LOS ANGELES, March 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Nearing one year since its acquisition by global communications company Havas, Battery Annex, a marketing, advertising and design agency founded to create advertising that’s as sought-after as entertainment, today announced four senior hires as part of its recent growth. Three creative directors — Michelle Nam and Drea Schneider, both from 72andSunny, and Joe Sgro, formerly of RPA and DDB Chicago — join the agency to fortify its creative offering. In addition, Sean McNamara, who led strategic growth at Sid Lee, comes on as head of strategy.
Since becoming part of Havas’ Annex network, Battery Annex has flourished. The agency has delivered on work and wins to double its billings. As a result of the revenue increase, it has also expanded headcount and office space within its Sunset Boulevard headquarters, located in Hollywood, California. This success comes on the heels of broadened relationships with clients, such as the Royal Bank of Canada (including multiple TV and digital campaigns across Canada and the U.S.), the L.A. Clippers, Epic Games and Netflix.
“The last year has been awesome and we’re lucky to have these incredible people joining us. We have continued delivering work that disrupts and makes a meaningful impact in culture while leveraging the global resources from Havas that have led us to new opportunities and exciting growth,” said Anson Sowby, CEO of Battery Annex. “As part of this growth, we’ve bolstered our Battery family with these world-class creative and strategic teams to continue the positive momentum and extend our footprint around the globe.”
With more than 12 years of experience each, Nam and Schneider have both created culturally impactful work for iconic brands including Target, Google, T-Mobile and Netflix. Nam most recently served as a creative consultant to help launch WAYB, a family travel gear company co-founded by a former Patagonia CEO. At 72andSunny, she helped innovate a first-of-its-kind immersive AR experience at Target stores with Google tech and led a mentorship program to expand and diversify the creative class with Da Vinci Schools.
Schneider helped launch the search engine Microsoft Bing at JWT NY. Following that, she spent the next four-and-a-half years at 72andSunny L.A. While there, she produced multiple campaigns for Activision’s Skylanders game and Target, including holiday, back-to-school, wedding and baby campaigns.
Sgro began his career at DDB Chicago, finding success working on Bud Light and Budweiser, and creating two top-ranked Super Bowl ads. He also wrote for the award-winning Real Men of Genius campaign. He then moved to Santa Monica, California, where he joined Secret Weapon and wrote Jack in the Box ads. In 2014, he joined RPA and co-created the walking snack monster Toomgis for AMPM. In 2016, Sgro went back to freelancing and helped BBH produce its Be Pop Cultured campaign for E! News.
McNamara has over 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s most respected brands. Prior to Battery, he led strategic growth at Sid Lee, where he expanded the agency’s West Coast presence and launched a practice dedicated to entertainment clients like Netflix and new media partners like Tik Tok. Previously, as chief strategy officer at Omelet, he led the agency through sixfold growth over five years, working with Microsoft, Walmart, Sony, and Whole Foods Market. That followed a detour into the startup world as CMO of venture-backed Brilliant Bicycle Co. and a leadership role at social impact agency enso, working with mission-driven brands like Google, social movements like the Equal Rights Amendment and nonprofits like Public Counsel.
“Michelle Nam, Drea Schneider and Joe Sgro are three of the top creative forces in the industry, and we’re thrilled to add their points of view to our dynamite team,” said Philip Khosid, CCO of Battery Annex. “Adding Sean McNamara to the mix perfects the ultimate combination of insights-based creativity and enhances our critical thinking — which is necessary for content to be successful and make a difference.”
“The Battery Annex team is creating some of the most exciting and coolest work in the Havas North America network,” said Paul Marobella, Chairman and CEO, Havas Creative North America. “This is translating into great client wins, recruitment of more top talent and a very bright future. We couldn’t be happier to have Battery Annex in the Havas family.”