Founded in Paris, France in 1995, BETC has become known throughout the advertising industry for its creativity and iconic campaigns led by co-founder Remi Babinet. BETC is now a part of the Havas Worldwide group, consists of about 900 employees, and also boasts offices in London, Sao Paulo, and Los Angeles, offering a wide range of services to major clients. To date, their most notable campaigns include those done for Super Loto, Ubisoft, Louis Vuitton, Canal+, Air France, Evian, and Disneyland while their list of clients also includes Lacoste, Peugeot, Leroy Merlin, AXA, and Decathlon.
When the agency first came into being, it was under the name of Babinet Tong Cuong, created by Remi Babinet and Eric Tong Cuong in 1994. Then, a year later, the original founders Babinet and Cuong were joined by French businesswoman Mercedes Erra, with the agency being renamed to Babinet Erra Tong Cuong Euro RSCG – or BETC for short. As a part of the Havas Worldwide group, the agency showed promise early on, but in 2002, co-founder and co-president Cuong opted to part ways with BETC to take on the role of president at BMI Music, France, leaving Babinet and Erra to run the show.
By 2005, BETC was performing well with many great advertising campaigns under its belt, which didn’t go unnoticed by the parent company Havas Worldwide. In the middle of 2005, Havas made many changes in management, starting with bringing in Philippe Wahl as the CEO. Havas then decided to promote many executives to the roles of managing directors to form their new generation of management, which included Remi Babinet and Mercedes Erra. Babinet and Erra would continue to hold down the fort at BETC while in their new roles with Havas. Not long after, in 2007, BETC’s creative director since 1999, Stephane Xiberras, was also given an increased role to become the president and chief creative officer at BETC.
Over the ensuing years, BETC would forge many branches to expand their offering to clients. In 2007, BETC Shopper was launched as the retail-focussed branch, with other branches like BETC Content, BETC Digital, BETC Luxe, BETC Start Up Lab, BETC Pop, and BETC Design joining the fold. Having started in Paris in the mid-90s, Havas and BETC opted to grow into a global network in 2011, with its first step being London later that same year. With Neil A. Dawson as the co-founder and executive creative director, BETC’s expansion to England helped to bring in big-name clients like Bacardi, Samsung, and Diet Coke.
In 2014, BETC’s expansion continued, taking the French agency to Sao Paulo, where Gal Barradas and Erh Ray began as co-CEOs in Brazil; Pepsico, Citroen, Peugeot, and Pao de Acucar are among the high-profile names of BETC Brazil’s client list.
Then came BETC’s long-rumoured move to the United States of America: in late 2017, the agency expanded to Los Angeles, announcing the move by announcing their partnership with choreographer Benjamin Millepied for L.A. Dance Workout and L.A. Dance Magazine.
The year of 2018 saw BETC achieve another step in their global expansion plans by collaborating with Chinese makeup brand Marie Dalgar. To celebrate the brand’s tenth anniversary, Marie Dalgar teamed up with Christophe Pradere, the CEO of BETC Asia, to launch an iconic campaign which “embodies the brand’s mission to inspire and enable women to create and stage their unique beauty,” per Branding in Asia. With operations in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia, BETC has achieved its 2011 ambition of becoming a global network, which Havas has backed them with throughout their many expansions.
In 2008, BETC embarked on one of its most ambitious projects to date: moving to Les Magasins Generaux. Standing on the Canal de l’Ourcq, in Pantin. Remi Babinet decided that a graffiti-laden, derelict industrial complex could one day house the 900-odd employees of BETC. Playing a part in the Grand Paris Project, BETC renovated the massive building – which boasts 20,000 square metres of floor space – deciding to keep its 1930s industrial architecture intact while modernising its interior and incorporating an array of clean energy measures.
To help them integrate into the local community, BETC commissioned the creation of the website Graffiti General, which gives a three-dimensional virtual tour of all of the graffiti painted onto Les Magasins Generaux before it was renovated. In 2016, BETC moved into the complex in Pantin, and Babinet continues to play a huge role in the rehabilitation of the local area.
BETC claim that they are Sexy et Audacieux (Sexy and Bold) due to their good taste and French charm being coupled with their focus on results through creativity. Now, they boast a diverse and prestigious client list which has led to many influential and much-loved campaigns being released. Many of their campaigns are instantly recognisable, with their work for Super Loto, which you can read more about here. To my knowledge they have not done any more gambling related AD campaigns since then, neither for online gambling companies or slot game producers.
BETC's campaigns for Ubisoft and Canal+ (for the World Poker Tour) are of particular note as well. One of BETC’s biggest breakthrough works was with Air France, whom they partnered with in 1998. Led by creative director Remi Babinet, the 1999 campaign ‘Flight’ became a signature piece for the agency.
Another of BETC’s long-standing clients is Evian, who BETC began working with in 1994. In 1998, the famous ‘Waterbabies’ campaign became one of the most iconic advertisements of all-time, with its 2009 revival in the form of ‘Rollerbabies’ becoming the most viewed advertisement online in 2009 at over 45 million views.
The big one, the one that BETC is most known for by many, is ‘The Bear’. Made for Canal+ in 2011, people fell in love with the humorous campaign, which led to BETC winning an avalanche of awards, including the Film Craft Grand Prix Lion. Over the years, BETC has received a huge number of accolades and nominations for its creative work in the industry.
BETC is now a global brand and is still producing creative classics, with one of their biggest and most recent ventures, as of early 2019, being Disneyland Paris’ ‘The Little Duck’, which sees a duckling become obsessed with a Donald Duck comic, before it being washed away by thunder storms. Luckily, the 21-second advert has a happy ending, with the duckling meeting its hero at Disneyland Paris.
This is a fansite about the BETC Agency. If you are looking for BETC's own webpage you can access it at: BETC.com.
I found BETC work so interesting that I wanted to create a site about a selection of their ad campaigns. Browse around to read the story about the different campaigns and see the marketing material. Enjoy!