From Dancing Hamsters to Pop Chips: Ad Age's Small Agency Conference

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Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America's exec VP-marketing and communications -- and the exec behind the automaker's popular dancing-hamster commercials for the Kia Soul -- has joined the roster of speakers at Ad Age's third-annual Small Agency Conference. The event is being held in Minneapolis on July 25 and July 26.

Michael Sprague
Michael Sprague

Mr. Sprague joined the automaker in August 2008 and since that time has directed and managed all aspects of the marketing department, including brand marketing, advertising, retail marketing, sponsorships, CRM, product planning and public relations.

Mr. Sprague has had a wealth of experience in the auto marketing sector. Earlier in his career, he spent time at Ford Motor, with stints as group marketing manager for Ford's Lincoln Mercury division and as corporate brand strategy manager in Ford's chief marketing office in Detroit, where he led the development of the global brand architecture for Ford Motor Co.Mr. Sprague also formerly served as general manager of global brand marketing for Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan.

Kia is a major supporter of the small-agency community, as its creative agency of record and longtime partner is Los Angeles-based David & Goliath. David & Goliath last year was the winnerof the Gold award in the category for small agencies with between 76 and 150 employees. The Kia Soul was also honored by Ad Age last year as one of America's Hottest Brands.

"Kia Motors has had a longtime relationship with David & Goliath, which has produced numerous award-winning campaigns for the fastest-growing automaker in the U.S., and this relationship illustrates the power and vitality of our agency partnerships, said Mr. Sprague. "Our teams work to create innovative ideas that are disruptive in the marketplace and raise awareness for the Kia brand."

In its third year, the Small Agency Conference is a must-attend event for any small creative, digital or media shop, and the marketers that work with them.

Along with Mr. Sprague, a group of topnotch speakers will share their expertise with attendees over the course of the daylong conference, delving into: the importance of using creativity to boost the bottom line, the nuts and bolts of new business and getting the win, and how to avoid the latest legal roadbumps.

It's also where Ad Age reveals the winners of the prestigious Small Agency Awards.

This conference is designed for marketing, advertising, design, media and brand professionals, including small- business owners, marketers, creative directors, account leads, agency CEOs, media owners, technologists, startups, or anyone who wants some pointers on running a small, creative business coming out of a recession with high competition for attention.

To register for the event, go here.

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