PwC Australia has taken a minority investment in Thinkerbell, a two-month-old brand and ideas agency established by three advertising heavyweights.
Thinkerbell was founded by Cummins & Partners’ former chief strategy director Adam Ferrier, along with Cummins & Partners’ former executive creatives Ben Couzens and Jim Ingram. The highly-respected trio have previously worked for Naked Communications and Clemenger BBDO on some of Australia’s most iconic brands.
Thinkerbell officially launched in June 2017 with the proposition of bringing together scientific enquiry and brilliant creativity to create ‘measured magic’.
“We are an agency of Thinkers and Tinkers and have extensive experience in the worlds of research, strategy and creative execution. We have helped some of Australia’s best known and most loved brands help find their inner magic,” said a Thinkerbell statement.
The investment is a huge endorsement for the fledgling agency, which announced its foundation client 13CABS, the consumer facing brand of Cabcharge, in July.
Thinkerbell founding partner Ben Couzens said the investment was "proof of how attractive our proposition is; combining the magic of creativity and the rigour of data led insights.”
The deal follows a flurry of investment activity in Australian independent agencies in recent months, following Accenture’s purchase of indie hot shops The Monkeys and Maud, while independent agency The Works was also recently bought by digital consultancy company RXP.
PwC Australia’s chief creative officer Russel Howcroft, said, “We took a minority interest in Thinkerbell because we wanted to give the founders the space to create the culture and build the team that they want. You don’t have to own creativity in order to access it - we’re excited about the potential of this investment.”
Howcroft, an advertising veteran whose previous roles include CEO of Y&R Australia and New Zealand, called Thinkerbell “one of the most exciting creative start-ups in the market”.
“It’s a great fit because Jim, Adam and Ben are absolutely aligned with our belief in how strategic marketing and powerful ideas can drive growth,” said Howcroft.
The investment comes from PwC’s CMO Advisory business, which launched in December 2016 with a remit to provide clients with independent expert advice across all areas of marketing.
The division works with PwC clients across brand strategy, marketing strategy, media assurance, market insights, marketing performance analytics, marketing structure and operations.