VMLY&R today announced the promotion of McKay Hathaway to executive creative director, leading Wendy’s creative teams in the US and further shaping its creative output. He will report to North American chief creative officer, John Godsey.
In this role, Hathaway will guide the overall creative vision and execution for Wendy’s.
He has been leading and growing the brand’s creative for VMLY&R since 2017. Wendy’s is best known for its cheeky brand voice and is consistently celebrated as a cultural icon and purveyor of humorous social commentary. The world-class creative from Wendy’s is marked by its signature sass, quick wits, and unconventional approach across social marketing which has powered the brand’s success on streaming platforms such as Twitch.
Prior to the promotion, Hathaway served as group creative director, spearheading the brand’s expansion across social and digital, specifically in gaming. Under his leadership, the brand and agency landed a Cannes Grand Prix for ‘Keeping Fortnite Fresh’ in 2019. He has worked across other standout campaigns including ‘Feast of Legends’, ‘National Roast Day’, and ‘Super Wendy’s World.’ Over the last four years, the brand’s relevance and distinction among its younger, digitally savvy audience has rocketed.
Recently, Hathaway pushed to expand Wendy’s reach in the gaming community, growing the brand’s Twitch following to over 100k and earning the coveted partner status, reserved for only the top 1% of all Twitch streamers. These efforts led to more success at the following Cannes Festival, with another Gold and Silver Lion.
Additionally, his work with Wendy’s has been recognized at D&AD, The One Show, Art Directors Club, The Clios, Effies, Andy’s, 4A’s, and the AAF, among others.
“McKay is the perfect example that you can be a great, breakthrough creative and a great human at the same time, which is what makes him such a brilliant creative leader,” said Godsey, chief creative officer, North America, VMLY&R. “The work he leads for Wendy’s consistently makes others jealous across the industry and his relentless, never-settle attitude never ceases to amaze me. He’s an important part of pushing this great brand forward.”
“I’m very lucky to be surrounded by such talented people and have incredible clients who trust us completely”, said Hathaway. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work we produce together.”
Before joining VMLY&R, Hathaway worked for a wide remit of brands including: Nintendo, Red Bull, Adidas, Lexus, Honda, Turkish Airlines, Applebee’s, Vitaminwater and Royal Carribean at Leo Burnett, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Kastner and MullenLowe.