Brand experience agency Akcelo comes to Vancouver

The Australian shop's new office will lead North American work with clients like TikTok and the Tribeca Film Festival.

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Australian brand experience agency Akcelo has chosen Canada for its first expansion, with the launch of an office in Vancouver that will lead work on its North American clients.

The office has opened with three foundational clients: TikTok, the Tribeca Film Festival and a multinational ecommerce retailer  Akcelo has yet to formally announce. It has begun work with Tribeca and the e-commerce retailer, and already worked on the Canadian extension of TikTok’s “It Starts on TikTok” brand campaign. Even though it worked on the “It Starts on TikTok” campaign  in Australia, these clients are new wins for the Canadian office and not an extension of existing work, according to Jason Carnew, who has joined Akcelo as managing partner.

“Our Canadian office works with clients based in North America that are independent of the client work being done by the Australian office,” Carnew told strategy via email. “While we have clients that are shared between both countries, and at times we leverage both teams to drive the work, we know that our clients require a local lens on everything we do.”

Jason-CarnewAs managing partner, Carnew will lead Akcelo’s North American business. He joins the company with experience in senior roles across creative, digital and earned media, at agencies that include Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R and Havas Worldwide. He has worked with client including Procter & Gamble, Diageo, Airbnb, Facebook, Instagram, HBO and Lenovo.

Carnew will oversee the business as it scales. The agency is actively recruiting in Canada and “has been growing steadily” since he came on last fall, with efforts are bolstered by the Australian team of more than 70 employees while it scales.

Since launching in Australia last July by a trio of former VMLY&R leaders, Akcelo has also picked up work for the likes of Lion Beer and Primo Foods.

Akcelo chose Canada for its first expansion because it is “impressed with the ambitions and aspirations of the marketers” and sees “there is a growing desire for a new approach to brand experience here,” Carnew says.

“Canada is home to some amazing brands and there is a big opportunity here and throughout North America for the work we do and the approach we take,” he adds.