LOS ANGELES In time for its upcoming 20th anniversary, Team One has restructured to create a more efficient and integrated agency model. The unit of Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi has also picked up new business and made several new hires, according to Brian Sheehan, president.
Account wins in recent weeks for the El Segundo, Calif., shop include Flexjet, a fractional jet-ownership division of Bombardier Aerospace, which it won in a review that included independent incumbent The Richards Group. The Richardson, Texas-based company spent $5 million advertising in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and plans an integrated marketing relaunch including traditional media, interactive, direct, collateral and public relations.
The Flexjet win follows a year in which Team One quietly fattened its bottom line, winning creative and media duties for the Natural Resources Defense Council, its first project from American Express, a creative and media assignment for Whole Foods, and projects for Geffen Records and for a combined enterprise of MTV, American Film Institute and Sony called “The Players.” It also increased billings on its $15 million Ritz Carlton account by 50 percent, adding the client’s online and CRM work, including three short films, the first of which premiered on ritzcarltonfilms.com.
Sheehan said Team One’s mainstay client, Lexus, helped pushed the agency early and “organically” into interactive marketing. He notes, at last count, 76 of 320 employees are devoted to interactive. At one point the agency had up to 20 different departments, with production alone sprawling to 12 separate niches.
“We took a long hard look at the agency and thought if we were starting from scratch today, we wouldn’t do it that way,” Sheehan said. “Agencies are now built around ideas. So we reduced the departments to five groups that develop, manage, communicate, support and produce ideas.”
In the new model, Idea Creation integrates all creative departments and strategic planning under creative chief Christopher Graves. Idea Production engenders everything from interactive, print and TV production to the art, interactive and multimedia studios. Communications includes public relations and T1Z Media. Support encompasses HR, finance, office services and IT. Idea Management combines experiential marketing and integrated account services.
In concert with the new management structure, ecd Christopher Graves has been elevated to chief creative officer-the only CCO since Tom Cordner ran the creative department from 1987 to 2003. The shop also added three group creative directors: Gavin Lester and Barton Corley from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Philip Squier from Arnold Worldwide; two creative directors, Phil Glist from BBDO and Craig Crawford from TBWA\Chiat\Day; and appointed Tim Meraz director of design.
“This is a major reorganization, creatively, with serious talent,” said Graves. “Accountability for ideas has grown and put ideas back at the core of what we do.”
Graves added that he expected the year’s Lexus work to grow “more dimensional as our target has grown, with an emphasis on youth and more progressive buyers. You’ll particularly see this in the upcoming work for the Lexus IS.”
The division of Toyota Motor Sales spent $225 million on measured media through November 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, down 16 percent from the equivalent period in 2006.
Lexus sales were up 2 percent in 2007 to 329,000 units, per Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif.