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Posts Tagged ‘Gary Koepke’

Koepke Takes Creative Reins at SapientNitro, North America

Well, guess this isn’t totally breaking news at this point but Gary Koepke, who co-founded (along with now-Hill Holliday EVP/CCO Lance Jensen) Boston’s now-defunct Modernista!, is moving up the charts at SapientNitro. Just over a year after joining the latter agency as VP/global executive creative director, Koepke is being bumped up to the big chair as he’s been appointed as chief creative officer, North America for SapientNitro. He fills a role that’s been open since Kathy Delaney left in June 2011.

Regarding taking the helm at the agency of “idea engineers,” Koepke says in a statement, “Joining SapientNitro a year ago started as an experiment and turned into a renaissance. I found in SapientNitro the disruptive spirit and focus on the future needed to truly innovate in the agency space that I thought I’d only be able to find by pursuing another start up.” Along with his new CCO role, Koepke, who has led creative on Chrysler, Fiat and Florida tourism efforts during his time at SapientNitro and remains based out of Boston, will also join the agency’s Global Creative Council. Along with his ad career, which also included helping up open W+K New York, Koepke also worked outside the industry as founding creative director for Vice and directing music videos for David Bowie and U2.

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Monday Odds and Ends

-San Francisco shop Pereira & O’Dell promoted Jamie Robinson (who’s worked on LEGO efforts and the Inside film for Intel while at said agency) to executive creative director.

-According to Business Insider, these are the 25 most creative people in advertising. link

–Google VP Marissa Mayer (who–pardon the shameless plug–our parent company interviewed in late 2010) is departing for the CEO job at Yahoo. link

-A couple of ad vets offer their thoughts on BBH New York’s “Fear No Susan Glenn” work for Axe. link; link

-Bi-coastal prodco The Famous Group added Scott Toepfer and former Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” runner-up Tynesha Williams to its “Famous Directors” roster.

-Modernista! co-founder Gary Koepke has landed a new ECD gig at SapientNitro. link

-A left and right Twix rivalry unfolds in a new spot from BBDO New York that was first teased at this year’s Cannes Lions (above).

-Organic tackles menopause to promote a new line of products for Kimberly-Clark’s Poise brand. link; link

-Digital Pulp, meanwhile, has launched a new website for Sotheby’s Institute of Art. link

-Agencies need to make content king, according to Digiday. link



It’s Over, Johnny: Modernista Closing this Friday

Sadly, we can’t say we didn’t see this coming. After a six-month period filled with layoffs, departures, plans to “scale back,” etc., Gary Koepke has finally decided to end Modernista!’s decade-plus run and is closing the shop for good this Friday. According to AdAge, the Boston-based agency plans to complete existing client work by May 15. What’s founder/ECD Koepke’s short-term plan? “I’ll take a little bit of time this summer and relax a bit.” After the somewhat bumpy year he’s had, can’t blame the man. Read the rest of the report here.

Ex-Modernista! Men Headed to Arnold

Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Matt Howell and Sebastian Gard of Modernista fame are now headed to Arnold Worldwide. Howell (left), who spent nearly three years at the former agency and served as president before splitting last month, is rumored to be taking the worldwide head of digital post at Arnold. Gard’s new gig wasn’t revealed, but during his year-plus at Modernista!, he served as its director of social media.

As we all know, the aforementioned agency has gone through a bit of an identity crisis shift as of late that has been accompanied by layoffs and Gary Koepke‘s decision to “scale back” at Modernista! earlier this month.

Update: Yep, it’s official. Howell’s new post at Arnold will actually be managing partner, global chief digital officer while Gard joins as SVP, director of social media. Meanwhile, Bob Goodman will take on the role of VP, director of user experience. Like Gard, Goodman served in a similar role at his former employer, which in his case, was user experience director.

In addition to Howell, Gard and Goodman, Arnold has also hired five former Modernista! digital specialists with “expertise in social media, user experience and digital production.” The slew of new of hires will all be based in Arnold’s Boston office.

Update 2: The former Modernista! “digital specialists” signing on with Arnold include Greg Murphy and Matt Karolian, who will assume the roles of social media managers, and Lauren Shea and Brendon Volpe, who join as digital producers.

Modernista! Made Some Cuts Yesterday

The tips have been flowing in like beverages in Austin over the last 24 hours and sources confirm, that yes, there were a large number of layoff at Modernista! yesterday. The story of the Boston agency’s unraveling was first reported by Adage two weeks ago, when co-founder Gary Koepke told the trade that the identity/approach of the once-virile operation could be changed forever.

And it looks like indeed it has come to pass, as we’ve been told that a “fair number” of staffers were let go by day’s end, which is all part of the agency’s effort to “scale back.” As Koepke mentioned to AdAge, Modernista! or whatever it will be known as is going to be focusing on cause-related projects including (Red) and the Clinton Global Initiative, which the agency’s leader is a member of. Spies tell us that a team working on TOMS’ new product (teased by founder Blake Mycoskie @ SXSW yesterday) was one of the only groups spared the axe. Exact numbers weren’t revealed, but it’s almost six months to the day that Modernista! revamped its executive team.

Modernista! Revamps Executive Team

After losing Hummer, then Cadillac and finally Palm as well as two-thirds of “old” revenue along the way, Modernista! has decided it’s time for a change starting from the top. According to, the shop is seeking a return to its glory days beginning with the announcement of a new management team, which includes creative director Davi Liu, managing director Alex Hesz, presidentMatt Howell, director of social media Sebastian Gard and creative director Xavier Teo.

New prez Howell was formerly chief interactive officer at R/GA and served as group director on Nike+, MD Hesz, who joined Modernista! in June, spent time on the digital side at DDB London and oversaw the British Airways and Johnnie Walker business at BBH.  Creative director Teo (the one kneeling) meanwhile has been with Modernista! for nearly two years and spent three years before that as a senior AD at OgilvyOne.

Modernista co-CEO/co-founder Gary Koepke tells BH that the agency has transformed into a “media-agnostic” entity over the past 18 months and says of his new executive staff, “There’s nothing better than an infusion of youth and smart young people being energetic and ready to go. It gets [co-CEO/co-founder] Lance [Jensen] and I back into making sure that the creative work is of the best caliber. We’re looking to focus on this management change right now, and let people know we’re on our way back. Not that we ever left, but people thought that we did.”

During the management shift, Modernista! happened to create an ARG effort to promote season five of Showtime’s Dexter. Check out one of the sites involved here.

More: “Catherine Heath Out at Modernista