The San Francisco outpost of Minneapolis-based indie Zeus Jones is approaching its one-year anniversary with the addition of a new partner, Brandon Kaplan.
Mr. Kaplan joins founding partners Gareth Kay and Neil Robinson. He was most recently at Wieden & Kennedy in New York, where he was director of interactive production. Prior to that he was a producer at Interpublic's R/GA, working on Nike. Mr. Robinson said Mr. Kaplan "set the standard as a hybrid thinker and someone we believe our clients and team will be genuinely inspired to work with." Mr. Kay said Mr. Kaplan's "talent Rolodex" will help share the agency's work and, as a partner, he'll help shape what the agency looks like..
Zeus Jones is also building out its design practice, which will be led by Stephen Bardwell. Mr. Bardwell joins Zeus Jones from mobile-payment startup Square, where he was design lead. Prior to that, Mr. Bardwell spent time on the agency side of the business, notably at WPP's AKQA as a designer and art director (Mr. Robinson worked with Mr. Bardwell at AKQA on Levi's and Google). Mr. Kay said Mr. Bardwell will build and define the agency's design practice, touting his experience at both agencies and in tech.
Zeus Jones has been relatively quiet since it opened its West Coast shop in December. The agency opened in Minneapolis in 2007 and has worked on clients like 3M and Nestle Purina. New clients in the San Francisco office include Blackphone, a mobile phone that positions itself as more secure than competitors. Zeus Jones will be the lead strategic and creative agency for the smartphone brand, as well as user interface design and communications. Work for Blackphone will begin launching in October.
The agency also recently began working with The Weather Channel, handling a new product launch, though Mr. Kay declined to elaborate on the product. Zeus Jones has also worked with Salesforce since opening its San Francisco doors, as well as Toca Boca, a game-development studio focusing on kid-friendly games for mobile devices.