Independent Agency Periscope Expands to Chicago With Acquisition of Analytics Firm Anthem Marketing

Minneapolis shop opens its second U.S. office

Beyond its Minneapolis headquarters, the agency has offices in Toronto, Delhi and Hong Kong. Periscope
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Minneapolis creative agency Periscope—one of the five largest independent networks in the U.S.—made its first acquisition, buying Chicago-based analytics and strategy firm Anthem Marketing Solutions. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Moving forward, the headquarters of the latter business will become Periscope’s fifth office and second in the United States (it has additional operations in Toronto, Hong Kong and Delhi).

The 20-year-old Anthem specializes in diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytics as well as database marketing and consumer journey mapping services. Like Periscope, the firm serves a variety of clients, many of which operate in the retail sector.

“In a world where lots of agencies [like StrawberryFrog, TM Advertising and Dailey] are buying themselves out of holding companies, the real question is how we can continue to accelerate our growth,” said Periscope CEO Elizabeth Ross, adding that the decision to acquire Anthem followed a “pretty exhaustive national search.” She continued, “We’re fortunate enough to be an independent agency that is nimble enough to make investments like this, and continue to grow on our own terms.”

The ultimate goal is to boost the company’s existing data and analytics capabilities. “We want to help our clients spend less on paid media,” Ross said, “and the best way to do that is to expand analytics and prove you can deliver results through channels and methods that are less reliant on [traditional ad buys].”

Periscope’s latest new business wins include Woodford Reserve bourbon, the Minnesota Lottery and Essentia Water. As part of its larger expansion plans, the agency also recently announced the hires of several new creative and strategy leaders hailing from agencies like DDB, BBDO and VaynerMedia.

Anthem founder and partner John Keenan, who previously worked in database marketing at Leo Burnett Chicago, will join Periscope’s leadership team in the newly created role of evp, marketing analytics while fellow partner Chris Carroll will serve as managing director of the Chicago office. The new leaders declined to comment on whether other entities previously approached Anthem for potential M&A deals.

“Periscope is one of the best partners we could find in this industry, and to take this journey with,” said Keenan in a statement. “We were impressed with their vision and leadership; Periscope being an independent Midwest firm was perfectly suited for our goals and mindset, and being able to combine our capabilities with an integrated firm made sense for our future.”

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.