Despite numerous challenges, Carat's GM relationship is strong.
The agency was brought aboard in 2012 by the automaker's polarizing
former CMO Joel Ewanick and weathered the Facebook advertising
storm, convincing the client to revisit the social network. "Our
role is that of a strategic partner," said Mr. Ray. "Facebook is an
important partner for GM."
Meanwhile, CCS, the shop's proprietary survey tool, is proving
an invaluable resource for clients like Red Bull and Macy's. In
late 2012, the shop created a YouTube channel to stream the
energy-drink brand's Stratos stunt, in which Austrian skydiver
Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space to set a world
record. Carat wanted to continue generating buzz for Red Bull
through media. So in 2013, the agency used its CCS tool to help
shape a media plan around the Rihanna's chart-topping song "Stay."
For the two days following the single's live debut at the Grammy
Awards, Red Bull owned the online video release of the track and
capitalized on mass press coverage.
"Their proprietary study, CCS, has provided an invaluable level
of consumer insight," said Macy's SVP of Media and Marketing
Effectiveness Tony Giannini, in a statement. "We are stepping up
support of digital channels, including audio, video, social, mobile
and tablet based on research and future-forward initiatives Carat
has brought to us."