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  kim j. mercer
executive brand leader


"Only passions, great passions, can

elevate the soul to great things."

-Denis Diderot, French Philosopher


An executive brand leader with 15 years experience architecting compelling narratives that connect content to consumers. Entrusted as a growth driver, I lead teams in the stewardship of integrated partnerships, executing award-winning, innovative ideas built on the pulse of culture with the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies including General Motors, McDonald’s, Allstate, and more. Delivering on a full suite of brand management services across media, creative, production, strategy and analytics, I lead culturally-connected, complex partnerships seamlessly from upfront strategic development to backend executed experiences. I live and breathe storytelling and truly believe it’s the most powerful expression of what unites us all as humans. My integrated work is a reflection of this, always infusing human-first experiences that ensure cultural competency, brand relevancy, and consumer authenticity.  

Strategic Thinker Creative Storyteller Brand Builder Collaborative Leader Agile Processor Efficiency Driver  Multi-Discipline Knowledge



Hero Media | Associate Vice PresidentBranded Content  | Chicago, Illinois | January 2024 - Present

  • Manage the strategic development and implementation of immersive brand experiences via original content programming and events, aimed at enhancing the cultural fluency of our clients that drives growth and maximizes diverse economic impact.

  • Persistently explore, unearth, and catalyze innovative client solutions built from a deep understanding of client needs, aligning brand goals with unique activation opportunities across the Hero Media portfolio.

  • Embracing a consumer-first, integrated media mindset, I spearhead the development of breakthrough creative concepts and innovative solutions across all brand touch points that ensure alignment of creative strategies with business objectives. Strong emphasis on digital & social experiences that celebrate and contribute to culture.

  • Collaborate cross-functionally with multiple internal teams and senior executives comprised of our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Revenue Officer, and Digital Innovation President, establishing a streamlined approach for storytelling opportunities and experiences that champion Hero Media’s mission of creating economic impact through ownership, empowerment & innovation.

  • A valued sales contributor, leading the development of pitch materials and overseeing presentations of our recommended solutions, building and maintaining relationships with prospective and existing strategic partners.

Hero Collective | Associate Vice PresidentBranded Content  | Chicago, Illinois | August 2021 - December 2023

Clients: General Motors

  • Built brands that were culturally and emotionally in-tune, helping develop impactful strategies and culturally connected content through meaningful media.

  • Oversaw a team of multicultural planning and content practitioners, leading the creative ideation, strategic development, and production implementation of branded content projects.

  • Responsible for Client management, negotiating vendor deals, and planning & executing consumer-connected deliverables within formulated budgets & timelines that exceeded business objectives. Multiple projects produced statistically significant 20+ score lifts in all brand attributes, higher than Nielsen’s overall norms.  

  • Defined and developed key media-led content processes and communications for General Motors’ Diverse-Owned upfront operations, overseeing a variety of marketplace outreach to maintain quality relationships and partnerships with media publishers & production vendors. Efforts directly contributed to General Motors making strides within Black-owned media support, receiving more than two (2) percent of GM’s ad budget in 2021 and four (4) percent in 2022.  

  • Proven thought-leadership in the form of: informed industry POV presentations, creative briefs, reporting performance summaries, and other key relevant consumer trend reports, insights, and entertainment solutions catered to meet our Client’s marketing needs.​

FCB | Director of Engagement Planning | Chicago, Illinois | November 2020 - August 2021

Clients: Abbvie, Allergan, Groupon

  • Led multi-brand communication plans, applying strategic rigor to the creative development process that guided big ideas into integrated, human-first experiences for both in-market products and first-to-market brand launches.

  • Served as a key bridge between creative solutions and tactical executions, developing consumer journeys, communication plans, messaging frameworks, tactical briefs, and ecosystems that ensured consumer connection to the right message at the right time.

  • Liaised interagency teams in translating the creative and messaging into effective, consumer-first media channels. 

  • Served as a key member on new business initiatives, developing and pitching ideas & channel recommendations that resulted in global agency wins.

Spark Foundry | Associate Director of Content | Chicago, Illinois | May 2017 - November 2020

Clients: Bel Brands, Daisy Brand, Crate & Barrel, Great Wolf Resorts, KFC, New York Life, Novo Nordisk​​

  • Fostered the growth and development of six (6) team members across multiple brands, overseeing the creation, production and deployment of high-quality content narratives that drive brand affinity, production efficiencies and delivery against client KPI goals.

  • Cross-channel expertise, spearheading content strategy, ideation and development across multi-media types, resulting in industry-recognized accolades including a Gold Promax, Silver Clio and Telly award for Best Branded Entertainment and Content.

  • Oversaw strategic content road-mapping, media negotiations and tactical planning, equipping the team to seamlessly execute the day-to-day campaign work.

  • Drove relationship building and cross-disciplinary collaboration with key stakeholders including internal investment teams, external client brand leads, media vendors, and pan-agency partners. 

  • Cultivated strong Client relationships, yielding demand for the Content Practice within existing lines of business:

    • Agency growth driver, contributing to a business expansion of previously media-only responsibilities to comms planning additions. Resulted in a more robust SOW, 2x additional FTE assignments and a personal content/comms-hybrid promoted position. 

    • Thought-leadership re-established the agency's global model for content's strategic role within larger communication plans.

  • Co-developed the agency's first-of-its kind Cultural Fluency Taskforce, launching a quarterly speaker series highlighting the impact of inclusive marketing on business growth. Programming resulted in 300+ attendees and recognized by executive leadership as a ​key pillar to on-going planning.​

Leo Burnett | Producer | Chicago, Illinois | June 2011 - May 2017

Clients: Allstate, ComEd, Delta Faucet, DeVry, Esurance, Fifth Third, Firestone, Hallmark, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Pfizer, Purina, WhiteWave

  • Producer of content needs both domestically and internationally, through all stages of the production process including: scheduling, budgeting, 

    vendor search & selection, bidding & negotiation, pre-production preparation, post management and asset release.

  • Managed all production logistics pertaining to the inception of McDonald's social media rebrand. Within the first three months of its launch, engagement rates were recorded as high as 10.62% (organic) with a strong consumer reach of 3.8MM (paid). 

  • Produced DeVry University’s brand re-launch, “Different On Purpose,” an integrated campaign comprised of television/web-based content, radio, digital and OOH. Budget totaled $1.5 million.

  • Served as lead Producer for various multi-agency content productions for McDonald's, managing all production logistics across four partner agencies. Specifically, the “Real People/Real Reaction” production resulted in one of McDonald's most successful product launches in company history.

  • Developed an internal process for producing, managing and tracking all Allstate national and local radio encompassing 3,000+ spots. System continues to be leveraged within the organization, helping streamline a previously disorganized structure, creating a more manageable platform.

DraftFCB | Associate Producer | Chicago, Illinois | June 2010 - June 2011

Clients: Kmart, MillerCoors, Motorola, Nestlé, Qwest, SC Johnson, USPS

  • Producer of all Miller Lite national radio from inception to delivery.

  • Effectively managed all post production work for two national Coors Light television spots.

  • Planned, coordinated & executed animatics, boardomatics, sizzle and award entry videos; budgets ranged from $5K - $60K.

  • Responsible for updating and maintaining DraftFCB’s production department intranet, accessible to over 200+ employees.

Kaleidoscope Digital | Associate Project Manager | Detroit, Michigan | January 2010 - June 2010

Clients: General Motors, Sprint

  • Managed the creative development and deployment of multiple e-mail blasts from inception to delivery; worked closely with 

    clients and cross-departmental resources to ensure superior quality and on time execution of deliverables.

  • Project Manager and content developer for multiple website platforms running simultaneously; budgets ranged from $8K - $50K.

  • Supported content development of local and national website platforms for Buick, Cadillac, Chevy and GMC.

  • Initiated the development and distribution of video tutorials designed to help beginners learn content management systems driving team efficiency, leveraging technology vs. employee trainers.

Campbell-Ewald | Associate Content Producer | Warren, Michigan | June 2009 - January 2010

Clients: General Motors, OnStar, US Navy, USPS, UMHS

  • Produced’s, “Behind the Ribbons” monthly video webcasts. Responsible for overseeing the shoot & editorial process, 

    scheduling/managing the production flow and initiating/maintaining consistent communication between all teams, both internal and external.

  • Produced animatics for Onstar & United States Postal Service from inception through delivery; used for client concept pitching, response measurement testing 

    and director treatment inspiration.

  • Produced and co-directed radio for University of Michigan Health System.




Living Grace Church | Media Director | Lynwood, Illinois | January 2013 - Present

  • Spearhead the implementation and execution of all multimedia and technical productions inclusive of: radio programming, social media management, website design, in-house worship visual enhancement and video live-streaming.

  • Direct, edit, produce and voiceover 9x radio programs per week, aired across multiple Chicagoland AM & FM radio stations.

    • Revamped creative and production approach increased weekly radio audience tune-in by 90%, doubled airtime allotment and generated a 70% increase to new visitor service attendance.

    • The developed radio framework improved work stream efficiency, eliminating 100% of previous ministerial weekly time commitments.


Bachelor of Journalism | Emphasis in Advertising & Strategic Communication 

Minor in Business Administration | University of Missouri, Columbia, MO



​Gold, Promax Award 

Gold, DTC National Award

Silver, Telly Award

Silver, Clio, Branded Entertainment and Content

Gold, Silver & Bronze ADDY Awards

Gold Effie, Bronze Shark, Bronze Young Guns

Interpublic Group InterAct Associate Fellowship


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