Copywriter Behind Geico’s ‘Unskippable’ Joins TBWA\Chiat\Day as Its Newest Creative Leader

Wade Alger named ecd

Headshot of Patrick Coffee

TBWA\Chiat\Day has poached a veteran copywriter and co-leader of The Martin Agency's Geico account to help grow its New York creative department.

Wade Alger spent the past eight years with the Virginia agency, where he served as svp, group creative director and co-lead on Geico along with fellow group creative director Steve Bassett. His best-known work from that period is almost certainly the "Unskippable" series, which Adweek named the best campaign of 2015 for hilariously skewering the sad, neglected preroll format.

Alger begins his new role in early December. He will work alongside global head of art Erik Vervroegen, who rejoined the TBWA family in June after nearly five years as worldwide chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe. He'll report directly to global creative president Chris Garbutt.

"I have been a huge fan of Wade's work for years," said Garbutt in a statement announcing the news. "He is a gifted writer with a brilliant sense of humor who has created platform ideas that take brands from the traditional and conventional to integrated and disruptive. Not only will he bring a wealth of experience and talent to the agency, but a drive that will propel our collective forward to the iconic."

Alger's is the latest in a series of executive-level hires at the Omnicom network's Manhattan office: In addition to Vervroegen, Trish Schmitt and Ted Guidotti joined as global creative directors in February, and Nancy Reyes became general manager in April after helping launch Goodby Silverstein & Partners' now-closed New York office. The office has also won several pieces of new business over the past year, including Canadian athletic retailer Sport Chek and PepsiCo's Izze sparkling water.

While the incoming ecd spent his entire tenure at The Martin Agency working on Geico, he also contributed to such acclaimed efforts as "The World's Biggest Asshole," a heartfelt ode to organ donors for client Donate Life. His work has earned one Emmy in addition to 38 Cannes Lions and awards from every other major ad industry show.

"TBWA in New York has great momentum, and I'm very excited to be joining the team," said Alger, who will work across all accounts in the New York office. "GEICO's work has been disrupting the car insurance category for years. TBWA's drive to do the same, create disruptive and culturally relevant work for their clients, was too attractive to pass up. I can't wait to get started and hopefully add to the success of this very storied agency."

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.