W+K’s Hanrahan Partners With Johnson

LOS ANGELES A top creative director at independent Wieden + Kennedy has joined JohnsonSheen Advertising as partner and executive creative director in advance of launching a newly structured shop in January.

Tim Hanrahan joined the 23-person Portland, Ore., shop in October. He said the shop would be renamed to reflect its restructuring.

“I think the timing is perfect,” said Hanrahan, 51. “I could continue to be an employee at the greatest agency in the world, but there is a limit to where you can go there. I’ve long had a burning desire to take all my skills and apply them for myself.”

Hanrahan worked four blocks away from JohnsonSheen for years, but admits he was unfamiliar with the agency. “Wieden is such a world unto itself,” he said, “and they don’t do much local business.” Hanrahan will partner with Pat Johnson, the founder and owner of the agency, who parted with co-founder Mike Sheen in the last year.

“Pat has gotten the place to function in the small market, but realizes there is much more potential to grow to a larger size to provide strategic thinking and a higher quality creative to potentially work on national brands,” Hanrahan said.

Hanrahan started as an art director in 1984 at what was then Humphrey Browning McDougall in Boston, after working as a book designer. He moved to Boston’s Hill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos in the early ’90s before being hired by W+K as an art director in September 1993, working on 70 ESPN spots with Hank Perlman in his first year. He was named creative director in 2000. Over the years, Hanrahan also worked on Nike, Alta Vista, Microsoft, PowerAde, Belvedere and Chopin vodkas. He was a cd on W+K’s AOL campaign for the 2004 Super Bowl and the recent “President of beers” effort.

“We roamed the country over these past months in search of a cd who worked on incredible national brands, shared the vision for an idea-driven agency, had ambition for the agency and its clients, and was not prone to hissy fits,” said Johnson. “Tim met the criteria in spades.”

Hanrahan said the idea is to “start with a strong foundation and bring people in to a working, functioning business. Pat has built a sound agency here and has great entrepreneurial skills. If anything will define what this place will be it’s entrepreneurial thinking. As much as that is in the genetic design of bigger agencies, you’re not always able to act on that. We have freedom and agility.”

Scott Cowan, who also hails from W+K, will remain at the shop as a strategic planner.

Clients at JohnsonSheen include Brooks Sports, a running shoes company started by an ex-Nike executive; Gerber Legendary Blades; Ann Sacks Tile & Stone; Portland General Electric; regional Blue Cross/Blue Shield; and Albina Community Bank.