Global creative production company MediaMonks has officially established a Canadian presence and appointed former Zulu Alpha Kilo creative director Jon Webber as its creative lead.
MediaMonks was the major deal that signalled the return of Martin Sorrell to the advertising business after he was forced out of WPP in 2018. Sorrell outbid WPP to land the Dutch-based company with a reputation for digital product creativity and innovation to kickstart S4, which he has said would be a new kind of agency company for a new age of advertising.
The new Toronto office comes on the heels of MediaMonks’ February’s integration of BizTech, which added marketing technology expertise to MediaMonks’ production strength.
BizTech had been focused on digital transformation and customer experience and was a specialist in the Adobe stack, winning an Adobe Partner of the Year award nearly every year since the award was created.
Vera Cvetkovic, MediaMonks’ newly appointed vice-president, solutions for the Americas, said that the new office will be able to act as a “true end-to-end partner” for brands from ideation to implementation, combining platform development with strategy and creative solutions.
“With everything under one roof, we can plan, execute, strategize and build a platform that’s not going to have to get duct-taped together for the next 10 years,” says Webber. “It will be built for growth and we can fill it with content that’s going to nudge consumers from one message to the next and keep them in that loop.”
First established in the Netherlands in 2001, MediaMonks has grown to 40 offices in 29 countries and more than 2,500 employees (known as “monks”) worldwide. Global clients include HP, L’Oreal, Adidas, Philips, Unilever, Starbucks, GE, Google, Facebook and Amazon.
“It was a perfect time to start the MediaMonks Canada office,” says Cvetkovic. “There’s an enormous amount of talent in the agency and ad-tech community here.” MediaMonks’ Canadian leadership team is rounded out by Dave Shen, director of technology platforms, Americas.
Webber, who spent seven years as a creative director at Zulu Alpha Kilo from 2012 to 2019 and whose career has also included stints with Proximity Canada, Tribal DDB and Cossette, says he has long wanted to work with MediaMonks.
“I was rejuvenating and trying to figure out what was next when the posting for this position came across my LinkedIn feed and within about five minutes of seeing that notice I was chatting with the managing director in New York and I had a business card in my hand within a couple of weeks.”
Webber has yet to actually set foot in the MediaMonks Toronto office because of the current work-from-home imperative, but says the company’s global reputation will enable it to quickly establish a Canadian presence.
“It’s a bit of a virtual introduction [but] I hope they mostly know the MediaMonks name and what I like to bring to the table,” he says. “It will be a little bit of a slower march than it might otherwise have been…but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“The state of most marketing campaigns is in flux, and a lot of them are going to have to move to a more digital set-up, and we’re perfectly positioned to help clients and agencies deliver on that.”
MediaMonks’ and its sister programmatic sister agency MightyHive Canada—which opened its doors in 2018, with Tessa Ohlendorf as managing director—together employ about 55 people.
Webber is currently in the midst of building his creative team, and while interviews are still occurring, start dates for new employees remain up in the air as the world grapples with the COVID crisis.