Kris Kiger


By Published on .

Look at a few marketing campaigns from Interpublic Group of Cos.' R/GA and you'll notice a common thread.

The work -- whether it's an in-store kiosk for Nike, a virtual beat-box mixer for Verizon Wireless or a new e-commerce site for Barnes & Noble Booksellers -- may look different, but it's always beautiful.

R/GA has Kris Kiger, senior VP-managing director, visual design, to thank for that. At the helm of the agency's largest creative discipline, Ms. Kiger, 39, has molded R/GA's design sensibility to create campaigns that are beautiful yet functional and, above all, brand-relevant.

"Visual design has always been one of our strengths, and she's always been a part of that," says Nick Law, R/GA's chief creative officer.

Ms. Kiger "is very good at interpreting a client's brand visually. Whether that client be a financial client or a consumer group client or a sporting client, she has great tone and can figure out the tone of a client," Mr. Law adds.

In her nine years at the agency, Ms. Kiger has built up R/GA's design team from 20 to more than 100.

While managing that team, she's also created the looks of interactive experiences for R/GA clients such as Target, Sharp and Nike. Ms. Kiger worked on the team that produced the agency's award-winning Nike Plus campaign, which has been credited with bringing user experience to the forefront of marketing.

"Nike Plus for me kind of embodies the sweet spot of what [R/GA] is capable of doing and what we are interested in -- that relevant, functional, beautifully crafted experience," Ms. Kiger says. "The marriage between design and what traditional advertising is, along with useful functionality, is the sweet spot."

Before coming to R/GA, Ms. Kiger did interactive design on projects for Time Warner, Bloomberg and Microsoft Corp.

She also consulted on the user interface for Medscape, a website that became the model for WebMD.

An outdoors enthusiast, Ms. Kiger spent time early in her career in the nonprofit world, working on issues of sustainability.

Looking forward, the executive sees R/GA becoming an increasingly important partner on overall brand strategy for marketers, working well beyond the usual scope of the internet.

As a manager, her challenge is to train and recruit talent to deliver on that scope of the work.

"The work is always changing," Ms. Kiger says, "so you can't ever sort of rest easy."
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