Publicis North America advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected Publicis North America advertising

Publicis Worldwide consolidated its interests in the US and Canada in 2013 under a newly created Publicis North America operating unit led by former Publicis Canada boss Andrew Bruce. The French agency has steadily built its presence in the region through a series of acquisitions since the Publicis name was first established in the US in 1987. The main agency remains Publicis New York, under CEO Carla Serrano. The quality of that agency's creative output has improved immeasurably since Andy Bird was appointed as chief creative officer in 2015. He transferred to newly launched Le Truc, also under the Publicis umbrella, in 2021. Erica Roberts succeeded him as chief creative officer of Publicis NY. There are several other offices across the nation. Riney in San Francisco (formerly Publicis & Hal Riney) retained separate branding for many years, but since 2008 it has reported into the main centralised management structure. There are also full-service Publicis-branded agencies in Seattle and Boise, Idaho. In 2012, the New York office of Publicis merged with stablemate Kaplan Thaler to form Publicis Kaplan Thaler; that reverted to Publicis New York in 2016 following the departure of CEO Linda Kaplan Thaler. Dallas-based database marketing agency Hawkeye joined the portfolio in 2014 under the new name of Publicis Hawkeye. What was once a small roster of specialist marketing satellites - most notably Publicis Dialog and Publicis Modem - has been absorbed into the main agency. Digital agency Nurun still operates under its own name under the overall Publicis North America umbrella. The combined business is now a unit of the parent Groupe's Publicis Communications division, working increasingly closely with sister agencies including Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi. A new cross-group unit, Department W, was established at the beginning of 2019 to develop advertising for key Saatchi client Walmart. Following the acquisition of data and analytics giant Epsilon in 2019 (and the retirement of Hawkeye's founder Steve Dapper), Publicis Hawkeye was repositioned as a satellite of the newly acquired agency and rebranded once again in 2020 as Hawkeye Agency. Publicis Health operates separately. Despite the strength of its client list, Publicis is still currently the smallest of the Groupe's main creative agencies in the US. AdAge estimated revenues of $435m in 2019, significantly less than Burnett or Saatchi.

Capsule checked 7th July 2020

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 12th Feb 2021: Publicis Groupe unveiled a bold new project in the US which brings together creative talent from across all its various local agencies. Based in New York, Le Truc - "truc" (prounced "trook") is French slang for "a thing, a whatchamacallit" - is described as a centre for creative excellence for clients. The Group's global chief strategy officer Carla Serrano was named as president, and Neil Heymann - former CCO of Droga5 - was appointed as one of four creative leaders of the entity alongside another new recruit, former Ogilvy NY ECD Bastien Baumann, and Leo Burnett's Liz Taylor and Publicis NY's Andy Bird. "Le Truc's nimble, fluid talent model brings together the best minds and offerings," said Serrano, "ensuring clients get curated teams while delivering more enriching and diverse experiences for our people." The new unit will also drawn on expertise of the Groupe's other New York agencies including Digitas, Razorfish, Rokkan, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Media.

Adbrands Daily Update 5th Jan 2021: "Gladiator School". For this viewer especially, the new spot for JM Smucker's Jif peanut butter arrives with perfect timing. How on earth did agency PSOne know that 'Gladiator' was my New Year's Day movie treat? After years of bland and mostly uninspiring advertising, Smuckers have at last found their mojo with PSOne, a bespoke agency at Publicis New York. This has delivered a succession of mostly very funny spots for the client's diverse collection of coffees, spreads and pet foods. In truth, the pay-off here doesn't quite live up to the set-up, but it's still plenty of fun. Are you not entertained?

Adbrands Daily Update 29th Jan 2020: "Famous Visitors". Walmart knocks it out of the ballpark - a mixed metaphor in this context but you get the idea - with a spectacular Super Bowl spot from Publicis Groupe's dedicated Department W agency. It's the same team who put together last year's 'Famous Cars' ad for the Golden Globes, but the stakes have been raised considerably. That's probably appropriate. This is Super Bowl, after all. Instead of just borrowing some iconic movie vehicles, Dept W have gone the whole hog with multiple character licenses, not just big names like 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' but also cult classics like 'Mars Attacks' and 'Bill & Ted' (though clearly there wasn't quite enough cash to persuade Keanu). The result is an absolute delight (especially for movie buffs). It gets our vote for most impressive Super Bowl entry so far.

Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Nov 2019: "Quality That's Criminal". Publicis Groupe's dedicated PSOne agency, serving US food and beverage business JM Smucker, has a dauntingly broad brief. It has to straddle multiple bases ranging from Folger's coffee to Smucker's preserves to petfoods Meow Mix and Milk-Bone. Yet early signs are very positive, especially on the creative front. This extended film for Folger's high-end 1850 coffee is great, and very funny. We've seen police parodies before, and coffee parodies too, but never in the same ad. PSOne has squeezed plenty of clever new gags out of an old concept, and is also arguably breaking new ground for a client more generally associated with more pedestrian marketing. "This work is the result of the most incredible client/agency relationship I've ever been a part of," says PSOne ECD Erica Roberts. "Five months ago, we had a completely different campaign for 1850. It was solid and smart, but it was safe. And there was no way that it would break through in the way we needed. So while on set during a different JM Smucker Company production, our teams sat down and decided to blow up the current work and start over. It meant walking away from months of creative development and consumer testing, and that we'd only have three weeks to land on a new campaign. It paid off." We tend to agree.

Adbrands Social Media 15th Aug 2019: "Bunker". The first work from Publicis Groupe's dedicated team servicing JM Smucker has been unveiled and it's really strong. Indeed, one significant benefit of the Groupe's concentrated Power of One methodology has been a significant improvement in Publicis New York's previously patchy creative output. In this case, the core team from the New York office is supported by executives from Digitas and Moxie as well as Zenith and MSL. Looks like that joint effort lifts everyone's game. The ads are a bold move also from Smucker's which in the past has not necessarily been known for the creativity of its advertising. Out this week are two ads for Jif peanut butter, and two also for Smucker-brand preserves. They're all good, but this is our favourite. What a great tag line! "That Jif'ing Good You'd Brave the Apocalypse for It". Classic. We look forward to seeing what the same team can do for Smucker's flagship brand, Folgers coffee.


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