Five years ago, when remote work was still a relative novelty, The&Partnership landed Toyota as a client, and started building a new international creative team from scratch, setting up ‘hubs’ located across the client’s European offices. Executive creative director André Moreira – who was new to the agency at the time – says it was a daunting prospect, but one that had its benefits.
“It allowed us not to have any baggage and just look at everyone, and even our way of working, from zero,” says Moreira, who now oversees creative development of all work for Toyota, Lexus, Aon and Mars across Europe. “It allowed me, from a creative point of view, to hire all of the creative directors and some of the creatives as well. That immediately created quite a different type of relationship between us in [The&Partnership London] hub, and those guys in their local markets. It was a much closer, more personal relationship from the get-go.”
One of the key challenges was finding the right people for the job. Moreira says that most creatives are drawn to agency structures offering the excitement of working on different brands day-to-day. However The&Partnership’s Toyota creative team would be embedded in the company’s office, and focus only on that client. He describes it as “a big filter” for applicants.
Although the agency was worried about this, Moreira says it ended up attracting a wider range of creatives – from younger people keen to take the next step, to those who wanted more control over the work, or creatives that had been bouncing from agency to agency, and were ready for something different. “It was a new proposition,” he adds.