Cundari named top auto agency by WARC 100

Growing Toronto agency recognized for its work on BMW

Jeff Fraser October 16, 2014

Cundari has been named the WARC 100’s top automotive creative agency in the world, thanks to its work for BMW.

WARC ranks agencies in the auto category by summing points on their automotive campaigns featured on the WARC 100 “smartest marketing campaigns in the world” list. Cundari’s “1M Launch” for BMW ranked higher than any other global auto campaign on the list.

Cundari founder and CEO Aldo Cundari said the client should get a lot of credit for the win. “Some of the stuff we were doing four years ago was really radical, and they believed in us and let us go forward,” he said.

Cundari is still building on that relationship, with the globally recognized  “Bullet” video in support of the car company’s M5 model, and most recently with an innovative spot that featured an M4 Coupé racing on an aircraft carrier.

Cundari will add the award to its growing trophy shelf, next to several Gold Cannes Lions and Best of Show at the 2012 Marketing Awards. Aldo Cundari said the agency’s recent successes with BMW and the Hospital for Sick Children are a byproduct of seven long years of retooling the firm to be an “agency of the future.”

The new strategy has included hiring a handful of experts in emerging categories like user experience and predictive data analytics. Cundari said those departments might seem out of place at a creative agency, but these days agencies “can’t just live in a creative world.” “You’ve got to approach everything you do very differently,” he said.

Since April, the company has been on a senior management hiring spree. It has hired Adam Bacsalmasi to direct user experience development on online content and advertising projects; two new planners, Carson Marks and Mat Meir, who will form the backbone of an overhauled strategy team under EVP Malcolm McLean; a senior digital project manager, Yvonne Tsang and  Vikki Kuzmich, a new production lead to replace retiring 12-year veteran Georgette Iordanous.

The new team members hail from a wide range of backgrounds at agencies, media and clients. “We’re starting to attract a massive pool of really good talent. People that want to do innovative things — things they can’t always do at a multinational,” said Cundari. “We don’t belong to anybody, so we can decide we don’t need a large bottom line to justify what we’re doing.”

He said the agency’s growth and innovative approach have also attracted a lot of new clients, and promised it has as many as a dozen acquisitions to announce in the coming months.