It’s a Brand New Day at FCB Chicago, With Liz Taylor Taking Over as Creative Lead

The CCO came from Ogilvy

Headshot of Patrick Coffee


Current gig Chief creative officer, FCB Chicago

Previous gig Global executive creative director, Ogilvy Chicago

Twitter @thinktradigital

Age 46

Adweek: You accepted this role during a transitional period for FCB. What do you see as the big challenges of your new job?

Liz Taylor: It's more of an opportunity than a challenge. I'm excited about the depth of our client base and having the portfolio integrated under one P&L. I didn't come into anything broken … there's an incredible momentum, and I feel very lucky to continue to ride this wave.

FCB Chicago has been known in recent years for humorous work like "Ship My Pants" for Kmart. Do you see the tone changing? 

I think the tone should always reflect the personality of the brand and the conversation. The work has to be diverse; there's no one size fits all … it's about how you make a brand matter.

What's your long-term view for the Chicago organization?

Think about Nike and Dove: They've kept their point of view for years but still manage to keep things fresh, topical and related to pop culture. That's what I'd love to do, and it's what [FCB global chief creative officer Susan Credle's] vision is. I'm excited to tweak things a little bit here.

How closely do you see yourself and the Chicago leadership team collaborating with other offices and global leaders like Credle?

Why wouldn't we do it? I welcome the opportunity to partner with Susan and our creative leaders in New York and San Francisco, becoming a network solution and offering geographic flexibility for our clients.

Credle has made gender equality and diversity a passion point during her tenure. Do you plan to collaborate with her on related initiatives?

We've had a lot of discussions, and it's one of the things I was very excited to come here for. Initiatives like #FreeTheBid are walking the walk, and I think developing a culture of inclusion and gender equality is very important to the success of our agency and our industry, because the work is going to get better the more people you have representing the world at large. It's incredible to feel that everyone isn't just saying it—they believe it and they will hold me to it.

In recent months many in the ad business have been discussing another Chicago operation: Omnicom's dedicated McDonald's agency. Do you see this as a model for the future?

This proves that clients are frustrated managing multiple agencies but not willing to give up the specialties that come from such a roster. We remain open to the idea, but it's not something we've discussed or needed at this point.

Which recent campaigns have inspired you creatively?

REI's #OptOutside was a really great idea that was 100 percent true to their core, who they are and what they believe in. It's their way to say "we get you" to consumers. Another one was the Nivea dolls by FCB Brazil. I'm a big fan of innovation and saying "what if" in terms of brands, and this one solved multiple problems. What I love most is the notion that, while so many parties could have said no, everyone held hands and believed in it, and it blew out from there with the brand at its core.

This story first appeared in the October 24, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.

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@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: October 24, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT