A group of eight independent agencies and companies that create advertising that targets minority groups and multicultural markets have merged under a parent company named Commonground/MGS.
Its headquarters will be in New York, and it will have affiliate offices in Miami, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.
The founding partners of the company — five advertising executives with decades of experience in handling specific markets, among them two veterans of advertising in Miami — describe Commonground/MGS as the first agency of its kind in the industry. It will have about 300 employees and will offer services beyond advertising, including public relations, marketing events, social network counseling and virtual platforms, as well as content development, production and animation.
“The fact that our company is headed by executives from minority groups immediately places us as leaders in our field,” said Al García-Serra, chairman of the board of directors and co-founder of MGSCOMM, a marketing and communications agency founded in Miami in 2003 that now is part of Commonground/MGS holding.
“That, besides the fact that we have concentrated the best of every existing company in the market and that we have consolidated it in a mega-agency, which has increased the services we offer our clients in the country’s key markets,” he added.
The agencies that compose what is now Commonground/MGS are: Commonground, of Chicago; MGSCOMM, of Miami, and Vidal Partnership, of New York. The other five agencies and companies in this holding — CG Works; Cunningham Group, which specializes in public sector communications in South Florida; Post Master; Run Wild Productions; and Sway Group — will continue operating under their own names as autonomous units of the group.
“Our strategy has been to create a company capable of ‘speaking’ to the whole market from singularity,” says Manuel E. Machado, another founding partner of Commonground/MGS. “It’s important for us to be able to find solutions encompassing the entire market, beyond traditional solutions targeting specific markets.”
Said Courtney Cunningham, founder and CEO of the Miami-based Cunningham Group, in a press release: “Minority markets are a critical mass where its voices and concerns need to be heard and considered in the front end of the governing process, instead of an afterthought and encourage ongoing civic engagement. Commonground/MGS can help government communicate to our communities in a more authentic, effective and clear way, as we are a reflection of these communities while simultaneously empower the communities we serve to properly communicate and connect with government in a fashion that creates real impact and yields positive and sustainable results.”
The agency appears at a moment in which the most important companies in the United States are carefully watching as U.S. consumers are gradually becoming more multicultural.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important to analyze the cultural factors influencing and often changing the consumers’ behavior,” said creative executive/partner Jorge Moya. “I believe our strength is rooted in the ability to identify and anticipate these changes in order to be able to create enticing and powerful messages for the brands of our clients.”
The list of Commmonground/MGS’ clients include brand names such as Southeast Toyota, FPL, Bacardi, Florida Lottery, MillerCoors, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, NBCUniversal, Outback Steakhouse, Tiffany’s and Verizon Wireless.
“The benefit of this type of agency for a firm like ours lies in the help it can give us when ‘telling’ our story in a much more inclusive language,” said Henry González, Tiffany’s executive director for South Florida, the first client of MGSCOMM when it was founded and now a client of Commonground/MGS.
The agency promises to connect increasingly diverse audiences with an approach that integrates content, technology and creativity.
“Our clients will know how to enter the new multicultural market that is the United States now,” Machado said. “There is no doubt that we are facing a unique opportunity in which we can all win.”