DonatWald+Haque has won the advertising account for 21st Century Insurance.

Chief Executive Lucas Donat said he got the account after a review showed his Santa Monica agency could build a brand and increase consumer sales.

“A pivotal point in the review was when 21st Century CEO Tony DeSantis turned to me and said, “I always felt it was possible to accomplish both, but we’ve never found an agency that could do it,’” Donat said.

He believes sales statistics from previous DonatWald campaigns closed the deal.

To create a brand identity, DonatWald has introduced a company spokesman and a theme of delivering the same coverage as competitors for less money.

A TV spot that broke May 17 on national TV shows two identical cars getting damaged and repaired. Herb, the driver of both cars and 21st Century front man, then presents a cost comparison for identical coverage from his company and competitors Allstate, Geico and Progressive. The comparison shows the 21st Century policy as much cheaper.

“The insurance category allows a lot of creative expression because it has a history of big ideas and humor,” said Donat. “It was fun to damage cars and fix them. There were lots of laughs on the set.”

Based in Wilmington, Del., 21st Century Insurance is owned by Miracle Mile-based Farmers Group.

EFG Lounge

Entertainment Fusion Group has opened EFG Lounge, a place where clients, celebrities, dignitaries and media outlets can meet and greet.

The 2,000-square-foot lounge is designed as a showroom for the agency as well as an invitation-only, by-appointment club for small dinner parties, screening sessions, product demonstrations and one-on-one interviews with journalists. It has a complete bar, big-screen TVs, Wi-Fi access and gift bags for every guest. EFG stages the events in order to get client messages out to the media and potential marketing partners.

The liquor selection, electronics and gift bags all feature products from EFG clients. The agency’s client list includes Pink Vodka, Kubler Absinthe, Salsa Jeans and Jessica Sutta of the Pussycat Dolls.

Joyce Sevilla, head of public relations of EFG operations, said in a statement that the lounge was the next logical step in the growth of the agency because it “will allow celebrities, media, and influencers to experience our brands all in one place.”

EFG’s headquarters is at 8899 Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood, but the lounge is at a confidential location in Beverly Hills away from the paparazzi, Sevilla told the Business Journal.

Japanese ‘Quest’

Dentsu, the Toyko-based advertising agency for major Japanese brands, has formed a subsidiary called Dentsu Entertainment USA with headquarters in Santa Monica. Yuma Sakata, a longtime Dentsu vice president, will serve as chief executive.

The new entity will develop and license animation programs outside of Asia. It has its first product with “Deltora Quest,” a cartoon series that has been acquired by the Hub, a new children’s network that’s a joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro.

Dentsu Entertainment USA is an extension of DCI Los Angeles, a Dentsu division formed in 2008. At that time, the agency announced a global strategy to diversify beyond advertising.

Celebrating Loss

Secret Weapon Marketing in Santa Monica, the agency founded by prominent ad man Dick Sittig, claims it has set a world record as the agency that’s gone the longest time without losing a client.

Secret Weapon recently lost the account for Clear Wireless, Sprint’s mobile Internet service. It was the first client loss since the agency was founded in 1997.

“I’m pretty sure 13 years, seven days is a record time for an agency to go without being terminated by any client,” Sittig said in a statement.

The agency has only two other accounts: Jack-in-the-Box and Southern California Honda Dealers. Sittig, widely recognized as the creator of the Jack character for the fast-food chain, has long said he won’t take more than three clients.

Agencies & Accounts

Pitch Agency, a creative shop in Culver City that recently signed to do promotions for NBC Entertainment, staged a colorful campaign for the TV network’s upfront presentation May 17 in New York. The agency decorated 50 taxis with the peacock logo and the tagline “More Colorful.” The cabs were stationed around the Hilton Hotel, where the upfront presentation was staged, and the hotel itself was wrapped to resemble a giant peacock. The agency will use the “More Colorful” slogan to promote NBC’s fall program lineup. … KSL Media, the independent media buying agency in Encino, has named Anita Paul managing director with primary responsibility for the Guitar Center account. She previously worked at Horizon Media, Inter/Media and Ground Zero. … Wagner/Junker Agency in West Hollywood has landed three new real estate clients: Siegel Group, an investment and development company in Las Vegas; Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica; and the recently renovated Hollywood Tower. The ad agency will develop social media campaigns for the businesses. … Phelps Group has won the Southern California regional account for Panera Bread. The Santa Monica ad agency will supervise market planning, media relations, social media and events for 44 area bakeries and additional locations scheduled to open in 2010. … Mustang Marketing in Thousand Oaks has hired Dianne McKay as its director of business development. She previously was the owner of Strategic Television, a live TV event production company in Sherman Oaks.

Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at jrussell@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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