After a year-long global search, Zulu Alpha Kilo has found its newest executive creative director much closer to home: Brian Murray who was most recently chief creative officer at Ogilvy Canada in Toronto. During his time at Ogilvy, Murray led a creative renaissance, resulting in numerous Cannes Lions, and Ogilvy being named the fourth most effective agency in North America by the 2020 Effie Awards, and the only Canadian agency in the top 10.
Murray has consistently ranked amongst Canada’s top creatives and is also one of the country’s few creatives with an MBA (from the University of Toronto’s prestigious Rotman business school). It was Murray’s creative pedigree, grounded in creative excellence and a true understanding of clients’ business, that Zulu founder and CCO Zak Mroueh said attracted him. “What I love about Brian’s work is it’s smart, creative and for real brands. There’s substance to his creativity and there’s a business purpose behind the ideas.” Mroueh had been following Brian’s trajectory and career for many years and had tried to hire him in the past.
During his career, Murray has won hundreds of awards, including international recognition from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, Clios and Webbys. He has worked on B2B, B2C and CRM platforms and led campaigns for brands including American Express, BMW, Cadbury, CIBC, Dove, Honda, Huggies, Kleenex, Mercedes-Benz, Miele, Nordstrom, Pfizer, Pizza Hut, Post Foods, Starbucks and Telus.
Also notable among Murray’s recent accomplishments is the Dove “Courage is Beautiful” campaign, celebrating frontline healthcare workers. The campaign was adapted for 15 global markets, achieved 2 billion+ earned PR views, and made the cover of The New York Times. It has also donated $5 million+ in badly needed supplies to battle against COVID-19.
Murray started his career as a copywriter at Lowe Roche in Toronto. He then moved to the U.K., working at DraftFCB and Publicis Modem in London. Upon returning to Canada, Murray worked as group creative director at Cundari, where he was part of the team behind a remarkable run of great work, including the successful viral films Helipad, Walls and Bullet for BMW’s line of high-performance M vehicles. Before joining Ogilvy Canada, he was creative director at doug&partners in Toronto.
Murray described Zulu Alpha Kilo as “one of Canada’s most innovative independent agencies” with “an incredibly talented team and an inspiring global vision.”
Mroueh added, “I can’t wait to see Brian’s creative contributions to the agency and our clients. He’s got such a strong following of creatives who love working for him.”