The formation of Commonwealth is a first-of-its-kind example globally, where brands from two competing holding companies – Interpublic Group and Omnicom – have formed a 50:50 joint venture to handle the advertising business of General Motors’ brand Chevrolet.
Commonwealth combines San Francisco-based, Omnicom Group company Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and New York-based, IPG’s McCann Erickson Worldwide. In forming the JV, Commonwealth combines creative talent, global automotive experience and strategic business leadership. Chevrolet previously used 70 global agencies.
While India was not part of the global creative pitch that has led to the formation of Commonwealth, the development has a significant impact on India. Mumbai is one of the chosen hubs for the regional work that will be done for various markets in Asia, Middle East and North Africa.
Commonwealth will be guided by an eight-person Global Advisory Board, which will oversee all creative initiatives and strategy for Chevrolet globally. Assignments will be handled through global hubs, which will operate in Detroit, Milan and Sao Paulo, apart from Mumbai. The objective is to ensure “consistent global branding across the diversity of local markets”.
The board includes four global creative executives: Jeff Goodby, who will serve as Creative Chairman; Prasoon Joshi, Washington Olivetto and Linus Karlsson. The four creative leaders will work in collaboration on all major creative initiatives and resource allocations.
Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup India and President – South Asia said, “This is an unprecedented move, where in such a structured manner, Mumbai will be the regional hub for some of the most important markets for Chevrolet. A lot of work would be coming to India for many markets.”
McCann Erickson Mumbai will be hiring a large team to be able to service Chevrolet’s regional requirements that will include markets such as Egypt, Cairo and Dubai amongst several others.
“This is the first time that two large marketing communications holding companies have come together to form a single company. Commonwealth will be based in Detroit, and its only focus will be on strengthening and growing Chevrolet into an iconic global brand,” said Joel Ewanick, Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, GM, in a prepared statement.