What Is Daddy and Why Did Crispin Want It?

Q&A: Swedish Hotshop's Founding Partner Talks About the Acquisition and What It Means for the Agencies

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- After years of flirting with an international presence, Crispin Porter & Bogusky has finally solidified its European operations by acquiring Swedish digital hotshop Daddy. If you don't already know Daddy, the shop, which has been around since 2000, does award-winning interactive work for marketers including Heinz, Philips, Scandinavian Airlines and Ciba Vision.

Gustav Martner
Gustav Martner
The 50-person firm, which has previously done production work for Burger King, a Crispin account, relinquished its name as part of the deal and will now be known as Crispin Porter & Bogusky Europe. You can check out the new Crispin-branded website and the former Daddy website here.

So what will Daddy bring to Crispin? Ad Age talked to Gustav Martner, executive creative director and founding partner of Daddy, who also chatted about the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival later this month.

Ad Age: Why are you a good fit?

Mr. Martner: We have known the Crispin Porter & Bogusky guys for a while. We've been on awards juries together and we share the same philosophy on what makes good advertising. The philosophy we share is that everything is interactive. It should all be a dialogue between brands and consumers.

Ad Age: You must have had approaches from other agencies?

Mr. Martner: We could never imagine being part of any other network. We've been independent for 10 years. We've had several approaches, and we always listen to what they have to say, but we've not been interested. We have a good agency by being independent, but CP&B is the best in the world.

Ad Age: What client have you worked on with them?

Mr. Martner: We've helped them as a production company on a number of projects, particularly Burger King, so we have the experience of working together. This will be an advantage, now that it's kicking off for real.

Ad Age: Is Sweden an unusual choice for a European hub?

CP&B Europe logo
CP&B Europe logo
Mr. Martner: CP&B has a history of being outside the usual places. They think it's an advantage to be in Sweden because it will be easier to build a strong culture here. Sweden is a powerhouse of digital talent, not just in advertising. Swedish entrepreneurs created Skype and Spotify and build brands like Ikea, H&M and Absolut. CP&B believes in the Swedish culture as a good recruitment base. We already have a very strong creative culture in Sweden. Forsman and Bodenfors is here. Gothenburg has a strong creative force.

Ad Age: How will life change for you?

Mr. Martner: They bought us because we have already built a good foundation and we will continue on this path. We are used to working hard -- we started 10 years ago in a borrowed office with a donated fax machine. I've been struggling for 10 years and I'll still struggle. I won't quit. I'm looking forward to having more great colleagues to speak with.

We are looking to import more talent immediately, and we are looking forward to helping with Burger King and Microsoft. CP&B has had pitches that it has problems delivering on. We hope to expand the business immediately.

We have a strong, impressive client list already, but we can expand even further now that we have muscles coming in from CP&B. We have been strictly a digital agency until now, but our clients have wanted to expand a lot of our ideas. Digital is the best starting point for creative work without a doubt.

Ad Age: Do you have any campaigns that you hope will be successful at Cannes?

Mr. Martner: Yes. Our "Talk to the plant" work for Heinz Ketchup and the "Our song" Facebook application.

Also, we created a banner for Scandinavian Airlines and Swedish train company SJ to promote a partnership between the two to offer a more environmentally friendly way to travel. We've been part of the business concept. [The ad] shows them both trying to build a banner together with messy results. I love banners -- they are one of the coolest mediums to work with. They should be taken more seriously.

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