Purple Strategies Hires From Burnett, Emanuel Team

Chicago office expands

Purple Strategies continues to build its Chicago office and ambitions for more brand business with the addition of Leo Burnett executive creative director Chris Julcher and Kevin Hauswirth, a senior member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s communications team who served as the city’s first director of social media.

Julcher, who is best known for his work on Kellogg’s brands like “Childhood is Calling” for Rice Krispies, takes on a senior creative role while Hauswirth, who in his past has worked with Hanesbrands and Sara Lee, becomes a senior strategist at the company.

Kevin Hauswirth

Alexandria, Va.-based Purple was created from the 2009 merger of partisan political consulting firms: Democrat Steve McMahon’s Issue and Image company and National Media run by GOP strategist Alex Castellanos. McMahon, along with long-time Leo Burnett exec John Gatti, was a principal in a company called Citizen2 when it was part of Burnett. Citizen2 was spun off by the Publicis Groupe agency and in 2012 became part of Purple Strategies, which is now run by Gatti, a 21-year Burnett veteran, and Chris Mather, who joined Purple from Rahm Emanuel’s office where she served as communications director. New hires Julcher and Hauswirth will work with both Citizen2 and Purple clients.

Among Purple’s clients are Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and United Airlines. The company also works for BP was behind the 2010 campaign featuring company chairman Tony Hayward apologizing for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More recently, Purple produced Intuit’s TurboTax ads that took aim at brick-and-mortar competitors in the run up to April 15th.

Purple also recently acquired research firm Momentum Analysis, a Democratic polling firm, noted for its research on Walmart moms. Founded in 2001 by Margie Omero, who becomes managing director of Purple Insights, the agency is using it as a basis to build its capabilities focused on socially and politically active mothers.