Who We Are
We’re pioneers in the use of analytics and technology to create valuable, relevant, and trustworthy advertising.
We're working to make brands more valuable to the world by:
Supporting a sustainable ad economy
Advertising works best when it works well for everyone.
Creating authentic, long term value
Real performance comes from investing in learning and focusing on both long and short term goals, with measures that aren’t always convenient or obvious.
Treating audiences with respect
Customers aren’t just numbers; they’re real people with individual needs.
Taking care of our people
Making advertising more valuable to the world requires truly engaged, fulfilled teams.
Acting as ethical stewards of data and technology
Brand value is built on trust and maintained through the responsible use of data and technology.
Running an environmentally responsible business
Essence operates as a sustainable, carbon-conscious company.
Fostering creativity through diversity and inclusion
We believe different perspectives aren’t optional; they’re essential.
Using our abilities for social good
Advertising's increasing power creates the responsibility to make the world a better place.
Essence by the numbers
Who believe in making marketing work better for everyone
Dollars in managed media
Essence is responsible for $US4B in annualized advertising spend
We run campaigns in over 100 markets around the world
Our industry ranking
Rated as the world's leading data and analytics agency by Ad Age, the #1 programmatic agency by AdExchanger and I-COM, and Media Agency of the Year by Campaign, MediaPost, and Adweek
Percent of media bought in-house
Where we can ensure it meets our standards for quality and accuracy
Automatic safety checks
We set the standard for brand safety, running 300 inventory fraud and safety checks on every campaign prior to launch
Minutes to get a campaign live
Our self driving campaign technology cuts the time required to get campaigns in market from days to just minutes.
Campaigns currently in market
Essence currently has 265 active media plans across 135 campaigns, delivering an estimated 17B impressions.
Impressions this year
We've served over 290,000,000,000 media impressions so far this year.
Consecutive years of double-digit growth
Essence is one of the fastest growing agencies in the industry.
Essence's software-enabled services are enhanced by more than 50 leading industry platforms
Our global executive team is committed to inclusivity, open collaboration, and persistent innovation.
SVP, Global Learning & Experience
Traci E. Dinkins
President, Head of Media, North America
Global Chief People Officer
Global CEO, Media Futures Group
Global Chief Operating Officer
Alison Latimer Lohse
EVP, Global Strategic Solutions
Global Chief Data & Technology Officer
SVP, Global Marketing & Communications
President, Growth & Clients, North America
President, Global Partner
Global COO, Media Futures Group
Global Chief Finance Officer
EVP, Global Experience Director
Global Head of Legal
President, Client Partner
Global Chief Strategy Officer
We started building the agency of the future 6,305 days ago.
Pioneers with a purpose
Essence was founded in the belief that technology could make advertising more valuable, more efficient, and more transparent by Andrew Shebbeare, Andy Bonsall, and Matt Isaacs. The trio met in London while working in a financial services startup and building full service inhouse marketing and media departments for Lloyds TSB.
In 2005, Andrew, Andy, and Matt decided to create an agency that would unite media and creative services and build the technology to power them. That summer, Essence launched and began working with UK electronics retailer The Carphone Warehouse. The agency’s proprietary media management platform was created shortly thereafter.
Essence begins its first assignment for Google in the UK
Essence's first assignment for Google - producing digital creative for a UK campaign - came in October 2006. That same year, Essence rebuilt Carphone Warehouse's website and helped to launch Geek Squad in the UK.
Launching Google Chrome
28 people strong, in 2009 Essence partners with Google to launch Google's Chrome browser in 12 markets and develops the YouTube channel for the documentary Home, the first ever full length film streamed on YouTube, garnering 2 million views on its opening weekend.
Econsultancy awards Essence Most Innovative Agency at the Econsultancy Innovation Awards.
Crossing the Atlantic
In 2010, Essence begins work for Google in North America and opens its first office in the US, a 4-person team in New York City.
The same year, Essence is one of only 4 agencies in the world given access to the Facebook ads API in a global alpha test and is awarded Media Agency of the Year in the NMA Awards.
Investment in the US with offices in San Francisco and Seattle
With 165 people working across the UK and the US, in 2012 Essence is ranked Europe's fastest growing digital agency and helps eBay launch their first TV commercial in the UK. In the US, acquisitions of Black Bag Advertising and Point Reach help to establish Essence offices in San Francisco and Seattle.
Expanding into APAC
Essence opens an office in Singapore to support work with Google across South East Asia, India, China, and Japan. The agency partners with the Financial Times as Agency of Record and establishes an independent technology practice, 2Sixty Labs.
Pioneering personalized advertising
Essence launches the 'Magic Mobile ads" campaign for Google in New York, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia and Dallas utilizing 23 pieces of dynamic content, drawn from 5 different APIs. A first for the industry, 95% of the campaign content was dynamic - right down to the time displayed on the device in the last frame.
For the fourth year in a row, Essence is ranked the fastest growing digital agency in the industry and is named the #1 Independent Agency by The Drum. The agency introduces the first programmatic guaranteed buy, a global first for Google, wins its first ever Lions at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for work on Google Night Walk, and is featured by The Evening Standard for exemplifying the future of the advertising industry.
Essence becomes part of WPP and GroupM
WPP announces it will acquire a majority stake in Essence, the world's largest independent buyer of digital media, and Essence becomes part the world's largest media investment group, GroupM. At the time of acquisition, Essence has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, and Tokyo, with 500 people, and $700 million in media spend across 70 markets.
For the first time, Essence is named an Agency to Watch by Advertising Age and Digital Media Agency of the Year by The Drum.
The world's #1 programmatic agency becomes fully integrated
Essence launches the first digital out-of-home campaign to ever be traded automatically with BitPoster and the Financial Times and launches the first ever control/exposed OOH measurement product with Kinetic to bridge physical and digital media.
Advertising trade publication AdExchanger names Essence the #1 programmatic agency in the world and GroupM announces a significant investment in the agency, helping to transform Essence into a truly full service media partner. Essence begins providing integrated media services to NBCUniversal, Target, BT, and Flipkart and adds offices in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Toronto, Dusseldorf, Seoul, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Melbourne.
Innovation in AI and automation powers continued growth
Essence integrates machine learning into its proprietary media management platform Olive, creating the world’s first truly AI-enabled campaign management software and pioneers Self Driving Campaigns, the first fully automated end-to-end campaign planning, management, and optimization process.
These investments reduce the time required to get a campaign into market from weeks to less than ten minutes and create efficiencies in media planning and buying that are reinvested back into the business in training and strategy. On the back of these advances and continued business growth, Essence is named MediaPost’s OMMA Agency of the Year and Adweek’s Breakthrough Agency of the Year.
Leadership for the future
After growing the agency to nearly 2,000 people in 10 countries, Essence Global CEO Christian Juhl is named Global CEO of GroupM, passing the baton to Chief Client Officer Kyoko Matsushita to lead Essence into its next era of growth and innovation.