R/GA Adds Traditional Creative Firepower

At a time when general agencies are scrambling to hire digital talent, many i-shops are moving in the opposite direction, scooping up creatives well versed in traditional media.

Case in point: R/GA has added DDB creative director Chuck Tso as executive creative director in New York.

Tso, 37, spent 16 months at DDB, where his work for clients like the New York Lottery, Unilever and Hertz included TV and print campaigns. He has 12 years of experience, including five-plus years at BBDO in New York, where he worked for ecd Eric Silver before following him to DDB last year.
Tso joins Berlin Cameron veteran Taras Wayner as executive creative directors for R/GA in New York. They both have backgrounds in traditional brand storytelling, rather than the digital design work that’s in R/GA’s roots.

Overall, R/GA has 40 creatives with storytelling experience, according to North America CCO Nick Law. “We divide our aptitudes here but don’t divide the work,” he said. “What Taras’ background makes him good at is storytelling. What [ecd] Rich Ting’s background makes him good at is systems. We need the best kind of talent from both worlds.”
R/GA has expanded into traditional media with a few clients. It broke an integrated campaign, including TV commercials, for Ameriprise in January. It has a second round coming out soon, Law said.
Tso was a good match for R/GA because of his art direction background, Law said, which matches up with Wayner’s copywriting. His work includes a campaign for BBC America that encouraged consumers to ask for the channel from their cable provider by creating stories out of actual coaxial cables.
“He has wonderful visual solutions that aren’t really ads,” Wayner said. “They’re just not traditional work. There was stuff we said we’d love to have that done here.”