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Team Detroit Adds Compuware, B&N

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NEW YORK Team Detroit, the WPP Group agency whose core business is Ford, has expanded its roster of clients to include Compuware and Barnes & Noble, for which the agency is creating a series of Web videos.

The Barnes & Noble project stemmed from a connection that Team Detroit executive creative director Toby Barlow forged with the New York client after he published a novel in free verse called Sharp Teeth, according to George Rogers, CEO of Team Detroit. Sharp Teeth came out in January and garnered positive reviews from the likes of The New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly.

The Compuware assignment, which encompasses both creative and media duties, came after a review. Billings on Compuware and Barnes & Noble are estimated at $10-15 million and less than $1 million, respectively.

The new accounts join White Castle, Shell, Dollar General and others as clients outside of Ford that Team Detroit handles.

Led by Rogers, the agency is a joint venture of six WPP Group shops in Dearborn, Mich., that all work on Ford. The shops -- JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam, Wunderman, MindShare and Mediaedge:cia -- came together in January 2006 to consolidate real estate and create a more collaborative environment for servicing WPP's largest client. The cohabitation also facilitates the sharing of certain services, such as production chores.

For Compuware, Team Detroit will handle corporate image duties focusing on the company's positioning of "We make IT rock around the world." The shop also will relaunch www.compuware.com toward the end of the year. Team Detroit's first campaign for the brand, which rolled out a few weeks ago, includes TV, print, outdoor and online ads.

"We looked at several agencies throughout the United States, but kept coming back to Team Detroit," said Jason Vines, svp, marketing and communications at Compuware in Detroit. "Their creative work and overall wealth of experience in the industry shined through."

The Barnes & Noble project revolves around a new "Moving Paragraphs" video series on www.bn.com, which launched two weeks ago. The videos depict animated scenes from famous books, with authors such as Richard Russo reading passages from the books. The first episode featured Russo reading from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Team Detroit hired Radium in San Francisco to animate each video.

"There are so many great animators looking for great content. This is an easy project to recruit talent for," said Barlow. "Marketing a new cheese or a better salad dressing can be satisfying -- especially when you do it well -- but it's a lot more satisfying to be promoting great literature."