As a marketer, I always thought about having a retail storefront for a new type of street-savvy agency. My idea was to have a trendy coffee house by day and a high end brasserie by night and invite the trendsetters, tastemakers and influencers to interact with brands and clients in a non-sterile, un-focus group setting on their own terms. Blackboards would be placed on every wall and artistic patrons would contribute to a visual mosaic of the sponsoring brand. Companies could pitch sneak previews to their prosuming and highly valued audience and get real world reactions.
"Bleu Blanc Rouge has opened a new agency in a downtown Montreal store, in an attempt to get the opinions of trendy youth straight from the horse’s mouth.
BW, which stands for Black and White, has its home on the retail floor of Off the Hook, a second-storey Ste. Catherine Street retailer that describes itself as an urban culture store and gallery selling specialized streetwear.
“We wanted to be in a location where the trendsetters are,” says Hubert Sacy, senior partner of Bleu Blanc Rouge. While it’s possible to understand youth from within an agency, Sacy notes “it’s much more easy to do it on the spot.
BW is headed by Justin Kingsley, who formerly worked at Cossette’s public relations division Optimum for two years, and is supervised by BBR creative director Gaetan Namouric.
“My job is to reach the right people with a legitimate message,” says Kingsley, noting that “you can do all the focus groups in the world,” but nothing beats “some kid looking over your shoulder and saying ‘that’s crap.’ ” The new agency will help get the right message out to kids who cannot be reached by traditional mass advertising, he says.
Burger King, which is already a Bleu Blanc Rouge client, is making use of BW’s services, as is Base energy drink."