Publicis Groupe unveils Marcel: the AI-powered engine that will transform Publicis Groupe from a holding company into an enterprise platform
31-05-2018 15:18:00 | Editor: Suzanne van der Meij | hits: 1539 | Tags:

Publicis Groupe unveiled Marcel, named after Publicis Groupe founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, AI-powered innovation that will accelerate transforming the organization from a holding company to a platform, creating a borderless, frictionless enterprise workforce, comprised of 80,000 employees worldwide.

Arthur Sadoun, Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe: “In June last year, Publicis Groupe announced the creation of Marcel, to connect our 80,000 employees and completely reinvent the way that we work, for ourselves and our clients. Since then, our industry has gone through unprecedented challenges, demonstrating that incremental change is not a solution. The need for reinvention is stronger than ever. At Publicis Groupe, we haven’t waited to act. We have broken the divide between data, creativity and technology. We have broken our silos through the Power of One. Today, we are breaking the barriers between talent and opportunity with Marcel.
Marcel is a journey to shift Publicis Groupe from a holding company to a platform and give creative minds the freedom to progress and thrive in this ever-changing industry. Marcel is the proof of our commitment to our people. At Publicis, we will put them first in our transformation, and give them the opportunity to learn, share and create more than anywhere else.
Marcel is the proof of our commitment to our clients. They will be able to leverage our incredible diversity of talent to bring to life the ideas they need to grow their business. And, of course, Marcel is the proof of our commitment to our industry. We will be a force for good, by leading the change.
Tying the development of Marcel to our one-year industry event hiatus was a controversial decision, but a necessary one. It drew a line in the sand and left no doubt that we are determined to do whatever it takes to reinvent an industry that has struggled to evolve over the past 40 years. So I’m grateful to our people, our clients, and our partners at industry festivals around the world for their support and solidarity during this period, which will end in July 2018.
And, last but not least, I’d like to thank everyone at Publicis Groupe who, both directly and indirectly, have contributed to the ideation and production of Marcel. Marcel is the power of all of us, working as one, and we have already begun to prove that.”

More about Marcel

Marcel is about empowering every single Publicis employee to the power of 80,000. Founded in a belief that an augmented workforce leads to higher engagement, which in turn leads to better work and results for clients, Marcel is built on the foundation of four key pillars: knowledge, connectivity, opportunity and productivity.

Knowledge: serves to educate and inspire our people through creative work and illuminating business, industry, account and cultural intelligence.

Connectivity: finds, matches, casts and suggests the most appropriate people within the Groupe to connect, depending on people’s needs, interests, behavioural patterns and desires.

Opportunity: provides a multitude of ways that each person can contribute, participate and flex their skills and passions on other projects beyond their day-to-day accounts.

Productivity: turns the often tedious and highly-manual processes like timesheets and expenses into seamless and incredibly easy tasks. Fuelled by a live organizational data graph and Microsoft AI technology, Marcel will deliver a fluid, intuitive, intelligent and rich experience for the 80,000-strong workforce.


The creation of Marcel has been a truly transformative initiative in support of Power of One, with technology and consulting arm Publicis.Sapient developing the Marcel user design and experience to build the Marcel platform. Publicis Communications’ BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) created Marcel’s brand identity. This undertaking brings together the expertise and inputs from a diverse team of more than 100 people across the company including Publicis.Sapient, Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Re:Sources, IT, legal, data privacy, procurement, and human resources.

Publicis Groupe found in Microsoft a partner with a shared vision to empower every employee with knowledge and the innovation to make the Marcel experience best in class. Microsoft AI is being used to power the knowledge graph behind Marcel, and the conversational AI experience that is bringing this knowledge to every employee. Microsoft’s deep technical knowledge and industry-leading cloud capabilities including Azure and Office 365 made them the ideal partner.

As part of Marcel’s power of knowledge proposition, Publicis Groupe has entered into partnership with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to access The Work, a unique digital platform that showcases over 200,000 pieces of award-winning creative work from 2001-2018.

Employee & Client Data Security & Privacy Measures Built In

Data security and privacy were of the utmost importance in creating Marcel. The data privacy and security offices of Publicis Groupe have been involved in building Marcel from the beginning, thereby ensuring compliance with important privacy requirements including GDPR. Publicis Groupe is committed to its people and clients that their data is confidential and secure. Employees are not required to use Marcel and all of the interaction and data employees provide is fully opt-in.

Using Marcel: Mobile, Rapid-Response, Customized Experience Prompts

Built for today’s technology-savvy work force, Marcel is launching as a mobile application for both Android and iOS. Future versions will include a desktop version or other interfaces as the need arises.

Designed to be as user friendly as any consumer app, employees can use Marcel through voice or text input. The AI engine will suggest refinements to queries that provide large returns to help someone rapidly make connections and complete goals.

Marcel will do more than respond to requests. It will also proactively present relevant knowledge, connections and opportunities. Each workday, Marcel will serve six prompts tailored to the person’s role and interests in the form of a daily digest. Marcel will refine what it presents each day based on an employee’s interaction and feedback.

Rollout Plan:

Today, Marcel is tested by a team of 100 alpha users. In June the Groupe will release a beta version to 1,000 people selected as an exact Publicis Groupe representation, by agency, role and geography. This group will provide feedback that will help refine the app. Publicis Groupe has the goal to reach 90 percent of their people by 2020.

This beta phase will include:

- a precise onboarding process defined to ensure beta user profiles are complete
- a training module available to get the individual familiar with the Marcel platform
- a feedback function included for employees to provide real-time feedback

The aim of this real-time exercise will allow Publicis Groupe to:

- refine the app constantly
- course correct as needed
- improve the user’s experience
- add functionality along the way

There will be multiple, updated versions until the optimal state-of-the-art product developed for rollout to the entire Publicis Groupe. Publicis Groupe will begin Marcel rollout to 80,000-person workforce in January 2019.