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In 2015, Rob Schwartz took the helm of an underperforming TBWA\Chiat\Day New York office and utterly transformed it into the elite agency it is today. From a $50 million agency to a $100 million agency; from listless to AdAge A-List—Rob is visionary, creative, resilient and relentless—and it shows in the remarkable results. TBWA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020, and they are holding strong on to their mission to do disruptive creative work ensuring their clients can obtain a greater share of the future. And while the technologies and tools may have enhanced and changed, this mission is still job one.
"The company’s next big move is to add creativity to the entire customer journey for their clients. “The world is stuck in incrementalism and we must help drive Disruptive growth."
Covid-19 has been the single biggest force of change in business in a century. Rob and his team have lead the agency with passion and compassion. He’s focused people on the work even as they WFH. And even though the “agency” is everywhere, he has fostered an environment of collaboration, creativity and transparency. “Coivd may have changed where we work, but it doesn’t change how we work. We are still using our proprietary methodology, Disruption, to create breakthrough creative for our clients,” he explains. “The process requires that we articulate a Vision. It then demands that we thoroughly understand the Conventions of a category; the status quo, the things everyone else is doing in order for us to find the opportunities – the white space.” Rob and his team call this “Convention-Hunting” and it is a robust process involving data-mining, desktop research, field research, pattern-recognition and good old-fashioned observation and instinct. Finally, once Rob and his team understand the Conventions and how they separate from where the brand wants to be – they write the Disruption; the idea that can facilitate that Vision.
“We are living amidst a technological revolution and we are harnessing the best to serve our clients. One of the most incredible opportunities is how you mine this incredible proliferation of data,” explains Rob. “We use a cutting-edge technology called, OMNI—our proprietary edge-to-edge consumer and B-to-B data platform that that allows us to gain a multi-dimensional view of the audiences that can best deliver desired business outcomes.” OMNI can do things like quantify audiences that will deliver business objectives, inspire creative based on insights into human behavior, and even identify emerging opportunities. In fact, OMNI is recognized for its excellence by Forrester, who named it “the most creative integration of agency platforms to date.”
Interestingly, the agency has never been more prolific. This Covid moment has seen a significant rise in productions, workstreams and new business pitches. The company’s 470-strong agency team is currently creating 1000-plus pieces for clients like Nissan and the launch of its all-new “No Compromise” Sentra. And the new Oculus “Play For Real” virtual reality gaming system. The agency has also just created the world’s first comic book to ever be launched on Twitter. As part of Travelers Insurance crusade to eliminate “Distracted Driving,” TBWA\Chiat\Day tells the “unfinished story” of a boy who was killed by a distracted a driver. This incredible story comes to life as a comic book with a level of craft that rivals DC and Marvel. On the day of the launch, the comic book was first shared with the public in an innovative and engaging Twitter stream – garnering thousands of views and a near-100% positive sentiment.
TBWA’s next big move is to add creativity to the entire customer journey for their clients. “The world is stuck in incrementalism and we must help drive Disruptive growth. We are moving to Disruption as an experience. You can call it “DX.” It’s a way to multiply the impact of our Disruptive ideas,” adds Rob. “So rather than simply blast out a message, DX will allow us to create edge-to-edge creative experiences on behalf of a brand. And our role will be to orchestrate and enable them. The benefits to clients will be incredible consistency, creativity and quantum growth.” IE
CEO OF TBWA\Chiat\Day NY
TBWA is The Disruption® Company: the cultural engine for 21st-century business. We create disruptive ideas that locate and involve brands in culture, giving them a larger share of the future.