The Barbarian Group has hired Jay Zasa as executive creative director at its New York office. Zasa moves from R/GA, where he served as ECD for five years, working on clients like Nokia, Amp, MasteerCard, MTV and Subaru. Before R/GA Zasa was a senior copywriter at OgilvyInteractive and worked on award-winning digital campaigns for IBM, among others.
R/GA has promoted three of its own into key leadership positions. Taras Wayner has been named VP, executive creative director, while Andy Clark and Carla Echevarria will now serve as executive creative directors. Wayner joinined R/GA in 2007 and has worked with many of the agency's clients, including Ad Council, Ameriprise, Verizon, and Walmart. Clark has been with R/GA for eight years and has worked with clients like Barnes & Noble (on its website and the launch of its e-reader, nook) and Verizon. Echevarria joined R/GA in 2006 and has since worked on accounts for Johnson & Johnson, Nokia and Mastercard.
Documentary director Stephen Walker (left) and Argentinean duo Nico & Martin have joined Therapy Films' roster of directors, which already includes Simon Green, Jake Nava, Tim Rolt and Mick Rudman. Walker, an Oxford and Harvard-educated filmmaker best known for his 2008 feature 'Young@Heart', is also a New York Times bestselling author and has twice been voted into Britain's top 10 TV directors by Broadcast. Nico & Martin have worked on campaigns like PepsiCo's 'Kisses', Renault's 'Inflatables' and Rexona/Sure's 'Toys'. In their short time in the industry they've won numerous awards, including a Bronze Cannes Lion, a Gold LIA (London International Award) a Brazil's Wave Festival Grand Prix.
Brandon Beck has joined the roster at Northern Lights as the visual effects house' newest editor/designer. Beck has freelanced since 2004 on spots for companies like Hewlett Packard, General Motors, Toyota, Benjamin Moore, The Robin Hood Foundation, USA Network, VH1 and HBO. Beck has also recently created graphics packages for IFC and AMC, and spots for Lincoln and Hyundai.
Paris-based filmmaker Patrick Jean has just signed on with production company Mothership, which will represent him in all his U.S. commercial work. Jean recently rose to internet prominence when his short film "Pixels", which features familiar videogame characters from the 1980s invading New York City, went viral. It racked up more than a million views in 24 hours on Daily Motion alone, and ha since been viewed more than 3 million times. Jean's previous directing experience includes the short "Theo" and the title sequence for the French science TV program "La Recherche" on France 5. He has also held stints at BUF Compagnie in Paris and OneMoreProduction.
Dick Powell, co-founder and director of design company Seymourpowell, has succeeded Anthony Simonds-Gooding as chairman of D&AD. Powell is a past president of D&AD and has sat on the board of the Design Council and the Design Business Association. He is currently a member of the International Advisory Panel for Design in Singapore.
Creatives Ewoudt Boonstra and Zack McDonald have signed on with the Amsterdam branch of Sid Lee. The duo makes the move from KesselsKramer, where their client list included Protest Boardwear, J&B Whisky and The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, among others. At Sid Lee, they will continue to do creative work with brands like adidas, Heineken and Red Bull.
As part of its digital expansion, Digital Kitchen has hired Jeff Brecker as Executive Producer, General Manager for its Chicago office. Brecker was most recently Creative Director and SVP at Leo Burnett, and prior to that he served as Director of Interactive Production at Ogilvy. He's worked on a wide range of accounts including the United States Army, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, McDonalds, Kraft, Lockheed Martin, Unilever and most recently Allstate. He has been been recognized with National and District Gold Addys (2009), the Interactive Media Award (2008), the Echo Leadership Award (2002), the One Show Gold Pencil for the Best Integrated Branding Campaign(2001) and the One Show Best of Show (2001).
Digital agency Heavenspot announced its now teaming up with HSI Productions in an effort to expand the global market for its digital services. HSI will provide production support for Heavenspot's live-action filmed content, while the agency will offer HSI's clients its complete digital creative services. HSI's client list includes brands and artists like Pepsi, Burger King, Adidas, Britney Spears, Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. Heavenspot's portfolio includes work with brands like Disney, Quiznos, Adobe, Fox Broadcasting, Focus Features, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.