NEW YORK Alan Pafenbach, the former Arnold managing partner and executive creative director who helped shape Volkswagen’s lauded “Drivers wanted” campaign, has joined virtual agency Hello Viking as partner and chief creative officer.
Pafenbach, 53, who is based in Boston, was most recently global creative director on Yahoo! at OglivyOne in New York. The art director officially joined Hello Viking as creative chief last month after working with the agency as a freelancer this summer.
The move reunites Pafenbach with his former Arnold colleagues Tim Brunelle, CEO, and Jennifer Iwanicki, president and director of production, who formed the digitally oriented Minneapolis shop in July 2007.
Pafenbach worked at Arnold for more than 17 years and guided creative development on VW, including the much-awarded 1999 campaign introducing the New Beetle. (For the first half of his run on the German auto brand, he collaborated with copywriter and creative exec Lance Jensen, who left in Arnold in 2000 to co-found Boston independent Modernista!). Pafenbach also worked with both Hello Viking co-founders at the Havas shop in Boston, where Brunelle was an interactive cd and Iwanicki was group head producer.
Pafenbach said the digital experience he gained while working on the car brand led him to explore the digital business further after he left Arnold following the agency’s VW loss in 2005.
“I decided to get into digital a lot more deeply,” he said. Pafenbach joined OgilvyOne in New York in 2006. In addition to working on Yahoo!, his role included managing OgilvyOne in San Francisco, where he worked to integrate the efforts of creative teams with work being done by Ogilvy & Mather staff in New York.
Hello Viking allows Pafenbach to “start at the fundamental level with digital at the core, not as an add-on to traditional” advertising solutions, he said.
With the team’s background in both digital and traditional advertising, Pafenbach said Hello Viking, which works with a virtual network of freelancers across the country, offers “an end-to-end solution.”
Hello Viking, which works both directly with clients and as a subcontractor to ad agencies, recently launched a user-generated design contest, the Vazer Boat Design Challenge, an effort involving Lund Boats, Mercury MerCruiser and General Motors that targets the membership of the Future Farmers of America.
To celebrate its one-year anniversary, the shop created an iPhone/iPod Touch game called “Viking Smackdown” which attracted more than 85,000 players worldwide in the first month of its launch.