Our Team

Senior Strategists and Creatives based across UK and US who are passionate about growing brands using the power integrated advertising.

Matthew Simpson

Chief Creative Officer
Matt has over 7 years of Creative and Ad Directing experience. Responsible for leading the creative projects for advertising campaigns for Starling Bank, SumUp, Samsung, Yale, Amazon, Oracle, Klarna, RS Components, Smoothwall, Seagate, Verifone and Ingenico. Matt heads up the creative teams and manages the development of concepts and sees them through production to delivery, to see the creative continuity is never broken. Matt has an exceptional eye for understanding the true emotional value of a brand and how it connects with its audience. He is also an experienced actor and editor.
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Antonella Socci

Global Marketing and Brand Strategist
Antonella is a marketing powerhouse. She was Vice President of Marketing for Visa for 18 years and directly responsible for all sponsorships across Europe and repositioning of Visa as the logical and emotional payment of choice across daily spending. She launched Europe’s first mobile payment app in Partnership with Samsung for London 2012 Olympics. She currently also is an advisor to multiple startups and Women in Tech, which is on a mission to close the funding gap for female led ventures. Her interest in the intersection of loyalty, data and payments led her to launch and grow the Card-Linked-Offers business, in partnership with Edo Interactive, a US venture-backed start-up. Her passion is to support businesses that can make the world a “better place” to live in.
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Claire Howard-Jones

Senior Consultant
Claire was the CMO of eBay Classified Group UK. She has extensive experience in Brand Marketing, Business Modelling and Digital. She has over 20 years of Marketing experience across a host of retail and travel companies, from British Airways, to Sainsbury’s and Amazon. She also has international experience, from living in Dubai for 2 years and from managing Ancestry.com‘s International Marketing. There she managed the PnL for all non-US markets, with a collective revenue responsibility of over £180M annually. She has led teams multiple times through digital transformation and has launched products and businesses in new markets. She has a track record of returning markets and businesses to year on year growth and at times this has meant rebuilding a team from scratch. From a marketing perspective, she has hands on knowledge of all channels. Whilst she started off in CRM, Brands and TV, she soon developed her digital performance marketing knowledge and most recently has gained mobile and in-app advertising experience. She likes to understand how all aspects of a business work together, to make sure that results are delivered.
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Russ Eisenman

Senior Brand Marketing Consultant
Russ Eisenman’s career has been focused on telling very human brand stories for some of the most innovative technology companies in Silicon Valley. At Airbnb, he built the brand architecture for the thousands of small businesses aiming to scale their hosting management companies in the marketplace. As the Global Director of Marketing for Uber Freight, he grew the supply chain marketplace from a big bet to a transformational enterprise for Uber. He was also the product marketing leader for JPMorgan Chase where he launched the Chase Mobile app to become the most respected mobile banking product in the country. He was also part of the team that had Steve Jobs using Quick Deposit on stage with the first ever iPad launch. Russ spent the first decade of his career as the CMO for Tower Records where he led the entertainment retailer's global marketing. Russ and his family live in Half Moon Bay, where they are most likely paddle boarding the waves of the northern California coast.
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Allen Kay

Creative Chair
Allen is a legendary ad man from NYC who has over 300 multi-million Pound TV Commercial and Integrated Ad campaigns under his belt, and has over 40 years of experience. Who is famous for making brands such as Xerox, Honda, Virgin Atlantic, Comedy Central and others household names in United States. He is an advertising hall-of-famer and has won over 22 Clios. Some of the most well known campaigns include Super Bowl ad for Xerox - "Monks", "The Car That Sells Itself" for Honda, "If you see something, say something" a global anti-terrorism campaign", "Take us for all we have got" for Virgin Atlantic and "You'll laugh your ass off" for Comedy Central. He is working with Ekstasy on selected American ad campaigns to bring some of his characteristic all time classic Allen signature humour to the ads.
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Mike Saraswat

Founder & CEO
Mike has over 13 years of branding, advertising, content creation experience across TV, Online, Radio, Print and OOH. He has an MSc from London School of Economics and Political Science in Media Regulation and Policy and a BA (Hons) in Film & TV Production from Westminster University. Worked on productions such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and You Are What You Eat. Mike founded Ekstasy Ltd 13 years ago. He is passionate about building disruptive brands who add real value to the lives of their customers, both b2b and b2c. He has headed up campaigns for the likes of Starling Bank, Sumup, Samsung, Amazon and others.
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Janet Snedden

Data Strategy and Customer Engagement Consultant
Bringing a rare blend of strategic vision, analytical know-how and commercial nous, Janet tackles business challenges with creativity and tenacity. After graduating in Mathematics, her career has spanned Consumer and B2B marketing, both in the UK and with global clients, working with blue-chips that include Diageo, Unilever, Jaguar, Landrover, Unicef, Emirates Airline and Lloyds Banking Group. Handed 2 awards for Outstanding Industry Contribution and named in both the Data IQ 100 and the Top Twenty Women in Data & Technology in 2019, she is widely recognised for pioneering data strategy and customer engagement initiatives. After spells in leadership roles at Wunderman and the Havas group, and ventures bringing together customer and digital marketing disciplines, Janet now works with clients to help them improve and scale their multi-channel customer experience capabilities.
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John Partilla

Senior Adviser
John advises Ekstasy on international growth strategy. He is currently the CEO of Screenvision Cinema Network. He has over 30 years of media and agency experience. John has served as the CEO of Olson, Inc. and COO of Dentsu Network West at Dentsu Inc. And has also been the President of Global Media Sales at Clear Channel Communications, Inc. and Global Media Group of Time Warner Inc.
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Ronnie V.

Creative Director
Ron is a Creative, a Strategist and a Designer hybrid with experience in digital and traditional advertising. His work runs from a range of advertising to innovations to gaming. With 18+ years of experience Ron has previously worked on through the line campaigns for BBH London, McCann, Havas, Leo, BETC, Ogilvy, Digitas and JWT, where later on he became a Creative Director on the Debenhams account. In a nutshell, Ron believes all that matters is giving talented people the space to be brilliant, pushing himself to do something that hasn’t been done before, and staying as happy as possible. Everything else will fall into place.
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Julia Chesky

Senior Influencer Strategist
Conceptualised and delivered campaigns for Nars, Away, Revlon, Toyota, OnePlus, Victoria Secret’s and others. Director level Digital Creative Strategist with over 12 years of experience in influencer marketing. A proven track record of repositioning, revitalizing, and making brands relevant in the digital/social space. Working for globally recognized brands spanning music, fashion, technology, B2B, D2C, CPG, beauty, celebrity, and lifestyle, on both the client and agency side.
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Simon Stanford

Senior Creative
Simon Stanford joined Ekstasy after working for Disney as a Creative Producer. His work building awareness for the latest Star Wars movies earned him a Gold Promax award for Use of Talent Using Social Media. When he isn't writing scripts, he spends time watching old movies and directing his own short films.
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Genevieve Edwards

Senior Creative
7 years’ experience at some of the UK’s top creative agencies including M&C Saatchi, VCCP and adam&eveDDB, developing branding and campaigns for clients including NatWest, Mars and Peroni. Past projects include launching the innovative brand experience The House of Peroni, and one of the world’s top ten most viewed Christmas ads of 2016 ‘Keep Them Busy This Christmas’ for Mars Temptations.
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Suki Singh

Writer & Director
Suki has over 20 years of film direction experience. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a BA (Hons) in Media Production before training in post production at the BBC. After being asked by London Music Week in 1998 to create their MTV campaign, Suki never looked back has been directing Commercials for clients such as BT, Toyota, Dell Computers, Mazda, Holland & Barrett, The Outlet, Staples, The Police Service, Landrover, Saab, HSBC, Barclays and Diageo. Suki directed his debut feature film EMULSION, a Psychological Noir, which has won several international awards. Suki has a varied style, blending eye catching images and strong performances with years of experience to bring ideas and scripts to life.
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Tim Hyde

Head of Acquisition
Tim is an award-winning marketer and CMO who specialises in Social Media Marketing, Acquisition Strategy and Brand Strategy. As a business consultant focused on growth, product and viral marketing, Tim has pioneered the top 9 most engaged live streams, by a brand, ever. In the last year alone Tim has strategised and executed marketing plans for six and seven figure crowdfunding raises. Having worked at LADbible and Social Chain, Tim has managed some of the biggest social media communities on the planet and leveraged these channels to engage young people and influence their purchase decision.
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Warwick Lobban

Senior Designer
Warwick is our senior level creative designer with a wealth of experience in the film, entertainment & retail sectors with a strong focus on 360° branding. Having previously led the creative design for projects including the Coke Zero & Star Wars collaborative promotion which extended across Europe, Warwick has also brought his expert eye, spirit of fun and creativity to projects for Universal Studios, Illumination Entertainment, King and Paramount Pictures - most notably designing a unique range of merchandise for the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise. With a foundation in Advertising and Art Direction studied at Ogilvy & Matther’s Red & Yellow School of Advertising, Warwick has expanded through agencies and working with blue chip clients to being our creative lead on the SES global brand campaigns - and more.
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Kevin Jackson

Experiential Creative Director
Before joining Ekstasy Kevin was the Co-founder of Appshaker and was responsible for delivering large scale, AR projects all over the world for clients such as National Geographic, BBC World, the Smithsonian, Coca Cola, Universal Studios, AMEX, and Ford. In addition to his extensive experience in AR, Kevin has just launched a new venture called “Qb”, which is a virtual reality cube that allows the public to experience the wonders of VR totally gear free. At Ekstasy he consults development and implementation of emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, that can further showcase Ekstasy's talents and help them to attract a larger base of clients.
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Ben Norton

Live Event Technical Director
Ben is a digital storyteller and a technical evangelist. He has a deep passion for film making and an obsession for detail. Ben has worked across all sectors including corporate, drama, live broadcast and feature films. As well as technically running productions, Ben is a respected camera operator, remote aerial cinematographer and guest lectures MA cinematography. Live Event Credits include: Crossfit, Riverford, Event Riders Masters, Goffs, World Match Racing Tour, M32 World Series, Extreme Sailing Series. In the past couple of years he has delivered live events in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway, America, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Madera, Russia, China. In a previous life Ben worked internationally as a Program and Project Manager, so understands what it takes to deliver on time and on budget. Truth be told he is a bit of a geek and relishes challenging and complex shoots. Recent clients (non live) – Renault F1, Garrard, DJI, Grand Designs.
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Gergely Richter

Chief Technology Officer
Gergely has been heavily involved in Augmented and Virtual Reality for the past decade. As one of the founders of Appshaker, he created a live interactive platform to broadcast National Geographic AR Show that went viral globally back in 2011. As a consultant for AR Works, he oversaw the build of dozens of AR and VR applications for mobile devices. Recently, he coordinated the build and launch of the AR platform, Shindig Studio, as well as the AR application behind the children’s book entitled “Head in the Clouds”. Currently, he has just launched a new virtual reality business called “Qb”, that creates a walk in, gear free VR experience ideal for education, entertainment, destination marketing, and gaming. At Ekstasy he is overseeing the development and launch of major AR and VR campaigns, mobile apps and websites.
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Joel Stutz

Senior 3D Artist
Joel is a 3D generalist with over 10 years of experience in creating full animations from scratch, including storyboard, concept, ideas, 3D contents till the final rendering. He is able to dive into fine details without losing track of the general scope and marketing purpose of a project. He delivers high-quality work even on tight deadlines. Joel is comfortable heading up small or large animation or design teams. He has worked on projects for brands such as Nestle, Y&R, Baxter, Sindex, bibi, BioMed and others.
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Phil Harvey

Senior Designer
Phil is a solid all round Senior Designer and a great guy to work with who is both creative and efficient. Over the years Phil has worked on full scale OOH campaigns, keynote presentations and more for some amazing clients like Samsung, Fullers, Oasis, Man U, Chelsea, BAT just to name a few! Besides OOH, he has also worked on anything from pharma print and digital collateral to pitch visuals.
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Riccardo Liberati

Head of Design
Riccardo is a designer with several years of experience focusing on the visual aspect of communication. He strongly believes in the connection between design and simplicity as a key for creating beautiful works. He holds a BA in Sociology obtained in 2013 while carrying on his self-taught formation in the visual culture. During these years he has been involved in a number of projects ranging from Branding and Visual Identity to UI and Web design, always striving to achieve the highest quality in his work.
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Mily Saraswat

Sr. Account Manager
“People may not remember what you tell them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Mily is enthusiastic about making a difference for Brands by helping their impact stay in the customers’ minds and influencing their decision making for the betterment of all concerned. With a background in Law, Criminology, Forensic Psychology and currently a PhD Candidate researching Restorative Justice and Penal Abolitionism in the UK, Mily brings to Ekstasy varied life experiences after realising that the only sense of functional meaning in life comes from true and meaningful connection between people. Mily endeavours to bring to Brands, this same sense of connection with others in the marketplace
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Melanie Rannula

Production Manager
Melanie joined Ekstasy in 2018. The newest member of our team is currently pursuing a BSc Economics & Management degree in King’s College London as well as contacting clients across the globe. She has an exceptional eye for detail and is always looking ways to help brands to achieve their creative goals. During her free time she runs a little marketplace for Nordic art called Crufty.
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Chiara Milani

Copywriter
Chiara Milani was very young when she started working back in 2009. She first trained as an assistant and then became a script supervisor and has worked with some of the most important and well known Italian directors. She has in the last few years also focused on writing scripts for videos, shorts and commercials. She has a deep passion and a talent for daily life storytelling and manages to dig thoroughly into every little aspect of it, though always focusing on the silver lining.
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Jenniffer Salazar

CREATIVE PRODUCER
Jenniffer Salazar is an experienced content producer with a BA (Hons) in Television and Radio Production from the University of Westminster. Since 2007, she’s been working for world class broadcasters delivering promotional content across platforms for Broadcast On-Air, Online and Mobile. Having started her career in scheduling for UKTV channels and Cartoon network she moved onto working for a range of departments from post production, TV sales and marketing but she always felt better suited the fast paced environment of production. Jenniffer’s speciality is within project management in creative teams whose work has been seen around the world with BBC Creative, Sky creative, NBC Universal, Red Bee, Disney, BDA and Ericsson. Her recent highlights have included working on promos for Doctor Who.
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Joe Leone

SENIOR CREATIVE MANAGER: NORTH AMERICA
At Ekstasy Joe is responsible for New account acquisition for North American market; ideation of new client campaigns. Producing Videos and Interactive Experiences (including AR and VR) for brands. Joe Leone hails from Westchester County, NY, and resides in Brooklyn. He is a graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, with a degree in theater arts. After running a promotional advertising company in New York City for over a decade, Joe assumed the role of creative director at the start-up fashion line emploi New York. He then spent time copywriting/devising commercial concepts for various retail and ecommerce businesses (Queensbee Jewelry, Diamond Lighthouse, Merkury Innovations). Currently he also writes for New Yorker magazine. Joe is also an accomplished screenwriter, having penned over two dozen feature screenplays, several of which are in production/pre-production, including Cry for Life (Fraiha Productions), Meant to Be Broken (DC Dogs), and Rio Urban Legend: Witch’s Moon (EVP Films).
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Callum Reynolds

Campaign Manager
Callum joined the Ekstasy team in 2017 straight from school, bringing a fresh, new vibe to the team. His role is to help in the process of Ideation, Script Writing and Project Management for TV Ads, Films, Videos, Animation and Augmented / Virtual Reality Campaigns for some of the most loved B2B & B2C brands. Outside work, he is currently team captain of his local football club and another passion of Callum’s is playing golf and developing on his social interaction and networking skills.
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Larisa Manolache

Junior Producer
B.A. in Television Production from University of Westminster, Larisa is the newest member of our team. Volunteering from a young age, she established herself as a proactive and ambitious creative, now delivering top content and reaching out to clients around the world as a Junior Producer at Ekstasy. Larisa is aiming to produce ads that speak to the audience, creating intimacy between the brands and customers. She has previously worked with global media company Sky in their creative agency office in London. In her spare time, Larisa produces her own music videos, gaining over a million views on her works.
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Travis Usher

Creative Manager
Travis' interest in storytelling was sparked when he took media studies and drama in school, learning about scriptwriting, directing and the creative process. He enjoys thinking outside the box while also sticking to the brief and is always happy to discuss ideas and strategies. A big fan of books and cinema he hopes to do more writing and directing throughout his career. He's been part of the creative team on projects such as Starling Bank, Contentful and Sumup.
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