The joining of forces of the two theatrical ad houses is billed as "a unique global partnership."
First Artist Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire SpotCo, it was announced Aug. 11. In 2006, First Artist acquired Dewynters, the leading British advertising agency behind the campaigns for such international hits as Mamma Mia!, The Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables and Cats.
SpotCo's clients include campaigns for Chicago, Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights and the upcoming Billy Elliot The Musical and Shrek The Musical. "The partnership between the two companies will form a transatlantic super shop for marketing, design, digital media, advertising, merchandising and promotions for live theatrical entertainment, designed to reach an international audience," according to the statement. "The relationship will not be mutually exclusive and both companies will continue to work together as well as independently with other clients and agencies. Both companies will retain their names and billings will remain independent."
SpotCo CEO Drew Hodges stated, "Broadway's gone global. Theatre and live events have become giant universal brands. There's now a huge worldwide demand for live productions. By working with Dewynters, we're uniquely positioned to tap into international markets with coordinated campaigns that are sophisticated, engaging and most importantly, can cut through an environment saturated with entertainment options."
"This is a thrilling opportunity for us and I am delighted that we are joining forces with the creative and strategically forward-thinking team at SpotCo," stated Anthony Pye-Jeary, managing director of Dewynters. SpotCo, founded in 1997, represents almost half of the shows running on Broadway. Beginning with the creative for the musical Rent, which catapulted the show into a worldwide phenomenon, SpotCo has developed a reputation for inventive and sometimes irreverent campaigns.
SpotCo was responsible for the conception and art direction for the viral "Cubby Bernstein" serial videos for the musical Xanadu. The videos generated over 750,000 hits on YouTube.
SpotCo also created the successful "Vote Your Heart" Tony Award campaign for Avenue Q, which many thought swayed Tony voters to pick the show as Best Musical over Wicked.
SpotCo is working on campaigns for the newly formed DreamWorks Theatricals on its first stage musical, Shrek The Musical and Universal's Working Title on the acclaimed Billy Elliot The Musical, as well as the screen-to-stage musicals Dirty Dancing, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical and 9 to 5: The Musical and the eagerly anticipated revivals of West Side Story and Guys and Dolls.
SpotCo also currently represents Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Guthrie Theater, the Broadway productions of All My Sons, Boeing-Boeing, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Mary Stuart, reasons to be pretty, The Seagull, The 39 Steps, [title of show] and Young Frankenstein and the Off-Broadway production Fuerzabruta.
SpotCo's work in other arenas includes Radio City Music Hall, The New York Botanical Garden and the Las Vegas campaigns for Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity and Avenue Q.
Dewynters is the U.K.'s leading arts and entertainment advertising agency. Founded over a century ago in 1872 and incorporated in 1924, the agency has created some of the most memorable theatrical imagery, past and present. Their classic work includes the instantly recognizable logo art for Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Cats, as well as such global musical hits as The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You and Wicked.
Over the past decade, SpotCo and Dewynters have collaborated on various worldwide campaigns, including the smash revival of the Kander & Ebb-Bob Fosse musical, Chicago. That production has been seen in 28 countries and nine languages, with a worldwide gross of over $850 million.
"What we and our new creative partner Dewynters deliver is an emotional promise that if you look at our campaigns, you will know how it will feel when you attend that live event," Hodges stated.
"Our clients will now benefit from a whole new direction in global thinking for both their existing and future productions," stated.