Kansas City, MO-based Bernstein-Rein has hired a talent troika intended to beef up its creative, data and engagement chops.
"We are known for developing the Happy Meal, which isn't traditional advertising," explains new hire Mark Moll, executive creative director. "Our approach has always been non-traditional. There is a better way to solve clients’ needs, which is really how modern agencies communicate."
While his ECD title may be familiar across advertising, his focus will differ significantly from the typical creative leader, he says. “I have been around to know most of the time these jobs get siloed. It won't be whether you have this or that specific functionality, but instead we will have a well-rounded, open and nimble approach for the whole gamut of problems,” he says.
Moll says this fresh way of thinking served as a key point of attraction for him to accept this position. He brings more than 20-plus years of experience to his senior leadership role including Crispin Porter, Deutsch, Leo Burnett and Arnold.
Moll will serve as a member of the executive leadership team under Managing Director Chris Perkins. "In addition to continuing to grow by helping our agency clients, we also grow with confidence in our own business acumen, in part by building and buying companies" said Perkins.
Moll is joined by two other senior-level executives as the agency strives to better meet client demands. Ashley Vincent will serve as the agency's first data strategist to expand the incorporation of analytics insights across all clients. The agency believes Vincent's unique background in psychology and data science enables her to speak "human" and will be useful in delivering clients more powerful ways to fuel growth.
Janelle McCoy joins the agency as its first-ever director of engagement to expand and build BR's business in more non-traditional segments, such as PR and social influence. Her priority is to link experience and digital to these more nebulous areas of engagement.
While their first priorities are incorporating their respective expertise into current client accounts, they will all participate in client pitches in order to convey how BR uses all of its assets to benefit their business.
BR, in fact, has been at the forefront of alternative client strategies, including taking partial ownership of client brands, such as Blockbuster, as well as fully owning companies like Beauty Brands, a retail beauty products and salon business.
Moll is excited about new avenues of solving client problems, citing his work at Crispin Porter for Domino's as a career highlight.
Above all, the agency seeks to meld the insights of planning and analytics to inform stronger creative ideas and experiences, which, in turn, will deliver greater results for clients, says Moll.
This ability to zig when others zag has helped the agency thrive as an independent based in Kansas City, MO. Plus, its location is proving to be an asset during a time when clients increasingly seek better connections with "middle America." Moll cites one entertainment client who recently reached out to BR for a project because it already rotated through many LA-based shops.
Recent BR wins include the Gulf Oil and Pharmaca accounts, in addition to expanding its assignment with McDonald’s.