Ad Agency Fallon Loses Major Client Cadillac
Minneapolis-based advertising agency Fallon took a hefty blow Tuesday, losing a major client, Cadillac.
General Motors is shifting the account from Fallon to three separate agencies under the Interpublic Group advertising holding company: Boston-based Hill Holliday, Detroit-based Campbell Ewald, and London-based Lowe Worldwide, according to Ad Week. The combined ad group is dubbed “Rogue.”
Fallon acquired the Cadillac account in 2010. CEO Mike Buchner expressed disappointment but optimism for the future in a statement emailed to Twin Cities Business Wednesday morning.
“Cadillac has momentum that it didn’t have when we took on the account almost three years ago, and that will serve the brand well as it moves forward,” Buchner said. “In the meantime, Fallon will take its expertise and passion for luxury brands to other companies where we can apply the same sort of transformational thinking and creativity to generate exponential economic returns for them as well.”
Fallon declined to comment on whether the loss of the account would result in any job turnover.
During its tenure with Cadillac, Fallon developed and launched one of the brand’s most successful ad campaigns, “ATS vs. The World.” The spots featured professional drivers taking Cadillac’s ATS model through exotic and dangerous locations, including a twisting mountainside or a Monaco racetrack. The campaign went on to win one of the advertising industry’s highest honors in 2013, an Effie Award, for marketing effectiveness in the automotive industry; the ATS was the only luxury car in the category.
In a Tuesday memo to employees, which was later published by Ad Age, Buchner informed workers that Fallon lost the account and defended the agency’s work.
“Today we were officially notified that we are no longer Cadillac’s agency of record. This is an outcome we do not deserve, but the decision has been made,” Buchner wrote in the memo. “We took a brand that was emerging from bankruptcy, gave it a differentiating positioning, brand identity, and voice, and made Cadillac the fastest-growing major car brand in the United States.”
Buchner went on to detail the growth that Cadillac has seen since Fallon took over its advertising. According to Buchner, Cadillac’s 2013 year-to-date sales are up 38 percent (the brand’s largest year-to-date sales gain since 1976) and sales of Cadillac luxury sedans are up 109 percent compared to models the brand was selling a year ago.
Twin Cities Business in 2011 took a look at Fallon’s campaign strategy to maintain but go beyond the luxury persona of the Cadillac.
Fallon wouldn’t comment on any plans to replace the Cadillac account with another big brand, but it still maintains big name accounts such as Charter, H&R Block, Travelers Insurance, and the Syfy Channel, among others.
Founded in 1981, Fallon is the third-largest ad agency in Minnesota based on annual revenue, which is estimated to be about $45 million.