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Spark Foundry | Agency Profile, Contacts, AOR, Client Relationships

Service: full service, media specialty

Main Telephone (312) 970-8400
Main Fax (312) 970-8409
Primary Address
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza
Suite 550
Chicago, IL 60654

Spark Foundry Contacts

Contacts (5/174)
Name Title State
John M. Chief Investment Officer IL
Sample of Associated Brands
Email: *****@*******.***
Main Phone: (312) 970-8400
Direct Phone: *** **** ***   ext: ****
Direct Fax: *** **** ***
Assistant Name: ** **** ***
Assistant Phone: *** **** ***
Address: 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza
Suite 550
Chicago, IL

Eric L. Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer IL
Chris B. Global President & U.S. Chief Executive Officer IL
Andrea P. Chief Strategy Officer IL
Brent L. Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Business Development IL

Client Relationships

Brand Service From To Media Spend
******, ***. media buying & planning 2013 present ********
*** ******** *********** AOR - media buying & planning 2013 present ********
****** AOR - media buying & planning 2014 present *****
*******'* **** ******** & ********** Media Buying, Media Planning 2016 present ********
******** **** Media Buying, Media Planning 2017 present *******

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Digital Opps: Northwestern Mutual's new CMO building data-driven strategy

Update: Martech Today, she provided some insight into her thought process that will be useful in new business outreach. Topping the list, Gokhale said she's focused on strengthening the Northwestern Mutual brand and expanding engagement with prospects and clients. 

Gokhale also said an article stating that less than 50% of millennials and Gen Xers want traditional TV stuck with her. "This insight reinforces the need for marketers like me to rethink our media and creative strategy she added. Gokhale, formerly CMO of LearnVest - which Northwestern acquired in 2015 - describes herself as "a very data-driven person," so your pitch should include lots of measurement, data-driven strategy and ROI language. 

Further, look for Northwestern's $65 million broadcast heavy ad budget to continue moving more towards higher ROI digital (more info below). Northwestern fell off the Spark Foundry, Chi, media AOR since 2012.  However, keep in mind that Northwestern's top advertising period since 2015 is Q1, so a shift may already have occurred. We'll keep you posted as we learn more. 

Below posted 5/31

Financial services giant promoted several LearnVest (LV) executives to corporate roles. Leading the way are LV chief marketer Aditi Gokhale, who's now the financial and life insurance company's CMO, and LV founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel, who's now chief digital officer.

Northwestern transform the 160-year-old business for today's digital-minded customers. So, center your pitches on strategies for engaging the mature millennial crowd (30-somethings with enough left over money to invest). 

Competition for work will include Omnicom's iSpot shows, adding to the likelihood they'll look at shops to put new ads together. 

Sellers - Northwestern's ~$65M ad budget is broadcast heavy, according to Kantar Media, but there's still substantial digital outlays to secure, as well. Look for digital spending to start rising with digital-minded LV execs now running marketing.

Male-focused sports and financial news sellers should have an advantage securing revenue, based on Northwestern's recent display targeting strategy. 

Additional Insight

Experience: Gokhale, with 20 years of marketing experience, ran LearnVest's marketing since April. Before that, she was CMO at Shutterstock and SVP and digital GM at Nutrisystem.

TV Breakdown: $65.6 million has gone to national TV ads the past year (see show targeting right), up from $53.5 million a year ago, reports

Digital Breakdown: $3.9 million has garnered 181.5 million impressions the past year, about half of spending during the same period a year earlier, per Pathmatics. However, the drop in spending has come as desktop video has risen to 61%, or $2.3 million, of Northwestern's digital budget, from 27%, or $1.8 million. 

Top targeted sites the past 12 months include,,,,, and