As we move further into the new year, many big name brands are reevaluating their marketing and advertising needs. Lately, several major brands have announced reviews of their marketing, creative and advertising agencies.
Agencies across the U.S. should pay attention to these four high-dollar accounts if they are looking to pick up some impressive additions to their portfolios. Here are four to keep an eye on in particular.
Software and technology giant Microsoft is set to embark on a multi-discipline agency review. Sources close to the process told AdAge the global pitch will likely include creative, media, and digital. Microsoft spent $1.3 billion dollars in U.S. advertising and promotions and is ranked 33rd on AdAge Data Center’s top spenders of 2012.
The review comes after a period of change in Microsoft’s marketing and in the company as a whole. Six months ago CEO Steve Ballmer departed and Microsoft has yet to fill the position. Before Ballmer left, he instituted One Microsoft, an idea that was meant to institute a singular marketing strategy across all of Microsoft’s products and divisions. A team was put in place to oversee One Microsoft and it seems the multi-discipline agency review is a result of that reorganization. Incumbent agencies WPP and Publicis are thought to be the forerunners in the review.
The U.S. branch of Japanese automaker Honda is putting up their digital agency for review this year. The review is an extension of last year’s decision to review the brand’s creative and media agencies. Last year’s review resulted in choosing new agencies last March. It is likely the review will work to consolidate the digital business that is currently spread among a handful of agencies including RPA, Genex, and Meredith Xcelerated Marketing.
Sources close to the review told AdAge that a main goal of the reorganization is to find digital agency services that will help the auto brand reach a younger consumer. Helping Honda in its quest is search consultancy Roth Observatory International. Last year, Honda America’s CMO said the brand plans to increase digital spending over the $54.3 million spent on digital display advertising in 2012. The plan is to expand digital marketing strategies in multiple areas.
Retail and pharmacy chain CVS has also confirmed it is putting up its creative account for creative review. The review will include Havas owned shop Arnold which has been in control of CVS creative activities since it won the bid in 2010. The search will not include the companies media business which has been handled by WPP Group's Mindshare also since 2010. Arnold will be receiving an RFP from CVS and is expected to defend the account.
Pile + Co. will be handling the review process which would be a big win for any agency. Last year, CVS’ media spending was over $115 million and that is not including online spending. The review could be a result of new management as CVS appointed a new president, Helena Foulkes, who took her position Jan. 1 of this year.
Nissan’s luxury car brand, Infiniti, also has its global creative agency up for review, and although the global stats aren’t available, it is known that Infiniti spent nearly $230 million in media in the U.S. alone. When the announcement was made last month, the review in the very earliest stages meaning there should still be time for submission.
Defending the account will be incumbent agency TBWA. TBWA is an Omnicom Group shop that has been working with the Infiniti brand for 15 years. Coinciding with the global creative search will be a review for a new agency to handle global social media strategies. According to a piece in AdWeek, Infiniti expects the review to extend through the first quarter of 2014, if not longer.
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