Client Start Year End Year
Maryland Lottery 2010 Current
Molina Healthcare 2016 Current
MJHS (Metropolitan Jewish Health Systems) 2008 Current
Miller Value Partners 2016 Current
Shentel Telecommunications (Sprint) 2012 Current
Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group 2019 Current
Snyder's-Lance 2011 2017
Constellation (BGE HOME) 2001 Current
PANDORA Jewelry 2010 2016
Blue Shield of California 2013 2017

GKV is celebrating over 35 years of creating advertising, direct marketing, branding, interactive and public relations campaigns that have succeeded in the marketplace and drawn acclaim from our industry. Our success is rooted in our ability to create and execute breakthrough strategies for companies and organizations that are out-spent in their categories. GKV and its clients succeed by challenging the category status quo.

Tradition labels us an advertising agency. But what we really do is bring our Challenger Brand clients critical thinking, planning and innovative execution to the ever-growing number of ways you have to connect with your stakeholders and customers.

We create thousands of pieces of social and digital content every year in-house. Plus, awarding-winning TV and radio and direct mail.

Working with challenger brands means always challenging ourselves to find new and more effective ways to grow our clients’ businesses and brands.

To shorten the distance between goals and results, we insist on senior-level relationships. A GKV principal holds the partner-in-charge position for every client on our roster. Our mission and our partner-in-charge philosophy have created productive, long-term relationships with our clients for over 35 years.


Every category has a leader. A bellwether brand whose success over time has earned it a unique standing in the minds of consumers and has effectively created the marketing conventions of the category.

Those are not our clients.

Every category has followers. Brands who, despite fewer resources and smaller budgets, attempt to compete with the category leader by emulating it.

Those are not our clients, either.

Our clients are the number twos and threes (and the start-ups and unknown) who are taking share from the category leader by not playing by its rules. They are Challenger Brands, committed to the idea that thought leadership will ultimately achieve sales leadership. For over 35 years, GKV has helped Challenger Brands succeed by facilitating four key brand behaviors.
Challenger Brands

Symbols Of Reevaluation

The biggest enemy of success in the marketplace is not consumer rejection; it’s consumer indifference. They don’t necessarily dislike your company; they just don’t care about what you’re saying. Challenger brands want to disrupt the autopilot relationship they may have with the consumer by making visible changes, creating what we call symbols of reevaluation. Maybe a new product or a new logo or a new pricing strategy. Usually, it’s a visible change to the advertising. Whatever the symbols of reevaluation are, the intent is to announce to the consumer that it’s no longer business as usual.

Emotional Connections

Category leaders generally create the expectations of the category with rational benefits…we’re the biggest, we’re the cheapest, we’re the most convenient, etc. So, that territory is taken. Challenger brands need to be thought leaders. They need to create an emotionally-based rather than a rationally-based relationship with the consumer.


This is not about making ill-advised media decisions; it’s about focusing on a powerful primary message. There are so many stories that a brand could tell about itself, but the strongest brands are usually very single-minded and are willing to sacrifice some secondary messages.

Brand Inside

There is considerable research indicating that a huge competitive advantage is gained when a company’s culture is visibly aligned with its brand promise. Think about the atmosphere of innovation and forward thinking that you feel in an Apple store. Think about the great customer service and spirit of fun that characterizes your experience on Southwest. In both cases, the culture matches up perfectly with the communications. Unfortunately, this alignment doesn’t occur as often as it should. So, we help challengers live their brand inside by introducing brand-specific goals, policy and training to all employees, which will help them truly understand how the company’s core values translate into specific actions.

  • Roger  Gray

    Roger Gray

    Chairman & CEO

  • Kevin  Kempske

    Kevin Kempske

    President & COO

  • Garry Raim

    Garry Raim

    EVP, Director of Health Care Practice

  • Cathy Kowalewski Kowalewski

    Cathy Kowalewski Kowalewski

    Chief Financial Officer

  • Chris Stark

    Chris Stark

    SVP, Co-Creative Director

  • Dave  Broscious

    Dave Broscious

    SVP, Co-Creative Director

  • Daniel  Robinson

    Daniel Robinson

    SVP, Director of Media Services

  • Shannon Gardiner

    Shannon Gardiner

    SVP, Director of Account Services

  • Stacey Wynia

    Stacey Wynia

    SVP, Director of Public Relations & Social Media

  • Dan  Collins

    Dan Collins

    SVP & Chief Strategy Officer