Matt Gierhart to head OgilvyAction social

OgilvyAction, the brand activation arm of the Ogilvy Group and experts in consumer activation marketing, has appointed Matt Gierhart as its head of social, a newly created role.

Over the last four years, Matt has managed his own boutique social agency, The New Celebrity, run from London and New York handling global briefs. He worked in partnership with other large agencies and directly with brands such as Panasonic, Ford, Harcourt, and the Democratic National Convention.

Matt started his career in the marketing sector in the US as a creative consultant at The Texas Department of Transportation, working on an initiative named, “Don’t Mess with Texas.” His role focused on trends monitoring, forecasting and advising the Department’s roster of ad agencies.

In addition to his work as a strategist and creative, Matt has a strong interest in education and economic development. He has worked in association with the Texas Board of Education to help rethink the way school districts and local communities communicate through digital channels. He has also partnered with the International Economic Development Summit to leverage local and small businesses’ social media marketing techniques to target specific economic growth.

His work and thinking in both spaces will be featured in a lecture at the London School of Economics (LSE) in November 2010.

Matt has built a strong profile on the international speaking circuit and has appeared in the line-up at world-leading events including SXSWi (South by Southwest) 2008, the University of Houston, The Art Academy in London, Rice University in Texas and the International Economic Development Summit.

Matt’s main remit at OgilvyAction will be to explore how social media fits within customer activation, understanding the social shopper and how he/she makes purchase decisions.

Steve Harding, global CEO at OgilvyAction, said: “Matt has an extraordinary range of experience and has developed truly transferable skills in his eclectic career thus far. He has a great and well-deserved reputation as a fantastic strategic thinker and as someone who knows how to use the connections derived from social media to generate fantastic insights. We are really pleased to have him join us.”

Matt says: “My experience with customer activation has always coincided with OgilvyAction’s founding principle – that knowing consumers is key to engaging with them and therefore to any brand’s success. I’m genuinely excited to become a part of Ogilvy’s team of experts.”

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