Grey New York has signed former R/GA creative directors Jason Hoff (left) and Colin Kim as digital creative directors, to work across accounts DirecTV, KetelOne, NFL and Mike's Hard Lemonade. The pair starts at the agency on Monday and had been at R/GA for six years, working on notable Nike projects like the Nike Black Mamba campaign, Nike's Epic Twitter Visualization, and the award-winning Nike Film Room, which taught young b-ball hopefuls pro players' signature moves, capturing it all on camera and in gorgeous take-home posters. They were also instrumental in helping to realize Google Wallet, the tech giant's play to turn consumers' mobile phones into their go-to payment device.
Prior to R/GA, Hoff worked at agencies like Cliff Freeman & Partners, BBDO New York, DeVito/Verdi and R&R Partners. At the latter, he helped to conceive the now memorable tagline "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Kim too is a DeVito/Verdi and Cliff alum, and also previously worked TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, McCann New York, Hal Riney and Crispin porter & Bogusky and has worked on campaigns for Burger King, Volkswagen, Staples, Sprint and more.
At Grey, the two want to build on the agency's traditional strengths with the digital experience they gained at R/GA. "R/GA was already on the forefront of technology," says Hoff. "All we brought to R/GA was storytelling and traditional-ish conceptual thinking. It was that mix of story and technology that worked to make entirely original things, like The Film Room or Black Mamba. So now we want to make another collaborative soup, building on all the great film creative coming out of Grey. It's the soup that makes a whole different process, and results in a whole different outlook."
As for any challenges they foresee in bringing digitally sophisticated productions projects to a more "traditional" shop, Hoff says, "We don't see it like that, because behind all the technology of the projects we made at R/GA was a simple idea. And who better sell an idea than a traditional agency? That's the core of its existence--it's why we all go in the business."
Adds Kim, "the awesome thing about Grey is they already have one of the biggest digital departments of any traditional agency in the city. They're ready. Plus they're already doing great work for DirectTV, Canon, FeBreze--a bunch of clients. We want to create a place where digital creatives --creative technologists and interaction designers--can feel comfortable coming, because we know how to work side-by-side with them. And then we can foster a collaborative process where we can all finally drop these labels and come up with real, contemporary solutions to contemporary client problems. Before you know it, the clients will find we're solving more business problems than just simply bringing awareness."