LA-based content studio Madison + Vine has tapped Matt Seigel as its first partner and managing director, responsible for overseeing and helping grow the company’s quickly expanding advertising practice. He will report into founder and chief executive, James Shani.
Seigel was most recently senior vice president and head of Vaynermedia’s LA office, where he launched and grew the agency’s west coast offerings. He brought two decades of experience across advertising and entertainment, having worked with brands including Apple, Toyota, Mattel, Turner and NBC Universal.
In a statement, the firm said its appointment of Seigel reflects Madison + Vine’s growth as a creative company “uniquely positioned at the intersection of advertising and entertainment, and its ongoing investment in A-list talent.”
Seigel had been with VaynerMedia since 2014. Previously, he was a key leader at digital startup EQAL, which was sold to Everyday Health in 2012. There, he managed Effie-winning campaigns for brands including Walgreens and Kraft Foods and helped launch media brands including LaurenConrad.com and Makeup.com. Seigel began his career as an entertainment executive and producer, overseeing the development and production of projects across a variety of studios, including Universal, Sony, and 20th Century Fox.
It was that mix of entertainment and advertising experience that led Seigel to think, “I want to help build something one more time, at a place that gives me zero boundaries.”
Seigel’s idea of success, he said, is a consumer-first approach, where Madison + Vine “moves people through story,” admitting, “there’s lots of ways to tell stories today, but keeping a focus on who we’re speaking to and their perspective of the world is our approach to it.”
Shani agreed with Seigel’s vision, adding: “I think at the end of the day, what brands look to their partners for is culture and talent. A lot of aspects of what an ad agency partner brings to the table now is commoditized in technology.” He said that he and Seigel look to add value to consumers’ lives through storytelling instead of asking them to purchase products or make a quick buy.
“For us, it’s about setting that vision, and not looking at how ad agencies are choosing to be built. Instead, we’re planning on setting a foundation for I think a new breed of talent and, and really, really doubling down on fostering that talent and educating them on how we operate so we can best work with our clients."
Shani also recognized the value of finding “a leader and a partner” with the wealth of experience in both Hollywood and Madison Avenue, and Seigel having all of those traits, “was something I didn’t think I’d find so early, and it’s truly rare. The leader he’s going to be for us, and the team we’re hoping to build as a result, is invaluable.
What Shani’s looking to build is an agency that can sell, but also brings entertainment value with it. “What we're looking to do is create a meaningful organization,” he said, “one that can push brands forward by doing that award-winning Cannes work, but also can go on to win an Oscar, and can create IP and entertainment value that — whether it's with or without a brand — garners recognition by the impact it has."
“Gone are the days,” Shani added, “where you've got creative agencies in one box and production companies in another. Bringing these two worlds together opens up a whole new world of opportunities for brands and the culture of a creative company.”