Cognizant Interactive adds creative agency Mustache

17 December 2018 3 min. read

Teaneck, NJ-based management and technology consultancy Cognizant has acquired creative content agency Mustache. The New York-based agency will bolster the video content creation capabilities of marketing and advertising arm Cognizant Interactive.

Founded in 1994 by McKinsey alumnus Kumar Mahadeva, IT consulting, services, and outsourcing giant Cognizant had global revenues of $14.81 billion last year. The consultancy follows a similar global delivery model to rivals TCS, Wipro, and Infosys, though the company is based in New Jersey instead of India. Nonetheless, the firm works though an offshore software R&D and outsourcing model to deliver better value and greater resources to its clients: according to Statista, 180,000 of Cognizant’s 260,000-person workforce was based in India as of 2017.

The firm received 29,000 H1-B skilled foreign worker visas last year – more than twice the amount of second-place TCS – to bring in mostly Indian technology workers to fill positions in the US. President Trump’s nativist rhetoric and ‘Buy American and Hire American’ executive order have led to worries that H1-B visas may be more difficult to obtain for the outsourcing-based consultancies in the future. So far, the Trump administration has proposed a further favoring of graduates from US educational institutions, as well as prerequisite e-registration.Cognizant Interactive adds creative agency MustacheThough the majority of Cognizant’s work and revenue are based on information technology consulting and managed services, the company has likewise branched out into the digital marketing arena like Dublin-based technology consulting rival Accenture. Both consulting firms’ ‘Interactive’ arms are among the world’s largest digital agencies – fueled by a flurry of marketing, digital media, and creative agency acquisitions. Cognizant’s recent purchases in the space include UK digital agency Zone and Swiss digital marketing firm Netcentric.

Now, the firm has acquired NYC-based creative agency Mustache. Founded in 2010, Mustache creates award-winning original and branded content for digital, broadcast, and social mediums. The firm works across the content creation process, from concept development to production, post-production, and distribution. The firm’s clients include leading brands like Google, Netflix, L’Oréal, and Grammarly.

The move will reinforce Cognizant Interactive’s digital content capabilities, while adding key video development and distribution capabilities. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, almost 60% of marketers’ digital ad budgets are allotted to video – with that figure slated to rise in the future.

"CMOs are looking for a single-source, at-scale provider to help them with the capabilities they need to win in the experience economy," commented Donna Tuths, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Cognizant Interactive. "Creating engaging content remains a singular challenge due to the demands of 'always on' social media channels – especially when it comes to video. With the addition of Mustache, Cognizant Interactive is even better positioned to fill this need."

Commenting on the transaction, Mustache founder and CEO John Limotte said, “By joining forces with Cognizant, we can leverage their deep resources and geographic reach to scale our capabilities more quickly and effectively to provide clients with more comprehensive solutions — marrying our content and creative with their cutting-edge technology and analytics to create a powerful, forward-looking, full-service model.”

“We are particularly drawn to the global agency network developed under Cognizant Interactive, and the leading position they've taken on applied innovation and on solving clients' challenges with what they call a 'human-centered' approach,” Limotte added.