DDB Wins Global Creative Duties for Transitions Optical

DDB has won global creative duties on Transitions Optical after a review.

The client’s global media spending is estimated at $60 million annually.

The Omnicom Group shop bested three other finalists to land the business, which includes traditional and digital advertising. Transitions identified the other contenders as the New York offices of WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam, Havas’ Euro RSCG and Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day.

DDB, which will run the business out of its New York office, fills a void created when the client split with previous lead agency Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness in early 2010. Media duties weren’t in play.

Leading the account day-to-day will be group business director Ellen Fields and group creative director Janet Guillet, said DDB New York president/CEO Peter Hempel. The shop’s first work is expected in the spring or early summer.

In making the hire, client CMO Alexis Cardona cited DDB’s balance of strategic thinking and business acumen. He also appreciated the depth of integration in the shop’s pitch.

“When you’re looking for an agency—especially at the global strategic level—you want someone who doesn’t just give you great creative but really can understand the business, what the business-drivers are and how the creative applies to that,” Cardona said.

“I’m sure you’ve heard in the business [that] we’re not just creating art; we’re actually trying to move cases,” Cardona continued. “They showed the ability to balance that with really good actionable creative that really got close to home and solved some of the opportunities with the eye-care professional and the consumer.”

Cardona joined Transitions in March 2010, after 15 years at Procter & Gamble. He started as an assistant brand manager for food and beverage brands in Puerto Rico and left as global marketing director on Oral B.

Transitions, which is based in Pinellas Park, Fla., is a leading manufacturer of photochromic lenses that darken on exposure to ultraviolet rays. Roughly half of its marketing targets other businesses—including opthalmologists, optometrists and opticians—while the other half is directed at consumers, according to Cardona.

The review began in the summer and was managed by Boston-based consultancy Pile + Co.

DDB New York’s other clients include Georgia-Pacific, the New York State Lottery, Cotton, Hertz and Electrolux.