WPP-owned, Kansas City-based agency VML appointed Pat Piper as group creative director on Wendy’s, for which it won full creative duties back in March. In the new role, Piper will report to VML executive creative director Chris Corley.
“I’ve known Pat since the beginning of my career,” Corley said in a statement. “He is an ace writer and an amazing motivator. We’re lucky to have him as a creative leader for the team.”
Piper joins VML from Hallmark, where he most recently served as creative director of the company’s marketing design studio, following around two and a half years as senior editorial director of packaging and mass merchandising. Prior to joining Hallmark he served a brief stint as vice president, executive creative director for C13 Creative Consumer Concepts in Overland Park, Kansas, managing a team of 17 designers and illustrators and working with clients including Arbys, Chick-fil-A, Sonic Drive-In, Del Taco, Perkins and Bob Evans.
The new GCDs work has been recognized by most major awards shows, and he is best known for Sonic’s long-running “Two Guys,” which he created with art director Matt McKay. In a 2008 interview, McKay described the campaign as “a throwaway idea” that grew far larger than its creators had anticipated.
Piper joined Barkley as a copywriter in 1998 and spent three years writing for clients such as Pearlevision, UMB Banks, Blue Bunny Ice Cream and Citgo before being promoted to associate creative director. During his four years as an associate creative director he worked with clients including Sonic Drive-In, Payless Shoesource, Missouri Lottery and Kansas Lottery. In 2005, he was promoted to VP/GCD and oversaw the Sonic account while also working with UMB Banks and the Kansas City Wizards.
VML also appointed Andy Heddle as group channel director, ecommerce, tasked with enhancing the agency’s ecommerce capabilities while working out of its Kansas City headquarters and reporting to chief innovation officer Brian Yamada.
Heddle joins VML following nearly nine years at Best Buy. Most recently, he served as senior director of the retailer’s ecommerce partnerships practice following a little over a year as senior director, online and direct sales Best Buy productivity. He joined the company as head of online and direct sales, BBY Mobile for Best Buy Europe, following over six and a half years with Caraphone Warehouse.
Heddle will work on several key accounts including Sprint.
Earlier this month, VML announced that it would extend its lease with the Kansas City airport for another 11 years, expanding the space and “add[ing] as many as 376 additional employees to the 510 who work there today,” according to city government documents.