Motive, the Denver, Colo.-based full-service creative shop that is part of Project Worldwide, has opened its first international office in Toronto. The agency also has offices in New York and Chicago.
The office was opened to service PepsiCo’s North American business, which recently expanded its partnership with the agency. Motive CEO Matt Statman said the agency’s first assignments for PepsiCo will be “heavily focused on content and experiential” across “a number of brands.”
Statman expects to announce two additional clients for the Toronto hub in the coming weeks but declined to discuss them further at this time. Currently, the office houses four employees, and Statman said he also expects to grow that number to 10 to 15 by the end of 2019.
“We found the talent pool to be so incredible out of Canada,” Statman said, adding that he found the creatives there to be yearning to do more than the agencies stationed in Toronto can offer—something that poses an advantage to the agency not only in recruiting employees but in winning clients.
“We hope to tap [those opportunities] to complement what we have going on in the U.S.,” Statman said.
Leading the new office is account director Brian Flaman, who previously was at Mosaic North America’s Toronto hub, leading accounts such as the NFL, Samsung, Lego and Walmart. Flaman joined Motive in December 2018 and reports to vice president Mike Cole.
Statman argued that Motive’s edge on rival agencies is its “hyperlocal” culture at each one of its hubs including New York (where it employs a staff of 15), Chicago (with a small staff of three), its Denver headquarters (home to 65 employees) and now Toronto.
He said he’s looking forward to driving hyperlocal campaigns in Canada’s markets. There, Statman said it’s critical to apply this approach as the country’s various provinces like British Columbia and Quebec, for example, differ so much from each other that they “could be treated as their own countries.”
“Motive has this sense of grit and hunger to do really cool work for really cool brands and I have always had an entrepreneurial drive that I wanted to take to the next level,” Flaman said in a statement. “The opportunity to support and lead an agency through their Canadian expansion was something I couldn’t pass up.”
Motive’s move to Toronto also marks the first foray into Canada for parent Project Worldwide, which also owns agencies like Partners + Napier and Pitch. “It’s really exciting for us to get up there,” Statman added.