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BBDO is the biggest of the three main advertising networks in Omnicom's portfolio. The group has long held a commanding position as one of the world's most prestigious networks, with around 290 offices in more than 80 countries. It has ranked for several years as one of the top two advertising agencies in the US, and its international subsidiaries - for example the UK's AMV BBDO, Germany's BBDO Gruppe and Australia's Clemenger BBDO - are also among the leaders in their local markets. The agency is widely admired for the quality of its creative work, and regularly features among the winners in advertising festivals around the globe. In fact the network as a whole has been the most awarded worldwide every year in the annual Gunn Report since 2006. Between 1920 and the late 1940s, the guiding light for what was then Batten Barton Durstine & Osborn, was Bruce Barton. Little known now, he was at the time considered to be one of the greatest admen of his era. See also
Account Gains 2018: Dunkin' Donuts (US), Asda (UK £95m), Avocados From Mexico (US), American Egg Board (US), Virgin Atlantic (UK), Samsung (UK), iZettle (UK) Losses: Mercedes-Benz (Global), Lowe's (US), Campbell Soup Company (Global), Auchan supermarkets (France), GE Appliances (US), National Lottery (UK £45m), Douglas (Germany), PepsiCo Beverages (Australia)
Account Gains 2017: Macy's (US $500m), Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price (US), Carphone Warehouse (UK £30m), Great Ormond Street Hospital (UK), Beyondblue (Australia) Losses: Beck's (Germany), Virgin Australia (Australia), University of Queensland (Australia)
Account Gains 2016: DirecTV (US $350m), Lidl (Germany), Generali (Germany), Tropicana (US), LG mobiles (US), MetLife (Asia Pacific), LinkedIn (US), Merisant (Global), Douglas (Germany), Deutsche Bahn (Germany), Mattel (Australia), Kiabi (France), Hiscox (UK £8m), TAB betting (Australia), Virgin Holidays (UK £5m), Emirates Airline (Japan), Iglo (Germany), La Trobe University (Australia), Dunkin' Brands (South Africa) Losses: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Global), Sainsbury's (UK £60m), Monster.com (Global), Deutsche Bahn (Germany), Arag (Germany), Chicken Licken (South Africa), Mitsubishi Motors (Australia)
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Adbrands Weekly Update 17th May 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Dance Floor". Time to get up off that chair and move your feet. Or if you're at the office, at the very least tap them discreetly to the rhythm of the beat. It's probably BBDO New York's best to-date for Bacardi. Previous ads - though uniformly excellent - have tended to follow a few well-worn tropes, modern day variations of those original aspirational Bacardi Party People spots from the 1970s. This latest takes a new direction: no identifiable people, just a riot of disassociated dancing feet. Lovely.
Adbrands Social Media 27th Apr 2018: FRIDAY CLASSIC: FedEx "Stick" (2006). Delivery company FedEx was a Super Bowl regular for several years in the mid-2000s and was usually happy to give long-standing agency partner BBDO New York considerable freedom to run with memorable and unusual ideas. The previous year's Big Game campaign had featured movie star Burt Reynolds, a dancing bear, a cute kid and gorgeous cheerleaders as four of the supposed "Top Ten" ingredients for the perfect Super Bowl ad. How to top that? BBDO NY ECD Eric Silver assigned creative team Jonathan Mackler and Jim Le Maitre to the project.
Jonathan Mackler: "FedEx commercials are always based on some kind of office truth – whether it's office politics, idea theft, or basic employee incompetence... with FedEx's speed and reliability being the one positive contribution or shining moment. It's the one thing a flailing employee could offer up to impress the boss. But that's assuming FedEx exists. Unfortunately for Grog the Caveman, FedEx wouldn’t open its doors for another 20,000 years..."
For a Super Bowl spot, though, it's surprisingly arty, despite the humour. The American public isn't exactly used to watching ads with sub-titles, even ones as big as these. JM: "From the beginning we wanted to play it all - the spot, the acting, the locations, the costumes - as real as possible, as opposed to cartoony and broad. Think 'Quest for Fire' rather than 'The Flintstones'. So we insisted that the cave men grunt and yell their dialogue – as opposed to just speaking English. This meant the viewer, for better or worse, would have to read sub-titles. Most Super Bowl commercials are 30-seconds, which makes reading all those sub-titles problematic. The client understood, agreed and got us a :45. Pretty great client moment. And if you ever saw the :30 cut-down, you'd agree. That one decision opened a lot of doors in terms of pacing, and being able to book-end the spot with big, protracted visual moments.
"Traktor did a great job directing the talent and together they created a hilarious caveman language. For instance, to say 'FedEx', the caveman sniffs his hand. It's funny and even a little gross, but it worked and it ran. Great client moment #2."
A special nod to the post-production team at Framestore, who created the splendid dinosaurs. The ad won FedEx its first Best Primetime Commercial prize in the 2006 Creative Arts Emmy awards, as well as a Bronze Lion at Cannes that summer.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Mar 2018: Ads of the Week: "The Chase". Macy's latest from BBDO New York, hyping the store's Spring fashion, is stylishly done, even if the use of Blondie's 'One Way Or Another' is just a touch cheesy. Much of the good work can be credited to star director Nicolai Fuglsig, who elevates what might have been a slightly pedestrian concept in someone else's hands - "find the true you at Macy's" - into quite a compelling little film. And, guys, if you're worrying about the dog after the first 10 seconds, don't... this isn't United Airlines, after all.
Also this week, Campbell Soup Company consolidated virtually its entire global marketing account with Publicis Groupe. Publicis will take over creative, media, digital and consumer promotion duties for soups, sauces and beverages in North America, and all Campbell Arnott's operations in Australasia and South East Asia. Only Pepperidge Farm and Campbell Fresh in the US are excluded from the creative and digital brief, as are market regions China and Latin America. The appointment marks yet another major loss for WPP's Wavemaker media network - predecessor agency MEC had been the incumbent media shop - and also for BBDO, which had handled most creative. BBDO and Wavemaker are having a terrible year so far. All three of the biggest creative moves so far in 2018 - Mercedes-Benz, Lowe's and now Campbell's - have impacted on BBDO.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Mar 2018: Two significant losses for BBDO: US home improvement giant Lowe's has dropped longtime creative agency BBDO New York, and will instead farm out creative projects to a trio of roster shops: EP & Co (formerly Erwin Penland), The Via Agency and Saatchi-aligned hispanic agency Conill. Also, GE Household Appliances - now a unit of Chinese manufacturer Haier, though it retains the GE brand under license - ended that division's long standing relationship with BBDO to sign up FCB Chicago for traditional advertising, as well as digital and shopper marketing.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Feb 2018: BBDO topped global rankings for creativity in 2017 once again, according to the latest Big Won report. Ogilvy, McCann and DDB held the next three places, and Publicis made a rare appearance among the top five. In terms of individual agencies, Clemenger BBDO in Australia, AlmapBBDO in Brazil and the BBDO New York flagship held the top three places, ahead of McCann NY and BETC Paris. Clems' Meet Graham for the Melbourne TAC was the world's most awarded campaign, while the same agency's Mars Hungerithm was among the Top Five. McCann's Fearless Girl for State Street was the #2 campaign.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Oct 2017: Ads Of The Week: "Let's Do This". Clive Owen, clearly an actor with multiple undiscovered talents, turns on the charm in a busy and immensely entertaining film from BBDO New York for business software developer SAP. This isn't exactly breaking any moulds - Cisco have been doing similar types of ads for several years, most notably with Goodby Silverstein and another Brit actor on down-time, Ewan McGregor. However, this spot is engaging and may certainly get potential clients thinking about giving SAP a call. And who knew Clive Owen did light comedy so well?
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Sep 2017: Ads of the Week "What Taylor's Up To Now". Taylor Swift may have her detractors but you can't deny that she has plenty of nerve. Topping even her treadmill gag for Apple, she graces AT&T's DirecTV service with this really entertaining extended promo for her dedicated streaming channel, courtesy of BBDO New York. It's hard to imagine any of her peers being willing to deliver such a goofy, self-mocking performance. We look forward to seeing Beyonce eating cereal off her own sweater or performing a thumb war with, say, Kevin Hart. And how great to hear the silky tones once more of the old DirecTV "Consequences" guy.
BBDO is among the top two or three worldwide advertising networks in terms of creativity, geographic spread and general reputation, and has delivered consistently high performance for many years. It is generally among the top tier of agencies in each market in which it operates, and offers a broad range of marketing services in most countries, sometimes through locally acquired and separately branded specialist subsidiaries or affiliates. The agency's consistent performance is due in no small part to a long-serving senior management team, and the handover to the latest generation of leaders has been handled skillfully and smoothly.
BBDO positions itself as the leading global creative network, highlighting an obsessive focus on "The Work, The Work, The Work." In Gunn Report rankings, which tally up the prizes in all the world's leading creative awards schemes, BBDO was the world's most awarded network in 2016 for the eleventh consecutive year, and it has taken first place 14 times in the 18 years since the ranking was launched. Big Won creative rankings, which use a different marking system, placed it as the #1 network in 2016, for the 12th time in 13 years.
Traditionally, the star performer in this area tends to be AlmapBBDO of Brazil, the single most awarded agency in 2010, Agency of the Year at the Cannes Lions Festival in both 2010 and 2011, and #3 in the Gunn top five for 2013, equal 2nd in 2015 and #3 in 2016. AlmapBBDO was Big Won's #5 agency for 2016, and it almost always features among the Top Ten. In 2016, however, New Zealand's Colenso BBDO was not only the network's top performer but also the world's most awarded agency, according to The Big Won, primarily as a result of its "Brewtroleum" campaign for DB Breweries, although other campaigns were also recognised internationally. BBDO had no less than six agencies among the Big Won's Top Ten. Others were AlmapBBDO, BBDO NY, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, AMV BBDO London and Dubai's Impact BBDO.
The network now claims a footprint of 289 offices in 81 countries. According to Advertising Age, the BBDO network generated worldwide revenues of $1.78bn in 2015. Including marketing services subsidiaries, Ad Age estimated total revenues of $2.48bn. The network's strength is underpinned by a hard core of global clients, most notably PepsiCo (for both drinks and snacks), Mars, Mercedes-Benz and Bayer healthcare. The group operates several partnership arrangements with local agencies around the world. These include Clemenger BBDO in Australia (BBDO increased its holding from 46% to just under 74% in 2011). In 2009, it acquired full control of another former joint venture, the Impact BBDO network spread across seven countries in the Middle East.
Advertising Age estimated US revenues for the BBDO advertising network as $603m (or 34% of worldwide revenues) in 2015. There are five main agencies, located in New York, Atlanta (primarily to service key client AT&T), Minneapolis (primarily for Hormel Foods), San Francisco and Chicago. The latter changed its name in 2005 from plain old BBDO Chicago to Energy BBDO in a bid to differentiate it from the New York office. Several other offices have been closed or restructured. Los Angeles shuttered in 2009, followed in 2010 by the outpost in Detroit, after the loss of the Chrysler account. That unit was originally established in 2000 under the name Pentamark following the capture of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep accounts from FCB. Pentamark had rebranded as BBDO Detroit in 2002.
BBDO operates offices in Canada in Toronto and Montreal. (The latter was until 2015 known as Nolin BBDO). Until the 1970s, BBDO was represented in Canada by part-owned affiliate Baker BBDO. It steadily increased in size over the next few years as a result of a string of acquisitions, with James Lovick in 1971 to form Baker Lovick BBDO, and then in 1992 with the country's oldest agency McKim Advertising (established in 1899). The resulting agency took the name BBDO Canada.
The network has an extensive footprint across Europe, including leading positions in several major Western markets including the UK, Germany and France. It is also a leading player in Russia, where it operates through three separate advertising brands: BBDO Russia, Instinct and Contrapunto, as well as a host of affiliated marketing services units. It was among the first Western agencies into Russia, establishing a presence in 1989 to manage local advertising for Pepsi, and now claims to be the biggest advertising and communications group in the country.
It has a presence in 18 countries in Latin America, including cornerstone AlmapBBDO in Brazil, which is considered one of the world's most creative agencies, as well as the local #3 by billings in 2016. The network operates in 14 markets in the Asia Pacific region, including major presences in Australia and New Zealand (Clemenger BBDO), Japan (I&S/BBDO) and India (through two separate networks - wholly owned BBDO India and minority-owned RK Swamy BBDO). Of the few world markets of any significance where BBDO has no direct branded presence, one is Switzerland, where it is represented by local shop Wirz; another is Ireland, where it operates through Irish International.
The network operates a number of local satellites in different markets. Proximity Worldwide was traditionally the network's global integrated marketing network. However, several outposts have gradually been absorbed into local offices of BBDO. In 2017, the remaining standalone outposts of Proximity were transferred out into a newly created Omnicom Precision Marketing division, and direct reporting links with BBDO were terminated. BBDO also works closely with Omnicom-owned Organic while Healthwork is a joint venture with Omnicom stablemate CDM. In several markets, business communications agency Doremus is affiliated to the BBDO group through a minority holding, although it is not a formal part of the network. In 2010, the agency established what was previously an inhouse brand consultancy team in New York as an autonomous unit under the name Batten & Co, a nod to George Batten, founder of the oldest agency in the group's family tree. The group's German consultancy business BBDO Consulting also adopted the Batten & Co name. BBDO is closely aligned with OMD and PHD for media planning and buying.
Allen Rosenshine retired as chairman of BBDO Worldwide at the end of 2006, handing over that role to British-born Andrew Robertson, already CEO. Trained at AMV BBDO in London during the late 1990s, Robertson was previously president and CEO of BBDO North America, before becoming worldwide president in 2002.
David Lubars is chairman & chief creative officer, North America; Mark Cadman is EVP & managing director, North America, and account lead for AT&T. Matt MacDonald is EVP & chief creative officer for AT&T. Paul Roebuck rejoined the agency in 2014 as EVP & senior business director for worldwide Johnson & Johnson business.
At the flagship New York office, Kirsten Flanik was promoted to president in May 2016, and then succeeded John Osborn as CEO in 2017. Greg Hahn is chief creative officer.. Other senior managers include Crystal Rix (chief strategy officer) and Tara DeVeaux (chief marketing officer). Tonise Paul is president & CEO of Energy BBDO in Chicago, with Andres Ordonez as CCO. BBDO Atlanta is led by managing director Peter Bunarek. Robin Fitzgerald became chief creative officer in 2016, the first female creative chief at a US BBDO agency. Jim Lesser is CEO, San Francisco with Matt Miller & Steve Rutter as CEDs.
Regional chiefs include Chris Thomas (chief executive, BBDO Americas), St John Walshe (managing director, Europe), Jean-Paul Burge (CEO, Asia) and Dani Richa (CEO, Middle East & Africa).
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