'Mermaid' Bayer Campaign | LOLA MullenLowe and Gyno-Canesbalanc
Connectivity and collaboration are strong assets for an agency to attract global clients, especially when creating integrated campaigns, whether local or global. Global Business Leader at MullenLowe Global and IPG, Will Dixon, gives us an overview of how the agency's network capabilities helps them build a strong global positioning and innovative client campaigns.
Can you give us a brief overview of your structure and some of the clients with whom you work across more than one geography / location?
One of MullenLowe’s leading global clients is Bayer’s Consumer Health division, who invited us to ‘Pitch in a Day’ back in 2019 (technically speaking it was 2 days since we pitched once in London and then Moscow on 3 separate briefs). Having been successful in the pitch we started working together in January 2020…within 3 months we were locked down and having to build a global team and network from our homes.
However, that we did, establishing a thriving global team in MullenLowe London, responsible for 8 of Bayer’s Global Power Brands, leading communications strategy, and the development of Brand Platforms, amongst other deliverables. In tandem we set up several ‘hubs’ across EMEA responsible for the creation and execution of local, fully integrated campaigns. Since then, we have been asked to lead several other markets and brands across the likes of Australia, Brazil, Mexico, India, and the US. It’s clear that our global positioning, with a focus on innovating to adapt and thrive, is the perfect fit for Bayer then and now.
What are the challenges of working with different cultures across diverse regions, on both the agency side and the client side?
There are the usual functional challenges of contending with time zones and having to conduct virtual meetings, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Diversity amongst the team leads to greater creativity and fueling many of our most successful campaigns and collaborations. Equally, having in depth understanding of the local context allows for greater insight and excellent adaptation or local execution. We are constantly working with our client teams to find the perfect balance of ‘Global and Local’ since there is a powerful alchemy when both combine. We are fortunate in that MullenLowe is blessed with incredible experience of working with global clients (such as Unilever), as such we have brilliant and well-established teams who we can rely on.
How has the aftermath of the pandemic affected the functionality of the network and the way you work?
Having to work through the pandemic with our new clients at The Consumer Health division of Bayer built very strong relationships, trust, and virtual ways of working, but to be honest we really missed being able to come together face to face, to visit the markets and collaborate over creative work. Virtual tools have come so far in so little time, but it’s easy to forget the power of having individual talents together in a room, armed with Post It notes and a Magic Marker…not to mention how the post workshop dinner can forge bonds and relationships! As such we are encouraging our teams to increasingly come to together, to visit each other and work together where possible.
Can you give us an example of a campaign that defines the benefits the network brings to its clients?
Redoxon Defense Squad from MullenLowe SSP3
During the pandemic we worked with our Global Nutritionals client team based in Basel to create a new Global Brand Platform for their multivitamin brand Redoxon. The Global MullenLowe London team worked with our teams in Brazil and Mexico and landed the Platform ‘Immunity Drives Humanity’. The work born of this Platform went on to grow the brand in Latam and has now been successfully implemented in Europe and ASEAN.
One other example that isn’t strictly speaking a ‘campaign’, but worth mentioning, is ‘Creative Unleashed’. A process that Patricia Corsi, Chief Marketing and Information Officer, Bayer – Consumer Health, launched shortly after we started working together. There is no ‘brief’ other than the ambition to raise the bar creatively, break taboos and disrupt the category to build better relationships with our consumers. To deliver such ambitious work, we unleash the full creative power of our MullenLowe (and IPG) network, which in turn has led to work that has powered our brands and led to awards from the Effies to Cannes Lions.