PORTLAND, ORE. - Wieden & Kennedy has lured influential Manhattan designer John Jay, most recently creative director at J. Crew and for 14 years the creative force at Bloomingdale's, to join the agency as a creative director. The unconventional move appears to signal a desire at W&K to incorporate new disciplines such as retail point of purchase and interactive TV.
'Our first task is to utilize John's talents with regards to classic advertising issues,' said agency co-principal Dan Wieden. 'But there's freedom to do a lot. It's a way to shake the agency and John up.'
Jay, who officially assumes his new post in October, recently made a trip to Hong Kong, where W&K hopes to open an office to serve Nike and eventually other business.
His fashion expertise meshes with W&K clients Nike and the Gap, particularly as Nike announces plans to open boutiques within larger retail stores.
'I'm going to probably the most creative group that I've ever joined, and there's a lot for me to learn from them,' Jay said. In return, Jay hopes to bring to the agency some ideas on marketing issues for the '90s. 'Some of the things that are so frightening to agencies, like the direct-mail business, aren't frightening to me. Long before integrated marketing was in effect in the agency world, I was participating in it,' a reference to retailers' use of in-house design studios, video production facilities and point of purchase.
Jay is also avid about interactive TV and home shopping. 'If TV advertising is going to be shifting into another arena, how are the agencies going to be prepared for this? The implications are huge.'
Jay was senior vp/cd at J. Crew for just six months. At Bloomingdale's, he was first creative director and, for the last two years, served as executive vp, marketing/creative services.
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