Prior to TBWA, Beresford-Hill served as executive VP-executive creative director at BBDO, where along with former partner Dan Lucey (now CCO of Havas New York), he steered celebrated work for Guinness, FedEx, Foot Locker and other brands. His career also saw stops at Saatchi & Saatchi, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Modernista in Boston.
In choosing Beresford-Hill, Bulchandani said it was his reputation as both a leader and creative that sealed the deal—along with a nudge from the shingle on the door. “I met with a whole bunch of phenomenal people, some from the traditional account management track, and I kept thinking something doesn’t feel right. Then one day, I thought, wait, this is David Ogilvy’s agency; we need a creative to take us forward,” Bulchandani said.
As for what he’ll do at Ogilvy, Beresford-Hill said he has no blueprint. “I wouldn't ever go in thinking I know how to solve anything before I even know what it is. I'll spend probably a great deal of time listening and understanding people, the dynamics, what the client situations are, and then, try to find the opportunities to make things better.”
He added, however, that he will pull inspiration from both the leaders he will step into the ring with as well as those he worked with at TBWA.
“Dev [Bulchandani] has a mantra that’s really close to mine, which is related to the most surprising lesson I learned at TBWA—‘goodness and greatness.’ It’s about good people coming together to do great things and have an impact on the world" Beresford-Hill said. ‘‘What I saw at TBWA was whether it was in the business, the creative, or the strategy department, the people who were bringing teams together were always at the center of great work. When you create team dynamics where people are more generous with each other and less protective, when the times get tough, those teams take care of each other and the work flows. I’m a better creative, leader and person thanks to my time at Chiat. It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of this magical team, and partner with someone like [TBWA/Chiat/Day New York CEO] Reyes.”
“We are so thankful to Chris for his leadership the past four years," said Reyes in a statement. "He’s been instrumental in New York’s creative renaissance and he has been an incredible partner. We wish him only the best as he pursues the next big step in his career.”
Beresford-Hill departs just as TBWA has beefed up its creative ranks. It recently tapped R/GA vet Ben Williams to its top creative role, updated from global chief creative officer to global chief creative experience officer to better reflect the agency's capabilities across digital and innovation. Williams will team with Reyes to determine Beresford-Hill's replacement while the agency's current executive creative directors in New York will continue to steer creative.
Beresford-Hill joins Ogilvy as the agency has been recovering from a rough 2020. According to Ad Age Datacenter, the agency’s estimated worldwide net revenue was $1.26 billion, down from 2019.
Among the agency’s bigger client wins this year were Absolut, TD Bank, Pernod Ricard, Enterprise and World of Hyatt.
Ogilvy’s global creative reputation remains high—it ranked as the No. 2 network at Cannes Lions this year, earning a record eight Grand Prix. North America had its bright spots, such as celebrated work for Dove co-created by London and Toronto as well as David Miami’s work on Burger King, but the U.S. has admittedly “fallen behind,” Bulchandani said. “Ogilvy’s foundation is ridiculously strong, and what we’re doing right now is making sure the product lives up to the soul of the brand.” Beresford-Hill is the latest in the army of talent the agency has lined up to ensure that.