Jay Benjamin, a highly awarded creative executive with 35 Cannes Lions to his name, has been appointed Saatchi & Saatchi New York’s Chief Creative Officer.
New York-born, Benjamin (39) is a new breed of creative leader whose body of work transcends mediums and blurs the lines between advertising, entertainment, art and utility. Benjamin was most recently Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett New York and previously co-ECD of Leo Burnett Sydney. This is a homecoming for Benjamin as he previously spent several years at both Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney and Auckland.
Announcing the appointment, Saatchi & Saatchi New York CEO Brent Smart says: “I really wanted the next big name in creativity and I truly believe that’s Jay. I love that his work pushes the very definition of what advertising is – from an off-Broadway play to Photochains to a marketplace for words on Twitter. Jay’s won Cannes Lions not just in film, but also in content, media, direct. But most of all, he is huge on talent and low on ego, he’s just a great guy.”
Benjamin says his move is both a homecoming and all about potential. “I’ve always loved the Saatchi & Saatchi brand. Great history, great clients, and a belief that Nothing Is Impossible. That’s never been more true than it is today. I’m thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Brent and take Saatchi & Saatchi NY to new heights.”
In 2010, Leo Burnett launched an entrepreneurially-driven office in New York built around Benjamin as the agency founder. The agency quickly grew to 40 people making work for Samsung, Chobani, The Village Voice, United Nations and new technology brand Filip. Their work for The Village Voice, ‘New York Writes Itself’, a crowdsourced off-Broadway play won the inaugural Gold Lion for Branded Content at Cannes in 2012 and Best of Show at the One Show Entertainment Awards in 2013. In 2013 the agency was ranked 2nd in the world in Branded Content by Ad Age. As co-ECD of Leo Burnett Sydney, Benjamin won the Cannes Media Grand Prix for Canon “Photochains” and was named 7th most creative agency in the world, according to the Gunn Report.
Benjamin starts at Saatchi New York on 21 April.