Israel Diaz joins Jackman Reinvents

The former Y&R CCO takes the chief creative and design officer role following the departure of Brett Channer.
Israel Diaz_StrategyMag

Jackman Reinvents has hired Israel Diaz as EVP and chief creative and design officer, effective immediately.

Diaz was most recently CCO at Y&R Toronto, leaving in July when the agency was absorbed by Taxi. He joined Y&R in 2011, one year after he was named the first hire in David & Goliath’s Toronto office as managing partner and ECD (Diaz became available after the agency withdrew from Canada after its main client, Kia, moved its advertising to an internal team). Prior to that, Diaz spent six years at Leo Burnett Toronto, last holding the position of SVP, CD and managing partner.

At the time of the absorption, Peter Stringham, global chairman of Young & Rubicam Group, told strategy that WPP was trying to find another position for Diaz within the holding company. Diaz says WPP did offer many roles across North America, although they required relocation, and was not interested in leaving Toronto at this time.

Diaz will lead Jackman’s full team of designers and creatives, filling a position most recent held by Brett Channer, who joined Jackman in May 2014 after previous creative head Bill Durnan stepped into an advisory role at the agency. Channer left Jackman in February and has since launched Mass Minority, a tech and digital agency.

“What drew me was that it was slightly different from what I’m typically known for doing, although maybe not that different once you think about it,” Diaz said, referring to his move from more traditional ad agencies to one focused on business consulting, retail design and customer experience. “Ad agencies are trying to get upstream with clients and become part of the brand’s DNA. But the challenge is that you’re hired to just do the creative pieces, and that’s been a frustration that I’ve seen grow. When you look at a model like Jackman, it was built to be brought in that way and talk directly with the CEO and have a broader, bigger conversation, which offers so many exciting opportunities.”

Jackman has also added a design element to the chief creative position, something David Moore, advisory board chairman at Jackman Reinvents, is reflective of the kind of work Jackman is both known for and is looking to do more of going forward.

“Israel really fits the bill for what we’re trying to do and build into our model,” he says. Moore was president and CEO of Leo Burnett during Diaz’s time there. “He has an innate design ability that’s part of his core and a desire to apply that in more facets of a client’s business. Design has always been at our core, but we’re starting to bring that up into the business strategy more and more.”

“Jackman has been known more as a heavy thinker and less as a source for creative, so the opportunity is to balance that off a bit more,” Diaz adds. “We cover a wide spectrum so if the strategy calls for it, our output could be a store design or packaging or brand design, but if the strategy calls for it, it could be advertising if creative comes out of that naturally. But the idea isn’t to come in and turn this into an ad agency. It’s bringing that capability to Jackman’s different way of thinking and adding it to the possible outputs.”