Minneapolis advertising agency Periscope has grabbed industry major leaguer Peter Nicholson as its first chief creative officer.

The firm, the Twin Cities' largest independently owned agency, announced Monday that Nicholson would start his new position in April or early May and work out of Periscope's Minneapolis headquarters.

"I was really amazed at all the different parts that are encompassed within Periscope. It's not a traditional advertising agency," Nicholson said in an interview.

"Whether it's social media, packaging, products, advertising, content creation, everything that is now what makes up true marketing for a brand, all of those expertises and capabilities exist at Periscope," he said.

Nicholson, 48, had previously served as the executive creative director at North Carolina-based ad agency McKinney for three years, working out of the company's New York offices.

He also has led creative efforts at shops such as Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Publicis and J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, where he served as chief creative officer working for clients including Cadbury, Diageo and Rolex on accounts that ranged in worth from $50 million to $80 million. He also has held the top creative roles at marketing company Deutsch Inc. and branding firm Redscout.

One of the appeals of Periscope is that it is an independent firm, Nicholson said.

He said his goal is to help leverage Periscope's various disciplines and bring them together to tell a brand's unified story.

Nicholson is the first major hire for Periscope's new president and CEO, Elizabeth Ross, who arrived at the company in the fall. With more than 20 years of experience, Ross, who has held top positions at IPG and Publicis Groupe, is considered a heavyweight herself.

"Creative is the thing that can't be commoditized, right?" Ross said in an interview.

"We all talk about data and programmatic and all of these things that are changing advertising, but at the end of the day, what clients fall in love with and what people fall in love with are ideas."

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet