Infectious Media, one of the firms that has powered the digital advertising revolution in Europe, announced today that it is joining Kepler Group, the US-based digital marketing pioneer that sits within the kyu Collective alongside companies such as IDEO, Sid Lee and SY Partners. This unites two transformative firms to create an industry leader with true global reach. The deal reflects the growing influence of next generation companies that help marketers navigate the seismic, technology-driven changes impacting how brands connect with consumers.
Data, platforms, advanced analytics, and speed are now the global foundations for modern marketing. This has driven advertisers to radically rethink their operating models, approach to tech, and role within the marketing value chain. In turn, they have turned to a new breed of marketing services firms that go beyond traditional media approaches to offer deep expertise on technology best practices, in-house team design and technical implementation, advanced measurement, and privacy.
This trend only accelerated as COVID-19 made brands’ even more reliant on e-commerce and data-driven marketing. As experts in these areas, Kepler and Infectious Media have both grown in 2020 while less technologically advanced marketing groups declined.
The two firms have a shared focus on large-scale advertisers, and their combined client roster includes Hasbro, John Lewis, The New York Times, Pepsico, HSBC, and Uber.
“We started talking about joining up two summers ago,” said Martin Kelly, Infectious Media’s CEO. “Both firms were award-winning leaders in their home markets. Both firms continued to grow in 2020. But we had each independently concluded that we needed to establish a global footprint to meet clients’ expanding needs. Combining forces presented a terrific way to accomplish that.”
“The extended dialogue provided us a chance to make sure the teams would fit well together,” added Rick Greenberg, Kepler CEO. “And that just became more obvious with every conversation, since both companies were built from day one to be among the most forward-thinking firms in the industry. With this acquisition, the amount of innovation talent we’re bringing together is simply awesome.”
Infectious Media will retain its brand name in the immediate term and adopt the Kepler name in a staged process. Together, the group will have nearly 400 professionals across offices in London, Singapore, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Costa Rica. It will also retain the ability to leverage parent company Hakuhodo DY’s other digital units to provide specialized knowledge and capabilities, particularly in Japan and additional APAC markets.