PARIS - Havas Group today announced its acquisition of New York based digital agency The 88, a digital/social boutique agency that provides strategic direction, creative services, influence, event coverage, content creation and social media management to fashion, lifestyle and consumer brands.
Founded in 2010 by Harry Bernstein, The 88 has 2 offices in New York where its teams of culture hackers, creators and innovators make bold new things for the internet and beyond. The agency will become an extension of The Annex, Havas' cultural network dedicated to emerging consumers, and will be called The Annex88. Harry Bernstein is appointed Chief Creative Officer of Havas New York.
The 88 is unprecedented in their category and offers deep digital expertise, including Instagram, Snapchat, 3D and virtual reality, attracting globally recognized brands like adidas Originals, L'Oréal, Tailored Brands, MARS, Bacardi and Bloomingdale's. Using social media and innovation as the primary driver for brands, the agency has an uncanny ability to identify and leverage trends, working with world-renowned personalities, influencers, artists and musicians.
Yannick Bolloré, CEO Havas Group, said: "This acquisition brings The 88's keen expertise in digital strategy, creative, production, development, influence and event activation into Havas New York's already robust capabilities. Building on what Paul Marobella, Jason Peterson and Laura Maness have already implemented within Havas Creative in the US, this addition will enable us to deliver our clients with an unmatched service mix, and bring value to every part of the customer journey. I warmly welcome Harry and his teams on board."
"Our ambition is to be THE partner for the modern CMO. Social-first thinking, building community around brands and culture are critical to do that effectively. The 88 deal is exciting for us because it allows us to continue to break tradition on what it means to be a creative agency" added Paul Marobella, Chairman & CEO, Havas Creative US.
For Harry Bernstein, founder and Executive Creative Director of The 88: "Seven years ago when I started The 88, I didn't set out to build a social media agency. I wanted to change advertising. I saw the emergence of bloggers (now called influencers) and social media as the future of how brands and their consumers would engage. It was the creative 'wild, wild, west' back then, and we were the cowboys. We just wanted to break how things were being done. I've learned a lot through this process-through breaking and making new things; some that worked and some that didn't. Most importantly, I learned that a great idea doesn't have to have a TV spot at the center; because with our consumer today, a great idea can start anywhere. So we need to think of everything. Every touchpoint. Every engagement. Working with Havas New York gives me the opportunity to do that".