Just weeks after parting ways with Ogilvy, Brian Murray has a new job as executive creative director at Zulu Alpha Kilo.
Murray will work alongside Wain Choi, also ECD, and head of design Stephanie Yung, both of whom joined the agency last year, with Zak Mroueh retaining the title of chief creative officer.
Mroueh said that even after hiring Choi last year he wanted to add another ECD. “I took my time and met with creatives from around the world and in Brian found someone with international standards very close to home,” he said. While Murray was most recently with Ogilvy and before that doug + parnters (Doug & Serge at the time) and Cundari, Murray also worked at DraftFCB and Publicis Modem in London.
International experience was an important requirement for Mroueh as he built his senior creative team, with all three—Choi, Yung and Murray—have worked abroad while also understanding the “subtleties of Canada since they’ve all lived here,” he said.
Murray had been on Mroueh’s list of candidates to join the agency for some time. “We had reached out to Brian six months prior during the search process, but he took a pass at the time,” he said. “We’d always stayed in contact about the possibility of one day working together.”
Along with an MBA, Murray brings with him a long list of creative awards. Most recently he oversaw Ogilvy’s “Courage is Beautiful” campaign for Dove. While at Cundari, he worked on some of the ground-breaking, and multi-award winning work for BMW: Helipad, Walls and Bullet.
In a release announcing the hiring, Mroueh praised Murray’s portfolio as “smart, creative and for real brands. There’s substance to his creativity and there’s a business purpose behind the ideas.”
The agency’s accounts will be divided amongst the three members of his senior creative team. “We’re a busy, growing agency and we have more than enough work to keep us all busy,” said Mroueh.
“Since founding the agency, my goal has always been to compete with the best creative companies in the world,” he said. “And that starts with bringing on the best creative talent. All our leaders are hands on creative leaders versus creatives who sit in ivory towers.”
The Murray announcement follows a number of other hirings at the agency to start 2021. Ece Inan, most recently at Array of Stars, was hired as director of interactive production for Zulubot; James Graham joined the agency as studio director.
Meanwhile on accounts team, the agency hired Michael Brathwaite as an account director, with Hayley Blackmore, Risa Kastelic, Kara Oddi, Emily Anzarouth, Chris Rosario and Sarah Shiff all added as account supervisors.