attention.”

From a shopper marketing perspective, Chris Williams, managing director of Media Contacts Canada says that Mobext will help to address how people are using mobile devices at the point of purchase.

“When you start looking at the capabilities for couponing and mobile payments it becomes obvious that mobile is going to have a huge impact on how shopper marketing works, as well as loyalty programs, not having to carry cards around, just having to flash your mobile phone,” says Williams. “Then, of course, there’s the whole data back end and how that data matches up with our media exposure data. That’s where things get really interesting.”

The Toronto office will begin working in Canada with existing Media Contacts clients and MPG clients. Analytics for the mobile sites will be done through Havas Digital’s Artemis data analysis arm, says Cavell which gives the agency the unique selling point of being able to integrate with the other parent company assets.

“We will be using the same media buying and planning capabilities as we have been doing at Media Contacts,” he says. “The difference is we will be adding mobile site and app development and managing all those projects for clients. From what we have heard, Mobext is the first mobile-specific agency in Canada. We are doing the full turnkey mobile solutions.”

When asked for his crystal ball prediction of where mobile is going in the next 11 and a  ½ months, Cavell says he sees smartphone penetration reaching 50% in the country by the end of the year based on the jump Comscore reported which saw users on the devices in Canada jump from 33% to 40% in 2011.

“Smartphone penetration coupled with unique-to-mobile targeting techniques and reporting metrics, will make the mobile advertising market ripe for retailers and increasingly so for national brands in 2012,” he says.


With files from Jonathan Paul