Tuesday, December 18, 2018

People on the Move

  • Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018
Aaron Evanson Returns To Chicago As VMLY&R ECD
Aaron Evanson

VMLY&R Chicago has brought Aaron Evanson on board as executive creative director. The move marks his return to the Windy City--where his career began--after working at VMLY&R Kansas City, one of the agency’s principal offices.

Evanson will focus on the Chicago shop’s lead campaign work for clients, including Kraft Heinz, Panama Tourism and Wells. He will work alongside VMLY&R Chicago ECD Jeremy Schutte, who oversees platform work for clients, such as Northern Trust, and group creative director Mariana Costa. Evanson’s work has been recognized with industry awards, including Cannes Lions, the One Show and London International Awards.

While at VMLY&R Kansas City, Evanson led creative teams to multiple new business wins and buzzworthy campaigns, such as “Wendy’s Pretzel Love Songs,” which garnered more than 2 billion earned media impressions.

Evanson has nearly 25 years of brand-building expertise. He started his career at FCB Chicago, where his Kraft campaigns created pop culture buzz and record sales. His work on the “It’s Not Delivery, It’s DiGiorno” campaign is still going strong today, and because of Evanson’s winning work, he was the youngest FCB creative to ever earn the title of VP.

  • Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018
Cary Murnion joins Honor Society as executive creative producer
Cary Murnion

Bicoastal production company Honor Society has added Cary Murnion as executive creative producer. In this new role, he will oversee all in-house creative direction, partner with roster directors on concepts for branded and entertainment projects, as well as serve as executive producer at Honor Society’s Los Angeles office. The multifaceted position is fitting for Murnion, who has spent his career between production and creative roles. He will also continue to be represented as a director on Honor Society’s roster as part of the directing duo Cary & Jon, having created branded content for the likes of Nike, Target, Visa, Cheetos, Hertz, Tylenol, Mountain Dew and Ford.

Honor Society founder/executive producer Megan Kelly has been collaborating with Murnion for over 15 years, having represented him as a director at Honor Society and previous production shops. 

Murnion has directed, written and produced content for a wide range of entertainment studios and networks, including Lionsgate, Warner Brothers, XYZ Films, CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Logo, Bravo, and Comedy Central. He has managed both large and small teams of creatives and production crews ranging from teams of 150 down to strategic teams of five. He has extensive expertise in the process of creative development for TV, film and the many digital platforms. He co-founded the award-winning integrated studio HONEST in 1999, partnering with agencies and clients to create digital and interactive experiences for a nearly two-decade tenure.

Murnion and his directing partner Jon Milott work together as directors and creators of feature films, commercials, and digital media. Their second feature film, Bushwick, starring Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Cary & Jon’s directorial feature debut, Cooties, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by Lionsgate. Cary & Jon’s work has been recognized by Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Cannes, Webby Awards and FWA.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018
Shaw, Keenan join experiential agency Cogs & Marvel
Jamie Shaw (l) and Brendan Keenan

Cogs & Marvel has secured creative director Jamie Shaw as leader of its creative department in the U.S.  Shaw joins Cogs & Marvel in its San Francisco office, further expanding the 12-year-old experiential agency’s presence there--even as it continues to strengthen its global reach from its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. For years, the agency has worked with major brands including Google, Facebook, and Twitter. 
Shaw was most recently responsible for the highly praised San Francisco pop-up museum That Lady Thing, created through local agency Eleven. Designed to raise awareness for International Women’s Day, the installation used modern women’s issues like the pay gap, sexual harassment, and gender disparity to inspire an array of colorful and affecting interactive experiences. The pop-up generated West Coast attention as well as global coverage from BBC, The Guardian, SF Chronicle, Time Out, and many others. The activation donated proceeds from merchandise sales and onsite fundraising to the National Women’s Law Center.
Prior to Eleven, Shaw worked with global powerhouse brands like Google, Apple, Levi’s; startups like Tile and Glow; as well as boutique lifestyle brands like Olly, Mod, and Urban Remedy. A multifaceted creative, she started her career as a copywriter and eventually developed an interest in designing physical experiences while working on “future of retail” concepts at creative studio Autofuss (which was eventually acquired by Google in 2013). 
“Cogs & Marvel has the chops to build anything anywhere on the planet with amazing efficiency and enthusiasm. Their goal, and mine, is to create cultural content that inspires authentic engagement,” Shaw said. “Smart, forward thinking brands understand that today’s audiences are too savvy to be sold to. People want to recognize a brand’s values as their own and connect in more relevant, resonant ways.”
Along with Shaw, Cogs & Marvel has also brought on Autofuss-alum Brendan Keenan as director of business development and marketing. Keenan will be tasked with expanding the agency’s relationships with U.S.-based brands and agency partners. His background includes time spent leading account teams at agencies like Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Wieden+Kennedy, and Venables Bell & Partners. 
Cogs & Marvel CEO Roisin Callaghan added, “Our team has always prided itself on identifying the most creative ways to produce world-class experiences for our clients. Now that we’ve established a foothold in San Francisco, one of the most innovative cities on earth, we’re excited to continue to push the boundaries of creative storytelling. With their respective backgrounds at some of the best agencies in the business, Jamie and Brendan are a natural fit to help us continue to raise that bar.”  

  • Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018
Editor Kyle Brown goes into Exile
Kyle Brown
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Editor Kyle Brown has come aboard the roster of EXILE. He has established his cutting craft at the likes of NO6 and Arcade Edit. Along the way, he’s played a pivotal role in notable campaigns including the Cannes Titanium Lion/One Show Gold-winning “Project Daniel” for Intel, Tim & Eric and Jeff Goldblum’s offbeat, entertaining collaboration for GE, and Loctite’s lauded “Win at Glue” Super Bowl spot.

Brown’s credits span campaigns for such brands as Nike, Comcast Xfinity, AT&T, T-Mobile, Bud Light and HomeAway, as well as documentaries and long-form narrative projects. 

EXILE exec producer CL Weaver said of Brown’s range, “He’s that special talent who can seamlessly switch skill sets from cutting some of the best comedy spots out there to editing big visual anthems.”

  • Monday, Nov. 12, 2018
Creative director JP Rooney joins Brand New School
JP Rooney

Bicoastal design-forward creative studio Brand New School has added JP Rooney to its NY team as creative director.

As an animation director, designer, and illustrator, Rooney has worked for numerous global brands, including Google, Target, Oreo, Toyota, and Bleacher Report. 

As a creative director at Brand New School, Rooney will focus on telling stories via design and animation. Prior to joining Brand New School, Rooney was associate creative director for Gentleman Scholar, spearheading the launch of its East Coast offices. Rooney has received honors from Cannes Lions to Clios, and his work is included in the MOMA permanent film archive.

Since joining Brand New School, Rooney has directed a major project for Google’s hardware launch and led a PSA for TheirWorld.

  • Friday, Nov. 9, 2018
ArtClass hires NY EP Kate Aspell
Kate Aspell

ArtClass Content--launched in May 2018 by co-founders Geno Imbriale and Vincent Peone--has hired executive producer Kate Aspell to lead operations in its NYC office. Since its opening, ArtClass has delivered projects for Lincoln, ESPN, American Express, the U.S. Open, and Bustle.

Beginning her career as a sales rep, Aspell worked with HSI, Maven Label and Hungry Man before making the transition to producing where she worked as a freelancer before spending time with The Mill and most recently, Company 3. This multifaceted experience has allowed her to manage projects through to postproduction, an added edge that mirrors ArtClass’ concept-to-delivery offering.

  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018
Suarez, Gonzalez upped to ECDs At Goodby Silverstein & Partners
David Suarez (l) and Danny Gonzalez

Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) has promoted David Suarez and Danny Gonzalez to executive creative directors. Since joining GS&P in 2014, Suarez and Gonzalez have been the creative leaders on Liberty Mutual Insurance, Credit Karma, StubHub, NFL Media and the Golden State Warriors.

“Danny and David have been key to GS&P’s momentum over the past year as they helped win Liberty Mutual, expanded our NFL relationship and oversaw a new brand campaign for Credit Karma,” said Margaret Johnson, CCO and partner, GS&P. “The work that they have created and inspired is some of our most award-winning, but most importantly, they are leaders our creatives greatly respect and admire.”

Recent work the duo has overseen include Credit Karma’s “First Steps,” StubHub’s “Machines,” NFL’s “Heaping Cup” and the Golden State Warriors’ “Strength in Numbers” campaign.

Prior to GS&P, Suarez and Gonzalez spent two-and-a-half years at Barton F. Graf 9000 in New York, where they worked across all brands, most notably serving as creative directors on Little Caesars and on Ragú’s “Long Day of Childhood” campaign. The two began their careers at J. Walter Thompson New York. While there, they worked on brands like JetBlue, Domino’s Pizza and Stride Gum. From there the partnership continued at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, where they worked on Jameson Irish Whiskey.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
Gabe Hajiani joins Seattle agency DNA as head of creation & content
Gabe Hajiani

Independent integrated agency DNA has brought Gabe Hajiani aboard as head of creation and content, a new role at the Seattle-based shop. He was previously partner at Wexley School for Girls where he helped grow that agency and its services over 10 years across production and project management.

Hajiani will become part of DNA’s management team. He is being charged with expanding the agency’s experience branding and integrated production capabilities across digital and traditional communications. He will also lead DNA’s recently launched independent production company.

“We are creating new ways for consumers to experience our client’s brands that extend beyond more traditional models of communication,” explained Chris Witherspoon, president and chief growth officer of DNA. “Gabe brings us deep skills in making and building brand experiences that leverages his background as an architect, sculptor and marketer.”

At Wexley, among the many projects Hajiani championed was the creation of The Medalist, an 11-foot bronze statue at the new headquarters of Brooks Running. The Medalist was forged with running medals from thousands of runners around the world who donated them to be part of something bigger after learning about the statue on social media and in-store.

Hajiani rejoins fellow Wexley alum Christine Wise, who joined DNA in July as chief strategy officer and part of its leadership team. Since May, DNA has added six former Wexley staffers to the agency which also include Rob Scherzer as sr. data strategist, Chelsea Webber as sr. brand strategist, Annie Richards as account director and Lindell Serrin as sr. art director and designer.

DNA’s clients include: Amazon, BECU, Ben Bridge, Consumer Cellular, Cray, MemorialCare Health System, Darigold, Puget Sound Energy, Golden 1 Credit Union, Fred Hutchison Cancer Center, Nordstrom and Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. 

  • Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018
The Mill LA promotes David Lawson to creative director
David Lawson

The Mill has promoted David Lawson to creative director in its Los Angeles studio. In his new position, Lawson will further enrich the creative output of Mill+, the content creation studio focused on concept-to-delivery partnerships.
Lawson’s promotion comes after working with the company for the last decade on projects spanning the gaming and advertising industries, including Game of War’s “Rooftop” which was recognized by both the VES Awards and the AICP Show. He has directed multiple high-octane projects including Final Fantasy’s “A New Empire” and the iconic Marvel “Strike Force” commercial which, at last count, has 65 million views on YouTube.
Robert Sethi, executive creative director at The Mill, commented, “David has an impressive insight into what motivates clients and audiences alike, and a passion for integrating live action with CG characters to create captivating storytelling.”




  • Monday, Nov. 5, 2018
Isobar promotes Bakritzes, Shelby, Meeker
Isobar's (l-r) Dave Meeker, Tonya Bakritzes and Sean Shelby

Global digital agency Isobar has made three key leadership changes, elevating Tonya Bakritzes to chief marketing officer, Sean Shelby to chief technology officer and Dave Meeker to chief innovation officer. All of the newly created roles will report into U.S. CEO Deb Boyda.

As CMO, Bakritzes will drive the agency’s US marketing strategy, lead the marketing team and all marketing and communications efforts.  In addition, she will oversee Isobar’s brand positioning and its impact strategic growth initiatives in 2019.

Meeker, who also holds the global title of global director, emerging technology, will formalize Isobar’s innovation expertise through the creation of the Innovation Practice and represent these capabilities in a more official capacity among the executive management practice. 

Elevating Shelby to CTO will allow for a strategic focus on Isobar’s technology offering.  Shelby will oversee and advise U.S. senior leadership on all technology matters, in addition to overseeing the creation, use and management of Isobar IP.  He will also work closely with the innovation and AI and data practices to ensure their needs are supported.

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