Indie agency Duncan Channon acquires experiential and social shop
San Francisco creative agency Duncan Channon has acquired A2G, a shop focused on experiential, social and influencer marketing.
The move brings together two independent agencies with a strong California presence--Duncan Channon, with a staff of over 70, and A2G, with a team of eight based in Los Angeles and New York, as well as a broader network of freelancers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Amy Cotteleer, A2G's founder, president and chief creative officer, will become an equity partner in Duncan Channon as well as chief experience officer. Andy Berkenfield, Duncan Channon's CEO, said the company was drawn to A2G's 15-year track record of pioneering ways to use new technologies and experiences in marketing.
"Everybody does food trucks and pop-ups now, that's like a common language," Berkenfield says. "But when Amy and her team did that, nobody was doing that."
At a time when brands have to work harder to earn people's attention, what's key for agencies is being able to leap ahead of the zeitgeist and understand where consumers are heading, he says. "How do we make brands matter more? The days are gone when you could just buy that," Berkenfield says.
Duncan Channon, founded in 1990 by longtime rock critic Robert Duncan and copywriter Parker Channon, had solid growth in 2018, boosting its headcount by about 15 percent and gaining clients including the Golden State Warriors and Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. The agency has expanded its work for the California Tobacco Control Program--including an effort to fight youth vaping and flavored tobacco in a campaign called "Flavors Hook Kids." It recently launched a national campaign for Hawaiian-born craft beer Kona.
McCracken Advisory Partners advised Duncan Channon on the deal. A2G's staff will remain in Los Angeles and New York, with Cotteleer based in Los Angeles and traveling frequently to San Francisco.
A2G's name will be phased out. Its clients include e.l.f Cosmetics, Universal Orlando Resort, CBS and travel platform Kayak. The agency's past work includes a campaign to make Gap products the official T-shirts at summer music festivals and a contest for gamers to make videos about Nintendo's Wii U.
"It has been our job to predict what's next in consumer engagement, so we have that capability," Cotteleer says. "It's not just about social and digital influencers, it's about what comes next, and figuring that out."