- SAN FRANCISCO
Award-winning creative agency Eleven has hired Andre Gray as executive creative director. Operating out of the San Francisco office, Grey will lead creative development with chief creative officer Mike McKay for Eleven’s diverse portfolio of clients including Samsung, Pella, JSX, Electrify America and Dignity Health.
Gray most recently worked at TBWA/NEBOKO’s Amsterdam location, serving as the global creative director for Adidas and Gatorade. Since 2017, Gray developed widely recognized creative for TBWA/NEBOKO clients, including the praised “Goodbye Gravity” for Adidas’ ULTRABOOST products. Prior to 2017, Gray held creative positions at various agencies and brands, including Sid Lee, Digitas, Havas and Uber, working with brands like Adidas, Nike, Nissan, Reebok, and Babybel. Gray graduated from Amherst College with a degree in Black Studies and remains connected with the liberal arts college to advance diversity and impactful education.
“As the agency continues to expand into Chicago and New York, space has been created for an ECD in the San Francisco office, and Andre’s experience working on iconic brands like Adidas, Gatorade, Uber and Reebok made him the ideal candidate,” said McKay. “But more importantly, Eleven isn’t merely adding another top-tier creative, but we’re bringing in a genuinely good person--which is a core requirement of anyone hired here at Eleven.”
Gray shared, “For many, from the outside looking in, this might seem like an opportune time to stay in Europe. From my perspective, it’s actually an opportune time to return and use my new opportunity as ECD at Eleven to push American culture forward. As an agency, Eleven is a trendsetter for cultivating talent and culture without leveraging and appropriating, and I look forward to building upon this and learning from storied creatives such as our CCO, Mike McKay.”
In his new position, Gray will build on Eleven’s legacy of developing design-focused creative work while also wrapping in narratives that seamlessly integrate into American culture. Gray has long emphasized authenticity’s role as the centerpiece of advertising and the ability of consumers to differentiate genuineness from inauthenticity, or “just another ad” in the consumers’ perception. According to Gray, the best ads communicate at the level of the people, and they must be as good, if not better, than any other cultural item out there.”