U.S. Navy retains VMLY&R as AOR for five more years with contract worth $455 million
After an extensive yearlong review, the U.S. Navy has awarded a second consecutive five-year contract to WPP’s VMLY&R. The contract is valued at over $455 million which is similar to the previous contract which was valued at $457 million and given to Y&R prior to its merger with VML.
VMLY&R will continue acting as the the Navy’s creative agency of record, continuing to lead marketing and advertising communication services focused on recruitment and retention programs for the Naval Recruiting Command.
“The mission of Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) is to leverage an inspirational culture to inform, attract, influence and hire the highest quality future sailors from America's diverse talent pool,” NRC’s Commander Rear Admiral Dennis Velez said in a statement. “We look forward to continue working with our partners at VMLY&R and achieving success in this critical mission.”
The deal also includes a renewed partnership from the previous contract with WPP’s Wavemaker, which will handle paid media buying and planning capabilities, and independent marketing agency, Iostudio, which will support the Navy’s call center that prospective recruits call for information.
Navy’s business will be managed and led by VMLY&R’s Memphis office, which was initially created to focus solely on the Navy account and proximity to NRC, which is based at Naval Support Activity Mid-South, in Millington, Tennessee. The agency also has talent from their New York, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago offices work on the account.
While the contract and scope are similar to the one signed five years ago, the channels VMLY&R will use to get the Navy’s message across will continue to evolve, says Jon Cook, global CEO of VMLY&R.
“We’re focused on things that wouldn't have been a big priority five years ago," Cook told Ad Age. “One big change from five years ago is we helped transform Navy’s recruitment strategy to a 100% digital model. Also, things like e-sports, digital events, and social media are evolving as well and are becoming a much bigger priority.”
This is the agency’s second major win in just a few months after VMLY&R was named Sam’s Club first AOR in February.