This story is becoming very familiar: veteran creative or recruiter leaves the agency world to join one of the major names in startup/social/search engine land.
Global ECD Rick Dennis of Commonwealth//McCann moved to Team Zuckerberg back in August, and last month Scott Larson became the social giant’s newest executive creative director.
Almost exactly a year ago, Larson left Razorfish to join Factory Design Labs, which was then attempting to open an office in San Francisco. He lasted about three months before returning to Razorfish, and the Bay Area FDL location never quite came to be (though we hear they are working on some cool stuff at the moment).
Prior to joining the Razorfish team, Larson was an EVP/ECD at Y&R and held several top creative titles during more than a decade with the FCB organization in Chicago and San Francisco.
We don’t know what this new job will entail on a day-to-day basis, but a contact at Facebook tells us that CDs there either work to promote the company directly or–as is often the case with Google–help former colleagues at traditional agencies use its products more effectively for their clients.
In October Facebook’s CMO Gary Briggs discussed The Factory, which appears to be FB’s equivalent to Google’s The Zoo, with our colleagues at Adweek. He said:
“We’re constantly introducing new apps and new features, and a large amount of time that I spend is in product marketing. So, you want your agency to be tight with the product managers, and you really only get that when they’re in the hallway.”
So Facebook’s in-house creatives are at least partially busy coming up with promotions for the company’s ever-evolving product portfolio.
(If you search for ECDs there, you won’t come up with much beyond Scott Trattner, who left TBWA/MAL to lead Zuckerberg’s in-house creative team two years ago.)
Our contact also tells us that titles don’t mean much of anything at FB, so maybe it’s even more like an ad agency than we thought.