TBWA\Worldwide acquires innovation agency dotdotdash

Dotdotdash has worked with the Omnicom agency on projects for Adidas and McDonald’s.

TBWA\Worldwide acquires innovation agency dotdotdash

TBWA\Worldwide has acquired innovation agency dotdotdash, a 30-person shop focused on building immersive experiences through technology including robotics, augmented reality and 3D spaces. The Portland, Oregon agency's clients include Adidas, PepsiCo, The North Face and TikTok.

Dotdotdash will keep its name moving forward but will become part of TBWA’s innovation practice called NEXT. The agency, which also has employees in London and New York, will also work with TBWA’s Los Angeles-based content and production studio BeGrizzlee. The acquisition adds expertise for TBWA in areas including Web3 for its clients.

“What we do at TBWA is try and build these big enduring brand platforms," said Luke Eid, chief innovation officer at TBWA/Worldwide. “But what clients tend to struggle with is how do you authentically bring that brand behavior and vision into these new spaces that tend to look very different than when those platforms are originally built. We are all experiencing this transition from 2 to 3 with the web.”

Virtual food

TBWA for the past 18 months has worked with dotdotdash on projects for brands including McDonald's and Adidas. Although it's unclear how this new relationship will impact the Web3 strategy for McDonald’s moving forward, the brand has shown interest in the virtual world.

In February, the fast-food chain filed at least 12 trademark applications for “virtual food and beverage products.” Last year, McDonald’s launched a virtual pop-up scavenger hunt and at the start of this year, the brand created a virtual Lunar New Year-themed gallery.

While Web3 has made a splash over the past year, Kyle Bañuelos, co-founder and CEO of dotdotdash, sees more opportunity in experiences that connect virtual and physical spaces.

“What's really exciting to us is really along the lines of how people are living, where there's no separation between your digital and your IRL self and how experiences can seamlessly connect between the real world and digital mediums,” Bañuelos said. “There’s an opportunity to have engagement that happens in the real world influence an [online] environment or ways that you're rewarded online or vice versa.”

Over the past couple of years, dotdotdash has also launched work for Adidas, such as a commercial that features Boston Dynamics' robot Spot delivering a package to Pharrell Williams. 

Other notable campaigns include an extended reality stunt for Halo during a college football game and an off-Broadway play that featured robotics as part of the set, along with an online experience that included multiple narratives of the play.