Chicago-based promotional marketing agency Frankel & Co. is expanding the staff and scope of the office it opened in Southfield, Mich., last fall dedicated to General Motors work.
After beginning with just four employees, the office now numbers 35, and there are plans
to hire 10 more by July 1 and pursue a variety of nonautomotive clients, said Rex Smith, vice president and manager of the new operation.
"We are definitely a full-service office," Smith said. "While we won't replicate [Frankel's] interactive service groups in Chicago, their capabilities will be used as needed." Those groups provide both sports and entertainment marketing, two areas of Frankel expertise that GM has found especially useful, Smith said. For example, the Southfield office last month launched a 10-city "X-Files Expo," a touring event tied to Fox's X-Files program and sponsored by GM's Oldsmobile Intrigue.
Frankel gained its first work from GM in late 1996, when it was named promotions agency of record for the Oldsmobile division. Since then, its sales promotion and marketing for the automaker have expanded to include projects for Cadillac, OnStar and other divisions, said Anthony Massa, a vice president and group creative director who manages all creative work for Frankel Detroit.
Smith, who joined Frankel in December 1996 after 16 years with Ross Roy Communications, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said the agency is pursuing new clients to augment its GM work, while also seeking opportunities to expand its GM relationship. "Our goal, of course, is to be their most valued marketing partner," he said.
Also part of the Detroit team are account directors Brad Audet, formerly at McCann-Erickson, Troy, Mich., and Tim Mullahy and Scott Turske, both recruited from Wunderman Cato Johnson in Detroit.
Separately, Frankel's Siren Technologies interactive unit, based in Chicago, is working on a test project for GM's Chevrolet division involving interactive kiosks for dealerships that will allow consumers to select options and "build" the cars they want on screen.