Wieden+Kennedy and Goodby Silverstein & Partners alum Jason Campbell is headed to Translation as the agency’s executive creative director. Campbell will work across the breadth of the agency’s client portfolio under president Ann Wool, who joined in March.
“In a time when our industry, clients and people need it more than ever, Jason brings an uncanny blend of humanity, positivity and a crystal clear social compass to his award-winning creative work and leadership. It was clear from our first conversations that he has the unique DNA of a Translator,” Wool said in a statement.
Campbell, a Jamaica native, departed W+K in Portland, where he worked on accounts such as Airbnb, TurboTax, Impossible Foods and Nike, a little over a year ago. Since then, he has freelanced as a contract creative director. In 2007, Campbell joined GS&P, where he spent four years as an art director on brands including Adobe, Comcast, HP and the NBA.
Throughout his career, Campbell’s experience with brands that impact culture helped him hone his craft and build expertise, likening it to building different muscles and gaining an important level of maturity in the creative process.
“One realizes what they like [as they progress in a career],” he said. “I know that I love it when the work hits culture first. That’s important to me and I will continue to embolden younger and mid-level creatives to tap into that. Touching such a variety of brands allowed me to see how great work is made.”
According to Campbell, the decision to return to the agency side wasn’t one that he was thinking about too seriously. However, in looking more closely at the opportunity with Translation, he found that it fit what he was looking for in a role.
“If I were doing a Venn diagram, the role and agency checks off all of the boxes in what I was looking for,” he said. “Translation puts culture at the center of everything that it does.”
Another compelling point was the diversity within the Black-owned agency, founded by Steve Stoute, who Campbell calls “a force.”
“I see the significance [in taking the role], and my goal is to not make this a blip, and contribute to making this a movement in the industry,” said Campbell. “We’re in a moment now where we can shift the world. You can have those conversations with marketers and hold them accountable.”
“Casting this role was uniquely difficult work,” added Chaucer Barnes, Translation’s chief marketing officer. “It’s not just that you’re seeking someone who can unite craft with cultural expertise, which is an expectation of every Translator. To lead, one needs an extraordinary dose of cultural curiosity too. That’s the real evidence of the empathy required to nurture ideas, talent, and clients alike to fulfill their potential to push culture forward. Jason defines this archetype, not just fits it.”