Phenomenon receives majority investment in creative consulting

Berggruen Holdings and Sleeping Bear Capital to provide growth support to business transformation shop.

Brand transformation agency Phenomenon, which works the likes of Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, American Express and more, is getting a boost this week from Los Angeles-based Berggruen Holdings and San Francisco-based Sleeping Bear Capital.

The firms have both invested initially in Phenomenon’s creative consulting division to help elevate and expand its creative transformation capabilities. One of the goals of the investment is to help Phenomenon make future acquisitions across areas such as social marketing, A.I.-based marketing and strategic media planning.

In addition to Pepsi, P&G and American Express, indie shop Phenomenon works with Crate and Barrel, CB2, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros., Stash Tea, KB Home, PetSmart, Aetna, Providence St Joseph Health, TD Ameritrade and Quibi.

Krishnan Menon, CEO and founder of Phenomenon said that the partnership between Berggruen and Sleeping Bear Capital is revolutionary because it aims to leverage a creative business model focused on action, not just ads.

"We were a small fish always playing in big ponds. In the past 12 months alone, we found ourselves in finalist pitches against Droga5, Anomaly, Weiden + Kennedy, IDEO, BBDO, and other much larger firms with deeper resources. We realized that sustaining that level of participation would require growth capital," he said.

Menon added: "In addition, as we looked at the changing landscape of business and it’s use of creative services companies, there were areas that, if we accelerated our growth in, we could potentially see high returns: media strategy, influencer and social strategy and AI-based analytics, for example. We are looking to use this capital partnership to help drive accelerated growth through acquisitions in these areas."

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