Jimmy Smith, the veteran creative behind high-profile branded entertainment efforts such as Gatorade's Replay and Nike Battlegrounds, is departing Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles to launch a new agency under Interpublic Group of Cos. His shop, which will be dubbed Amusement Park Entertainment, will focus on storytelling and branded content.
Outside of its nontraditional focus, the L.A.-based shop also boasts an unconventional revenue model that places a premium on what agencies are best known for -- ideas. "The philosophy behind the company is simple," Mr. Smith said. "Ideas are the Holy Grail; therefore we should value them and their creation highly."
Mr. Smith has already made a name for himself steering successful branded entertainment properties. At TBWA, he served as group creative director on Gatorade and oversaw the highly-awarded branded content Replay series. For three seasons, it's given sports teams the chance to address unrequited triumphs from their athletic past and now, Mr. Smith says, it's on its way to becoming a feature produced by Sony.
Read more about the agency's launch at Creativity Online.