180NY Brings in Creative Leader Mikko Pietilä from TBWA

By Kyle O'Brien 

180NY has hired Mikko Pietilä as executive creative director to elevate the agency’s creative output. Pietilä will also join the agency’s management team, reporting to president Evan Weissbrot and managing director Angela Kosniewski.

Pietilä comes to 180NY from TBWA\Helsinki, where he was executive creative director/partner since 2014. There he helped lead the agency to a top-awarded ones in Europe, winning Cannes Lions three years in a row, consecutive One Show awards for five years running and consecutive Effies. It was also named Eurobest’s Country Agency of the Year in 2018, 2020 and 2021 and was honored as Finnish Agency of the Year in 2019-2022. Pietilä’s career also includes creative leadership roles at Valve, Rehab and Isobar Helsinki—and board of director positions at startups YSUB and Arcelevn.

“Mikko’s rejection of creative conventions and willingness to experiment, innovate, bravely tell brand stories that remain true to what audiences actually care about—and overall vision for modern craft, make him the perfect fit,” said Weissbrot in a statement. “Mikko will significantly enhance our creative firepower, while beautifully complementing 180NY’s rich, existing capabilities.”

Pietilä’s hiring marks the start of a significant creative expansion for 180, which will expand its creative roster to prepare for growth with existing and new clients.

“I firmly believe a strong internal agency culture—one that harbors and respects individual freedom and collectively embraces ideas and creativity as a whole—is the key to unlocking amazing work while growing brands and companies,” said Pietilä in a statement. “The shape of the work we deliver is rapidly moving towards experiences and so is the shape of our working environment. Agencies that have global ecosystems and work seamlessly across markets with strong local hubs are the future.”

Under Pietilä’s creative leadership, TBWA\Helsinki more than doubled in size, growing from 70 people to a 170-person creative powerhouse.

Pietiläs recent campaigns of note include “My Helsinki Airport,” which encouraged travelers to personalize the airport’s new main terminal official sign with their own name, the Burger King initiative “Love Conquers All,” which featured the King kissing Ronald McDonald in a salute to Helsinki Pride—and previously the outdoor campaign celebrating freedom of the press—dominating Trump’s route to the Helsinki summit with Putin created by newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

“Having Mikko, who is such an accomplished creative and innovator, captain a team built to constantly unearth trends allows us to amplify and accelerate our clients’ impact in culture,” added Kosniewski in a statement.

180NY clients include Conagra, Sony Electronics, Slim Jim and DHL, among others.