Agency Visit: Saatchi & Saatchi LA’s Dallas Office

The UNT Ad Club visited Saatchi & Saatchi of Dallas on October 13, a balmy Friday morning. The building was picturesque–all glistening glass. As the the group got inside they were greeted by the agency’s CEO, Al Reed.

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 Reed wanted to talk about the history of Saatchi & Saatchi. He claimed that the agency was in “business of making things matter,” further claiming that they make advertisements because they care and love the brand. Reed then gave a few fun facts about the agency itself:

  • Saatchi & Saatchi was founded by Mauna and Charles Saatchi in 1970, first headquartered in New York City.
  • The agency has 114 offices in 67 countries, with over 6,000 employees!
  • It is a full-service agency, able to handle any aspect of the advertising process for a client

Following that, he gave a short rundown of Saatchi’s history in Dallas. He said that one of their major brands, Toyota, moved to Dallas in April, 2014. Wanting to be closer to the client, the agency decides to open up a branch in Dallas as well, breaking ground just under two years later in March, 2016. The new building was finished nearly ten months later in February, 2017.

“At Saatchi, we like to have fun,” said Reed as we continued our walk. He followed this by saying the agency even permits the employees to bring their dogs into the office. “Our industry is about people,” he further claimed. He said that Saatchi & Saatchi makes ideas, and that these ideas are the value of the company.

Someone in the group asked Reed what they look for in new hires here at Saatchi. He answered quickly, saying that you should show you are willing to work and have a passion for not just advertising, but for telling a story.

But with that, Reed said the real tour would start. We would be going through each department individually to get a taste of what they do and how they function in the agency.

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Idea Management

  • Also know as Client Management, this department is essentially the liaison between the client and the other departments of the agency
  • They are the face of the agency to the client, but supporter of what the client wants when back at the agency
  • Develops an understanding the client’s business and initiates the flow of ideas between the client and the agency

Creative

When we got to the creative department, Reed invited Matt Davis, the Creative Director, to speak to us. Davis claimed that the creative department here at Saatchi & Saatchi “makes pieces of work that people experience” and that their job as creatives is to transform the strategic insights they get from other departments into that experience.

Davis then said that marketing isn’t just about putting something out there, it’s about making an experience for the consumer and sparking conversations. He further claimed that being a creative involves a lot of problem solving.

Production

From creative we moved to the production department, where we met Dogan Datillo, the Executive Producer. He gave us the rundown of the department:

  • They turn the ideas into real content
  • Connects the creatives to directors, actors and collaborators
  • It’s a world of compromise, and we make it work

Media

We met Tia Humphrey, the Media Supervisor of the media department. Humphrey said that the main roles of this department included developing media recommendations through planning, buying and negotiating. They also create partnerships to get prime spots on a variety of media channels. She expanded onto some other functions of the department:

  • Includes account services and planning
  • Brings the brand to life, speaking to its own personality and culture
  • A people skills and relationship driven job

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Public Relations

As we walked though the final department we would see on this visit, Reed introduced us to Kimberly Harms, the PR Manager for Saatchi & Saatchi. She said the main function of PR is to promote the brand and publicize the various campaigns and events the other departments organize. She claimed that they’ve created partnerships for Toyota that include Buzzfeed, Twitter and The Weather Channel. SOme other functions she mentioned:

  • Amplifies existing media partnerships
  • Develops new content for partners
  • Creates press releases to get information of the brand out

Beyond this, Humphrey also claimed that PR was really about storytelling, creating a common theme for the entire agency. Fer final words to us fit what we’ve learned from our time with Saatchi & Saatchi almost perfectly:

“We tell the story of what we’re doing and why it’s important.”

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