Modernista! CD Heads to Saatchi & Saatchi

LOS ANGELES Creative director Alex Flint said he has resigned from independent Modernista! in Boston to join Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, where he will work on Toyota as a cd.

Noted for his copywriting on the Hummer “Monsters” spot as well as its campaign featuring Belgian comedian Chris van den Dorpel as “Daniel Chesterfield,” Flint said he would join the Torrance, Calif., shop in July.

GM’s Hummer spends close to $150 million annually on U.S. ads.

Flint said that at Saatchi he would work across all models with an eye on new-media opportunities. “I’m very passionate about that,” he said. “A lot of people confuse media ideas and creative ideas within new media. I can’t wait to get started on the Toyota brand.”

“Toyota is ready to continue implementing new media and new ways of engaging the consumer,” said Harvey Marco, executive creative director at Saatchi. “It’s an attraction economy. We have to bring more to the party than the next 30-second television commercial. Alex comes here to do just that. His enthusiasm about pursuing ideas that push conventional wisdom and his desire to take risks was an infectious draw for all of us. He comes here to help us bridge the divide between the so-called digital world and the so-called traditional world.”

Marco said that for consumers today “they’re one in the same. Consumers don’t draw a line between what’s digital and what’s traditional, It either works or it doesn’t. That’s why the creatives aren’t put in silos and there’s an open collaboration that happens regardless of job description or title.”

Raised in Nottingham, England, Flint studied English lit at Edinburgh, Scotland, and started at CDP, London, as a junior copywriter. Moving back to Edinburgh, he worked on Hamlet cigars, Newcastle Brown Ale and Honda at the Leith Agency, where he says he “really learned the trade.”

Leith partnered him with Charles Harris to open its London office in 2000. “Starting an agency is largely unrewarding,” Flint said. “But I learned a lot from that. You find your feet in the 14th round.” There he worked on Carling, Bass Ale, Honda and Irn-Bru energy drink.

In 2003 Flint moved to New York, where he was a senior copywriter at Interpublic Group’s Deutsch on Snapple, Mitchum and Domino’s pizza, among other brands.

After a short stint at Spike DDB in New York, Flint moved to Modernista!, where he became creative director in 2005. Though primarily on Hummer, he also worked on TIAA-CREF at the Boston shop. “Hummer is at best a very polarizing brand,” he said. “They’ve become the whipping boys for the attacks on SUVs. I’m looking forward to working on a brand [Toyota] that is universally popular, where people are ready to like you.”