New Commercial Arts scores its first win
The World Out of Home Organization (WOO) appointed New Commercial Arts to handle a global campaign to promote out-of-home marketing as the world begins to come out of the pandemic (at least in parts of the world), marking the first win for the agency founded in May of this year. WOO represents out-of-home media owners, national associations and specialist media agencies globally. The appointment of New Commercial Arts follows a pitch. New Commercial Arts was founded a few months ago in the U.K. by adam&eveDDB Co-Founders James Murphy and David Golding, former BBH London Chief Creative Officer Ian Heartfield and former Wunderman Thompson Global Head of Customer Experience Rob Curran.
The agency will be tasked with creating “the biggest OOH campaign of all time,” to run on out-of-home sites in countries worldwide. It will be supported by national out-of-home associations, specialty agencies and media owners.
“This appointment and the massive campaign to come marks an important milestone for global out of home,” WOO President Tom Goddard says. “It shows the industry coming together to lead the advertising recovery from COVID-19, showing a united and trusted global medium at its best and most effective, at a time when other major media channels are not providing safe platforms for global brands.”
“This is a tremendous win for the agency, our first piece of international business and one for a global medium we love,” says Murphy.
F&B report finds brand marketers dissatisfied with their COVID-19 responses
A new report from Forsman & Bodenfors found that 49 percent of senior brand marketers are dissatisfied with their companies’ COVID-19 responses. F&B, part of the MDC Partners network, commissioned a recent survey that reached 100 senior brand marketing executives in the U.S. and Canada—nearly half of whom reported “feeling paralyzed in terms of how to engage, dissatisfied with their reaction or couldn’t clearly see a role for their brand in reacting to the pandemic and providing value to their consumers.”
“When we asked chief marketing officers and other marketing leaders how resilient they felt their brands were during the first two months of the pandemic, we found that many felt they had fallen short or were unsure about how their brand fit into the new landscape,” Steve Gorski, strategy director at F&B New York, says. “Brands have a lot to gain by finding their voice during these uncertain times. The moment to develop a relevant narrative for your brand is now.”
The report found that 25 percent of brand marketers who put out a consumer-facing response to COVID-19 reported feeling that “it took awhile to sort out what we should and could do.” Nine percent of respondents who put out a response said that “our brand should and could have come up with a different response.” The report found that 12 percent of brands “went mostly dark; we didn’t see a role for our brand in this world.”
Only 51 percent of survey respondents said they felt “proud” of the response their companies issued. F&B argues in its report that “resilient brands” have weathered the storm better, and that “brands that had something to share found attentive audiences ready to listen and react.” The report pointed out that 70 percent of adults have reported spending more time on their smartphones throughout quarantine, creating an opportunity for brands to reach them.
“Brands don’t get the privilege of turning off and on without any repercussions,” the report states. “Stagnancy leads to a decrease, not a plateau. So staying quiet comes at a cost.”
The report found that brands could experience up to 2 percent in revenue loss “for every quarter of pulled investment”; they could see 11 percent in revenue declines if they “completely cut advertising for the rest of 2020”; and it could take three to five years to “recover from extended periods where media spend was completely cut.”
“It’s not too late to get involved,” says Andrew Carty, head of strategy at F&B Toronto. “If history has taught us anything, it’s that there is plenty of turbulence ahead, ready to continually test the adaptability of brands. It’s time to fortify and pivot from reaction to resilience.”
PMG keeps its commitment to hire recent grads
While many agencies have been forced to reduce staff due to pandemic cost cutting (Ad Age has been documenting the layoffs here), independent agency PMG kept its commitment to the roughly 30 recent college graduates it recruited before the health crisis to join its paid Graduate Leadership Program. The additional staff increases PMG’s workforce by 15 percent. PMG says it's also committed to not lay off any staff.
The Graduate Leadership Program runs for 12 weeks and includes workshops whose participants "learn how to become better leaders, use data and technology to inform their decision-making, and create—and even execute—media strategy across a variety of functions," PMG says. At the end of the program, the agency says participants are offered full-time positions, "and matched to a career path that aligns with their passions and interests."
PMG says 47 percent of this year’s class is non-white, an improvement from 33 percent last year.
“Our people always come first,” PMG VP of People and Culture Chris Sinclair says. “At the start of the current crisis, we made a commitment to all of our employees that their jobs would not be impacted by the pandemic. From the moment [the graduates] accepted our offers, we considered them to be part of the PMG family.”
Applications are also open for “The World’s Greatest Internship,” which is a program from independent agency Butchershop Creative in partnership with Factry, Gretel and Prophet. The program was created three years ago and allows participants to travel to each agency, spending one month to six weeks at each. In the past, interns traveled from the agencies’ offices in Montreal to New York to San Francisco to Berlin to Los Angeles and beyond. But due to the pandemic and travel visa uncertainties, the agencies were forced to cancel this year’s “World’s Greatest Internship.” The next "World's Greatest Internship" is expected to take place in Spring 2021. In the meantime, the agencies set up a platform that features more than 2,500 portfolios of emerging creatives from 32 countries worldwide, in the hope that, while the internship program is on pause, some recent graduates will find permanent jobs.
AGW Group, a New York independent shop, was named digital marketing agency of record for Danish rainwear lifestyle brand Rains, for the U.S. market. AGW will be responsible for boosting the brand’s U.S. footprint, in brand recognition and sales, by expanding its online and offline direct-to-consumer channels. AGW’s scope includes digital campaign planning, media buying, sales, consumer insights and strategy.
21Grams, a healthcare-focused agency part of W2O, appointed Tom Richards as co-global chief creative officer. Richards is based in the U.K. and will serve as the creative partner to U.S.-based Frank Mazzola, one of the agency’s founding members. Richards joins from Havas Lynx, where he was chief creative officer.
Saatchi & Saatchi London promoted Sam Hawkey to CEO from chief operating officer. The agency credits Hawkey with playing “a pivotal role in Saatchi & Saatchi London’s growth.” He has been serving as chief operating officer of the agency since April 2018, when he was elevated from managing director. Hawkey first joined the agency from Glue Isobar in 2012.
Omnicom Group, through a bespoke unit, won the global creative account of French automaker Peugeot following a review managed by consulting firm Observatory International. Peugeot had been working with Havas/BETC for 30 years previously, so this decision deals a considerable blow to the incumbent agency. O.P.EN (standing for Omnicom for Peugeot Engine) will act as the company’s global creative agency of record beginning in January 2021.
The Buntin Group, a Nashville-based independent shop, won media agency-of-record duties for Aaron’s, an Atlanta-based lease-to-own retailer of furniture. The companies say work is already underway and the scope of the partnership includes traditional and digital media, as well as performance analytics and optimization. Following a recent full-service AOR win of Cabinets To Go, a specialty cabinet retail chain, The Buntin Group says that capitalized billings for the shop have exceeded $200 million so far this year.
REQ, a digital marketing shop, has been named agency of record for national healthcare management firm WellNet, which provides employers with alternative, more affordable health plans. REQ will help expand WellNet’s visibility and positioning in the space. WellNet CEO Keith Lemer says REQ will help the company “better reach CEOs, executives and our broker partners” and “amplify our solution.”