“Kwittken’s nomination for Small Agency of the Year 2017 is a result of impactful global work, showcasing its ability to break away from traditional Public Relations practices.”

-Paul Holmes

About

We are a modern communications agency that employs an interdisciplinary, design thinking approach to help companies identify and demonstrate their best ‘selves.’ We synthesize the most impactful elements of PR, influencer engagement, social and digital media and content marketing for meaningful and creative communications that resonate.

MOREMORE

Hisense

Hisense, China’s largest television brand for over 13 years and the world’s third largest television manufacturer, set its eyes on the U.S. market in 2010, however retailers and consumers initially dismissed the brand as just another Chinese fast-follower with basement prices and questionable quality.

American Express Global Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the largest corporate travel management company in the world, was approaching its 100-year anniversary. While it was an incredibly important milestone for the company, GBT was only interested in the recognition if it created an opportunity to showcase the entire business travel industry.

frog

frog, a global design and strategy firm, regularly engages in social impact work, applying human-centered design to help resolve global issues. In 2015, frog partnered with children’s humanitarian organization UNICEF, and connected technology company ARM, to launch the Wearables for Good Challenge. The incubator–style design contest aimed to uncover innovations in wearable design and technology that serve a greater purpose. Together with UNICEF and ARM, frog designers helped finalists hone their designs to create scalable, wearable solutions that benefit children around the world in need.

PURE

PURE Insurance, a property & casualty insurer of high net worth individuals, launched in 2007 and rapidly expanded into 49 states over the course of the next eight years. Following this growth, PURE needed to validate its unique and highly advantageous reciprocal exchange model for prospective members (policyholders), insurance brokers, wealth managers and the broader personal finance community, by putting its purpose-driven corporate culture, member-centric approach, innovative coverages and exceptional talent on center stage.

Zicam

Zicam®, a leading provider of over-the-counter homeopathic cold shortening, allergy relief and allopathic nasal congestion products, was battling negative perceptions from a voluntary recall of its cold remedy nasal products in 2009. Building on the successful relaunch of its nasal cold remedy spray in the 2014/2015 cold season, Zicam relaunched its most unique cold shortening form, nasal swabs, during the 2015/2016 cold season. With these new nasal products in distribution, Zicam was ready to re-enter the marketplace with a refreshed brand narrative and execute a buzz-worthy campaign to drive positive coverage and purchase consideration in the crowded cold remedy aisle.

Pantone Color of the Year

The Pantone Color Institute was established by Pantone in 1986 to forecast future color direction and study how color influences human emotion. Through seasonal trend forecasts, custom color consulting and social commentary — most notably its annual Color of the Year program — the Institute is the preeminent thought leader on color. After 16 years, the PANTONE Color of the Year had emerged as a fun pop culture announcement, with media, consumers and the design industry looking for a splash of color to set a tone for the new year — but coverage often failed to connect the selection to the true intelligence offered by the global color authority or articulate Pantone’s business model.

The 2016 unveiling marked a momentous occasion: for the first time, Pantone selected two colors for its Color of the Year: Serenity and Rose Quartz.

American Express

American Express partnered with retailers Birchbox, Bonobos and Rent the Runway to present Online’s Day Off. This two-day event included a thought-leadership panel as well as a live shopping event. The goal of the event was to showcase innovative ways that e-commerce leaders are converting their online success into brick-and-mortar opportunities.

News

ICCO Summit Debates Purpose: How To Avoid The Backlash

October 6, 2017
HELSINKI—Is purpose-driven marketing the way forward or is the risk of a backlash making purpose too dangerous? Attendees at the ICCO Summit in Helsinki this morning heard two conflicting views from Aaron Kwittken, chairman and CEO of Kwittken, and David Orlic, deputy CEO and head of innovation, Prime and United Minds in Sweden, on one of the major challenges for 21st century marketers. In a presentation on “The Purpose Backlash,” Orlic warned that “we are seeing a purpose backlash with companies throwing themselves out there and then being called out because it’s inauthentic,” and warned that the marketing enthusiasm for purpose—which began, he argued, with the success of the Dove “real women” campaign—is now coming to end. “The politicized time we live in makes it more difficult for brands to communicate around causes and issues,” he said. “The media is focused on anger and resentment and conflict—conflict has become a tool for reach. But no matter what you do, someone is going to be offended. It is hard to find neutral ground, or to stand on the sidelines. If you don’t have a position, you will be forced into a position.” For that reason, he said, companies need to learn a new skill: criticism management (which he differentiated from crisis management). Before launching a campaign, he said, PR advisors “need to put on their troll hat and think about what is the worst thing that somebody might say.” Kwittken, in his presentation “On Purpose, How Some Brands Are Doing Right, Right,” acknowledged the backlash that some brands—Pepsi with its ill-fated ad addressing police brutality and Black Lives Matter in the US, or Starbucks with its ill-received #racetogether attempt to address racial tensions—have experienced a backlash to their purpose-driven efforts. But neither Pepsi nor Starbucks are genuine purpose-driven brands, he suggested, arguing for a more rigorous definition of purpose. “There are companies that are good at CSR, foundations, cause-related marketing, customer service, and they think that makes them a purpose-driven brand. Mastercard is great at CSR, Walmart has a great foundation, Dove and Always are very good at cause-related marketing, but that doesn’t make them purpose-driven companies or purpose-driven brands. Most of the campaigns that have experienced some backlash—and even campaign’s like State Street’s “Fearless Girl” that have been well-received—are not truly purpose driven, he said. “If your intent is pure and your actions support that, that’s just PR,” he said. “Purpose requires intent, actions, and a business model. When it’s baked into your company, that’s purpose.” Examples of truly purpose driven brands, Kwittken said, include KIND bars (which began with the idea of sourcing ingredients from Israelis and Palestinians to bring the two peoples together); Toms of Maine (which offers to donate a pair of shoes for every paid bought by consumers); or Leesa (a Kwittken client and mattress company focused on eliminating bedlessness). All of these are B Corps in the US, a designation certifying their focus on social impact. Kwittken suggested six criteria for judging whether a company or brand is truly purpose driven: • It has to be fundamental to the enterprise • It has to be relevant to the brand • Employees have to be engaged • Sustainable by design • Actions, not just words • Auditable by outside accrediting bodies “It has to be deep and baked in, and it has to be real, not aspirational,” he said. The reason the effort is worth it is that millennial consumers in particular are passionate about purpose. “Millennials are not just shopping for good products, they are shopping for good companies.” And he cited research showing that millennials alredy control $17 trillion in wealth and will inherit $30 million in wealth from their parents. It’s also important to millennial employees, which is one reason Kwittken’s agency has made its own commitment to purpose. The firm has always done a lot of pro-bono work, but a week ago Kwittken sent a letter to clients, telling them “we now want to honor the greater purposes that binds us together… tell stories that demonstrate our human ability to bridge the gap between practice and purpose, trial and tenacity, corporation and compassion.” What that means in practical terms is that the agency will now donate up to 10% of monthly retainers back into supporting clients’ social impact programs, and that staff will get two “social impact” days off a year, posting their experiences to Kwittken’s social media channels. He believes that his 75-person agency could end up donating $1m in time from its people to important causes over the course of a year.

Kwittken Appointed as Communications Agency for National Flag Tour of Invictus Games Toronto 2017

September 5, 2017
Kwittken, an MDC Partners Inc. agency, recently announced that it is the public relations and communications agency for the National Flag Tour of Invictus Games Toronto 2017, ultimately bringing the spirit of the Games to all Canadians from coast-to-coast. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 National Flag Tour started in Victoria, British Columbia in mid August and will travel as far east as Gander, Newfoundland, vising 22 military bases, 15 legions and over 50 communities who have been a part of Canada's rich 150-year history. Kwittken is responsible for securing pre-event media coverage and managing all on-site media relations. "At the heart of the National Flag Tour of Invictus Games is the unconquerable spirit of our wounded warriors," said Steve Wallace, Chief Marketing Officer, Invictus Games Toronto 2017. "We needed an agency that could really bring our competitors' stories to life and garner front-page coverage, while drumming up excitement for the Games as we travel across the country on this 37-day journey. Kwittken has demonstrated that they have both the passion and media relationships to help us achieve our communications goals." Established by Prince Harry and now in its third installment, the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, will be hosted in venues across Toronto from September 23 to 30, 2017. "Kwittken is equally honoured and excited to be a part of Invictus Games Toronto 2017," said Betsy Cooper, Managing Director of Kwittken Canada. "Working with the Invictus Games brand is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and carries with it a great responsibility." Added Cooper: "Media have been extremely receptive to the narrative around the power of sport, and how it's used to transform empathy into empowerment." This latest win adds to an already impressive third year for Kwittken Canada, which includes a number of significant recent new client wins. Kwittken's expansion into Canada in 2014 was motivated by the great growth potential in the market from both Canadian companies as well as existing US clients looking for support in the region. About the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 The Invictus Games use the power of adaptive sport to help wounded warriors on their journey to recovery. Established by Prince Harry, the inaugural Invictus Games took place in London in September 2014; the second, and equally successful, Games took place in Orlando in May 2016. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee is tasked with planning and executing a Games that will feature 550 competitors, from 17 nations participating in 12 adaptive sports, including, for the first time, golf.The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will capture the imaginations of the Canadian public, corporations and governments, as well as soldiers, veterans and their families. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto as well as Presenting Partner Jaguar Land Rover and other partners and sponsors. For more information, please visit to purchase tickets, visit 
www.invictusgames2017.com. National Flag Tour partners include Canadian Armed Forces, Veteran Affairs Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal, Jaguar Land Rover, President's Choice, The Royal Canadian Legion and Via Rail. About Kwittken Kwittken is a global communications agency that combines design thinking with the most impactful elements of PR, influencer engagement, social and digital media and content marketing. A multi-specialist agency serving clients across dozens of industry sectors, Kwittken's Toronto office works with clients such as American Express, Amway, Bushnell, DIALOG, Hisense, Leesa Sleep, and Orangetheory Fitness. Headquartered in New York City with offices in Toronto and London, Kwittken has been a part of the MDC Partners network since 2010. For more information, visit kwittken.com. For more information, please contact: Tiffany FisherTFisher@kwittken.ca 416-456-7650. SOURCE Kwittken  

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