Sunday, May 20, 2018

People on the Move

  • Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018
Yusuf Chuku named chief strategy officer of North America for Y&R
Leslie Sims (l) and Yusuf Chuku
NEW YORK -- 

Global advertising agency Y&R has named Yusuf Chuku to serve as the chief strategy officer of North America.  He will serve as North American CCO Leslie Sim’s strategic partner.

In this role, he will oversee strategy for the agency’s North America client roster, including clients such as ANA, Bel Brands USA, Dell, Pepperidge Farm, and Xerox, as well as the Census and U.S. Navy accounts. Y&R has long invested deeply in strategic capabilities that inform the creative process, and Chuku will continue to advance programs like eXploring, which is a proprietary approach to insights through cultural immersion. 

Chuku brings extensive experience leading strategy departments, holding previous positions as EVP, head of planning at McCann New York, chief strategy officer at Cheil New York, head of strategic services at McKinney New York, and global planning director at JWT New York. He has worked both in the UK and the US markets. Chuku has a broad base of knowledge across a range of industries, having spearheaded global and regional clients such as A&E Networks, Pepsi-Co, Verizon, Samsung, Microsoft Office and Kimberly Clark. 

“Yusuf is brilliant. He has an exceptional strategic pedigree in driving client business growth,” said Sims. “His strategic firepower will continue to amplify our creative, and his leadership will be instrumental in shaping the agency to meet clients’ changing challenges and priorities.” 

“Coming to Y&R to lead strategy in North America was a compelling proposition,” said Chuku. “Y&R has always sat at the intersection of intelligence and creativity. Today that position, combined with a collaborative spirit, allows them to create work that transcends traditional marketing swim lanes.”

Chuku has also held positions at Manning Gottlieb and Naked Communications. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Manchester. 

The appointment comes on the heels of key new business wins for Y&R, most recently Office Depot Office Max. 

  • Monday, Apr. 16, 2018
Laura Forman joins KBS as executive director of brand strategy
Laura Forman
NEW YORK -- 

Global creative agency Kirshenbaum, Bond, Senecal & Partners (KBS) has appointed Laura Forman to serve as executive director of brand strategy. Forman joins Kirshenbaum from Ogilvy & Mather where she was group planning director. Reporting to Ted Florea, KBS’ global chief strategy officer, Forman will be based in the New York office and will have a primary focus on PODS and Amex.

Florea said, “Laura brings extensive experience delivering world-class strategic thinking from shops like Goodby and Ogilvy as well as her own consumer insights company. This background makes her perfect to be a leader in continuing to champion our commitment to helping companies discover and live their greater purpose in culture.” 

Forman shared, “KBS’ mission to combine humanity, technology and purposeful creativity was a real selling point for me in joining the agency.”  

Forman’s responsibilities include overseeing her department of 12 brand strategists on all accounts and partnering with her data & analytics and product strategy counterparts. Forman will also play a central role in redefining KBS’ own culture, serving as a mentor across departments.

Spanning her 20-year career, Forman has led assignments for clients in multiple industries from Target to American Airlines to Chevy, as well as conducted research in more than 20 countries for global clients such as Heineken, Sprite, and ABSOLUT. 

Forman’s previous positions include founder of her own strategy boutique, forthought, as well as having served as VP/account planner for Deutsch LA, planning director at Fallon and account planner at Goodby.

  • Friday, Apr. 13, 2018
Ross Clugston joins Superunion as ECD
Ross Clugston
NEW YORK -- 

Following the appointment of Sabah Ashraf to the role of CEO, North America, global next-generation brand consultancy Superunion has reinforced its leadership team by bringing Ross Clugston aboard as executive creative director in the U.S.

Throughout his career, which includes several years in San Francisco and New York as creative director at Interbrand, Clugston has built teams to push boundaries through innovative efforts for brands including Qualcomm, Microsoft, Amazon, Mars Wrigley, Google, Disney and Nissan. His work has been recognized by Cannes, D&AD, AIGA and the ADC. 

As ECD at WPP’s Superunion, Clugston will leverage his expertise in tech and healthcare, while also fostering collaboration across agency disciplines from creative to strategy to finance. Clugston will work closely with executive director, strategy, Vincent Roffers in New York, and global chief creative officer Greg Quinton to further strengthen the agency’s approach to client challenges, and apply a methodology that drives solutions for North America and globally.

  • Thursday, Apr. 12, 2018
Rachel Veiga joins Moving Image & Content as VP, client partner
Quynh Mai (l) and Rachel Veiga
NEW YORK -- 

Digital agency Moving Image & Content has appointed industry vet Rachel Veiga as its new VP, client partner. Veiga will report to Quynh Mai, CEO and founder. The two will collaborate to build a forward-thinking, female-led agency that helps guide brands through digital transformations by creating innovative campaigns and communications that meet their business objectives. 

Veiga joins MI&C from H&M where she led the advertising and partnership efforts in the US and managed an annual multi-million dollar budget while overseeing marketing for all new store openings, which averaged 50 per year. In 2017, she was integral to the company’s launch in Colombia, a new market for H&M, successfully building a local marketing organization and executing a record-breaking launch campaign in less than eight months. Prior to H&M, Veiga built her expertise in both media and creative execution at Johannes & Leonardo and Mediacom.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2018
United Entertainment Group expands leadership team in US, UK 
Michael Brown
NEW YORK -- 

United Entertainment Group (UEG), a global entertainment, sports and lifestyle marketing agency, made three new hires for its senior leadership team to support the shop’s continued international growth and expansion of its sports and licensing business. Joining the marketing agency will be industry veterans Thomas Caravella, as SVP of licensing, Michael Brown, as EVP of sports, and Tim Collins, as managing director of UEG’s UK office. 

Caravella brings 30 years of global experience in trademark licensing to his new role at UEG. As SVP of licensing, he will build on UEG’s core entertainment and sports licensing operations to expand the agency’s client representation across the growing licensing category. Prior to joining UEG, Caravella held positions such as VP of marketing and licensing at Disney Consumer Products and SVP, global licensing at Diageo.

Brown joins UEG as a senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in developing integrated marketing programs for major agencies including Lagardére Sports and IMG Worldwide. As EVP of sports, Brown will be charged with business development to drive global growth.

As the new managing director of UEG’s UK office, Collins will focus on helping clients pivot into pop culture through sports and entertainment verticals. Collins brings 20 years of sports sponsorship and PR experience to UEG, having worked on both the client side and at agencies bringing to life campaigns around major sporting tournaments including Budweiser’s FIFA partnership and MasterCard’s Priceless Rugby World Cup campaign.

“Our people hail from every facet of our industry that sets the cultural agenda, and their deep expertise is our formula for success,” said Jarrod Moses, founder and CEO of UEG. “Tim, Tom and Michael are perfect additions to our executive team. Their hires represent our continued investment in the areas of sports and licensing, as well as our commitment to providing exclusive intel and access to clients on a global scale.” 

  • Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018
Elyse Klaits named VP of TV at John Goldwyn Productions
Elyse Klaits (photo by Dove Rudman)
LOS ANGELES -- 

Elyse Klaits has joined John Goldwyn Productions as VP of television to identify, develop, and produce projects for all platforms, announced John Goldwyn. The company recently announced its first look deal with Lionsgate Television.

Goldwyn said of Klaits, “She has a diverse background, impeccable instincts, and enormous enthusiasm. I have no doubt that she will make a big impact here and I look forward to working with her.”

Klaits most recently served at Bay Films, where she shepherded several projects into development, with a deal on one of her television projects about to be announced. Prior to her stint with Michael Bay, she was a long-time associate with The Kennedy/Marshall Company and worked directly with Kathleen Kennedy on films such as “Lincoln,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Diving Bell & the Butterfly,” “Munich,” and “Seabiscuit.” Early in her career, Klaits was an assistant to Jane Rosenthal at TriBeCa Productions, eventually rising to director of production and working on films such as “About a Boy” and “Meet the Parents.”

John Goldwyn Productions, headed by film and television producer John Goldwyn, currently produces the critically acclaimed Discovery Channel series “Manhunt” and produced the Emmy-nominated hit “Dexter.” Film credits include “Baby Mama, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and the Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There.”

  • Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018
Dave Sonderman joins The Shipyard as chief creative officer
Dave Sonderman
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- 

The Shipyard has appointed Dave Sonderman to the role of chief creative officer. He comes over to the self-described “marketing engineering agency” from GSW Advertising where he served as EVP/chief creative officer. 

Sonderman’s previous experience includes work on brands such as Apple, HP, PGA Tours, Victoria’s Secret, BMW Financial Services, GE Healthcare, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Frisch’s Big Boy, and Listerine. His work has been recognized by Clio, National ADDY, NY Festivals, Emmy and Cannes Lions. 

Sonderman has brought his knack for insight-driven creative problem to an advertising career that spans 25 years and work across disciplines from higher education and retail, to technology and lifestyle, to healthcare and social causes. In 2016, he presented at the Lions Festival of Creativity in Cannes, joining forces with an experimental VR filmmaker from London and a psychiatrist from Harvard to expound on the art and science of empathy in creativity. His award-winning creative also includes memorable campaigns for Stryker’s knee replacement system and The Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to help shape creativity’s relationship with data science and to challenge old assumptions,” said Sonderman. “The Shipyard’s backbone of creative data science modeling, insights and media is already proven — it’s what so many other agencies are trying to figure out.“ 

  • Friday, Apr. 6, 2018
Ed Han launches Edify Story Foundry
Ed Han
NEW YORK -- 

Executive creative director-turned-commercial filmmaker Ed Han has launched hybrid creative and production consultancy, Edify Story Foundry. The move represents the fruition of Han’s long-term plan to transition from agency creative to independent brand consultant. 

“Given the seismic changes to the industry, I felt I could better share brand stories by taking my agency experience and transplanting it in the fertile soil of content creation.” Han wants to offer clients a way to deliver high-quality brand storytelling without compromise to quality. “It’s not a new idea but clients are more receptive to it than ever before because they need more content than ever before. And they need it to be done efficiently.” 

Besides the obvious name-play, Han explained that he wanted to choose a corporate identity that conveyed something about his approach to marketing, which emphasizes elevating the client’s message by first focusing on their values and how these can help form a connection with consumers. 

“For me, the story isn’t necessarily about products and features but rather about the things that connect us as individuals and communities,” Han said. “By mining for those elements, we can craft more powerfully engaging brand messages. By combining strategy, creative and production into a singular, linear process, I can offer clients a one-stop-shop approach where the brand’s story is paramount at every phase.”

Han has spent over two decades in advertising starting as an art director and was most recently the executive creative director at the boutique agency Walton Isaacson where he oversaw the creative output of all three offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. During his time there, he partnered with brands like Lexus, Verizon, Samsung, Dove and AXE. Before Walton Isaacson, Han worked with Publicis for 10 years in both the Chicago and New York offices managing the Whirlpool creative group that included brands like Maytag, KitchenAid, Whirlpool and Jenn-Air. 

Among the many clients Han has been involved with on both a strategic level and as a filmmaker is iRobot, makers of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners. For the past four years, Han has successfully partnered with the brand on various content needs, including global TV commercials and product videos. 

“Throughout my career, I’ve found that most brands don’t have a product problem, they have a communications problem,” Han said. “Get the story right then tell it in a compelling way is my philosophy. iRobot created the robotic vacuum category and their products are great. They just needed help humanizing the technology.”

  • Thursday, Apr. 5, 2018
Karey Maltzahn promoted to VP of feature, episodic production at Digital Domain
Karey Maltzahn
LOS ANGELES -- 

Digital Domain, an innovative provider of visual effects and immersive experiences, has promoted Karey Maltzahn to VP of feature and episodic production. In addition to a concentration on feature visual effects and visualization, the studio will add a heightened focus on TV, cable and streaming services. Digital Domain looks to Montreal as the latest studio addition to the global roster which includes locations in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Hyderabad.

Digital Domain leads Nikos Kalaitzidis, Scott Meadows and Aladino Debert have expanded creative leadership positions. The team joins existing visual effects heavy-hitters including Matthew Butler, Kelly Port, Jay Barton, Dave Hodgins, Jan Philip Cramer and Steve Preeg. Collectively, they have more than 175 film and episodic credits.

In her new role, Maltzahn will run client services for productions among multiple studio locations for Digital Domain, including Los Angeles, Vancouver, India and soon-to-open Montreal. As a leader in postproduction for 20 years, she has successfully guided teams in commercials and features.

Industry veteran Kalaitzidis was elevated to VFX supervisor. Kalaitzidis brings 22 years’ experience in visual effects and has worked on more than 30 feature films, including Spiderman: Homecoming, The Fate of the Furious and Tron: Legacy. He recently led visual effects for Digital Domain on A Wrinkle in Time.

Head of visualization Meadows will lead motion capture, virtual production, pre and post visualization for Digital Domain. Meadows has led visualization projects for the last two decades, completing many blockbuster feature films, including Black Panther and Ready Player One. He aims to streamline all processes for visualization, motion capture and virtual production. Digital Domain is home to the largest volume motion capture stage in Los Angeles.

Creative director and VFX supervisor Debert will guide the creative and visual effects for episodic series work. With a strong background in the digital arts and visual effects, Debert is a creative force in the industry with more than 20 years of experience. He has been with Digital Domain since 2010 and has picked up numerous recognitions, including AICP Show, Clio and VES awards and an Emmy nomination. Recently, Debert was VFX supervisor for multiple episodes of Black Sails and Outlander for STARZ, SpikeTV’s The Mist, and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events for Netflix.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 4, 2018
Adhemas Batista joins Deutsch as EVP, head of design
Adhemas Batista (middle of the second row, wearing glasses) and his design team
LOS ANGELES -- 

Deutsch has hired Adhemas Batista as EVP, head of design, to lead the agency’s design vision for all Los Angeles clients. Batista will manage a team of more than 20 designers and will report to Pete Favat, chief creative officer of North America.

“Adhemas is no stranger to Deutsch. We have worked together before and his talent as an artist is next level,” said Favat. “He has led design on global campaigns that have moved the needle for our industry. Getting him on board is a huge win for us and we are excited to have his craft on our business.”

Batista brings more than two decades of advertising design experience, working with agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, Anomaly, TBWA\Chiat\Day and Goodby Silverstein & Partners. He has led design projects for Fortune 500 brands the likes of Toyota, Gatorade, Coca-Cola, Adidas and Doritos, among countless others. In 2016, Batista managed all design direction for UNICEF’s short film Malak and the Boat, which earned five Cannes Lions including the Grand Prix for Good.

“Joining Deutsch is an exciting new challenge for me,” says Batista. “I spent a lot of time looking for the right opportunity and found that Deutsch was the perfect fit for me. I respect their history of original work and having the opportunity to work under Pete’s creative leadership was a huge draw for me. I am ready to make great work with this team.”

Since immigrating from Brazil, Batista has lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. He is a self-taught artist and illustrator.