Gideon Spanier
Mar 13, 2020

Wavemaker rebrands with focus on 'provocative planning'

Clients 'want to to be provoked' to drive growth, CEO says.

Wavemaker: rebrand adds orange dot to name
Wavemaker: rebrand adds orange dot to name

Wavemaker has rebranded with a new logo and positioning around "positive provocation" as the WPP media agency seeks to simplify, digitise and globalise its offering. 

Toby Jenner, who moved from sister agency MediaCom to be global chief executive of Wavemaker in September 2019, said "positively provoking growth for our clients and our people" was a key part of his new approach.

"I don’t think there’s a client in the world that doesn’t want to be provoked," Jenner said, explaining the thinking behind what he calls "the new Wavemaker" proposition and a focus on "provocative planning".

"We believe there is always a better way to grow" for clients, he added.

Wavemaker is already in the top five global media networks with a largely local and regional client base and it has an opportunity to win more global accounts, according to Jenner, who wants more consistency from the agency’s offices around the world.

His team has built a new global operating system. It includes the provocative planning tool, which has a "modular", rather than "sequential", approach.

There are three modules that focus on: unlocking new growth opportunities today; maximising ongoing growth through smarter technology; and finding future growth through human intervention and innovation.

Wavemaker’s new logo has black letters with an orange ball on the right-hand side of the letter "r". An animated version features a bouncing ball. 

The agency carried out the rebrand in-house, with help from WPP digital shop Mirum on the "look and feel" and independent branding agency NB Studios on the visual identity. 

Wavemaker was formed in 2018 when WPP merged MEC and Maxus, but it had a slow start under its first chief executive, Tim Castree, who exited in December 2018.

The agency was leaderless for the first eight months of 2019 until Jenner joined. 

Clients include Adobe, Axa, British Airways, Chanel, L’Oréal, Mondelez International and Netflix.

Jenner said: "Growth models of the past will not serve the future. Established approaches and traditional thinking are being exploded in every sector, in every market. 

"Exceptional growth now requires uncomfortable change. This change demands courage, from our clients and from our people. 

"Wavemaker understands this. We must live our name, which reflects a provocative, even fearless, attitude."

Wavemaker is the second-biggest media agency in China and the largest in Italy – two markets that have been badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Campaign UK

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