Media Mavens

Media Mavens: Christian Juhl, RazorFish

Exec's Fresh Take on Media Helps Shop Rake in Mounds of New Work From Big Players Disney, Travelocity

By Published on .

When Publicis Groupe acquired Razorfish, it not only got hundreds of millions in revenue from digital advertising, it also got a new way to look at media that , so far, has been raking in new business.

No executive better embodies that fresh perspective than Razorfish's Christian Juhl, who was part of Jack Klues' SWAT team when the Vivaki CEO tapped execs from sibling agencies Optimedia, Digitas and Mediavest to go after and ultimately win a significant portion of a $1 billion Disney media account. The consortium went into the pitch with a simple, 12-slide presentation that used digital and social media to amplify Disney's inevitable big media buys, Mr. Juhl said.

Christian Juhl, RazorFish
Christian Juhl, RazorFish

Prior to that , Mr. Juhl was on the Razorfish team that led the holding company team that won Travelocity's $80 million ad, media and digital account.

So what's been the secret to that big-ticket winning streak?

"One of the advantages of coming from Razorfish and from technology is not looking at media as a strong paid vehicle, but coming from a more neutral place," Mr. Juhl said, adding that the digital agency is especially focused on social media and marketer-owned properties since his agency handles creative, technology and media together for clients. That said, you definitely won't hear Mr. Juhl calling paid media dead.

"It's not that the internet is taking over, it's that the way of the internet is taking over," he said. "People still will watch TV, but TV is going to be bought and managed much like the internet is today."

Out of college, Mr. Juhl joined GE Capital in IT services in 1996, handling Levi's outsourced help desk, e-commerce and procurement systems. He later hopped to the now-defunct digital shop US Web, where he learned account management and business development. From there, he rode out the multiple acquisitions, through the dot-com boom and bust, which eventually formed Razorfish in its current, massive state.

Two years ago, Razorfish consolidated its national media operations under Mr. Juhl, who is based in San Francisco. He hired back longtime former employee and Microsoft exec Jeff Lanctot as Razorfish's first chief media officer.

Mr. Juhl is also tasked with identifying new media for the agency's clients, whether it be iPad magazine Flipboard or Microsoft's gesture-based gaming console Kinect.

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