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Mike Rigby Joins R/GA NY as ECD

Mike Rigby

R/GA New York has announced the arrival of Mike Rigby as executive creative director, brand. In the role, Rigby will “lead innovative and commercially relevant brand thinking and design across R/GA offices and capabilities in addition to advising clients on how they can effectively express, manage and grow their brands” while partnering with the R/GA business transformation team. He will report to  Global Chief Creative Officer Nick Law.

Rigby arrives at R/GA from Interbrand Australia, where his most recent position was executive creative director. Since arriving at the company in 2010, Rigby helped grow the office from ten to over seventy employees. Since his arrival, Interbrand Australia has taken home awards such as the Campaign Asia-Pacific Specialist Agency of the Year Award and a Cannes Design Lion. Rigby began his career at UK design consultancy The Chase, and has also worked at top British design agencies Pentagram London and True North. In 2012, he was elected as the president of The Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) New South Wales and transformed the organization, “helping to usher in a complete organizational restructuring, rebranding and repositioning program that has attracted a younger member base.” Read more

R/GA Sells (Its Building) Out


Today in Relevant Real Estate News: way back in April, Crain’s New York reported that a certain “two story Bauhaus-style building” on Manhattan’s West Side had hit the market and that it would almost certainly sell for $100M or more. For context, said structure has served as the headquarters of one R/GA since 1984, aka “a time when the neighborhood resembled the gritty city depicted in the film Taxi Driver” and Rudolph Giuliani was but a humble U.S. District Attorney dreaming of the day that “a real rain would come and wash all this scum off the streets.”

This morning we learned that their predictions were correct: yesterday Sam Chang, “prolific hotelier” and buyer of real estate, dropped a cool $112M for the structure.

R/GA had been planning to move to a new HQ for some time, though we have no word on where its new home will be (CEO and founder Robert Greenberg bought the spot in the 80′s for a hell of a lot less than nine figures). In fact, we don’t even know how Chang plans to use the building–and neither does he.

The purchase comes with an option to expand the space to 300,000 feet; Chang says that it “might be a residential and hotel combination”, but it will definitely not play home base to another advertising agency.

R/GA Now Accepting Applications for Second ‘Accelerator’ Program


The “agency for the digital” has announced that it’s accepting applications for the second round of its “Accelerator” program, an initiative that’s run out of its R/GA Ventures unit, which is focused not only on integration of design, technology and innovation but enabling startups and doling out investment funds. For its second Accelerator program, R/GA, with the aid of TechStars, is turning the spotlight on to n the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Devices space and is looking for applicants ranging from early prototype developers to startups with traction.

In a statement, R/GA boss Bob Greenberg says, ““The power of internet software continues to disrupt industries as it spreads beyond the web and mobile and into devices, machines, and physical environments. For companies to succeed, whether in the consumer or B2B space, they have to create truly innovative technology solutions. However, great technology is not enough. Companies must also create elegant and cohesive user experiences across digital and physical touchpoints, in addition to compelling brands that consumers will care about.”

Those applicants that make the grade will have access to a range of R/GA services, including strategic design, branding, and technology, startups as well as network of senior clients from the likes of Nike, Samsung and Beats by Dr. Dre. In addition, startups that enter the Accelerator program will be eligible to receive up to $120,000 in funding for their brainchild. The application process for Accelerator, which this time enlists the services of industrial design outfit ASTRO Studios, begins today and runs through Aug. 25. Those that make the cut will be notified by Sept. 22 and the program itself kicks off on Oct. 20. You can keep up to date on the project here. Best of luck, folks.

R/GA Reveals Epic World Cup Spot for Beats

With the World Cup a week away, the barrage of World Cup-themed ads isn’t showing any sign of slowing down, and this 5 minute spot R/GA put together for Beats might be the biggest one yet. Indeed, as Adweek writes, the spot seems to “Out-Nike Nike.”

Entitled “The Game Before The Game,” the ad tackles the pre-game rituals of stars such as Brazil’s star Neymar Da Silva Santos, Jr. His pre-game ritual involves talking with his father, whose inspiring pep talk is the heart of the ad. Also featured in “The Game Before The Game” are Spain’s Cesc Fabregas, who kisses the ring he received from his girlfriend precisely four times; Mexico’s prayerful Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez; and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, who kisses a tattoo on his wrist of his children’s names. Elsewhere stars such as Bacaray Sagna, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Blaise Matudi, Daniel Sturridge, Jozy Altidore, Mario Gotze and Robin Van Persie can be seen slipping on their Beats headphones and doing their thing. Tthe spot is set to “Jungle” by Jamie N Commons & The X Ambassadors and st times takes on the feel of a music video, which makes a lot of sense given the brand. Interspersed with the players’ preparations are fans performing their own pre-game rituals. This includes a slew of celebrity cameos, such as Lil Wayne, Lebron James, Serena Williams, Stuart Scott, and Nikki Minaj. Check out the spot for yourself above, and stick around after the jump for partial credits. Read more

Matt Tepper Joins R/GA as VP, Managing Director CRM

Tepper Headshot low resR/GA has officially announced the arrival of Matt Tepper as vice president, managing director CRM. In the newly created role, Tepper, who brings to the table over 13 years of experience, will “partner with the agency’s teams to help clients strengthen customer relationships and amplify marketing initiatives through CRM and CRM-enhanced paid media.” He will report to Seth Solomons, vice president, chief global client services officer, managing director New York.

Tepper arrives at R/GA from General Assembly, where he served as vice president, head of global marketing. In the role, he led the company’s global and digital marketing efforts, including paid advertising, public relations, partnerships, and marketing technology. Prior to General Assemly, Tepper served as vice president of audience insights and the head of social labs at Big Fuel/Mediavest, where he was responsible for leading multiple product development initiatives, such as a global analytics architecture spanning 47 countries and a social segmentation tool built on an innovative targeting approach. He has also implemented social media programs for clients including Walmart and Samsung, and his programs resulted in sales increases and doubled social engagement. Read more

It’s a Four-Shop Race to Fill Honda’s Digital Needs


American Honda Motor Company works hard to keep up with the competition but hasn’t been quite so successful in the hybrid space. Honda’s Prius equivalent may have been called The Insight, but the company recently pitted all three major holding companies against one another in the search for a bit more of that key noun.

Other campaigns have gone viral (shout out to Michael Bolton) and, according to AdWeek, Honda spends approximately $50 million on digital advertising each year.

Now who’s competing for that money?

Read more

R/GA New York Hires Robyn Tombacher as SVP

tomacherThis week R/GA announced a new addition to its New York office: Robyn Tombacher will serve as SVP of business operations, global capacities.

Before joining R/GA, Tombacher spent twelve years with DigitasLBi and Publicis Groupe. Her most recent role was global operations director; she oversaw staffers at four internal agencies and also served as one of the founding members of Digitas Health and VIVA Women. Her specialties include “reducing agency and client inefficiency and establishing new models for collaboration and delivery.”

R/GA COO Stephen Plumlee writes:

“Her unique blend of expertise overseeing operations on a global scale will ensure that our capabilities are fully utilized to serve both new and existing clients.”

Antinori Out at R/GA

johnantinori1If his profile being removed from the leadership page wasn’t proof enough, a phone call has confirmed that John Antinori is no longer at R/GA. Not sure about the details of his departure or if he’s headed somewhere else as of yet, but we’re checking. Anyhow, if you didn’t know, Antinori had been with the agency for the digital age for nearly 15  years and spent the last eight heading up its production department, first under the title of SVP/managing director, production and then the more fancier position of EVP/chief production officer. Prior to his lengthy stay at R/GA, Antinori worked as a producer/game designer for the likes of Take 2 Interactive.

Former R/GA Strategist Jon Jones Heads to Robert Gibbs-Run Firm

jonjonesAfter spending the last four-and-a-half years at R/GA’s New York hub, where he served as senior strategist, working with clients ranging from Nike to Unilever to Samsung in the process, Jon Jones has left the agency for the digital age to assume the chief digital officer position at The Incite Agency. In case you don’t know what Incite is, it’s the communcations firm co-founded by Robert Gibbs, President Obama‘s former press secretary. Jones has some history with Obama as he served as his first digital strategist for his 2008 presidential campaign. During his career, Jones has also worked for trades like The New Republic.

Dawn Winchester: Out at R/GA?

DawnWinchester_LeadershipPageAs with all tips, we check, and a phone call to “the agency for the digital age” seems to say as much as Dawn Winchester is apparently no longer in R/GA’s directory. Winchester has been with R/GA since 1999, moving up the ladder from director of client services to EVP/client services to her most recent position as EVP/global chief marketing services officer, working out of the agency’s NYC hub. Prior to her lengthy stay at R/GA, Winchester spent two years as VP/management supervisor at Ammirati Puris Lantis Digital and before that, founded the interactive offshoot of New York agency, BK&S.