Honda and Acura dealer associations across the country will soon have access to powerful new marketing capabilities, as two nationally prominent automotive advertising agencies have finalized plans to merge.
Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing Group, headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., and RealWorld Marketing, headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., have created a dedicated division within Pinnacle, which will become one of the nation’s largest agencies dedicated to the Honda and Acura brands.
“We are very excited about this merger in that it offers our clients significantly greater resources, depth of talent and expertise,” said Michael Magnusson, Pinnacle Advertising’s Founder and CEO. “We have a very strong focus on where the automotive retail business is moving and the demands it puts on agencies to innovate and evolve. We have a clear vision of how different strategies, tools, technology and messaging are impacting dealer success and will continue to leverage this data to enhance the outcomes in each market.”
Pinnacle’s reputation as a media powerhouse just got a boost that will benefit all of their clients with this merger. Now with more than 40 Honda and Acura dealer associations and national clients including WeatherTech and Camping World, this merger will bring agency media billings north of $300 million this coming year.
“We are very proud of our media team at Pinnacle,” added Magnusson. “We have invested significantly in technology, research, data and people and have achieved remarkable results for our clients. Our media capabilities and performance rival any national media agency out there. In addition to national planning and buying, Pinnacle currently plans and places linear and digital in 193 local DMA’s out of the 210 DMA’s in the country for local clients.”
The Pinnacle Advertising and RealWorld Marketing teams are no strangers to the Honda and Acura dealer association world. RealWorld has worked exclusively with Honda and Acura dealer associations, since their formation in 1999, while Pinnacle has been working with Honda and Acura since 2005. The organization will employ more than 160 people, with about 70 dedicated to Pinnacle’s Honda and Acura Tier 2 division.
The headquarters of Pinnacle’s Honda and Acura Tier II division will be located in Scottsdale and will employ staff members in other parts of the country, including Chicago, as the new division will maintain field offices across the country to offer local client service.
“The merger of our two companies comes at a very important time as more and more Honda and Acura dealer associations are looking for advertising partners with greater resources and different approaches to impact the needs and challenges in their specific market,” said Leah Wilson, President of RealWorld Marketing. “While we will be bigger, it’s not necessarily size that will make us great—it’s about superior influence, strategic thinking, services, tools, research and specialties. In all of this, we will remain quick and agile, moving at the speed of retail in today’s marketplace. It also provides a larger field team to share ideas and bring thinking from numerous markets across the country.”
No staffing changes are planned and the existing in-market or near-market Account Managers who manage client business on the local, retail level, will continue to do so. This allows for faster and better communication as well as a stronger understanding of the needs and increased effectiveness of the advertising messaging at the District and store level.
The management team will be a blend of existing leadership from both organizations. Michael Magnusson will continue as the CEO of Pinnacle, Leah Wilson will serve as the Chief Client Officer and Jake Rostollan will become President of the Tier 2 division within Pinnacle. Various elements of the merger integration will roll out over the coming months and the combined team will communicate them as they occur.