Agency Brief: Leo Burnett and BBDO are finalists in Home Depot creative review
Hey folks, I'm stepping in to pinch hit (and that's the last sports metaphor you'll ever hear from me), so let's get to the final Agency Brief in the "year" that was January 2021.
Home Depot hands out roses
Leo Burnett and BBDO are finalists in Home Depot’s ongoing creative review, according to people familiar with the situation. It kicked off in October 2020 when the home improvement retailer dropped The Richards Group after 25 years following racist remarks by founder Stan Richards. Now that finalists have been selected, the last round of presentations is tentatively scheduled for Mar. 8, according to an RFI from last year.
The home improvement retailer also awarded its $400+ million media account to OMD this week. Dentsu’s Carat has had the business since 2011, and the shop defended the account, according to sources familiar with the review. “This is a case of total alignment between the needs of a modern marketer and the capabilities of a modern media agency,” says John Osborn, CEO of OMD U.S.
King of the hill
Droga5 topped the COMvergence 2020 Creative New Business Rankings with $460 million in new business revenue last year, according to Adweek. Omnicom’s GSD&M came second solely on its $390 million Capital One win. WorkInProgress was third thanks to Dominos, and dentsumcgarrybowen and Anomaly finish out the top 5 most successful U.S. creative agencies.
With six wins, independent agency Barkley won the largest number of accounts, including Motel 6, which ended its long relationship with The Richards Group last year. Omnicom topped the list for agency groups, followed by Accenture Interactive.
Stretch your legs
Joan Creative is giving foot care brand Dr. Scholl’s a refresh this spring, with a new approach, brand strategy and brand platform. “Joan offers a proven track record of taking legendary brands to even greater heights in the marketplace,” says Kate Godbout, senior vice president of marketing at Scholl’s Wellness Company. “In addition to having a unique creative vision and highly collaborative approach, Joan impressed us with their ability to see the big picture and guide our overall vision.”
Two auto ad agencies, Illinois-based Pinnacle Advertising and Arizona-based RealWorld Marketing, are merging, creating a new division called Pinnacle Tier II, which will be dedicated to Honda and Acura. The new organization will be headquartered in Arizona, with 160 employees in offices across the country.
“This merger truly is a case of the whole being greater than the parts, because our combined automotive industry marketing expertise will rival anyone out there,” says Leah Wilson, president of RealWorld Marketing. “While we will be bigger, it’ll be our superior influence, strategic thinking, services, tools, research and specialties that will truly make us great.
Two decades ... and counting
Tribal Worldwide successfully defended Volkswagen’s global digital marketing account after a yearlong review—a client the shop has had since it opened its doors in 2000. “We have held the account for over 20 years and helped Volkswagen to create the first fully connected customer journey between screen and dealership. To successfully pitch for the business and demonstrate our value as a strategic partner for Volkswagen feels pretty special,” says Tom Roberts, CEO at Tribal Worldwide. The review would have ended in May but was extended due to the pandemic.
Leadership and hiring updates
Krystle Mullin and creative duo Anthony Chelvanathan and Manas Abrol join Edelman as executive creative directors. Chelvanathan and Abrol arrive from Leo Burnett, and Mullin joins from RPA. Andrew Simon, Chief Creative Officer in Canada, is also being promoted to Global Creative Lead for one of the agency’s clients, while retaining his CCO position. “I’m eager for what’s next for our growing team and proud that we have attracted top level talent that will support our firm’s global evolution,” says Global Chief Creative Officer Judy John. “Highly awarded globally, Anthony, Manas and Krystle’s unique backgrounds and international exposure will help our clients show up differently through bold and inspiring ideas.”
McCann Worldgroup’s production arm Craft has appointed Stuart Walker to the role of chief operating officer U.K. and EMEA and Jon Compton as director of operations U.K. and E.U. Prior to joining Craft, Walker held a number of senior level operational roles at agencies including SapientRazorfish and headed up digital shop De-construct. Compton has held positions at Prodigious Worldwide, Hogarth & Ogilvy and Spring Studios.
Publicis Groupe has hired Natalie Lam as its first-ever chief creative officer, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Lam will be based across Hong Kong and Singapore, reporting to Loris Nold, CEO Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Lam has worked across the U.S. and Asia, starting out working on Nike at R/GA, before joining Ogilvy One as regional creative director out of Shanghai in 2008. She has worked in executive creative director roles at McCann and Razorfish, and most recently, she was at Google in New York, leading the creative team for Art, Copy & Code.
VCCP New York appointed Ray Del Savio as executive creative director, overseeing all creative work from the office. He joins from Droga5 New York, where he spent nine years, and has worked with brands including the New Museum, Google, Chase, Hershey's and Prudential, whose “Challenge Lab” earned him a Titanium Lion.
Mother in Los Angeles expands its leadership team with the addition of Celeste Hubbard as head of mothering and Amaris Singer as head of strategy. Previously, Hubbard was group account director at Chemistry Agency in Atlanta, working with clients including Netflix, YouTube and Red Bull. Singer has led business and brand strategy for companies including Disney, Fahrenheit 212, and Wolff Olins. “Amaris easily has the most frustratingly impressive resume I’ve ever read. She has hit the ground running and is impacting Mother immediately,” says ECD and Partner Joe Staples. “Celeste Hubbard has incredible energy. She balances a passion for great work with a tremendous respect for people. She is a massive addition to Mother, not just the Mothering group. Also, she’s so nice, I haven’t felt it appropriate to make one single ‘Mother Hubbard’ joke yet.”
Paula Maki joins Elephant as vice president, creative, working with the agency’s West Coast clients. Previously, she was creative director at 72andSunny, where she worked on brands including Tinder, Uber, Allstate and eBay. Prior to that, she spent 10 years at Mono in Minneapolis and San Francisco.
Contributing: Alexandra Jardine, Ann-Christine Diaz