Independent agency David&Goliath surprised quite a few in the industry this summer when it poached the Jack in the Box account from Secret Weapon, the shop launched more than two decades ago specifically to serve that West Coast burger chain.
Since then, the agency's growth has accelerated—and this week it restructured its creative department by naming its first three executive creative directors. Former group directors Ben Purcell and Steve Yee have been promoted from within while Bobby Pearce joins the shop after serving as ecd at IPG's dedicated Microsoft unit M:United.
The new executives will report directly to chief creative officer Colin Jeffery, who was promoted along with president Brian Dunbar when Angelo stepped down from the lead role last July.
After tapping David&Goliath to create a regional spot for Super Bowl XLIX in late 2014, Jack in the Box chose to move its entire account to the new agency. Angelo told Adweek that this win provided much of the impetus for the approximately 40 hires his agency has made over the past four months.
"We never had this sort of team in the past; it was always just me and Colin at the top," Angelo said. "These new leaders will work together helping each other spear accounts and come up with big creative ideas." Regarding his agency's hiring criteria, he said, "We have a pretty simple solution here: Be authentic; be hardworking; be nice."
Chief digital officer Mike Geiger, who left J. Walter Thompson New York to join David&Goliath in January, recently spoke to Adweek about the agency's plans to take its digital practice to the next level, noting that he has "hired six or seven digital creatives" in his six months at the shop. Angelo described today's announcement as "part of the same general expansion. We want this to be careful growth. We're not looking to become 'big' by any means, but we want to grow the agency right."
This latest wave of hires is not yet finished. Angelo said, "We're not only taking our clients to the next level but positioning the agency for future growth. We're still looking for our fourth ecd, which will complete the team."
The El Segundo agency, which describes its modus operandi as helping "challenger brands fight their way to market leadership," is best known for its Kia work, including last year's Super Bowl spot starring Pierce Brosnan.
Regarding future campaigns, Angelo said, "When you look at our work for all of our brands, there's always been a common spirit: optimism and inspiration." He did not specify what sort of work to expect in the months to come, but David&Goliath's biggest pending project is undoubtedly Kia's seventh consecutive Super Bowl ad.