Sunday, September 23, 2018

People on the Move

  • Friday, Apr. 27, 2018
Minh Le named chief digital officer at Dailey
Minh Le

Dailey has brought Minh Le on board as its chief digital officer. The hiring is a further evolution of the agency since it bought back its independence last year, reflecting Dailey’s commitment to expanding its digital capabilities to meet the needs of clients such as Honda Powersports, Carnation Breakfast Essentials, and Dole.

“Minh will help us exponentially grow our ability to help transform our clients through digital,” said Steve Michell, SVP and managing partner at Dailey. “We’ve partnered with him the past and he’s shown that he can build a great digital team. We brought him in to do the same thing at Dailey.”

Prior to Dailey, Minh worked at digital agencies Razorfish and Acquity Group where he teamed with clients such as Singapore Airlines, Ingram Micro, Sony, and Disney. In 2010 Le co-founded Dustland, an agency focused on complex marketing and branding challenges for clients such as Cisco, Volkswagen, and Visa and has partnered with Dailey in the past.  After growing Dustland to a team of 30, he sold the organization to a firm based in Boston.

As part of his new role, Le will be tasked with building out the digital team, establishing relationships with technology partners and driving innovation both internally and for Dailey’s growing list of clients. His goal is to integrate Dailey’s digital and experiential work, increasing capability in platforms like artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality.

“I’m excited about joining Dailey because of its remarkable 50-year track record helping brands tell their stories,” said Le. “I have an opportunity to really shape the digital capabilities for the company and build out a team that can compete with anyone. This is an opportunity to help Dailey utilize digital strategy and technology to tell brand stories in a more personalized way.”

  • Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2018
Josh Morse named NY EP for Gifted Youth
Josh Morse

Gifted Youth strengthens its bicoastal foothold, bringing aboard advertising veteran Josh Morse as its executive producer in New York and partnering with Barrie Isaacson Management as its East Coast sales team. Morse’s experience spans the ad agency and production sides of the business.

A Queens-native (and current resident), Morse while studying film at Cornell University worked as a PA on film sets and it was his post-graduation job at a camera rental house that gained him entré to the advertising world, where he traded camera equipment for the opportunity to interview at J Walter Thompson NY. From there, Morse moved to Cliff Freeman & Partners, an agency renowned for its comedic ads, followed by TBWA\Chiat\Day, where he cultivated an impressive portfolio including successful campaigns for Absolut and Jameson.

In 2012, Morse joined Barton F. Graf and was instrumental in helping the then-young agency build its production unit. Working across all disciplines--film, video, print, art-buying, digital, experiential--Morse became head of integrated production, forging a name with campaigns for clients like Keep A Child Alive, Bulleit Bourbon, Axe, Jameson Whiskey, Kayak and gaming giant Supercell. Under his direction, the Barton F. Graf’s Super Bowl spot for Supercell’s Clash of Clans went viral, amassing nearly 73 million YouTube views to date. Morse’s work has won virtually every industry award, including numerous Cannes Lions, Facebook Global, and D&AD awards. 

Morse has always been drawn to comedy, saying, “When advertising takes itself too seriously, it can feel silly and a bit insincere. Comedic advertising, to me, has always felt more authentic. I’m excited to bring my experience with agencies, as well as the worlds of digital and experiential media, to expand Gifted Youth’s offerings into new and exciting avenues. And also make people laugh at the same time.”

On joining managing director Dal Wolf’s team, Morse said, “I’m aligned with the culture here, which is absolutely key to making the best work possible. Their team, they have an insanely high quality of creative standards. The Gifted Youth roster and the reach they have--that goes well beyond the advertising world into all facets of entertainment--sealed the deal.”

Gifted Youth, whose parent company Funny Or Die touts Will Ferrell and Adam McKay as its founders, celebrates its sixth anniversary this year. 

  • Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2018
Treehouse adds editor Adam Henderson
Adam Henderson (l) and Peter Tarter

There are award winners, and then there’s Adam Henderson. The Dallas-based editor has not only seen work he’s cut for agencies and clients win advertising awards, but he’s pocketed a major one on his own, one with a $25,000 prize. And now he’s bringing the talent, passion and drive that earned him that bucket of cash to Treehouse Edit. Henderson’s signing was announced by Treehouse founder and editor Peter Tarter and EP Jeremy Besser. 

Joining from Post Op in Dallas, Henderson has been editing since he joined the company in 2009 as an assistant. His reel includes spots in a range of styles for such clients as Motel 6, Hyundai, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, H-E-B, The Home Depot, and Poo-Pourri, the ‘before you go’ toilet spray marketed in cheeky ads and web shorts.

A major highlight came last year, when he entered Adobe’s “Make the Cut” contest. It called for entrants to take the music video for Imagine Dragon’s pop anthem “Believer” and re-imagine it, using nothing but Adobe Creative Cloud products. The competition received over 9,000 entries, and Henderson’s won.

To present the prize, Adobe pulled a fast one: they flew him to their headquarters in San Jose, Calif., and said he was one of the finalists, but when he arrived they surprised him with the news that he’d won, delivered by the band members themselves in a personal video made before his arrival. He was presented with a giant check (a $25,000 prize) and cheered by hundreds of Adobe employees. 

While Henderson has nothing but praise for his time at Post Op, he added it was time to move on. “You can get too comfortable after a while, and I needed to be a little vulnerable in order to grow,” he offered. “Treehouse is a well-respected company that’s making a huge dent in the Dallas post community. Everything about them is positive, from their work to their vibe to their social media presence.”

Henderson met Tarter several years ago, and the two stayed in touch. “He’s a young, hip, very cool kid who was teaching me things technically,” Tarter admitted. “It was such a pleasure to talk with him. When we finished our recent build-out, we wanted to fill our new edit suite with someone who would complement our already great staff, and Adam was a natural choice. He really gives our bench an added layer of depth.”

Besser said that beyond Henderson’s qualifications--which includes his reel, his work ethic and his client relationships--the fact that he conquered all in “Make the Cut” speaks volumes about his character: “He’s exactly the type of person you want in your company, and that’s why we were so interested in signing him.” Added Tarter, “That was a hell of a task, and he came in first. He outwitted, outshined and out-edited everyone.”

Henderson’s joining Treehouse is the crowning part of an ongoing expansion that’s seen the studio open new rooms and add additional creative staff in recent months. Most recently, sr. engineer Eric Jenkins joined in February to lead Treehouse’s new audio post capabilities.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018
Lindsay Seguin promoted to EP at FuseFX NY
Lindsay Seguin

Visual effects studio FuseFX has promoted Lindsay Seguin to executive producer in its New York City office. In this role, Seguin is responsible for overseeing all client relationships at the FuseFX New York shop, acting as a strategic collaborator for current and future productions spanning television, commercial and film categories.

Seguin was previously managing producer and first joined FuseFX in 2014. During her time with the company, she has worked with a number of important client productions including The Blacklist, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Iron Fist, Mr. Robot, The Get Down and the feature film American Made.

“Lindsay has played a key role in the growth and success of our New York office, and we’re excited for her to continue to forge partnerships with some of our biggest clients in her new role,” said Joseph Bell, chief operating officer and executive VP of production at FuseFX. “She has been a strong advocate for developing FuseFX New York into a distinctive studio, positioned to draw on strong local talent and create world-class visual effects in New York.”

Seguin added, “We have a really close-knit team that enjoys working together on exciting projects. Our crew is very savvy and hardworking, and they manage to maintain a great work/life balance even as the studio delivers VFX for some of the most popular shows on television.”

Seguin is a member of the Visual Effects Society and the Post New York Alliance. Prior to making the transition to television and feature work, her experience was primarily in national broadcast and commercial projects, which included campaigns for Wendy’s, Garnier, and Optimum. She is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Telecommunications. Born in Toronto, Seguin is a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S.

  • Monday, Apr. 23, 2018
Jens Mebes named NY creative director for Eight VFX
Jens Mebes

Eight VFX, the New York and Los Angeles-based visual effects, design and production studio, has named Jens Mebes to the position of creative director for its New York office. The announcement was made by Abbe Daniel, the New York-based executive producer for Eight VFX, and by the company’s partners, creative director Jean-Marc Demmer and managing director Baptiste Andrieux.

Mebes joins the office just a few months after Daniel was named to be its new executive producer. The pair had previously worked together at the New York office of Digital Kitchen. In addition, Mebes has held creative director posts at Psyop and MassMarket, as well as at the New York office of MPC and later at Imaginary Forces.

A graduate of the Art Center College of Design, Mebes has created highly visible brand experiences, won numerous awards and worked with clients such as Under Armour, Audi, Nintendo, Hyundai, Jim Beam, Dolby, Nike and Samsung. He’s also created promotion and identity packages for such networks as ABC, CBS Sports, CNN, HBO and TCM, and has worked directly with such brands as Exxon Mobile and Ford.

“We were looking for a talent experienced in design as well as VFX, and invited Jens to be our New York-based creative director based on his work, his insights and his experience partnering with brands,” said Daniel. “In addition, Jens will be directing projects for us at Eight, and in fact has just wrapped his first job, for Heineken out of digital agency Red Urban, a division of DDB.”

The Heineken project, which comprised three :15 spots, was handled start to finish at Eight VFX, including tabletop live action and liquids as well as design, editorial, CG, finishing and music/sound design. Mebes has led several other projects for Eight, including a campaign for UXIN, the Asian car-trading platform, produced by Superprime and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, for which Eight did design, animation, editorial, color grading and finishing.

Mebes said he was attracted to Eight VFX for several reasons. “I’ve been working as a director, creative director and designer, with a background in graphic design, animation and live action direction, for the last 16 years,” he remarked. “My focus in recent years has been on creating work that aims for what I call a magical realism achieved through an organic fusion of live action, VFX and design. Eight VFX felt like a great fit for me to continue to pursue this goal, not only because of my prior working relationship with Abbe, but also because of their boutique-like attitude and vision in bringing visual stories to life through polished, high end VFX.”

Born in Germany, Mebes was trained in London, Paris and Los Angeles as an art historian, artist and designer – all disciplines he’s combined in his role as a filmmaker and creative director. His work frequently draws on a blending of media and techniques, from live action to design-infused VFX, graphic design, illustration and typography.

In addition to his studies at Art Center, Mebes also studied at the Parsons School of Design in Paris. His work has been recognized by the Typography Annual and the Promax Gold Awards, and he’s the recipient of design awards from the Broadcast Designers Association and the Institute of Graphic Arts. In addition, he’s been the subject of feature articles in such prestigious design journals as Graphis, Communication Arts and Applied Arts Magazine.

“I enjoy the challenge of solving brand communication problems, and I like to draw my audience into brand experiences that are engaging, whether it’s a commercial, a VR experience, an experiential design-driven project or a broadcast identity system,” he said. “That Eight VFX is active in all these disciplines means I’ll have ample opportunity to help create more magical realism for our clients, across the board.”

Eight handles a wide range of assignments, including commercials for brands like Target, Pandora, Puma, Ram Trucks, New York Lottery, Call of Duty, Honda, Perrier and many others. The studio has worked on numerous features, which are handled by both its New York and L.A. offices. Among its recent and notable projects are all the VFX shots for “I, Tonya,” effects work on the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things 2” and “The Orville,” the sci-fi comedy from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. Other credits include “Beasts of No Nation,” “Mother”, “Million Dollar Arm” & “Knight & Day.”

  • Monday, Apr. 23, 2018
Ntropic hires managing director Mileyeva, exec head of production Watson
Alex Mileyeva (l) and Luke Watson

Creative studio Ntropic--which maintains bases of operation in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City--is bolstering its executive leadership team with the hiring of managing director Alex Mileyeva and executive head of production Luke Watson. Mileyeva and Watson will oversee Ntropic’s full range of services, including ideation, design, production, visual effects, AR/VR and brand experiences.

With over 15 years of experience in business operations, client services and program management, Mileyeva will focus on realizing the strategic goals of the business and implementing internal processes that will streamline company operations. Before coming to Ntropic, Mileyeva was an executive director of global operations at international design firm Method with additional tenure at global brand consultancy Interbrand, where she led the project management division. 

Providing hands-on oversight of Ntropic’s creative pipeline, Watson joins from production company Wondros, where he served as head of production. Watson ran Wondros’ direct to brand division called Global, which included a research and insights department, creative development, traditional video production, editorial, distribution, social media, and more. During his two years with the company, Watson was instrumental in transformative successes, including helping Wondros grow from 30 to over 100 people. 

Prior to Wondros, Watson led a group that specialized in making digital content, websites, and apps as executive producer of RED Interactive Agency. Before RED, Watson spent 12 years as a VP with boutique production company MRB, creating broadcast spots and promos. 

Watson’s career highlights include a feel good Super Bowl spot for Pepsi directed by The Barbarian Group’s Chris Mantzaris, and a striking Oscar spot directed by Antoine Fuqua for Walmart. His most rewarding work, however, has been delivering impactful creative messaging and execution for nonprofits and NGOs. Launching this month is a campaign for the federal government titled “All of Us,” which seeks to recruit a more inclusive population of medical research participants.

Ntropic founder and executive creative director Nate Robinson said of Mileyeva and Watson, “By adding this smart and savvy duo as an anchor for the strategic and execution side of the business, our artists can feel supported and empowered to provide clients with their best work.”

  • Friday, Apr. 20, 2018
Isobar appoints Deb Boyda as U.S. CEO
Deb Boyda

Global digital agency Isobar has named Deb Boyda as its U.S. CEO, She will focus on driving growth and pushing the innovation agenda. Boyda will oversee all U.S. operations for the agency that now counts 562 employees across offices in New York, Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Detroit and Denver.

Boyda joins Isobar from SapientRazorfish where she oversaw growth in the Chicago and Austin offices as Central Region president for the past four years. Prior, Boyda was VP and general manager at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, where she led the marketing for top brands including Skinnygirl, Courvoisier and Pinnacle. Boyda’s career has spanned several decades and includes leadership roles at Miller Brewing Company, Ogilvy and Mather, Leo Burnett and EuroRSCG. 

“In finding the right CEO for Isobar we were looking for a great leader who’s passionate about brands, creativity and experience-led transformation,” said Nick Brien, CEO, Americas, Dentsu Aegis Network. “Deb brings together all of these ingredients and will be a key driver propelling Isobar to the next level in the critical U.S. market.”

Isobar global CEO Jean Lin said, “Deb has a fantastic track record, experience and expertise, with a background across creative agencies, client side and consulting. She will help drive Isobar US forward to deliver our idea-led experience and digital transformation proposition in the marketplace.”

Boyda described Isobar as “a dynamic company with a huge emphasis on creativity and technology. Isobar’s position at the intersection of agencies and consultancies is a perfect springboard for success.”

Boyda will report to Brien and be based out of the agency’s Chicago office.

  • Friday, Apr. 20, 2018
Sweetshop promotes Carolyn Pedrossian to head of production for U.S. operations
Carolyn Pedrossian

Carolyn Pedrossian has been promoted to head of production of Sweetshop’s U.S. operations. 

Pedrossian has been with Sweetshop since 2017 as bidding producer. In her new role, she will join the U.S. management team and oversee all productions that come out of the U.S. office. 

Laura Macauley Thoel, managing director of Sweetshop’s U.S. operations, said, “Carolyn has really impressed me with her dedication, creativity and smarts. She’s been a driving force behind a lot of our key jobs, and has done it by focusing on facilitating the best possible expression of an idea no matter the timings or hurdles or budget. We couldn’t be more excited about her taking the lead production role, affecting the work, the growth, and the culture of the Sweetshop itself.”

Pedrossian has had stints at production companies, including HSI and at Superprime, working with directors the Malloys, David LaChapelle, James Gray and Joseph Kahn. She has partnered with agencies, including McCann, Wieden + Kennedy, CP+B, Leo Burnett, Grey/Townhouse, Deutsch, 72 and Sunny and mcgarrybowen, and with brands such as Chrysler, Honda, Land Rover, Target, Walmart, Ulta, Wet & Wild, Google, Verizon, Pepsi, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Venus and Mastercard. 

  • Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018
Dain Larson joins Morsekode as creative director
Dain Larson

Morsekode has brought Dain Larson on board as creative director. Larson comes over from Space 150 where he was a senior art director. He also did art and design stints at Fallon and Olson, and holds a BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

“I joined up with this shop because of the incredibly positive work environment, the clients, the people--and the quality of the work Morsekode is producing,” said Larson. “I’m in to help push this great agency to new creative heights.” 

Agency CEO Mark Morse noted, “For a young creative director, Dain has a unique maturity to his work; fresh yet brand appropriate. This perspective is exactly what we need as a digital-centric brand creative agency — to energize both our creative DNA and the business of our growth-oriented clients.”

  • Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018
Agency vet David Verhoef joins The Cabinet as partner/CEO
David Verhoef

Advertising production veteran David Verhoef has joined production and postproduction collective The Cabinet as partner/CEO, alongside partner/director/editor Doug Cox and executive producer Jim Vaughan. 

“Budgets have become increasingly tight in the past few years, and as a freelance agency producer I found that I was acting more and more as a production line producer myself to be able to make the budgets work,” said Verhoef. “Via The Cabinet, I now have all the tools at my disposal to make great content, no matter how challenging the budget.”

Cox and Verhoef met 10 years ago, when both were on staff at Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco. “When you spend 15 hours a day in an edit studio together and don’t kill each other, you are pretty much friends for life,” Cox noted. “David was one of those buttoned-up guys who made my job easier, and, in return, I did the best I could to deliver the caliber of work he expected. This partnership, for me, was only a matter of time.” Bringing the association full circle is Riney’s newest Blue Diamond Almonds campaign, which Cox is directing and editing.

Of his new partner, Verhoef said, “Doug is one of the most talented individuals I’ve been fortunate enough to work with in my career. A director, an editor, you name it. I consider him a national-level talent who just happens to live in San Francisco.”

Verhoef’s career spans three decades and has yielded an array of award-winning work for global brands including Nissan, Converse, Coke, McDonald’s and Microsoft.  In addition to his dozens of industry awards as a producer, he has also been honored with a Cannes Gold Lion as a copywriter and Art Directors Club Best of Show as a director.

“With David and Jim, we now have two of the best agency producers in the business,” said Cox, noting that The Cabinet prides itself at coming up with creative solutions to insure every possible penny is represented on the screen.” He added, “We make the process painless because we’ve been in the trenches. Whether you need help finishing something you cut in-house or need full tilt production support from start to finish, we’re here to help.”

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