Das Mediabusiness hat sich im Zuge der sich stetig wandelnden, multimedialen Welt stark verkompliziert und stellt die Media- und Kommunikationsexperten vor große Herausforderungen. Jedes Jahr küren die Redakteure des Adweek Magazins die 12 bedeutendsten Köpfe des Mediabusiness, die im Auftrag ihrer Kunden erfolgreiche, innovative und zukunftsweisende Strategien verwirklichen. Die Media All-Stars, zu welchen sich dieses Jahr auch Kamran Ashgar zählen darf, „represent the best of the best in the business today“.
In 2000, Kamran Asghar, a 26-year-old planning director at Ogilvy & Mather, had a vision of starting a media planning agency that could do more for its clients than simply offering reach and clout. “I had always felt that media planning was more about finding better ways to connect with audiences, not about scale,” he says. “At that time, media shops had started unbundling and were going to offer clients more leverage through buying scale. To me, that didn’t sound right.”
So Asghar, along with his Ogilvy colleague Martin Albrecht, launched Crossmedia, an independent media agency that eschewed the traditional siloed departments and focused on collaborating closely with clients. Early clients included Brio Technology and Madison Square Garden. Today, Asghar also counts Whole Foods, New Era, Jägermeister and Vita Coco as clients.
Crossmedia’s specialty is helping brands like Whole Foods without massive media budgets but still requiring top-notch media planning to build long-term brand equity while getting a short-term response.
“Working with Kamran was one of those things that honestly changed my work life,” says University of Michigan athletics CMO Hunter Lochmann, who first worked with Crossmedia when he was with the New York Knicks as vp, marketing. “Crossmedia is nimble, they’re not cookie-cutter, and they take risks,” he adds, noting how impressed he was with the company’s digital acumen.
Last year, Crossmedia launched RedBox, an analytics platform for clients that provides the same level of service associated with large brands without the big price tag. More recently, Asghar oversaw the creation of Crossmedia’s programmatic buying desk, highly unusual for an independent shop. “When you buy programmatically these days, there’s still a lot of data that’s held from the client,” says Asghar. “Our goal is to be 100 percent transparent.”
He adds, “We really feel we’re an alternative to [the other independents] in the market right now.” —Emma Bazilian