Bonds names Special Group as creative agency of record

Bonds has consolidated its creative account, appointing Special Group as its agency of record, Mumbrella can reveal.

At the start of this month, Mumbrella revealed the pitch for the brand was underway, with Special Group joined by TBWA Melbourne and incumbents Leo Burnett Melbourne and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne on the shortlist.

Special Group will now work on all aspects of Bonds’ brand and marketing communication alongside the wider agency roster including media agency OMD, brand management and creative consultancy The Arc Factory, and PR agency Two Birds Talking.

The loss of Bonds is another hit to Leo Burnett after it lost the creative account for Samsung to CHE Proximity at the start of this year.

The agency joined Bonds’ creative roster in 2014, and produced the brand’s ‘Join the Queendom’ campaign, that positioned women as jungle warriors, and last year’s ‘Glo-Ball Warming’ campaign.

Leo Burnett CEO, Melinda Geertz, said the agency’s work helped evolve the Bonds brand.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve created with Emily [Small] and her team, and the impact of our partnership over the last six years. We’ve helped evolve the ever-iconic Bonds brand, giving it a more dynamic, diverse and contemporary perspective. It’s been a fantastic journey, and we wish everyone at Bonds all the best in the future,” she said.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne has also relinquished its portion of the account, which remained quiet for several years until this month when the agency addressed the ‘turtleneck’ vs ‘crewneck’ debate for Bonds men’s underwear.

Back in 2015, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne created ‘The Boys’ campaign, which depicted two men in hanging chairs, representing testicles, having conversations with the brain above.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne declined to comment.

General manager of brands at Hanes Australasia, Emily Small, said it was hard to walk away from Special Group’s ideas during the pitch.

“We are incredibly proud of the work we created together with Leo Burnett who are one of the most collaborative agencies we have worked with. It was time for us to take a different strategic approach and the thinking and creativity demonstrated by Special Group during the closed pitch process was hard to walk away from.  We are also excited to reunite with so many of the Special Group team who have worked with the Bonds brand in the past,” she said.

Lindsey Evans, CEO of Special Group Australia, said: “The team at Special Group feel a great deal of personal affection for Bonds and a big sense of responsibility to make it as loved in the future as it has been in the past. Bonds have an ambition to co-create a more comfortable, inclusive world for all of us and we are incredibly proud to help them on that journey.”


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