360i has gained a reputation for breaking ground in the digital advertising space with campaigns like Oscar Mayer’s Great American Bacon Barter, in which actor John Sankey made his way across the U.S. by bartering Oscar Mayer Butcher Thick Cut bacon for food, gas and lodging. In January it was ranked second on Advertising Age‘s Agency A-List.
Claude Carrier, president of DentsuBos Canada, said the agency has been looking to expand its digital capabilities. A number of DentsuBos staff spent a month in New York earlier this year to learn how 360i has had so much success.
“I was just blown away by the work they were doing — the quality of the work, the depth of the analytics they had, ” Carrier said.
Carrier said that DentsuBos clients such as Lexus were looking for the kind of digital and social creative that 360i specializes in, while the Canadian arms of 360i’s U.S. clients, like ScottsMiracle-Gro Canada, were looking for the same services in Canada.
“So the conversation quickly went from, ‘They’re helping train some of our people,’ to, ‘We both have a need to build the best potential skill set in that area,” he said. “It quickly became apparent that opening the new 360i Canada was the right way to do it.”
Carrier will take on a second role as president of 360i Canada, and Devon MacDonald will be managing director. MacDonald left a strategist position at Proximity to join DentsuBos in December last year.
The two agencies are partnered through co-ownership by Tokyo-based Dentsu, which has been rapidly expanding its North American network through acquisitions. In the U.S., Dentsu acquired Attik in 2007, MacGarry Bowen in 2008 and 360i in 2010. And in Canada, it merged with Bos last May. In March, Dentsu completed a $5-billion deal to buy Aegis Group, based out of London.
Carrier said 360i Canada, which currently has 6 staff, has already started working for clients.