Holding company Omnicom Group formally launched its New York-based marketing services agency sparks & honey, said company spokesperson Jane Chong. Sparks & honey, founded by Terry Young who also serves as CEO, uses data analysis, machine learning systems, and real-time engagement engines to preemptively identify emerging cultural trends, allowing clients to quickly adapt their marketing strategies, said Chong.
While other Omnicom companies have practices around data analysis, trends or developing brand content, sparks & honey is unique because it focuses on all three, Chong explained. The agency, which is focusing on targeting companies in the entertainment, fashion and consumer package groups, already has two clients: cosmetics company Clinique, owned by Estee Lauder; Chong declined to disclose the second client.
“[Ideal clients are] image-based brands that have a vested interest in culture and are plugged into the interests of its consumers,” Chong said.
Besides its technological offerings, sparks & honey works with different media partners to assess several sources of information — such as social media channels, search information and networks of key online influencers. Through these relationships, the agency identifies emerging cultural trends and disseminates brand content quickly, said Chong. She declined to name the agency’s partners.
Whereas a traditional advertising agency may take several weeks or months to gather data, identify trends and develop brand content, Chong says sparks & honey can use its partners and team experts to identify trends, develop content and distribute the content quicker.
“We focus on doing multiple touches or communication in real-time with consumers, versus relying on just a 30-second TV spot, which takes longer to produce and get in market,” Chong said. “We call this real-time marketing.”
The company has a core team of eight employees with additional freelancers and is looking to expand to 25 people. A team of 25 would be able to handle about three or four brands, Chong said. As the company gets more clients, the agency will add more people to its team.
Sparks & honey will be an operating unit of Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services (DAS) division and will function as an independent business.