The experience age is redefining the relationship between people and brands. The agency of the future will be the mediator of a value exchange between these two constituencies. And Jonathan Hoffman is the person charged with evolving media agency network Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) to its next generation role by planning and designing dynamic integrated experiences that evolve marketing from making people want things to making things people want.
Since joining SMG in 2011, Hoffman and his team strive to help clients – including Anheuser-Busch, Best Buy, Samsung and more – move beyond a transactional model with customers to a behavior-based relational model. He is in charge of designing cross-platform experience strategy and ideas that cause all brand behaviors to work together. Hoffman leads a team which plans and designs immersive, transformative experiences for innovative brands which blur the line between the digital and physical worlds.
In 2013, Hoffman drove the launch of SMG’s new brand experience consulting unit: Zero Dot.Zero Dot brings world class talent, ideas and technology capability to deliver the next generation of branding consulting, experience strategy and experience design for the era of convergence. The new business unit provides brand consulting, experience design and original creation of content to solve SMG clients’ marketing challenges with a unique approach. Zero Dot is designed to work quickly, in an integrated fashion, with a fast, agile process that yields ideas for clients who can take them to market faster than typical integrated marketing approaches.
Prior to SMG, Hoffman spent more than a decade in creative agency management, serving as president/chief creative officer at Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis from 2005 to 2009. In this role, heled the transformation of a 76-year old agency culture that prioritized legacy relationships into a culture that prioritizes "pioneering Ideas", and making "everything talk" in a relevant, resonant way for clients' brands, across all media touch points. He added world class talent in all disciplines and built digital capabilities and focus (including I.A. and social marketing strategy) and expanded and enhanced brand planning focus and capabilities. Hoffman created new revenue streams from new sources and helped the agency win new client accounts, including H&R Block (with a successful account defense in 2006), National City Bank, Famous Footwear, Syngenta, Fiserv, SuperValu, Siku Vodka and The UnConvention.
From 2000 to 2005, Hoffman was vice chairman/executive creative director at Starcom’s Publicis Groupe sister agency Leo Burnett in Chicago. A member of the Executive Committee, he had creative, strategic and managerial responsibility for a significant portion of the agency's clients including U.S. Army, Nintendo, Allstate, Proctor & Gamble feminine care, Kellogg’s snack division, Hallmark, NCBA, Kraft, Showtime Networks, Museum of Science and Industry and The American Experience. During his time at Burnett, he helped bring in business including Polaroid, Crayola, Toys ‘R’ Us and Showtime.
Before his stint at Burnett in Chicago, Hoffman acted as the chief creative officer at Leo Burnett in Warsaw, Poland from 1997 to 1999. In this position, he transformed an agency outpost from a service office for large multinational clients into the twentieth most awarded agency in the world at the time, per the Gunn Report. Hoffman was responsible for bringing in large local clients – including EB Beer and the largest Polish pension fund – and new international clients such as Sony, Ikea and Nestle-Danone. During his time there, Leo Burnett Warsaw saw billings grow an astonishing 100 percent. He also led the agency in garnering significant international recognition including Agency of the Year in Central Eastern Europe in 1998 and 1999 and the first ever award at Cannes for an agency in Poland.
Hoffman is a multiple recipient of every major industry award, including Cannes, British D&AD, Clio, One Show, Effie, Communication Arts, and The Kelly. Two pieces of his work are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Hoffman graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York with a bachelor of arts in English/drama