Trailer Park, Engine Sign 180LA Veteran to Lead Creative Department

William Gelner spent over a decade with the Omnicom network

Gelner will also provide creative leadership for the Engine Content organization. - Credit by Trailer Park
Headshot of Erik Oster

Engine’s content marketing-focused full-service creative agency Trailer Park has a new creative leader.

The agency hired William Gelner as CCO, a new role for the agency. In the position, Gelner will drive Trailer Park’s creative vision across its client roster, while providing creative leadership for the larger Engine Content division under which Trailer Park operates. He will report to Trailer Park and Engine Content CEO Zihla Salinas, who arrived from Doner in March.

“William is an incredible talent who has a long and impressive track record of successfully building award-winning agencies and growing client business,” said Salinas in a statement. “His phenomenal creative range, strategic insight and cultural intuition makes him the perfect addition to our leadership team. We are thrilled to have a talent like Will’s driving the vision for our new creative agency model that pairs efficient large-scale production, groundbreaking big-idea thinking and world-class data and insight.”

“This is something totally new and exciting for me because it’s an opportunity to flip the creative agency model to be built on the things we make, not the hours we bill,” Gelner added. “By combining Trailer Park’s legendary heritage in entertainment, its deep production bench of over 500 makers in-house and Engine’s data and media expertise, I believe we can offer clients something different and necessary.”

Gelner joins Engine and Trailer Park following a brief freelance stint. Before that he spent over a decade with 180LA, most recently serving as CCO and managing partner. He joined 180LA in 2007 after over five years with BBH New York as a group creative director, where he helped launch The Gamekillers, a content series on MTV for Unilever’s Axe.

Last October, the CCO became one of several top executives to leave 180LA after a year-long period during which the agency lost several accounts including Asics, Mitsubishi and Miller Lite. CEO Michael Allen later departed to make way for Al Moseley, former global president and longtime creative lead at the 180 network’s first office in Amsterdam.

Gelner’s arrival rounds out the leadership team at Trailer Park. In addition to the recent arrival of Salinas, Trailer Park hired Howard Moggs as senior vice president, development director last month. This spring, Trailer Park also launched a dedicated strategy group called Marquee.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.