TBWAChiatDay L.A. Names New CCO, Creative Chairman and Chief Strategist

TBWAChiatDay L.A. expanded its executive leadership team with a series of promotions.

Executive creative director Brent Anderson was promoted to chief creative officer, tasked with day-to-day operations of that department. Group planning director Neil Barrie was promoted to CSO, responsible for handling strategic direction across all agency accounts. CCO Stephen Butler takes on the newly-created role of creative chairman, and now he’s behind “driving agency vision, creative culture and development.”

Anderson, Barrie and Butler round out an executive leadership team that also includes recently-appointed president Erin Riley, global CSO Nick Barham and chief production officer Tanya LeSieur.

Anderson first joined TBWAChiatDay L.A. in August of 2005 as a senior art director following three years in that role with JohnsonSheen. He then moved up within the organization, becoming executive creative director in November of 2013 after working on Nissan, Gatorade, Playstation, Airbnb, adidas and more.

“Brent is an incredible talent and has been an integral part of our progress in his time at the agency, and especially in recent years,” Butler said in a statement. “He is also a natural, effective leader, and the ideal and obvious choice to help guide the evolution of our creative product and the next wave of our agency.”

Barrie joined the agency as a planning director in September of 2012 after serving at partner and strategy director BBH London’s ZAG. He eventually handled accounts including Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, Disney and The Grammy Awards.

“Having worked alongside Neil for the last few years, I’m supremely confident in his ability to lead and continue to evolve our strategy department, and to further our commitment to developing disruptive strategies that fuel creativity and drive brand growth,” said Barham. 

Butler was promoted to CCO in April of 2014 after serving as a creative partner at Mother London. In the past, he also worked as a creative director at BBH London handling the Levi’s account.

“As an agency of our size and scope, we needed to expand the depth of our executive team to better incorporate both vision-focused and product-focused leaders at the top. We’ve elevated Brent and Neil, who are equally distinguished for their mastery of craft as for their passion for our business and our agency, to ensure that the executive team remains as connected to the product as possible,” Barham added.

TBWAChiatDay LA Hires New CPO, Design Director

tanya_lesieurTBWA’s Los Angeles office made two hires today, and we have the press release to prove it.

For the newly-created chief production officer role, the agency hired Tanya LeSieur; she will join TBWA in late March and sit at its (metaphorical) management table along with President Luis DeAnda, Chief Creative Officer Stephen Butler, and Chief Strategy Officer Nick Barham. Perhaps most significantly, she will also “assume oversight of all agency creative output.”

LeSieur heads West from Saatchi & Saatchi New York, where she landed around the same time as (relatively) new CEO Brent Smart. Prior to that move, LeSieur served as director of integrated production at Saatchi’s LA office for four and a half years, and she is a familiar face to creative staffers at a few major agencies: she spent five years with JWT, one with McCann, and nearly a decade with GS&P before joining Saatchi in 2009. During her time in New York, she also served as a juror/panelist/thought leader for pretty much every major awards event.

A source claims that new business has been a point of contention within Saatchi’s New York office, which went through a standard creative “reshuffling” last summer.

TBWA also hired UX veteran Mark Sloan as director of design in LA. Sloan most recently held the creative director position at surf company Quiksilver, but he is not a new face within the TBWA organization: prior to joining Anomaly Amsterdam as ECD in the summer of 2012, he spent more than a year as an art director/ACD at MAL working on the iPhone 4S. He also worked on the design team at Wieden+Kennedy’s Amsterdam office.

The two will work on all of TBWA LA’s accounts, which now include such recent wins as Airbnb, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Miller Lite. Butler writes:

“Tanya and Mark are both rightfully renowned for their creative weaponry and their high regard for craft, and having them on board will give us the competitive edge that we are seeking.”

Both new hires will report to him.

TBWAChiatDay Sends Off Yankees Captain for Gatorade

TBWAChiatDay bids adieu to Yankees captain (and regular starting shortstop since 1996) Derek Jeter in a 90-second send-off spot for Gatorade, an MLB sponsor since 1990.

While there has been no shortage of fanfare surrounding Jeter’s exit from baseball at the quickly approaching end to the season (including a somewhat excessive display at the All Star game), TBWAChiatDay’s farewell for Gatorade, which Jeter collaborated on, manages to charm. Back in July (when it still looked like the Yankees had a shot at the postseason), TBWAChiatDay and Gatorade roped off a few blocks before a home game in the Bronx and, in the words of Molly Carter, Gatorade’s senior director of consumer engagement, “just kind of let Jeter go.”

Jeter is seen interacting with some very surprised and excited fans, signing autographs and even dropping in to Stan’s Sports Bar. Most of the spot’s charm comes from the authentic reactions of the fans, delighted by the opportunity to meet the star player.

Jeter’s collaboration for the ad also extended to the soundtrack, with the shortstop choosing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” as the song that summed up his career. “It was a true collaboration between Derek and Gatorade,” Carter told Adweek.

The spot breaks online today, followed by a broadcast premiere this Saturday on the YES Network and Fox, when it’s sure to make more than a few Yankees fans teary-eyed. Gatorade will follow this with a full-page ad, written by Jeter, in the New York Daily News and Sports Illustrated on Sept. 28-29. Addressed to New York, the ad will see Jeter thanking fans for their years of support, opening, “From my first at bat until my final out, you helped make me who I am.” The print ad is timed to coincide with Jeter’s final game on September 28th (unless the team makes the playoffs, which they won’t). (more…)

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TBWA/Chiat Day Taps Bret Michaels in ‘Tough Love’ for Nissan

TBWA/Chiat Day tapped reality star/former Poison singer/sole proprietor of bandana manufacturers in 2014 Bret Michaels in their latest campaign for Nissan, entitled “Tough Love.”

The centerpiece of the new campaign, which celebrates the toughness of Nissan’s line of commercial vans, is a music video of Michaels covering “Endless Love,” the schmaltzy 1981 hit written by Lionel Richie. Just what you always wanted. The video alludes to a series of six product demonstrations at Nissan’s Arizona Testing Center while Michaels belts the tune into a golden microphone. Videos of the product demonstrations, featuring Michaels, are also available, and viewers who survive the full length of the music video are prompted to choose one of them to view. As it turns out, they’re a lot easier to stomach than the music video, and not just because they’re shorter. Credits and two product demonstration videos after the jump. (more…)

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TBWA L.A. Names Stephen Butler Chief Creative Officer

tbwalogoAfter reportedly searching to fill the role outside the agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. has instead filled the chief creative officer position from within, Adweek reports, turning to Stephen Butler, formerly an executive creative director. Fabio Costa and Brent Anderson were also promoted to executive creative director positions, working under Butler.

Butler joined the agency in July 2013, following a stint as a creative partner at Mother in London, where he worked with brands like Coca-Cola, Ikea, Motorola and the London 2012 Olympics. He also served time as a creative director Bartle Bogle Hegarty, also in London, where he worked with Levi’s. In his new role, Butler will manage a department working with Gatorade, Adidas, Southwest Airlines and Energizer.

“Clients want to work with him, agencies want him on their team,” director of media arts Lee Clow said of Butler. “His brave, groundbreaking and unforgettable ideas will help push our creative boundaries.”

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Norman, Chiat LA Parting Ways (Updated, with Norman Note)

johnnormanWell, perhaps this is old news by now, but it does appear that John Norman is leaving his chief creative office position at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA after barely 18 months at the helm. Here’s one tip we received a few hours ago that may provide some clarification (and according to sources in the know, is legit): “John Norman will be leaving his post as Chief Creative Officer of TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles. John’s last day with the agency will be March 31 and until then he will be working with our Executive Creative Directors, Brent Anderson, Stephen Butler and Fabio Costa, to transition leadership across all our accounts.”

According to Adweek, BBH London partner/deputy ECD David Kobulsz is in talks to co-lead Chiat LA  with Butler following Norman’s official departure. Speaking of Norman, the departing CCO joined TBWA\Chiat\Day LA after serving in the same role for two-and-a-half years at The Martin Agency. Prior to Martin, he held senior creative positions at the likes of W+K and Goodby.

As for the Chiat LA ECD team, Anderson has been with the agency for nearly nine years, Butler joined last summer after serving as creative partner at Mother while Costa worked with Norman at Martin before joining up with TBWA C\D LA as global GCD just after the CCO’s arrival.

Update: After the jump, you can read the brief note Norman sent to his TBWA\Chiat\Day LA colleagues earlier this afternoon that somewhat reveals his future plans, which have something to do with a certain founder of Translation.

Update 2: Yes, as has been reported, Norman will assume the role of CCO at Translation, a role we recall was last occupied by Chris Cereda, who eventually joined up with Scratch/Viacom Media Networks.



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Nissan Wants You to Open ‘The Briefcase’

Nissan’s new online initiative “The Briefcase” courtesy of TBWA\Chiat\Day LA features a high octane car chase (starring the new 2014 Nissan Rogue) ending in a click through to a contest offering contestants the chance to win one of three 2014 Rogues.

The video opens with a man getting in a hired car for his usual commute home from work. When a motorcycle pulls up and hands off a briefcase to the driver, however, all hell breaks loose. Soon everyone seems to be after the Rogue, including a helicopter that attempts to land on the car. In the end, they run into a blockade and a man shouts “Open the briefcase,” at which time viewers are prompted to click on a link to open it. This link clicks through to the contest on Nissan’s Facebook page. It’s a clever, interactive way to lead viewers to the contest, even if the video is a little over the top. Fans of the brand should enjoy having a background story going into the contest, where they can enter once per day, or more if they share information about the contest via email or social media — a pretty good way to incentivise sharing.

The contest begins today and runs through February 13th at 11:59 PM. You can enter the contest here for your chance to win a 2014 Nissan Rogue. Credits after the jump.


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