R&CPMK acquires Advantage, expanding experiential offering

The entertainment marketing agency is growing its offering as talent-driven campaigns evolve.

L-R: Mark Owens, CEO; Shirley Hughes, president of brands
L-R: Mark Owens, CEO; Shirley Hughes, president of brands

Interpublic Group integrated marketing and comms agency R&CPMK said Thursday it has folded Advantage, an IPG-owned experiential agency, into its network. 

The acquisition marks the latest step in R&CPMK’s transformation, which began when talent management agencies Rogers & Cowan and PMK merged in 2019, bringing together 275 employees representing 400 Hollywood celebrities, musicians and sports icons, and a roster of global clients including Heineken, Mastercard, McDonald’s and Verizon.

Mark Owens, CEO of R&CPMK, has spent the past five years building out the company’s brand marketing and integration practices “to make sure that big, global brands have a holistic solution to everything in the passion areas [of] sports, entertainment, gaming, music and content,” he said.

“We’re a contemporary agency that doesn't give one slice of the pie, but brings experts in music and entertainment to bear for big clients,” he said.

Over the past few years, R&CPMK has grown its capabilities from talent management and representation to include branding, creative, PR, multicultural marketing and influencer marketing, the latter thanks to the acquisition of ITB Worldwide in 2018. 

Adding Advantage to the family bolsters R&CPMK’s experiential marketing, sports and sponsorships offerings, and brings on two clients: LG and Hyundai. Advantage also enhances R&CPMK’s new creative studio, a centralized group that works across clients and will be led by Jaime Cabrera, formerly VP and ECD at Advantage, now SVP and ECD of R&CPMK. 

“They were a natural addition to the journey we've been on about being customer-centric,” Owens said. 

R&CPMK now offers “access, activation, amplification and analytics” for brands looking to work with talent across music, content, sport, celebrity, gaming and fashion, Owens said, adding that he feels the agency has “all of the pieces in place” now after acquisitions.

“Now our job is to expand vertically instead of horizontally, and do more for our clients in those areas,” he said. “It’s really important for everybody’s lens to be on the client and offer a different viewpoint, because that's how you get the best possible work.”

For example, the agency recently worked with Hyundai to create a drive-thru art show for Hispanic consumers in Hollywood featuring Latino artists, with painted and decorated Hyundai cars placed throughout the venue.

“It was a great experience for families with nothing to do during the pandemic,” said Shirley Hughes, president of brands at R&CPMK. “It’s an example of how we solve creatively for the challenges they have in reaching consumers in a time like this.”

With the addition of Advantage, R&CPMK has roughly 300 employees across Los Angeles, New York, London and Nashville. 

“Smart brands realize that great ideas can come from everywhere,” Owens said. “We can tap into different expertise we have for the solutions they need to [reach their] consumers.” 

This story first appeared on campaignlive.com. 

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