More headed to Zulu’s creative team

TBWA creative team Guilherme Bermejo and Nicholas Doerr will join incoming ECD Allen Oke at Zulu Alpha Kilo.
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Zulu Alpha Kilo’s creative leadership, from left to right: CCO and CEO Zak Mroueh, ECD Ron Smrczek and incoming ECD Allen Oke.

Yesterday, strategy reported that longtime TBWA\Toronto creative and ECD Allen Oke would be departing the agency for Zulu Alpha Kilo. It appears he’s not the only member of the creative department making the move.

The creative team of art director Guilherme Bermejo and copywriter Nicholas Doerr will also be joining Zulu’s creative department on June 8. Bermejo has been with TBWA since 2010, with Doerr joining in 2011. Bermejo had previously been an art director and creative designer at Small World Marketing Group and art director at Brazilian agency Exclam. Doerr had previously been a freelance writer.

“Gui and Nick have been on our radar for about a year,” says Zak Mroueh, CCO and CEO at Zulu Alpha Kilo. “They’re young, hungry and are driven to do the best work of their careers at Zulu. What we like about them is they’re true creative hybrids. Their portfolio of works consists of everything from content to digital to mass work.”

Bermejo and Doerr have worked on clients including Nissan, Infiniti, Visa, WestJet and Energizer, have been flown out to TBWA’s office in Paris to help on work for McDonald’s and at last year’s ADCC awards, the pair’s work with Accessible Media on print ads for the blind earned TBWA\Toronto six Golds.

Bermejo and Doerr join a creative team led by Oke and fellow ECD Ron Smrczek, as well as Mroeuh, CDs Jon Weber and Ari Elkouby and design director Omar Morson.

Morson was hired late last year from Anomaly, around the same time Shawn James and Sean Atkinson were promoted to ACDs. In January, Zulu announced Ebrahim El Kalza had been promoted to head of strategy, filling in a role previously held by Shari Walczak, who had left the agency at the end of 2014 with ECD Shane Ogilvie to start a new creative company dubbed The Garden.

Oke has been with TBWA since 2004, when he joined as copywriter and creative director. He was promoted to ECD in 2012. With 18 years of experience in the industry, he previously had stints as a copywriter at Lowe Roche, JWT and DDB.

A press release from Zulu pointed to Oke’s work on a CASSIES-winning re-election campaign for Toronto mayor David Miller while at Lowe Roche, his contributions to JWT’s “Fore” spot (which won at Cannes and ran in 132 countries) for the repositioning of the Halls brand and TBWA’s “Sledge Hockey” short documentary for Gatorade as being particular creative highlights.

Mroueh adds that the agency has an always-on approach to recruiting top talent, and will be announcing further hires in the coming weeks.

Art director Ryan Speziale also recently left TBWA, part of a series of new hires at Rain43 last month. April also saw TBWA announce the hiring of Darrin Patey as lead creative technologist from Proximity, the promotion of ACD Susie Lee to CD in charge of design, and Calvin Daniels promoted to head of client services. Lee, along with fellow CDs Gerald Kugler and Rodger Eyre, will be leading the agency’s creative department and work with president Jay Bertram to decide which resources need to be added.

“We are producing some of the best work in the city across real clients delivering real results,” Bertram said in an email about his creative department. “Our talent is therefore in high demand, we have always had a strong feeder system. Recruiting and retaining talent and ‘A’ players is my number one responsibility to our clients and my company.”