Inside a new Franco-Italian agency: the story of 777

Independent agencies Herezie in France and Armando Testa in Italy joined forces to pitch for the Stellantis Group – and won.

par Mark Tungate , AdForum

Partners with drive: Andrea Stillacci (left) and Marco Testa.

 

The new agency 777, created by Herezie and Armando Testa, is already handling two major accounts for automotive giant Stellantis: legendary auto brand Lancia and – as announced last week – the group’s second-hand vehicles brand, SPOTICAR.

The name 777 derives from the exact number of kilometres between Paris and Turin, the home of Stellantis. We asked Marco Testa, Chairman and CEO of Armando Testa, and Andrea Stillacci, Founder and CEO of Herzie, about their new venture. (As befits business partners, they replied via a joint email.)

 

How did the relationship between Armando Testa and Herezie come about?

MT & AS: We have known each other for a long time, even though we worked in different markets. We are both independent agencies that put the added value of creativity at the very heart of what we do.

We are both passionate entrepreneurs who love art, innovation, craft and the thrill of the unknown. When the Stellantis Group invited our agencies to be part of their international pitch, the decision of joining forces and creating something new took the time of a friendly phone call. No more than 15 minutes.

 

Apart from their independence, what do the two agencies have in common? And what can you offer one another in order to be stronger together?

We are very similar and very different at the same time. When you look at the size, the history, the output, we are far from being twin agencies. Each agency has its own way to go from A to B and that's what makes the whole project interesting for us. We believe that in the fragmented life we live, complementarity, adaptability and synergy are key words to write a brand new story.

 

When did the conversations with Stellantis first begin?

When we realised that both our agencies had been invited to their 2023 multi-brands pitch. At that point, we submitted to the company our intuition, our project for a new agency and, of course, the name 777. Their positive encouragement from the Stellantis feedback gave us the right energy to move forward.

 

You will be working with Lancia. How is the brand perceived right now, both in Italy and in France?

Lancia is the first brand that gave us trust and we are extremely proud to begin this journey and let our ideas take the driving wheel of such iconic cars. At this precise moment, when we read the articles and we scroll on the social platform the perception towards Lancia is very similar in Italy and France. Putting it in a few words, we would say that it's an extremely well received and completely unexpected comeback from the brand that, historically, incarnates Italian Elegance better than any other one in the market. 

 

What is your strategy for the brand moving forward?

The new Lancia models are simply extraordinary, to say the least. Elegant, innovative, groundbreaking in terms of design and on the very edge in terms of commitment towards the environment. Our strategy? Bring to life ideas that can celebrate this step change for the brand in the most engaging and effective way.

 

Please tell us about how you approached the first film, for the Ypsilon Limited Edition Cassina? Already the meeting of an interiors and an automobile brand is quite unusual. The film is extremely elegant!

 

 

The real idea is the car. Lancia and Cassina are Italian brands that need no introduction and merging their DNAs into a never seen before vehicle is such a bright and brave intuition. We just brought it to life with a film that scenarizes a playful house-related misunderstanding between two persons, a misunderstanding triggered by the double soul of this car. We are happy to hear that you perceived the film as "extremely elegant" because that was the kind of tonality the creatives had in mind when the idea was still on paper.

 

Do you plan to continue working together for other brands, outside Stellantis?

Not really. 777 has been conceived and created for Stellantis and these assignments are the demonstration that having such a commitment towards one single advertiser like the Stellantis Group can be a choice that opens up bright new horizons before us.

 

 

Armando Testa Group
Publicité/Communication intégrée
Torino, Italie
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Herezie
Publicité/Communication intégrée
Paris, France
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