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What: Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc., has announced the launch of its third agency network, Hearts & Science.
Why it matters: Hearts & Science opens its North America based operation this month with Procter & Gamble as its inaugural client four months after winning the US$2 billion P&G North America media review.

Scott Hagedorn
Scott Hagedorn

Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc., has announced the launch of its third agency network, Hearts & Science. The new network will not be a single-account “dedicated” unit and will likely expand its roster in the future.

Designed to inform brand strategies with real-time insights, Hearts & Science is a data-driven marketing agency with expert media planning and buying capabilities, among other services that include shopper marketing, marketing innovation and content activation.Hearts & Science opens its North America based operation this month with Procter & Gamble as its inaugural client, four months after winning the US$2 billion P&G North America media review, and Scott Hagedorn as its CEO.

Additional offices will open starting shortly with Canada and Puerto Rico, followed by a number of key markets outside of North America in the second half of 2016

Hagedorn takes the helm at Hearts & Science following five years as the founding CEO of Annalect. While leading the effort to integrate data across multiple Omnicom network agencies, Hagedorn began crafting the vision for Hearts & Science, an enterprise that he describes as “the nexus between marketing science and consumer connections.”At Annalect, Hagedorn will be succeeded by Slavi Samardzija as global CEO and Erin Matts as North American CEO.

descarga (11)According to Hearts & Science Chief Operating Officer Kathleen Brookbanks, who joins the new agency from sister shop OMD as COO, the agency will open its 7 World Trade Center facility with a staff of 175, a number that is expected to top 300 by the beginning of Q3; Additional offices will open starting shortly with Canada and Puerto Rico, followed by a number of key markets outside of North America in the second half of 2016. Additional executive hires, recruited from leading companies across the technology, publishing and agency industries, will be announced in the coming weeks.Tara Levine and Grey New York chief digital officer Zachary Treuhaft have left their respective agencies to join Hearts & Science.

“As data-driven marketing and applied audience analytics in mass media have gone from a fringe to a core practice, the industry can’t lose sight of content’s role in creating connections between brands and consumers,” Hagedorn says.

“With the addition of Hearts & Science, Omnicom Media Group has three distinct agency brands all focused on driving client business results,” says Daryl Simm, CEO, Omnicom Media Group.

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What: Assembly, MDC’s full-service media agency, has won the Travelocity account, awarded without a review.
Why it matters: Travelocity was acquired last January by Expedia. Expedia handles most of its media buying through Assembly. Expedia Inc. properties, which besides Travelocity include Orbitz, Hotwire.com and Trivago account for about 75% of the U.S. travel market.

descargaAssembly, MDC’s full-service media agency, has won the Travelocity account, awarded without a review. Now, the agency will handle all media planning and buying for Travelocity, and will work closely with Campbell Ewald, recently appointed as the company’s creative agency. Previously, media was handled by Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media.

Assembly currently handles media buying for Hotels.com and media planning and buying for the Expedia.com brand.“We have been impressed with Assembly and their ability to quickly understand our business challenges and our need to use media to drive transactions,” said Bruce Horner, Director of Media & Alliances at Travelocity. “We have made the decision to work with Assembly to ensure that our brand and the Travelocity Roaming Gnome remain visible, relevant and differentiated in an increasingly competitive landscape.”

Expedia companies spend $265 million annually on U.S. ads in 2014, with the Expedia brand accounting for $180 million. Travelocity, owned by Expedia since the beginning of the year,  spent nearly US$30 million on ads last year.  [/comillas ]

Another Brand in the Expedia portfolio

“We are thrilled to be working with yet another brand in the Expedia Inc. portfolio,” said Assembly CEO Martin Cass. “The agency has a proven track record of excellence as the company’s strategic business partner that spans a decade. I applaud the great work our team has done over the years in this extremely dynamic and competitive category.”

Expedia Inc. properties—which also include Orbitz, Hotwire.com and Trivago, among others—account for about 75 percent of the U.S. online travel market. The company spends $265 million annually on U.S. ads, with the Expedia brand accounting for $180 million of that outlay, per Kantar. Travelocity spent nearly US$30 million on ads last year, according to Kantar Media.

In our new agency profile feature, Susan Kuchinskas writes about Spark’s origin, key clients, its multicultural offering, main decision makers, cool upcoming campaigns and more…Spark’s Elevator pitch? Boutique services with the clout of Starcom Media.

Origin story

Chris BootheThis Chicago-based, full-service media agency is the smallest in the StarcomMediaVest Group, but it aims to be, well, the sparkiest. The company’s genesis was in 1999 as Starlink Worldwide, a media agency aiming to serve independent agencies with a more creative approach. In 2007, it rebranded as Spark Communications, with a digital focus. Chris Boothe, formerly president of Starcom, came aboard in 2012 as the agency’s first CEO.

“We created a model based on the best of both worlds: boutique but backed by a global agency network,” he says. Boothe is emphatic – if a bit vague – about how collaboration with its powerful media parent works, but he notes, “If SMG has a strategic partnership with Univision and SMG, all our clients can benefit from that.”

Spark logoMedia plans are architected and executed by Spark, informed by the agency’s insights as well as those stemming from SMG research partnerships and findings, and they also benefit from the parent’s preferred pricing.
Key Clients: ConAgra, Red Lobster, Kao, Taco Bell

Secret sauce

Spark works with clients large and small. Boothe says, “We work best with clients that are seeking to do things differently and want to develop programs that are content-, data- and analytics-driven; delivering precision targeting and making realtime decisions.” Efficiency and precision come from a scientific approach to campaigns that provides maximum impact with minimal waste – and that’s of interest to every client these days, Boothe says. “All clients now are trying to outsmart versus outspend. You have to have a challenger brand mentality.”

Multiculti beat

Multicultural marketing is built into Spark, which takes the total market approach for all media strategies. That said, Stephen Paez, vice president and director of multicultural, is aggressively going after multicultural accounts, having grown total multiculti revenue by close to 20 percent in his 18-month tenure. Spark Multicultural is part of SMG Multicultural, the nation’s largest multicultural marketing agency. While it has its own internal resources, it also can leverage the resources of SMG MC in the same way that other brands within the parent agency do.

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Media decision-makers

Media plans are architected and executed by Spark, informed by the agency’s insights as well as those stemming from SMG research partnerships and findings, and they also benefit from the parent’s preferred pricing. The lead media planners on client teams make key decisions in collaboration with the client, and they’re responsible for making sure the specific client gets the best pricing, best activations and added value, Boothe says.

Shelby Saville, EVP of digital, oversees close to half of all agency billings. Stephen Paez oversees multicultural media and John Muszynski, chief investment officer, leads all investment, total market, negotiations on behalf of Spark’s clients. 

Upcoming

European Wax Center will launch a campaign with the release of 50 Shades of Grey. The in-cinema TKs place with NationalCinemedia Networks allows ECM to target this movie only, running in 1,500+ theaters across the US. A partnership with Fandango lets Spark serve online ads to women who have purchased 50 Shades of Grey tickets or reviewed the movie.

Cool Campaigns 

Treehive BeehiveTo launch Delta Faucets’ new HappiMess campaign, Spark collaborated with Animal Planet marketing and Discovery Communications ad sales marketing to create multifaceted brand integration centered on a custom, content-driven contest. The partnership in the TV show Treehouse Masters includes custom, on-air vignettes; passive product integration; in-program mentions and bumps; and forefront integration in the show finale.

Digital dimensions include a digital landing page on Animal Planet for contest submissions, co-branded banners on Animal Planet and Discovery Digital Network; a co-branded Rich Media Video Box that features the custom vignettes; co-branded homepage road blocks on Animal Planet and Discovery Digital Network; and a sponsored, “behind-the-build” digital episode.

MontanaA campaign promoting skiing in Montana used location-based mobile ads to reach people in the Midwest who were at ski resorts, top skier airports and other outdoor areas. The idea was to target people in markets where there are lots of skiers but the local skiing is not so good. Spark also geofenced the entire state of Montana to allow the Montana Office of Tourism to track the percentage of people who received a Montana ad and later actually visited the state during the ski season. The estimated $25,000 budget resulted in an incremental lift of 4,752 visitors and an incremental $6.9 million lift in visitor spending — returns of $276 for every ad dollar spent.

Montana Sparks Tourism with Innovative Geofencing Campaign from SMGSource1 on Vimeo.

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