WPP is creating a dedicated cross-agency team to provide a range of marketing and advertising services for British sports car brand Aston Martin Lagonda (AML), the companies confirmed Friday at the Cannes Lions Festival.
The collaboration, which covers a range of projects in 2015 with the “ultimate aim of a full marketing communications partnership in 2016,” WPP said. The team will serve Aston Martin’s headquarters team in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and regional offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, China and the Americas.
The arrangement comes as AML is expanding its product line in a bid to reposition itself as a luxury lifestyle brand that will extend beyond cars to items such as clothing, luggage and other products. Part of the strategy is to make the brand more appealing to women.
AML CEO Andy Palmer said, “Growing our brand presence into new markets and segments is critical for the success of our ‘Second Century’ plan. Just as we work with the world’s leading suppliers on our products, so with WPP we are looking to create a fully integrated marketing communications team capable of successfully driving our brand forward across the globe.”
With a price tag of approximately $200,000, Aston Martins are not exactly a mass-market vehicle. AML spent just $24,000 on ads in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar, although that's likely to increase as the company expands its product portfolio. Global ad spending was not available.
The dedicated AML team is now being drawn up from talent and resources from across the holding company’s network of agencies. The project is the latest example of what WPP calls its “horizontal” approach aimed at serving client needs through multi-disciplinary, cross-Group teams. WPP now has 45 such teams in place.WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said: “We are very happy that Aston Martin has asked WPP to create a team to help activate its ambitious growth plan, extending its luxury marketing voice to new customers in fresh markets. Each client’s needs are unique, which is why we offer a tailor-made solution -- and I can think of nothing more bespoke than an Aston Martin.”
This story has been updated with spending data from Kantar.