Independent agency Mekanism is expanding with a new media practice. Mekanism Media will be based in New York and serve as a hub for all four of Mekanism’s office and AOR clients.
“Overall, we’re seeing a trend of midsize creative agencies attracting a lot of business at the moment, because we have enough scale and weight, but we’re not part of the big, oversized holding company agencies,”Mekanism CEO Jason Harris told Adweek, adding, “You want the creative to be as effective as possible, and in order to do that, it’s not just the idea but where the idea shows up. And you have to start bringing that in-house so that everything is moving faster and quicker.”
Harris said the long-term trend of decoupling creative and media agency services is starting to shift in the opposite direction.
One reason for the move away from decoupling creative and media, he said, is “the speed that everything’s happening.”
“With social playing such a key role, just being able to test and learn and optimize on the fly and having those two groups sitting next to each other is kind of critical,” he said.
The Wine Group, whose brands include Cupcake and Chloe wines, for which Mekanism serves as agency of record, has already started working with Mekanism Media, which also has an as-yet-unannounced new business win and other clients the agency didn’t disclose.
Rory O’Flaherty will lead Mekanism Media’s 10-person team and be tasked with management and strategic development, developing its media analytics practice and executing digital media buying strategy. O’Flaherty joins Mekanism from Huge, where he served as vice president of media. His agency experience also includes R/GA, Essence and Merkle.
O’Flahery said he is “looking forward to building the media practice” at Mekanism.
“I have … a decent track record of having done this at a couple other agencies,” he said of the challenges of building up Mekanism’s media offering. “So hopefully, I can bring some of that experience to bear in growing things.”
Harris cited O’Flaherty’s experience building up media offerings at Huge and other agencies as part of the reason he was right for the role.
“We’re a shop of creative entrepreneurs,” he said. “[O’Flaherty] just seemed to have that model where … he wanted to take it over and shape it into what it’s going to become.”
O’Flaherty sees his main job as “trying to grow the business, to win some new clients, drive performance for them and grow that credibility.”
Harris said the “first order of business” was trying to get as many of the agency’s 20 to 25 AOR clients to expand their relationships with Mekanism to include media.
“It’s our job in the next couple of years to prove that we’re going to be more efficient and drive better results by re-coupling those two disciplines together,” he said.