360i has tapped former Deutsch New York Executive Creative Director Menno Kluin as its new chief creative officer. Kluin starts his new role on July 1 and takes over for Pierre Lipton, who has left the agency.
This is Kluin's first gig as an agency's top creative. He joined Deutsch New York in 2014 as executive creative director and head of art and design, arriving from an equivalent role at DDB New York. He started as an art director at Saatchi and Saatchi after pursuing "every possible education" in advertising, he told Creativity in 2008. Before he graduated from Miami Ad School in Hamburg, he had already earned degrees in design and marketing and communications.
In recent years, Kluin has overseen work that has used social media in surprising ways, such as Deutsch's campaign for Krylon, in which the agency made 127 "shabby" lawn sale purchases into something totally new and sold them in what it dubbed "The First Ever Pinterest Yard Sale." At DDB, he helped oversee the "Hashtag Killer" campaign that showed the other side of the ironic #Firstworldproblems meme, by having those in developing economies recite such tweets.
But early on, the Dutch-born Kluin had built his reputation on great craft, creating a number of celebrated print campaigns. In 2007, Creativity's annual Awards Report cited him as the industry's most awarded art director.
"When I started out, I figured I needed to hyper-specialize to get noticed, so I did my best to become a very skilled art director," Kluin said. "I've slowly transformed to more integrated, digital thinking, but I'm trained in a classical way, and I think I know how to apply that to new things."
He's expecting plenty of those opportunities in the new gig. "360i isn't really like any other shop," he said. "They're built for what's needed now, and that's very exciting to me."
The agency, which earned a Standout spot on Ad Age's 2017 A-List, built its reputation on digital work. But it increasingly has taken on lead creative duties for its clients, which include Oreo, HBO, Absolut and Hanes.
Kluin's attention to craft was part of the his appeal to 360i CEO Sarah Hofstetter. "[Unlike long-established traditional shops] we haven't been a creative agency for decades, and we've been honing our creative abilities in the creative department," she said. "Bringing in somebody who has such an appreciation for craft will not just help the department, but the overall creativity for the agency."