Claire Schaul, associate VP of media at Humana, one of Spark's new clients, said strategic thinking was key. She’s been impressed by “the way they dive into our brands,” Schaul said, asking key questions and putting their people through the onboarding training that new Humana hires get.
Chris Boothe, who moved from CEO of Spark to chief operating officer of Publicis Media mid-year, sees the agency bringing Publicis Groupe’s Power of One model to life “in a powerful way.”
“The integration of Epsilon has made a huge difference in our ability to compete,” said Spark CEO Sarah Kramer.
Growth has meant staffing up despite a growing industry talent crisis. The agency has navigated that in several ways, Kramer said, including a “Back to Better” event in Chicago drawing more than 100 prospects despite the pandemic, better family leave and health benefits and the flexibility “to work where you want to.”
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Cultural fluency has been crucial to growing business with existing clients, including creative work, said Esther Franklin, chief strategy and cultural fluency officer. Hiring more diverse talent has been a big part of answering client questions about how audiences and behaviors are changing, she said.
Spark’s work included helping Macy’s develop 9,510 NFTs featuring balloons from the nine decades of its Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ten rare NFTs were auctioned to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the other 9,500 were distributed free. The effort generated 562 million earned media impressions, according to Spark.
To move Goldfish beyond its “just for kids” image, Spark launched a #GoForTheHandful campaign on TikTok—where half the 110 million U.S. users are adults—plus a TV spot showing Boban Marjanovic, who has the biggest hands in the NBA, grabbing 301 Goldfish in a single handful. Beyond TV, the effort reached half of TikTok’s monthly average users, spawned 12.5 billion-plus views overall and it drove a 14% sales increase, according to Spark.