IPG folds Airborne into Ensemble to create new full service creative agency

Justin Ricketts

Justin Ricketts

Creative agency Airborne has been folded into fellow IPG Mediabrands agency Ensemble, as the group looks to reposition the branded content agency as a full service creative outfit.

CEO Justin Ricketts said: “We’ve effectively taken two highly creative businesses and merged them to create a new and more powerful proposition. It is a genuine case of one plus one equalling three – with the all of the complimentary services previously offered under Airborne now fitting under the Ensemble brand.”

Airborne’s management team of Scott Player and Kristy Player have moved into the new offering with Scott taking the COO role and Kristy head of design, while all the staff from the two agencies will be retained. They already share office space in Sydney.

The move comes just a few weeks after IPG-owned creative agency FCB shut its doors in Australia, folding its clients and staff into independent agency AJF Partnership, a move IPG says was made by FCB’s global management. It is understood the Airborne brand will disappear from the market.

In combining, the new Ensemble has introduced design, digital development, in-house production as well as investing in new creative and account services teams as it positions itself to take on full service creative assignments from clients.

“We are aiming to shift to a new way of viewing creative. We are accelerating our capabilities to create the most talked about and contagious ideas for brands that spread beyond paid media and deliver real world impact.  We have increasingly been providing full service integrated solutions for clients. The feedback is it’s working, so the expanded capability is a logical progression,” said Ricketts.

Founded in March 2010, Ensemble now has 52 full time staff in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra with an office soon to be opened in Brisbane. Airborne boasted clients including Lego Australia, AMF Bowling and Invisible Zinc.

In Sydney, the agency has appointed former BMF copywriter Lucy Kough as a senior creative and Network Ten’s Grant Anderson, who was executive producer for commercial content for the Generate division, as a content specialist.

Julie Anne Longano has joined the Melbourne office as an account director having previously worked as a group sales manager at Southern Cross Austereo.

The full time appointments complement what the agency is calling a “Creative Council” which sees Ensemble engage “several high-credentialed” senior art directors and copywriters on a regular basis “to further elevate creative solutions for clients”.

Ricketts said: “We recognise that contagious ideas are collaboratively developed and can be executed across any channel. By adding new senior resource and integrating our new craft streams, we now have an efficient and effective in-house approach to not only developing contagious ideas for brands, but to execute and spread the ideas in the channels where they naturally live and breathe.”

The newly positioned Ensemble has worked on a number of campaigns under the ‘contagious ideas’ proposition, including Target’s ‘Style the Nation’ TV show.

Ensemble’s other clients include KFC, Magnum, Meat & Livestock Australia, Bunnings and Lego.

FCB globally recently took the decision to shut the local office of  creative agency FCB in Australia, however its staff and clients were folded into independent agency AJF Partnership.

IPG Media brands executive chairman Henry Tajer said: “Ensemble are masters at engaging brands with people. The business has been a total success story since it started and bringing top-level advertising creative into the mix brings another platform to their already unique consumer engagement capabilities.”

Miranda Ward


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