Agency brief: It's not about you (except when it is)

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Quote of the week: "They're coming to us because they don't know what they don't know, but they know they don't know it."

Bit of a tongue twister, but to be fair, so is the subject matter: Melissa Lea, U.S. managing director of marketing consultancy R3, shared that view on clients who come to consultants, saying they rely on the likes of herself and resulting agencies "to be able to read their minds but also solve for the new digital world."

She joined Joanne Davis Consulting's Joanne Davis, SelectResources International's Ron Harrison and Ark Advisors' Ann Billock at a Mirren Live New York panel earlier this week, a conference which brought together agencies and search consultants to talk new biz in a number of candid sessions.

That search consultant panel also touched on in-housing of work, consultancies like Accenture pitching against agencies, and the subject of dedicated agencies with talent from across holding companies ("Two-word-answer: Good luck," Billock said.)

As the industry is buzzing over the viability of dedicated agencies — like Ford's Global Team Blue at WPP, which is threatened by an ongoing review — Davis said holding companies have to make it appealing for the talent.

"I think they have to make it so exciting and so irresistible and so rewarding that you want to raise your hand and do it," she said, adding that Global Team Blue has succeeded in winning great talent because there's a big budget and different sandboxes to play in.

The search consultants finished it off with a bit of advice to agencies.

"It's not about you, it's never been about you, it's never going to be about you," said Davis. "It's about the client."

OK, but don't fret, agency folks — this column is about you. So keep reading for this week's agency news.

A meat-ing of the minds

Fast-food chain Krystal has a new agency of record, the Tombras Group, handling strategic planning, creative, media planning and buying across broadcast, social, digital, PR and point-of-purchase. Krystal, a burger chain which has fewer than 400 locations, is eager to increase its digital marketing. In 2016, just 5 percent of media went to digital and last year that increased to 15 percent, says newly appointed CEO Paul Macaluso. He sees the chain as a challenger brand that can do a lot more nontraditional advertising.

Tombras most recently made news with its work on MoonPie, including tweets that caught the attention of the masses last year and sparked sales for that snack brand. "There's tremendous existing brand equity in Krystal. We're excited to unlock that equity, give Krystal a modern voice and reinvigorate the brand," Dooley Tombras, exec VP of The Tombras Group, said in a statement. An updated brand positioning and new creative work will launch later this summer. Krystal most recently worked with Bright Red on creative.

They said 'I Avoca-Do'

The team at Energy BBDO likely celebrated Cinco de Mayo with lots of guacamole. The agency just won the Avocados from Mexico account. Energy BBDO takes over after the produce marketer's run with GSD&M, and will handle Super Bowl commercials and other efforts. The appointment followed a competitive review involving 72andSunny, Doner, and Merkley & Partners, according to Energy BBDO.

Mower logo
Mower logo Credit: Mower

… Like a lawn Mower

Eric Mower + Associates has cut (shall we say… mowed?) a few letters from its name and has a new brand look. The indie marketing, advertising and PR firm is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The rebrand "embodies the more direct, open and flexible realities of marketing in today's world," chairman and CEO Eric Mower said in a statement.

On the move...

Muhtayzik Hoffer has a new director of strategy and communications: Brendan Robertson, who most recently led the strategic planning group at Edelman Bay Area. Robertson will oversee the media and strategy departments and will be responsible for bringing brand and social strategy with media and analytics. "Having worked across a range of digital, traditional and PR agencies in my career, it's never been a better time to blend it all together than now," Robertson said in a statement.

Tweet of the week:

Contributing: Jessica Wohl

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