Broken Heart Love Affair has a new Crush

Just five months after shaking up Canadian advertising by opening with a small cadre of all-star creative talent, Broken Heart Love Affair is launching a new agency brand called Lifelong Crush.

Broken Heart Love Affair will remain focused on high-level creative brand transformation work, while Lifelong Crush will handle much of the other work brands need to stay positively connected to their customers—from production, social strategy and content, to design and analytics.

Lifelong Crush will be a separate agency from Broken Heart Love Affair, focused on the consumer journey, said Bev Hammond, a founding partner and chief business officer at BHLA. A managing director has been hired, but can’t be named yet.

The new agency was created because clients were increasingly asking BHLA to take on more of the work that brands need throughout the consumer lifecycle, said Hammond. They could have added those services to BHLA, but by doing so both types of work would suffer, she said.

“Broken Heart Love Affair is a creative agency focused on brand transformation and we want to stay that. We don’t want to be one of those ‘And they do…’ agencies,” she said. “We need to keep them separate, so Broken Heart Love Affair could be a top talent creative agency and then we will create a top talent consumer journey agency over here.

“When you try to be all things to all people it is hard to be the best.”

Aside from the managing director, other senior staff,  including an executive creative director, are being hired.

“There is a lot of creative required along the consumer journey and a lot of campaign ideas, social strategy—once you develop that—you need to create out of that,” said Hammond.

Whatever expertise Lifelong Crush doesn’t have in-house will be delivered through a handful of external partnerships, including RVK Productions, Epitaph Media, and Hype PR along with multicultural and French language support.

Launching a new agency brand so quickly is possible in part because BHLA opened with the back-end operations of Republic (Hammond’s previous agency) already in place. They have that same advantage in launching Lifelong Crush, she said.

“We are built on an established infrastructure, so that team will, in the short term, support both organizations,” said Hammond. “But all of the executives and all of the talent will be separate because it is just a different kind of agency. It requires different skills.”

“Managing the consumer lifecycle requires a specialized understanding of how to create and deploy significant amounts of timely content to the highest degree of impact,” said Jay Chaney, BHLA’s partner and chief strategy officer, in a release announcing the new shop.

“At Broken Heart Love Affair, our mission is to help people fall in love with brands again—consumers, clients and agency talent. Lifelong Crush keeps that love alive.”

David Brown