GSD&M has won the $30-40 million account of Land Rover North America.
The shop celebrated the win last Friday by driving a Land Rover Defender up the front steps of its Idea City headquarters in Austin, Texas, where agency president Roy Spence gave a victory speech to cheering employees.
"This is our first car account, and for us it's been a lifelong dream," said Spence. "I don't know why this is, but coming from a national perspective you make yourself national with a car account. We've played in the national arena for years, but this puts the icing on the cake."
GSD&M came close in 1997 as the runner-up in the $240 million Mazda North American review. Land Rover, however, may provide a better cultural fit with the agency.
Said Spence, "This brand's got so much character it's going to be an incredible creative opportunity."
Other finalists in the review were Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York. Land Rover's agency of 13 years, Grace & Rothschild, New York, did not participate.
GSD&M was the first to pitch during full-blown creative presentations on Wednesday and Thursday last week. Agencies were asked to propose an overall brand identity, plus supply positioning for each of three brands: Range Rover, Discovery and the new Freelander, which will be introduced later this year.
GSD&M has won approximately $200 million in new business this year. The agency is currently involved in pitches for Charles Schwab & Co. and the media accounts of the U.S. Army and U.S. Postal Service.