International Executives from McDonald & # 39; s and TBWA Launch Consultancy Pltfrmr
Long-time employees Chris Garbutt and Colin Mitchell have left their companies – the agency network TBWA Worldwide and McDonald & # 39; s respectively – to start a new creative consulting firm called Pltfrmr.
Last week, Garbutt left his role as global CCO of TBWA, a network where he began his career at the South African agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris. After returning to TBWA after eight years at Ogilvy, he helped the company named Adweek's 2018 Global Agency of the Year. Mitchell is also a veteran of the agency who spent more than 16 years with Ogilvy prior to joining 2016 joined McDonald & # 39; s and eventually took on the role of SVP for global marketing.
The two told Adweek that Pltfrmr (pronounced “platformer”) was developed through conversations during quarantine about how to build the concept of an agency from scratch, with equal perspectives from both the agency and client side.
"I think we are a great match between art and science," said Garbutt. "I think Colin is one of the strongest strategic minds in the world."
"We are clearly moving into a project world and are designed from the ground up. Traditional agencies tend to fight that. We take it on."
Colin Mitchell, Co-Founder of Pltfrmr
Instead of a traditional creative agency with walls, booths, full-time employees and an emphasis on agency landing agreements, Pltfrmr will be a lean consulting firm with few employees who go beyond the founders.
"We call ourselves creative consulting. In our conversations with CMOs, what they want is completely different," said Mitchell. "We are clearly moving into a project world and are designed from the ground up. Traditional agencies tend to fight that. We accept it. "
Rather than keeping employees, the co-founders will use a global network of freelance professionals to develop branded platforms for clients, which they refer to as the “Talent Cloud” to find people with the right experience for each job.
Although both founders are white men, "we have taken great care to build a talent cloud that is very diverse and encompassing – representative of other cultures and races," said Garbutt.
In terms of output, Pltfrmr is not planning on creating campaigns, but rather building long-term platforms for brands. As an example, Mitchell cited McDonald's focus on "feel good marketing" and how "IBM is committed to being an educator".
"In a world obsessed with tactics, we should focus again on brands – especially branded platforms," said Mitchell.
The co-founders described their business model as a three-step process: defining a platform, designing a platform, and then developing a platform. Some customers may hire the company for all three steps, although Garbutt said Pltfrmr can "work with the customer at any stage".
The consulting firm's first client is Ultimate Medical Academy, a non-profit educational institution for health professionals. Marketing for the organization is led by CMO Linda Mignone, a former Garbutt and Mitchell client who both worked at Ogilvy.