G2 (Activation Marketing)
Report by Joe Celia
Chairman and chief executive officer, G2 Worldwide Vice chairman, Grey Group
When G2 was founded in 2000, a key goal was to become one of the top five marketing services organizations in the world. By the end of 2007, we were ranked sixth in Advertising Age's global marketing services listings, underscoring our progress.
Growth in reputation and stature was mirrored by growth in clients, and we now have 34 of the top 100 global brands on our roster.
In 2007, in line with G2's mission to be a multidisciplinary marketing services leader, we won a number of new clients across both disciplines and geographies. In North America, new clients included BMW, Nestlé, Duracell and Pizza Hut. Major new assignments came from existing clients Absolut, Mars, Pfizer, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Bristol Myers Squibb, P&G and Aetna. Our EMEA network boasted multiple wins including VW, Orange and Danone. New digital work came from Coca-Cola and Audi and retail branding work from Nokia and P&G. Asia Pacific added Visa in China, for a major Olympics assignment, Deutsche Bank, Baskin-Robbins as well as Lehman Brothers and won additional work from HSBC and P&G in China. Our Latin American region saw notable growth from Sony, P&G, BAT and Coke.
I am pleased to report that we grew our business with 18 of our top 20 clients. We experienced significant growth with long-standing global client BAT, gaining notable new assignments in Australia, Brazil, and Canada, where we broke new ground in trade marketing innovations working with WPP sister company, Glendinning.
G2's industry rankings reflected this growth. We were listed among Advertising Age's top interactive agencies in North America and featured strongly in rankings across multiple markets, in addition to Advertising Age's global marketing services ranking.
Overall, G2's award performance increased by 50% in 2007, with our creativity and innovative thinking recognized across all regions and disciplines. At Cannes, our interactive and direct work received two Cannes Lions.
In addition to increased industry recognition, G2 raised its profile through expansion and important strategic acquisitions. We opened an office in Vietnam, the new powerhouse of South-east Asia, positioning G2 to capitalize on the momentum in this exciting and dynamic marketplace. In June we acquired Star Echo, a leading agency in China, which offers activation marketing throughout the region. In July we acquired Refinery, one of the few remaining independent, interactive agencies in North America and a leader in the digital space. Continued acquisition activity is planned for 2008 as we expand our capabilities further in all regions throughout our global network.
We strengthened G2's global leadership team with several key appointments. Nirvik Singh was promoted to lead our Asia Pacific operation. As he fields our total communications offer, this important region is set to experience growth and transformation. Ken Levy, one of Grey's most senior executives, joined G2 and was appointed as the global client leader on BAT. Nick Hoadley moved from the UK to run G2's promotional marketing units in North America, spearheading our shopper marketing capability in this critical market. In mid-year, Leslie Singer joined our team in the US, as president of G2 Branding & Design.
As we enter 2008, excellence in shopper marketing and digital marketing communications remains the priority for us. We have become the leading global agency in the emerging area of retail communications and our ongoing success in this discipline has enabled us to deliver a proprietary, end-to-end retail model on a worldwide scale. We will also forge our leadership position in digital communications with initiatives such as our new Innovation lab in Germany, designed to screen new technologies and ideas.
Continued growth in the emerging BRIC markets, organically and through acquisition, will remain a priority for us this year as our capabilities broaden in these key regions.
In 2008, we anticipate further progress across all the key areas that have driven our success: client growth, talent, reputation, accolades, acquisitions and innovation. We are confident G2's momentum will continue as we move closer to realizing our vision.