Creative production studio Brave Spark joins MSQ fold

L-r: Shek, Drake, Reid and Howe

MSQ deal: (l-r) Shek, Drake, Reid and Howe

Marketing group MSQ has made its third acquisition of the past 12 months by swooping for award-winning creative production studio Brave Spark for an undisclosed sum.

The deal sees Brave Spark bring its video and digital production, design and creative technology to the group, supporting MSQ’s individual agency offers while continuing to offer standalone production capabilities to clients.

The acquisition is part of a wider MSQ strategy to create a future-facing company embracing content, technology, data, and creativity – which meets client needs in an always-on environment.

Founded in 2010, Brave Spark counts Hiscox, Arlo, Hitachi and Trivento among its clients and will move into MSQ’s London HQ, in Covent Garden.

It has 20 full-time employees handling end-to-end production, post-production, animation and creative technology expertise in house, plus a large roster of award-winning directors and a wide network of crew across the world.

Award-winning campaigns have included the Xero ‘The Mechanic, ‘Skip the Bull’ for Hiscox and the Zalando ‘Greenhouse’ created for Copenhagen Fashion Week.

MSQ will also look to expand the Brave Spark offer globally. The group officially launched its multi-disciplinary offer in North America earlier this year, and also has international hubs in Shanghai and Singapore.

MSQ and Brave Spark agreed a strategic partnership in May 2020, embedding Brave Spark producer resource in MSQ and naming the agency as default video content provider across the group.

Since then, the two have worked together on clients including Arlo, Cancer Research UK, Bosch, Natural Source Waters Association and Zalando. The businesses had also previously worked together on clients such as Hertz, Nivea Men, Buzz Bingo and WeBuyAnyHome.

As part of the deal, MSQ and Brave Spark will combine their expertise to develop a dynamic content offer, built around a fusion of data, in-house programmatic media and high-quality, high-volume content.

The newly combined team will also continue to develop the group’s suite of proprietary tools, such as ADA, a dynamic creative engine that MSQ launched last year to make insight-driven personalisation of creative content a possibility for clients of all investment levels.

MSQ head of dynamic content and production Morgan Cox will work closely with Brave Spark’s co-founders, Rob Drake and Robin Shek, and chief technology officer Luke Cunningham on their global growth and technology plans.

The team will also work closely with MSQ executive director Kate Howe to help bring content and production further into the overall group proposition.

MSQ chief executive Peter Reid said: “I’ve got to know the Brave Spark team over a number of years – the quality of the work they produce is always second to none and I cannot be more pleased to have them join the MSQ family.

“The disruption of daily lives across the world has changed audience relationships with media and brands, therefore marketers are increasingly asking for teams that can make the best possible decisions about content production and investments to deliver the most impactful consumer experience. This acquisition will unlock new areas of creativity and efficiency to do just that.”

Drake added: “It’s clear that MSQ is growing at speed and their ambition and entrepreneurial spirit echoes the approach we’ve taken to build Brave Spark. We’ve always worked together in clear and collaborative ways and that joined-up thinking makes the work better – which means this deal will help take Brave Spark to even greater heights and realise the biggest ambitions of our clients.”

The deal follows the September 2020 purchase of Be Heard Group, bringing research and insights agency Freemavens, web and digital product development agency MMT Digital and media agency agenda21 (now part of Walk-In Media) into the MSQ fold.

Then, in March this year, MSQ acquired the digital agency MBA, merging it with existing customer acquisition and engagement agency Stack to create MBAstack.

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