The Social Element today announces three senior hires to bolster the agency’s creative, strategic and client servicing strength. Manu Gambagorte joins as Director of Strategy and Insights, Shahnaz Ahmed as Director of Creative and Innovation, and Alex Attfield as Director of Client Services. All three are entering newly formed roles and bring extensive agency and platform expertise to drive industry-leading creativity and strategy on social for global brands. All three will report to Linn Frost, Managing Director, Europe.
Manu Gambagorte, Director of Strategy and Insights
Manu joins The Social Element with a wealth of experience in both creative strategy and tech roles. As Global Head of Social Impact for Creative Shop at Meta, she led multiple campaigns with platform creators in areas ranging from climate change and mental health, using immersive technologies to tell compelling stories. Prior to this, she held creative strategy roles at Spotify UK and Google Brazil, and worked in a number of agencies, including as a Strategist at Publicis London where she worked on brands such as Heineken Global and L’Oreal.
Manu will use her experience to help brands bridge the gap between their brand strategies and their social presence, harnessing the power of communities on social media.
Manuela commented on her appointment, “My main goal is to ensure that social isn’t an afterthought. It should be involved in the early stages of brand building, it isn’t a broadcast channel but rather something that needs to be embedded from the start.”
Shahnaz Ahmed, Director of Creative and Innovation
Shahnaz joins The Social Element with long-standing creative agency and tech experience. She most recently spent 5 years as a Creative Strategist at Meta, leading creative campaigns for the UK’s biggest brands within the retail, grocery, telco and NGO sectors, across Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Quest. She not only helps brands execute best in class, beautifully-crafted work on social, but also helps them take steps into and excel in innovation including augmented reality and virtual reality.
She previously held lead design and creative roles at a number of agencies across design and advertising including Iris, Livity and Studio Outpit, working with brands such as Google, Dyson, Ministry of Sound, Comic Relief and the Food Standards Agency where she designed the Food Hygiene Rating scheme still used today. She is also the Founder of Knit Aid, a global social movement that empowers refugees through the craft of knitting, and uses creativity to bring communities together.
Shahnaz will be responsible for strengthening the agency’s creative output to deliver world-class campaigns on social. With innovation at the heart of her role, she’ll be pushing The Social Element’s clients to rethink and evolve what they can achieve creatively across different social platforms.
Shahnaz commented on her appointment: “I am incredibly excited to join The Social Element and aim to ensure we build campaigns that are not only beautifully crafted and thumb-stopping, but which also have substance and connect with people long after they’ve put their devices down. Brand fame can only be achieved through highly crafted work that moves people.”
Alex Attfield, Director of Client Services
Alex joins from The&Partnership where, as Content Lead for Europe, he was responsible for the development and production of content for Mars Wrigley across Europe, covering social, digital and campaigns for M&M’s, Snickers, Maltesers, Extra/Orbit/Freedent, Galaxy/Dove and Celebrations. Before that, Alex was a Director at Sky Creative Agency, and held a number of account leadership roles at agencies including adam&eveDDB and VCCP, working with brands like Samsung, O2, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Heineken and Virgin Atlantic.
As Client Services Director, Europe, Alex will ensure and maintain a focus on exceptional client experience in the agency.
Alex said of his appointment: “I’m so excited to be stepping into this new role, ensuring that The Social Element continually delivers exceptional client service and game-changer content for its global client roster. The Social Element’s model means that we are often integrated into our clients’ businesses, and I want to empower and enable our clients to engage on social and harness the full funnel brand power that only this channel has”.
Linn Frost, MD at The Social Element, says: “We are shaping what a future-facing social agency looks like and what it can deliver. This is our ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment as we bring the incredible strengths of Manu, Alex and Shahnaz into our agency. The speed at which social and culture move means that brands need an agency partner that is nimble, works at pace and is completely immersed in culture, to ensure that brands can respond on a human level.
“We want to make sure brands bridge their social strategy to their brand strategy to meet the unique requirements of the social environment. To do this, we are bringing strategic, creative and client-first talent together to wrap around our clients and their businesses. This new squad of experts are going to help brands harness the power of social to connect them to their audience in order to grow.”