Periscope Wins Pemco Insurance and Picks Up Work for Intuit QuickBooks and Google

The agency did not confirm the win for the tech giant

Periscope picks up work for Google's retail business, Pemco Insurance and Intuit QuickBooks' accounting segment. Getty Images

Minnesota-based Periscope, one of the country’s largest independent agencies, announced the account wins of both Pemco Insurance and Intuit QuickBooks.

Adweek learned from people familiar with the agency’s new business deals that it picked up some work for Google as well, although Periscope declined to confirm. One unnamed person said Periscope was named as Google’s retail partner following a review. The person said the agency will help Google navigate the evolving retail landscape where other conglomerates like Amazon have shown up. The person said Periscope will work across various Google segments including its hardware division, Chromebooks and Google Home.

While Periscope declined to discuss the Google work, it does list the tech giant as a client on its website. Google declined to comment.

For Pemco, Periscope was named its creative agency of record—though the agency will also handle media planning, strategy and website development duties—following a massive national review that was handled by Mercer Island Group. The review initially evaluated 80 agencies, but which ones were involved in the competitive pitch are unknown. One person close to the review said the other finalist was Figliulo & Partners.

For Intuit QuickBooks, Periscope was named creative AOR for its accounting segment.

“I think that companies are looking for alternatives to the holding company models,” Periscope CEO Liz Ross told Adweek when asked what she thought contributed to the recent winning streak. “As holding companies falter a little bit, [brands] are looking for agencies that are client-centric.”

R3 principal and co-founder Greg Paull placed Google’s annual global marketing spend at $800 million and its domestic spend at $500 million, Pemco’s at $30 million and Intuit’s at $150 million.

Ross said Pemco, the Seattle-based personal lines insurance company, sought an agency partner to help it disrupt the crowded Pacific Northwest area it calls home. Ross noted that as more and more people flood the Pacific Northwest, there’s an obvious increasing demand for insurance in the region.

“In a world where people see 30 ads for home, life, auto insurance a week” and when “everyone is being trained on price,” Ross said, Pemco sought an answer to: “What is their point of difference?”

Steve Boehler, owner and founder of Mercer Island Group, said in a statement that the Pemco review was “highly competitive” and the “caliber of thinking Periscope brought to the table captivated our client from day one.”

“Being attuned, attentive and anticipatory to change is how we stay ahead of the competition,” added M.J. Vigil, Pemco’s chief people and brand officer. “Periscope is capable of breakthrough marketing and creating content that’s rooted in human insights and speaks to the heart of our specific audience.”

Periscope’s first creative work for Pemco is slated to be released in January and it’s “some of the best I’ve ever seen,” Ross added, declining to delve into further detail.

For Intuit QuickBooks, Periscope will be tasked with driving adoption of its cloud-based software, Ross said, and will be pivotal in Intuit’s larger rebrand project that was initiated with new creative earlier this year. Periscope will specifically help launch a redesign of the Intuit QuickBooks website for accountants with new tools and resources.

The agency picked up QuickBooks’ accounting segment and will work closely with the brand’s larger AOR, TBWA\Chiat\Day. Periscope’s focus will be on developing engagement strategies, large activations and creative (primarily for digital) and reaching accountants directly.

“Periscope will play an important role in helping us build a strategy that clearly communicates how we help accounting professionals grow and better serve their clients,” Adeline Bertrix, Intuit’s leader of creative and integrated accountant marketing, said in a statement.

Periscope’s goals will “really be about going beyond advertising,” Ross noted. “This is about getting into loyalty and digital.”

After these recent wins, Ross added Periscope now will be “aggressively working” on bolstering its positioning in the hospitality category as “we just feel that is a space ripe and ready for new agencies and new thinking.”

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.