Deutsch today (June 28) announced the hiring of Shannon Washington as senior vice president, creative director at its Los Angeles office, to oversee the recently-won H&R Block business.
Washington joined Deutsch from Droga5 New York, where she served as a creative director on CoverGirl and Chase. Her CoverGirl work, in particular, had been lauded for redefining the standards of beauty for all ages and races, and even included actress-producer Issa Rae and model Amy Deanna (in one of the first beauty brand spots starring a woman with vitiligo) for its “I am what I make up” campaign from earlier this year.
Prior to Droga5, she worked at Invnt, a division of the now-absorbed Time Inc. as a senior creative director, focused on strategizing live and integrated media experiences for brands like Intel, SC Johnson, Popsugar, People, InStyle and Essence magazines. Before Invnt, Washington was a digital creative director at Grey New York, focused on beauty and lifestyle brands.
Washington has reported to Deutsch’s chief creative Pete Favat, who considered her a ‘creative force,’ adding: “Her energy is infectious as hell. Let’s just say she had me at hello."
He continued: “Her leadership style and work are exactly what we need and she’s a champion of young talent and her award-winning work speaks for Itself. I am so proud she decided to join Deutsch and I am beyond excited for us all to learn what Shannon can teach us.”
Washington commented: “Working on a brand like H&R Block unlocks a unique creative opportunity. Literally, everyone has to do their taxes and the competition is stiff. I jumped at the opportunity to work on this business because I thrive at doing human-powered work that can empower people from all walks of life. Much like CoverGirl, redefining an already established brand from the ground up is an attractive challenge for any creative. Deutsch has an incredible reputation and I’m ready for this next chapter of my career in sunny Los Angeles.”
Outside of her day job, Washington has been active in the arts and marketing community at-large. In 2006, she co-founded The Vanguard, a young auxiliary group of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. A couple years later she became founding member of New York’s ArtNoir, a platform for diverse artists to showcase experimental works of creativity and storytelling. She has also been a part of the Marcus Graham Project’s advisory board since 2016 and owns and operates Parlour, a global digital travel and lifestyle destination for women of color.
Deutsch has seemingly been in growth mode, both through its recent account wins and in pulling in diverse leadership through its New York and Los Angeles offices. Preceding Washington's hire: Todd Lefelt to run the user experience design department out of LA; self-taught artist Adhemas Batista to oversee the LA design group; and former start-up co-founder Husani Oakley to direct the NY office's technology practice.