Fuse Marketing taps Steve Miller as first ECD

The former OneMethod SVP and creative director joins the Toronto agency to continue building its creative capabilities.

Steve Miller

Fuse Marketing Group continues to evolve its creative offering with the hiring of Steve Miller as its first executive creative director. He will also serve in a VP and partner role, helping to guide the agency as a whole.

Miller has spent the last 14 years at OneMethod, where he was most recently SVP and creative director. He played a “pivotal role” in developing that shop’s creative capabilities, and has been handed a similar mandate at Fuse, says Adam Bleau, the agency’s managing director.

Bleau says Miller was picked for his creative talent, his proven track record of helping grow an independent agency, as well as his entrepreneurial and mentorship-focused style. Culturally, he was the right fit, Bleau says. The agency hopes Miller will “take the reins of the leadership and with a visionary perspective, help us add to the team as needed, as we move forward.”

At OneMethod, Miller helped grow the agency from five to 55 staff, while overseeing campaigns for Nestlé, Johnson & Johnson and Nokia, among other clients. He says that was achieved by creating the right agency culture, hiring “polymaths” with additional talents beyond their defined roles, and nurturing a “family vibe” among the team – things which he intends to bring to his new shop. “With the right culture in place, we can turn our attention to the work, and then, start turning heads.”

During a transition period, Miller will work alongside industry consultant Karen Howe, who has been leading the creative team at Fuse on an interim basis. Howe was called in to replace outgoing SVP of creative and innovation Patrick Weir in November 2017.

“Sixteen years ago this agency was an experiential, below-the-line, promotional CRM-type agency,” says Bleau, who joined Fuse around three years ago. His mandate was to help enhance the shop’s strategic offering by levraging its roots in data analytics to drive useful insights for brands, he says. “Steve is really going to help us articulate those [insights] in interesting and forward-thinking creative ways.”

Bleau says Fuse has been “pushing the boundaries of the kind of work we’ve been doing” for clients, leading to renewed and deeper interest in the offering. It currently works with hot sauce brand Cholula and cough drops manufacturer Ricola (both in Canada and the U.S.), as well as with the Children’s Miracle Network and on licensed producer Canopy Growth’s CBD-based products. He says working with the cannabis company has opened up new opportunities at home and abroad.

Late last year, Fuse joined the Worldwide Partners (WPI) network of independent agencies, becoming the only Toronto-based agency in the group and opening the door to international collaboration. It also formed a strategic partnership with Amplify Solutions, a youth-focused agency, earlier in the year.