Agency Innovators 2016

Gerhart, Adam


It would be difficult not to describe Adam’s rise to US CEO of Mindshare in March as meteoric. 

In 2014, Mindshare’s LA office was wavering. Adam was working in London at the time, but with the success that he’d experienced in leading teams across the globe, Nick Emery, Global Mindshare CEO, knew that he was the right person to turn things around.

As west coast lead, Adam reinvented the office and its culture in less than two years. His goal: to operate the LA office as a start-up, but with the brawn of the Mindshare network. He ramped up training and mentorship initiatives. He doubled down on the agency’s adaptive marketing work, bringing in new digital analytics talent from across the country so that Mindshare could leverage more real-time data and insights for media investment decisions. He tightened the agency’s ties with the west coast community, from leading media companies to local volunteer initiatives.

For example, Mindshare LA launched #Future33, identifying 33 west coast partners who push the boundaries within digital and inviting them into the office for the day. Instead of partners presenting to Mindshare, this event turned the tables and presented the agency’s vision and challenges to them, including sneak peaks into upcoming brand activities. This approach fostered a deeper dialogue, with future-forward companies like BuzzFeed, Kiip, and xAd sharing first looks at new offerings and customized client opportunities.

The result? #Future33 launched a number of client programs – such as a media first wherein one retailer’s consumers were served custom Spotify playlists based on their personal style. Or, a partnership with a location provider wherein another retail client became the first advertiser to use their place visitation rate across their entire media plan—allowing them to move beyond KPI metrics and see which partners were driving footfall to their stores.

Under Adam’s leadership, Mindshare LA has done some of its most innovative work yet. Take Campari’s corporate social responsibility campaign with Lyft, shortlisted at Cannes Lions and preventing up to 175,000 consumers from drunk driving incidents. Or, Lionsgate’s Snapchat campaign for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part II: it used the first-ever branded geo-filter on Snapchat, dividing the U.S. into 13 districts, like the fictional world of The Hunger Games’ Panem. Each district had its own unique filter—so if you were in LA for instance, you were in District 5, or in New York, you had District 13.

And for the office overall: Adam’s leadership and innovative thinking landed clients such as Nordstrom (and led to expansion into Canada), BBVA, numerous west coast Unilever brands, and more. Under his leadership, the office cut out client losses and grew existing accounts; Mindshare LA increased both its client satisfaction scores and revenue by double digits. Adam also increased staff by 27%.

On top of that, Adam also launched a new office in San Francisco, to harness the speed and culture of Silicon Valley partners, technologies, and platforms at the center of Internet of Things and new disruptive models.

With that level of success, it’s no wonder that once again, Nick promoted Adam—this time in March to US CEO.

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Posted on October 26, 2016 .