At most companies, the marketing chief picks an ad agency to work with on a permanent, ongoing basis and the agency creates a dedicated account team to work with that client. The advantage of the arrangement is that the client can get work done quickly because she is working with a group of people who know the business well and are permanently up to speed.
But that’s not how PepsiCo’s Brad Jakeman, president of global beverages, does it.
Pepsi has two longtime ad agencies: TBWA/Chiat/Day in the U.S. and BBDO globally. They are among the best in the business. But Jakeman didn’t use either of them to launch his new ad featuring Beyonce.
Instead, he went with 180LA.
That’s because Jakeman has constructed an unusual agency structure within Omnicom, the parent company of both BBDO and TBWA, called “Galaxy,” Ad Age reports:
Galaxy is a small team of only a handful of execs with backgrounds in account planning and management specifically. That group, working with Pepsi execs, evaluates projects presented by the brand and determines which agency or mix of talent within the Omnicom network is best suited for the job.
… Mr. Jakeman said he wasn’t interested in creating an entity within Omnicom that lived and breathed the Pepsi brand alone; he prefers those contributing to Pepsi advertising have exposure working on other big brands, from autos to fashion.
The notion that Jakeman doesn’t want execs on his account that “live and breathe” Pepsi is an unusual one: Usually, clients demand exactly that.
And Galaxy has one key weakness, Ad Age notes: Because the Omnicom agency that may be selected for a Pepsi/Galaxy project may be busy with its permanent clients, it can take up to 18 months for staff schedules to clear up enough to bring them together on a new Pepsi ad.
This, in a world where Mondelez’s Oreo team can turn out a response to the Super Bowl blackout in minutes.
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