Volkswagen’s British luxury car unit Bentley Motors announced plans to change agencies “across the marketing mix” to “help the brand evolve and transform its entire marketing communications strategy as it prepares for full electrification across its product range by 2030 and diversifies its offering to be one of the world’s leading luxury lifestyle brands”.
The move is the next step in the bespoke automaker’s Beyond100 strategy announced in 2020 – a “reinvention” of every aspect of its business, to “become an end-to-end carbon neutral organisation”.
“The appointment of a new lead agency for creative and strategic marketing communications is the latest stage of this programme,” Bentley said in a statement.
Steven de Ploey, director of strategy, product and marketing said: “This announcement marks an exciting new phase in our Beyond100 strategy, which will transform every aspect of the business as we enter our second century as a global luxury brand.
“Our approach to marketing is central to our transformation; and we are delighted to have new partners on board to galvanise our progress. Our plans go far beyond our products, to innovative brand extensions and exciting partnerships.”
As Bentley’s lead creative and strategic agency partner, iX, a new offering within IPG, will be responsible for delivering strategic communications planning, creative development – including brand campaigns and product launches – as well as asset production, brand “storytelling”, social and digital marketing activation.
Headquartered in London, iX is a purpose-built agency to service Bentley, and will draw on a range of resources from across IPG’s portfolio.
Christoph Hohmann, head of brand communications said: “Their open architecture approach, wide range of best-in-class disciplines and geographical spread creates a compelling offer; and meets our modern, multi-faceted marketing requirements to continue evolving one of the world’s most famous luxury brands beyond cars to encompass areas as diverse as sustainable architecture (Bentley Residences Miami), home furnishings, speciality travel and audio.”
Working together with global media partner PHD, the appointment of the new lead strategy and creative agency follows fast on the appointment of Set Creative, the new “experiential partner” which will “drive the development of Bentley’s global strategy for luxury brand experiences”.
Simon+Simon, a global PR agency specialising in luxury lifestyle communications, will be working with Bentley’s Communications team to deliver “strategic and creative relationships with non-automotive media, influencers and affluent communities. Their solid expertise in the luxury sector will support Bentley’s increased emphasis on reaching new audiences through earned media”, the automaker added.
“The agency teams have all demonstrated a deep understanding of the automotive industry as well as luxury brand and customer behaviour – not to mention impressive experience in delivering innovative and creative marketing programmes. We’re really looking forward to working with them during this hugely exciting time in our brand’s development and believe they are the right partners to support our bold new direction,” said de Ploey.