Pigeon hires Zeb Barrett as VP of strategy in Toronto

The agency, best known for its design and packaging work, says the hire is in response to significant client wins.

Zeb Barrett-Pigeon

Pigeon has named Zeb Barrett as its new VP of strategy in Toronto as it responds to growth and demands from existing clients, along with a number of significant new wins.

Barrett will handle strategy, innovation and communications in the branding and design firm’s Toronto office. The agency says this role is a reflection of clients coming to Pigeon with more “expansive” asks, be they existing clients like Hershey, IKEA and CF Montreal, or new strategy, design and communications clients like Enwave Energy Corporation or Wildly Delicious.

“From our roots as a package design firm and as branding experts, over the years we have expanded to become a brand-centric communications firm, serving our clients from the brand on up in all areas of their integrated marketing needs,” says Pigeon CEO, Thomas Pigeon.

As a founding board member of the Account Planning Group of Canada, Barrett brings more than 15 years of strategic planning experience. Recently, he led strategy for Toronto branding and design studio Art & Mechanical, and has held senior planning roles at Huge, Havas, Anomaly, Rethink and Leo Burnett.

Barrett’s career crosses categories and includes work on CPG, sports, lifestyle, retail and financial brands. He has worked on Kraft’s Hockeyville campaign, Smucker brands like its eponymous jam and Folgers coffee, Ferrero brand Nutella, and also Wiser’s Canadian whisky, AstraZeneca and SportChek.

Elyse Boulet, president and managing partner of Pigeon Brands, says that the agency continues to expand its offerings in delivering more global and local brand-building work.

“For years, strategy has always been at the forefront of great design and great brands at Pigeon,” Boulet says, and Barrett joining the Pigeon team “ensconces us as a fully-committed and even stronger player in the global strategic branding arena.”

Pigeon recently worked as Danone’s packaging agency for its plant-based Nextmilk under the Silk brand, overhauled Ricardo packaging to make its prepped meals pop on IGA shelves and helped beverage player Lassonde switch from plastic to paper straws. On the top of line side, the shop also worked with MLS club CF Montreal to help get its season going, and entice fans back to Stade Suputo.