French advertising company Publicis Groupe has long had connections to the finer things in life. The owner of ad agencies like Publicis Worldwide, Fallon Worldwide and Leo Burnett, serves marketers including L’Oreal, Cartier and Woodford Reserve. Now it wants to extend its hold on such niceties.
The company, which recently failed to complete what would have been an industry-changing merger with U.S. rival Omnicom Group, said it was forming an alliance with magazine publisher Conde Nast and Google to give so-called “luxury” advertisers a service that will help them not only devise marketing plans, but analyze consumer-trends data and create content that would appeal to potential customers with a taste for the high life. The unit, to be called “La Maison” (French for “house”), aims to give high-end advertisers more knowledge as emerging markets like China and South America take on more importance and as digital media becomes more paramount in reaching consumers.
The unit will be headed by Charles Georges-Picot, CEO of agency Publicis 133 , who said La Maison would provide ‘ fresh insights to our clients – whether it’s understanding the behaviors of Brazilian luxury buyers and spotting the next big social channel in China to providing unique fashion films and exclusive editorial content.”
Publicis has reason to chase such business. Luxury marketers aren’t the biggest spenders on advertising, but they rely on a consumer base that usually has more disposable income than the masses sought after by Procter & Gamble or Subway. Publicis burnished recent data from Bain & Co. suggesting global growth among luxury marketers in 2014 will increase by up to 6%, “with rising online payment and 30% of purchases made by Chinese consumers playing an increased role.”
As part of the pact, Google is to provide data showing digital habits of affluent consumers, including interests for brands and products, while also breaking down activity by desktop, mobile and tablet devices. The company will also explore YouTube video consumption and search query trends on luxury brands to build monthly reports to help clients understand the latest market insights among consumers with high net worth. Meanwhile, a marketing group operated by Conde Nast will devise content that could range from film to digital video. photography and written work. Editorial staff from Conde Nast publications like Vanity Fair and Vogue do not appear to be involved. portfolio.
Ad companies love to trot out new “shops” and “shingles” that aim to fill an emerging niche, but the real question is whether La Maison will help Publicis bring in new clients, or new money from existing ones. The company said none of its clients are being shifted to La Maison, which for the time being will exist simply as a resource that advertisers can tap if desired.