Digitas appoints Carren O’Keefe as Chief Creative Officer
- February 13, 2023
Digitas has appointed Carren O’Keefe as its new Chief Creative Officer.
O’Keefe has spent the past eight years at AnalogFolk, six of which have been as ECD, helping to grow the agency’s portfolio of clients and its work across two continents. She established AnalogFolk’s Portland base in 2015 with Nike as the flagship client, becoming the only female founding partner in the agency’s network at that time. Her most recent role saw her move to Amsterdam three years ago to lead the agency’s expansion into the market.
As ECD, O’Keefe has led several major projects for Nike, overseeing many firsts for the brand, including its first mental health-focused platform, ‘Mind Sets’, ‘Magic’s In the Air’, which was its first Air Max Day in the metaverse, its first shoe drop using AirDrop with AirDrop 1, and Nike’s first podcast TRAINED.
She was also responsible for culturally-driven campaigns for Johnnie Walker, including a partnership with Netflix for Casa de Papel, a partnership with Air Ink for a sustainability-focused city collaboration, a partnership with Dua Lipa for Studio 2054 livestream event, the launch of Johnnie Walker Blonde and the relaunch of the iconic ‘Keep Walking’ tagline for 50-plus markets in collaboration with Jonathon Majors.
Her work also spans digital product, content and innovative experiences, helping to redesign JohnnieWalker.com, Snipes ecommerce site, and Webby-winning Nike Trainers Hub, a 1:1 connection tool connecting people to Nike’s network of experts.
O’Keefe has racked up multiple accolades for her work leading award-winning projects for Netflix, Bugaboo, Foot Locker, L’Oreal, and Hyundai. She was behind the global launch campaign for Hyundai’s sub-compact SUV Venue and Foot Locker’s purpose-led platform ‘Shoes Don’t Change the World. You Do’.
She has featured among Adweek’s Creative 100 as one of the senior agency leaders who are trailblazing a new course for the industry. Last year O’Keefe was on the jury for Cannes Lions Mobile awards and London International Awards’ inaugural Creativity in the Metaverse & Evolution awards, and served as jury president for both the Mobile and Digital Craft Eurobest awards.
Prior to AnalogFolk, O’Keefe spent five years at AKQA where she worked with brands including Google, Calvin Klein and Mondelez International.
O’Keefe’s hire – Digitas UK CEO Jen Berry’s first since she joined the agency last month – further bolsters Digitas’ leadership team, following the appointment of Chief Growth Officer Sarah Hackett in October 2022.
Berry said: “Creativity is central to how we deliver immersive customer experiences and Carren’s work demonstrates an innate understanding of how people want to engage with brands. She brings a unique perspective and a freshness, seamlessly blending digital tech with creative nous and tapping into culture in a way that moves consumers, clients and society forward. Her passion and energy for innovation is infectious, I cannot wait to see the daring new heights she’ll take Digitas to.”
O’Keefe said: “If there’s one thing a decade of working with Nike has taught me, it is to have audacious ambitions. Digitas’ ‘Future Ready’ proposition is just that. I look forward to joining the team to help realise its potential. Creativity can be a force for change and the only way to actually be ready for the future, is to be a part of creating it.”
O’Keefe will take up the new role as Digitas UK CCO in June. Previous CCO Emma de la Fosse left the agency last month.
Berry continued: “Emma has played a big part in Digitas’ growth over the past four years and she has been a brilliant leader, rebuilding and reinvigorating Digitas’ creative community. We are grateful for the impact she has had on the agency, our work and our clients and we wish her all the best.”
de la Fosse said: “When I joined Digitas four years ago it was the start of a phenomenal journey. The agency is so much stronger than it was, and now Digitas is ready for its next chapter. It’s also the right moment for me to begin the next chapter of my own story. While it was not an easy decision to leave, I do so knowing that Digitas will continue to thrive with such a talented team at the helm.”
Digitas experienced strong growth in 2022, picking up 23 new accounts including Crocs, BT and EE customer engagement and Norwegian Cruise Line. The agency also welcomed key strategic hires to the team to support growth and bolster capabilities.
At the start of this year, Digitas announced the expansion of its remit with Samsung to direct to consumer analytics.