Data Science & Strategy Firm Schireson Acquires Stun Creative & Blackbird To Form “Known” — A New Breed Of Modern Marketing Company


Marketing and data strategy firm Schireson Associates announced that it has acquired two leading independent creative and brand strategy agencies, Stun Creative and Blackbird, to form “Known,” a new marketing company engineered for the unprecedented challenges and opportunities facing marketers today. The combination of these companies already represents significant capabilities and scale, with combined 2019 revenues of approximately $100 million.

Known is anchored by two decades of groundbreaking market research and data science capabilities, which uniquely empower its marketing strategy and acclaimed creative groups, who are producing some of the most innovative, cutting-edge creative work in culture. The result is marketing that is predisposed to succeed and be persistently optimized, directly impacting clients’ bottom lines.

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The combined capabilities uniquely position Known to deliver marketers the advanced, end-to-end solutions they need, in the most efficient, effective and transparent ways. Including strategy, full creative, media planning and buying, and more.

“We see this as a generational opportunity to actually respond to the needs of marketers today, and we’re delighted to be on the side of change,” said Kern Schireson, who will serve as Known’s Chairman & CEO. “Marketing is ready for a new standard of innovation, quality, and transparency. It’s our mission to deliver that.”

Schireson returned to Schireson Associates last month, after spending five years as Viacom’s Chief Data Officer. He is widely regarded as having led the transformation of advanced advertising for television.

“We’re lucky to have developed partnerships with some of the most amazing clients in the world, who are constantly working with us to develop solutions that set a new standard,” he continued. “Now, bringing together the amazing talent that has made Schireson, Stun and Blackbird so successful, all with a single mission and vision, puts us in a truly amazing seat.”

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Three Leading Marketing Firms

Here are some more details on the companies which now make up Known:

  • Schireson Associates is a leading marketing and data strategy consulting firm built on a foundation of world class data science, engineering, market research and advanced analytics. Clients like Microsoft, Google and Viacom have counted on the firm’s unparalleled team of PhD data scientists, engineers and strategists to solve complex business challenges since 2002. Jeff Kingsley, who has been serving as Chief Operating Officer of Schireson, has been named President & COO of Known.

  • Three-time “Agency of the Year” Stun Creative is the Emmy, Clio and Cannes Lions award-winning LA-based agency and production company, renowned for two decades of original content and advertising campaigns for clients like Netflix, HBO, Amazon, CNN, The NFL, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Dove Men + Care, Nickelodeon, Princess Cruise Lines, Fandango, Hulu, Snapchat and many more. Stun provides creative development and execution in all media, including production, post-production, digital, social, animation, key art and design. Its Principals, Brad Roth and Mark Feldstein, have been named Presidents of Known Studios.

  • Blackbird, the brand strategy and business innovation agency, was launched in 2017 with a client roster that includes Disney, Rockefeller Center, AT&T, Pepsi, WarnerMedia, Universal Music Group, IMAX, Citi, Fandango and more. Its Founder and CEO, Ross Martin, will serve as President & CXO of Known.

The seamless combination of these groups, now functioning as one team, is already helping brands unlock the potential of their businesses in new ways. Dozens of clients have already begun to leverage the combined new suite of capabilities.

“After 20 years of telling award-winning brand stories at Stun, we are now able to truly elevate our creative work on a foundation of data science and advanced analytics,” said Stun Creative Co-Founders Mark Feldstein and Brad Roth. “We couldn’t be more excited to be embarking on this amazing new chapter launching Known.”

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“Helping brands realize their potential at Blackbird has been one of the greatest joys of my career,” said Ross Martin, Blackbird founder and CEO, “and this is the next step in that journey. Marketers are done guessing what works and what doesn’t. Brands are taking control and demanding better. We are excited to be leading that evolution.”

“Known is built and scaled to provide enterprise-wide solutions for our clients across every marketing function,” said Jeff Kingsley, President & COO of Known. “Every service and product we offer is designed to align with the values, objectives and interests of our clients, setting a new standard for performance and transparency in media and advertising.”

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