I’d heard about how cramped Dagobert’s folks were in their old space, so I was very curious to visit their shiny new offices in the centre of Paris’ commercial 8th ‘arrondissement’. Spacious and luminous on the top two floors of a traditional ‘Haussmann’ building, the style is an understated black and white, a simple and elegant blend of ultra modern and old-world stucco.
They’ve managed to create a series of open-plan spaces whilst preserving the original walls and structure and a feeling of relative intimacy.
This is well in tune with a considered management style. Questioned on how it was possible to retain an oversight, if not control, over such a large creative team, Creative Head Renaud Bonnet explained that the solution is simple: by dividing them into cells and delegating to trusted team leaders. Granting a certain degree of autonomy is not only motivating but also liberating and produces the best creative results AND as each new generation joins, they bring with them a whole new set of skills and new approaches to traditional media as well as a spontaneous ease with the new media.
The cell approach is echoed throughout the building, with each small team assigned to a specific client or activity. I came across one group entirely dedicated to the Citroen digital strategy – assiduously tracking, monitoring and developing new spin-offs. I was a bit disappointed to learn that they all came to the office by metro, though 😉
Dagobert’s approach to clients is also quite unique. Their pitch is to handle a brand’s image through communication across all of the new digital media: internet, interactive screens, mobile phones and what they call ‘Brand TV’, a more seductive term designed to reflect the high production values and the feeling of movement of their ‘DOOH’ content.
In terms of Brand TV, they resolutely only handle content, and work with a variety of hardware and software suppliers depending on the client’s conditions.
So far, they are being quite successful at it, having won over some big French institutions as: SNCF (French Railways), National Lottery, Société Générale (bank), Citröen as well as Hertz and Orange.
Not only was it a great surprise for me to discover such a hive of activity behind such a demure facade, which already hides a staff of over 60 people, but I had to check that the recruiting page of their web-site is up to date. Yes, they are currently advertising 11 vacant posts ! This is partly because of expansion as a result of their success, but it is also due to their rigid insistence on only hiring the best.
One such key post is Artistic Director in Motion Design – in keeping with a discretely expressed intention for international expansion in a not-too-distant future, the ideal candidate would have an Anglo-Saxon culture. ..so if you want to know more, click here.