Back in July, CP+B swiped Mekanism’s strategic lead Eric Zuncic as part of its latest post-shakeup reorganization, and this week the latter shop went all the way to Australia to find his replacement.
Jason Lonsdale most recently served as executive planning director at Saatchi & Saatchi’s Sydney offices, and he has taken a somewhat circuitous route to the New York gig: he started his career in music before heading into agency planning at New Zealand’s Colenso BBDO in 2000. From there he moved on to hold top planning positions at the London offices of Leo Burnett, RKCR/Y&R and Saatchi & Saatchi. During that period he handled strategy for such brands as McDonald’s, T-Mobile, Land Rover, Pepsi and Mars.
He then bounced to Toronto and back to Sydney for top planning gigs at TAXI and Saatchi, respectively.
The release positions his hire as a crucial part of Mekanism’s expansion following its newfound status as North Face’s first creative lead (but NOT its agency of record). CEO and president Jason Harris says his shop decided on Lonsdale after “an extensive search for our CSO,” citing his “proven track record of delivering outstanding and effective creative with a global perspective” in explaining the choice. He adds, “Lonsdale is going to lead his department in making the best work our clients have seen.”
Regarding the new job, Lonsdale himself says: “I’m massively excited to be joining the team at Mekanism. They are fiercely independent, super collaborative and a little bit insane, and they are doing interesting work that goes well beyond just ads.”
We hear that Lonsdale spends much of his free time “[hunting] for rare funk and soul records to spin for his two sons.” Sadly, Fat Beats NYC closed in 2010.