Olson Names Henderson ECD

CHICAGO Olson has promoted its interactive creative director Chris Henderson to executive creative director of the entire agency.

Henderson, 33, has been with the agency since 2000. Prior to that, he held various design and freelance positions, but admitted that Olson was where his career had really crystallized. “I’m trying to come in and help orchestrate these groups, so we’re all singing a little tighter and we’re all telling the same story,” he said of his new job.

“We’ve been on a national search for someone who can knit together our various groups,” said John Olson, president of the independent Minneapolis shop. “It occurred to us to follow the idea. If you look at a lot of the work that we’ve done for Nike Bauer and Target, a lot of our ideas were coming from the interactive group.”

Though Henderson will oversee all the disciplines at the shop, Brian Kroening, who was recruited in May 2004 as an executive creative director, will continue to work on the agency’s more traditional advertising projects, Olson said. Henderson, however, will be the shop’s only ecd.

As an agency, the shop has prided itself on building an integrated organization from the ground up, rather than bringing disparate pieces together. “It’s a different way of thinking, approaching and getting into ideas,” said managing director Kevin DiLorenzo. “Once we have an idea, the way you spread the word and amplify that idea is what we’re about. More and more that’s coming from nontraditional ideas.”

Brien Grant, who was most recently at Target.com in Minneapolis, has replaced Henderson as the shop’s interactive creative director.

Olson’s clients include Allianz, Nike Bauer Hockey, Cub Foods, Philips Distilling, the Detroit Pistons basketball team, the Washington Nationals baseball team and the Minnesota Wild hockey team.