Digital agency Essence has hired Oscar Garza, formerly of Electronic Arts (EA), to lead a new effort to bring programmatic buying solutions to clients in North America.
Garza started this week as director of programmatic and audience, tasked with building a new team based out of Essence’s San Francisco office.
As director of acquisition for EA since 2011, Garza brought the company’s programmatic buying capabilities in-house across display, social and video. Garza also led advertising strategy for direct-to-consumer campaigns, including for the popular title "Star Wars: The Old Republic."
“The rapid adoption of programmatic channels is allowing us to provide a new level of transparency, efficiency and measurement to our clients,” said Essence’s CEO for North America, Christian Juhl, in a statement. “We expect to spend over $300 million in programmatic over the next year, working with leading partners in the industry.”
“Essence ... is investing heavily in programmatic as a capability,” Garza said. “I’ll be forming a team to deploy on programmatic advertising, bringing on capabilities for doing things like audience-based advertising with data-management platforms” and related projects, he said.
Garza said his first task will be to assess Essence’s current capabilities and client needs, but the long-term goal is to “improve the product of advertising over time” with programmatic solutions. For example, he said “things like data-management platforms are something we’re very interested in,” along with the agency’s clients, such as Google.
Garza will report to Richard Mooney, COO of North America for Essence.
Essence has more than 400 employees in offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Singapore.