72andSunny has turned to a key player at a rival shop to build an event marketing practice at the agency.
Audrey Eden, evp of experiential marketing at Deutsch/LA since late 2010, joins 72andSunny at an opportune time: the MDC Partners shop is a finalist for Honda’s creative business in the U.S., and much of her work at Deutsch revolved around another car brand: Volkswagen.
That said, the search that led to Eden began before Honda launched its review. Indeed, 72andSunny’s Matt Jarvis said the hire represents a long-term play. Still, Eden could become a key contributor in a hotly contested review.
“Great strategy and great creative is the difference maker in that review. Given Audrey’s strategic and creative chops, we certainly think we’re better off with her than not,” said Jarvis, the agency’s chief strategy officer. “But there was no, ‘Hey, let’s go get an experiential group and then let’s go pitch an account where we know experiential is really significant.’”
Rather, Jarvis explained, the timing of the hire was a “happy coincidence.”
Among the VW-related events that Eden help conceive and execute at Deutsch were a sweepstakes for @VW followers to camp out and see the final shows of the Dave Matthews Band’s U.S. tour last year and a rare series of performances by seminal German band Kraftwork at the Museum of Modern Art, also last year. Eden also contributed to the automaker’s bread-and-butter test drive opportunities.
Other Deutsch accounts she worked on included Target and HTC. Eden’s other agency experience includes the Tequila unit of TBWA\Chiat\Day and GreenLight Media and Marketing, a consultancy that she helped form.
The thread that runs through Eden’s career is music, having started as a promotions coordinator at a radio station and later working for the likes of Miles Copeland, Roger Davies and Lindsay Scott. As she explained in an email: “Originally planning to become an attorney, my plan was thwarted when my childhood friend, the bass player from AC/DC, traveled through my college town. I was invited to join for a few shows and decided the music industry was the play.”
Jarvis, who has known Eden for a decade, described her as a “spark plug of energy” who’s equally adept at hatching ideas and executing them. He also believes that experiential marketing is the “next frontier of great creativity.” And, of course, car brands aren’t the only ones who can benefit. The agency’s other accounts include Samsung, Activision and Target.