Merkle Creative Swings With Grant Thornton On Business-to-Human TV Spots

Grant Thornton launched PGA television spots in March during the PLAYERS Championship. The agency, Merkle, led the creative for all three.

The spots — Swing it like Nelly, Best team wins and Grip it & rip it — focus on business-to-human (B2H) relationships to better understand the person behind the business. 

The financial company operates on the premise that the professional service industry is about the connection of people and relationships, and clients are defined by more than just their business needs, according to Megan McKenna, head of creative at Grant Thornton.

“Professionals are no longer satisfied with the standard delivery from a firm,” McKenna said. “They’re looking for a more personalized relationship beyond the business needs.”

The Person Business campaign embodies that difference, turning a B2B industry into something more business-to-human (B2H).



“Our campaign bridges the gap,” McKenna said, adding that the creative highlights the “what” and the “how” of a professional service firm.

Grant Thornton provides audit, tax and consulting services to clients across the United States. More than 9,000 professionals in nearly 50 offices deliver services to mid- to-large-sized clients -- those with $100 million to $10 billion in annual revenues. Clients span 15 industries including technology, healthcare and asset management.

Merkle might be known best for analytics, data, and search campaigns, but TV ads are a crucial part of the agency’s strategy to support B2B brands like Grant Thornton, which wanted to share the work it did with Merkle.

Merkle’s creative arm collaborated to write the scripts for the spots with Grant Thornton’s creative team and director Mac Eldridge. The agency also worked with Backyard Productions to film the ads.

Eldridge wrote in a post: “I wanted to create something quiet and underplayed. A spot where neither the men nor the women make a big deal of the other’s presence. That’s because they are both professionals and respect one another. This is just another day at the office for them. We say more about them playing together by saying less.”

Grant Thornton’s tournament -- held in Naples, Florida -- is the one they are most excited about, said Brett Barnett, creative director at Merkle B2B, adding that the ads will run in the U.S. during the golf events. Success for the spots is being measured by brand awareness and affinity.

“The process was a lot of fun,” he said. “We worked with PGA players.”

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