Geoff Edwards, co-creator of peace coalition Saturday Morning and formerly CAA Marketing co-head of creating, has joined R/GA as VP and executive creative director of Los Angeles to help it expand further into entertainment.
Edwards officially joined R/GA last week and succeeds Kalle Henzen, who left the agency in July last year. During Edwards' time at CAA, he led accounts for Anheuser Busch InBev, Blizzard, Keurig, 4-H and Casa, and he played an integral role in cultural work, such as the award-winning short documentary "American Dreams" about Jimmy John's.
"R/GA is a brand that I've coveted for some time," Edwards tells Ad Age. "I've admired how they tell modern stories that are both actionable and tangible, and they have been able to disrupt themselves since the '70s and change with a changing environment."
During one of the awards ceremonies at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in 2012, he recounts, he was sitting next to R/GA executives when the agency won the titanium Grand Prix after picking up a Cyber Grand Prix earlier in the week for its Nike FuelBand work. "They marketed something that was usable and meaningful and iconic, and something I had on my wrist at the time," he says.
Edwards says R/GA has a big opportunity in Los Angeles to get more into the entertainment space. The focus will still be on "systematic thinking meets storytelling," he says, but with a nod to culture and entertainment. He'll work closely with Nicky Bell, R/GA L.A.'s senior VP and managing director, and Adrian Barrow, executive director of strategy at the agency.
In addition to his work at R/GA, Edwards will stay involved with Saturday Morning, which addresses social issues within and beyond the marketing industry using creativity. Last fall, the group developed a line of underwear, Peace Briefs, designed to reduce violence and tension between police officers and minorities by the printing of phrases on the waistbands, such as "I am Not Armed," "Please Don't Shoot," "I Have a Family," "My Life Matters," "I am a Father" and "We Don't Hate."
R/GA has offered to help Saturday Morning with its initiatives, Edwards says.
Over the last year, the L.A. office, which has about 65 staffers and was opened in 2013, has gone through a number of changes, such as building an integrated strategy offering, which includes social, brand, analytics, experience design and influencer strategy, and creating a media planning practice.
Some clients led out of L.A. include PepsiCo's Quaker, WD, SanDisk, Nike and Hollywood Foreign Press.