'Women Come First' for International Women's Day, and Deutsch L.A. backs Black entrepreneurs: Agency Brief
‘Women Come First’ in more ways than one
This Monday is International Women’s Day, and unsurprisingly, we’re starting to see many a brand message paying homage to female achievement. Google, for example, debuted a new spot looking back on landmark “firsts” achieved by women. Female-fronted agency Fancy, founded by Co-Chief Creative Officers Katie Keating and Erica Fite, takes a different approach to the big day for adult retailer client Lion’s Den.
In their eyes, IWD is also prime time to celebrate female sexuality. Each year since 2018, Fancy creates a new poster in the style of vintage propaganda, to hang in Lion’s Den stores and run on social media. Each has featured a double entendre that gives props to women but is also right on brand: “Women come first,” it reads.
The posters are also a nod to the changing demo of the brand’s customers. “In 2013 Lion’s Den customers were overwhelmingly men …about 80%,” said Keating in a statement. “Today, 75-80% of Lion’s Den products are for women who embrace, recognize and celebrate sexual health and yes, sexual fun, as an important part of their total wellbeing.”
Deutsch L.A. backs Black entreprenuers
This week, Deutsch L.A. announced the public debut of “Blackness in Full Bloom,” a free four-week virtual brand-building program designed to help support and amplify Black-owned businesses in the agency’s hometown. Deutsch L.A. is currently accepting applicants for its spring program, which will begin April 1.
“Blackness in Bloom” was conceived by Deutsch L.A. execs Maya Thompson, Gurbani Chadha and Justin Brown, and actually began in February of 2020, when the agency hosted an in-person event with companies including natural hair care brand Cazza, culture platform Behind the Sneaker and health and beauty store Nappily Natural Apothecary. It moved to a virtual model in December due to the pandemic.
The program consists of weekly two-hour virtual workshops covering various aspects of marketing, from branding and design to paid and earned media and content production.
For the spring, the program is now open for applications from all Black-owned business owners and entrepreneurs in the greater Los Angeles area. Interested parties can register for free and get more information here.
Ogilvy dives into tequila
This week, Pernod Ricard USA announced that Ogilvy will be lead creative agency for its Olmeca Altos Tequila, Tequila Avión and Del Maguey mezcal brands. The appointment is part of Pernod Ricard’s consolidation of its global agency roster.
The agency’s remit will be to develop brand strategy, advertising and personalized content geared at translating “timeless brand stories into timely creative ideas” in order to drive sustained growth of the Pernod Ricard USA brands.
Leadership changes at DiMassimo Goldstein
DiMassimo Goldstein shifted its leadership ranks this week. Partner and president Lee Goldstein became the agency’s new CEO, while founder and long-time CEO Mark DiMassimo remains as the agency’s creative chief as he focuses on building the shop’s strategic and creative offerings.
The shift comes on the heels of the agency’s 11 new client wins during the pandemic. The expanded client roster has also prompted new hires and promotions. Former Deutsch L.A. exec Tina Teodorescu comes on board as chief financial officer; Morgan Kelly, previously group account director, steps into the role of president; ex-Design Director Claudia Mark steps up to Head of Design; and Creative Director and Associate Creative Director Chris Martin is now creative director. The strategy team also staffed up with Tony Bodoh, senior behavior change strategist/CS and data analytics; and Camille Estimé, senior brand strategist and behavior change planner. The agency also added Keni Thacker as external diversity, equity and inclusion catalyst and advisory board member.
Agency exec joins Federal Reserve Bank advisory council
Del Esparza, CEO of Albuquerque, N.M.-based Esparza Digital + Advertising, has been appointed to the Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In his post, Esparza will offer insight on the regional economic climate. “Now, more than ever, the development of sound monetary policy is essential for our region and our nation,” said Esparza in a statement. “It is an honor to serve with such an esteemed group of people and assist the process of ensuring that the economic conditions from our community are considered.” The Federal Reserve was established by congress in 1913 to provide the country with a safer, flexible and stable monetary and financial system.
Indie network grows
Independent agency global network Worldwide Partners is growing its family with four new agency partners: creative agency Five by Five and consultancy Dragonfish, both part of Lawton Communications Group; Athens and London-based integrated shop Interweave; and full-service marketing agency Moroch. The new partners expand WPI’s breadth to more than 70 indie agencies in 40 countries.
More big hires
This week saw a spate of more new hires in agency leadership ranks. O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has tapped agency production vet Elena Robinson as its head of production. In her post, she will lead the agency’s production work for clients as well as its own independent production capabilities. The agency’s senior production exec Scott Mitchell, who had last overseen OKRP production, takes on the new title of executive producer and will refocus on producing the shop’s key projects.
Robinson previously held lead roles at agencies including Energy BBDO, R/GA and Leo Burnett, after starting her career in TV with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions series “The Women of Brewster Place.” Her last role was at Allstate, where she managed client-side production.
Translation added more creative muscle to its ranks with the addition of four new creative leads. Matt Herr joins as a creative lead overseeing the State Farm account, and brings with him 20 years of experience from agencies including BBDO N.Y., Goodby Silverstein & Partners and BBH. Ex-Johannnes Leonardo creative Ray Smiling becomes the creative lead on the Beats by Dre account. He will partner with Translation’s Castro Desroches, who also moves into a creative lead role. Desroches also previously worked at Droga5, where he worked on Under Armous, Twizzlers, NBA and Pandora. Former McCann creatives Alex Little and Karsten Jurkschat come on board as creative leads on the AT&T account. While at McCann, they worked on the Grand Prix for Good-winning campaign “Generation Lockdown” for March for Our Lives.
Brian Murray, who previously served as chief creative officer of Ogilvy Canada in Toronto, joined Zulu Alpha Kilo as exec creative director. (Murray’s chops aren’t only creative—he also has an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman business school).
In Los Angeles, B-Reel has tapped Yujin Lee to become the first executive creative director in the company’s L.A. office. Lee has 15 years of experience developing consumer experiences in emerging technologies. She previously served at R/GA and Nike’s Innovation Lab, where her projects included Nike’s first smart shoe and Fossil’s first smartwatch. At B-Reel, she will help to develop One of B-Reel’s first in-house products, the breathing app State. “As the industry shifts from an Information Age to the next decade of Innovation Age in new experiences, creativity in design will play a more vital role than ever in the world of product development,” Lee said in a statement.
Agency YML has restructured the creative departments of its Silicon Valley headquarters and Atlanta flagship under the leadership of two new group creative directors, who will oversee a staff comprising 60 digital and UX designers, copywriters and content leaders. Shannon Walters, former senior manager of user experience at Salesforce, joins as group creative director in YML’s Redwood City office. She also previously held roles at AKQA in London and Gothenberg. Joe Johnston steps up to the role of group creative director in Atlanta and will continue to oversee the east coast design team and accounts. Prior to his two years at YML, Johnston was a group creative director at Huge in Atlanta and the head of UX and service design at North Highlands.
Huge also made a big hire this week with the appointment of Kali Beyah as its chief talent officer. Beyah will start at the global experience agency on March 15 and will lead the agency’s talent discipline across its 13 global offices. Her responsibilities comprise recruitment, talent management and DE&I. Beyah arrives with two decades of experience under her belt and most recently served as head of talent for Delta Air Lines.
Duncan Channon is the latest to beef up its DEI ranks with the appointment of Kumi Croom as its first director of collaboration and equity. It’s a new role that tasks Croom with leading the agency’s entire DEI group. She will also be charged with integrating the inclusive mindset and collaborative process she developed with the agency’s largest client, the California Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, across the entire agency.