Motorola Names Ogilvy Lead Network

PHOENIX Motorola has scrapped its global creative resources model with Omnicom Group and reinstated WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather as its lead network, though it will also use a handful of creative shops for specific product lines, chief marketing officer Casey Keller told Adweek here at the Association of National Advertisers conference.

At the same time, Motorola, with an estimated annual global media spend of $400 million, is looking to further consolidate its worldwide media duties and is “moving towards” roster shop MindShare as its lead agency, though the assignment is not yet finalized, Keller said. WPP’s MindShare, Aegis Group’s Carat and a few other shops currently split duties in different regions, with Carat handling U.S. chores and MindShare working in international markets.

Among the product agencies going forward are independent Mother, whose New York and London offices promote the company’s music-oriented devices, and Ogilvy, which is handling feature phones, Keller said. Motorola is also eyeing shops for assignments on multimedia devices and productivity or e-mail devices.

Keller, who became evp, CMO in October 2006, talked frankly about why the Omnicom-oriented model engineered by predecessor Geoffrey Frost—which provided a stable of creatives from shops like Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, BBDO and, more recently, Cutwater, to tackle product assignments—frustrated him and ultimately did not work.

“Every time we had a new product or project, we would go to a new team,” said Keller. “We weren’t developing a long-term partnership with anybody [and] we were tackling it like one-offs all the time.”

Frost developed the Omnicom model, based on his desire to cherry pick the best creative talent across multiple agencies within the holding company. Frost acted as “kind of a creative director himself,” Keller said. In contrast, Keller prefers to have agencies that “live and breathe and feel what the brand is about.”

As an example, he pointed to a TV spot Cutwater produced this year for the Razr2. He called the commercial a “beautiful piece of creative,” but said the work failed to convey the product’s attributes. As a result, Motorola aired a spot from Ogilvy instead, and Cutwater’s “Experience” clip, which cost an estimated $800,000 to produce and was directed by Michel Gondry, was posted on Motorola’s Web site [Adweek, Oct. 8].

The Ogilvy spot, which a creative team from the agency’s New York office developed under the creative direction of Ogilvy Beijing ecd Nils Andersson, emphasized the slimness of the new Razr2. Andersson’s tenure at Motorola dates back to 2004, when Ogilvy handled global creative duties on the brand.

Motorola shifted to the Omnicom model in early 2006, but kept Ogilvy as a regional agency in Asia and Latin America. Now, Ogilvy will be lead agency in North America, Asia, Latin America and possibly Europe, though Motorola is considering other options there as well, Keller said.

By having a lead global network again, Keller hopes to ease the distribution of work around the world. “We need a global network that works” both quickly and effectively, he said. “You also need strong partnership and stewardship.”

Despite the shift in models, Motorola has maintained ties to BBDO, whose New York office now handles consolidated creative duties on business-directed products such as digital video, WiMAX and set-top boxes, said Keller.