Inside M&C Saatchi Mobile’s new ‘brutally simple’ NYC space

When James Hilton founded M&C Saatchi Mobile (then Inside Mobile) in 2006, mobile as a digital channel had yet to take off. Nine years later, mobile is center stage — the agency itself has grown significantly from a small office in Shoreditch London to seven offices worldwide with over 150 employees.

Open office culture at M&C Saatchi. #insidetheagency

A photo posted by Digiday (@digiday) on

Mirroring that growth has been M&C Saatchi Mobile New York, which itself has grown to include over 30 employees in the last four years since 2011 and boasts of a roster of clients that includes Reuters TV, Skype and Microsoft Mobile. To accommodate the expanding team, the agency moved into its new office space in Manhattan this March.

The 8,000-square-foot space is a stone’s throw from SoHo’s busy West Houston Street — but miles away spiritually from its chaos. The M&C Saatchi Mobile New York office is “brutally simplistic,” embodying its overarching company M&C Saatchi’s embrace of “brutal simplicity of thought.”

“Sometimes people overcomplicate things. We’re just taking the essence of what that message is not only in our work philosophy but also our office environment,” said Eric Mugnier, svp North America of M&C Saatchi Mobile. “It’s not about cluttering the space with more things but keeping it simple, and that’s reflected in our culture too.”

Staffers contribute fun accents to the office. #insidetheagency

A photo posted by Digiday (@digiday) on

The agency has an open layout and a mixture of white and exposed brick walls with a solid black and white design scheme. The media and strategy teams sit on one side, and the creative on the other, but there are several break-out spots and couches to foster collaboration alive. It is the five conference rooms, however, that steal the show. Named after the five New York boroughs, Manhattan is the biggest room, followed by Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and even Staten Island. Each room is labeled with its own unique calligraphic design symbolizing the borough. The conference rooms in the other two U.S. offices of Los Angeles and San Francisco follow a similar naming scheme. “We try to have a unique identity within each office that is local,” Mugnier said. “But we also try to have something that is common to all, and that is passion for what we do, which is reflected in every employee across offices.”

Minimal and quiet spaces to work and have lunch. #insidetheagency A photo posted by Digiday (@digiday) on

There are ample nooks where staffers can go to unwind, by playing mini golf or cornhole in the hallway, or relaxing on couches by the edge of the office overlooking New York University’s rooftop tennis courts. Pooches abound as staffers are encouraged to bring their dogs. A newsletter highlighting staff professional and personal achievements is circulated monthly, and the first Thursday of every month is “breakfast social,” where employees are encouraged to bond over breakfast. The kitchen also has a pin board lined with photos of employees.

Corner nook where staffers can relax or work. #insidetheagency A photo posted by Digiday (@digiday) on

“It’s about making sure that when people walk in through that door, they are happy and motivated to do great work,” Mugnier said.

Photos of staffers from the NY, SF, and London offices. #insidetheagency A photo posted by Digiday (@digiday) on

Photos and video by Hannah Yi.

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