Harris will be tasked with providing clients with solutions from a consultative and execution perspective across the emerging tech spectrum, with an emphasis on voice, AR/MR, and hardware/IoT. He arrives at Big Spaceship from 360i, where he spent the past eight years, most recently as vice president, head of innovation technology. Harris previously served in technical director roles and as vice president, innovation technology, working with clients including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Mondelez, Oreo, Hanes, H&R Block and Oscar Mayer. He started his career in Seattle as a designer, developer, and analyst for Microsoft and Adobe.
In a statement, Big Spaceship founder and CEO Michael Lebowitz called Harris “a perfect fit for our cross-disciplinary culture” and said the agency “couldn’t be more happy to welcome him and deeply incorporate his expertise.”
“Emerging tech isn’t only being looked at by the marketing practice, it’s importance is being understood more broadly across client organizations. So for brands, it’s really important to have a strategic partner to advise, experiment and develop, that isn’t locked in a single silo,” Lebowitz told AgencySpy.
He explained that Big Spaceship is “structured to work across units within a business” to help clients find ways to impact potential consumers and efficiently allocate resources and use technology to reach audiences.
“The evolution and speed of emerging tech is such that incorporating it requires a specialized skill set and new approaches to strategically evaluate, test and implement nascent technology. As voice, mixed-reality, IoT and the like have matured, the need to properly consider their role in an organization has only increased,” he said. “We’ve been deep in this world for years now, and Layne’s done some of the most compelling work in the space. He’s here to help us keep pushing ahead and help our clients break through.”
He added that clients “need an approach to reveal proof points, rather than armchair speculation, to help determine which emerging tech is worth investing in. Often our value is to identify tech to steer clear of, usually discovered after some sort of deep evaluation process/research.”
In addition to hiring Harris, Big Spaceship also promoted Laura Breines to managing director. Breines joined the agency from Huge in 2015 and has served as vp, director of client services and svp, director of client services. In her new role, she will continue to drive agency growth, oversee key operational functions and lead clients including Google, NFL, Sony, JetBlue and BrightStar Care. She reports directly to Big Spaceship president Rob Thorsen.
“We’ve brought on many new clients in the past four years and Laura has been the person who has shepherded our client service practice, Lebowitz said in a statement. “She’s an incredible talent, a hard worker and an example of what we strive to be at Big Spaceship. We’re so appreciative of her work and leadership.”