About Sentient Media
Sentient Media is a remote-native agency founded in 2016 by NYC agency veteran Marc Lefton. Headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, we’ve been tapping into the global marketplace of talent and niche agencies to bring efficiency and excellence to our clients.
About Marc Lefton
Marc started his advertising career by accident when he was fourteen. Faced with terrible grades, his first venture into graphic design was to try to make his own report card. When the high grades he brought home failed to seem plausible to his parents, he was sent during school vacations to the small advertising agency his mom ran on Long Island to discover the art department, teach himself the emerging Macintosh computer, and almost get expelled for using it to create an underground newspaper.
Getting his first pro gig working nights at a print shop at 16, Marc skipped college and built his experience and skills, making it into the production studio of global advertising giant BBDO New York when he was 20. With all of the creatives focused on trying to get their TV commercials produced, he personally helped produce almost 50% of the agency’s print for major brands such as Pepsi, Visa, Gillette, HBO, Pizza Hut, Hyatt and dozens of others.
Upon getting recognition for his portfolio and sense of humor in answering client briefs on spec, Marc was promoted to junior art director where he helped concept, storyboard and create props for numerous Super Bowl Commercials.
Following a brief break at Nickelodeon designing characters for the Emmy-Award winning second season of Blue’s Clues, Marc reunited with his former creative director at Ammirati Puris Lintas to work on GMC, UPS Labatt’s, Dos Equis, Rolling Rock, Bacardi, Ragu, and many others. His poster for UPS won an international ADDY award.
He then joined an offshoot of Young and Rubicam called Brand Buzz where he got his first taste of the power of integrated marketing, joining a small team responsible for creating high level campaign concepts that made sure to include the numerous Y&R portfolio agencies in the mix to maximize agency profits and client experience for KFC, Dr. Pepper, Toblerone, Lincoln Navigator, The United Nations, Campbell’s, and Sony.
In 2004, after returning to NYC after working on Spalding in Massachusetts, he stumbled upon the emerging social media trend and worked with a niche software company to launch his own social network for the advertising industry called “Adholes.” Within three weeks of launch it was featured in the Wall Street Journal as the new place that a who’s who of the now time-pressed industry was commiserating online instead of the traditional Mad Men era three martini lunch.
Adholes grew to thousands of top industry executives, for many of whom it was the first social network they experienced. It became an AdAge Power 150 blog, was honored by the Webby Awards in the Social Network category, and had numerous in-person events in 20 cities around the globe.
For five years, Marc was the creative director of an experiential marketing agency, where he brought to life events for Royal Caribbean, Sony, Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean, Haier and a campaign for Coke Zero that sampled 16 million beverages in 48 markets over 18 months and won Best of Show for Use of Research at the 2010 Word of Mouth Marketing Awards.
He started his first agency, Half Fiction, out of the ashes of the 2008 recession, providing social media strategy and creative development for L’Oreal, Clarins Fragrance Group, Owl’s Brew and numerous mid-market brands.
After selling the company, he joined seminal NYC creative hot shop DiMassimo Goldstein as Head of Growth Strategy where he helped the leadership team define the agency focus of “Brand Direct” and “Inspiring Action” mission. The agency grew from 25 to 75 employees and was named Small Agency of the Year by Advertising Age. He helped devise digital strategies for Audi, Reader’s Digest, Fresh Direct, EverBank, TradeStation, L’Auberge Casino, National Jewish Health, Mediacom and Weight Watchers.
Wanting to be closer to family and sick to death of colder weather every year, Marc moved to Gaineville, Florida in 2016 where he founded MGC, now Sentient Media with the idea of bringing the big agency strategies to small and mid-market brands including Body & Brain Centers, Charlie’s Fine Food Co., Change Your Energy, Florida Health, HealthSteps, Maille, Makinex, Monoflo International, Mindvalley, Safey Medical Devices, Senso Medical, Saint Ferrer, Siete Family Foods, The Endless Summer, Unilever, Vestium, Warba Bank, We Are Neutral, WIC and Yoga Yoga.
He’s highly involved in his local community, serving as President of the Board of Directors of local non-profit Alachua County Emerging Leaders and on the Alachua County Economic Development Board. For the past five years he’s performed and taught improv comedy and performed stand-up comedy as well. He’s been a vegetarian for over 20 years and can cook any dish you want on a Thai menu.
Since arriving in 2016, Sentient Media and Marc Lefton have made their impact felt in the local community in Gainesville.
Marc has volunteered for hundreds of hours as President of the Board of Directors for Alachua County Emerging Leaders, helping keep our community connected, informed and involved. He’s served on the Alachua County Economic Development Advisory Board and is a partner in House Improv which teaches improv classes and puts on comedy shows locally.
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