UTA has just named Joseph Kessler to the newly created post of Global Head of UTA IQ to oversee a new division within the agency dedicated to analyzing third-party data while leveraging its own proprietary tools and analytics to provide intelligent research data to its agents and clients. He will report to UTA Co-President David Kramer and UTA Head of Digital Media Brent Weinstein.
Kessler and the UTA IQ group will work closely with existing teams throughout the agency, which has been fully engaged in data mining and has actually built a dedicated Digital Strategy division, which uses social media data to build custom strategies for clients. UTA also has been heavily involved in how social media data could be applied to film marketing and tracking through the development of PreAct, the SaaS platform now licensed by many film studios. That measures the health of a film’s marketing campaign as early as a year prior to its theatrical release. Similarly, UTA’s Brand Studio conducts extensive custom research projects.
“Over many decades, Joe has successfully operated at the high-stakes intersection of digital disruption, data-driven consumer insights and global brands,” said Kramer. “He’s done so at a time when the explosion of platforms available to content creators and consumers means we must constantly provide deep, informed insights to our clients and within our own businesses. He’s the perfect executive to take the great work already being done by our existing teams and build a next-generation practice that can support the growing needs and ambitions of our company and our clients.”
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From 2009 through 2014, Kessler was president of The Intelligence Group (IG), a division of CAA and publisher of the Cassandra Report, the ongoing study of youth behavior and attitudes. IG provided audience insights, data and strategic counsel to artists, athletes, and media and entertainment companies such as Fox, Sony, Disney and IMAX, and top brands like Red Bull, Adidas and Microsoft, and provided strategic intelligence and analysis for incubated startups and venture investments.
Following the acquisition of IG by Engine Group USA, Kessler was CEO and president of youth marketing agency Noise, and after that was president of Deep Focus, a digital agency. In this role, he oversaw several key functions that provided research, planning, analytics, social media strategy and account services to clients such as Unilever, Intel and Nestle.
Earlier on, Kessler was a senior partner at SS+K, an award-winning integrated marketing communications agency that served as then-candidate Barack Obama’s youth outreach agency of record during the run up to the historic 2008 national elections—lauded as an early exemplar for how campaigns can leverage research and data-driven insights to engage targeted constituencies effectively.
“UTA understands that in years to come the most successful entertainment and media companies will be operating very differently than they do today, and that at the heart of that transformation will be the rapid enhancement of data-fueled insights and evidence-based decision making,” said Kessler in a statement.
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