Big Spaceship Nabs Senior Exec From Organic

NEW YORK Big Spaceship has moved to strengthen its executive ranks by recruiting Organic’s Matthew Rosenberg as evp of client engagement.
Rosenberg, 43, will work with Big Spaceship founder and CEO Michael Lebowitz to solidify the agency’s relationship with clients as the Brooklyn shop expands beyond its roots in Web production.
His arrival is important because “the types of engagements we’re dealing with, the scale and complexity are growing,” said Lebowitz. “It’s not just a tagline that we’re doing innovative things [with]. …There’s a lot of working with the client to get them comfortable with the risk.”
Rosenberg spent four years at Organic, where he was group director in the media and entertainment practice. Prior to joining that shop, Rosenberg was Big Spaceship’s client at Sony Pictures, serving as director of digital marketing strategy and production.
“That mix of experience and background is perfect for us,” Lebowitz said.

Of Big Spaceship’s efforts to move beyond the label of a production shop, Rosenberg said: “You might have looked at them seven or eight years ago as a talented production agency. The way I look at it today is, this is a full-service agency other than doing media planning. This is an agency with a very well-evolved strategic practice that understands they’re building experiences for consumers that have to meet business goals. They do fantastic work left to their own devices. They don’t need to be directed through the account representation of another agency. They don’t need to be subcontractors.”

Big Spaceship, now with 45 employees, is not the only digital shop once thought of as a junior partner to traditional agencies now growing its ranks to take on a bigger role. Another example is The Barbarian Group, which recently brought on Naked strategist Noah Brier to build out its strategy practice.
Lebowitz and Big Spaceship were recently embroiled in an industry controversy over his contention that traditional agencies frequently give short shrift to digital shops for projects created together. Lebowitz said the reaction to his outspoken criticism of BBDO in particular has been almost uniformly positive. A big part of that, he said, is the recognition that the creation of digital campaigns is far more complex than traditional efforts.

 ”No group will be able to successfully plan a campaign that’s essentially digital without understanding how it’s built,” Lebowitz said. “There are none of the set structures.”