Grey New York Hires Darren Moran as Head of Innovation

By Patrick Coffee 

Today the New York offices of Grey officially named Darren Moran to fill the newly-created head of innovation role.

He quietly began the job last month, but Grey only made the news public today as part of the launch of its new Brand Experience Group (more on that here).

Specifically, he will partner with Evan Kraut, who served as chief growth officer at MRY until leaving a couple of months ago, to lead the creative side of a new offering called Grey Adventures. (We thought the V would be capitalized. Missed opportunity!)


Moran served as chief creative officer of Havas Worldwide in New York until the two parted ways  in September 2014. He had been known as “co-CCO” leading the agency’s North American operations along with Jason Peterson in Chicago, and he previously worked as CCO at FCB and “consulting ECD” at BBDO New York after spending more than 13 years in top creative roles at Y&R.

It’s still not quite clear what led Moran to leave Havas, but since his departure he had been working as an independent consultant under the name Gotham Bacon Concern. (That project has obviously disbanded.)

We’re told that Andreas Dahlqvist sees Moran as one of his major hires to date since taking over the CCO role in late 2014. Here’s his memo, which explains a bit more about what the new head of innovation will do.

I wanted to share some great news with you. I am delighted to announce that Darren Moran has joined us as Head of Innovation for Grey New York, a new position, reporting to me.

In this role, Darren will wear two hats. He will work as the creative lead and partner to Evan Kraut at Grey Adventures, the exciting new incubator of innovative products, services and partnerships for Grey and our clients’ brands that we announced yesterday. He will also serve as the creative leader on a portfolio of accounts. Darren’s mission is to help us pioneer new ways for people to connect with brands, each other, and the world around them, as well as to help create the famously effective businesses of tomorrow.

From award-winning ideas in VR, wearable technology, and interactive storytelling that he helped create while CCO of Havas North America, to the culture-driving, social media newsroom phenomenon he helped spawn as CCO of FCB New York, Darren has always been a big ideas creative with a deep interest in innovative ways to tell a brand’s story.

He began his career spending seven years at BBDO before going on to become Global Creative Director at Y&R during a successful 13-year tenure. Along the way, Darren went back to BBDO as a consulting Executive Creative Director responsible for developing non-traditional ideas across the entire roster of BBDO clients. For the past 15 months, he has led the Gotham Bacon Concern, a creatively-driven, strategically-grounded production studio and consulting firm which he founded.

For more than 20 years, Darren has crafted business-building, brand stories and experiences that live at the intersection of advertising, entertainment, technology and media. He has done groundbreaking integrated campaigns for many of the world’s leading brands including Coca Cola, Dos Equis, Johnnie Walker, Oreo, Chevron, Xerox, AT&T, MTV and Burger King. His work has won recognition at Cannes, the One Show, D&AD, Art Directors Club, the Clios, the Effies, The Webbys, AICP, LIA and Communications Arts.

Darren is universally respected and liked by clients and colleagues alike. We know he’s going to be a terrific addition to our team. Please give him a warm welcome and your full support as we continue to move the future forward at Grey.