Garage Team Mazda Welcomes Erich Funke as Chief Creative Officer

By Erik Oster 

Garage Team Mazda hired Erich Funke as chief creative officer, effective March 6.

Funke arrives at the agency following over eleven years as vice president, creative director with Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles. Recently, he has worked across the Toyota account on projects like a 2015 Camry launch campaign built around a pair of Super Bowl spots, as well as launches for the Tundra truck and Sienna minivan and a 2015 “Father’s Day Redo” ad for Toyota.

The new CCO replaces Harvey Marco, who led The Garage since its launch and left last fall after almost six years. At the time of his departure, WPP did not provide a statement or any related details. But Marco later wrote on LinkedIn: “In late October of 2016, after much reflection, I resigned to pursue an entirely new personal venture.”


Before joining Saatchi & Saatchi, Funke spent around a year as an executive creative director with FCB Irvine, working with clients including Taco Bell, Hilton Hotels and AAA. Prior to that he spent a year as a group creative director with BBDO Chicago, working with clients such as Jim Beam, Chrysler, Wrigley’s and YMCA. That followed spent three years as a creative director with TBWA\Chiat\Day, where he worked with clients including Infiniti and Sony Playstation. In addition to the aforementioned brands, Funke has also worked with automotive brands Ford, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover. 

“We are delighted to have Erich’s creative leadership at GTM,” WPP Mazda global client leader and Garage Team Mazda CEO Michael Buttlar said in a statement. “As an integrated-team agency, we are equally excited about Eric’s reputation as an enthusiastic collaborator and skilled team-builder, both with his clients and within his own agency.”

“I’m thrilled and thankful to have the opportunity to join the GTM team and work on the Mazda business,” added Funke. “I find Mazda to be an exciting brand with a really authentic and compelling story to tell. I look forward to working with GTM to continue to develop brave ideas for Mazda, big or small, with smart, strategic solutions.”