Blue Marlin breakaway group Aesop launches
A group of former Blue Marlin staffers are launching new consultancy Aesop, which defines itself as ’a brand story agency’.
The integrated consultancy will work across design, strategy, packaging, digital, social, internal engagement and marketing promotion. It says its approach will be based around ’a narrative model that recognises and defines the brand as a story’.
Aesop, which opens its doors on 12 May, has been set up by former Blue Marlin executive creative director Martin Grimer, alongside former UK managing director Roger Hart, former strategic planner Ed Woodcock and former group commercial director Jim Paterson. All left Blue Marlin last year.
Grimer is taking the role of executive creative director at Aesop, Hart will be chief executive, Woodcock strategy director and Paterson commercial director. They are joined by a team of 30, including marketing and social media director Gemma Went, former director at Red Cube Marketing.
Hart says, ’We had all worked together on a number of projects at Blue Marlin and came to the conclusion that there was a bigger opportunity for a one-agency model.’
He describes the consultancy as ’media-neutral’ and says, ’Aesop will not operate like a traditional creative agency. We intend to break the mould in terms of how we help our clients develop and tell their brand stories.’
Grimer says, ’From a creative point of view, our story model opens up new opportunities by unlocking the potential creativity of brands in a whole new way. It allows us to do better creative work and really is our magic token. Personally, I’m really excited about working with new disciplines, new brands and new types of creative people.’
Backed by private equity, the consultancy has also acquired marketing agency Steam, with which it shares a central London office. It is also seeking other acquisitions.
The consultancy, which is out of its covenant period with Blue Marlin and so is able to bring clients over, is currently working on projects with Shell, Soap & Glory and Newcastle Brown Ale.
Aesop is also working on a global brand packaging project for Glaxo Smith Kline brand Ribena, having won a pitch. It is also working on a branding project for a new range from cheese-maker Alex James, the bass player in Blur. The work is set to launch in late summer.
James says, ’I always look forward to seeing Aesop and wonder what they’ve got. They should be proud. They’re hip and look as if they are going places.’
Aesop top dogs
- Executive creative director Martin Grimer. Former executive creative director of Blue Marlin and previously creative director of Coley Porter Bell
- Chief executive Roger Hart. Former UK managing director of Blue Marlin. Has also worked for Martell Cognac and Safeway
- Strategy director Ed Woodcock. Former strategic planner at Blue Marlin and has also worked for 1HQ
- Commercial director Jim Paterson. Former group commercial director of Blue Marlin. Has also worked for Coley Porter Bell and Enterprise IG