Three of the industry’s senior figures have joined forces to launch what they claim is a “new breed of agency” designed to marry data, tech, creative, innovation and strategy.
Klive – an abbreviation of Knowledge.Live – has been co-founded by chief executive Chris Ward, chief creative officer Chris Martin and chief strategy officer David Brown.
At the heart of the agency’s proposition is what the founders see as an opportunity to help clients reap the rewards from their investment in martech systems, which all too often are being deployed for offer-based communications which are eroding long-term loyalty.
They believe that clients are now calling for a radical change in the skill-sets, operations and process of their incumbent agencies, but “traditional” agencies are struggling to harness the data and technology suﬃciently to create richer, more engaging communications.
Klive says it will focus on the martech first, and offer clients advice on how to get the best out of their systems. It will then combine what it calls “design thinking, scientiﬁc method and advertising techniques”, to shape innovative and creative solutions.
The agency already has a team of 16 and has signed up nine launch clients, including Philip Morris International (working for a smoke free future), EY, Collinson, Brightcove and MyKindaFuture.
The business has also struck 16 partnerships with data, tech and research firms, including deals with Brainchimp, Symanto, Blueberry Wave, FastMap, and CitizenMe.
In addition it has launched what it calls the “Klive Akademy” designed to bring “brand-activists” – including designers, editors, writers and techies – on board.
Together, the founders have a combined 60 years’ industry experience gained at some of the UK’s leading agencies.
Ward had spells at Rapp, CDP, BBH and CMW before co-founding Personal in 2004 and Abundance in 2010. He then joined River Group as chief innovation officer and has been an advisor to the board of global technology innovation company Glorious Labs since 2016.
Martin was most recently creative director at WPN Chameleon, having worked at Bates, O&M, LBM, Carlson, MSB+K, Claydon Heeley and his own agency Bright. Over the years, he has amassed more than 150 industry awards for clients including Amex, British Airways, HSBC, RSPCA, Thomas Cook and John Smith’s.
Meanwhile, Brown also recently left WPNC, and has worked at Royal Mail, Ogilvy, Carlson, Wunderman, Gyro and with Martin at Bright. During this time has worked for clients including TUI, P&O, RSPCA, Plan, British Airways, Guinness and Citroen.
Ward said: “Klive has been a year in the making. The proposition has been developed with extensive input from marketing directors all of whom expressed the same frustrations and concerns. We launch with nine clients and a body of work under our belt.
“Chris, David and I could not have wished for a better start and whilst no one knows what’s round the corner in terms of economic climate we believe our approach, the talent of the team that have joined us, the trust of our clients will enable us to land in an already overcrowded market as a serious contender to the long established brands.”
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