The world of agency life can sometimes feel like musical chairs. Accounts are won and lost, and many brands change agencies frequently. In a way, it’s the vibrant merry-go-round of account deals that keeps the creativity flowing. It’s so easy to get excited about working on a new account because the ideas are fresh and the relationship new.
Recently, a few agencies have scored some major new accounts, meaning some familiar campaigns will retire to make way for new ideas. Detailed here are some predictions for where these agencies may take their new accounts, based on some of their past work. Read on to see what to expect from these four recent account wins.
Ogilvy & Mather recently scored the E*Trade account after incumbent Grey resigned following a 6-year relationship with the company. E*Trade’s decision to go with Ogilvy was a bit unusual, as it signed the deal without a formal review.
The start of this new agency relationship will be more noticeable given the end of the iconic E*Trade baby. E*Trade’s TV spots featuring the talking baby have become something of a Super Bowl staple over the last several years. Sometimes, though, it is best to know when to move on before an idea becomes played out.
Predictions: Ogilvy has a penchant for whimsy, which could work well for E*Trade. The agency has been able to tell lighthearted tales around somewhat serious companies and topics. For example, the “Treehuggers” spot for IBM starts out with a domineering executive and ends with Disney-like wonder. E*Trade needs a bit of whimsy and humor to reach its audience – that’s why the talking baby was so successful. Just talking about trading is too dull, so Ogilvy will want to keep with the creative and fun precedent set by Grey.
While Ogilvy was picking up the E*Trade account, it was losing HTC North America to Deutsch LA. This is actually the second time HTC has gone with Deutsch LA for its North American business, with the previous stint lasting from 2009 until 2013. While the work Ogilvy did for the brand was clever, it didn’t seem to help sluggish sales.
Deutsch LA has demonstrated that it is plugged into phone and digital culture by incorporating mobile phones, social media, and technology into its video spots. The video spot it created for Pop Secret’s “Perfect Pop” mobile app, which listens to popping corn to avoid burnt bags, features an auto-tuned song and Twitter staples like hashtags.
Predictions: The Pop Secret spot and several others, including this one for Volkswagen’s "Smile Drive" app, demonstrate Deutsch LA's understanding of mobile culture and social media. The agency seems to have a good grasp on how to list features in a visually creative way and is able to really tell a story. HTC can likely look forward to campaigns that highlight the brand's functionality and ability to solve everyday problems.
Another agency on the list that scored a big account without a review is Wieden & Kennedy New York. The agency now handles the Gap's global business. The two parties had been in talks for months before a deal was signed, but no formal review took place.
The most memorable, – or viral, at least – of W&K’s recent campaigns was the “Departure Roulette” stunt for beer brand Heineken. Heineken displays were set up in airports, offering passengers the opportunity to fly wherever the display told them after pushing a big red button. The spot builds anticipation and makes viewers wonder what they do would in the same situation.
Predictions: If you look at the Wieden & Kennedy website, it has design elements that aren't too far removed from the Gap logo, which could indicate the pairing was meant to be. The agency is able to conjure up real emotions with some of its campaigns. That kind of emotional connection is something the Gap brand could use in future campaigns to help steer away from its generic image. There could be some major marketing stunts in the pipeline to lure consumers into its stores.
4. BBDO – CVS
CVS named BBDO its agency of record as part of a larger overhaul of the brand’s image. The review for a new agency of record began in January, but the image change came in February, when the retail chain announced it would stop selling cigarettes in all stores by Oct. 1, 2014. The move is expected to cut the store’s revenue by $2 billion, but also helped to reposition the brand as a well-rounded healthcare organization rather than just a convenience store.
BBDO’s recent spots with beer brand Guinness have some of the qualities of a brand realignment. Even though the brand is famous worldwide, its image is still strongly tied to its Irish roots. In a recent video spot, Guinness spotlights the Sapeurs of the Congo, and in another shows a group of wheelchair-bound basketball players. Both spots feature unexpected groups of people not normally associated with the Irish beer brand, but they work.
Predictions: BBDO certainly has the capability to come up with campaigns that will help rebrand CVS as a healthcare agency and distance it from its general store image. There will likely be some surprise pairings of the brand with health-conscious ideas or people. It's not hard to imagine the pharmacy chain putting a documentary-style ad to use for its own purposes.