SOCIALDEVIANT has hired Hart Rusen as its chief creative officer and launched its own content production studio, All Oars. The moves come as the seven-year-old, Chicago-based ad agency--under the aegis of CEO/founder Marc Landsberg and president Linda Johnson--has built major momentum. Over the past 12 months, SOCIALDEVIANT added assignments from the likes of Lagunitas, CareerBuilder, Disney Channel, E & .J. Gallo Winery and Sam’s Club to a roster that already included Procter & Gamble, Red Wing Shoes and Hanna Andersson. Its most recent win is Forge Global, the San-Francisco-based stock market for private companies. According to Landsberg, SOCIALDEVIANT has had a year-over-year revenue surge of nearly 70 percent.
Industry vet Rusen has created Cannes Lion-winning and Super Bowl-scoring work for brands like Doritos and Cheetos, respectively. He’s worked as a team leader and writer at ad agencies, design firms and in-house marketing groups of all shapes and sizes for more than 20 years. Highlights include his leading creative efforts at Mekanism to unite Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. As group creative director at Publicis, he helped the T-Mobile brand flourish after a failed acquisition by AT&T. At Goodby Silverstein & Partners, he resurrected the Cheetos mascot, Chester Cheetah, tapping into his alter ego and landing him on the Super Bowl. He also helped create a first-person interactive horror website for Doritos, “Hotel 626,” which won numerous Cannes Lions, One Show and D&AD honors. Other clients benefiting from his sharp and strategic creative skills include Hyundai, HP, Budweiser, REI, Comcast, Nike, Oregon Lottery, Boeing and Papa Murphy’s.
“From my first meetings with Marc and Linda, I knew they were building something special with SOCIALDEVIANT and I really wanted to be a part of it,” said Rusen. “Especially when they talked about their willingness to take risks and place big bets. I share their conviction to develop creative work that pushes boundaries, as well as delivers. We won’t settle for the mundane. We want our brand stories to engage, entertain and inspire.”
Coinciding with Rusen’s hire, SOCIALDEVIANT has taken over 2,400 feet of adjacent space in its downtown Chicago headquarters to build out its All Oars studio. This will allow the agency to expand and enhance its creative and content production capabilities spanning live-action production, photo and art production, motion design/ animation, postproduction, and more.
“With Hart onboard and with the opening of our new studio, we’re now able to demonstrate that we are makers in every sense of the word,” said Johnson.