Sarkissian Mason Hires Grantham to Push Agency Innovation

Digital agency Sarkissian Mason has tapped Richie Grantham, founder of strategy and design shop Risqu&eacute, to drive innovation and “agency invention” as VP strategy and invention, a new role.

Grantham is charged with leading the independent agency’s efforts to innovate on behalf of clients — whether they want it or not. He said in an interview that Sarkissian Mason makes a habit of proactively developing ideas for clients — or potential clients — and he will help extend that practice.

“If we want to work with someone, we come up with an idea and take it to them,” he said. “If we feel like we’ve come up with a strong idea, we want to present it and show them we are agency of invention.”

Chief among the innovations Grantham is currently spearheading is “a new approach to delivering content that plays up the marketing and advertising angle,” he said. Grantham, who started at the agency’s New York office this summer, declined to share specifics, but offered Amazon.com and eBay as examples.

“Sites like Amazon.com taught us how to shop differently. EBay did the same thing. All these different sites began to train us with new behaviors to access content, and now we’re moving to the next level where people are more adaptive when it comes to technology,” he said. “It’s really about pushing things forward; people can access content now in a way that is viable for marketing and advertising that is no longer just tied to the Web.”

Grantham pointed to work the agency has done for Mazda as a way of pushing consumer experiences forward. The New-York based agency, with offices in Los Angeles and Phoenix and a staff of about 50, created a virtual test drive capability for the auto manufacturer.

Other agency clients include ESPN, Boeing and Imax. The company said in a release that its revenues had increased more than 30 percent over the past year.

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