It's rare for accounts to stick around for more than a few years these days, let alone the eight-plus decades BBDO and Procter & Gamble's Gillette logged together. So when the personal-care giant moved its global men's grooming account from the shop in April 2013, it was an enomous blow for BBDO.
That meant new business was crucial in 2014. But given its size and roster, the agency was unable to chase after everything, including the massive Microsoft review. While it did pick up a raft of new clients in 2014, such as Wells Fargo, CVS Caremark, American Family Insurance and Bayer brands including Claritin, Dr. Scholl's and Afrin, the agency put a huge focus on relationships with its existing clients like Foot Locker and Mars Inc. Our "No. 1 priority was to work closely with existing clients and build those businesses," said BBDO Worldwide CEO Andrew Robertson. In all, U.S. revenue in 2014 was up about 4.5%, excluding revenue from clients like American Family Insurance and Bayer, which came on board at the tail end of the year.
"What I was really pleased with in 2014 was that a lot of the work we'd done was just a different kind of work" than what people might expect from BBDO, said Mr. Robertson. "These are not the things that grab enormous headlines, but they're good examples of work we need to do, and we're delivering great creativity and big results from small spaces."
Those smaller, more nimble aspects of campaigns are easier for BBDO to implement now that the agency has added in-house social labs and a production studio and expanded its digital capabilities.
Its work for Twix Bites, for example, took a humorous stab at why it took the company so long to roll out a bite-size product. The shop extended the campaign by tying the idea in with popular social-media hashtag Throwback Thursday, releasing videos with '90s pop-culture sensibilities and encouraging social-media users to do the same.
For Foot Locker, it created a talked-about spot for the brand's "Week of Greatness" promotion featuring Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan.
"They are truly talented people, creating great work for our brand," said Stacy Cunningham, exec VP-marketing at Foot Locker. "But it goes further than that; they're true business partners, committed to driving business results through listening, collaboration and great strategic and creative work."