A partnership that’s been years in the making, Agence79 is now part of the Havas family. With direction from Raphaël de Andréis, CEO of Havas Media France, and a modest staff of some 40 people, the digital agency is tasked with solving two major challenges: transforming traditional content into effective digital messaging and placing that content across the entire media landscape—which includes mobile, social, and the web.
As associate directors, Jérémie Bugard and Stéphane Gorre are up for the challenge. In this candid Q&A, the two share how they got their starts in the business, why they felt joining Havas was the right move, and share the trend that they feel is making the biggest impact on advertising.
Give us a little background. How did each of you get your start in advertising?
SG : Before my start in advertising, I used to study accounting—and I taught windsurfing, which was an adventure. But I got an internship at Dentsu. This was the beginning of another great adventure—this one in advertising.
JB : Well, I completed my studies in communications strategy. And interestingly, I started my career at Havas Group before co-founding Agence79. I was a commercial director at Havas, but co-founded Agence79 in 2008. It’s great, however, to be apart of the Havas family again.
So, tell us about Agence79.
We’ve got two offices: One in Boulogne-Billancourt in the west of Paris and in Lyon. Our job is to help our clients in their digital transformation and their business. We’re all passionate about web—and when we say that, we mean a web experience that’s consistent and engaging.
Our clients or target sectors include everything from financial services and banking to gambling, entertainment, tourism, housing, retail, and so forth. But regardless of the sector, our teams advise our clients in their entire digital strategy: digital media—and that includes display, video, social, programmatic, mobile, ePR—, tools, data and analytics, content, and so on.
Why did you decide that joining the Havas family was the right move?
Ever since we founded Agence79, we’ve always wanted to shape, develop, and position our offering with one aim in mind: to create the new-generation media agency. Now, we’re ready to write the next chapter of our history with Havas Group.
OK, what does a new-generation agency look like?
Well, it means that we’re bringing our way of working to Havas, one that’s rooted in our history and organization: Our media experts are always in task-force mode on all the web, mobile and social media marketing drivers, like display campaigns, paid and organic listing, affiliation, e-mailing, community, programmatic, real-time bidding and native.
Tell us about some of the biggest opportunities—and challenges—in your local markets.
The biggest opportunity in the markets we serve is, clearly, digitization. It’s our present reality, and it’s only going to become a greater part of our future. Our biggest challenge: to build an agency rooted in digital and that’s capable of spreading out across the entire media landscape. So essentially, the challenge stems from a great opportunity.
As associate directors of Agence79, how will you encourage the team to advance the Together ethos of Havas?
We’ve never worked in silos. For eight years, Agence79 as been in task-force mode. We’ll keep on with this mindset in this partnership with Havas. The Together ethos comes naturally to us. Collaboration is in our DNA.
Who are some of your more notable clients?
We have several: Club Med, Codemasters, Capcom, Carmignac, Dunlop, Fujifilm, Goodyear, PMU, Sega, and others.
OK, so what are some examples of some of the great work you’ve done?
Last year was marked by the 2016 Euro Cup, during which PMU, a Major Partner of the France team, deployed its “The Footballers” sports betting system with an advertising campaign.
And Bonial Group, which makes location-based shopping platforms, is our customer. We crafted an e-PR campaign that prompted readers to engage with our client through relevant, useful content. That content increased traffic—more than 100k visitors in one day—for our client website. We had activations in France and in the United States.
What do you feel is the biggest trend in the advertising industry right now?
AdUX. If it’s done poorly, online advertising drives users away. Of course, we don’t want that. We want them to engage with the messaging and, hopefully, the users will act on the ads that they see—and eventually become customers. So that leaves us with the converse: what happens when ads are done well? The company, the messaging, and the products now become more appealing to users. User experience, especially in advertising, means everything. So, good AdUX is a major trend, and, frankly, should be one of the biggest guiding principles in the digital age.
What do you hope will change with Agence79 as a result of this new partnership with Havas?
We said this before, and we’ll say it again: We want to create an agency rooted in digital and capable of spreading out across the entire media landscape. The time has come to deploy this now tried-and-tested model on a grand scale.
With the support of Havas, we can now write that second chapter of our story—grounded in the same philosophy and the same exacting standard: to better satisfy our present and future clients. In a few words, we just want to imagine the future of advertising, together.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting out in the industry?
Here’s a quote that everybody knows: “Yes we can.”