Two West joins Sandbox

The U.S.-based, retail-focused agency will brings its capabilities to clients across the network.

Sandbox has boosted its retail capabilities by adding Two West Communications to the agency collective.

Based in Kansas City, Two West is focused on retail clients, working with brands including Home Depot, Target, Walmart and Best Buy, as well as on retail activations and programs for brands like Sprint, LG and Honda. It will rebrand, taking on the Sandbox name, and bring its capabilities to work with clients across Sandbox offices in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Des Moines and Los Angeles.

Among what it offers to clients is LocalWave, a proprietary software platform that helps national retailers and chains use hyper-local consumer and market data for their individual locations. Jill King, president of Sandbox Toronto, says it provides the kinds of capabilities that have received a lot of interest from Sandbox’s existing clients.

“It allows individual locations, whether they’re franchisees or corporately owned, to not only fulfil their corporate objectives but also gives them the tools to spend local dollars and make themselves a bigger part of their neighbourhood,” King says. “If you’re a busy store manager, you might not have the time or resources to understand how to purchase space in a local newspaper or what out-of-home inventory might be available to you. This lays it all out for them and helps head office know what’s going on.”

Besides LocalWave, King says Two West’s track record around in-store programs and experiences it has created for non-retailers also made the agency an attractive one to bring into the fold.

The leadership team at Two West will stay in place at the office and become principles at Sandbox as it integrates with the wider agency network. This is the same as has been done at the agencies that came together to create Sandbox in the spring of 2015, although previous SVP and CD Karen Howe left the agency last year (the agency hired Trevor Schoenfeld to lead the Toronto creative department last month) and previous CEO Ted Boyd left in the spring.

“Everything takes time to gel and come together but, especially in recent months, we really have been working together as one big team and having a lot more cross-geography engagement between the offices,” King says of how the new organization has been developing over the last year. “We have 65 to 70 people in Toronto, but group-wide we have 400. The resources we’ve been able to bring to bear has been amazing, and it’s been increasing every week and month we’ve been involved together.”