(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.com)
McCann has launched McCann Content Studios, its new global hub for social and creator capabilities.
The new studio pulls full-service social and creator strategy and execution under one roof. Its capabilities span creative, audience development, creator partnerships and performance measurement.
The new unit brings capabilities that were previously split across two agencies under IPG into one team. McCann Live previously handled social ITB focused on creators.
McCann Content Studios will absorb both practices and bring their teams together under one roof. It will also take on both agency’s clients, immediately adding Aldi, Converse, Ulta Beauty and the New York Lottery to its roster.
Monica Tailor, chief social marketing officer, Crystal Malachias, global head of influencer and Amit Sutha, president and global chief client officer will lead McCann Content Studios. Sutha will report to Daryl Lee, global CEO of McCann Worldgroup, while Tailor will report to Sutha and Malachias will report to Tailor.
They will lead a core team of over 100 employees and will tailor account team sizes to the project they’re working on.
The trio are all assuming new roles as McCann Content Studios launches. Tailor previously served as global director of McCann Live, Malachias was SVP of global growth and innovation at ITB and Sutha was global chief client officer and global president of performance and campaign content at Mediabrands’ Content Studio.
To illustrate McCann Content Studios’ social capabilities, Tailor pointed to the agency’s viral Cuthbert campaigns for Aldi in the UK, which rack up millions of views on social media, as the kind of work the new studio seeks to create.
“What we’ve developed over there is this incredible social voice, which is an extension of their brand,” she said. “That’s our vision for [McCann Content Studios].”
McCann also already handled creator campaigns as part of its social work for Aldi. McCann Content Studios extends that full range of services to the rest of the agency’s clients.
The highlight of McCann’s creator work is with Converse in the U.S. To reach Gen Z consumers who identify with multiple cultures, the agency worked with 20 creators from different cities around the world to make six-second videos that can run independently or spliced together for a longer anthem spot.
Tailor aims to replicate the collaborative nature of that campaign, which McCann filmed with a mix of creators who it found and some who Converse already worked with, for clients of the Content Studio.
“That was social-first content that was format and platform specific,” she said. “We worked with creators on their terms but also our film crew and our creative brought the brand story to make sure that co-creation was really successful.”
Tailor said McCann Content Studios is in talks with potential clients, but declined to state which ones. She also declined to discuss upcoming work.
McCann Content Studios aims to simplify the process for clients working on social and creator-led campaigns while providing access to an array of capabilities in one place, allowing those with tight budgets a one-stop-shop versus spreading that budget around multiple agencies, Tailor said.
“It’s really down to us to get that orchestration right for a client,” she said, adding that most social campaigns she sees would “benefit from some sort of influencer seeding at the start, middle or end.”
When social and creator capabilities existed separately, it was easier to get tunnel vision about either the long-term growth of a brand or the immediate performance of a campaign, added Lee.
“I think that was being exacerbated in this world with different agencies doing different parts of that,” he said. “We’re making sure we can do both for the clients that are looking for one end-to-end solution.”
McCann Content Studios also aims to complement the agency’s growing audience practice by looking for content consumers and creators that are a right fit for its clients, he said.
“What this allows us to do is marry brand storytelling with cultural storytelling and make sure that they’re complimentary,” he said. “You’re participating in cultural conversations, but you’re keeping that brand narrative front and center so that it all adds up and doesn’t feel like it’s coming from two disjointed places.”
Late last month, McCann poached Havas North America CEO Stephanie Nerlich as its first global president.
It also won creative advertising duties for TJ Maxx in early August and a global brief for Durex in late July, but recently lost the consumer account of Verizon, a client that spent $3.6 billion in advertising last year, to Ogilvy.
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