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Superson expands global footprint with EMEA hub launch in Amsterdam

SINGAPORE — Superson, the global operating system designed for commercial creativity, has expanded with the launch of an EMEA hub out of Amsterdam and a new ambition to scale its business globally, building on its success in the Nordics and APAC. The expansion comes as the company seeks to capitalize on the surge of talent away from the traditional networks and the trend of clients wanting better results and more flexibility. 

Superson hand-picks the world’s top talent, focusing on client challenges without the high overheads or retainers associated with traditional agencies and already works with Google, Amazon, Unilever, Pfizer, Burger King, Sony Mobile, HP, Red Bull, National Hockey League (NHL), and Greenpeace

Samppa Vilkuna

Designed by marketers for marketers as an antidote to the pitfalls of legacy agency structures, Superson was founded in 2012 by Samppa Vilkuna, a former Red Bull marketer who had grown frustrated at ad agencies “focusing on their own agenda, rather than the needs of their clients.” 

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It was awarded “Agency of the Year” by Nordic-based intermediary and business consultancy Regi Research and Strategi, and describes its business as an “Operating System for Commercial Creativity,” that makes it easy for ambitious and global clients to work with Superson and its network of over 600 independent creative and strategy experts, or “Super Specialists” professionals that aren’t just good at what they do; they’re the best in their field.

Superson has now made two senior appointments, former Virgin marketer Cathy Desaunois and award-winning Creative Director Jussi Solja, as part of its plan to launch client hubs in all key agency markets around the world and bring its innovative way of working to a wider audience. 

Unlike the agency model, Superson does not have an inventory of people or fixed services and solutions it needs to sell. Its unique approach to curating talent from a network of over 600 diverse specialists draws inspiration from how Hollywood studios, music labels, and gaming companies adopt an adaptive framework to collaborate with top-tier independent talent tailored for each project. 

This flexible model can therefore offer clients truly unbiased strategic and creative leadership and tailored strategies for unique needs, eliminating one-size-fits-all solutions and helping clients to spend smarter.

Cathy Desaunois

Superson’s operating system not only connects the best talent for each project with the in-house talent and capabilities that the client has, but it also sits at the center of a collaborative process that is designed to be “lean and mean” according to Solja. By working as a dedicated extension of the client’s team, it’s able to scale where and when needed, helping global brands be truly local and local grow global.  

Cathy has been appointed as Managing Director of EMEA to drive growth across the region. She brings over 30 years of experience, having worked in five countries across Europe and scaling global businesses in 17 countries. Her client portfolio boasts a diverse range of brands, including Nike, Adidas, Fiat Group, Vodafone, Formula One, and America’s Cup. She has also worked with several Virgin Group entities such as Virgin Active, Virgin Radio, Virgin Games, Virgin Money, Virgin Cafe, and Virgin Unite. 

Jussi Solja

Jussi has also been appointed as Chief Creative Officer to lead the creative process and proposition globally, bringing more than 30 years of global creative leadership experience both from agency and client-side roles that saw him work on a range of brands including Nokia, Virgin Mobile, Honda, Dubai Tourism, Dubizzle, Wizz Air, Supercell, Rovio, Polar, Siemens, and Warner Music.

The EMEA hub will add to Superson’s global reach and capabilities which include an established presence in Helsinki since 2012, serving the Nordics, and in Singapore since 2019, catering to APAC. During this time it has executed 3,000 projects across 20 countries, for over 100 clients, ranging from world-changing startups to multinationals. 

Samppa commented, “Today’s marketers navigate new technologies, new competition, and new markets on a daily basis and every challenge is unique. We don’t believe the solution to these challenges can be met by the outdated work practices of an incumbent agency with a limited talent pool. Superson was born as the antidote – an operating system for commercial creativity uniquely placed to work with startups, scale-ups, and multinationals from any industry sector, on any aspect of their marketing. We’ve perfected our model over 10 years and the market has validated that it works and there is a need for a creative offering designed completely around clients.”

Cathy said, “Superson is an operating system designed to allow clients to scale their business where and when they need to. Whether a client is aiming to take a local project to the global masses or seeking to localize a global initiative, Superson’s ability to partner with them to spend smarter by curating the right talent ensures that campaigns can be both globally ambitious and genuinely locally relevant. We shape the right team for any creative challenge from over 600 independent world-class specialists and freelancers with expertise in every sphere, from traditional services to new emerging technologies like AI, Web3, and immersive and gamified experiences. Unlike a traditional agency, we build the best teams for the brief, providing unbiased category, culture, and channel expertise.”

Jussi said, “We’re redefining what creative means. Our expanding network of specialists is a mix of talents not typically found in traditional agencies, as well as traditional marketers and creatives; it includes storytellers, technologists, journalists, artists, and field experts. This, mixed with cultural and societal insights, changes the game when it comes to creating radically relevant ideas and concepts that help keep our clients ahead of their audience. Many are drawn to our flexible working model, enabling them to collaborate with clients they’re genuinely passionate about, rather than being limited by traditional agency lists and working hours. By offering direct engagement with clients, freedom from the confines of standard office hours, and restrictive platforms like Upwork, we present a refreshing alternative for today’s talent.”

Antti Toivonen,
Managing Director and Partner
at Superson APAC

Antti Toivonen, Managing Director and Partner at Superson APAC, commented, “Since our Singapore APAC hub’s 2019 inception, our network of independent specialists has grown across the key markets, allowing us to deliver locally relevant work where our clients need it. We’ve spearheaded campaigns for giants like Amazon’s Prime Video, Google, Singtel, and Unilever as well as local and international startups, winning prestigious awards from The Effies to the DCA to our trophy case. Our drive to expand and offer our innovative models to a broader clientele is fueled by a shifting landscape where both clients and talent are challenging traditional norms.”

Teppo Heikkinen, Managing
Director and Partner
of Superson Helsinki

Teppo Heikkinen, Managing Director and Partner of Superson Helsinki, added, “It’s truly inspiring how Superson’s unique operating model changes the relationship between the client, the creative talent, and our agency alternative for the better in every possible way. With our 10 years of experience in Helsinki and the Nordics, we have seen a fast-increasing number of clients and talent wanting to shift from legacy agencies to Superson’s operating system, and not looking back.”

Cathy and Jussi’s appointment is effective immediately. 

The expansion of Superson comes at a time when research by WFA and MediaSense shows 24% of multinational brands believe their agency model is unfit for the future, with a desire for more flexibility, simplification, speed, and access to talent. 

From a talent perspective, reports show that agencies are having to mandate office days to get creatives back in the office, despite many wanting more flexible working opportunities. The global freelance contribution to GDP exceeds one trillion dollars in the US alone while over 60 million professionals described themselves as freelancers this year in the US alone. Meanwhile, Research by Emergent Research for MBO Partners shows that the number of full time freelancers in the US grew by 90% between 2020 and 2023, and part-time freelancing grew by over 130%. 

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