Independent agency Tombras has appointed Avinash Baliga as the agency’s first-ever executive creative director. Based in New York and reporting to Tombras CCO Jeff Benjamin, Baliga will be responsible for building out the New York creative team as well as new business efforts as the New York office continues to grow and gain traction.
Baliga comes to Tombras from Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort, where he was vp, creative director on acclaimed campaigns for Mint Mobile and Bolt Financial. Prior to Maximum Effort, Baliga was a creative director at agencies including Mother in New York and Buenos Aires, and Barton F. Graf, where he created award-winning work for Clash of Clans, and first worked with Benjamin.
“Having worked together previously at Barton F. Graf, Avi is a natural fit for Tombras. A generational creative leader who understands how to conceive and execute breakthrough ideas, with speed and agility. He was part of a new creative approach at Maximum Effort and now comes to Tombras where our in-house production, media, data and analytics capabilities are ready for his creativity,” said Benjamin in a statement, adding that while some New York agencies are shrinking, Tombras New York is on an upswing.
Throughout his career, Baliga’s work has been recognized by every major industry award show, winning Gold Pencils at the One Show, the D&AD and a Grand Effie.
Baliga’s hire follows a year of growth for Tombras, including two new agency of record relationships, BMW Motorrad and Casey’s convenience stores. The agency has also opened new office space in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood and continued to hire top executives from the industry. Baliga joins a leadership team in New York that includes Lindsay Stein (chief purpose officer), Juan Tubert (chief technology officer), Chad Hopenwasser (chief production officer), and Denice Heyward (svp, business affairs).
“I love that Tombras is a fiercely independent agency with a clear personality. It’s 77 years old but operates with the restlessness and ambition of a startup. I’m lucky enough to have worked at some of the most influential agencies in the world, and I’m keen to take all that I’ve learned and help build the NY office,” said Baliga in a statement.
Dooley Tombras, president of Tombras added that he has been a huge fan of Baliga’s work for a while, so it was great to land him at Tombras.
“With Mint Mobile, you’re seeing real time ideas come to life in days, not weeks, because being a day late is like being six months late at the speed the internet and culture are moving. He’s a totally different type of creative, and that’s what you need to do the most breakthrough work in the world,” said Tombras in a statement.
Baliga begins his new position on June 5.