Lucky Generals' SoHo office will open in March with eight to 10 employees to start. The six-year-old shop says U.S. clients, which include Celebrity Cruises and AB InBev, already constitute about half its revenue. The agency also works with clients including Amazon and Tinder.
The New York office will be run by creative partner Augusto Sola (who was most recently partner at London shop 101 before it sold to Mullen Lowe), strategy partner Jess Roubadeaux (who comes from Anomaly New York, where she was strategy director) and James Fox, managing director of Lucky Generals in London. The three partners will report into founding partner Danny Brooke-Taylor.
"Weirdly, I think we've kind of been international since day one," Brooke-Taylor tells Ad Age. "By year two, we were working with Amazon. That relationship has really blossomed and grown over the last three or four years. And although it's new news that we are opening this U.S. [office], we've sort of been doing it for the last year or so."
"For our sanity and our jet lag, we need a real base here so we can be really servicing the clients we already have, and see where it goes from there," he says.
In early 2017, TBWA Worldwide bought a majority stake in Lucky Generals, with the three founding partners — Helen Calcraft, Andy Nairn, and Brooke-Taylor – remaining in their roles and retaining significant minority share in the company. The three partners had worked together previously at London agency MCBD, which was merged into digital shop Dare in 2010. The agency opened in 2013 with no clients. By 2015, billings were $18 million.
The agency confirmed Tuesday it was opening a U.S. outpost, a month after Campaign UK reported the agency planned to open its U.S. operation early in 2019 and was making hires for the new office.
The new office will be staffed with some employees from London, but Brooke-Taylor says the agency will also be scooping up local talent. Before North American employees start work in the New York office, they'll also be asked to work out of the London office. Some current London employees will also work in the New York office to help make the culture cohesive across the pond.
"It's important that they get who we are and why we started and why we're growing — so that they feel part of something. So that they can grow it and get it and feel connected," he says. "We should all feel connected culturally."
Brooke-Taylor says the agency is ready for New York and the competitive challenge the market will bring.
"We're very mindful of how competitive and how challenging New York is going to be," he says. "We approach it with great respect and with our fingers crossed and our lucky things tucked in our pockets to keep us fortunate, hopefully."
He said he doesn't like to get hung up on what makes the agency stand out, but says the agency can bring a bit of a different flavor. "Some of our clients tell us that our energy and sense of fun is something they don't see elsewhere. We're a bit mischievous as well. I do think we have that little mischievous heart that is probably not right for every client or everybody, but it makes us feel excited about the work we do."