Wayne Arnold co-founded Profero in 1998, and has since expanded the agency across fifteen cities worldwide and employing over 500 people. Having worked with such diverse clients as Smirnoff, The New York Times, Lufthansa, and TRESemmè, the Profero team understands the importance of international presence. For our coverage on this year’s Cannes Lions Festival, PSFK spoke with Wayne Arnold about going global for good.
Wayne, you are back at Cannes. How do you think the industry has changed over the past 12 months?
Digital was being taken seriously by most for a while, it is now being taken seriously by everyone, those who haven’t are more than likely out of a job. The new thing is the requirement to be truly global. Global capabilities are the new business cool.
Many Fortune 100 companies know that their future growth is coming from Asia and this is driving the need for global scale and clients are increasingly looking for a digital agency that can handle global accounts. That’s a big change from even only 2 years ago. In 2011, we won digital AOR for Smirnoff, this year for TRESemmè, which is a reflection of that need. This is also having an impact on the digital industry’s dynamics — those who are big are getting bigger and unfortunately it is more difficult for smaller agencies to grow to critical mass with out major outside investment or support.
Is there a particular piece of work your agency has produced that reflects how Profero is evolving?
Our work for Smirnoff — we are the vodka brand’s global digital Agency of Record. It is fully digitally integrated with digital at the center — all roads lead to it from TV to huge on-the-ground (i.e., live, physical) parties. It is a massive global and local undertaking across 50+ markets, requiring a small army of dedicated talents to make it happen and it is constantly evolving. It is an inspiring and personally defining piece of work to be part of.
What presentation at Cannes were you particularly looking forward to seeing?
Awards-wise, I’m really curious to see if mobile finally becomes real, creatively — every year since I remember the hype was that “this” was the year. But this year it really feels it could happen, in that ideas with scale across mobile platforms really are happening. Speakers-wise, a bit of a random one, K-Pop band 2NE1, not because I like their music but I have been fascinated for a while how Korea has been influencing popular culture in Asia. And of course while it’s not at the Palais, the usual drunken Gutter Bar babble!