According to MetropolitanRepublic CEO, Alison Deeb, the acquisition of 8909 Digital was finalised at the end of November after the agencies had proven a ‘right fit’ for each other. A successful ‘try-before-you-buy’ relationship resulted in MetropolitanRepublic – a full-service brand agency – acquiring a majority share in 8909.
Deeb said, ‘8909 – a young, dynamic, data-driven digital agency led by Ciarán McKivergan – was the first potential partner we identified during a recent strategy session aligned to the continuous innovation we apply to our communications. This had further shaped our thinking around synergising with partners to provide seamlessly integrated solutions stretching from defining brand purpose, strategy, creative, tech, digital and even entertainment-related business solutions for our clients.’
‘Impressed by McKivergan’s proposition of Quantified Creativity, we asked if he would be willing to explore a partnership according to the try-before-you-buy’ approach, which MetropolitanRepublic has found is the best way to test compatibility. This sees us spending considerable time working together on projects and campaigns for brands within the MetropolitanRepublic stable before signing a deal. Obviously, we both passed the test, and we are delighted to have found McKivergan and his team,’ she said.
During the ‘try-before-you-buy’ period insisted on by MetropolitanRepublic, the partnership experience exceeded all expectations of both agencies. They pitched for and won the marketing integration account for one of South Africa’s heritage brands, Eskort. They won a New Generation Award in the Best Community Engagement category for their work for Flora, and they were awarded the digital strategy and rollout for household name medical brand, Grand-Pa.
With a decade of digital experience, and a degree in both Psychology and Media Studies, McKivergan has won multiple Loerie, Bookmark and Next Generation Awards and has worked on some of Africa’s biggest brands, including The Coca Cola Company, MTN, Jaguar/Land Rover and Amstel.
‘At 8909, we remove the uncertainty, allowing our clients to focus on their growth while we focus on uncovering the most important behavioural insights to drive hot creative and effective media buying to help grow brand ROI growth,’ said McKivergan.