New Name and Partners For San Francisco Shop

Harry Cocciolo spent his last week as a creative director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in Australia, shooting an AT&T Wireless spot. Today, back in San Francisco, he’s set to start recasting Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners as See, the new name for a nine-year-old agency that in the last three months lost two of its name partners.

“We will be a creative agency in the ilk of the best creative agencies,” said Cocciolo, creative director and one of five partners at the independent shop. “The work will be the thing.”

The new name, unveiled last week, is intended to convey an ability to look beyond the obvious and delve into the “subtle nuances in a brand,” said CEO Eileen Arbues, who arrived at the agency in July.

Along with Arbues and remaining founding partner Andy Narraway, Cocciolo is joined at the top by account planning director Keith McVaney, who has worked at OWN&P since May 1998, and director of account services John Aldrich, who has been with the agency since its beginning and was made a partner this year.

Former chairman and executive creative director Jeff Odiorne left in October to start an entertainment-based venture in New York; creative director Michael Wilde quit in August to complete a film.

The shop, which claims $95 million in U.S. billings, down from $100 million in 2002, will attempt to build on its original and by far its largest client, videogame distributor Electronic Arts, a $90 million account. “Obviously, as a business, we want to have a diverse and a broad base,” Cocciolo said.

The plan is to use the EA work as a showcase to lure established brands that have been ineffective in reaching a young audience, Arbues said. “Electronic Arts allows us to build an organization,” she said. “Our goal is to replicate that [relationship] with other companies who are category leaders.”

In the past, the agency had some success attracting other youth-oriented clients—working briefly for Lucky Jeans, for example—but did not do well in converting that work into long-term relationships.

Cocciolo quit Goodby once before to help build a smaller shop, joining Leagas Delaney in 1997. He left with three other top execs in 2001 when the shop was looking for a global buyer and rejoined Goodby in June 2002.

He said he has similar motivations for moving to See. “I came to the point where I wanted to be part of building a team and a business and a reputation,” Cocciolo said. “The idea of being part of something that is in its infancy and becoming bigger and better has always been on my mind.”