David&Goliath taps Gustavo Sarkis as lead creative on agency’s Kia business

Gustavo Sarkis

Gustavo Sarkis is joining David&Goliath as executive creative director to lead the independent LA shop’s Kia business, an account the agency won in 1999 as its founding client.

Colin Jeffery, managing partner and chief creative officer at David&Goliath, previously held creative reins on the Kia account. Jeffery will continue to oversee the agency’s entire creative department once Sarkis begins his role on September 1.

Sarkis joins from Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) Miami where he has served as executive creative director for the past year and a half, working with brands including Vonage, secondhand app Letgo, and Santa Margherita. Before joining CP+B, he was a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles. Sarkis has a number of awards under his belt, including 12 Cannes Lions and recognition from The One Show, the Clios and D&AD.

Kia and David&Goliath’s 17-year relationship is unique in an industry that’s accustomed to account reshufflings, but the partnership has proven to be a boon for both the brand and agency. Earlier this year, Kia Motors America’s director of marketing Tim Chaney told The Drum that the automaker views David&Goliath as a “kindred spirit” and that the agency’s success goes “hand in hand with Kia’s.”

Much of that success can be attributed to Jeffery, who since joining the agency in 2006 has spearheaded some of Kia’s most iconic work, including its ongoing ‘Hamsters’ campaign for Kia Soul and its 2016 Super Bowl spot starring Christopher Walken for Kia Optima.

Because of this, Sarkis said leading creative for the brand will be a “very exciting challenge” since the agency and Kia already have such a storied history.

“It’s going to be quite a challenge to keep pushing the work forward,” he said. “That’s what I’m in this for. I just want to help them keep pushing the work forward and make it better and better.”

Sarkis’ appointment at David&Goliath marks the first time he’ll be working at an independent agency, something he said he sees as “very attractive and enticing” since independent shops tend to be more centralized in their decision-making processes.

“They don’t have as many layers so they can be more agile and scrappy...sometimes with an independent agency you can get more stuff done,” he said.

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