Yonder Media poaches OMD's Apple exec Louise Martell as CSO

Martell will work alongside managing director Ed Cox.

Yonder Media: (left to right) Ed Cox, Zaid Al-Zaidy, Louise Martell
Yonder Media: (left to right) Ed Cox, Zaid Al-Zaidy, Louise Martell

Louise Martell, former comms strategy lead for Apple at OMD's Media Arts Lab, has joined Yonder Media in the newly created role of partner and chief strategy officer.

Working alongside founder and managing director Ed Cox, Martell will be responsible for assisting Yonder in establishing a leadership position in what it describes as a new category of media agency, as well as evolving the company’s proprietary audience-planning technology for clients, which  include Pilgrims Choice, Kerrygold, Propercorn, Shelter and Vita Coco.

She will also have a seat on the senior leadership team of Yonder’s parent company, The Beyond Collective, which she will join in September. 

“Media has truly been disrupted,” Martell said. "Entertainment, commerce and communication have converged, viewers and scrollers become customers at a click, influence is everywhere and expectations of brands and businesses have never been higher – it’s the age of the audience. 

Martell continued: “Any brand that’s serious about winning in this complicated commercial context needs to think first about audience experience. 

“Yonder has pioneered an approach that blends comms planning with experience design and I can’t wait to be part of their next phase of growth.”

Martell began her career in 1996 as a media planner at New PHD and briefly shifted into the same role at OMD Sydney before becoming a comms planner at St Luke’s.

In 2002 she joined Mediacom as a strategy director, where she worked for more than 13 years, eventually being promoted to global strategy director in 2014.

After two years as head of planning at Vizeum UK, Martell joined OMD as EMEA head of comms strategy at the Media Arts Lab – the division set up to service the Apple account – and in 2019 she was appointed as a group strategy partner for the company.

Zaid Al-Zaidy, group CEO of The Beyond Collective, said: “Since 2018, we’ve experienced a huge appetite from clients for Yonder’s methodology, which places audience experience at the heart of everything they do. 

“With Louise now jointly at the helm driving forward our strategic capabilities, the agency is shifting up a gear. It’s fair to say we’re incredibly excited about what’s ahead.”

Earlier this year, Yonder Media hired Claire Milton – planning director at Wavemaker’s early stage/challenger brand operation WM Select – as brand lead.

Cox added: “Louise is one of the industry’s most formidable strategic thinkers who really understands the interplay between media and audience experience. 

“Apple wrote the book on designing brand experiences, and putting customers first, so to have their lead communications strategist joining Yonder is a coup for us, and all our clients.”