Experiential Marketing Heavyweights Join Chicago-Based AKA
Jason Vargas and Scott Moller have joined Chicago-based strategic communications company, AKA. As CMO, Vargas will continue to expand the company’s capabilities to solve marketing communications challenges for clients with brand awareness and brand experience campaigns. Moller will act as Principal, providing senior-level counsel for the company’s roster of blue-chip clients.
“This is both a challenging and exciting time for our clients as they navigate contemporary communications challenges for their brands, their products, their employees and their stakeholders,” said Andrew Krause, Founder and CEO of AKA.
The addition of Scott and Jason allows AKA to offer more impactful solutions to its clients. For example, the agency can now engage customers with memorable experiences, capture those moments on video, create and edit the activity into a compelling story, and deliver it via paid and earned media to achieve results for clients.
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Krause acknowledges, “There is no substitute for the real-life experience these two bring to the table – making this partnership a key differentiator for AKA going forward.”
AKA’s tailored approach to projects and scopes works to uncover the root cause of specific challenges. The agency begins by falling in love with the problem in order to identify the correct solution. Effective campaigns must be designed to solve the issue, not merely consist of clever tactics.
“We learned at Marketing Werks that most businesses experience some type of communications challenge,” said Moller. “The solution to those challenges usually involves getting the attention of the ‘right’ people and persuading those people to do the ‘right’ thing. How you do that effectively is where experience matters.”
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As co-founder and co-CEO of Marketing Werks, Moller grew the company to become the largest privately-owned experiential marketing agency in the US. His dynamic leadership inspired top talent and attracted well-known brands including PlayStation, Walgreens, Char-Broil, Chase, UnitedHealth Group, IndyCar, Bridgestone and Sony. With over $100 million in annual revenue, Marketing Werks was sold to Dallas-based Crossmark in 2013.
Vargas helped pioneer experiential marketing tied to brand-driven experiences at Marketing Werks, leading award-winning teams for clients including Verizon, Discover and LEGO. Prior to joining Marketing Werks, Vargas worked for GMR Marketing and later served for eight years as Adjunct Professor of Experiential Marketing at The University of Chicago.
Krause founded AKA in 1998 producing and distributing earned media campaigns with celebrities, athletes and CEOs. He’s assembled teams of creatives, content producers, social and media relations experts and digital campaign managers recognized for results-driven, best-in-class service across brand and corporate communications. The boutique shop executes end-to-end project work for companies and brands including Mondelēz, PepsiCo/Gatorade, Kraft/Oscar Mayer, Kraft/Planters, Ace Hardware and McDonald’s.
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