Code and Theory has completed its fifth acquisition, creating a digital store that expands its content production and e-commerce capabilities at a time when demand for these services has increased.
The creative agency, owned by the Stagwell Group, acquired the digital store Kettle following years of discussions between the two agencies.
“We’ve always been looking for great groups of people with a culture that matches,” Dan Gardner, co-founder and CEO of Code and Theory, told Adweek, explaining that in addition to cultural alignment, the he acquisition also represented shared philosophical beliefs. the benefits of adding Kettle’s content creation and production capabilities.
Code and Theory, on the other hand, gives Kettle the opportunity to leverage its global network and expertise in specialized capabilities such as data and analytics.
Founded in 2009, Kettle has grown into a team of 65 employees across offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Kettle has worked with clients such as American Express, Discover, Glossier, National Geographic, Oakley, SoFi, and ZocDoc, as well as a number of disruptive brands in the ecommerce, financial services, media and retail categories. entertainment and retail.
“We have always admired Dan and the team at Code and Theory. We knew we had a similar culture and a mission of user-centric products, ”said Kettle CEO Olivier Peyre. “We have a team of strategists doing research and data / analysis, but nothing quite as deep as what the Code and Theory team can do.”
Code and Theory started chatting with Kettle about three years ago and revisited discussions around an acquisition last year. Gardner explained that the impact of the pandemic didn’t make Code and Theory less excited about the deal, but slowed down the process.
“The world slowed down a bit around March. No matter what you did, it slowed down, ”he said, adding that without pressure to close on a certain date and without insistence from both agencies on maintaining the culture, the process went smoothly. organic at a slower pace.
Kettle CEO Lauren Diamond Kushner said the acquisition would not have a major impact on day-to-day operations. The agency will continue to work with clients independently, with some support from Code and Theory, and partnering on projects as appropriate.
“We relied on the Code and Theory network to help us [certain services], especially with technology and data, ”she explains.
Kettle’s way of working with clients, however, has been turned upside down by the pandemic. The agency had to move away from a model built around in-person collaboration, which often included the physical integration of talent into client teams.
“We had to reinvent the way we work with our clients, but we had a lot of tools in place that we are using to inform our new model,” Peyre explained. “There were tough times, but we thrived.”
Customers embrace digital transformation
The past year has also been marked by a series of sweeping changes in the advertising industry, including the rapid acceleration of brand investments in e-commerce and further developments towards digital advertising channels. With the acquisition, Code and Theory builds on its established e-commerce capabilities with additional expertise.
“It certainly helps to have done a lot of e-commerce before the pandemic,” Peyre said. “Everyone is now focused on this, and we have the case studies to prove it… we are experts in all of this.”
Code and Theory and Kettle are already working together on related projects, with Peyre citing Kettle’s role in creating a “complex and robust” client website for a project involving the two agencies. They have also already started to work together on new business opportunities.