With a long-standing reputation as London's coolest agency, privately owned Mother continues to make waves and win plaudits for its creative work, although it has largely abandoned the quirkiness for which it was once known, at least as far as its ads are concerned. In fact, since 2000 the agency has moved firmly into the mainstream, although what was once a much-envied roster of blue-chip clients (including Coca-Cola, Boots and Unilever) has suffered some significant erosion. That success also encouraged the agency to open an office in New York as well as an affiliate in Buenos Aires (until 2017). There is also a London-based design agency; the group is co-owner of "brand acceleration agency" Broody; and it has a strategic joint venture in Asia with local shop The Secret Little Agency. In most other respects, this resolutely independent company is just as determined to do things differently, as it was when it launched over 20 years ago, not least with the founding partners' strict policy of never being photographed together unless in disguise. Founding partners Robert Saville and Mark Waites continue to oversee the business, along with Andy Medd (previously marketing director at Coca-Cola UK) and Matt Clark. Michael Wall is global CEO. Saville is the group's controlling shareholder. Umbrella company Mother Parent Ltd reported revenues of £103m in 2017, gross profit of £53.1m and net profit of £2.5m. Nielsen estimated billings of £141m for the year.
Capsule checked 13th February 2019
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Historical profile information for Mother
Adbrands Daily Update 24th Feb 2020: "One Day". Burger chain Sonic is one of the newer additions to the portfolio of Inspire Brands, also owners of Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings and others. New owners often mean new agencies and so it has been with Sonic, which changed last year from long time partner Goodby Silverstein to the Los Angeles office of UK hotshop Mother. That agency has been on something of a hot streak recently, and this charming new campaign marks a major switch from Sonic's long-established "two guys in a car" format. Regular readers know that we at Adbrands love a bit of slice-of-life in advertising. Mother here presents brief snapshots from the lives of a selection of Sonic's real life customers from across the US. The agency compiled hundreds of hours of footage: this anthem spot contains a few snippets, some of which will be expanded into full 30-second clips. There are some priceless snapshots, all glimpsed in blink and you miss it vignettes. Our particular favourite is the girl up on (perhaps) her boyfriend's shoulders to peek over a garden fence. Nothing beats real life for a quirky detail.
Adbrands Daily Update 11th Feb 2020: "When All You Can Burgers Is Think About". Meal delivery services are the fastest growing business segment in the US at present, with at least four companies in brutal hand-to-hand combat for market dominance. Postmates is the smallest of the big four, with around 10% share of monthly sales behind market leader DoorDash, #2 Grubhub and then Uber Eats, but in some urban markets it's far more influential. In Los Angeles, for example, it is the clear local leader, accounting for more than one out of every three meal delivery orders. That made Sunday's Oscars telecast the perfect setting for this great film from Mother Los Angeles, which must have been as much fun to make as it is to watch. We bet you feel like a burger now too.
Adbrands Daily Update 8th Nov 2019: "Silence The Critics". You know what's totally unacceptable? It's having your taste in home decoration criticised by your own household ornaments. Mother's latest campaign for Ikea in the UK is just great: a collection of decorative items express their displeasure with the state of their home. MC D Double E supplies the comical rap, brilliantly supported by the ornaments in question. That T-Rex has a big career in comedy ahead of him.
Adbrands Social Media 17th Oct 2019: "Reno 2". Mother's recently launched Shanghai outpost - a partnership with Singapore's Secret Little Agency - has unveiled a collection of quirky animations to promote the Reno 2 mobile phone, the latest launch from Chinese electronics giant Oppo, now gradually extending its footprint into Western markets. Despite the occasional Eastern flourish, these delightful shorts are mostly produced here in the UK by the talent roster from local production house Nexus Studios.
Adbrands Social Media 15th Apr 2019: "Molly". Mother launched its first campaign for satellite broadcaster Sky, now a division of Comcast. It's less of a change of strategy than an evolution, with Idris Elba still on-board as the ambassador for the enhanced Sky Q multi-room multi-channel service. But Mother has opened up the campaign style a little more to ground it more firmly in customers' homes, rather than simply Idris's own pad. "All too often, when a new agency comes on board, the impetus is to throw everything out and start afresh," says Mother partner Katie Mackay-Sinclair. "There was a lot that was working well for Sky; so the real opportunity was to augment what was already working by creating a new, richer brand world and a more emotional, insightful dimension to the campaign."
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