Condé Nast unifies global creative studios with Lexus as first international client
One month after Condé Nast revealed it set up an ad agency and brand consultancy within its British headquarters, the company is unifying its creative hubs across 11 international markets to better serve brands.
The publisher said the studios will fully align their operations "as full-scale creative service agencies / Condé Nast
Condé Nast International has unveiled what it's calling the Creative Studio Network, promising "more collective experience and unique access to international talent" for global clients. Under the new umbrella, Condé Nast’s creative departments across countries like the UK, China, India, Japan and Russia will collaborate on global client briefs.
The publisher said the studios will fully align their operations "as full-scale creative service agencies."
Lexus is the first client to take advantage of the cross-continent proposition, launching a digital content series that will appear on ten international editions of Vogue, GQ and Condé Nast Traveller called 'Journeys in Taste'.
Lexus' global head of marketing said the Condé Nast partnership allowed the brand to tell its story in a way that was both "relevant and engaging" for the audience.
Condé Nast said its Creative Studio Network will include branded content expertise with event integration, talent consulting, pure 'white label' content creation, bespoke research projects and more.
All this will be delivered via a staff of journalists, designers, video producers and directors, many of which Condé said hailed from editorial backgrounds.
The network will include the recently launched UK Creative Studio, which has been under the steerage of ex-Burberry exec Simon Gresham Jones who joined Condé Nast Britain last year as chief digital officer with the remit of unearthing new revenue streams.
The chief digital officer has been quietly building up the team, reorganising the talent it already had in-house and poaching from its newfound competitors to create a division that now houses 50-people.
Gresham Jones' team is eyeing a slice of the luxury market, and told The Drum he was aware that Condé Nast would need to compete with companies "beyond the publishing sphere" to get in with premium brands. The ambition for the UK arm, he said, was for Condé Nast to not only take on advertising agencies, but also management consultants like Accenture and Deloitte when it comes to helping brands understand the market.
Condé Nast Creative Studio will sit alongside the group's recently launched global creative agency which operates out of New York. The firm's London-based International Studio led by creative director Rebecca Mason, will also remain distinct but will collaborate with wider Network as and when the brief calls for it.
“The unification of our commercial creative departments across our CNI territories under a single name, Condé Nast Creative Studio, is an important decision," said Jamie Jouning, chief revenue officer at Condé Nast International.
Jouning said the network would allow Condé to deliver best-in-class solutions for clients working across multiple brands and platforms.
"Ultimately, we are streamlining and simplifying our core commercial service, providing consistency and clarity to our advertising partners," she explained.
Condé Nast isn't the only publisher to have spotted potential in taking the place of traditional ad agencies. Bloomberg Media is among those to launched a marketing and media consultancy, run by the former chief exec of Havas’ Creative Group Andrew Benett. Earlier this year, former Havas-exec, Dominique Delport, revealed that he will be competing directly with his old colleagues for marketers' ad budgets through the Virtue agency at Vice.