Former Deutsch L.A. Partner Kyle Acquistapace Joins Supermoon as President

Santa Monica agency Supermoon, which counts Jessica Alba‘s The Honest Company, Ancestry, Custom Ink, and Campbell’s Fresh/Bolthouse Farms among its clients, hired Deutsch L.A. veteran Kyle Acquistapace as president and managing partner. He joins founding partners CEO Amir Haque, executive creative director David DeRoma, director of strategy Jill Burgeson, and group account director Nicole Rowett at the agency. The latter three are also veterans of the Deutsch organization.

Acquistapace spent sixteen years with Deutsch L.A., including serving as partner, director of media and data strategy from June of 2006 through last September. He originally joined the agency seven years earlier and served as executive vice president, group media director during that period, working with clients including Mitsubishi and Expedia. Acquistapace has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California for the past nine years.


“Kyle’s take on leadership is hands-on and human, a perfect match for Supermoon,” Haque said in a statement. “He’s a champion of a disciplined form of advertising: creative and strategic, and always in the service of building a brand’s business.”

“I wanted to help create something great again, surrounded by passionate people who trust each other,” Acquistapace added. “I believe there’s an evolved form of agency out there waiting to be built, an agency based on creativity and reason and fairness. And I’ve found the right group of people to bring it to life.”

Supermoon specializes in serving companies as they move through the “second stage” of their life cycles. No longer startups, these companies are looking to expand their consumer bases in the interest of long-term success.

“Second-stage companies reach a point where they can’t grow anymore,” Haque says, adding, “We help people people break through that wall.”

Deutsch Names Craig Ward as EVP, Head of Design

Crag Ward joined the New York office of Deutsch as executive vice president, head of design, beginning the job at the start of September.

“Our design department is ever-expanding and we needed a leader that would be able to elevate it even more to compete with the best in design and advertising. Craig’s an incredible talent and incredibly nice – we’re lucky to have him,” said Dan Kelleher, CCO of Deutsch’s New York office.

Ward arrived at Deutsch from The Words Are Pictures Studio, the agency he founded nearly five years ago where he served as designer and creative director. At The Words Are Pictures Studio, Ward worked with clients including Nike, Calvin Klein, Adobe, Google, Hennessy, The Guardian and The New York Times. Prior to setting out on his own, Ward spent over two years as lead designer and art director for Grey New York, where he worked with brands including the NFL, Ketel One, Canon and DirecTV. That followed two years as senior designer with CHI & Partners providing art direction and design for pan-European campaigns for Lexus, TalkTalk, Britsh Gas and The Times.

“There’s a great energy at the agency and things feel poised to pop,” said Ward. “I look forward to shaping the already talented design team at Deutsch into something even more dynamic and formidable.”

General Mills Insists That Its Future Agencies Meet Specific Diversity Quotas

Yesterday, General Mills CMO Ann Simonds revealed to AdAge that the company has some very specific diversity requirements for its creative review: it wants its agencies’ creative departments to be staffed with at least 50 percent women and 20 percent people of color. Regarding the new quotas, she added, “we are very excited about that. If you are going to put people you serve first, the most important thing is to live up to it and make it a key criteria.”

Simonds is leading that review — which was launched a little over a month ago and originally thought to be closed — along with CCO and former Fallon chief strategy officer Michael Fanuele. Fanuele told AdAge the goal of the review is to find “one core agency to handle the bulk [of the work] but to supplement with other partners, which might be technology platforms or media partners,” or, put another way, “an anchor agency supplemented with a roster of interesting partners.”

According to our sources, the review is now down to three unnamed finalists from a pool including 72andSunny, McCann, Deutsch, Mother, Ogilvy and a Publicis “holding company solution.”

Fanuele told AdAge that McCann pitching as an IPG holding company solution remained a possibility, saying, “The clay is still wet on the proposal,” and “This an exercise in finding the right partners, not the right model.”

The fact that the diversity requirements specifically target agency creative departments is telling. It speaks to recent discussions spurred by groups like the The 3% Conference, whose most recent survey found that just 11.5 percent of agency creative directors are female.

The significance of the diversity requirements and the possibility it may impact other brands in the future is not lost on Simonds. “It feels like a first,” she said. “I think it’s rare and it is important.”

So far there’s no word on how, exactly, General Mills plans to enforce these requirements … or how quickly the agencies in question are scrambling to meet them.

AB InBev Picks Deutsch as Lead Creative Agency for Busch, Busch Light

Anheuser-Busch InBev appointed Deutsch as lead creative agency for its family of Busch brands, which includes Busch, Busch Light and Busch Ice.

“Anheuser-Busch is the undisputed leader in the value beer segment, with Busch and Busch Light representing two of the Top 10 best-selling beers in the United States. As part of our ambition to continue to grow share and revitalize these important brands, we are pleased to add Deutsch to our roster as the lead creative agency for the Busch family of beers,” Anheuser-Busch senior director of value brands Chelsea Phillips said in a statement.

She went on to cite Deutsch’s “track record of inventive, award-winning CPG and beverage campaigns,” adding, “They’ve hit the ground running, bringing great energy and ideas to the table, and we look forward to a strong and productive partnership.”

The appointment comes without a review, as AB InBev reached out to Deutsch, which an AB InBev representative told Adweek is “an agency our marketing team has been watching.”

Previously, AB InBev worked with St. Louis agency Group360 on its Busch brands. Group360 will continue to work on some aspects of the account, even with Deutsch taking over lead creative duties. The client has also worked with 72andSunny, which crafted the brand’s “Busch Heroes” broadcast campaign in early 2014 but doesn’t appear to have worked with the client since then.

Deutsch deferred to the client when asked to comment. The IPG agency’s New York office will lead this account.

The appointment follows Uber picking Deutsch as its first U.S. agency partner earlier this month following a review. Back in May, the agency also won creative AOR duties for Pandora shortly after losing the Pizza Hut account to Droga5 and going through a subsequent round of layoffs in its L.A. office.

AB In Bev also transferred creative duties on another of its major brands, Bud Light, from BBDO to W+K last summer.

Jägermeister Picks Opperman Weiss as Its Global Creative Agency

In news that we missed last week, Jägermeister appointed Opperman Weiss as its lead global creative agency, tasked with launching a heritage campaign for the brand next year. Deutsch New York has handled the brand’s U.S. creative since being awarded those duties following a 2014 internal review.

Opperman Weiss was selected “based on prior relationships it had with the spirits brand,” co-founder Jeff Weiss told AdAge

Jeff Popkin, CEO of Sidney Frank, the company that imports Jägermeister in the U.S., said Opperman Weiss was able to “connect with and immediately look into the brand and articulate the story that has yet to be told.” 

That language hints at what Jägermeister and Opperman Weiss have in store for next year’s campaign. While the brand, which Popkin said was “built in North America” on Jager bombs, will not completely shy away from its party image, the campaign, he said, aims to “reintroduce Jägermeister to current consumers and introduce it to a new generation of consumers who will be surprised by the level of detail and meticulous planning that goes into the brand.”

The work will mark Jägermeister’s first national brand campaign in five years. While more recent spending information doesn’t seem to be available, the brand spent around $5.6 million on U.S. measured media in the first nine months of 2013, according to AdAge, and Popkin told the publication the current budget is “easily double that.” The effort will include broadcast, digital, mobile, OOH, experiential and influencer marketing initiatives and is expected in the first quarter of 2017.

Deutsch Announces a Reorganization of Its New York Office

Following the departure of chief strategy officer Anush Prabhu for MediaCom, Deutsch New York CEO Val DiFebo announced a reorganization of the New York office’s media, communications planning and data teams, which were overseen by Prabhu. The move also follows the recent hiring of Rachel Mercer as vice president, digital strategy director and the arrival of New York chief strategy officer Andrew Dawson in March.

Post-Prabhu, the agency has realigned its data, tech, communications planning and creative teams.

“There has been a natural gravitation and a growing collaboration occurring between our tech and data departments, as well as our creative and comms planning teams,” DiFebo said in a statement. “We have an incredibly strong leadership team already in place who will serve as the key pillars ensuring our continued success. This will optimize our creative and media output.”

Going forward, communications planning will unite with creative. Director of communications planning Matthew George will align more closely with the agency’s creative department, reporting to CCO Dan Kelleher, who arrived at the agency in April. There will also be closer ties between data and tech, as director of data analytics Rich VanSteenburgh will now report to chief technology officer Trevor O’Brien. On the media side, director of integrated media Karen Benson and director of local buying Maureen Burzynski will now report to chief operating officer Erica Grau.

“By bridging the gap between science and art, copy and code, and insight intelligence and emotion intelligence we’ll continue to change the way brands go to market and result in improved bottom lines for our clients,” added DiFebo.

Zambezi Names Justice Erolin as Its First Executive Director of Technology

Los Angeles independent agency Zambezi appointed Justice Erolin as partner, executive director of technology, a newly-created position at the agency.

Erolin joins Zambezi following almost five years at the Los Angeles offices of Deutsch, where he most recently served as SVP, creative technology director. Previous titles included senior creative developer; associate technology director; and vice president, creative technology director. While with Deutsch, he managed all technology efforts for the platform and worked with other clients including Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Playstation, Avvo and Anthem. Prior to joining Deutsch in August of 2011, he worked as a programmer and web developer for companies including AIG SunAmerica, and 

Erolin’s appointment follows the arrivals of group strategy director Ryan Richards and account director Gordon Gray in March and executive director, marketing and business development Josie Brown in May, as well as the agency’s expansion to a new Culver City headquarters.

Former Verizon Pitchman Switches to Sprint in Latest from Deutsch

Chances are you’ll recognize Paul Marcarelli as Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” guy, but in Deutsch’s latest spot for Sprint, he’s switched networks.

“Hey, I’m Paul, and I used to ask if you could ‘hear me now’ with Verzion,” Marcarelli says at the opening of the spot. “Not anymore, I’m with Sprint now,” he continues. The spot keeps things simple, focusing on Marcarelli’s Sprint conversion, which he explains is because “it’s 2016 and every network is great.” So, since you can probably hear him now regardless of network and “Sprint’s reliability is now within one percent of Verizon” (a claim backed up by a recent Nielsen study) it’s not worth paying more for marginally better coverage. (The ad claims “Sprint saves you 50 percent on most Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile rates.”)

It’s a pretty convincing sales point, relying on a simple delivery from a competitor’s former spokesperson. Deutsch and Sprint are clearly relying on that latter point, and Marcarelli’s notoriety from spending a decade in the “Can you hear me now?” role for Verizon to attract viewer attention and hammer the message home. The 30-second broadcast spot made its debut last night during the NBA Finals and will continue to run on cable and broadcast, with support from digital, print and OOH initiatives.

As Adweek points out, Marcarelli’s relationship with Verizon was somewhat contentious for the actor, as outlined in a  2011 profile in The Atlantic. Verizon made him sign a contract greatly restricting his creative and financial responsibilities before eventually firing him via email. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that he would sign on with a competing wireless company. 

“I’ve watched with interest as each of the wireless carriers claims to be the most reliable or the fastest. But what I’ve found is … the ‘better’ that some other national carriers claim about reliability is really less than a 1 percent difference, ” Marcarelli said in a statement, echoing his sentiments from the ad itself. “Does anyone even really notice a difference of less than 1 percent? But when it comes to saving money … Sprint is by far the best choice for consumers. You get a highly reliable network and save 50 percent off most of the rates other national wireless carriers charge. Now that is noticeable.”

The new campaign follows Sprint’s appointment last December of Roger Solé as its new chief marketing officer. Sprint subsequently decided to move more of its production work to its in-house production unit Yellow Fan Studios, resulting in a round of layoffs at Deutsch’s Los Angeles offices. Deutsch’s launch of this new campaign, probably the brand’s most high-profile effort in some while, could possibly help the agency convince Sprint to not move too much creative work to Yellow Fan Studios going forward, especially in the wake of backlash to an in-house effort which some deemed offensive and the brand subsequently pulled

Verizon's Old Pitchman, Paul Marcarelli, Switches to Sprint in Delicious Bit of Backstabbing

The wireless wars have been getting notoriously dirty, and now Sprint has come up with the most deviously clever attack yet—signing up Paul Marcarelli, who worked for years as Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” guy, as its own spokesman.

read more

180LA Adds CD Karan Dang and Several Other New Hires to Its Digital Team

180LA appointed Karan Dang to the role of digital creative director and added several other creatives to its digital team.

The news follows several recent new business wins for the Los Angeles office including ASICS, University of Phoenix and, most prominently, Miller Lite.

“Karan is all about digital first,” said 180LA managing partner and CCO William Gelner. “He brings new thinking to 180LA that will accentuate what we do best – cutting-edge, digitally focused creative.”

Dang arrives at 180LA following Deutsch’s recent downsizing in response to Sprint moving more production work in-house. He served as an associate creative director, digital with Deutsch for nearly a year and a half, working on the agency’s digital accounts for Sprint, Volkswagen USA, Target and Taco Bell. Before joining Deutsch, Dang spent over a year and a half as a senior creative with TBWA Singapore, working with clients including Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Airlines and Great Eastern Life Insurance. Before being named a senior creative, he spent nearly four years as a creative with the agency, working with brands such as SBC, Unilever, Bayer, Silk Airlines, Unilever, Nokia and Microsoft. He’s also spent time as a creative with BBDO/Proximity Singapore and Grey Singapore.

“I have been blown away by the work that 180LA has produced in the past,” said Dang. “I welcome the challenge of making groundbreaking interactive, experiential and social campaigns for stalwart clients. In our mission, we are backed by a bunch of passionate, hungry and talented folks, and a bold leadership team.”

The agency also announced the appointments of Stephen Fahlsing (veteran of several production companies) as executive producer, Jefferson Wu (formerly with TBWAChiatDay) as creative technologist, Stacey Savage (most recently with Meredith) as senior UX designer, Caspar Bock as digital copywriter and Toon Leysen as digital art director.

Snapple Leaps Into the Absurd with Ads That Bring Its Cap Facts Vividly to Life

Real Fact #6001: This is one loopy campaign. 

Deutsch pours on the silly for Snapple in new ads that breathe life into those numbered bits of (dubious) information printed inside the brand’s bottle caps.

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Deutsch L.A., Target Create Star Wars Fan Universe

Deutsch New York Parts Ways with CCO

Deutsch L.A. Returns to Real for CMAB

Deutsch L.A. Brings Back Larry Culpepper for Dr. Pepper

Samsung Adds Deutsch to Agency Roster

Make a Bunch of Vrooming and Squealing Car Noises, and VW Will Turn It Into a Video

Volkswagen wants you to feel like a kid again.

A new campaign from the automaker and agency Deutsch LA cleverly invites you to create your own virtual test drive of a Golf R—by making car noises into your computer.

“Unleash Your Rrr” lets you record video of yourself imitating revving engines and squealing breaks—then analyzes the audio to string together clips into a personalized video of the VW model in action, racing down a track or drifting through turns.

Professional driver Tanner Foust performed the stunts, and also stars in one of two excellent teaser vids—in which he delivers some killer sounds, and perfectly sums up the experience at the end, with a slightly horrified, “Good God.” While his facial contortions are nothing to sneeze at, actor Michael Winslow (aka, the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects) blows Foust out of the water with priceless looks and bottomless panache.

In short, it’s an exceptionally fun and simple idea. Head over to for some more samples, or to create your own—so long as you’re willing to forever and completely grant VW rights to the footage of you puckering up while you say “Vroom.”

Deutsch L.A. Wants You to ‘Unleash Your Rrr’ for Volkswagen

Deutsch L.A. launched an unusual campaign for Volkswagen, calling on viewers to “Unleash Your Rrr” in an AI-fueled campaign built around Deep Learning, a subset of Machine Learning artificial intelligence which “analyzes each unique vocal pitch to create customized film of Golf R driving in sync with the sound of the user’s voice.”

“The King of Sound Effects” Michael Winslow demonstrates the technology in a 40-second online video. He appears to be responding to the footage of professional racecar and stunt driver Tanner Foust driving the Golf R, but really it’s the other way around, with the footage chosen to correspond to the sound effects. The Deep Learning technology works by analyzing users’ vocal pitch and choosing matching footage from hundreds of clips. You might not have the vocal chops of Winslow, but you can give it a try for yourself over at It’s certainly one of the stranger, and attention-grabbing stunts we’ve seen for an automotive brand recently, although we’re not sure it will make anyone run to the car dealership.


Agency: Deutsch LA
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
Chief Digital Officer, North America: Winston Binch
Executive Creative Director, Digital: Jerome Austria
Executive Creative Director: Todd Riddle
Executive Creative Director, Platforms: Tara Greer
Group Creative Director: Heath Pochucha
Creative Director: Andrew Hsu
Creative Director: Daniel Barak
Senior Interactive Creative: Karan Dang
Senior Art Director: Neph Trejo
Senior Art Director, Social: Rocio Alvarado
Senior Copywriter, Social: Marijke van Niekerk
Copywriter: Eddie Babian
Copywriter: Shiran Teitelbaum
Art Director: Alice Blastorah
Designer: Erica Park
Experience Design Lead: Paolo Benvenuto
Executive Director, Digital Pam Scheideler
Executive Integrated Producer, Digital: Nick Ngai
Digital Producer: Jenny Court
Executive Creative Technology Director: Marc Gowland
Executive Creative Technology Director: Josh Hirsch
Creative Technology Director: Martin Legowiecki
Associate Technology Director: Jeremy Bunting
Associate Technology Director: Mike Dyer
AI Engineer: Sabri Sansoy
Senior Creative Developer: Hassan Elzein
Senior Creative Developer: Jesse Pinuelas
Quality Assurance Manager: Chris Suchy
Quality Assurance Tester: Tito Goldstein
SVP, Director of Digital Analytics: Sailesh Patel
Data Strategy Analyst :Brad Nogle
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Executive Integrated Producer: Erik Press
Executive Producer, Video and Motion Design: Ted Markovic
Senior Integrated Producer: Eric Kaufman
Integrated Producer: Win Bates
Associate Integrated Producer: Eric Kunau
Music Director: Dave Rocco

Account Management Credits:
Group Account Director: Tom Else
Group Account Director: Monica Jungbeck
Account Director: Alex Gross
Account Supervisor: Erin Shanahan
Account Executive: Ashley Su
Assistant Account Executive: Sheila Ashouripour

Account Planning:
Chief Strategic Officer: Colin Drummond
Director of Digital Strategy: Zach Gallagher
Group Planning Director: Susie Lyons
Senior Digital Strategist: Brendon Volpe
Senior Account Planner: Armando Potter

Director of Product Information Jason Clark
Product Information Supervisor Eddie Chae

Business Affairs/Traffic:
Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
Group Director, Integrated Business Affairs: Gabriela Farias
Associate Business Affairs Manager: Jade McAdams

Live Action Production Company: Steelhead
Director: Eric Kaufmann
Executive Producer: Ted Markovic
Line Producer: Eric Kunau

Editorial Company: Steelhead
Editor: Ian Paxton
Assistant: Tony Bernard
Executive Producer: Ted Markovic

Post Facility: Big Block Entertainment Group
President: Scott Benson
Producer: Pete King
Senior Colorist:  Brandon Chavez

Licensed/Composed Music, Credits and Track Info:
Track: “Snake Juice”
Composer: Sanford Livingston
Track: “Contact”

Composer: Nico Mansy

Executive Producer, Partner: Shelley Altman
ECD, Partner: Stephan Altman
Managing Partner: Adam Harriman

Audio Post Company: Steelhead
Executive Producer: Ted Markovic
Mixer: Chase Butters

POSSIBLE Appoints Daniel Chu as Global CCO

Creative agency POSSIBLE announced the appointment of Daniel Chu as global chief creative officer, based out of the agency’s Los Angeles office.

Chu arrives from Deutsch L.A., where he spent the last four years as executive vice president, executive creative director while working with clients including Taco Bell, Volkswagen, Sprint, Snapple and Target and leading the agency’s experiential department. Before joining Deutsch, he served as senior vice president, executive creative director for over two and a half years at Momentum Worldwide, co-leading the agency’s branded entertainment discipline and working with clients such as American Express, Microsoft and Verizon. Prior to that he spent nearly two years as an executive creative director PMK/HBH, which followed a year-long stint at R/GA as an associate creative director.

“I’m thrilled to have Daniel on-board. His ideas are dynamite and he’ll be a huge asset for us, helping to strengthen and align creative across the agency,” said POSSIBLE CEO Shane Atchison. “He has great form when it comes to landing new accounts and he proudly represented POSSIBLE at Cannes.  Daniel brings with him a wealth of experience virtually unparalleled in our industry.”

Deutsch NY Stages ‘Yard Sale Hijack’ for Krylon

Deutsch New York launched a new campaign for spray paint brand Krylon, “Yard Sale Hijack,” with the release of two 15-second ads.

Both spots follow the same formula, showing a yard sale purchase transformed with Krylon and instantly turned around for a handsome profit. Lara Spencer would be proud. The deadpan delivery and cutthroat business sense add a touch of humor while the spots make their point quickly and concisely. It’s a refreshing antidote to the barrage of four minute “brand films” that seem to be the new norm. Recognizing that not only is that unnecessary but counterproductive in this instance, Deutsch New York went the opposite route with its very to-the-point campaign. Hopefully this is a sign that the trend of overly-long, self-important online ads is on the decline (but probably not).