KesselsKramer (KK), the independent communications agency and original content studio with offices in Amsterdam and London, charges into a new era by opening an outpost in LA’s Chinatown. The newest iteration of KK will combine the strategic and creative know-how of its Head Creative David Bell and Managing Director Engin Celikbas with the digital and content expertise of new partners David Charles, Eric Barrett and Robert Fagan.
“This is the perfect confluence of two worlds,” stated KK CCO Bell. “We are taking the strategic and creative heritage of KK and adding a whole new dimension with the content and digital expertise of David, Eric and Robert. Most digital and content companies are great at delivering creative, but they lack the strategic thinking – what we’ve formed here is a company that can handle the entire package. This union will help us work in an agile and nimble way to build new brand communities unlike anything our clients have ever experienced.”
The LA-based Charles, Barrett and Fagan will act as full partners and run KK Los Angeles behind the agency’s long-established KK ethos of creating meaningful, community-based work and the KK process that treats every assignment as a start-up, reshaping consumer mindsets and making brands famous. With creative strategy and creative leadership combined with creative production, KK will quickly produce high-quality content.
“Advertising is very good at borrowing from culture – we want to make advertising that contributes to culture and builds communities around it,” stated KK ECD David Charles. “To do that, we look to position ourselves with clients who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of their brand and build a meaningful community of passionate consumers behind it.”
“I’ve always admired the way that KK forged daring communications for their brands by bringing that start-up mentality to every project,” noted Charles, who has worked out of California for several years and will act as KK’s ECD and partner in LA. “Their philosophy and approach to advertising combined with our expertise in the interactive, original, and branded content spaces are the perfect fusion of talent. Together we can make the kind of progressive, meaningful work that’s not compared with other advertising, but with other entertainment properties.”
The agency’s newest outpost will offer services that include:
Integrated Advertising: KK’s recent campaigns include powerful brand stories for Red Stripe, Metro, Bushmills, Greenpeace, CitizenM Hotels, I Amsterdam and J&B.
Original Branded Content: KK invests deep strategic thought to develop cross-media storytelling for each client. The studio’s latest work includes an integrated campaign that utilizes live TV, social media and real audience interactivity for MTV and documentaries about soccer, surfing, art and music.
Curation and Publishing: The LA office, like the London outfit, will double as KK Gallery, a sought-after space for exhibitions and exclusive retail collaborations, drawing culture seekers, design product buyers and press with events such as the recent shop swap with French brand Colette. KK also publishes photography, communication and arts books and co-organizes the X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival, the largest action sports film festival in the world.
KK Los Angeles opens after a highly productive planning process that locked in a list of launch accounts that includes a global campaign for a leading Spirits company, Ubisoft’s highly anticipated Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and the Museum of Contemporary Art’s MOCAtv, the first dedicated contemporary art channel to be part of YouTube original channels. “We wanted to ensure that we hit the ground running,” stated Celikbas, KK Amsterdam’s Managing Director. “These accounts not only help us to immediately show our abilities to the U.S. market, but they showcase the seamless collaboration among our offices.”
About Eric Barrett, President and Partner: Eric is founder/EP of Mirror Films and the X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival. His reel includes commercials and music videos for Nike, Ford, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Target, NFL, MLB, Disney, Mercedes, AXE, Quiksilver, Paul McCartney, U2, Madonna, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews Band, which earned him a Grammy nomination. His work with Rock the Vote earned a Peabody Award.
About David Charles, Creative Director and Partner: David was a Creative Director/Writer at Digital Agency of the Year AKQA and hot shop 72andSunny in LA. He’s created award-winning campaigns, interactive experiences and branded content for global clients such as Nike, Xbox, Sprite, Visa, Gap, Mini, LucasArts, and many others. His accolades include awards at Cannes, One Show, New York Festivals and Archive.
About Robert Fagan, Head of Integrated Production and Partner: Robert is founding member of 42 Entertainment, where he’s produced work at the forefront of transmedia and digital storytelling. He’s won back-to-back Cannes GPs with Year Zero for Nine Inch Nails and The Dark Knight. His game-mechanics expertise in building communities has led him into the world of social programming, where he is currently developing television properties for FUSE, MTV and others.
About Dave Bell, Creative Director and Partner, KK International: Dave helped KK grow from a start-up into the world-renowned communications agency it is today. He’s behind campaigns for Absolut, Diesel, 55DSL, Hans Brinker, CitizenM hotels, Nike, Red Stripe and Greenpeace. Dave Bell is a lecturer at School of Communication Arts and has been involved in numerous talks from Hong Kong Business Design Week to Young Guns Australia.
About Engin Celikbas, Managing Director and Partner, KK International: Engin joined KK International as Managing Director (and partner) in 1998. His efforts were central to creating the financial and organizational structure that allowed the shop to produce work in a broad range of cultural and commercial fields – and for global clients such as Heineken, T-Mobile and Diageo (J&B among others). This work has helped them become one of the most respected independent agencies in the world.