Lenovo splits global media duties following review

Dentsu and Performics will cover Lenovo's APAC markets, while Stagwell's Assembly has won the business in EMEA and the Americas

Apr 05, 2022 04:45:00 AM | Article | Staff Reporters

Lenovo has appointed Dentsu International for paid media across its Asia-Pacific markets following a competitive review that begin last year. With the new remit, Dentsu and Merkle B2B will manage the strategy, planning and buying for Lenovo, focused on data convergence, performance measurement and paid media.

Performics has retained Lenovo’s China and global ecommerce business.

Stagwell’s media agency Assembly, meanwhile has been named its global agency of record in a transatlantic remit that spans EMEA, North America and Latin America.

Publicis Media previously held the global media business through a bespoke client unit called Lenovo One Media, which was led by Spark Foundry and Performics. Publicis Media won the business following a competitive consolidation review.

Assembly will lead Lenovo’s full-funnel paid media programme for its consumer division (which includes Yoga and Lenovo Legion gaming), commercial (which includes ThinkPad), and small and medium-sized business segments. 

Lenovo, which has its headquarters in China, is one of the world's largest technology manufacturers with annual revenues of $60 billion. It acquired IBM’s desktop PC business in 2004 and is one of the largest PC manufacturers. It also has a smartphone division, not part of this brief, that incudes the Motorola range.

Lenovo said the media planning and buying brief involves an “audience-centric and insight-led media approach”, with an emphasis on data convergence, performance measurement and technology. 

Agency partners will work closely with Lenovo’s Global Media Strategy Center of Excellence in a hybrid model that is aligned with the PC manufacturer’s marketing strategy.

“Assembly understood our vision, and demonstrated the technical capabilities and overall commitment to collaborate in our marketing strategy. Their global scale and agility to stay in lockstep with our in-house teams to activate globally and locally are critical elements,” Lenovo vice-president and global chief marketer of Intelligent Devices Group Emily Ketchen said.

“We also loved their boldness in inspiring and challenging our team in all the right ways through the process – encouraging us to think differently about our marketing transformation journey."

She continued: “Our global/local approach to marketing is designed to provide each geographical market with global strategic priorities and focus, while also allowing for the necessary flexibility to successfully adapt for local implementation.”

James Townsend, global chief executive of Assembly and Stagwell Media Network, said Lenovo was looking for a media partner that could “inject data and technology into their global marketing strategy”. 

He added: “They’re a business that sees the crucial role technology plays in making their media smarter – from becoming more customer-centric, to leveraging data across the organisation to unlock more innovation opportunities at a global scale, and driving commercial growth. 

“Together, with Lenovo, we’re building an agile solution – powered by our technology platform STAGE – that can bring together their media planning, optimisation, measurement, and insights to democratise data across their global teams, while powering smarter decisions for media and business to unlock growth.” 

There are a couple of campaigns in the pipeline that media partners will work on.

Lenovo’s consumer division is launching a "Stylish outside. Savage inside" global gaming campaign, which “expresses Lenovo Legion’s view that far from being simply a hobby, gaming is a huge part of what makes our gamers the incredible people they are in real life; it’s their leadership, prowess and excellence in gaming that they then unleash in the real world”.

On the B2B front, Lenovo is planning a campaign to promote its new 5G laptop that will highlight, “how the ThinkPad X13s reboots the way people work, with a focus on 5G connectivity, multi-day battery life, and smarter collaboration through enhanced webcam and audio experiences – ideal for the new reality of hybrid work”.

Assembly’s media partnership kicked off in April.

Assembly is the largest agency in the Stagwell Media Network, Stagwell's media arm, which has 3,000 staff and claims to manage close to $5 billion in annual spend globally.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in Campaign UK. It has been edited to add more detail on Dentsu's APAC remit at the top of the article.