Deloitte Digital subsidiary Heat opens an office in New York

15 June 2016 4 min. read
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Heat, expanding on the successful working integration with Deloitte Digital, which recently acquired the creative agency, is opening a new office in New York. The agency, which provides clients with blended advertising, branding and creative services, aims to expand on the traditional proposition of the New York market, and with the hire of West Coast creative expert, Tim Maleeny, says it will do so with its award winning collaborative culture.

Four months ago Deloitte Digital, the digital consulting arm of Deloitte, bought San Francisco-based creative agency Heat. The acquisition reflects wider moves within the professional services industry to provide clients with the whole package, which increasingly demands, creative arts. The Big Four is keen to use the combined powers to push the creative side of marketing onto the agenda of the CEO, next to strategy. “Creative thinking has largely been with a CMO, but we want more CEOs involved,” says Andy Main, the head of Deloitte Digital in the US. “We want to tell them the story about how creative thinking can change their business. We see ours as a radically different approach. We're telling them they can get everything you need to realise your business ambitions from the same place.”

Since the acquisition, Heat has managed to land a number of high-end business clients through their already in place relationship with Deloitte. The agency, backup by its synergistic offerings from Deloitte Consulting, for instance beat out stiff competition to land projects for LG Electronics. “We were able to offer more daring creative solutions because we could be more articulate about LG's business issues,” said Steve Stone, Heat Chairman and Executive Creative Director. “The way we work with LG is the way things are going to work in the future. We'll be introduced to clients who already have a relationship with Deloitte.”

Deloitte Digital subsidiary Heat opens an office in New York

The success of the joint relationship is further reflected in recent news that Heat is opening an East Coast hub in New York, where many of Deloitte’s clients are based. Tim Maleeny will take the lead at the new office, as the Chief Strategy Officer & General Manager. Maleeny’s fit for the role is in part due to his relationship formed with Heat's principals, John Elder, Steve Stone and Mike Barrett at Hal Riney & Partners between 1997 and 2001 when he was a Senior Vice President and Group Account Director at the agency. Maleeny, in his most recent role, was Chief Strategy Officer & Managing Partner at Havas Worldwide.

Culture of collaboration and creativity
Heat, like many creative agencies, thrives on a culture that encourages collaboration and creativity. One of Maleeny’s major responsibilities will be replicating the firm’s strong culture – which saw the firm win numerous awards – within the New York scene, in the face of a relatively elitist New York market. “We have to bring our culture to New York as best we can but use a truly New York Citycentric approach,” says Barrett, Heat's Managing Director. “I think the difference is the San Francisco ad environment feels like a more collaborative partnership which I think New York clients will like.”

Maleeny remarks that he was at first sceptical about Heat’s expansion plans, “You could argue the last thing this industry needs is another new ad agency,” he said. “What it is yearning for is a new kind of agency.” The close working relationship between the agency and the business, digital and consulting experts at Deloitte, provides, according to him, an edge over the competition. “As we go into New York, it's not just Heat – it's Heat plus Deloitte Digital,” says Elder, the agency's President. “We will colocate? there will be handoffs back and forth [with Deloitte], and we'll access resources at either end when needed. Our new model is built on having more intimate relationships with clients like the way consultants do.” 

The agency currently works from a temporary space in New York, with a more permanent space expected to be launched by September. Initially around a dozen employees will be hired, in accordance with project requirements. The long term projection predicts the office to scale to around 150 designers and digital experts.