Tribal DDB Sharpens Mobile Focus In U.S.

Tribal DDB is aligning with sister Omnicom Group unit MobileBehavior to enhance its mobile marketing efforts on behalf of brands.

MobileBehavior, a mobile consulting and research firm, will continue to maintain its own client base and partnerships under the arrangement, but has moved into Tribal DDB's New York headquarters to launch its mobile center of excellence for North America. The agency, which has 60 offices in 42 countries, already operates similar mobile centers in Europe and Asia.

Led by founder and president Alan Rambam, six-person MobileBehavior will report to Tribal DDB U.S. Co-President Richard Guest. He explained that the agency was bolstering its mobile capabilities in response to growing client demand. "We're moving toward a more mainstream mobile services audience and believe that now is the right time to materially add to our mobile expertise here in the U.S.," said Guest in a statement. "More and more clients are integrating mobile into their overall approach rather than launching small, segregated mobile initiatives."



He added that the increased focus on mobile strategy spans cell phone applications, Web sites, advertising and location-based services, among other aspects of mobile media and marketing.

MobileBehavior, which works with brands including AT&T, HP, insurance company Aviva and Gatorade, has built its practice over the last two years around the close study of mobile user habits toward the goal of helping clients run more effective mobile campaigns. The firm recently released an analysis of the much-publicized shopkick app for the iPhone, questioning whether the location-based shopping tool will gain traction with the target teen audience, since most kids don't have iPhones.

Tribal DDB is the latest Omnicom agency to take steps to raise its profile in the mobile space. OMD last month launched a Airwave, a new unit that will work with clients on developing mobile strategy across a variety of connected devices including smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. OMD tapped former AT&T mobile strategist Joao Machado to lead the new group.

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