With a goal of crafting “media sensible” communications, Publicis agency Denuo has launched a new practice called Alchemy.
“Alchemy isn’t a unit or division, it’s really a practice within the group we’ve now formalized,” said Saneel Radia, VP and alchemist at Denuo.
Denuo defines its “alchemists” as experts who possess a “blend of creative, media and strategy expertise.” These employees work in conjunction with in-house specialists — such as copywriters and designers — to bring creative to life across various media platforms.
Alchemy is based on the idea that the people creating ideas can’t be completely divorced from the channel those ideas are running in, Radia said. “You have to understand the channel,” he added.
“We don’t have a COO; we don’t have a president. We’re not organized into divisions or units,” Radia said about the organizational structure of Denuo, which launched two years ago and has offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Historically, Denuo’s clients have been other agencies, Radia noted, but added that with Alchemy, “the point is to work directly with clients using this model.”
Denuo is currently working in partnership with Leo Burnett on a Hallmark project. Because younger people don’t have the same card giving behavior as the older generation, Radia explained, “Alchemy makes sense for Hallmark [because it] accounts for [the] younger generation’s media habits.”
In this Hallmark’s case, it’s important that both the idea and how it’s executed are media-sensible, Radia explained. From a card giving standpoint, Hallmark needs to understand its target’s needs and consumption habits — which is what it’s competing against, he said. Whether it’s Facebook or text messages or IM, Hallmark needs to see how it can fit into those channels rather than compete with them, he added.