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Creative Consultancy PLTFRMR Launches


Co-founders Colin Mitchell and Chris Garbutt bring global experience in a new, flexible model

Creative Consultancy PLTFRMR Launches

Chris Garbutt, global CCO of TBWA Worldwide, and Colin Mitchell, global SVP of marketing for McDonald’s, have started a creative consultancy called PLTFRMR ('platformer'). 

The new company defines, designs and develops brand marketing platforms, delivering its work through a productized service offering, and sourcing expertise from a global talent cloud.  

Colin and Chris have worked closely together throughout their careers, and designed PLTFRMR from their experience leading the world’s most effective brands, including Apple, Airbnb, IBM, Dove, Coca-Cola and others. 

“Colin and I have had incredible luck in our careers, and we’ve been compelled by our experience to create a more accessible offering for the countless brands out there that aspire to communicate from a defined position,” said Chris Garbutt, co-founder and CCO. “Through no fault of their own, many brands have gotten caught in what we call ‘The Great Fragmentation’, the trend towards smaller goals and time horizons that ultimately ensnares them in a tactics trap. This deteriorates value over time, and we’re here to bring it back.”  

The Great Fragmentation and Value Exchange 

Media, products and attention are being split into ever smaller parts. Consumers are bombarded with tactical advertising that desperately attempts to get them to buy, but fails to provide any reason for them to care. The rise of short-termism – where time and money are spent on stunts and one-offs – erodes value over the long-term.

This reality creates challenges from the brand level to the tactical level. To combat it, PLTFRMR believes in redefining value exchange, and helping brands evolve how it is perceived.  

“We ardently believe that value exchange is in the midst of evolution, and that creates tension,” said Colin Mitchell, cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer. “Many brands still operate on the notion that the value they can offer through their marketing is entertainment, while others have evolved toward purpose. The truth is it’s never about one thing. Every brand needs a unique marketing model, with its own set of incentives for participation, that all ladder back to that central, defining platform.”  

Unique Marketing Models and Talent Cloud

In the past, brands could follow somewhat formulaic models to achieve their goals. In today’s marketplace, each customer journey requires its own strategy. Unravelling the complexity of this reality and creating work that breaks through necessitates access to thinking and execution that accounts for every potential outcome.  

To solve that problem, the company has developed a productized offering and will execute with the help of its Talent Cloud, a global network of best-in-class experts across marketing skill sets. From creative and strategy to performance marketing, PLTFRMR has access to hundreds of professionals, vetted and available to work as needed. 

“In reality, it’s basically impossible for any agency to have every skill their client needs through full time employees, let alone while ensuring they are the absolute best person for the job,” said Garbutt. “We’ve built a roster of entrepreneurial contract talent, who like us desire the flexibility and excitement of working outside of a corporate structure. And with our very simple product menu, everyone can breathe a little easier.”  

Services are simply defined through three offerings: defining, designing and developing brand platforms. 

Define: a strategic identity phase that determines what the brand is and wants to be, and defines the foundation that will uphold the Design phase

Design: a deeper layer that carves out marketing objectives and finds the connective tissue with the Define platform 

Develop: The brand platform comes to life, a coherent way forward for the long term 

Ultimate Medical Academy 

PLTFRMR is launching with a founding client, Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), led by CMO Linda Mignone, a former client of Colin and Chris from their time at Ogilvy. UMA is a non-profit healthcare educational institution with a national presence, offering a comprehensive, accredited healthcare education through content-rich, interactive online courses as well campus-based training. PLTFRMR will work with UMA to reinvent their current brand platform.

“UMA is in many ways a perfect founding client, because the impact of their work is vast, but they are not well known for it,” said Mitchell. “While educating and training healthcare professionals is the core of their business, we see them as creating upward mobility for their students, through the great need to care for people. It’s a beautiful story, and we look forward to bringing it to the world.” 

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