Award-winning (and soon to be even more award-winning) creative Eric Kallman is joining Gerry Graf's start-up agency, Barton F. Graf 9000 as ECD.
Kallman, currently a copywriter/creative at Wieden + Kennedy Portland, is half of the team behind the Old Spice campaign, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. He and his W+K partner Craig Allen first teamed in 2005 at TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, where together with Graf and creative directors Ian Reichenthal and Scott Vitrone they created game-changing Skittles and Starburst campaigns.The pair joined Wieden + Kennedy in 2008. Kallman, a San Francisco native, studied journalism and was a local Southern California NPR host before going to ad school and then joining Chiat New York.
Graf says he and Kallman have stayed in touch since they left Chiat/Day, and when Kallman was in New York recently judging an award show, Graf proposed that he join his new shop as ECD.
"When he offered me the opportunity to not only work for him again, but also to be a part of starting something new that I believe has the potential to be great, I was honored," says Kallman. "It was a very hard decision to leave Wieden and I like Portland very much. I've had the opportunity to work with so many talented people on so many fun and challenging projects. Wieden has treated me very, very well and I'll always be thankful for the opportunities that [the agency] gave me. I'm not leaving because there are any negatives at all about Wieden + Kennedy Portland; I'm leaving because the opportunity to help Gerry Graf start and build an agency is the most exciting opportunity I could ever imagine being a part of. I'm more excited than when I was hired out of school by Gerry the first time. I can't wait to get to work."
But one of the most difficult parts of the move will be his split with partner Allen. "There is absolutely nothing that I will miss more than working with Craig," Kallman says. "He's not only one of the most talented people I've ever met in my life, he's one of the best people as well as one of my closest friends."
As for what's in store for client Old Spice, Kallman says he and Allen have a few more projects going into production soon. "I'm sure that Old Spice will only continue to do great work for years to come," he says.
Kallman will join BFG9000 on May 1. The agency now has a full-time staff of eight and works for clients including Kayak, Babyganics, a maker of green and baby-friendly household products, and Diageo, on a project basis.
Graf hung a banner from the roof of BFG9000's downtown Manhattan HQ to commemorate the occasion.See some of Kallman's work below.