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Is Texas the next creative hub?

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Saatchi & Saatchi LA agency is following Toyota, its sole client, to Texas. Toyota announced in April that is would be shifting its sales and marketing headquarters from Torrance, California to the Dallas suburb of Plano. The Publicis Groupe agency Team One, which serves Toyota's luxury Lexus brand, will also be setting up shop in Texas. It's thought Saatchi are making the (literal) move in order to ensure it holds onto the lucrative Toyota account, which it has held for decades. Toyota's move 'down south' will take around two years to complete, and representatives for Saatchi LA and Team One have said that, whilst exact location details for the new offices are yet to be determined, they are likely to open in kind by late 2016 or early 2017 at the latest. So by the time the Toyota offices are set up, both agencies will be right there with them

The Publicis Groupe agency Team One, which serves Toyota's luxury Lexus brand, will also be setting up shop in Texas

A spokesman has said that each of the agencies will move around 16% of their 800+ combined employees to Texas, but they are still “In the process of deciding which roles are needed” down there in order to ensure their client “Continues to receive the highest level of service with no disruption.” The spokesman was also quick to point out that, whilst they will be opening a shop in Texas to be closer to their client, “Los Angeles will remain the 'creative machine' for both Team One and Saatchi LA.” In a separate statement, Saatchi also said that the new Dallas office will “Feature an emphasis on partnership, thought leadership and analytics,” whilst the LA office will remain focused on “Ideation and executional excellence.” This effectively means the creatives will probably remain in LA, but Saatchi are determined that the two offices “Will function as a cohesive unit, with the goal of continuing to do the best possible client work."

2014 Corolla – Style Never Goes Out Of Style by Saatchi LA

There is real history between Saatchi LA, Team One and Toyota. The brand has been working with Saatchi and its predecessors since 1975, and Lexus is the founding client of Team One, which helped launch the brand back in 1989. Since then, Team One has grown to five locations (six including the new Texas office) and services other blue-chip clients such as Haagen-Dazs and the Ritz Carlton. Paul Mareski, Team One's president, said ”Launched in tandem 27 years ago, Team One and Lexus will continue to grow and evolve together, and adding a Texas location to support the Lexus family was the obvious choice.” Chuck Maguy, president of Saatchi LA, added that for them, this was not a decision made on a whim, and that they have “Worked tirelessly with Toyota leadership” to ensure they remain the company's “Indispensable marketing partner, while continuing to create opportunities for Saatchi LA, Saatchi Dallas and the entire Saatchi network.

Toyota has been working with Saatchi and its predecessors since 1975, and Lexus is the founding client of Team One, which helped launch the brand back in 1989

The move arrives during a time of serious realignments within Toyota's marketing department. It recently integrated its US multicultural agencies into a Saatchi-led team dubbed “Total Toyota” (T2). The new model also includes Publicis Groupe's African-American shop Burrell Communications, Hispanic agency Conill Advertising, media agency Zenith and indie Asian-American-focused InterTrend Communications. They also decided to reach outside of their comfort zone for the creative work behind their new Hydrogen Fuel Cell car, tapping digital agency Droga5 for it's pre-launch campaign in June. Officials reportedly felt the more modern approach to automotive transport required a more modern, digital focus.

Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK.

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