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SapientNitro Acquires Second Story, Extends Experience Innovation to Physical Domain

November 7, 2012


Portland-based innovation center pioneers new interactive experiences for brand storytelling

BOSTON and PORTLAND, OR – November 7, 2012SapientNitro, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), today announced that it has acquired Second Story, an interactive studio known for its industry-leading and pioneering work in creating immersive experiences that fuse digital interactivity with physical environments. The move strengthens SapientNitro’s ability to redefine storytelling for today’s always-on consumer by crafting experiences that seamlessly blend physical and digital environments -- from web and mobile to in-store and in-venue.

The acquisition unites two innovators known for harnessing the combined power of creativity and technology to create multi-dimensional experiences for leading brands. With Second Story, SapientNitro advances its leadership position as a game-changing agency in helping companies engage today’s connected consumer.

Second Story has been recognized by institutions like the Smithsonian and Cooper-Hewitt Design Center for its ability to push the boundaries of storytelling across web, mobile, and installations — empowering audiences to connect and share. Through its work with prominent organizations, such as Coca-Cola, Nike, National Geographic, MoMA, National Archives, and Univ. of Oregon (inset), Second Story creates dynamic, multi-media experiences that immerse audiences in brand narratives. Part lab, part studio, Second Story is noted for its inventiveness in using emerging technologies to embed interactivity in physical objects and environments – whether in-store, showroom or exhibit.

Second Story’s work has garnered hundreds of awards at prestigious festivals, including One Show Interactive, I.D. Annual Review, SXSW and Sundance, and has been inducted into the Smithsonian’s Permanent Research Collections.

The addition of Second Story expands SapientNitro’s innovative approach to storytelling, or “storyscaping,” which embraces the entire experience space – emotional, physical and digital -- as an expanded canvas to connect brands and consumers in innovative ways.

“Today, the technology enabled experiences we have are as real as the clothes we wear and the cars we drive. Virtual reality is reality,” said Alan J. Herrick, president and CEO of Sapient. “Second Story’s break-through work and success at increasing consumer engagement by animating physical infrastructure represents a fascinating frontier. The digitization of the physical space is a natural evolution in our ongoing quest to redefine the way brands and consumers connect. A reimagined in-store experience is just one prime example of major parts of our cultural fabric being completely transformed as a result of changing consumers.”

“Whether retail stores, banks, stadiums, or theaters, we see the digitization of the physical world as the next big transformation of the customer journey,” said Donald Chesnut, chief experience officer at SapientNitro. “Today’s connected consumers don’t distinguish between physical and digital, and neither should brands. Just as tablets created new experience paradigms and a canvas for brands to immerse consumers in highly personal ways, the same innovation is being brought to physical spaces. Second Story is exceptional in its ability to turn the static into cinematic; this expertise, combined with SapientNitro’s legacy in experience design, will only deepen our ability to redefine storytelling in a connected world.”

Second Story co-founders Julie Beeler and Brad Johnson will become part of Chesnut’s Global Experience Innovation team. Said Johnson, “We’re thrilled to join a culture of Idea Engineers who share our passion for blending insights, storytelling, and technology. We have built our business by seeing a blank canvas where others have only seen an object or room. In SapientNitro, we have found kindred spirits – literally, thousands of them -- who not only conceive game-changing ideas but also bring them to life. I couldn’t be more excited about what we’ll do together.”

SapientNitro has had tremendous early success in digitizing physical objects to unlock business value, including Coca-Cola’s first interactive vending machine and Unilever’s smile-activated ShareHappy (both Cannes Lions winners) and, more recently, LensCrafters’ “magic mirror” and Vail Resort’s EpicMix, an RFID-enriched mountain experience.

A recent SapientNitro publication, Insights 2013, highlights the competitive opportunities for companies that effectively digitize their physical assets. SapientNitro researchers found that in-store sales increase 10-40 percent, on average, as a result of in-store digital integration.

About Second Story

Since 1994, Second Story (www.secondstory.com) has contributed to the evolution of interactive storytelling through the creation of hundreds of innovative media experiences across nearly every medium. The 35-person studio continually explores new methods and technologies to enhance, evolve, and expand interactive experiences that reward audience interaction with powerful, personalized pathways through content and the world of ideas. The studio includes the Second Story Lab, where designers collaborate with technologists to explore emerging technologies—such as facial recognition, gestural motion, interactive mapping, and sensor technologies—that can be incorporated into innovative experiences. Second Story’s work has been recognized in every major interactive design competition and received hundreds of awards, including the One Show, SXSW and Sundance, and is included in the Smithsonian’s permanent research collection on information technology.

About SapientNitro

SapientNitroSM, part of Sapient® (NASDAQ: SAPE), is a new breed of agency redefining storytelling for an always-on world. We’re changing the way our clients engage today’s connected consumers by uniquely creating integrated, immersive stories across brand communications, digital engagement, and omni-channel commerce. We call it Storyscaping, where art and imagination meet the power and scale of systems thinking. SapientNitro’s unique combination of creative, brand and technology expertise results in one global team collaborating across disciplines, perspectives and continents to create game-changing success for our Global 1000 clients, such as Chrysler, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Lufthansa, Target, and Vodafone, in 31 cities across The Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.sapientnitro.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements – in particular, SapientNitro’s ability to redefine storytelling and SapientNitro’s leadership position – that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and beliefs and various assumptions. Actual results could differ materially from management’s expectations and the forward-looking statements contained in this release. A number of factors could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated, including, without limitation: the continued acceptance of the company’s services; a reduction in the demand for the company’s services in light of the current economic environment; the company’s ability to successfully integrate and achieve anticipated benefits from acquisitions, including SapientNitro’s acquisition of Second Story; and other risks and uncertainties as set forth in the company’s filings with the SEC, including without limitation the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements for any reason, including to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances, except as required by law.

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