Kettle provides code and concept as shoppers pursue digital transformation

Code and Theory has made its fifth acquisition, launching a digital shop that is expanding its content production and e-commerce capabilities at a time when the demand for these services has increased.

The creative agency of the Stagwell Group has acquired the digital shop Kettle after years of discussions between the two agencies.

"We have always been looking for good groups of people with a culture to match," said Dan Gardner, co-founder and CEO of Code and Theory, to Adweek, explaining that the acquisition reflected the cultural alignment as well as shared philosophical beliefs and ideas Benefits of adding Kettle's content creation and production capabilities.

Code and Theory gives Kettle the opportunity to leverage its global network and expertise in specific functions such as data and analysis.

Founded in 2009, Kettle has grown to include a team of 65 people in offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Kettle has worked with clients including American Express, Discover, Glossier, National Geographic, Oakley, SoFi, and ZocDoc, and a number of disruptor brands in the e-commerce, financial services, media and entertainment, and retail categories.

“We always looked up to Dan and the Code and Theory team. We knew we had a similar culture and mission of user-centric products, ”said Olivier Peyre, CEO of Kettle. "We have a team of strategists doing research and data / analysis, but nothing is as deep as what the code and theory team can do."

Code and Theory began speaking to Kettle about three years ago and re-discussed discussions about an acquisition last year. Gardner stated that the effects of the pandemic did not make Code and Theory any less enthusiastic about the deal, but rather slowed the process down.

“The world slowed down a bit in March. No matter what you did, it slowed down, ”he said, adding that with no pressure to close by a date and both agencies insistence on maintaining the culture, the process was slower organically.

Lauren Diamond Kushner, managing director of Kettle, claimed the acquisition had no material operational impact. The agency will continue to work independently with clients, with the support of Code and Theory, and if necessary work together on projects.

"We turned to the Code and Theory Network for help with scaling and [certain services] technology and data in particular," she said.

However, the way Kettle works with customers has been changed by the pandemic. The agency had to follow a model that was based on personal collaboration and often involved the physical embedding of talent in client teams.

"We had to reinvent the way we worked with our customers, but we had a lot of tools to use to inform our new model," explained Peyre. "There were difficult moments, but we succeeded."

Customers welcome the digital transformation

There have also been a number of drastic changes in the advertising industry over the past year, including the rapid acceleration of brands investing in e-commerce and the continued shift into digital advertising channels. With the acquisition, Code and Theory is building on its established e-commerce functions with additional specialist knowledge.

"It's definitely helpful to have been doing a lot of e-commerce before the pandemic," Peyre said. "Everyone is focused on that now, and we have the case studies to prove that we are experts at all of this."

Code and Theory and Kettle are already working together on related projects. Peyre cites Kettle's role in creating a "complex and robust" client website for a project involving both agencies. They have also already started working on new business opportunities together.

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