This article was originally published by Adweek.
Mercedes-Benz is consolidating its global media, brand and performance marketing into one holding company, Omnicom Group, which beat out fellow incumbent Publicis Groupe for the account.
To service the client, Omnicom is creating Team X, a dedicated unit that will handle all facets of the brand’s global communications, including creative, CRM, media, digital and more across all 45 markets. As part of the win, Omnicom is acquiring two agencies, antoni, a Berlin-based, digital shop and OSK, a German PR and communications agency.
Omnicom previously handled Mercedes’ global media planning and buying since 2018 as well as creative in the U.S through Merkley+Partners. Additionally, Omnicom’s BBDO held creative in China. Publicis previously held the digital arm of Mercedes’ business with a dedicated unit, Emil, which tackled items like CRM, web personalization, digital transformation and more. Antoni worked on the brand’s European creative, while OSK handled the brand’s global PR.
“Mercedes-Benz was looking for a holistic agency partner that could help deploy a sustainable and globally consistent luxury experience for the company’s brand promise around the world for the first time,” said John Wren, chairman and CEO of Omnicom Group, in a statement.
By consolidating all the work into one holding company, OMD Worldwide CEO Florian Adamski told Adweek that it signals Daimler’s desire to focus on the consumer journey, “this is a transformative moment because it is one of the few businesses that is bold enough to be putting all these eggs truly in one hand.”
Adamski said the brand will now be able to connect the brand’s creative and media with its sales systems, websites and local dealerships across all its markets.
“If you have great media, but you do not have the CRM, the sales side of the equation or that final mile at the dealer that deals with the day to day, then you’re actually missing these huge pieces,” Adamski said.
Adamski explained Omnicom had to show in the pitch how to unlock demand for the brand, and did that through its data and analytics capabilities, which will enable the brand to more quickly pinpoint and reach its targeted audiences in a more personalized manner.
“Mercedes-Benz is re-orchestrating all of its communication content across all channels to deliver a data-driven, personalized and seamless brand experience for customers at all touchpoints worldwide,” said Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for sales, in a statement.
With the complete consolidation into Omnicom, it changes the way that Omnicom will be able to measure success. Instead of evaluating metrics like brand engagement or brand awareness, Adamski said it can more concretely judge success based on volumes of sold car units. “This is totally going to change the narrative.”
Creating Team X
Omnicom Group will pull talent from across the network to work with Team X, but agencies with preexisting relationships with Mercedes, including Merkley+Partners and BBDO, will play prominent roles within the dedicated offering.
Bettina Fetzer, vp communications and marketing Mercedes-Benz AG said in a statement that Omnicom will develop creative hubs in the U.S., Europe and China to have account for the local needs of those markets, adding the brand’s goal is to develop, “one presence, one brand experience—one ‘Mercedes look and feel’ for all brand-defining activities worldwide.”
Omnicom decided to purchase antoni and OSK in order to seamlessly integrate their work for Mercedes-Benz within Team X. Both agencies will remain their own brands and continue to service preexisting clients—antoni works with one of Europe’s largest telecoms, Vodafone.
According to COMvergence, Mercedes-Benz spent $893 million on measured media last year. Search consultant The Observatory oversaw the pitch, while Ebiquity guided the media services involved.