You don’t need to be a veteran art director to appreciate that if a brand new ad shop gets backing from the Interpublic Group, the chances are it’s got something special to offer. In a land of agency Goliaths, fledgling shop O’Keefe, Reinhard & Paul has ambitions to become a real David as it opens its doors in Chicago’s West Loop.
The mere mention of the name Reinhard will ignite the interest of the informed art director: co-founder Matt Reinhard is the son of the legendary Keith Reinhard, erstwhile Chairman of DBB Worldwide. He’s re-uniting with his former DraftFCB buddies Nick Paul (who was once chief growth officer for Interpublic) and veteran U.S. creative chief Tom O’Keefe.
Reinhard the Younger, who once worked for holding company Omnicom as executive creative director (a young art director’s dream role), knows a thing or two about attracting high profile clients. He learnt at his father’s knee of course, and Reinhard the Elder was a formidable mentor, having enticed MacDonald’s back to DBB against all odds after it had taken its Golden Arches to rival agency Leo Burnett.
A fast-growing client could well be on the new agency’s roster in the near future: Taco Bell, the Mexican fast-food unit of Yum Brands. That’s down to the firm’s ties with Tom O’Keefe, who worked with the company closely during his twenty-year stint at DraftFCB.
Taco Bell exemplifies a growing trend among clients who are easing away from the lead creative agency model in favor of diversifying to numerous agencies for different projects. Although DraftFCB remains its lead agency, Taco Bell has recently enlisted the services of Deutsch, another Interpublic agency, to work on other aspects of the brand. There’s good reason to suppose that it’ll tap Reinhard, O’Keefe and Paul any time soon.
Nick Paul puts the new firm’s approach succinctly:
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen the shift where clients are more in charge than ever, and looking for ideas from all over not just one agency partner. At the same time, they’re not looking for boutique-size ideas; they still want the business driving results they’ve always demanded. We believe we can be at the front of this movement and bring our big agency, big-brand experience to a more nimble, modern playing field.”