M&C Saatchi Buys Minority Stake In THAT
The THAT team of co-founder/CEO David Kalvert, co-founder/CCO Nathan Phillips, and managing director Dena Graham
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M&C Saatchi Worldwide has purchased a minority interest in Technology, Humans and Taste (THAT), a NY-based creative shop known for a nontraditional approach that’s attracted brands such as Nike, Michael Kors, IBM, Kayak, The Kraken Rum, DKNY, Casper Mattress and Grubhub. 

“As a network, we are committed to bringing our clients creative solutions that address the constantly shifting communications landscape,” said Moray Maclennan, worldwide CEO at M&C Saatchi. “THAT has a completely new approach that nets consistently unique ideas--lots of them. We’re confident that bringing them into the network will push us all to stretch creatively and bring truly modern solutions to our clients.”

THAT co-founder/CEO David Kalvert said, “We’ve built THAT with the reliability of a traditional agency in our client services, strategy and production groups, to support our nontraditional creative department. M&C Saatchi is a network known for affording autonomy to entrepreneurs. They’re the right partner to help scale our model in a way that supports our creative process.” 

THAT’s nontraditional approach is best represented through its proprietary “Creative Dim Sum” methodology --a series of strategic workshops in a dinner party setting that inspire collaboration among subject matter experts, professional creatives and brand executives to drive breakthrough thinking.

“We designed every aspect of the Creative Dim Sum process to hold ourselves accountable to delivering original thinking, diverse perspectives and unexpected solutions for our clients. It’s collaborative nature requires experienced and trusting partners at every level and this was the perfect solution to grow our offering,” said THAT co-founder/CCO Nathan Phillips. 

The creative product resulting from Dim Sum is presented to clients as a “menu” of 25 strategic creative ideas, which the agency and clients collaboratively shape into a truly bespoke campaign. Recent examples include an augmented reality (AR) app to transform the big-box shopping experience, and an interactive film for one of the country’s top retailers that welcomes kids to test toys and share their favorites with Santa.

THAT will work alongside M&C Saatchi’s New York agency hub, SS+K, to drive creative excellence among the North American division of the network.  Born from politics, SS+K is known for its iconic work as the youth agency of record for both Obama campaigns, the development of LiveStrong’s yellow band, and the creation of HBO’s multiple Cannes award-winning brand campaign, “Awkward Family Viewing.”  SS+K’s current clients include Samsung, Wells Fargo, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

M&C Saatchi’s investment will help the boutique THAT scale rapidly and bring its innovative creative process to even more clients looking for truly modern  marketing solutions.  

Phillips worked for SS+K from 2011-2013. M&C Saatchi co-chair and SS+K co-founder Rob Shepardson said, “Nathan did some of the best work we’ve done when he was at SS+K and we’re blown away by what he and Dave have created at THAT.  We think our two very different agencies complement each other in ways that add up to a unique and powerful offering.”


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