Cundari media planners get collaborative

Recent acquisition creates cornerstone team structure.

One of Canada’s largest independent communications agencies, Cundari Group, has acquired Brand 360° as part of its ongoing plan to build a new agency model. Incorporated in 2004, the strategy and research boutique, which has developed proprietary in-market research methods and tools, will be Cundari’s new research division.

Cundari plans to form an ‘ideation’ group that will apply Brand 360° insights and innovation to Cundari’s media planning – general, interactive and integrated – with a vision to build a team that works together rather than in traditionally separate functions.

‘We’re looking at where the big ideas come from within an organization,’ Aldo Cundari, president of Cundari, tells MiC. ‘By getting Brand 360°’s in-depth brand insights, we’re able to think more laterally on what we put forward as the big ideas for media planning and broaden the way they look at that target group or audience.’

Cundari, whose company has five in-house media planners, sees the acquisition as ‘bringing media to the forefront, because we’re now involving our media department in this ideation group in the early stages of planning.’

‘It’s about building a team that brings the talents of all those functions together to work on a particular opportunity,’ Mary Newman, EVP, Cundari and Brand 360°, tells MiC. ‘It allows us to break through ideas, not only in the types of media to use but in how to make the media the message itself.’

‘We’ve taken down some of the barriers of hierarchy,’ says Cundari, ‘and we believe that by working in these groups, we will get better results. Where we would have handed [our media planners] a brief after some of the direction had been established, we now collaborate with them upfront. So they become a big part in the development of the brief itself.’

‘It’s a fundamental change in approach, and what holds it together is a philosophy that comes from really understanding the consumer,’ says Newman. ‘We see lots of opportunities to understand other aspects of human psychology and how to build it into the experience, whether that’s a product, service or a media experience.’

‘We see it as one of the underpinnings to our new strategy in restructuring the agency to become this new model that we’ve developed over the last year,’ says Cundari. ‘We see that as one of the cornerstones.’