Math & Magic

Omnicom Media Group is one of the world’s largest ad agency holding groups, home to well-regarded shops such as Starcom MediaVest Group, BBDO, Publicis and Leo Burnett. But Scott Hagedorn, the CEO of its North America operations, didn’t follow a typical media career path. On the latest episode of Bob Pittman's podcast, Hagedorn reveals why he started a snake wrangling business as a kid, discusses his stint fabricating Flying Barracudas, and explains why a Wall Street guerilla artist is his greatest creative inspiration.

Consistent with his unusual route to the Madison Avenue C-suite, Hagedorn demonstrates out of the box thinking when it comes to marketing. The best advertising “should have a little bit of wobble in it and what it, the nerdy term for it is relaxing your deciles,” he says on episode 17 of “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing.” “So it's expanding your audience by dropping some of the attributes of who you're targeting, makes it a little bit more human.”

The 15-year Omnicom veteran says he has a clear formula for how he recruits talent. “Talent plus platform plus product equals growth. And I put talent first,” he says. Hagedorn, who runs the unit that houses all of Omnicom’s media-buying businesses in North America, also elaborates on the importance of making a human connection when recruiting new team members: “As simple as that sounds, I think it's important to spend some time with people and really understand them, understand kind of where they came from, what they're interested in.”

On the podcast, Hagedorn also chats about why more auto manufacturers could benefit from a “suppression strategy,” and why throwing a Halloween party in April is a good thing for your corporate culture. Listen HERE.