Publicis Groupe’s Rokkan is continuing its growth push with the appointments of Laura Mulloy and Michael Ma as the agency’s first two New York executive creative directors.
Ma joins from the Barbarian Group, where he most recently served as head of design and managing group creative director. During his time there, he led visual design for brands including AOL, Red Bull and Tommy Hilfiger. Mulloy has been freelancing for the past year and a half, according to her LinkedIn profile, and before that served as executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York. During her four years at Saatchi & Saatchi, Mulloy worked with brands including Tide, Goodwill and Adidas.
In her new role, Mulloy will be tasked with leading 360-creative work for brands including Hallmark and The Humane Society, while Ma will “help to redefine what design means” at Rokkan, overseeing creative efforts for clients including Cadillac, JetBlue, and American Express.
“They both represent two different sides of the coin of what we do,” said Brian Carley, chief creative officer at Rokkan, of the two appointments. “Laura is very focused on storytelling, she’s a brilliant writer, and Michael is very much focused on the design aspect of things. Those are both really important parts of what we do, so I think bringing them together can help grow both of those things.”
The appointments come as 16-year-old Rokkan, which also has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Singapore, aims to position itself as a full-service shop and scrap its “digital agency” moniker. While the agency prides itself on some of its early digital work - like launching the first VirginAmerica.com - it is now making a bigger push to work on other campaign elements, like television spots and experiential marketing. For example, earlier this year Rokkan’s New York office created a Mother’s Day TV spot for Hallmark, which was part of a larger campaign that included a long-form film, banners, social posts, and a landing page.
The agency has also won a number of new clients over the past year, including Café de Colombia and William Grant & Sons, whose brands include Glenfiddich and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. Rokkan also serves as Cadillac’s social agency of record, and recently created a series of web films for the automaker called ‘Daring Pursuits.’
“We have so many new clients and so much work going out the door,” said Carley. “‘We’ve probably launched more work this year than we have in the past two years. We’ve made the leap from being what some folks would have considered a digital agency to just being a full-service agency.”
Rokkan is also working to ramp up the output of its LA office, which was established three years ago, off the back of recent wins including REI and Pantone. Earlier this summer, Rokkan LA brought on Brian Veasey as general manager and new business director, while Bill Carlson and Billy Veasey, creative directors at Rokkan New York, recently relocated to the agency’s LA shop to “help grow and lead the agency’s creative capabilities on the West Coast.”