Local creative studio Zeus Jones is joining a number of ad shops opening offices in San Francisco. To kick off this new office ZJ spared no expense by hiring Gareth Kay to lead the west coast studio. Kay will be an owner of the office along with a founding partner of Zeus Jones. According to Rob White, chief executive, Mr. Kay “will become a partner in due course in the total enterprise.” Until recently, Kay had been associate partner and chief strategy officer at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. He previously worked at a number of high profile agencies included Modernista, Lowe & Partners, TBWA, and Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters.
“We recognize fully that we haven’t and can’t make the kind of impact we want to in one place, with one office,” said Adrian Ho, a founding partner of Zeus Jones. “Hiring Gareth gives us the benefit of launching immediately with credibility” in the competitive San Francisco market. Since Zeus Jones opened in 2007, many of its marketer clients have been based in the Midwest. Like others seeking growth by coming to San Francisco, the principals of Zeus Jones are attracted by an opportunity to land assignments from marketers based in the West. “We want to test our beliefs against different brands, different clients,” said Christian Erickson, a founding partner.
Kay’s conversations with Zeus Jones started with Adrian Ho. “For a decade, we had conversations about our futures,” Mr. Kay said, that recently turned into more concrete discussions centered on a philosophy that the Zeus Jones founders call building “modern brands” through methods that go beyond traditional advertising efforts like commercials. “Our beliefs are so aligned, it made sense to do this together,” Kay said. Plans call for Zeus Jones San Francisco to open with three or four employees along with help from Minneapolis.
(L to R) Christian Erickson, Eric Frost, Gareth Kay, Adrian Ho, and Rob White
Photo Credit: Leslie Plesser