Sparks & Honey has announced a shift in its offerings from cultural intelligence firm to a consultancy and named a chief strategist to oversee its transformation.
The Omnicom shop, which has specialized in consulting clients for years over cultural insights and intelligence, has now formalized what it calls itself in the wake of shifting agency tides and the emergence of competitors in the business consultancy space.
Chief executive Terry Young spoke to The Drum, conceding when asked if the change in structure was a direct result of the change and how his firm has essentially been looked at as consultants in the past: “The short answer is yes.”
However, he added, Sparks’ internal evolution was also a primary contribution to this shift. “Our core business has evolved,” he said, “When you think about Q, our proprietary intelligence system, and the rising needs of our client and agency partners, this was absolutely the right time for us to make this next chapter happen.”
One of those most recent facets to this shift to consultancy has been the recent announcement with Stephen David Entertainment (SDE). A Banijay-owned studio, SDE has utilized Sparks' Q intelligence platform to help it better discover new talent and trends, and help increase its burgeoning documentary and reality development slate.
Leading these efforts has been Camilo La Cruz, who was promoted to chief strategy officer to oversee its evolution. La Cruz, who had been with the company formally for four years and was most recently its executive vice president of global futures, had helped Terry Young, Sparks’ chief executive put together the business plan for it back in 2012.
Young called him a visionary, adding: “He brings curiosity, passion, and a unique worldview to our work and is the perfect person to guide the future of our strategy practice.”
La Cruz stated: “There has never been a more exciting time to work at the intersection of the present and the future. Our expansion into transformation practices and advanced analytics products is a natural step for our young organization, and I’m thrilled to be leading this effort.”
Before his time at Sparks, La Cruz worked across the strategy, creative and planning departments at RAPP, then at multicultural firm Vidal for four years, building the company’s digital practice. Clients he has worked with over his career have included organizations such as AT&T, DARPA, Humana, Mercedes-Benz, MetLife, Nestle, PepsiCo, and Red Bull’s Human Potential Group, among others.
When asked about what Sparks’s evolution would mean for Omnicom as a whole, Young looked forward to the next couple of months. The aim in this restructuring for him wasn’t necessarily to compete head-on with the Accentures and Deloittes. “I think it’s just a matter of providing our partners with the tools we can give best, which are firmly rooted in culture.”
News from Sparks & Honey wasn’t the only to come out of Omnicom Group: TLGG, a German-based strategy consultancy, has expanded to the US with an office within Omnicom’s NY hub on Madison Avenue. TLGG’s managing director Katrin Zimmermann has been tapped to oversee that office, reporting to Berlin-based founder and chief executive Christoph Bornschein.