BBH Finally Finds No. 2 Creative

A courtship that began with a few feelers and advanced through e-mail has ended with the hiring of Kevin McKeon as executive creative director of Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

McKeon, 43, an evp and group creative director at Lowe Lintas & Partners, here, succeeds Ty Montague, who left last summer [Adweek, Aug. 28]. McKeon, who joins March 5, will steer three creative teams and play a leading role in new-business efforts.

“We love his passion and his drive,” said chairman and creative leader Hegarty, who led the search. “I do think he’s kind of one of tomorrow’s stars,” he said.

At Lowe Lintas and predecessor shop Scali McCabe Sloves, McKeon, a writer, worked on brands such as Perdue, Sony, Mercedes and Burger King. Most recently, he worked on United Parcel Service. McKeon’s 21-year careeralso included stops at BBDO and the former Ammirati & Puris.

His reel includes spots for Sony (“Cat & Dog”), Heineken (“The Best of a Bad Situation”) and Purdue (“Trippy”). It also has a test campaign for Burger King. Tagged, “Long live the burger,” three spots feature two twentysomething guys who share a love for Whoppers. One fellow, called “Marty,” swears to the existence of a “burger king” who watches over the preparation of the food.

McKeon’s spots for those clients are what caught Hegarty’s eye. “It’s very human. I think he has a disarming style and a sense of humor,” said Hegarty, who also cited McKeon’s ability to guide and nurture talent.

McKeon, meanwhile, was drawn by BBH’s “highly focused” work, strong identity and smaller scale. The New York shop claims bill ings of $140 million and a staff of 60—a fraction of the size of the $1.8 billion Lowe Lintas. “There’s an excitement to an agency that size,” said McKeon of BBH. “It’s all about the work.”

Looking ahead to his first-year goals, McKeon said: “I’d like to have more business, obviously. And I’d like to have some genuinely famous work come out of the agency.”