BBDO Promotes the Creative Behind Barbie’s Reinvention to CCO in San Francisco

Matt Miller will lead the department

Over the past year-plus, Mattel has brought Barbie into the 21st century with the help of its evp and chief brand officer, Juliana Chugg, and creative agency BBDO San Francisco.

This week, the latter organization promoted Matt Miller, who led the Barbie effort beginning with 2015’s “Imagine the Possibilities” campaign, to the role of chief creative officer. Miller is the first person to hold that title in more than 15 years.

"We've been on a great new business run, and this marks how much he has impacted that."
BBDO San Francisco president and CEO Jim Lesser

“It’s a growth story for the agency and for Matt,” said BBDO San Francisco president and CEO Jim Lesser, noting that the office’s staff has more than doubled over the past two and a half years. “We’ve been on a great new business run, and this marks how much he has impacted that.”

“Matt is a fantastic leader, I love what he’s accomplished with the agency,” said BBDO global chief creative officer and North American chairman David Lubars. “And, with this well-deserved promotion, I look forward to loving all the things he’s going to accomplish.”

Since launching the Barbie work, BBDO has become lead agency on all three of Mattel’s major brands including Hot Wheels and Fisher Price. Lesser described the expansion, which happened without a review, as “a huge vote of confidence from our clients.”

Miller, who built his reputation working on the Allstate “Mayhem” campaign for Leo Burnett Chicago, moved to BBDO’s Bay Area office in 2014 to join the Wells Fargo team and subsequently took on lead creative duties for Barbie when Mattel picked BBDO after an unannounced review.

“I have two main goals,” Miller told Adweek. “One is to create the most poachable people in the industry, those with the biggest thinking, the deepest books, the best presentation and client-management skills—the leaders. Then I want to create an environment that’s so supportive and nurturing that those people never want to leave.”

The Barbie campaigns were among the work that led Adweek to name BBDO its U.S. Agency of the Year for 2015.

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