JWT New York announced yesterday the appointment of Ben James as an executive creative director. James will be tasked with supporting the creative vision set forth by JWT New York’s Co-Chief Creative Officers Ryan Kutscher and Matt MacDonald, in the duo’s first senior creative hire since taking on their new roles in May.
“Ben brings a wealth of experience and an interesting creative pedigree to the table,” said Kutscher. “We’re changing the creative direction of JWT New York, and that means hiring leaders who lead by example. Also, Ben looks very artistic and trustworthy, so when clients see him it takes the pressure off of me having to keep a straight face when I’m talking nonsense.”
MacDonald added, “There are great creatives. And then there are great people. Very rarely do those two things come in one package. Ben is one of the best talents in the industry, and I've been trying to work with him ever since we met in a portfolio class at the University of Texas. We're thrilled that he's coming aboard to invent the future of JWT.”
James has worked with a number of top agencies and brands over the course of his career. From 2008 to 2011, he was with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) as a creative director/marketing agent, designing solutions for marketers like Bing, Diageo, Gap, Mitchum and Virgin Australia, as well as for entertainers, such as singer Miley Cyrus. He began his career at Crispin Porter + Bogusky Miami/Los Angeles, where he worked on Burger King, MINI, Slim Jim and IKEA. It was there he first met and worked with Kutscher and Jeff Benjamin, JWT’s North American chief creative officer. Past experience also includes time at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Y&R Chicago. For the past year, he has freelanced as a creative director, working on an array of projects at different agencies, including JWT New York.
James’ work has garnered accolades from the both the advertising and entertainment industries. Highlights include recognition from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, D&AD, the Sundance Film Festival, MTV Video Music Awards, The One Show and ANDYs, among many others. Alongside his other projects, James held a previous stint teaching at Miami Ad School.
“It's an exciting time at JWT,” said James. “I've known Jeff, Ryan and Matt for a long time. I feel like we all learned advertising together, because I guess we did. We share a similar creative vision and all want to take risks. The right risks. And we are committed to delivering what clients need. I’m stoked to be a part of it.”