Winning the global Unilever planning account has created "a lot of interest" from other major advertisers wanting to follow suit, according to PHD's global CEO Mike Cooper.
Last year PHD was named global media agency of the year by AdWeek Magazine in America, after winning the majority of the massive Unilever global planning account, something Cooper admitted they are still bedding in.
Mindshare retained the account in Australia.
On a rare visit to Sydney Cooper, who started the agency in the Asia Pacific region, told B&T the new global gamified collaborative work system Source was one of the key factors in grabbing that account from its rivals, citing the innovation it brings to global planning.
He said: “It's absolutely vital, it's a way of showing we're still up there as the leading strategic planning network. It's not just about winning awards, Source is a very innovative creative process.
"Innovation and creativity are not just about the work we do, but about how we work, and Source underlines that.
“There has been a lot of interest in the global planning communications, Unilever shifted their planning to us and we have been approached by a number of big advertisers about following a similar approach. Mondelez have followed that path and it’s a definite trend in our business."
Cooper said whilst he did not feel PHD naturally attracts braver or more adventurous clients “if a client is completely uninterested in creativity and innovation we'd probably be the wrong agency for them”.
He added: “We do like to win awards, and the major clients we work with value awards and they expect us to win awards, so we take it quite seriously."
Cooper also slammed agencies willing to “cut their own throats” to land clients in pitches, adding: “There’s been a bit of a race to the bottom, but I don’t think it’s in the clients' interests.
“You can’t tell me people are prepared to lose money on a sustainable basis. Smarter clients do make sure agencies make money on their business.”
Asia Pacific CEO Cheuk Chiang said awards are also important to the client, adding Unilever often checked with them to see how many entries they ahd made for big awards shows.
He singled out branded content as an area of real growth in the region, especially in Australia, but said clients needed to be educated on the benefits of the returns on the increased investment.
He added: “I don't think it's about taking creativity to a client and them buying it, it's about showing clients great innovation can deliver better ROI for their brands at a time when it's hugely valuable and when it will make their brands distinctive to their competitors."
Cooper said collaboration was also a key element of the PHD ethos, admitting “we can’t be good at everything”, but said they aim to be the “lynchpin” for their clients in the fragmented agency landscape.
He said: “You have to watch out though as if a marketer has six different agencies telling them they should have different priorities that can be confusing, so we have to work with all of them to come out with the definitive strategy for the brand.
“It raises issues of collaboration, and this is where we thrive as we have respect for agencies in other areas, we don’t want to be good at everything.
“We really encourage our agencies around the world to be as collaborative as possible.
“If we’re pitching for big pieces of business we will go talk to the clients’ partner agencies and develop a real plan for the client for the pitch, something of real value.”
With an eye on 2013 he said the network would continue to expand as it absorbs the Unilever work, but admitted “size in itself is not a strategy” adding: “There are and there are certain categories we would like to fill in our client portfolio, and we would like to win some really big names.
“We will also make sure Source is working to its optimum and people across the world are fighting it out to create the best possible ideas for all our clients.”
Please login with linkedin to comment
Leading independent media agency, Avenue C, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Paula Lopes as Digital Director. Paula, a seasoned professional with over 17 years experience in the media industry, joins Avenue C from her role as Chief Operations Manager of KINESSO (merger of Reprise, Matterkind, and Kinesso specialities).
oOh!media brought together more than 260 of its sales, operations, commercial, marketing, finance and leadership teams last week for its national annual revenue and growth conference. Held over two days at the picturesque Rydges Resort in Hunter Valley, the event ‘Fusing people and performance’ focussed on how to build a high-performance mindset and how it […]
Free TV has welcomed the federal government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that all Australians can access their local free television services on connected TVs through the introduction of legislation to implement a prominence framework in coming days. Free TV CEO Bridget Fair (lead image) said: “Right now, Australian viewers are being steered in the direction […]
New-generation media agency 27 Degrees Media has been appointed to manage digital media for national tyre retailer Tyreright in one of its first Australian client signings. Lead Image: Loan Morris – 27 Degrees Media CEO Under the partnership, 27 Degrees Media will be responsible for all digital media strategy, planning and buying, along with influencer […]
Brisbane performance agency farsiight has announced the launch of its new market positioning, Growth for Good, in response to a changing business landscape, marking a departure from a “growth at all costs” mentality that has defined the industry in recent years. Agency founders and brother duo, Josh and Ben Somerville, envision Growth for Good as […]
Australia’s largest privately owned transit media supplier, GoTransit Media Group, now offers unprecedented options for transit advertising in Newcastle – on both land and sea following their successful tender to supply interior advertising inside the popular Stockton Ferries. The national transit media company is already well acquainted with the thriving NSW market, having successfully operated […]
Heritage and People’s Choice have launched People First Bank, the new name for positive change in banking Australia’s largest customer-owned bank has unveiled its new brand, announcing that Heritage and People’s Choice will be unified under the new name of People First Bank. Chairman Michael Cameron said the highly anticipated new brand offered a compelling […]
L’Oréal Groupe Australia and New Zealand have announced one of the largest investments to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to pioneer new coral restoration efforts in the region. L’Oréal Groupe Australia and New Zealand have announced today a new partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), to help coral reefs withstand the devastating impacts […]
Effective immediately, S4Capital’s operating brand Media.Monks, a digital-first marketing and advertising services company, has appointed Matthew Godfrey to lead its APAC Content practice. With over 15 years of experience leading innovative businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, Godfrey will support a best-in-class senior leadership team across the region as EVP, head of content, APAC. He joins […]