PHD US, the Omnicom media agency, has formed a new brand planning unit and has hired agency veteran Kim Bates to oversee the operation.
Brand planning is a task more often associated with creative shops, to help develop the messages for ads. PHD will take a different approach, analyzing brands and their connections within the context of the increasingly complicated media landscape, said Bates, who carries the head of brand planning title.
“It’s about trying to personify the brand across media,” she said, "understanding the consumer connection to the brand, and knowing how they want to interact with it in certain channels.”
Bates also said her team would explore “how culture and media are coming together and how brands fit into that story.”
Added PHD Chief Strategy Officer Steve Piluso: “If you start with the premise that media is about connecting brands with consumers, it’s critical that you approach each connection opportunity with an equal level of insight about both the brand and the consumer.”
Creating the new unit, he said,
“ensures that the brand behavior is given equal consideration with consumer behavior as we create those connections for our clients.”
Bates brings ample brand planning experience to her new role. Before joining PHD, she was corporate VP of brand and communications strategy at Time Warner Cable. There, she led the company’s Brand Refresh initiative, which provided a new look for everything from marketing communications to trucks and uniforms.
Earlier, she was director of strategic planning and trends at the Kaplan Thaler Group, developing brand and integrated communications strategy and consumer insights across apparel, packaged goods and beauty accounts, such as Champion, P&G Haircare and Revlon. Previously, she was a director of strategic planning and trends at the Arnell Group.