C-E Vet Joins D’Arcy on Pontiac

A new co-creative director on Pontiac is the latest addition to D’Arcy Detroit under executive creative director Gary Topolewski, who continues to put his mark on the department after 18 months on the job.

“We’re still trying to upgrade the creative,” Topolewski said. “We need to continue to get smarter people, better people.”

David Johns joined the agency earlier this month as co-creative director on Pontiac. Johns, 40, spent 18 years at Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., where he most recently was associate creative director responsible for Chev rolet Motorsports and the auto maker’s Corvette, Monte Carlo and Impala nameplates.

Topolewski has hired about a dozen senior-level creatives since he joined D’Arcy. Several are former colleagues from his years at FCB Detroit, including Patricia Breen and Dan Willey, who head the Cadillac account; Gloria Ajlouney, director of design, a new position at the agency; and John Van Osdol, director of broadcast production. He hired Tim Kostka from Doner to head the Cadillac regional creative team.

Johns replaces Will Perry, who moves to group creative director for D’Arcy’s Integrated Marketing Services Group. Perry will head up efforts on collateral work at the agency.

“I’ve always been impressed with David’s work,” Topolewski said. “As far as the client-relationship aspect of him, he kind of exudes confidence, he knows General Motors. He’s smart, he’s unflappable. I think he was just the next step we needed to take in developing the creative department that we have.”

Johns said one reason he decided to make the jump was to once again work with George Katsarelas, his co-creative director on Pontiac. The two worked together on Chevrolet at C-E in the early 1990s.

While Johns has inherited the new Pontiac tagline, “Fuel for the soul,” he and Katsarelas have already come up with ideas to “tweak” it a bit, he said.

After 18 years at the same shop, Johns said he felt the need for a change. “I was at the point at Campbell-Ewald where I’d probably had learned what I was going to learn,” Johns said. “And I needed a little bit more motivation as far as having something to refocus my energies on.”