Mercedes-Benz is appointing Publicis Groupe as its new global agency of record as the automaker seeks to increase synergies for a more consistent look worldwide on digital platforms, plus stronger alignment of central and local digital content.
The Groupe's scope will include 40 global markets, excluding the U.S., Germany and China, although Publicis Groupe says it will work closely with those agency partners, Merkley+Partners, Antoni and BBDO China, respectively.
Headquartered in Berlin, the Groupe is launching a specialized unit called Publicis Emil, in reference to European automotive entrepreneur Emil Jellinek, who is credited with helping to name the automaker after his daughter Mercedes. It will align the brand and product content specifically to the "needs and requirements of the Mercedes-Benz brand."
"This was without a doubt the biggest pitch in the industry over the past 18 months, and one of the most significant wins the Groupe in many years," Sadoun said in an internal video. "But more importantly, it is living proof that the new model we're putting in place, to become the market leaders in marketing and business transformation, is working."
He adds that this win has a special meaning for him, as the automaker was the first congratulatory call as CEO on his first day last year.
This new Emil agency will draw talent and expertise from the Groupe's Power of One network by pulling in agencies across Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient and Publicis One. Justin Billingsley, COO of Publicis Communications, will lead the dedicated Mercedes agency, with assistance from Maggie Lonergan, vice president and Power of One lead for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Publicis Communications Europe chief transformation officer Claire Molyneux.
"Our criteria for this are clear: best digital know-how, best systems, best creativity, best consultancy, best conditions," stated Dr. Jens Thiemer, vice president marketing Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars. The year-long selection process was conducted by Daimler's internal Pitch Team and consultancy shop The Observatory International to "guarantee a fair and transparent process."
BBDO Worldwide has been responsible for adapting the campaigns in the 40 markets since 2007 with the contract expiring on June 30, 2018. Publicis, hence, begins work July 1, 2018.