June 02, 2015 09:00 ET

kyu, Hakuhodo DY Holding's Strategic Operating Unit, Acquires Digital Kitchen

Cannes and Emmy® Winning Creative Content Agency Known for Entertainment, Interactive, Experiential Design + Content Marketing; Deal Is kyu's Third in International Portfolio

TOKYO, JAPAN and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jun 2, 2015) - kyu, the strategic operating unit of Hakuhodo DY Holdings Inc. of Japan ("HDY"), has acquired Digital Kitchen, a creative content agency with offices in Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles. Michael Birkin, kyu CEO, made the announcement today.

Founded twenty years ago, Digital Kitchen in 2014 was named one of five hot digital agencies by Advertising Age and is a winner of numerous industry awards, from Cannes Lions to Emmys. The agency joins SYPartners and Red Peak Group (Red Peak Branding, RPMC) in kyu, an international portfolio of marketing services companies created in May 2014 with Mr. Birkin's appointment as CEO.

"We have admired Digital Kitchen for some time," said Mr. Birkin. "They have created a unique offer. They combine the roles of strategic advisors and content makers in the way they build brands for their clients. This ability comes from their heritage and experience in both entertainment and content marketing and, most importantly, from their DNA of producing and making what they conceive. I'm thrilled they will become a key partner in the kyu collective."

For Digital Kitchen Founder/chairman Paul Matthaeus and Partner, President Don McNeill, kyu offers the opportunity to grow with an organization whose leadership shares their vision of the industry's future. "We were founded on the firm belief that the greatest leverage in communications is the ability to connect emotionally; HDY's philosophy of sei-katsu-sha -- creating for the 'living person' -- truly matches that. What's more, Michael's plan to create a collective of carefully selected companies with global reach, allows us to grow faster while preserving Digital Kitchen's unique culture," said Mr. Matthaeus.

Through Mr. Birkin's leadership and direction, kyu, launched in May 2014, is comprised of a carefully curated group of agencies with the aim of creating a global enterprise at the cutting edge of creativity. kyu, which means "nine" in Japanese, sits within HDY alongside three advertising agencies as well as media agency, HDY Media Partners. HDY is the second-largest advertising and marketing company in Japan and ranks among the top ten agency groups in the world, per trade publication Advertising Age.

Digital Kitchen, with offices in Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles, works with category and industry leaders including AT&T, HBO, Netflix, Microsoft and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Within the agency, DK operates DK Studios, a streamlined production team that works directly with advertising agency and entertainment clients, and design firm Methodologie, acquired in 2014, which specializes in strategic design and corporate communications.

DK's current management team of Paul Matthaeus, Don McNeill and CEO Bill Fritsch will remain in place. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About kyu: kyu, the strategic operating unit of Hakuhodo DY Holdings, was created in May 2014 to ensure the continuous enhancement of specialization and innovation in the Hakuhodo DY Group. Michael Birkin heads kyu as CEO; its operating companies include SY Partners and Red Peak Group (Red Peak Branding and RPMC).

About Digital Kitchen: Digital Kitchen is a creative content agency with offices in Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles. Their unique approach of blending strategic creative development, film, animation, digital, experiential design and rich brand storytelling provides high-engagement brand solutions for a diverse roster of clients. Noteworthy projects include Emmy-winning main titles for Showtime's Dexter and experiential environments for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and the Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    For kyu:
    Lisa Sanders
    Email Contact
    347-385-2218 cell

    For Digital Kitchen:
    William Byrne
    Email Contact
    773-458-0154 cell


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