CHI & Partners has been one of the most consistently successful independent agencies launched in the UK since the early 2000s, earning the admiration of clients and other agencies for effective creative work and an enviable new business record. Significantly, it bypassed the cult status that traditionally nurtures start-up agencies (for example, St Luke's, Mother, Naked and others), but set itself up from day one as one of the big boys. Its key strength has been a fearless support of "big ideas", an approach usually considered over-ambitious for a small independent agency. Unlike some other powerhouse start-ups (such as Adam&Eve for example), CHI & Partners remained notionally independent, although WPP acquired just under 50% of the company in Spring 2007, leading to the launch of a New York office. Five years later CHI established an extensive presence across Asia as well by joining forces with WPP's Bates Asia micro-network to form Bates CHI & Partners. In 2013, umbrella company The & Partnership was created to consolidate all CHI's various affiliated units, and the London agency adopted that umbrella name at the beginning of 2018.
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Adbrands Social Media 4th Apr 2019: "So Stylish You Can Wear It". The & Partnership strike gold with a hilarious campaign for home and garden accessories from Argos, which manages both to parody and to celebrate the absurdities of high fashion. In fact, some of these looks are really quite awesome. We're especially fond of those plates-dresses, though they must weigh a ton. A really funny, memorable campaign to get the summer started.
Adbrands Social Media 13th Mar 2019: "Tres Francais". The & Partnership may be a British agency, but everything else about this great new campaign for Toyota is French through and through. The Toyota Yaris has been made in Valenciennes since 2001, and just over a decade later became the first vehicle ever - ahead of Renault or Peugeot - to be granted the 'Origine France Garantie' stamp from the government, guaranteeing its French origins. You know what the French are like: that stamp of approval is of huge emotional importance to them. So in the same spirit, this ad too is 100% French: the locations, the set, all the props, the actors and all the production crew. Just not ownership of either the car or the agency... Formidable!
Adbrands Social Media 11th Feb 2019: "Move Ahead". The & Partnership have a new spot out for Toyota across Europe, designed to show how the new hybrid Corolla beats every other type of wheeled vehicle. (Even a horse and carriage? Well, duh!). There's a nice selection of vignettes for different automotive transport through the years. My only reservation might be that Benny Goodman's 1930s classic 'Sing Sing Sing' as a soundtrack is just so over-familiar. It's like the upbeat jazz equivalent to Willy Wonka's 'Pure Imagination', a backing track that must get wheeled out at least once a month by some ad somewhere in the world. That aside, this is a great little film.
Adbrands Social Media 2nd Nov 2018: "The Christmas Fool". And so it begins... Just two days into November and it's already Christmas. Like the first cuckoo of summer, Argos is hoping to push other retailers out of your shopping basket with this entertaining romp from The & Partnership. The campaign also marks the first outing for what could be a promisingly disruptive anti-holiday character, the Christmas Fool. One suspects there is more mileage in this adorably nasty little beast than just the one ad.
Adbrands Social Media 27th Apr 2018: "Operation Holiday". The new spot from The & Partnership for what is now Sainsbury-owned general retailer Argos takes the most ordinary concept - an everyday family setting off, chaotically, on holiday - but adds one very significant twist: a military helicopter instead of the family car. The concept is a bit of a stretch - the idea that "going on holiday can be like a military operation" - but who cares when it looks as good as this. Although we're guessing that those kids had to make do with a whole bunch of green screens rather than a ride in the real thing. It's quite a change of pace from &, but at least it doesn't involve any return to those irritating aliens that plagued Argos advertising for years when & was still known as CHI...
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