Engine USA (www.theenginegroup.com), the newly formed communications and marketing services group, today announced the acquisition of Deep Focus (www.deepfocus.net), the New York‐based full‐service interactive marketing agency recently named Best Social Media Marketing Agency of 2010. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
JEGI CLARITY (www.jegiclarity.com) of New York, NY, the leading independent investment bank for media, information, marketing services, and related technologies, represented Deep Focus in this transaction and acted as its exclusive financial advisor.
Martin Puris, Chief Executive Officer of Engine USA, said, “Deep Focus is the first and in some ways the most critical step in a journey that will, over time, bring together a number of exceptional partners representing all the disciplines necessary to market effectively in the new world. A new world calls for new solutions. Our objective is ambitious; nothing short of creating a radically new, collaborative environment, free of ancient baggage and earn‐out based financial models that stifle innovation, preclude collaboration and remain stubbornly unresponsive to the needs of clients in a confusing new environment.”
“Digital must be the heart and head of Engine,” said John Bernbach, President & COO, Engine USA. “Digital is more than technology; it’s a metaphor for a new way of thinking. Consumers have changed, clients are desperately seeking change, and the baggage laden communications sector has lagged behind both. And that’s why beginning with a digital group as talented and admired as Deep Focus is so significant.”
Engine USA, part of the Engine Group, London’s largest independent communications and marketing company, was established in New York in February 2010 with Puris as CEO and Bernbach as COO. Deep Focus is Engine USA’s first acquisition and it reflects a determined effort to transplant the same culture of innovation and collaboration that’s been so remarkably successful in London since its inception five years ago.
Last week, Engine announced a $100 million investment in the business by an affiliate of global private investment firm H.I.G. Capital. The investment will allow Engine to push forward with significant growth across key markets, including in the USA, China, Brazil and selected European markets.
Peter Scott, Chairman of Engine Group and Engine USA, said, “The acquisition of Deep Focus is the first we have made following the announcement of the investment in Engine by H.I.G. It reflects our long stated strategy of taking Engine into key global markets. In an increasingly complex, fragmented and globalized media world, our ‘best in class under one roof’ model brings together a full suite of marketing and communications disciplines to work together more effectively and efficiently for our clients. We expect the acquisition of Deep Focus to be the precursor to further acquisitions as we recreate this highly successful Engine model outside our home market of the UK.”
Deep Focus was founded in 2002 to bring brands closer to people and people closer to each other. Their engagement and innovation‐led approach has redefined the way brands are marketed online. Deep Focus’ clients include Microsoft, Nintendo, Diageo, AMC, Weight Watchers, Bulgari, The Museum of Modern Art, Samsung and ESPN, among many others, and are known for such memorable recent efforts as “Mad Men Yourself” (AMC) and the first brand integration into Zynga’s FarmVille (Bing).
“Brands today seek a solution to their complex communications needs that puts the consumer at the center of their marketing strategy. In a world where the consumer has adopted technology faster than advertisers, and where attention is scarcer than inventory, those solutions need an unbiased approach that can speak to and with people at every decision touchpoint,” said Ian Schafer, Founder and CEO of Deep Focus. “Joining Engine enables us to benefit from the scale and resources of a world‐class company, while allowing us to continue providing the breakthrough innovative digital engagement solutions we are known for. We are especially excited to be working with Martin Puris and John Bernbach, who are renowned for their tremendous talent, creativity and industry leadership.”