Press Review from the 2015 NY AdForum Worldwide Summit

by Philippe Paget on November 4, 2015

AdForum Worldwide Summit Oct 2015 logo


  Every year, consultants participating to the Summit write about the event and what  they learned during that week. Please find below extract of their articles and links to  the original source.




 10 Industry trends from Adforum Summit

by Philippe Paget AdForum  Global CEO on October 14, 2015





 The industry is slowly reaching a phase of maturity

(…Normalization…) Creative Agencies have digested the Digital wave and Digital agencies are now either  specialized or have entered the creative content world. (The agencies strike back! …Agency world has at  last got its act together … The advertising agency is not dead… Some classic agencies have evolved, so it  is possible).

Re-bundling communications services

Increased complexity is stimulating integration of agency services (Clients want simplicity… Going towards more integration… Back to integrated agency services) with Media (Creative agencies are rebundling their offering with media… More integration again with Media… Media Agencies are in trouble) as well as BTL (Production is back in Agencies … they are moving more towards Content, Experiential and Engagement… Content – Social – Integration … Content creation

but from ‘Silos’ to ‘Specialism’

Agencies have developed various models of integration In order to stay ‘agile and nimble’ (buzzwords of 2014) while offering integrated services (Back to integrated agency services with a few buzzwords … Changing models methods more agile, more exciting + future facing)

Technology is the norm but not the end

Digital is now everyone’s focus (Ad+ Technology …Clear digital focus now across every business we met) but not the differentiator any more (Digital pure players are moving in the non-digital space … Technology is not everything) even if (Some networks are applying the principles of digital better than others.)

From Big Data to Smart Data

As Data continue the transformation of our industry (Data is key … Performance accountability via more data), there is a shift from data mining towards data interpretation leading to action (Using big data… Increasing real-time marketing … smart metrics challenge)

It is about business, not just communications

As Agencies head back to the board table (Agencies are growing into consultancy), they meet a larger set of competitors (Entry of business consultantsBroader competitive landscape for agencies) in their goal of solving business issues (Transform business… All want to be “any businesss issue” native…Leading to Business solution orientation vs. Marketing)

Product innovation

Many agencies made reference to their involvement in product development ( DO more important than TELL… Products and Experience more important than ads … Product-first mentality… Product, not relationship)

The return of emotionally – grounded creative

While previous years agencies competed in showing their efficiency through all sorts of web tactics supported by an avalanche of Views and Likes, we witnessed the return of simple heartbreaking stories (The need for brands to be ‘authentic’

Iterative and real time marketing

Campaigns are developed in real time and using data in an iterative process of corrective steps

People Talent Collaboarate don’t brief

In line with ‘Specialism’ and ‘real time’, working processes have evolved in a more collaborative approcach between all parties including clients (Do not brief but collaborate)


Outline Marketing Week viewpoint

by Peter Cowie  (co-founder of Oystercatchers)


cowie-20141014025037943Five insights Marketers must know today to create the optimum Agency model.

As digital, social, and mobile spending continues to move money and attention away from television advertising, advertising agencies are adjusting to the new world – what are the implications for brand owners and Marketers?

At Advertising Week USA, Babs Rangaiah, Vice President-Global Media Innovations & Ventures of Unilever, said that at his company, the trend is toward taking marketing strategy inside the company and using a trimmed down agency roster to execute, leveraging their specific tactical skills, on this strategy. He concluded, “I don’t think anyone knows what the right (agency) model is for the future.”

Last week in New York, Global CEOs of the world’s leading agencies shared their visions for the changing agency model at one of the industry’s most influential gatherings, AdForum’s Worldwide Summit NYC 2015

Peter Cowie, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Oystercatchers, decodes insights from the week and assesses the impact for Marketers.

The three new pillars of brand/agency partnership

Agencies are demanding three succinct roles from Marketers: Namely to frame the challenge, create a safe environment to work in, and to invite the right people to join in and collaborate. One theme propelling this change is ‘People Powered Marketing’ where content co-creation, harnessing the input of influencers and passionate consumers, is liberating Marketers, agencies and brand communications alike to go bigger and further than ever before.

It’s time for Marketers to manage risk and pull back from the pursuit of certainty

In our data-driven world measurement at the expense of creativity is stifling innovation. The pursuit of certainty is delivering the pursuit of average work. All sides agree that reason leads to conclusions while emotions inspire actions, so change must happen to better equip Marketers with the necessary tools to minimise risk & accelerate potential. The exciting development for all is that agencies are now enthusiastically exploring and launching new evaluation tools that go well beyond the norm. BBDO for instance has developed a methodology to measure the release of dopamine [confidence boosting and addictive] and oxytocin [bonding, trust and love] stimulated by advertising to measure the power of emotion and therefore the power to act.

Good examples included Guinness “Made of black”, Pedigree pet food “Feel the good” and Snickers “You’re not you when you’re hungry”.

Agencies simplify complexity

“Make complexity invisible” is an often-heard rallying cry from brand owners who look to agencies to help them navigate the complexities of the omni-channel world and integrated agency teams where every touchpoint of the customer journey influences purchase. We heard from a well-known global agency who had identified the dream team for the ‘Hyper bundled operating model’ that they aspired to; and it was made up of arch-competitors Wieden & Kennedy, RGA, Horizon Media & Geometry. There is real recognition that it is the agencies that collide & the people that collaborate and agencies are responding by putting partnership back on the table.

Massive data matters

The big-data tsunami has been building for years but big insights have not. (For example of increasing scale Wunderman reported that they manage twenty billion advertising impressions every month). More data is no longer helpful and the age of simply harvesting big data is at an end. The pressing challenge today is to deliver real solutions to new problems and do this in fast-time. Massive data will deliver massive solutions that focus on and unlock the real insights influencing behaviour.

The customer remains King and Queen

This old adage remains true. Of the 24 presentations we attended, there was one common thread: put the customer first if you want to succeed, and make sure that you know who your customer really is. Modern Marketers need their agencies to redefine meaningful connections, and top the one-dimensional activities that purely generate branding for branding’s sake. Sapient shared the back office complexities of developing the ‘Get cash without a card’ service for NatWest and the tangible difference it made to NatWest’s ‘Helpful Banking’ campaign was beyond words, creating unique experience-driven benefits for their connected customers.

Ultimately what came through loudest is that this is the most exciting time to work in Marketing. Change has happened, omni-channel communications fuelled by always-on media-channels are today’s reality. The ability to shape the future of every brand or company now lies with the customer, and the responsibility to harness this opportunity lies in the hands of the Marketing department. The agencies are ready, it’s time to go to work.

Original content

The agencies strike back…at last!


By Florence Garnier (Senior consultant UK – Founding Partner France
Roth Observatory International


ROI attended the New York ADFORUM summit gathering every year more than 25 marketing management consultants from all around the world. This opportunity to meet with the industry key stakeholders allows getting a deeper knowledge of the agencies and an overview of the industry key trends globally. This year the summit has mostly gathered creative agencies: 8 networks, 7 independent, 6 global digital and CRM, and welcomed Interpublic CEO Michael Roth, as well as David Jones Havas ex-CEO and founder of You& Mister Jones a “Brand TechCompany”.

Hot topic was : the reinvention of the communication agencies industry.

Agencies start to evolve under the pressure of a broader competitive landscape

As technology-enabled progress grows exponentially, marketing departments need to adapt

to get deeper consumer knowledge, a faster and more innovative product and services

development, as well as more targeted communications. Clients dramatically need support

to conduct the change in their business, opening new opportunities for different type of

stakeholders on the market. The agency competitive landscape has significantly evolved in

the last 5 years, as  “Everyone does the job of everyone” is now the rule. Different agency

types are competing against one another: PR agencies, digital agencies and media

agencies are selling the same content and media capacities to clients. Consultancies such

as Deloitte and Accenture go to client with a business transformation proposition, coupled

with an operational capacity (Deloitte digital for example). Media owners also go to clients,

as their relationship with media agencies grow less and less exclusive. Some media group like

Hearst, created agencies (I Crossing) to have better access to both content and media.

Lastly, Martech companies (Salesforce, Adstream…) go to client as some brands are

internalizing functions (CRM, Content distribution…). Challenged on every dimension of their

offering (strategy, creation, production, contact planning and media buying), the agencies

have started restructuring their offering.

 Agencies are simplifying their offering: the rebundling agency model

Putting stories together, being able to create an environment fostering creativity is one key

differentiator for the agencies. In terms of skillsets, the agencies tend to simplify their offering

to structure around three key pillars: reputation, content, digital, as Publicis Worldwide with

Publicis, MSL and the recently acquired Nurun.. “Clients want better, faster, cheaper” in order

to deliver up to their expectations, some agencies have started rethink their organisation and

ways of working. Most of the creative agencies we have met have now integrated a

media/contact planning division in their organisation. (Mullen Lowe, TBWA etc…). As digital

communication is now fully integrated in most of the creative agencies capacities, it is not an

agency differentiator anymore… Digital Pure players (Possible WW, I Crossing, Work&Co,

Wunderman, Mirum, Sapient Nitro…) move away from digital communications to develop

their offering in product innovation and business transformation. For example Sapient Nitro

supported Natwest in simplifying the mortgage allocation process thanks to digital.

 Actions speak better than words: agencies implement new ways of working with their clients

Most agencies are getting rid of the linear creative process to bring more added value and

ask their clients to team with them. Some of them reposition the relationship at CEO level to

get more from the strategic process: TBWA has implemented a “gang of four” weekly

meeting with Apple’s CEO, CMO and their counterpart on the agency side, to generate top

league ideas. Teaming with clients also to produce content allows a greater speed of action.

For example, DDB Chicago involved his Mac Donald’s client’s lawyers in the room during the

Superbowl, in order to interact live with the audience on social networks. Moneywise, some

agencies move away from the old “remuneration by the hour” model, judged as a source of

inefficiencies: TBWA client AirBNB has implemented a number of nights sold based bonus

scheme…. the agency is currently rolling out the model to other clients globally….

Influenced by their Silicon Valley clients, and under high competitive pressure, agencies

have started to renew their offering in order to be more entrepreneurial and agile. This

positive shift will be for the benefit of clients, provided they can rebuild trust…

Notable notes; and quotable quotes.

by Cam Carter, Managing Partner of Navigare,

Cam Carter

It was an awesome week.

Awesome as in sounds like ‘ahsum’ \ˈä-səm\, not awesome as in awesome \ˈȯ-səm\.

Tell someone you are having a good day? Awesome.

Being seen again as part of the group? Awesome.

Leaving a tip with the barista? Awesome. Just being positive and upbeat? Awesome.

There was a cacophony of ‘c’s: complexity; confusion; craft and crafting; culture; customer; competencies; capabilities.

It continued with a conspiracy of ‘co’s: co-creation; conversations; collaboration; cooperation; colocation; cohabitation; conductivity; connectivity and connected.

There was a multitude of ‘multi’s: multicultural; multi brands; multi skilled; multi-talented; multi-specialist; with multi specialisms.

And that may well be the word-of-the-week: specialisms.

Finally, and delightfully, in this data-driven, technology-influenced world we operate in, was it not a thing of joy to receive so many variations of Moleskine note pads, with pens, from so many contemporary digital-at-the-core-as-part-of-our-DNA agencies?

These multi Moleskine moments were a testament to the enduring (and endearing) power of the hand-written word.


And of those words, what might be quotable?

Andrew Robertson (BBDO)

“I know what I’ve got to do. I just don’t know how to make it interesting”

(quoting Sen. John Warner on the occasion of his marriage to Elizabeth Taylor.)

“Reason leads to conclusion; but emotion leads to action”

“We keep telling clients they need to be bold. We should tell them to manage risk.

The pursuit of certainty will inevitably lead to average”


Maarten Schafer (Cool Brands)

“Facts can change attitude. Stories can change behaviour”


Andrew Bruce (Publicis)
“Organic growth; the leading indicator of an agency’s health”

“You need to make your complexity invisible to me”

(quoting what a CMO said to the agency)


Alex Leikikh (MullenLowe)
“All agencies start out different and end up the same” (quoting Frank Lowe)

“Always think like a challenger”

“Being number one means always thinking like number two”


Keith Weed (CMO Unilever)
“…there’s a real risk for brands that we end up working with individual agencies that maximize a particular channel rather than maximize the overall brand” (Quoted at MullenLowe)


Dan Khabie (Mirum)
“The Accentures of the world are becoming major competitors”


Matt Powell (KBS+)
“It took me 10 years of working in the agency to realise I was in advertising.

I didn’t want to interrupt anyone. I just wanted to build cool shit”


Nigel Vaz (Sapient Nitro) I think
“Social – it’s conductivity as much as it is connectivity”


James Vincent (TBWA)
“If you’re meeting with the CMO, you’re one step away from what’s happening.

You have to meet with the CEO”


Michael Roth (IPG)
“People collaborate. Agencies collide”


From the state of agencies to a media in flux:

5 reflections on the Adforum Summit

by Steve Antoniewicz  Managing Director Recommended Agency Register

steve2011vsmallEarlier in October I visited New York for the annual Adforum Worldwide Summit. It’s a chance to meet some of the most powerful players in the advertising industry and understand the trends in the market.Over five days I saw 25 presentations from a mixture of global agency networks and independents large and small, many of which were pure play digital.Here’s five of many observations from my week.Art, commerce and scienceFor as long as I can remember the natural tensions in the advertising industry were those between art and commerce.

Nowadays science is also right in the mix. Craft, creativity and the power of ideas are still, as always, stock in trade, but today those have become less valuable in isolation. Now the science of data and delivery through technology seems of equal and sometimes greater import.Big emotions, big effectAdvertising remains a powerful part of culture not because of new models, data or channels or technology but because of the ability of advertising creatives to produce work that connects on an emotional level. Some standout examples of the creative craft were shared with us over the course of the week including BBDO’s spot for Guinness, Mullen Lowe’s for Knorr and TBWA’s for Airbnb (below). Take a bow all.Back to the future for media?There were no media buying companies represented at this year’s summit, apparently because they are all too busy pitching and, it seems, putting out fires. The debates on rebates, issues of transparency, programmatic buying, ad blocking etc all seem too be high on the agenda. Maybe this flux will signal the return of the full service agency, it seems like it’s on the cards for more than a few.Buy in, buy out?Though the summit is focused on the advertising industry, digital media, comms and experiences were a big themes in nearly every presentation. In most cases the holding companies have built this capability through acquisition or by amalgamating existing agencies. Obviously neither route guarantees success. I did come to ponder whether perhaps in future whether some brave souls might buy back out…Change alwaysFor sure advertising and media must be among the most dynamic business sectors to be in at the moment and the only constant seems to be change. Three notable new movers at scale in the space seem worth watching closely:Cheil – real ambition, a huge advantage now in its proximity to tech, great hires and the Tu Hon approach (look it up on YouTube).You and Mr Jones –  a new model network which will be built from the ground up, well funded, a brand tech approach, MO film early acquisition, some serious intent and acquisitions ahead.I-crossing – a pure play digital agency with heritage and scale now operating inside a global publishing empire Hearst. Agency has brands. Publisher has audiences. Very compelling proposition.The next Adforum Summit takes place in Berlin in April 2016.

Original article

The view from Madison Avenue

by Jeff Estok, Managing Partner of Navigare,

Jeff Estok

The AdForum Worldwide Summit in New York is a unique and highly focused ‘by invitation only’ event that Navigare has had the good fortune to attend for the last twelve years.

This year, 31 leading consultants from ten countries around the globe descended on New York in October to meet, and interact with Agency network CEOs and management from all disciplines. In total, we saw presentations from nearly 30 Agencies over the course of the week.

Last year was about ‘transformation’. Agencies adding new capabilities (specialisms, to use the industry’s newest buzzword) to help transform their Clients’ businesses; and transform their own business models to maintain relevance, lest they be marginalised.

A year on, we saw the impact that this transformation was having. While there were no real seismic shifts or trends, here is what we observed.

Client consolidation and the ‘new era’ of the integrated Agency offering. We’ve come full circle on this it appears, but with an interesting twist. Years ago, Clients sought integration with one, maybe two, Agencies. But with the uncoupling of media, and the explosion in channels, many Clients opted for a multiple-Agency, best of breed roster. But to quote Keith Weed, Unilever CMO: “There’s a real risk for Brands that we end up working with individual Agencies that maximise a particular channel rather than maximise the overall Brand.” This has led many Clients back into consolidation, but with an important difference. Many of the RFP’s are now being received at a Holding Company level, with the ‘ask’ being to assemble the best of the best from within the Group. But this ask comes with a mandate, as expressed by another CMO: “You need to make your complexity invisible to me.” Interesting challenge for Agencies, indeed.

The three common behaviours of successful Clients. To get the best from their Agencies, successful marketers perform three key roles: they frame the challenge; they create a safe environment to work in; and they invite the right people to join in and collaborate. Those marketers that ‘lock arms’ with their Agency partners are enjoying far greater success than those with a ‘supplier’ mentality.

Collaboration has never been more important. This isn’t just an Agency challenge. Collaboration starts with, and is led by, the Marketer. Particularly as collaboration now extends beyond Agencies to media owners, content providers, and the like. Success here lies in picking the right people as champions for collaboration. As one holding company CEO stated: “People collaborate; Agencies collide.”

The data challenge now is to turn Big Data into Big Ideas. The focus on collecting and harvesting more data has been replaced by the need to synthesise the data and turn it into meaningful services, products, and experiences that deliver competitive advantage. That requires a culture built around insights and innovation; and where failure is accepted as part of the learning and refining process.

Brand authenticity has never been more important. There used to be a saying that nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising. Well, death comes quicker these days, thanks to the power and pervasiveness of social media. The lesson for marketers is simple – work hard to understand and relentlessly stay true to your Brand truth.

There is an emerging body of scientific proof that advertising that elicits an emotional response is far more effective than that which doesn’t. The power of emotion has long been argued by Agencies, but a couple of Agencies are moving beyond the ‘trust me’ argument and backing it up by science. One Agency has gone so far as to measure the effects of dopamine and oxytocin release. Why, you might ask? The answer is that while reason leads to conclusions, emotions inspire action. Recent effectiveness studies show that emotion-eliciting advertising is up to 10 times more effective. And with Agencies being held more and more accountable for a single metric – sales – it is in their (and Clients) best interests to maximise the efficacy of their product.


To quote Mark Twain: “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. A couple of years ago, people were questioning the value of Marketing, and were predicting the demise of Agencies. But with the customer taking more control over Brands and messaging, Marketers, and their Agency partners, have an opportunity like never before to create value for their organisations, and possibly get that seat at the table that they have long been denied.


Stephanie Pitet       Stephanie Pitet (Fondatrice associée – Pitchville)


(ce qu’il faut savoir pour anticiper 2016)

Cette année encore, Stéphanie PITET, cofondatrice de PITCHVILLE, a eu le plaisir de participer à la 14e édition du Global Summit organisé à NYC par notre partenaire Adforum.

Le principe est simple et très attrayant : 30 consultants (venus de 10 pays d’Europe, Afrique et États-Unis) dont le métier est de conseiller leurs clients Annonceurs dans leurs sélections d’agences, se retrouvent 5 jours pour rencontrer 23 agences new-yorkaises (appartenant à un réseau international ou capables de travailler pour un client hors USA), afin d’échanger et de se ressourcer sur les tendances de demain dans notre industrie de la communication.



Des agences “every new challenge” natives

C’est la 6e participation de Pitchville à ce sommet made in USA, et définitivement, les agences new-yorkaises (dont on peut dire qu’elles représentent bien la catégorie, tant elles sont amenées à travailler dans une dimension internationale) ont muri. Elles ne se définissent plus par leur métier d’origine ou culture dominante (publicité, digital, RP…) mais véritablement par leur capacité à apporter des solutions aux problématiques marketing et business de leurs clients (ce qui permet aussi d’adresser la demande de simplification réclamée par les clients).

Face à l’élargissement de leur champ d’action, et le regroupement de leurs offres (« hyperbundling ») plusieurs se sont même définies par « ce qu’elles ne sont pas  », ou se qualifient de « modern agency » qui est une terminologie délicieusement ironique eu égard à l’univers hautement technologique dans lequel nous évoluons.

La plupart ont donc grandi de façon organique, croissance générée par le business développé chez les clients existants, avec des augmentations d’effectifs hallucinantes
(en 12 mois, Publicis est passé de 650 à 1000 personnes et Work & Co créé en 2014 compte aujourd’hui 100 collaborateurs !).

Si cela est porteur de grande valeur ajoutée pour les clients qui sont de plus en plus assurés de voir leurs questionnements appréhendés de manière globale et transversale et très proches du business, cet élargissement du terrain de jeu nourrit en revanche l’éternel débat sur les frontières, les agences nous ayant confié être de plus en plus souvent mises en compétition face à des Bain et Company et Deloitte… cabinets qui eux-mêmes se sont équipés de ressources créatives !

Cette tendance va par ailleurs de pair avec évolution de la formulation des livrables en compétition : positionnement stratégique d’Entreprise, transformation du business model, réorganisation/ pédagogie en interne… autant de sujets où ces cabinets se sont toujours sentis légitimes.

À suivre donc, après la stratégie média, ou le déploiement digital, la bataille pour la stratégie marketing & business !

Des agences qui s’organisent différemment

Dans le prolongement de cette volonté de répondre le plus exhaustivement possible aux demandes des clients, les agences cherchent à adapter en permanence leur organisation :

  • Elles renforcent leur process pour toujours plus de co-construction (ou de « collision », en anglais dans le texte), avec les clients, pour faire émerger les idées (@Wunderman).
  • Elles créent leur propre plateforme sociale pour profiter des contenus à partager (@Possible) ou repenser les lieux pour favoriser la coopération (@Mirum).
  • Elles continuent de miser sur les data pour inspirer les créatifs car celles-ci fournissent de précieuses informations sur le comportement des gens (@Wunderman). Les agences cherchent d’ailleurs aujourd’hui à les modéliser ou codifier pour faciliter leur utilisation et le partage avec les collaborateurs (cf. les « behaviors scientists » @Publicis) et déboucher sur des actions concrètes à mettre en place.
  • Elles multiplient les centres d’excellence (@Nurun, @Publicis, @Possible), ou les formats de travail, où les équipes évoluent dans des centres de ressources autonomes, avec certes des séquences de contrôle mais le management est au centre… et tout le monde est responsable du produit stratégique et créatif ! (@Bigspaceship)
  • Elles initient des partenariats avec les « frenemies » d’hier : Google, Amazon, Facebook, Vice, Adobe… De véritables échanges de data en temps réel, de contenus ou de services (produit disponibles uniquement sur Amazon par ex.).
  • Elles réfutent l’idée que les clients puissent confier leur présence sur les médias sociaux à une agence spécialisée, déconnectée de l’agence principale… un vrai pédalage à contre-courant ! En effet, il ne s’agit plus de créer une simple application ou de générer une conversation… il s’agit de vivre avec en permanence, puisque tout est une question d’attitude et de comportement!
  • Elles cherchent (toujours davantage) à mettre en avant l’expérience conso en la rapprochant du produit: c’est possible aujourd’hui de connecter réellement le social et le mobile au commerce (enfin !). A noter le succès d’@Work & Co, agence indépendante qui développe des digital expériences (produits et services) que les consommateurs utilisent chaque jour.
  • Elles procèdent à des rachats ou fusions significatifs: Hawkeye (CRM-Digital) chez Publicis ; Fusion Mullen et Lowe (avec rebranding de l’offre intégrant également Profero, le media et l’activation dans une seule offre), lancement de Mirum (la réunion des agences d’entrepreneurs Digital et Innovation marketing) chez JWT.
    Elles se rapprochent également de leurs ressources média.
  • Elles sont ouvertes à de nouveaux modèles de rémunération, davantage basés sur la performance, voire même @Airbnb, une agence payée au nombre de nuitées louées !
  • Elles challengent leur propre Holding le cas échéant. Selon le modèle vertueux d’IPG en « open architecture », le client doit faire confiance à l’agence et l’agence doit faire confiance à sa holding pour fournir capitaux et recruter/retenir les talents !

Des agences pionnières, qui persistent et signent,
avec succès, dans leur positionnement

Mention spéciale pour le best in class Sapient (13 000 collaborateurs, 37 bureaux !) qui a rejoint le groupe Publicis fin 2014. À la frontière entre technology et story
(le « storyscaping » que nous avions découvert dans une édition précédente),
ils accompagnent la transformation business de leurs clients en identifiant, à l’aide de data, des insights particulièrement pertinents sur le comportement des consommateurs, leurs parcours d’achat et les produits. Exemple anecdotique mais parlant : la data nous dit que les jeunes mères consomment des jeux sur leurs smartphone pendant leur temps de shopping… ne serait-ce pas plutôt qu’elles ont laissé le téléphone à leur enfant pour l’occuper ? Leur savoir-faire unique, combiné à la qualité du portefeuille de clients de Publicis, nous promet de remarquables case-studies pour les années à venir.

Des agences qui savent se réinventer, comme le brillant exposé de TBWA qui nous a démontré à quel point la disruption (« Disruption is our software ») est un concept qui n’a pas pris une ride, et ne sera jamais achevé (« Always in beta ! ») ! Le nom est d’ailleurs devenu un générique dans la profession. Ils se positionnent résolument comme l’agence des marques du XXIe siècle. Grâce à la « Disruption Strategy », Airbnb a ainsi fait voler en éclats la vieille croyance du « On ne parle pas aux étrangers », pour faire de l’hospitalité autour du monde leur marque de fabrique. Par leur nouveau mode de gouvernance, ce sont ces clients challengent eux-mêmes l’agence !

Les clients plus traditionnels (Gatorade, Nissan, Mastercard) chercheront dans la « Disruption live » nouveau concept enrichi de la Disruption, à avancer « at the speed of culture » dans un cercle vertueux et permanent  (définition d’insights pertinents, discussion dans un open briefing réunissant toutes les parties prenantes, passage par la cellule d’audience planning pour la transformation en création, contenus, diffusion, connexion de tous les touch points entre eux).

Enfin, la Disruption va plus loin que le marketing et la communication, elle irrigue l’Innovation en ayant identifié une quinzaine de modèles/produits/services qui génèrent
de nouvelles façons de réfléchir, travailler, se rassembler, faire du business !


Et la création dans tout ça ?

Peut-on faire passer de l’émotion autrement que par une superbe création, et un soin particulier apporté au « craft » (= qualité de l’exécution et du « fini » apporté aux réalisations) ? À ce petit jeu, les valeurs sûres s’en sortent le mieux.

L’excellent Andrew Robertson (global CEO de BBDO) nous a démontré comment
les émotions construisent des marques plus fortes. Lorsque les créations secrètent en nous de la dopamine (activateur, fonction addictive) et de l’ocytocine (confiance, sécurité), il a été prouvé scientifiquement que les campagnes sont plus efficaces ! Parce qu’à trop rechercher la certitude (le rationnel), on atteint souvent une créativité moyenne et fade.

Et c’est bien lors de la session avec MullenLowe que plusieurs consultants ont versé une petite larme devant les campagnes American Greetings (4 mn de vidéo avec de vrais entretiens d’embauche suite à une fausse petite annonce pour le « World’s toughtest job »… celui de mère !) ou Knorr (« Flavor of Home »), voire des larmes de rire sur l’opération Nazis against Nazis (plus les néo-nazis parcourent de kilomètres, plus le volume d’une collecte de fonds pour la réhabilitation des nazis augmente !)

Et DDB (Chicago) toujours en forme avec sa campagne inventive sur Twitter « Lovin’ The Super Bowl » de McDonald’s.

Et le contenu ?

Au cœur de tous les dispositifs, comme une évidence, le contenu a été régulièrement mis en avant par les agences.

À surveiller, la nouvelle structure de David Jones (ex Havas), You & Mr. Jones, qui se positionne comme un global brandtech group (et qui a levé 350 M$ !) et conçoit, diffuse et mesure du contenu ad hoc pour les marques, de manière « industrialisée » et économique en terme de production. Sa structure est composée de différentes startups dans lesquelles il a pris des participations (Mofilm, Pixlee, Mashable...) et dont il agrège les ressources. Il se rémunère sur la création et le nombre de vues.

Ou la très prometteuse agence Possible (WPP).

Et pour toutes, un recours massif à Periscope (l’application de vidéo en streaming lancée par Twitter) !

Pour renforcer leur valeur ajoutée, certaines agences ont fait l’effort de se challenger ! L’agence M&C Saatchi qui vient de se rapprocher de l’agence SS+K, toutes deux ayant une grande expertise des campagnes politiques (both sides !) a identifié quelques tendances/enseignements, issus de leur plongée dans le peuple américain, pouvant s’appliquer à toutes les marques en général.

Le paysage démographique a changé (la majorité des – de 50 ans provient des minorités d’hier). Le puissant acteur du tourisme, Airbnb, ne possède pas une seule chambre. Le rêve américain n’est plus la réussite personnelle mais le communautarisme, le partage (de valeurs), la confiance. L’implication dans un mouvement ne sera efficace que si la cause a des résonnances personnelles. Les consommateurs recherchent une véritable authenticité (cf. le succès du parler vrai de Donald Trump !). Enfin, il est préférable de rester fidèle à son territoire (d’action), ne pas se disperser (et conserver des idées simples !).

Et la place des femmes, sinon ?

Comme en France, les femmes sont bien peu représentées… Saluons les initiatives de SELECT NY où les femmes sont davantage représentées que la moyenne dans le management ; TBWA qui s’est engagé dans les années à venir à porter à 20% le nombre de postes stratégiques occupés par des femmes et IPG qui est aussi un bon élève en matière de promotion féminine (40% à des postes executive)

D’une manière générale, les « nouvelles » agences accordent aussi plus d’importance aux RH, conscientes que les recrutements sont clés dans des organisations où il faut identifier des profils singuliers et polyvalents (partager et travailler ensemble, vite).

NB : victime de son succès, l’agence RG/A est devenue largement contributrice au renouvellement des équipes dans les agences concurrentes si l’on en croit le nombre de nouveaux recrutements présentés qui en provenaient !

Et sur la forme ?

Les agences sont restées finalement (trop) sages (ie. 98 % de Powerpoints !). Bravo à Cheil, l’agence coréenne qui était dédiée à Samsung à l’origine, et qui a profité de cette avancée technologique permanente et d’acquisitions pertinentes (The Barbarians group, Iris...) pour conquérir de nouveaux clients sur fond d’Innovation. Fidèles à leur philosophie TU:HON, intraduisible, mais suggérant la capacité à voir les choses sous un angle différent, ils ont recréé pour nous, dans 5 salles séparées, 5 expériences qu’ils ont fait vivre aux clients de leurs clients. Lorsque l’on revendique la force de l’expérience utilisateur, c’est essentiel !

N’oublions pas

Les agences dont nous n’avons pas encore la réplique en France :
Martin Agency (IPG), PI&C (People, Ideas, Culture), iCrossing (groupe Hearst) qui est passée d’un positionnement « search » à un positionnement « marketing » et dont les recos sont guidées par la performance, et les insights issus de la data et du formidable contenu provenant des publications du groupe Hearst (Cosmopolitan, Marie-Claire, + radios, TV…). Pour Toyota, au-delà du responsive design, ils ont imaginé le site internet qui se personnalise au fur et à mesure des visites et du profil de l’utilisateur.

L’agence Walton Isaacson fondée par le basketteur Magic Johnson, et qui est une vraie alternative pour les clients souhaitant s’adresser aux minorités.

Ou Kbs+ (groupe MDC partners), managée par Guy Hayward (ex Havas), qui se veut aussi solide qu’une agence intégrée et aussi agile et innovante qu’une agence digitale.


En conclusion

  • Mobile et social : il ne s’agit plus de créer une simple application ou de générer une conversation… il s’agit de vivre avec en permanence, puisque tout est une question d’attitude et de comportement !

  • Les consommateurs ne veulent plus entendre parler d’histoire, ils veulent être partie prenante dans l’histoire !
  • L’agence du futur devra non seulement anticiper les attentes et les comportements des cibles, mais elle devra concevoir un contenu qui respecte l’authenticité de la plateforme sur laquelle se trouve cette cible.

Elle devra toujours rester proche du produit, s’impliquer même davantage dans son développement !

Maintenant que création, technologie et data sont efficacement connectées, elle devra les transformer aussi vite que possible en expériences, en moments, en campagnes.

Elle devra toujours renforcer la dimension communautaire… parfois le client n’est pas (encore) une marque mais une communauté qui va générer une marque !

Original article

 The AdForum Worldwide Summit : Day by Day summary

by Johanna McDowell (managing director of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS))

AdForum Summit NYC: Record number of agencies to visit


Day 1 - we’ll be visiting with eight agencies — this has to be a record! I wonder if this is a sign of the times: increasingly competitive, with the role of the intermediary or pitch consultant becoming more and more important and necessary in terms of helping clients navigate their way through the complexities of the marketing communications choices? Is it perhaps also that with economic uncertainty still prevailing — signs of recovery, then dips then ups — that agencies just want to be certain of their own positioning and marketing?

The group of pitch consultants is very formidable, key influencers in their own markets, and some of them globally. I will be finding out more directly from them during the next few days as well so that we may compare notes and also listen to what they are saying about their own markets plus what their clients might be saying about Africa. Which is still a highly attractive destination on many levels.


First up was Wunderman, which has undergone a rapid transformation, with a whole new top leadership in place and a commitment to creative levels, as well as its historical data expertise. There is much focus on collaboration, and a belief that it should be providing “data-inspired creativity” to the consumer. It is blessed with long-term client relationships and the new thinking that the chief data officer of any agency now probably has the “sexiest job in the world”, according to Forbes magazine.

Johanna McDowell with BBDO global CEO, Andrew Robertson


Then it was on to BBDO, whose research keeps informing it that, while rational thinking might produce the strongest messages, emotions produce the strongest actions. We experienced a brilliant presentation from global CEO Andrew Robertson, where we learned about the effect of dopamine (confidence boosting and addictive) and oxytocin (bonding, warm feelings, trust and love) and why it is so important to have both of them in advertising campaigns.

Case studies for Wrigley “Origami” and Pedigree Dog Food “feed the good” are perfect examples of emotions producing great reaction and results to brands, and Robertson has ensured that we understand the importance of crafting of advertising. These campaigns have to be thought about and developed, and that managing risk does not mean that clients should only “pursue certainty” when evaluating a campaign idea.

Work & Co, Fancy

Five shorter sessions followed, with agencies Work & Co (mainly digital and mostly ex-HUGE) which has grown 100% in the last 12 months and employs 98 people, having started up in 2013. Then it was the all-women-owned and -run Fancy, an agency committed to advancing the lives of women in every advertising assignment that the agency gets.


A media industry overview from MyersBizNet gave us a great insight into what is happening in the media industry, why there have been so many global media reviews (driving down costs), and why the industry is not commenting on the issues regarding transparency and rebates.

Big Spaceship

A 15-year-old agency, Big Spaceship was born at the early stages of the digital revolution and has seen the changes through time with a range of clients, including YouTube, and a philosophy that everyone is creative and everyone takes responsibility within the agency — no layering.

Cool Brands

Cool Brands, an agency without offices but with two partners (one from Sao Paulo and one from Amsterdam), travels the world and works with “curators” in 30 countries — a refreshing approach to the industry.

Cheil Worldwide

And, finally, Cheil Worldwide, which treated us to a series of experiences in order to illustrate its product innovation via its Global Creative Product Council, its Tu:Hon philosophy (which is the ability to see things in a new way), its whole new leadership, too, and its commitment to building a Network for Now. While always seen as Samsung’s in-house agency, Cheil has successfully broken away from that positioning through mergers and acquisitions, and a new approach to leadership and development.

The evening ended with an excellent Korean style dinner but, with the “soul in Seoul” provided by Ghetto Gastro of New York, 30 consultants had a suitably busy start to what will be a highly informative and demanding week.


Day 2 :

By Day 2, interesting trends began emerging already at the 2015AdForum Worldwide Summit NYC.

It is clear that the agency of the future is the one which can identify the needs and desires of the potential audiences for brands and products, and enable those audiences to have authentic interaction with those brands on platforms which are also authentic to both audience and brand. There were a couple of agencies on Day 2 which are already doing this. More on that later.

The other major observation is that agencies are starting to invest back into their businesses in terms of top people, as well as technology. This indicates a possible return to the confidence levels that we saw before the 2007 market crash. This is also leading to lots of changes at top levels in agencies — with one of the favourite digital natives in recent years, R/GA — losing several of its top people to these newly emerging powerhouses.

Publicis North America

The first agency visit was to Publicis North America, which is literally moving into its new building and has grown dramatically in the past 12 months, from 650 people to 1000+. It is clear that the agency is enjoying organic growth from its existing clients, plus new business wins with new clients such as Cadillac, Sears, Heineken, Sheraton and Kmart. The agency is seeing a much greater level of diversity in the kinds of briefs it receives from clients — a greater focus on solving business problems, as opposed to just communication problems.

Publicis is once again investing heavily into its digital growth, ensuring that is has a deep digital differentiator in its NURUN system — producing “digital might” on a global level.

You & Mr Jones

We then moved on to You & Mr Jones, the business created by David Jones, formerly CEO of HAVAS, in which US$350 million has been invented. The first “Global Brand Technology Group” is the new positioning, and Jones has identified correctly the disruption in the market which will ensure that agencies of the future will be more about audience and creating meaningful connection, and less about branding for branding’s sake. A lot of the plans are still under wraps but we were given a glimpse of what is intended to be very much a “start-up culture” group. OneYoungWorld, a movement that Jones helped create while at HAVAS, is still a part of his life and again more will be revealed in the new connection.


An agency we met a few years ago as a digital startup, Possible is now WPP-owned and is very firmly positioned for the new era where digital, ATLs, consultancies and online platforms converge or collide. Again, it is all about knowing where your audience is and creating meaningful content for them. Possible is one of the few agencies that Uber has allowed to use its platform for a campaign for a liqueur called St Germain, along with social media platform Periscope.

With 800 employees in North America, Possible has expanded across the world and has kept its staff churn at 7.9%, well below the industry norm of 22%. As more than 50% of ots business now coming from WPP agencies, Possible prides itself in having a highly collaborative and flexible culture able to manage the “horizontality” required in the WPP network. The remainder of its new business comes from client referral but Possible certainly wants to be pitching more for new clients that it wants to target.

The Martin Agency

We moved on to The Martin Agency which we met last year and which this year celebrates 50 years of being in business. With a high degree of commitment to the craft of ideas and advertising, this agency believes that craft matters more today than ever before. Two major creative appointments and a soft launch last year in London are positioning Martin as an agency to watch closely as it unfolds its plans.

It is also determined to have fun in its agency; life is not only about hard work.


PI&C — an implementation agency, independent, fast — was our next stop. An agency run entrepreneurially by experienced people who have no intention of ever using time sheets to aid their billing processes, they are determined and have proven that they can run their business on a project-management basis with a strong commitment to production values and excellence. Preferring to focus on content production at minimum cost to clients, PI&C has certainly worked out how to deliver for its clients and is charting a new course within its sector.


And, finally, we met with iCrossing, part of the Hearst Group, and now led by Nick Brien, previously global CEO of McCann. iCrossing has been in the digital space for 15 years and, as part of Hearst, have a strong understanding of the value of editorial. The synergy between its stellar magazine lineup, which includes Cosmo and Popular Mechanics, and iCrossing’s digital capabilities is positioning this business as one which will be able to connect with consumers on many levels — going back to the point of understanding audiences and delivering authentic content. Brien talked about taking agencies “from admakers to cultural engineers” — a quote he attributes to the current Cosmo editor.

Day 3 :

slight respite for the consultants on Day 3 of the 2015AdForum Worldwide Summit (two hours of freedom in the afternoon) gave us time to have a break, catch up on emails or have other meetings.

All of the consultants here have been busy with work in their respective countries; there seem to be less pitches and more relationship/collaboration/training work being done by our community. The IAS has seen the same trend and commented on it in South Africa; I also think that the economy’s unpredictable nature and recovery are playing a role in this.

But there is no shortage of agency choices — and the good news is that the network agencies are embracing change as much as the newer startups. There is no question that the main visuals we are seeing in terms of organograms consist of the overlap between tech and creative, and this is where the agencies intend to focus.

Mullen Lowe Group

First up on Wednesday was the Mullen Lowe Group, with CEO Alex Leikikh explaining why he pursued the merger of his agency, Mullen, with long-term industry stalwart, Lowe. Mullen on its own enjoyed 76% growth in the past six years — something of a record — and it needed to expand globally. The resultant agency network, which has offices in 90 countries and 6 400+ employees, is active in 65 markets. We met the top team and learned about the concept of the great “rebundling”, which will see ATL, digital (Profero), media and activation all in one place, enabling the agency to help clients maximise the brand, rather than the channel. The agency revealed a great deal more about its plans but did ask us to keep things under wraps while the internal communications for the agency group is under way. We felt very privileged to be in on the news upfront.


Next was Mirum, the global tech group of agencies within the JWT group. Mirum is the amalgamation of 11 different digital agencies started up by their founders and sold into JWT. Our own Quirk is one of these agencies, which will gradually be rebranded Mirum as part of the new process [however, Quirk’s head of marketing, Greg Schneider, denied that Quirk will be rebranding when queried by MarkLives — ed-at-large].

Mirum talked about business transformation, marketing innovation and commerce ie building relationships. Along with many of the digital groups, Mirum is enabling connectivity within the traditional agency set up and also sees itself as competing with just about everyone ie agencies, platforms, tech companies etc. It is a complex world for marketers — making our role as intermediaries even more important in terms of navigation.

Walton Isaacson

The third agency was Walton Isaacson, a local North America agency, whose one owner is the famed Magic Johnson. — It has offices in various parts of the country and an interesting proposition for brands that want to reach ethnic minorities with diverse backgrounds.


The final agency of the day was KBS+, part of the MDC Group and apparently expanding globally. We met with them for presentations and dinner, and I will report on them tomorrow.


Day 4 :

Day 4 of the 2015 AdForum Worldwide Summit was another full-on day with visits to four agencies. What is important to remember here is that each visit is at least 90 minutes and then we immediately set out for the next meeting. Inevitably, this is across the city.

So we spend significant amounts of time in the coach which ferries us around all day, spent doing notes from each meeting, catching up on emails (there is wifi in the bus) and talking to the other consultants. Many new businesses have been created in that bus — and partnerships formed. It is a very important part of our AdForum trip.


But first some feedback on KBS, the final agency of Day 3 that provided us with an update — led by global CEO Guy Hayward, recently from BETC ( part of HAVAS), whom we met previously at an AdForum session in Paris.

KBS is a boutique-style agency, though not small. Some interesting new work for the BMW electric car has put it on the map and it is ready for more work as its global footprint grows. The agency set up some cool games for us to play while we were visiting and included a 360-degree selfie booth as part of the entertainment. What was interesting for me to note is that all of its pitches in the last two years have been run by intermediaries — pitch consultants play a big role in this agency’s life. The evening was structured into a series of short, focused presentations, interspersed with an excellent dinner.

So on to Day 4.


First up was SapientNitro and, as always, the agency inspired us with its forward-thinking, its humble approach to its work and its strong track record of being at the intersection of tech and storytelling for the past 10 years. AdForum has played a huge role in the life of this agency, now part of the Publicis Groupe of companies. What with 13 000 people, and 37 offices, its work in “storyscaping” is impressive.

A highly stimulating session, with some insight into Sapient’s role within the Publicis Groupe plus excellent breakfast, set us up for the day. The talk was of “conductivity” rather than simply “connectivity” — as always, ahead of the game. Excellent case studies for Nat West, Target and Lufthansa demonstrated Sapient’s undoubted prowess in connected digital communication, along with its considerable strengths in film. Some fascinating insights. This is an agency that knows what is needed and what is missing in a marketer’s tool kit, and then sets out to help that marketer achieve goals not previously articulated.

Select NY –> Select World

We then moved on to Select NY (now to be known as Select World), a very interesting agency, 25 years old, with a strong sense of humanity and beauty. It has offices in New York, Hamburg and Shanghai, and the agency is committed to “Beautiful can change the world”, with clients such as Wella and Nivea, as well as Merck Healthcare. Exceptional work and a very caring environment are ensuring that this agency remains a great place to work.


DDB was next and it gave us an update of 12 months in order to demonstrate its differences from other networks, as well as their own commitment to constant improvement. The offices that it focused on were New York, Chicago and San Francisco, in terms of their growth and trends. We were made to understand that DDB is a network of agencies, where each one is self-contained in terms of talent and clients, and each one is encouraged to develop its own specific culture. The search for great talent continues unabated, with the normal challenges of competing with networks, tech companies and consultancies.

M&C Saatchi Worldwide and SS+K

Our final stop was M&C Saatchi Worldwide, which has recently partnered with long-established New York agency, SS+K, an agency known for its political advertising strengths — this, of course, resonates with the history of M&C Saatchi. SS +K, which ran the Barack Obama campaigns for both 2008 and 2012, and shared some memorable moments from these breakthrough campaigns, as well as other more recent political examples. The new agency is not only politically focused, but it used these case studies to demonstrate to us its capablities in building campaigns, creating impact over the years and being in touch with what is happening among the new consumer. The synergy between the two agencies is obvious, which is why this new partnership with M&C Saatchi is sure to be a success. And that was the end of Day 4.


First up was TBWA\ Worldwide, and what a revelation! The Disruption Company has had something of a rebirth and has trademarked its disruption model as a result. It is interesting that we heard several agencies talking disruption but only TBWA ‘owns’ the word. The philosophy of disruption is now throughout the group and the more it practices it with clients, the more those clients want it to do so and so the disruption continues.

Proactively, it looks at its clients daily and measure opportunities using one of its proprietary tools. Disruption deals with much more than marketing and communication; it may foster innovation. This process has attracted new clients, along with a new way of working. Some of these new clients — from Silicon Valley, such as AirBnB — are looking for more and more disruption, and are keen to pay the agency on a results basis.

TBWA has evolved considerably in the last 18 months, especially under the leadership of current global CEO, Troy Ruhanen. It also has introduced Project20/20 which is designed to ensure that women leadership at executive level increases to at least 20% within the next few years.


IPG Group

And, finally, we met with IPG Group CEO, Michael Roth, who talked to all of us about the various agencies in his group and gave us an overview of IPG’s intentions. The group is in a good position financially after several years of hard work, and the various agencies have strengthened as a result. McCann, Mullen Lowe, FCB, Weber Shandwick, Media Brands (Universal and Media Initiative), R/GA, HUGE and Deutsch (and the other smaller agencies in the marketing services division) have all developed into strong standalone agencies which compete independently. Having said that, Roth believes in open architecture, and considers that clients should have the flexibility of working with whichever agencies in the group are most suitable for that client — if this means working across agencies, there is no reason not to do so. He is also of the opinion that agencies should be client-focused, while the holding company concerns itself with the P/L or balance sheet. IPG also commented on the number of media reviews that are happening in the industry; it does not believe that this has been caused by lack of transparency and the rebate issue, but rather it is just global clients deciding to review their options. From a diversity point of view, IPG is the most diversified of all of the holding company groups, what with 40% of its executive being female and an ongoing commitment to building this diversification. And so we ended the week on a very positive note.


AdForum Worldwide Summit explores new lands of Creativity in London

by Philippe Paget on April 14, 2015

From Big Ideas to Buzz Marketing, the rules of creativity have exploded and the boundaries between strategy, tactics and execution have blurred to the point of dissolution, opening doors to new disciplines and approaches.
While digital touch-points, social media and narrowcasting have transformed storytelling, one thing remains constant: creativity is still the main currency of our industry.

With a selection of global networks, creative agencies, digital and social shops, AdForum explores the many ways in which our industry is reengineering itself around its core value.

AdForum’s Worldwide Summit gathers selected agency leaders from all disciplines to meet with the world’s leading agency search and management consultants. Every year, these consultants are responsible for handling over 500 reviews for client side marketers, resulting in billions of dollars worth of new business for agencies.

This biannual event gives them an opportunity to assess and forecast global industry trends, exchange up-to-date information, and share ideas, challenges and opportunities in an exclusive forum.

40 global search consultants* from 16 countries will hold exclusive meetings with:

  • Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP (with the CEOs of Addison Group, Geometry Global, GroupM, Hogarth, JWT, Kinetic, Landor, Maxus, MEC, Millward Brown, OgilvyOne dnx, OgilvyOne

    Worldwide, OgilvyPR, Possible, RKCR/Y&R, TNS, Wunderman, Xaxis).

  • The leadership team of Havas Worldwide and Havas Media Group.
  • Global networks: Robert Senior, Worldwide CEO Saatchi & Saatchi, Ben Fennell, UK CEO BBH,

    Carl Johnson, Founding Partner Anomaly, Charles Vallance & Adrian Coleman, Founding partners


  • Awards winning agencies: Erik Sollenberg, CEO Forsman & Bodenfors, Ami Hasan, Chairman

    Hasan Group & Perfect Fools.

  • A select group of rising stars: Ryan Newey, Founding Partner & Creative Director Fold7, Al

    MacCuish, Co-Founder & CCO Sunshine, Helen Calcraft, Founding partner Lucky Generals, Stephen Maher, Founder & CEO MBA, Tim Bourne, CEO Exposure.

    * AAR, Agency Assessments International, Brand & Business Architects, Breezeway Oy, BureauConsult, Byråvalg AS, Cherrypicker, Engage Marketing, External View Consulting Group, Fegent Consulting, Grupo Consultores, Hamilton Associates, Hestbaek Consult, IK Consult Limited, Independent Agency Search and Selection, ISBA, Istituto Protagora, Navigare PtyLtd, Pitchville/AAR, Recommended Agency Register, Registr Reklamnich Agentur, Roth Observatory International , The Oystercatchers, VT Scan. is a leading information provider focused on the global advertising industry.
    Partnered with the leading trade press worldwide, but also with the industry’s top award shows, gathers information on 24,000 agencies and 150,000 campaigns (TV, print, interactive, etc.).
    AdForum’s Agency Gallery is used by advertisers, large and small, in the process of selecting a new agency or for other agency research needs. AdForum’s Creative Library is used daily by over thousands of industry professionals to keep on top of important creative work, prepare for client reviews and pitches, brainstorm new ideas and other creative research/monitoring needs. originated out of Maydream, founded in 1999, with operations in New York, Paris and London.

AdForum Worldwide Summit NY 2014

by Hervé de Clerck on November 12, 2014

From 6-10 October 2014, the 13th Adforum Worldwide Summit in New York gathered the world’s leading Agency Search consultants to meet privately CEOs and leadership teams from 25 agencies.

The goal of this unique event is to share advertising luminaries vision, to get « the view from the top » and engage in a conversation with the people setting the agenda of their agency. Through the variety of agencies, it offers an unparalleled perspective on the evolution of the industry and the position of its major actors.

About participating consultants

In the past 12 months, the 30 “pitch” participating consultants from the 5 continents handled an estimated 825 search assignments, of which half global and regional, accounting for an estimated billing exceeding USD 9 Billions.

According to the Association of American Advertising Agencies, search consultants manage about 60% of all creative agency reviews in 2011.

Geographical split of practice Split of search by discipline








Consultants reported strongest growth from digital, social and shopper marketing agencies reviews. Alltogether specialized agencies searches account now for ¾ of Agencies searches handled by consultants.

About participating agencies

CEOs of 2 Holding Cos, 5 Integrated, 1 Media, 2 Creative Hubs, 5 Digital, 2 Activation, 3 PR and 4 ‘decoupled’ agencies composed the picture of the 2014 Adforum Worldwide Summit.

Some of the major networks newly appointed CEOs of Publicis, JWT and Saatchi & Saatchi and leadership from Lowe and DDB discussed rebound strategies. Media Agency network OMD Worldwide led an inspirational meeting about the increased importance of creativity in the revolution that Digital brought to media planning!

And while big networks showed how they are reinventing themselves, new global agencies are expanding from traditional grounds (CP+B, The Martin Agency) as well as from different roots such as Activation (Iris, Project:worldwide) or Digital (R/GA, Huge). Will they be pushed around at their turn by the smaller, younger, greedy, digital native shops (Brooklyn Bros, Work & Co and Story)? And with the explosion of social media, will PR agencies take the lead in brand communications? Luminaries from Edelman, Weber Shandwick, Hill & Knowlton and JWT have debated the idea.

The Adforum Worldwide Summit is also an exploration of the ever changing landscape of marketing communications. While networks are fighting for a better integration, their holding Companies are hosting a new breed of agencies (Craft, Tag, Prodigious and independent Fred&Co) offering advertising production directly to advertisers.

Main findings:

While in the past Creative agencies felt the need to convince of their digital expertise and digital agencies of their creativity, Agencies are now clearly driven by the social media agenda i.e. the way of life of the millenniums and its consequences on how to build brands.

One main conclusion may well be that Creativity is still the main driver of successful communications. Only it may take more diverse and numerous paths. From the ‘big idea’ executed on all touch points to the ‘brand story’ delivered on multiple platforms, the focus is to engage consumer; hence the buzzword of the week: Brands are not about commerce, they are about culture.

It is about making sure the brands they advertise are talked about, famous. Therefore, Content is the name of the game & Relevance the name of the winner. Insights are sourced in the user experience and Activation is playing an increasingly important role in the mix.

Another trend is that explosion of information accelerates content consumption and calls for a permanent need for new content to stand out the crowd. And the multiplication of communications channels call for specialization and cost efficient execution.

And finally, as Brand value is increasingly its capacity to build a bond with its consumer, it is logical to see Agencies thriving to develop new products inspired by Brand communications.

Click here to see the full agenda of the week
Click here to see all articles about this year summit

Press Review from the 2014 AdForum Worldwide Summit

by Philippe Paget on October 12, 2014

Every year, consultants participating to the Summit write about the event and what they learned during that week. Please find below extract of their articles and links to the original source.

 Agency trends from across the pond

(Paul Philips – Managing Director AAR UK )

Paul Philips AAR UK

Reflections from the 2014 New York AdForum Summit You might think the idea of spending five days in back to back presentations from agencies, including breakfast and evening engagements, is your idea of hell but that’s exactly what I was doing last week in New York at the annual AdForum Global Summit. Intermediaries and pitch consultants from across the world gather every October in New York to meet a range of communications agencies for updates on their latest thinking, trends and, of course, to see the work. What follows are five key themes picked up from over 30 meetings and presentations.

1. It’s no longer about digital: it’s about technology The relentless pursuit by the established agencies to put digital at the core, and 21st century agencies offering digital within its DNA, appears to be over. Any agency that makes a point of its digital credentials now looks off the pace as consumers and brands are already fully engaged in relationships that are powered by technology. Two themes to support this were offered up by Peter Kim, Chief Digital Officer for Cheil. First, today everything is shoppable with full convergence and interplay between off-line and on-line as retail channels. And secondly, we have become a sharing economy where brands such as Uber and Airbnb are the natural way of the world rather than a niche fad. Between clients and their agencies, it’s the application of technology that’s a real driving force for customer engagement.

2. Content is the playground where agencies are spending a lot more time Content is not a new concept. Advertising agencies have been producing it for years, just in a relatively small number of formats compared to the plethora of opportunities available today. As have PR agencies and, more recently, those specialising exclusively in creating content. But the time has come for agencies, consultancies and publishers to give more specific definition and focus to this all encompassing term. It’s not dissimilar to the idea of integration that was all the rage a few years ago. Once all agencies raised their hand to being integrated, the smarter ones recognised there were different forms of integration that addressed differing brand needs. These agencies quickly stood out from the crowd of hand-raisers, all of whom claimed to do integration. Tweets, vines, email, blogs, 30” spots, 60” spots, even 90” spots, long copy advertising, YouTube, AFP’s (advertiser funded programming) and customer magazines are all content opportunities that fulfill different roles in brand marketing. The best agencies demonstrate what client challenges these opportunities are best suited to address and, therefore, what aspects of content they are best placed to create and curate on behalf of their clients. Worthy of a mention is the role that media agencies are taking on behalf of their clients in the debate around content and OMD can claim, with some justification, to be the most creative of the media networks, according to The Gunn Report rankings.

3. Evolving ways of working and the AOR 2.0 A newly launched agency can set fresh new ways of working that match the client’s (and the agency’s own) expectations for delivering the best the agency has to offer. Launched in 2013, Work & Co. is one such example of a new digital product design and development company that espouses an agile process based on specific measures of success, collaborative design, rapid prototyping and continuous testing and improvement. It requires senior client involvement with the benefit being a speed to market that measures in weeks rather than months. But the AOR (agency of record) client agency relationship is not redundant. It is, however, evolving through force of necessity. An always on/always paid for model may no longer suit a clients’ needs of their AOR. Witness the increasing presence of a de-coupled production model (where the UK appears to be in a more advanced state than the USA) and the beginnings of creative origination not simply adaptation by companies such as TAG and Hogarth. Speed of response is becoming increasingly important as successful brands need to work at the speed of culture. Arthur Sardoun, the newly appointed global CEO of Publicis, shared how the agency is evolving in its ambition to become the preferred creative partner of their clients’ digital transformation. One example in North America is the Publicis Newsdesk, a strategic hub that connects all aspects of a clients marketing; PR, media, search, community management, social strategists, traditional creative talent and client representation. The Newsdesk concept is to be extended into other markets. Another is the soon to be launched Publics Drugstore in Tech City that will connect large brands with tech start-ups. Not the first example of this evolved way of working but real evidence of a heritage agency doing something different.

4. Great storytelling continues to have a big role to play in building brands Storytelling has never been out of fashion and some agencies have an expertise in telling a brand’s story particularly well through a specific medium. Two rather impressive exponents of different ways agencies can tell their clients brand stories came from Story Worldwide and DDB. Story Worldwide help brands tell their stories through entertainment, information and engagement, guiding audiences through non-linear journeys that can encompass multiple platforms and channels. You could look at it as content, but there’s a lot more to it than this one superficial word suggests. (See point 2) Mark O’Brien, President of North America DDB Worldwide, shared the agency’s view that creativity is the most powerful force in business and emotion the most powerful force in life. Combining these two thoughts, he then demonstrated the agency’s skill in storytelling through a reel of advertising commercials from across the network that, as a body of work from one agency, was unsurpassed all week. The naysayers may criticise that it’s only TV advertising, which may be so, but what DDB shared with us was work of the highest standard that our industry has to offer. TV work from Lowe and Partners, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and The Martin Agency also offered a timely reminder that 30” advertising still has a central role to play in creating a brand’s personality and telling its story. 5. All change at the top Six of the major advertising networks have appointed new global CEO’s within the last two years, four of them in 2014. Harris Diamond at McCann in November 2012, Arthur Sardoun at Publicis in October 2013, Andrew Bennett at Havas and Troy Ruhanen at TBWA, both earlier this year, with Gustavo Martinez taking up the role at J Walter Thompson at the end of 2014 and Robert Senior assuming responsibility at Saatchi & Saatchi in January 2015.

What does this mean? Inevitably with new blood come new ideas, change and an injection of momentum. Some of this has already been put in place (e.g. Publicis Drugstore in London) and no doubt more will quickly follow, undoubtedly once Robert Senior (not known for maintaining the status quo) is officially in place at Saatchi’s next January. It was encouraging to hear the heritage agencies in optimistic and buoyant mood and creating some great work at a time when clients’ expectations of them continue to grow, an ever expanding new breed of agencies continue to challenge and change is a constant.

So what conclusions can be drawn from the week? Just like brand businesses, the communications industry is grappling with the challenges and opportunities that all pervasive technology is demanding. Why? Because the consumer demands it from brands to which they are going to commit their attention, time and money. As ever, there’s no single right answer or approach and new ways of working are constantly developing, with Hollywood now appearing to have as much influence as Madison Avenue (together with a large dose of Silicon Valley). Success will come to those agencies that are the best at what they do, continue to add value, demonstrate a return to their clients business and deliver a quality of creativity to their brands that only agencies can.


The view from Madison Avenue

by Jeff Estok, Managing Partner of Navigare,

Jeff Estok

The AdForum Worldwide Summit in New York is a unique and highly focused ‘by invitation only’ event that Navigare has had the good fortune to attend for the last twelve years.

This year, 31 leading consultants from ten countries around the globe descended on New York in October to meet, and interact with Agency network CEOs and management from all disciplines. In total, we saw presentations from nearly 30 Agencies over the course of the week.

Last year, a sharper client mandate emerged – help us sell more stuff. Agencies were being held more and more accountable for that Client-deliverable.

A year on, that mandate is even stronger. And the Agencies that appear to be succeeding are those that have moved beyond merely building brands, to helping transform and grow Clients’ businesses. With technology altering Clients’ business models, so too is it changing the Agency focus – “We need to bring our Clients transformative business Insights.”

There were plenty of other great soundbites which summed up the trends we saw, and here are some of our favourites:

Digital isn’t a skill set, it’s a mindset. So marks the death of digital marketing as we used to know it. Today, it is about marketing in a digital world. And while it may appear to be a simple case of symantics, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s never been a tougher time to be a marketer, given the proliferation of channels, but the Agencies that help Clients ‘think digital’ before they ‘act digital’ will continue to become increasingly influential.

Everything is shoppable. Every screen should be an opportunity for commerce. Following on from last year’s mandate to sell more stuff, Clients are increasingly moving beyond ‘omnichannel’ to ‘commercial omnichannel’, realising that every opportunity to tell should be an opportunity to sell. This has never been more important than it is with today’s millennials, where among this group, 80% find brands, whereas Brands find a mere 20% of them. And when they do find you, with their credit cards in hand, why miss the opportunity to convert?

We think of ourselves as an audience development firm. We saw a huge explosion in content, but the real winners are those that recognise that what really matters is the strategic use of it to build, and keep, large audiences. With a staggering 50% of the $5 billion invested in youtube generating 1,000 views or less, you can understand why Clients are seeking greater accountability from their content providers. And we saw great strides in that area, with big data and real-time social monitoring now helping Marketers and Agencies pinpoint relevant content needs.

Moving at the speed of culture. There is no doubt that the days of the 14 week tv production cycle have gone the way of the horse-drawn carriage. More and more, Agencies are delivering finished productions in as little a week (and occasionally in a day!), to capitalise on events of cultural significance. This is only made possible by Clients upping the ante on collaboration and eliminating the barriers to approval; and becoming part of the creative process, rather than distancing themselves from it in an effort to play it safe.

The internet of things. As one Agency put it: “Our role is to create products, services, and communications that help grow our Clients’ businesses”. This ‘maker culture’ is also not only providing growth for clients, but growth for Agency revenues and profits as well. They are marshalling their resources to jointly own products and IP with their clients, truly making them partners in Clients’ businesses.

While we would argue that Agencies will never truly be ‘partners’ with their clients in the purest sense of the word, the distinguished leaders are those who are rising to the challenge of partnering business growth with them.

Which is striking a responsive chord with the Client community.

Original content  published on Campaign Asia

A week in the life of AdForum 2014

by Peter Cowie  (co-founder of Oystercatchers)



The co-founder of the British marketing firm Oystercatchers says the recently concluded AdForum Summit was all about content creation and distribution, technology, “maker” culture, and results
Fresh off the plane from New York, I’ve just spent a week with our American colleague Russel Wohlwerth at one of the more interesting events on adland’s annual calendar: the 14th AdForum Summit.

Leading pitch intermediaries (or search consultants, if you like) from across the world met 30-plus super-smart and charming U.S. and global agencies for a glimpse at their predictions for the future of marketing.
Some delightfully refer to the AdForum Summit as the ad industry’s version of the fashion catwalk. It could well be. Intermediaries review new directions that agencies are taking, and observe firsthand who’s innovating best. From our front-row seats, we’ve been asked to share a few thoughts on this year’s show.

Last year it was all about storytelling and being nimble in a changing marketing world. Last week, the focus was on content creation and distribution, technology, “maker” culture, and results. It seems that marketing’s insatiable need for content has spawned a whole new ecosystem of providers, with Hollywood gaining a new relevance.
Many agencies have concluded that they can’t do it all in a multichannel world and are trading in the full-service model in favour of collaboration with a range of partners.
Agency attitude has changed, too. Creativity is king, but agencies are more business-like, sharply focussing on solving clients’ business problems and obsessing, quite rightly, over results.

Maker culture is the future

Digital is at the heart of everything. Every agency, from creative to PR, to media, to design, claims its business is built around a digital core and that digital is part of all they create.

Content is king. The 30-second TV spot maintains its role and relevance, but agencies are re-engineering their production models to feed the proliferation of content required to roll out ideas across multiple touch points and fuel conversation, often in real time.

Advertising that gets talked about. It’s getting tougher to get noticed — demanding better and bigger ideas for consumers to engage with. We watched campaign after campaign led by the TV spot, followed by viral content and then social, with a cut to morning news shows with Mr. or Mrs. Anchorperson laughing or weeping, sometimes both, over the latest trending work.

Search for talent. With digital a part of life, and with pressure building to produce great campaigns that get talked about 24/7 in a multiplatform world, the biggest challenge for every agency leader is how to attract and retain top talent.

Technology/innovation. Without doubt, our biggest thrill during the week was to see glimpses of the advertising model changing. It is moving from one of hourly charges, with the hamster-wheel machine continuously producing creative ideas to build clients’ businesses, to a model that uses strategic and creative skills to develop digital products and services in specialist partnerships with clients, with shared ownership and IP. Clearly, the maker culture is the future.

Quotes of the week
Curated by Navigare’s Cam Carter:

“Everything is shoppable. Every screen should be an opportunity for commerce.”
“You need snackable content.”
“Data drives mass personalisation.”
“We think of ourselves as an Audience Development Firm.”
“When procurement opens the negotiation saying they want a win/win for everyone.  I say: ‘Fine. So you want to win twice!'”
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
“The only way to be first is to know what’s next.”
“Let’s get past the lobotomy-level stuff first.”
“All the consumer sees is the work; so we’ve got to focus on the work. And love the work.”
“I’ve never seen a PBR model that isn’t a disguised revenue reduction model.”

Original content

The Ad Agency Is Dead. Or Is It?

by Michael Lee – Founder Madam ww


The demise of the ad agency appears all set. A tombstone prepared. The obituaries written. The lilies artfully arranged.

Which is a perfect time for the AdForum 2014 Summit.

The “Summit” is where a gathering, gaggle, school or pack (choose your own plural) of the world’s leading pitch intermediaries (or search consultants, if you like) spend five days in NYC meeting with a mix of global advertising networks like Lowe, DDB, JWT and Publicis, (including an appearance by Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy), digital powerhouses like Huge and RG/A, media giants like OMD, international agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, The Martin Agency and CP&B, smaller shops Story, Work & Co, Brooklyn Brothers, and experiential ones like Iris.

670px-maurice_levy Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO Publicis

Also during the week we’d get presentations from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and some perspective on newer industry developments such as production decoupling.

Basically, the week is a microcosm of what the agency world has to offer clients, brands and products; the state of their business, what clients are thinking, demanding and buying, and what’s new in terms of agency talent, practices and capabilities.

What better way to get a swift temperature check on how agencies are feeling these days, and their predicted demise?

So what did I pick up?
Five things seemed to strike a chord and find a place in my memory banks.

Brands Require Culture and Talkability

Culture and talkability: two words that were a key phrase during the week.

We all know it’s not just enough for a brand to prattle on about what it does and what formats it comes in. Now, each successful brand needs to have a POV about what’s going on in the world and engage fully in it.

So I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of agencies who preached the “culture” initiative.

Brent Smart, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi NY spoke enthusiastically about moving brands “beyond reason into culture.”

Richard Pinder CEO, UK and International of CP&B spoke about working at the speed of culture and the desire to make CP&B work  “the most written about, talked about and outrageously effective work in the world,” highlighting the thought that “99% of all work is not talked about” and wanting to focus their work in that other 1% space.

The Brooklyn Brothers also “want to build brands a share of culture, not of category.”

Marketers Love Makers
As I wrote in a previous post, marketers want to get closer to people who make stuff. Being able to come up with ideas is the one thing agencies have traditionally been paid for. But now the ability to build the prototypes, write the code, create the content, produce the events, get them to market tomorrow, and all within the agencies four walls is becoming paramount.
The maker culture is a big one, and a huge opportunity for agencies to show off the variety of talents that lives inside the company.

Agencies Need To Be Business Transformers
Of course the best ones always have been. Or certainly have helped their clients in that objective, Ogilvy and IBM being the classic example.
But digital and social capability and thinking are transforming the way communications is used in business transformation. Saatchi NY is helping transform Walmart’s tricky reputation as they invest $250 billion in American job creation over the next 10 years. CP&B transformed the reputation of how a Domino’s pizza tastes with their handling of the “cardboard pizza” crisis, and transformed the fortunes of American Express small-business clients with the introduction of the remarkable Small Business Saturday initiative.
R/GA is transforming how we use McCormick’s range of flavors and spices, introducing an idea called “FlavorPrint,” a sort of Nike+ idea for food, and updated us on their Accelerator start-up program.

All remarkably smart, business-transforming ideas, creatively executed.

Don’t Talk About Digital Advertising Anymore

It’s all price of entry now. Anyone talking about being “born digital” is standing on an empty platform staring at the back end of the train. Digital, social, mobile is embedded in everything a successful agency needs to do. It is not a separate skill that needs to be highlighted.
Finally, we’ve moved beyond talking about digital this and digital that.
Any agency that spends time outlining its digital capabilities and how remarkably integrated they are, clearly isn’t.
It’s all price of entry now. Anyone talking about being “born digital” is standing on an empty platform staring at the back end of the train. Digital, social, mobile is embedded in everything a successful agency needs to do. It is not a separate skill that needs to be highlighted.

The Connected Age Is Upon Us

R/GA, with founder, chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg and EVP, Chief Growth Officer Barry Wacksman specifically, led us through their thinking on the next steps for R/GA by introducing the concept of functional integration and the connected age, why it’s worked for brands like Nike, Google and Amazon, and why it’s important for any brand to build a digital ecosystem.

All very important developments for agencies and brands.
But the thing that struck me above all these was that all the doom and gloom about agencies appears rather premature.

That the people we met with are not the lumbering agencies of the past. They are bright, modern, fully aware of the world brands live in and are offering marketers a huge variety of new talents, skills, knowledge, savvy and crafts, all delivered with an energy and passion that combine in ways no other offering can.

It said to me that for all the talk of the demise of the ad agency, it’s certainly not a fait accompli. They’re not going to go down without a fight. There’s simply too much talent, passion, commitment and savvy for clients to ignore.

Where else are they going to get that—a management consultancy?
Agencies are re-inventing, re-working, re-engineering, re-emerging and not taking any talk of demise lying down.

The Summit presented me (and the gaggle) an opportunity to re-assess the ad agency of today, and I came out thinking that there’s a huge amount of talent and energy that is ready to be a great ally for any brand in any fight, from purely survival to stunning success.

All a brand needs to do is to find the right ally.

this article first appeared in Forbes

Adforum Summit confirms marketing sector in deep transformation.

by Stuart Pocock  (manager Roth Observatory International)


Members of the Roth Observatory team attended the ADFORUM summit in New York this month.  This was a chance to meet with key stakeholders from global marketing communications agencies and suppliers.  The continuing impact of digital was a hot topic with key discussions around:

- generating value for clients through digital transformation
– content marketing and how to produce and localise content at high speed
– how agencies should respond to increasing technology needs in marketing communications.

ROI attended the New York ADFORUM summit gathering every year more than 25 marketing management consultants from all around the world.

by Florence Garnier (Senior Consultants at Roth Observatory International London)


This opportunity to meet with the industry key stakeholders allows getting a deeper knowledge of the agencies and an overview of the industry key trends globally. This year the summit has gathered: 6 network, 6 independent, 3
global digital, 4 PR and 1 media agencies, 4 leading production companies and has welcomed Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy. Hot topics where: generating value for clients, producing content, programmatic marketing.

Generating value for clients                                                                                                                                                   Digital is deeply transforming the companies’ business models. The “Internet of everything” calls for complete reinventions of business strategies, as the technology enabled “sharing economy” keeps growing… Part of Interpublic, R/GA one of Manhattan biggest agency, has now broadened its offering from a digital agency to a digitally led consulting company. They now support their clients (L’Oréal, Dr Dre, Nike…) in product development, innovation and digital transformation. The product development space is certainly considered an opportunity by some agencies to reposition, as Brand differentiation is rooted in R&D. Independent agencies or holding companies creative agencies such as The Martin Agency, DDB Adam and Eve, or Crispin Porter+Bogurki still believe their added value is to bring ideas and meaningful content to their clients. As talents tend to get on the client side in order to support brands in reinventing themselves: General Mills has just announced the hire of a Chief creative officer (an ex Fallon), Diageo, and some others have hired strategic planning resources and creative people, agencies have never been so challenged…

Producing content                                                                                                                                                                        Marketers now switch from buying channel-orientated communication to digitally born content. As a consequence, producing and localising content at high speed is one of the advertisers’ key challenges. The offering on the market can be quite confusing to clients as a lot of stakeholders operate in that space. Content is creative agencies main purpose but they are challenged in their offering. Although they claim not to be in the business of creating the content, media agencies like OMD, position themselves as enablers, using their partnerships with media owners to produce relevant content for their clients. PR agencies are also creating a lot of content for the social networks, as copywriting is at the heart of their skills. Last but not least, under the name “decoupling”, production companies such as TAG, Craft, Hogarth, Prodigious, also claim not to be in content production though they deal with the main part of the client’s production budget in order to transcreate, localize and broadcast the assets globally. Clients have plenty of choice to create their content but could find it difficult to know what their best options are.

Programmatic marketing                                                                                                                                                  Software now deals with a part of marketing operations; this trend is referred to as programmatic marketing. Programmatic marketing relies on data’s in order to plan and improve performance of targeting and actions. The media space is the first part of the industry to use marketing automation. The Real Time Bidding allows media agencies to buy inventories for their clients at the best price. Now the market is structuring itself and media agencies invest in Data management platforms. “DMP” are aggregating the access to the numerous ad exchanges. WPP has invested 15% in Appnexus, Omnicom and Havas have chosen embrace all solutions (Sociomantic, DataXu, Invite Media, Media math, Turn) and aggregate them. As stressed by Maurice Lévy, the communication agencies industry has to accelerate its implication in marketing technology in order to resist the competition from consulting and high tech companies.

At the heart of creativity, humanity and technology, marketing has never been so complex, for this reason clients will need the support of marketing management consultants to build the model of the future as never before.

The AdForum Worldwide Summit : Day by Day summary

by Johanna McDowell (managing director of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS))


Day 1 – We started the day with Cheil : On Monday morning (6 October), the weather was sunny and crisp, and before heading out on our special coach, we had our first opening meeting with Peter Kim, chief digital officer of Cheil. This was the first time that Cheil has joined the AdForum lineup of agencies; in fact, this year we have a number of agency groups joining us whom we have never met before, making things very interesting… Read more

Day 2 – Big day for us, as we saw three industry leaders during its course: Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis Groupe, Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Worldwide and Gustavo Martinez, global CEO of J Walter Thompson. Read more

Day 3  was a spectacular day where we, as consultants, were exposed to work of a world-leading quality in our industry. It is extraordinary how talented the advertising community is and how adaptable….Read more 

Day 4 – Breakfast with Lowe and Partners was how we began Day 4 of the 2014 AdForum WorldWide Summit in New York City. CEO Michael Wall, informed us of the renaissance that Lowe is going through, as well as the various structural changes in the work….Read more

Day 5 – The 2014 AdForum Worldwide Summit in New York City is done and dusted, and the highlights from Day 5, Friday 10 October, 2014, include the news that R/GA is to open in Cape Town!… Read more

Stephanie Pitet       Stephanie Pitet (Fondatrice associée – Pitchville)


(ce que vous ne pourrez pas éviter l’année prochaine)


Deux fois par an, et toujours à New York en octobre, les « pitch doctors » de la planète ont le plaisir de se réunir dans le cadre de l’irremplaçable Adforum global summit. Le principe est simple : 25 consultants et conseil en choix d’agences de tous les pays, partagent le même hôtel et le même bus pour aller à la rencontre d’une trentaine d’agences new‐yorkaises (autant dire global agencies !) et écouter les équipes qui les animent nous raconter leurs fiertés d’aujourd’hui et leurs combats pour demain.

PITCHVILLE, membre du réseau AAR et partenaire d’Adforum, reste fidèle à sa volonté de chercher toujours plus d’alchimie entre Annonceurs et Agences. En participant à cette folle semaine, nous entretenons et partageons notre connaissance du marché afin d’identifier les bonnes pratiques à venir.

AARTous les membres du réseau AAR présents à l’Adforum global summit : Johanna McDowell (Afrique du Sud),
Lisa Colantuono (New York), Stéphanie Pitet (Paris), Leslie Winthrop (New York), Paul Phillips (Grande‐Bretagne).

Mesdames & Messieurs les ANNONCEURS,
à quoi vous attendre en 2015 ?

Ne dites définitivement plus que vous cherchez une agence 360 – même en mimant des guillemets – vous seriez étiquetés « historien de la communication ». Dites plutôt que vous recherchez une agence full service marketing pour transformer votre business dans un monde digital (@Huge) ! Et assurez‐vous que votre partenaire est bien en phase avec la technologie.

Maîtriser la technologie

C’est en effet la nouvelle étape à atteindre (après le « client au centre » le « digital intégré » et les « big data ») pour mettre en place les dispositifs efficaces qui vont créer l’engagement des consommateurs. Et que mettre dans ces dispositifs ? Du contenu bien sûr. Le content est la version aboutie de l’ancien storytelling (oui, désolés, il faut vraiment mettre ses fiches à jour). Le terme n’est pas nouveau, mais ceux qui en revendiquent la paternité ainsi que les moyens de le diffuser ont en revanche considérablement proliféré.

Produire du contenu

Toutes les agences ont aujourd’hui vocation à produire du contenu.
Le challenge est donc de :

• Nourrir spécifiquement tous les points de contact (de Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, etc. à YouTube en passant par le spot TV et le point de vente), …
• En fonction de l’usage du destinataire (bien souvent du « snackable » content @Cheil),…
• Et qui plus est en temps réel ! parce que les Annonceurs doivent se transformer « at the speed of culture ».

Sur ce terrain, les agences RP historiquement légitimes, peinent à se faire une place sur le terrain digital/social, les agences de pub brandissent toujours l’arme fatale de l’idée créative et les agences média gagnent du terrain. Par leur connaissance fine des cibles, leur pratique des médias et leur approche évènementielle de « producteurs » de contenus, elles sont des partenaires crédibles pour les Annonceurs afin d’accompagner leur « audience through a non linear journey » (Cf. la belle démonstration @OMD emmenée par Mainardo De Nardis).

On parle même de blockbuster Branding (@BrooklynBrothers) pour désigner ce contenu « clé en mains », inspiré d’Hollywood, que l’agence conçoit, produit et diffuse avec succès.


À noter également la montée en puissance du « decoupling », les sociétés de production, indépendantes ou rattachées à des groupes (@Tag, @Hogarth, @Prodigious…) qui produisent, adaptent et délivrent le matériel, ajoutant à la fonction logistique première une touche de valeur ajoutée créative (« execution is the new strategy » ?).

Mais rassurez‐vous, toutes ces transformations sont toujours au service du business, car « everything is shoppable » et chaque écran devrait être une opportunité de faire du commerce !
Et lorsque Publicis @ArthurSadoun a pour ambition d’être « the preferred creative partner of our clients digital transformation », c’est tout un programme qui se concrétise derrière leur promesse « Lead the change ».

Et si malgré tout cela vous ne trouvez pas chaussure à votre pied, vous pouvez toujours recruter des créatifs ou planneurs d’agences, ou développer votre in‐house agency, c’est tendance (cf. Apple).

Et sinon, dans les AGENCES ?

On vous l’a dit plus haut, les clients recrutent chez vous, internalisent la création, le planning, la production (ou la délèguent) … et tout le monde est producteur de contenus !

Comment réagir ?

• En travaillant différemment – lorsque la maturité du client le permet – à base de design collaboratif, prototypage, tests & learn consommateurs, circuits courts et time to market raccourci, comme @Work&co une nouvelle agence digitale très prometteuse.

• En intégrant toujours plus de technologie pour servir efficacement les marques de la « sharing economy » (économie participative) qui vont se généraliser (Uber, Airbnb, ..).

En poursuivant la logique R & D qui amène à participer activement à la conception, au financement et à la diffusion de produits/innovations et services de ses clients comme l’illustre magistralement @RG/A dont la valeur ajoutée (et une grande partie des revenus) s’est définitivement portée sur du conseil stratégique (mais aussi opérationnel/créatif/media… à la différence d’un McKinsey) au service du business et de la croissance de ses clients (Nike, Samsung, Beats by Dr Dre, ..).

• En développant les relations avec des start‐up, jouant le rôle d’un supra incubateur. @RG/A on leur fournit tout ce dont un client a besoin : stratégie, business model, création, branding, networking, financement… l’agence se rémunère en prenant 5% de participation. Seule condition : apporter du « connected device » et faire progresser la catégorie. Pour prolonger la connexion et l’échange, @RG/A s’installe en 2015 dans de futurs et immenses locaux intégralement conçus comme lieu expérientiel, dans le nouveau quartier d’Hudson Yards à Manhattan. À surveiller.
Même idée @Publicis, où l’idée du Drugstore, lieu unique de tous les besoins clients, est réinventée et lancée à Londres et dans 20 grandes villes pour mettre en relation de grandes marques et des start up.

Et la création dans tout cela ?

Que l’on se rassure :

• Une belle et grande idée, même au travers d’un bon spot TV de 30’ c’est toujours un immense plaisir, surtout lorsqu’il vient d’@DDB Adam & Eve (Marmite, Netflix) @Crispin Porter + Boguski (Turkish Airlines…) @TheMartinAgency (Oreo), @Lowe&Partners (Scrabble…), @JWT…

• L’activation et l’expérience de marque sont encore au coeur des dispositifs @ProjectWorldwide @Motive, @Pitch, @Iris.

Le buzzword du moment

L’année dernière, nous vous parlions de big data connectées, d’agences agiles et de shopper marketing. Cette année, c’est une nouvelle génération de managers, d’agences et de clients qui construisent ensemble de la culture de marques, résolument digitale et pensée pour être vue, appréciée et partagée à travers les réseaux sociaux. Nous sommes donc définitivement dans l’ère des « makers », et ça tombe bien car il y a beaucoup de talents à connecter ! Conservons donc la « culture » comme le buzzword de cette semaine, et gardons le rythme car « culture eats strategy for breakfast ».

The AdForum Summit 2014: the Nordic Perspective,

Tuuli Kahma from Breezeway, Finland.

Is it worth flying ttuulio New York for a week’s summit if you are an agency search consultant in the North; Finland, Sweden, Denmark or Norway? The answer is a clear ‘yes’.

Meeting search consultant colleagues from all over the world and listening to the smartest agencies in the industry gives an excellent view on where the marketing industry is going and what clients should be getting.

This year’s programme was versatile and compelling: holding companies, independent companies, special digital top talents, media agency, PR agencies, content specialists, the most relevant top-noch resources in today’s marketing.

The scale of course is very different compared to the Nordics but there is a lot that can be learned and adapted to our Nordic circumstances.

The world of business is global. Most companies need the best talents available. Digital is at the core of everything. Peter Kim, Chief Digital Officer, was the person we met from Cheil, an agency we are going to hear more about in the future. Critical Mass is doing progress year after year in a convincing way. Huge has grown from seven persons to one thousand professionals in ten years’ time and can only recruit a tiny proportion of the digital talents sending in their applications. Work & Co. Impressive team, work that speaks for itself, product development definitely is part of the future marketing.

World-famous agencies, which belong to holding companies, had great presentations. JWT, Lowe, Y&R, DDB, Publicis. However, their interest is mainly in the growing markets. And their Europe is often made of the UK, Spain and Germany. Retail is facing big, big challenges. All screens have to be shoppable, people want snackable content, mass personalization is essential. Iris Worldwide, a modern, fresh agency with excellent delivery. Geometry Global, you are needed in the north.

‘We understand the mainstreams, we understand the consumer’, said Mark O’Brien, NA President DDB Worldwide. I liked his comment on ‘there is marketing that exists and marketing that works’. Creativity is still in the core but agencies are more and more like business consultants who focus on clients’ business problems. The valuable contribution to the business challenges is that these guys are able to use modern marketing in the most intelligent way. Maker culture is definitely the future. However, human beings still have a role in the world of marketing. Maurice Levy, CEO Pubicis Groupe, impressed us all in three seconds. His sharp intelligence and charm are incredible.

Quel avenir pour les agences ? Quelques pistes avec la transformation du marché américain

Par Xuoan D

Rencontre avec Fabrice Valmier, directeur associé de Groupe VTscan (cabinet leader en management pour les métiers du marketing et de la communication), qui vient de passer une semaine à prendre le pouls de Madison Avenue au contact de plus de 20 agences. Le marché américain de la communication est le 1er au monde, ses mutations sont annonciatrices de tendances globales… que nous vous proposons d’anticiper aujourd’hui !

Le modèle des agences de communication est-il menacé aux États-Unis ?

À plusieurs titres ! La redistribution des cartes est permanente.Tout d’abord, le développement des agences « in house » est devenu un fait concret outre-atlantique. L’agence intégrée d’Apple prévoit d’intégrer plus de 600 talents. C’est à dire la taille d’un réseau comme Gyro, ou d’une agence comme BETC Paris. Quid de la collaboration d’Apple avec des agences externes ? Le phénomène est tel qu’il existe même une association des agences intégrées chez les annonceurs, une AACC des agences « in house » !

Le découpling, ensuite, qui s’accélère avec la montée des services achats d’année en année. Avec une recherche de plus d’expertise et de spécialisation, versus une recherche initiale orientée coûts.

La fragmentation de la relation annonceurs-agences, enfin. En 10 ans, les annonceurs ont multiplié par 2 le nombre d’agences avec lesquelles ils collaborent. En parallèle, les géants du digital, les GAFA*, se rapprochent des annonceurs via des partenariats, créant un risque de désintermédiation pour les agences.

Comment les agences new-yorkaises réagissent à ces évolutions du marché ?

En montrant qu’elles sont toujours « in the game », en se transformant à la vitesse de la culture !

Une CULTURE que les marques veulent façonner. L’air de Hollywood souffle sur Manhattan, avec des agences qui n’ont comme objectif que de DIVERTIR et de développer de façon circulaire l’image des marques (vs la priorité à la création de trafic en France). L’expérientiel y est une industrie, où l’on connecte dès le départ Event, Publicité et Social Media. Côté production, des scripts originaux, des castings de stars, des avant-premières… tout est pensé pour lancer de nouveaux blockbusters au service de marques à leurs aises dans le grand bain de l’entertainment

Une ambition commune qui nécessite toujours plus de VITESSE. Les annonceurs sont soumis à plus de pression car leurs modèles sont attaqués. Ils exigent de la réactivité. Les agences développent alors de nouvelles propositions où l’agilité et le prototypage sont clés : UX, analytics, tests utilisateurs et fixings sont mis à profit dans des cycles de design très courts, qui peuvent être renouvelés à tout moment. Peu de certitudes en amont, les réponses apparaitront lors de l’exécution qui est en train de devenir reine face à la stratégie. Pour y parvenir, les équipe de gestion-client sont managées comme des équipes de pitch, avec un état de compétition permanent.

Les locaux des agences évoluent également. Et ce n’est pas un détail. Des espaces accueillent des startups que les agences conseillent, mettent en scène, financent ou aident à lever des fonds. Ce qui crée de nouvelles sources d’innovation… et de rémunération ! Le business de la communication change, décidément.

Et la data ?

Ce sujet est so 2013 à New York ! La data est évidemment à l’esprit partout. Mais on en parle moins. Place à l’action… ou non.
Et sur la rémunération des agences, quelles particularités ?

Le sujet reste sensible. Mais vu la taille du marché US, quand un annonceur confie une mission à une agence sous forme de mode-projet, cela devient immédiatement structurant pour l’agence vu la taille des budgets. Si on ajoute la flexibilité du monde du travail là-bas et la capacité de collaboration en réseau de ces agences, le système de rémunération fonctionne mieux et dans une vision « win-win » entre annonceurs et agences.
Quelles sont les nouvelles agences stars de Madison Avenue (ou de Brooklyn !) à suivre ?

Huge, Pitch, Motive, Project WW, Iris, Work & Co, The Brooklyn Brothers… sans oublier les stars confirmées que sont Crispin Porter + Bogusky, R/GA et The Martin Agency.

Original articcle

Day 4 of the 2014 AdForum Worldwide Summit in New York City

by Johanna McDowell on October 11, 2014

NEW YORK: Breakfast with Lowe and Partners was how we began Day 4 (Thursday 9 October) of the 2014 AdForum WorldWide Summit in New York City. CEO Michael Wall, informed us of the renaissance that Lowe is going through, as well as the various structural changes in the work.

Lowe has merged its Lowe Profero (digital) business into Lowe so that the agency is now a fully integrated shop. Significant business has been won in the past 12 months throughout the network of 90 agencies and the work that we were shown was particularly strong.
The Lowe network is also very strong on effectiveness in advertising and is no. 1 in Asia for this attribute.
Creatively, the agency network is enjoying prominence once more and is winning against stiff competition from some of the more obviously creative agency networks. The Brazilian agency, Borghi Lowe, is the strongest agency in Latin America and is a highlight of creativity within the network.

When it comes to Lowe in Africa, it has always had a presence in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, and continues to operate in those countries at a good level. In South Africa, the agency will be acting slightly differently, with Lowe Cape Town being considered more of a boutique agency and with Lowe Johannesburg — soon to have Julian Ribeiro as group CEO — rebuilding its offering within the country.

Lots of positive news for this network that had — for a couple of years — started to disappear. Watch this space.

Saatchi & Saatchi New York
Saatchi & Saatchi New York was our next stop and, again, a lot of news within the network.
Restructuring at the top, along with a whole new team in New York, is setting the stage for a return to the leading-edge advertising that the network was famous for a while back — and for many years.

Saatchi New York is led by Brent Smart, an edgy Australian who knows exactly what he wants to achieve within the agency. It is building a “maker” culture within the agency, with a focus on building campaigns and products for clients.

The network is building hubs of excellence, and not replicating services. Saatchi Synergise (recently bought here) is seen as a centre of excellence for search and SEO, for example.

Martin Agency
The Martin Agency was next. This is an independent agency, largely US-based, but recently opened in London. It is part of the IPG network and uses that to distribute the campaigns it creates for such clients as Oreo.
Strong on craft, devoted to great design and copy, with some wonderful case studies of fully integrated advertising which it has practiced for years. Clear thinking and highly creative — it was a highlight of Day 4.

Brooklyn Brothers
Last stop was the Brooklyn Brothers, another micro-network and one we met three years ago in New York.
Famous for its work around Iceland and Iceland tourism, this agency network has expanded its client list to include Jaguar and Castrol, and is producing excellent creative work that again produces great results. Refreshing in its approach and lots of fun.
Offices are in London, New York and Sao Paulo, and network offices are in other significant places, including Cape Town, where it has a partnership with insights agency Tag.

And that was Day 4.

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