Publicis and Heineken debut a new agency model, based in an Amsterdam bar
Publicis has created a new bespoke agency model, Le Pub, together with its Heineken client, that will integrate creativity, data and brand experience.
Le Pub will be based in a bar in Amsterdam and will draw on the capabilities of data business Epsilon and digital specialist Publicis Sapient. Bruno Bertelli, global creative director at Publicis, will take on the additional role of CEO of Le Pub, which Publicis claims will deliver “greater agility, localization and personalization at scale,” initially for the brewer. But while Heineken will be the founding client of Le Pub, Publicis also plans to expand the agency to other clients.
Client and agency say Le Pub's creation came together in the pandemic, as they understood the need to create campaigns “at speed” and implement them locally. "The global pandemic meant we had to pivot and work differently, which is what inspired us to design this new model,” says Bram Westenbrink, global senior director at Heineken. "Because of the way the pandemic spread over the world, every country was different, so for us to be able to localize and adjust to the local situation was crucial.”
Data will be key to the new agency model. Le Pub will draw on the data capabilities of Epsilon, adds Bertelli, for example, employing a “data translator” who will be able to translate data insights into creative ideas. “We want to use data to come up with insights to identify consumer behavior in order that creatives can start working on it.”
A team of 25-30 agency people will be based at “Le Pub,” which will be housed in an existing Amsterdam bar that the agency is taking over from Jan 1, 2021. Talent from Publicis in Milan will also transition there temporarily, and Westenbrink anticipates that Heineken teams will also be based at the location for weeks at time.
Eleni Charakleia, Publicis' global client service director, who has been appointed general manager of Le Pub, says the bar location would foster the agency's new way of working, with a "loosened-up" environment and more “colloquial” conversations.
Separately, the Heineken brand is also consolidating media planning and buying services into Dentsu. However, Publicis Groupe will retain all media duties in France and the U.S., which is handled by Canvas.