The Omnicom Advertising Collective, which consists of many of the holding company's creative agencies including Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Zimmerman and Dieste, is launching a dedicated gaming offering called LevelUp OAC. The new gaming unit will be led by The Marketing Arm and GSD&M. The offering will provide creative and media expertise to brands looking to enter the space, such as in-game media planning and buying, experiential marketing and influencer strategy.
The practice will be headed by Andrew Robinson Jr., group director, gaming at The Marketing Arm; Maria D'Amato, an executive creative director at GSD&M; and Dave Kersey, GSD&M’s chief media officer. The unit will consist of a team of 35-70 employees drawn from both agencies, but other holding company shops could also be brought into the mix depending on the project, said James Fenton, CEO of the Omnicom Collective.
Responsibilities will be divided between the two agencies according to strength, D'Amato said. The Marketing Arm has experience in gaming influencer engagement, experiential activation, and content creation, while GSD&M has experience building AR and VR experiences for brands as well as in-game advertising.
Pockets of expertise
“As opportunities come our way we can align together and figure out what's the best way to tackle the challenge,” Kersey said. “Regardless of who's leading, everyone will have a part in the strategic vision and the development of the assets and gaming environment."
Some recent examples of gaming-related work from the two agencies include GSD&M helping Pizza Hut deliver pizza boxes with an AR Pac-Man game on them, and State Farm including its signature character “Jake” in the video game NBA 2K22 via The Marketing Arm.
“There are pockets of gaming expertise throughout the collective,” Fenton said. "These two agencies have embraced it and have probably the most robust gaming capabilities out of the agencies that I've been exposed to.”
Agencies building out gaming offerings and practices is part of a growing trend in the industry. Earlier this year, VCCP launched a gaming offering, VCCP+, which is focused on the gaming multiverse. Last September, Dentsu launched its own gaming solution called Dentsu Gaming. DDB FTW launched as a gaming and esports unit as a division apart from the overall DDB Network last April, and independent agency Omelet launched its own gaming unit called CheatCode in June 2021. Early last year, Publicis UK launched its own gaming offering called Publicis Play.