In case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s something brewing at Barkley in Kansas City. The indie has been on a tear of late, and 2019 was the agency’s best year in its long history. Part of the shop’s story is unique (and sometimes quirky) creative for brands like Planet Fitness, Dairy Queen, Haribo and others.
Leading that effort is Katy Hornaday, who has been elevated from evp, executive creative director to the agency’s chief creative officer.
In this new role, Hornaday will continue to lead creative work and oversee broad integration of Barkley’s creative department over its offices, including the Kansas City mothership and outposts in New York, Boulder and Pittsburgh.
“Katy is one of the strongest natural leaders I have seen in my career. She leads with energy, optimism and a passion for great work that is contagious,” said Jeff King, chief executive officer at Barkley.
“I have spent eight years at Barkley, working alongside an incredible group of people. It is an honor to continue this journey, with this team, in a city I love, building the kind of agency I’m endlessly proud to be a part of,” said Hornaday. “We’ve built some really innovative capabilities over the last few years, and I’m excited to continue to develop offerings that build potent modern brands.”
For her part, Hornaday has built a compelling profile. She has been named as a Cannes Future Lion and Young Gun, and was part of Adweek’s 2017 Creative 100 class. Previous stops in her career include CPB (where she was senior copywriter), and at MullenLowe in Boston (as associate creative director).
Hornaday and her team have built creative consistency, and it continues to help brands connect with consumers in meaningful ways. Recent work for Planet Fitness, for example, didn’t just stand out, but also had some key strategic insights that helped drive the concepts further, resulting in some significant lift for the brand during New Year’s Eve.
“Katy adds creativity to absolutely all she touches, making everything smarter, bigger, better and ‘righter,’” said Tim Galles, chief idea officer at Barkley. “She just does what’s right and is fearless about it—which gives everyone around her the confidence to run up any hill, to take on any kind of project.”