Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) independent strategy and creative agency Sew has brought on Paul Dien as head of business development and partnerships. The former Participant Media executive will report directly to Sew managing director, Tyler Simmons and will be tasked with enhancing the agency’s already robust client roster that includes Ford, Fox, Gap, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), Kaluha, AAA and Verizon.
“Paul is an innovative leader who brings extensive brand experience from both agency and entertainment to Sew,” said Simmons in a statement.
Dien continues his interesting career path that included his role at Participant Media where he cultivated partnerships to amplify social impact campaigns for films such as He Named Me Malala, Gardeners of Eden and A Monster Calls. Previously, Dien ran a digital agency in Shanghai, Sodamedia, which worked with luxury brands including Armani, Fresh Cosmetics, and the Swire Group. He also worked at MTV’s global HIV/AIDS charity the Staying Alive Foundation, serving as Director of Strategic Partnerships working with brands such as H&M, Urban Outfitters and the Body Shop on cause-related marketing initiatives.
Paul Dien: In his own words
Q: Why did you decide to make the move to Sew LA?
A: I was attracted to the integrity and quality in which Sew approaches its work. I also enjoyed the diversity in their work and family culture of the agency. From social impact campaigns to creative advertising, the range was definitely a key factor in making the move. The team is sharp, fun and have a pulse on what’s going on in terms of millennials, trends and the cultural zeitgeist. The portfolio of brands - Kahlua, 20th Century Fox, Gap, Ford, Verizon, OWN, AAA - prove that their clients trust their approach as well.
Q: Sew LA is in DTLA — how do you feel that informs the agency’s work and point of view?
A: What’s happening in downtown LA right now is unlike any other city. There is a cultural renaissance bringing in new restaurants, hotels, businesses which yields new people, ideas and thinking. Being at the epicenter of all that is happening inspires us and informs how we approach our work. We definitely see that as an advantage in that it’s not something we’re just reading or talking about, we’re living it.
Q: What are your goals in the first 6 months? First year?
A: My goals are to deliver Sew’s core values of integrity, humility, community, and curiosity to engage and ignite new ways to partner with brands and clients. In particular, I’m looking at entertainment, tourism and hospitality brands that are looking for an intelligent creative studio. We’re also looking at social impact opportunities given our collective experience in that space.
Q: What will constitute a “win” for you and the agency in a year?
A: We’d really like to form another partnership that mirrors our relationship with Kahlua. Over the last year, we’ve had the opportunity to closely work with them in developing a new tone of voice that connects them with a new generation of drinkers. It’s been a very fun and collaborative process working with a smart team that has resulted in an exciting new campaign that just launched this week.
Q: What do you most appreciate about the Sew LA team?
A: They are smart, driven and innovative. They are an integral part of the DTLA ecosystem and approach all relationships in a meaningful and collaborative way. It’s a great philosophy and why they’ve been successful in attracting clients and partners.
Q: Fun fact about Sew?
We just launched a distillery and would love for you to come and have a drink with us.