Already Hot in Australia, This Agency Means Business After Opening in New York

Cummins & Partners is expanding its global reach

Specs

Who (L. to r.) Chief innovation and strategy officer Arwa Mahdawi, global CEO Sean Cummins and CCO Todd Irwin

What Full-service ad agency

Where New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Toronto

Cummins & Partners is a seasoned agency in its native Australia where it's worked with brands like Nike, Jeep and Vodafone, but it's a newcomer in North America, opening in New York­—and Toronto—this year. "Advertising here seems to value the specialist," said global CEO Sean Cummins, "but what brands need are collaborators."

The agency's first U.S. work was for Heidi Klum Intimates. In collaboration with singer Sia, Klum starred in the music video for "Fire Meet Gasoline," where she showed off her lingerie line. "There are so many fantastic channels, there are so many platforms, but messages out there are vapid," Cummins said . "They're just not using this wonderful intimate connection you can have with consumers. There's such an opportunity."

Also, as part of an aggressive plan to expand globally, Cummins is on the hunt for small agencies, recently acquiring Brooklyn-based creative shop dc3, making its founder, Todd Irwin, a partner and chief creative officer.

"We're a new agency in New York," said Cummins, "practicing what we're calling 'the new advertising.' And we're loving it."

Cummins, who uses the term "the new advertising" a lot when discussing what makes the agency unique, described it as "[bringing] media and creative back together, for real—in the way a writer works with an art director: partners."

This two-minute video about the Heidi Klum Intimates project serves, Cummins pointed out, as a good example of the concept:

Here's Cummins & Partners' "How We Roll" for Woodstock Bourbon:

This is "Reverse Reviews" for Australian boutique hotel chain Art Series Hotels:

This story first appeared in the Nov. 30 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.