• Monday, Aug. 24, 2015
The Barbarian Group expands sr. leadership team
Edu Pou has been promoted from executive creative director to chief creative officer at The Barbarian Group.

Tech-centric creative company The Barbarian Group is strengthening its sr. executive leadership team with several new hires and promotions following new business wins (Etihad Airways and KIND Snacks) and organic growth from existing clients. In a new role for the company, Ian Daly has joined as chief strategy officer. Darren Himebrook has been hired as head of operations. Edu Pou has been promoted to chief creative officer from executive creative director. And Robert Christ, previously tech director, has become chief technology officer.

“As we continue to double down on using technology to create disruptive digital experiences for brands, we need the right kind of talent to do this effectively and efficiently,” said Sophie Kelly, CEO of The Barbarian Group.

In his role, Daly will partner in charting a strategic course for the company and lend new inspiration and focus to the team to create ideas, rooted in technology, that drive culture. He joins The Barbarian Group from TBWA\​Media Arts Lab in Los Angeles, where he was group strategy director, overseeing a team of more than 20 planners. During his time there he has helped TBWA\MAL expand in seven different emerging markets and was integral in building TBWA\MAL’s relationship with Apple in its post-Steve Jobs era. Daly also re-built its analytics operation, integrating it into planning, and most recently led the charge for Apple’s recent launch of Apple Music. Prior to TBWA\MAL, he was the head of planning at Anomaly in New York, worked at Grey, and was a senior writer and editor for Details and Wired.

Himebrook will oversee agency operations, production and The Barbarian Group’s content studio, Lot112. He got his start in advertising working on the Burger King account at CP+B. He also worked on projects for Wieden + Kennedy and JWT, and he directed a video for Nelson Mandela. He most recently built out digital production capabilities at The Martin Agency, tripling profitability while growing the team and increasing the quality of the work for clients such as GEICO, Microsoft and Benjamin Moore. This resulted in the recent Grand Prix and Silver Lion wins at Cannes for both GEICO and Benjamin Moore.

Pou will oversee all creative output for The Barbarian Group’s client roster. He joined The Barbarian Group in October 2014 and has since helped the company win several new accounts--PepsiCo’s Brisk, KIND Snacks and Etihad Airways.

Christ has been with The Barbarian Group since 2013 and has helped the company to deliver engaging experiences including the Cannes-winning Samsung “CenterStage,” Intel’s RealSense 3D out-of-box experience, IBM’s dev@Pulse CodeJam, as well as web and campaign work for GE, IBM, Pepsi, Bacardi and Samsung.

  • Monday, Aug. 24, 2015
Tabletop director and DP Michael Ognisanti joins Dictionary Films
Michael Ognisanti

Dictionary Films has signed director and DP Michael Ognisanti. He had been on the roster of the Chicago-based production company MK Films since 2004, where he was trained as a motion control operator and began assistant-directing and shooting under director Mark Klein. Over these years, Ognisanti built a reputation as a top tabletop director and as a DP for both commercials and documentaries. His commercial credits include spots for Bobble, Bud Light, Coors, Giant Eagle and Golden Corral.

“With budgets and schedules shrinking all the time, versatility is paramount,” said Chris Rossiter, Dictionary managing director. “Michael’s talent as a DP in and beyond tabletop work provides key capabilities that are extremely valuable to us and our clients. I love his tabletop work, and he has already shot as DP for [Dictionary] director Jay Patton on projects that didn’t have a tabletop aspect.”

Before landing with MK, Ognisanti was a videographer and editor at WLAJ-TV in Lansing, Michigan, where he honed his skills in crafting clear and concise visual stories. He is a 2002 graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned his degree in Visual and Media Arts, and he also studied film at the British Film Institute.

The integrated production arm of Cutters Studios, Dictionary Films represents directors through its offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, and together with its partner companies Another Country, Cutters, Flavor and Picnic Media, represents full-service creative capabilities.

“I love the idea of connecting the production and post worlds more completely, and that’s what’s happening at Cutters Studios with Dictionary,” said Ognisanti. “Chicago’s my home and while Cutters and Dictionary are international companies, I love the Chicago film community...so Dictionary being based here is great for me.”

  • Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015
Craig Miller named chair of Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission
Craig Miller

Craig Miller, executive producer of Craig Miller Productions in Atlanta, has been named by Governor Nation Deal to chair the newly formed Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission.

The advisory commission’s mission is to work with the Georgia Department of Economic Development in attracting production to Georgia and supporting other industries associated with entertainment.

Miller is a respected filmmaker and founder of Craig Miller Productions, creating award-winning projects for an extensive list of Fortune 500 clientele and advertising agencies for 30 years. He is also the current co-president for the Georgia Production Partnership (GPP), the grass-roots organization chiefly responsible for establishing and maintaining Georgia’s Film Incentive.

As chair of the advisory commission, Miller will utilize his vast knowledge of Georgia’s booming entertainment industry and tax incentives to work alongside other experienced advisory board members to help strengthen and continue to grow production in the state of Georgia.

“We are entering a Golden Age of production in Georgia.” Miller said. “The film, music and gaming industries have a significant economic impact in Georgia and continues to provide business opportunities statewide. We have shown that Georgia is the place to be to make films. Now let’s ensure we maintain a strong camera-ready workforce throughout the state and provide information about the vast locations we have available to continue to attract filmmakers and investors to Georgia.”

According to Gov. Deal’s office, Georgia filmmaking had an economic impact of over $6 billion during fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015).

  • Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015
Josh Olson named sr. VP of theatrical/creative director at The Refinery AV
Josh Olson
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. -- 

Marketing agency The Refinery AV has hired Josh Olson as SVP of theatrical/creative director. Olson, who brings more than a decade of experience in entertainment marketing, will work closely with The Refinery AV partner/creative director Brett Winn on company growth initiatives and creative strategies for feature film, television, multimedia and gaming clients.

Olson’s passion for scriptwriting, film marketing and producing is evident in work he has created in partnership with top entertainment brands, including Sony, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Screen Gems, EA, THQ and Square Enix. Along the way, he has collected numerous Key Art and Golden Trailer Awards for his work for “Evil Dead,” “The Vow,” “Resident Evil,” “Safe Haven,” “House at the End of the Street,” and “Black Dynamite,” among many other film and gaming properties.

Olson’s unusual creative journey began in accounting at Aspect Ratio. It wasn’t long until a producer identified his untapped talent as a copywriter. Olson eventually moved over to Trailer Park, where he took on a three-way role by adding producing to the mix. He went on to parlay his talents by launching his own boutique shop Killer Kreative, where his title of “Kreative Director” was synonymous with producing, directing and writing. Most recently, Olson worked as sr. producer at mOcean and SVP of theatrical/creative director at Seismic Productions. 

The Refinery AV’s clients include Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Universal, Screen Gems, Fox Broadcasting, CBS, ABC, and The Weinstein Company.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015
Khoi Nguyen Truong joins Digital Pulp as UX designer
Khoi Nguyen Truong

Digital agency Digital Pulp has hired Khoi Nguyen Truong--UX design veteran, teacher and trainer--as a UX designer. She will report to Sarah Blecher, Digital Pulp partner and director user experience,

At Digital Pulp, Truong will be working with a cross-disciplinary team to develop a creative approach to interface navigation and create impactful, sustainable solutions for the agency’s broad range of clients, including The Juilliard School, NYU School of Professional Studies, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY).

Truong joins Digital Pulp with extensive experience in user experience strategy and design, having worked at Experience Dynamics Inc. in Portland, Ore., as an interaction designer, and as a user experience researcher and project manager at Tellum in New York. She also recently served as an educational technologist and project manager at Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning.

  • Monday, Aug. 17, 2015
Carter Nance named chief client officer at GSD&M
Carter Nance
AUSTIN, Tex. -- 

Carter Nance will take on the role of chief client officer at GSD&M. Hailing from Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, Nance will oversee the account leadership department at the full-service advertising agency’s home base in Austin. Nance will report to GSD&M CEO Duff Stewart and oversee management of its clients including Southwest Airlines, Walgreens, Hilton and Chipotle.

“Any successful brand has two main things going for it—a good user experience and a strong purpose that consumers can buy into,” Nance said. “Now it’s my goal to work with the leaders at GSD&M to build a team of account people that continues to be invaluable to its clients.”

As managing director of CP+B Miami, Nance oversaw the agency’s day-to-day management in addition to leading its Domino’s and Coca-Cola Company relationships. His stint at CP+B included leading the brand launch of Coke Zero and the re-launch and re-branding of Domino’s Pizza.

Prior to CP+B, Nance’s entree into account work began at Young & Rubicam NY. In 2014, he co-founded the Mission 22 campaign designed to combat veteran suicides and which was recently awarded a Cannes Lion.

  • Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015
Jeff Wolfe named exec producer at Nathan Love
Jeff Wolfe

Motion design and animation studio Nathan Love recently added Jeff Wolfe as executive producer. The Promax BDA award-winning producer comes to Nathan Love after working with assorted studios and brands, including Nickelodeon, AMC, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sprint, Food Network, Capital One and Nivea.  He has also supervised production for direct-to-client work with brands such as Google, Sony, and Intel.

Wolfe has over 15 years of experience in traditional and pharmaceutical advertising, animation, VFX, editorial and live-action production. He produced “Skinnies” and “Viva Las Vegas” for Old Navy and “All Day” for NBC Sports/Superbowl XLIX while working as a sr. producer at MassMarket, “Everywhere” for Comcast while an EP at Tronic Studio, and supervised the CG and editorial team as director of postproduction at Cause & [Effect] for pop duo Beach House’s “Lazuli” video.

  • Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015
Coca-Cola names company veteran to new No. 2 position
In this July 2015 file photo, bottles of Coca-Cola are on display at a supermarket in Massachusetts (AP file photo).

Coca-Cola said Thursday it named company veteran James Quincey as president and chief operating officer, creating a new No. 2 position in its chain of command.

The world's largest beverage company says Quincey's appointment is effective immediately and that he will report directly to CEO Muhtar Kent. The appointment raised speculation that Quincey is being set up to succeed Kent.

In a call with reporters, Kent said it would be "inappropriate to speculate on CEO succession." Kent has been CEO since 2008, and chairman since 2009. He is 62.

The appointment means Coca-Cola's operating groups will now report to Quincey, rather than Kent. Kent said that will free him up to focus on the company's long-term strategy.

Coca-Cola Co., which makes drinks including Sprite, Powerade and Dasani, has been slashing costs as it faces sales struggles and says it's in a transitional period. As people have turned away from traditional sodas in North America, the company has regrouped to lessen its focus on merely pushing up sales volume. Instead, Coca-Cola is now putting marketing behind smaller bottles and cans that may not drive up volume, but fetch more money per ounce. The company also positions them as a way to enjoy its drinks, without feeling guilty about guzzling too much sugar.

On Thursday, the company also said that the president of Coca-Cola International, Ahmet Bozer, will retire in March and that his position will not be refilled. Bozer, 55, joined the company in 1990 as a financial control manager and has been seen as a potential successor to Kent.

Kent said the retirement was Bozer's decision.

Quincey, 50, had been reporting to Bozer as president of the company's Europe group. He is moving to Atlanta from London for his new role.

Ali Dibadj, a senior analyst with Bernstein, said he believes Quincey's appointment sets up a succession plan, but that it doesn't necessarily suggest that Kent will be leaving shortly.

"Change at Coca-Cola is not necessarily a bad thing," Dibadj said, noting the appointment was a surprise to many.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015
Shapira named lead VR visualist at Fake Love
Omer Shapira

Experiential design agency Fake Love recently tapped Omer Shapira as its new lead VR visualist. Shapira comes to Fake Love from Framestore, where he led projects for that studio’s VR software division. Previously he worked with The NYU Media Research Lab and the MIT Media Lab, and was a filmmaker/VFX artist at Channel 10.

Shapira specializes in blending programming, live-action film and experimental interaction technologies with real-time graphics, resulting in a highly unique visual experience. He has contributed this distinctive style to projects for Nike, Google, Microsoft, Disney, Universal Pictures and Samsung.

“Omer’s amazing skills with VR and game engines creates a fantastic complement to our existing team,” stated Layne Braunstein, co-founder and ECD of Fake Love. “His math and artistic background is going to help us create real-time visuals never seen before today in VR or really anywhere.”

Shapira’s work has been shown at Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival and The Barbican and recognized by The Art Director’s Club and The Webby’s. Omer has a B.Sc in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University and a Master’s from the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015
Amber Wimmer joins Crossbeat as head of production
Amber Wimmer

Crossbeat New York, an innovation agency and creative studio, has added Amber Wimmer to its senior leadership team as head of production. Wimmer will report to Droga5 alums Becky Wang and David Justus, who founded Crossbeat in 2014.

Wimmer is an award-winning integrated producer who spent time at The Barbarian Group, Droga5, TBWA and CP+B. Over the course of her career, Wimmer has worked with clients including Absolut, American Express, Chobani, Microsoft, Pepsi, Puma, and Volkswagen.

As head of production at Crossbeat, Wimmer will be responsible for managing integrated production of all agency work, along with working in partnership with managing directors Wang and Justus to help shape agency operations and identify meaningful partnerships.

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