Gary Koepke has been promoted to chief creative officer, North America, at SapientNitro, after joining the company last year as global executive creative director of brand content innovation.
He fills the role left vacant when Kathy Delaney left in June 2011. She previously was CCO, president of Nitro, which was acquired by Sapient in 2009. Since Delaney’s departure, Gaston Legorburu, SapientNitro’s worldwide CCO, has overseen her North American duties.
Since joining SapientNitro, Koepke has focused on clients like Fiat and a Google "future of marketing" project, along with traveling around the North American operation’s 15 offices.
“When I got here, my mind expanded. Our technologists are truly creative people,” Koepke, a veteran of traditional agencies, said about the digitally-driven SapientNitro. “We’ll be focusing on creativity the next couple of years, and we’ll bring in creative talent and continue to push for more traditional work because we want to be invited to do above-the-line as well as through-the-line work.”
Prior to SapientNitro, Koepke was CCO of Modernista!, a Boston creative boutique he co-founded in 2000 and which was known for its work on General Motors’ Hummer and Cadillac brands. (Modernista!, which Sapient was said to have had acquisition talks with before it did the Nitro deal, closed its doors in 2011.) Koepke also opened Wieden+Kennedy’s New York office in 1999 and served as creative director there, working on brands like Coca-Cola, Nike and ESPN. In addition to his work in advertising, Koepke has directed music videos for U2 and David Bowie and was the founding creative director of Vibe magazine.
SapientNitro also said it was named agency of record for Nashville-based Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant chain, taking over the business after a review with undisclosed competitors. The agency was awarded responsibility for creative, digital, social and mass media.