Huawei Device USA names DDB NY agency of record

Agency will help the Chinese tech giant take on the Apple Watch

Huawei Device USA has named DDB New York as its advertising agency of record.

The agency appointment comes as the Chinese tech company rolls out its first smart watch in markets around the globe. The Huawei Watch, which retails for about $350, recently became available in the US and is being positioned as a stylish, premium alternative to the Apple Watch and other competitors.  

DDB’s first work for the brand launched in September, a national digital effort that pitches the product as "Smart, Redefined." A second wave leading up to the holidays launches next week, with a holiday campaign planned for early December.

"Our decision to partner with DDB New York came down to the agency’s drive to create work that is impossible to ignore," said Yanyan Ji, Vice President of Marketing, Huawei Device USA, in a statement.

DBB New York leads the strategic, creative and media functions to promote Huawei’s brand across the US. The agency was chosen after a review of undisclosed agencies this summer.

Chris Brown, president and CEO of DDB New York, a part of Omnicom Group, said the agency came in with a "compelling case" with focus on their digital and marketing strategies to land Huawei’s business. The global tech company, he said, operates in the "intersection of style, fashion and technology" that "creates a great ecosystem" to work in.

Although the agency’s first work for Huawei Devices promotes the smartwatch, the agency’s scope includes generating awareness for the brand and its product portfolio, which in addition to the smartwatch, includes a smartphone, tablet and other wearable devices. 

The US appointment is the latest agency partnership Huawei has set up around the world as it expands internationally. Huawei began a search for an agency to work on its global creative business back in September. In August 2014, Huawei appointed Dare as its UK creative agency, and OMD UK for media strategy. Huawei’s global creative agency is Shenzhen-based TEAMHW, a custom agency comprising talent from several WPP shops. Isobar leads global digital marketing activity from Shanghai and London.

Separately, DDB named Wendy Clark president and CEO of North America. Clark was previously president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing at Coca-Cola North America. 

Mark O'Brien, who previously held the role, will become an executive vice president with Omnicom. 

"I’ve known Wendy since she was a client at AT&T and she is a game-changer," Chuck Brymer, CEO of DDB worldwide, in a statement. "She understands the demands facing corporate marketing and the role agencies play in engaging and winning customers. She is passionate about creativity and a magnet for talent.  We are thrilled that she will be leading DDB in North America."

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