Mother is trying a new approach to global expansion by appointing its first set of international executive creative directors, Susan Hosking and Peter Robertson.
The pair – both from New Zealand – have been working together at Mother London since 2002. They were responsible for the original Boots “Here come the girls” ad in 2007, and went on to create the retailer’s No 7 “Ready for Anything” international campaign a couple of years ago, as well as the global “Don’t mind if I Baileys” platform for Diageo.
Boots is no longer a client, but Mother still works with Baileys and a lot of international brands – Stella Artois, Ikea, Nokia, KFC – and recently won US-based credit card brand Capital One.
The creative leadership at Mother London, Ana and Hermeti Balarin, and Mother New York, Corinna Falusi, are unaffected by the new roles.
It makes sense for an independent agency to approach international expansion from different angles, including developing opportunities from London, where global CEO Michael Wall is based. Hosking and Robertson will also be based in the UK, but are expecting to travel quite a lot in their new roles, spreading the Mother culture as they go.
Mother also has a presence in other markets, but creating a network to rival BBH or Wieden + Kennedy has proved tricky. Its New York agency opened back in 2003 and has enjoyed mixed fortunes, scoring recently with a hit Super Bowl ad for Stella Artois. There is also an office in LA (where they are homing in on tech clients), and some kind of outpost in Buenos Aires. Chinese shop The Secret Little Agency, with whom it works on Nokia, is also part of the family.
Founding partner and chairman Robert Saville said: “Peter and Susan are the perfect team to help us take on the world. They’re smart, passionate, committed and the embodiment of what makes Mother, Mother.”
Peter and Susan are the names of the two eldest children in CS Lewis’ Narnia series, which seems like a good fit: adventurous and sensible at the same time.