After 18 months of scaling back the number of its creative agency brands, WPP has launched a "fluid operation situated in key global hubs" that will hand-pick talent to answer client challenges.
WPP Black Ops, which describes itself as a start-up rather than an agency, is led by Nihar Das, MediaCom Asia-Pacific managing partner, and Danni Mohammed, a strategy consultant for Grey London and Adidas.
Leo Savage, Grey London executive creative director and Grey New York deputy executive creative director, is involved as creative consultant.
WPP Black Ops' founding client is Procter & Gamble skincare brand SK-II. For the brand's sponsorship of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the shop created a campaign called "Beauty is #NoCompetition" in the space of 48 hours.
Both Das and Savage are close to P&G, the former as global leader of MediaCom’s P&G business and the latter as European executive creative director on Grey’s P&G account.
The Black Ops proposition is to produce big ideas through accelerated creative problem-solving that it calls "collapsed creativity" and works through three principles: faster decision-making, radical transparency in client feedback and creative recency.
Das said: "WPP Black Ops has developed from an idea that originated almost a year ago when we assembled the core team to solve the SK-II Olympic challenge – the brand’s most ambitious project to date.
Sandeep Seth, chief executive of SK-II, said: "WPP Black Ops team has delighted us with exceptional creative thinking, pushing us out of our comfort zone."
Das continued: "What started out as an experimental working model for one client escalated into a new proposition with wide relevance and appeal that’s all about flexibility – drawing in the right people and structuring on a bespoke, project-by-project basis."
The name Black Ops was chosen "for its association with rapid response and synchronous left-right thinking", Das added.
An agency spokesperson said it was in discussion about further projects with a select number of clients.