Jaguar Land Rover confirmed today that it is shifting global creative advertising duties for its Land Rover brand to its in-house agency, Spark44, a joint-venture agency owned equally between Spark44 management and Jaguar Land Rover.
As a result several WPP agencies are leaving the UK-based auto company’s roster including Y&R (advertising), Ogilvy (digital UX and Web site design) and Wunderman. Cogent Elliott is also departing.
Land Rover spent an estimated $37 million on ads in the U.S. last year, down sharply from the $78 million it spent in 2013 according to Kantar. Global spending wasn't immediately available.
Anthony Bradbury, global marketing communications director for Jaguar Land Rover, said of the move: “Extending our innovative Spark44 agency model to the Land Rover brand will maximize global marketing effectiveness and efficiency, enhancing consistency of approach and quality worldwide as we build on the tremendous momentum that both Jaguar and Land Rover brands have in the marketplace today.”
Bradbury added: “This single marketing agency strategy perfectly aligns with our Jaguar Land Rover global organizational and retail structure and will be essential to building the next generation of distinct brand marketing communications in support of our global growth. We are excited to further develop our relationship with the global Spark44 team on both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.”
Spark44 was created in 2011 to initially takeo ver global ad duties for the Jaguar brand. Euro RSCG (since renamed Havas Worldwide) was the incumbent. Spark44 developed the integrated global advertising and marketing campaign “British Villains – it’s good to be bad” featuring the actor Ben Kingsley. Earlier this year Jaguar brought social media duties in house to Spark44 as well. In the U.S., Jaguar ad spending last year totaled about $87 million, per Kantar.
The shift to advertising made in-house comes as both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands are expanding their product lineups, with 50 major new and model-year upgrade product launches planned for the next five years. Jaguar Land Rover is owned by India's Tata Motors.
Steve Woolford, CEO of Spark44 said: “We have been on a transformational journey with the Jaguar brand, from the launch of the F-TYPE and now the XE: we feel we are part of making automotive history. It is now an equal honor and challenge to also work on the highly successful Land Rover brand as it takes its next steps building out its Range Rover, Discovery and Defender families of vehicles.”
Of the departing incumbents on the Land Rover brand, Bradbury said: “This is a long-term strategic decision and is not a reflection on the performance of the incumbent agencies. We are proud of our award-winning work with them, and would like to acknowledge and thank them for their work to date for the Land Rover brand.”
Spark44 currently has over 275 employees and wholly owned offices in Birmingham, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Sydney.
Media planning and buying is unaffected and will remain with Mindshare across both brands. Redwood (OneLife customer magazine) and The Brooklyn Brothers (social media content) are also unaffected by the Land Rover move.