Shari Walczak and Shane Ogilvie, former Zulu Alpha Kilo (ZAK) executives, have left their posts at the agency to open up creative company The Garden.
Ogilvie, previously ZAK’s executive creative director, and Walczak, formerly its executive planning director, promise a holistic approach to The Garden’s creative offering, which includes making marketers a part of the entire process and working with all divisions of a company to design and deliver the best possible brand experience.
“It can no longer be just about buying impressions; it has to be about making them,” said Walczak. “The customer now controls the conversation, which means the experience has to align with the promise at every point of contact.”
Ogilvie and Walczak said The Garden will employ a unique model wherein teams of experts will be custom built and brought in to address specific problems. They could include technologists, interior designers or even hospitality consultants. It’s not just about writers and art directors anymore.
“The problem to be solved drives the decision on who’s brought in,” said Ogilvie.
“Of course, everyone is asking ‘will you still make advertising’ and the answer is yes, if that’s what the solution dictates, but we’re also happy to partner with a company’s AOR, in-house creative department or a third-party content creator to bring an idea to life,” added Walczak.
The Garden is currently working with several companies who have shown interest in the new model and hope to announce some formal partnerships in the coming weeks.
Ogilvie has over 15 years of industry experience at some of the most creative agencies in both in Canada and the US and has worked on some of North America’s biggest brands, including Bell, Coca-Cola, Corona, Tabasco, Capital One, Audi and Budweiser. Ogilvie’s work has been awarded both at home and around the world, including Cannes Lions, The Clios, The New York Festivals and London International, among others.
Walczak has over 20 years of industry experience, and has applied creative problem solving techniques to the business challenges of some of the country’s biggest brands including Interac, Corona, Cineplex Entertainment, ING Direct (now Tangerine), Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola and ParticipACTION.