In March 2016, media agencies in the Publicis Groupe network faced a major shake-up. The holding company’s media shops would reorganize and operate under four global brands, which meant some (including employees at Mediavest and Spark, two agencies in the former Starcom Mediavest Group) would be working together for the first time. The task of continuing to deliver great work while two sizeable agencies merged was in fact quite daunting.
For Eric Levin, evp and chief content officer at Mediavest | Spark, it was a welcome challenge and one he navigated expertly after joining the Spark team at CEO Chris Boothe’s request just three years prior.
In the face of change, Levin managed to remain immensely productive. For one, he shifted from managing a team of 10 in Chicago to taking on a staff of over 50 spread across the country. He and his team also contributed to an onslaught of new business wins for the agency, including the $230 million KFC account and Mattel’s $150 million business (Mediavest | Spark shares this account with sister agency DigitasLBi).
“Creativity is always woven in [to pitches] in a way that mirrors the success of our model and ultimately shows the client a different way to approach that we are not just a media agency, but we can bring so much more to the table,” says Levin.
Levin’s theory of making media more creative by infusing data and strategy into every piece of content isn’t merely talk. In his role as chief content officer, he has helped create some standout work from the agency that showcases his core mission. “Eric is an amazing collaborator. He’s very creative, but he is also very data-centric and really digs down,” says Boothe. “When he comes up with an idea, it’s not just here’s an idea. It’s how can this idea live on in multiplatform.”
For a Red Lobster effort, Levin and team formed a strategic partnership with the Discovery Channel, sponsoring TV show Deadliest Catch and creating a series of custom videos starring the show’s most notable captain, Sig Hansen. The videos scored more than 1.5 million social views in 24 hours—a record for Red Lobster.
“The work really stands out across all clients, and we’ve been really proud of a number of the programs we’ve launched over the last year,” Levin says. “It’s also exciting to see the personal growth of those on the team, how much they’ve grown creatively, and the adoption and understanding of the model and why it makes the most sense.” —Katie Richards