MDC Partners’ shop Doner has launched a consultancy arm aimed at helping brands create cultural connections with consumers.
The Connections Kitchen, which will sit within the full-service creative agency, taps into its suite of services across data-driven research, strategy, creativity, production and paid media, as well as cross-category expertise in retail, consumer packaged goods, automotive, healthcare and entertainment, to help brands take advantage of new market opportunities.
"As we look to the future, we recognize that marketers are increasingly looking for strategic and creative partners who can engage with them on a project basis," said David DeMuth, CEO of Doner.
"We are launching The Connections Kitchen to be a modern consultancy model backed by the services of a full-service agency that is charged with taking a different approach by combining consumer connections strategies with creative and fast-paced production."
The new offering was architected by Doner’s Chief Consumer Connections Officer Marcus Collins, in collaboration with the agency’s creative leaders in Detroit and Los Angeles.
It’s already won assignments from established brands including Clorox and Kellogg’s, sports teams such as the Detroit Pistons and the LA Clippers, and well-funded enterprises including streetwear marketplace StockX.
The Connections Kitchen was born out of a series of creative marketing experiments for clients looking to take better advantage of new forms of research and innovative technologies to reach and resonate with new audiences. It was inspired by Doner’s work with Potbelly Sandwich Shops to test physiological responses to social content designed to create feelings of happiness.
"What started out as a lab to test new approaches to marketing, led us to create a new agency model that allows us to partner with marketers to take advantage of moments in culture," said Collins.
"The Connections Kitchen can take on creative and strategic co-creation sprints that sit outside of agency of record assignments, such as social activations and new product launches."