Chevrolet’s two largest advertising agencies will form a new JV to strengthen the brand globally and bring 280 jobs to the venture’s new HQ in downtown Detroit. The new agency, Commonwealth, is a 50/50 partnership between Chevy’s U.S. agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners San Francisco, and McCann Erickson Worldwide NYC.
The move was made after a review. Chevrolet previously used 70 global agencies. Until now, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has led the Chevrolet creative account in the US, while McCann has been Chevy’s AOR in global markets, including Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India, Japan, China and Latin America. The other agencies that have supported Chevrolet will be able to compete as subcontractors for future projects led by Commonwealth.
The two agencies competed against one another before and their respective parent companies — Omnicom Group for Goodby Silverstein and Interpublic Group for McCann – compete for many accounts. But GM VP/Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick said that a long review process led Chevrolet to see the potential benefit of getting them to cooperate.
“This is the first time that two large marketing communications holding companies have come together to form a single company,” said Ewanick. “Commonwealth will be based right here in Detroit, and its only focus will be on strengthening and growing Chevrolet into an iconic global brand.”
This announcement, combined with the recent selection of Carat as GM’s media agency, is part of the company’s ongoing effort to drive efficiencies in its marketing operations and more effectively build its brands around the world.
“These agency consolidations are expected to create about $2 billion in savings over the next five years, with a portion used to take advantage of key global marketing opportunities and strengthen the focus on our global Chevrolet brand, and a portion hitting the bottom line,” Ewanick said.
Commonwealth will be guided by an eight-person Global Advisory Board, which will oversee all creative initiatives and strategy for Chevrolet globally. Assignments will be handled through global hubs, which will operate in Detroit, Milan, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, and will ensure consistent global branding across the diversity of local markets.
The board includes four of the most-accomplished creative executives in the industry: Jeff Goodby, who will serve as Creative Chairman; Washington Olivetto, Linus Karlsson and Prasoon Joshi. The four creative leaders will work together on all major creative initiatives.
Commonwealth will immediately begin to transition responsibility for Chevrolet creative in most global regions, with the exception of China, India and Uzbekistan, where these activities will continue to be managed by agencies specific to those countries.