• Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019
Rob Lenois joins VaynerMedia as chief creative officer
Rob Lenois
NEW YORK -- 

Rob Lenois will join VaynerMedia as chief creative officer on November 4. He will report to CEO and co-founder Gary Vaynerchuk. Lenois comes over from Grey New York where he spent nine years, most recently as deputy chief creative officer.

In his capacity as deputy CCO at Grey NY, Lenois was responsible for creating business-driving, award-winning work for clients such as Volvo, Febreze, Hasbro and Darden Restaurants. During his tenure there, the agency was awarded its first-ever Grand Prix Lion, Titanium Lion and Creative Effectiveness Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Lenois first gained the industry’s attention as associate creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, where he helped launch a campaign for the inaugural non-stop flight from New York to Tahiti for Air Tahiti Nui. He then went to BBDO New York, where he helped Cingular Wireless transition to AT&T. Upon rejoining Saatchi & Saatchi, Lenois was a key leader on the Miller High Life and Wendy’s groups. In addition to Cannes, Lenois’ work has been recognized at virtually every top international creative show, including the One Show, D&AD, Clios and AICP Show.

VaynerMedia has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London and Singapore, and clients include Anheuser-Busch InBev, GE, JPMorgan Chase, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Royal Bank of Scotland and ScottsMiracle-Gro.

“My first encounter with VaynerMedia was through Gary’s social content. I connected with his idea of putting people first,” said Lenois. “But once I got to the agency and met with Gary and the team in person, I saw that ‘people-first’ isn’t just some marketing jumbo but is very real in the culture. I was also struck by the energy and the tenacity of the agency. Everywhere I turned, people were making and doing: filming, editing, animating and podcasting. In an industry where some of the best ideas don’t make it past a PDF, I was hooked by the culture of ‘make and share.’ VaynerMedia is changing the game. They won four Cannes Lions this year, which speaks to their creative prowess and their ability to deliver business results for their clients. I look forward to building on that momentum and creating more results-driven work.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019
Drew Balke promoted to editor at WAX
Drew Balke
NEW YORK -- 

Boutique post shop WAX has promoted assistant editor Drew Balke to editor.

He originally joined WAX as it was getting off the ground. Balke’s stay at WAX has taken him behind-the-scenes with leading brands. He has worked on projects for Wrangler ICON’s “Fall Winter 2019” Collection, Under Armour’s “Project Rock” campaign featuring three-time Olympic medalist skier Lindsey Vonn, Peloton Tread’s “Uncharted” spot directed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister as well as working on Hennessy’s “Major” campaign, which garnered an AICP Show honor for editing (cut by Paul Watts, with Balke as assistant editor) in 2019.

WAX founder and executive producer Toni Lipari said, “It’s been so exciting watching Drew navigate his career; he has grown tremendously over the past few years and has really pushed himself to find his creative voice. His raw talent, ambition and drive prove that he has what it takes to be a great editor.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019
Nice Shoes adds colorist Yulia Bulashenko
Yulia Bulashenko
NEW YORK -- 

Nice Shoes has expanded its Toronto location, adding colorist Yulia Bulashenko. She brings over seven years of experience as a freelance colorist, working on projects with such global clients as Nike, Volkswagen, MTV, Toyota, Diesel, Uniqlo, Uber, Adidas and Zara. Notable projects include Sia and Diplo’s (LSD) music video for “Audio”; “Sound and Vision,” a tribute to the late singer David Bowie directed by CANADA for whom she has been a colorist of choice for the past five years; and feature films The Girl From The Song and Gold. Bulashenko is available immediately and will be based out of Nice Shoes’ Toronto studio, while also available remotely via Nice Shoes’ New York, Boston, Chicago, and Minneapolis spaces.

Bulashenko began her career as a fashion photographer, organically transitioning into creating fashion films. Through handling all of the postproduction on her own film projects, she discovered a passion for the nuanced art of color. After building relationships with a number of collaborators, she began taking on projects as a freelance colorist, working with clients in Spain and the U.K. and quickly establishing herself as a sought-after talent on a wide range of projects throughout Europe, Mexico, Qatar, and India.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019
David Trumpf named head of design at BBH NY
David Trumpf
NEW YORK -- 

BBH NY has named David Trumpf as its head of design. Reporting to chief creative officer Gerard Caputo, Trumpf will be charged with enhancing creative output by incorporating design discipline into projects across the agency, including work for clients Grubhub, Amex and FanDuel. 

Trumpf has nearly 20 years of experience as a designer on both digital and print projects. During his seven years at R/GA he worked with brands including Nike, Unilever, Verizon, Pepsi, The Ad Council and L’Oréal. In addition, Trumpf worked as an independent creative for various brands including The Gap, Major League Baseball and Coca-Cola. 

“Design should be part of any organization that wants to be known for creative excellence and design is imperative to the creatively driven agenda of BBH. It’s more than just making stuff look good - design is key to modern creativity. It’s how we bring our ideas to life and make them land with relevance in the world on any platform. It’s craft and caring about the details. At its best design is conceptual and strategic,” said Caputo. “David will help position BBH as one of the best in the industry in this space.”

Trumpf said, “The role of design is constantly evolving to meet rapidly-changing user expectations and many agencies struggle to adapt to this environment. When I first met the team at BBH I knew this was the right place to launch fresh ideas and adopt different ways of thinking.”

Trumpf’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Design of Atlanta (MODA) and The Museum of Arts and Design of New York (MAD) as part of the collective “We-Are-Familia.” He is also the co-founder and current creative director of design publication Chalet Magazine, which explores cities from the perspective of a bicycle.

  • Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
Angela Zepeda named CMO of Hyundai Motor America
Angela Zepeda
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- 

Hyundai Motor America has named Angela Zepeda, sr. VP and managing director at its agency of record Innocean USA, as its new chief marketing officer. Zepeda will be responsible for all of Hyundai’s marketing and advertising activities in the U.S., including the strategic direction, brand development, national and regional advertising, experiential marketing, digital and social media, brand partnerships, and lead generation, among other responsibilities. She will report to Hyundai Motor America COO Brian Smith.

At Innocean USA, Zepeda handled all operations for the Hyundai business including creative, planning and media operations. She was initially hired by the agency to head up business development.

“In the three years Angela has been at Innocean USA, we have seen the positive results of her leadership as the agency has grown both internally and externally,” said Steve Jun, CEO and President, Innocean USA. “We are excited that we will continue working with Angela in her new role at Hyundai, as we know the experience she brings as a leader will certainly bolster all of their marketing efforts.”

Zepeda is a seasoned marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience. She has built a career on consumer-centric campaigns that build brands and drive business results, and is an expert in online and digital marketing.

“It’s a great honor to be going in-house at Hyundai and I’m excited by the challenge of leading the marketing team during this transitional time for the automotive industry,” said Zepeda. “Hyundai is a brand on an upward trajectory with sales growth that outpaces the industry, a revamped product lineup, and a laser focus on the customer experience. I’m looking forward to getting started and building upon the marketing department’s recent successes and accomplishments.”

Hyundai’s Smith said, “Angela is a dynamic and accomplished marketer with an impressive depth of experience across the entire marketing spectrum and will be an outstanding addition to our leadership team. Angela was already a member of our extended family and we’ve seen firsthand her creativity, business acumen and talent in building our brand and leading teams. She is well-respected by the entire organization and our dealers, and will be able to seamlessly transition to leading the marketing function here at Hyundai.”

Previous to Innocean, Zepeda was CEO of Quigley-Simpson in Los Angeles, where she oversaw all aspects of the agency—from brand leadership to new business development to operational efficiencies. Before that, Zepeda was CMO of Campbell Ewald Los Angeles, where she played a key role in growing the agency’s business. Zepeda has also worked at some of Los Angeles’ best-known agencies, including TBWA\Chiat\Day, Team One, Rapp, Doner, and FCB, providing counsel to clients in the automotive, healthcare, financial services and packaged goods industries.

Zepeda is also an expert in marketing to women, with a keen understanding of the emotional triggers involved in women’s retail habits. She has spoken on the topic at various conferences, including the ISSM CONVERGE Conference, the WLN Conference, the M2W Conference in Chicago, and the Marketing to Women Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Zepeda holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Advertising from California State University, Fullerton. She is a member of thinkLA, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation and held board positions with the Susan G. Komen organization and the LA Grant Foundation.

Zepeda replaces Dean Evans as CMO, who after four successful years has decided to depart Hyundai to pursue other career opportunities. Sean Gilpin, VP of media planning at Innocean USA will be the interim team lead while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement for Zepeda.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
MPC promotes Louise Unwin to head of production in London
Louise Unwin
LONDON -- 

Moving Picture Company (MPC) has promoted Louise Unwin from sr. producer to head of production for its London studio.

Since joining MPC in 2016, Unwin has been instrumental in producing memorable projects such as the award-winning Easyjet “Imagine” and Mailchimp campaigns both directed by The Sacred Egg, BT Sport’s “Being Dele Alli” with director Pedro Martin-Calero, Marks & Spencer’s “Spend it Well” with François Rousselet, and Bose’s “Get Closer” with Jaron Albertin.

Unwin began her career at Click 3X in New York before working her way up to VFX Producer at The Mill, London. This was later followed by stints at Envy and Freefolk.

  • Monday, Oct. 14, 2019
Josh Mandel named managing director/president of The Mill LA
Josh Mandel
LOS ANGELES -- 

Josh Mandel, a high-profile executive in the advertising industry, has joined The Mill’s studio in Los Angeles as managing director/president. Mandel brings two decades of experience including opening R/GA LA to strategically service Beats by Dre. Prior to that, he held leadership roles in both strategy and marketing at 72&Sunny, 180Amsterdam, Wieden+Kennedy and Nike. He also built and ran the internal creative studio of Hip-Hop music pioneer All Def. Mandel’s commitment to growth and diversity of experience has seen him work across Europe, Mexico and the U.S. 

Mandel’s appointment reinforces the focus of The Mill in partnering with clients to deliver cutting-edge creative work. The Los Angeles studio is recognized for pioneering first-of-their-kind experiential and creative technology initiatives, such as the recent collaboration with Cashmere Cat and Jake Schreier on the groundbreaking music video, “Emotions.” The latest installment of the Apex Legends collaboration, “Meltdown Launch Trailer,” reached over 6 million views on YouTube within a week of launch. The studio also added to its portfolio of iconic commercial work with multiple USA Today Ad Meter-rated spots for Super Bowl 53, as well as other work that continues to be recognized with accolades from the AICP Show, Cannes Lions, and The Webbys.

Robin Shenfield, The Mill’s CEO and co-founder commented, “A recurrent theme in Josh’s background is his association with great creative work, his business development acumen and breadth of strategic experience; skills that will provide the vision to execute world-class work and enhance our culture of excellence. Josh’s collaborative personality is well-suited to The Mill.”

Mandel said, “Our business at its core is about creative problem solving, and no one is better at that than The Mill. I’ve had the good fortune to have previously worked with The Mill on industry-defining work while on the agency side and am beyond excited as we forge ahead with new technologies and the stories they can unleash.”

  • Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
Juliet Tierney joins Nexus Studios in LA as EP for spots, branded content 
Juliet Tierney
LONDON -- 

Nexus Studios has brought producer Juliet Tierney on board its Los Angeles office to serve as executive producer for commercials and branded content.

Before joining Nexus Studios, she led Ntropic’s L.A. studio as EP and was head of production at Eight VFX where her team’s work was highlighted in the Oscar nominated I, Tonya and the FOX sci-fi primetime show The Orville (created by Seth McFarlane).

Her career began in London, working for production companies such as Great Guns and Love as well as agencies including Wieden+Kennedy, Fallon and Mother, producing the notable Orange ‘Goldspot’ ads featuring Rob Lowe, Snoop Dogg, Angelica Houston and others.

Tierney said, “I’ve always been a huge fan of Nexus Studios and the work they do. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with the team during my recent years in VFX and am extremely excited to be part of the company expanding the creative vision in L.A.”

Nexus Studios’ co-founder and ECD Christopher O’Reilly said of Tierney, “She has a great understanding of the evolving landscape of commercial production here. From our previous collaborations we know her to be a resourceful and intelligent executive with great experience. She has worked at a high level in strong creative agencies but also has large scale practical animation and VFX production skills.”

  • Friday, Oct. 11, 2019
VJ Anand joins VaynerMedia Singapore as ECD
VJ Anand
SINGAPORE -- 

VJ Anand will be joining VaynerMedia Singapore in November as executive creative director, SVP. In this role, he will oversee the agency’s creative product in the Asia-Pacific region and report to Avery Akkineni, head of VaynerMedia Singapore. Anand was most recently SVP of creative at Indonesia’s first and largest decacorn startup, Gojek. 

Anand’s appointment is the latest hire since VaynerMedia Singapore opened its Asia-Pacific operation in July this year. 

“The Asia-Pacific region is an important market for our clients, therefore it was imperative to establish our presence here,” said Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia. “Our Singapore office is growing and VJ is a key hire as we continue to scale our business in the region.” 

At Gojek, Anand led the company’s internal creative agency where he built and spearheaded creative, social media, digital, events, activation and in-app content for the brand. Prior to joining Gojek, Anand was executive creative director at BBDO Malaysia and TBWA Malaysia, working on clients such as Fonterra, Taylor’s University, Guardian, UMobile and Mercedes. At TBWA Group Malaysia, Anand played a key role in helping the group become Malaysia’s number one creative agency in several award shows. Throughout his career, Anand has been recognized by Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia, New York Festivals and the London International Awards. 

Anand said, “We live in a world where social is first. After being client-side at a tech giant, I could see the need in this market for an agency that can marry content, media and social well, and VaynerMedia is that. I was also stoked after talking to Gary and learning how being an independent agency makes us more nimble. His people-first and empathy-focused philosophy really hit the spot for me.” 

  • Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019
Joint hires Nirad “Bugs” Russell as EP specializing in VFX
Nirad "Bugs" Russell
PORTLAND, Ore. -- 

Joint, a creative post production company, has hired Nirad “Bugs” Russell as an executive producer.

Russell is relocating to Portland from New York City where he most recently freelanced as a senior VFX producer at The Mill.

Originally from South Africa, Russell first fell in love with VFX and postproduction during a stint at The Mill London beginning in 2002. Since that time, he’s done work at Absolute Post in London and New York; and later, worked as an executive producer in the New York office of Mass Market until 2015.

In that time, Russell has worked with a number of notable directors on lauded campaigns such as the AT&T “It Can Wait” PSA campaign, “Close to Home,” directed by Frederic Planchon and the Hennessy spot, “The Piccards,” directed by Daniel Wolfe, both of which were shortlisted for best VFX honors in multiple shows. Other noteworthy VFX campaigns produced by Russell include PlayStation’s “Skyrim” and Adidas’ “Never Finish.”

Patty Brebner, director of Joint and W+K Studios, said of Russell, “His passion for creative storytelling and pedigree collaborating with the best VFX artists and directors in the industry made him an obvious choice to lead this team and grow our capabilities.”

Russell will oversee a team of visual effects supervisors and artists (including CG and animation) and color talent.

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