When Andrew McKechnie left the role of global creative director at Apple to become Verizon’s first-ever chief creative officer in February 2017, he had a tall order.
McKechnie, who reports directly to Verizon CMO Diego Scotti, was tasked with developing the brand’s own in-house creative agency.
Named 140, after the group’s digs at 140 West St. in downtown New York, the unit now employs 150 across creative production, project management and strategy.
Rather than divorcing from its agencies, 140 takes a hybrid approach, meeting daily with external partners in “focus” rooms comprising its open office floor plan.
The agency now manages certain functions, such as device and hardware brand photography, entirely in-house, rather than outsourcing it to outside partners.
The move has helped Verizon approach production more systematically.
“The challenge is how do you become more consistent, but be disruptive at the same time,” McKechnie said.
Although McKechnie’s team is primarily focused on creative, he regularly sounds off with Verizon’s experience team, which just acquired the design agency Moment, and CMO Scotti, to help convert creative ideas into media, marketing and experience strategy.
McKechnie spoke with AdExchanger about the agency’s hybrid approach.
AdExchanger: What was it like transitioning from consumer electronics to telco?
ANDREW MCKECHNIE: [Working] at Apple showed me what can happen when you have a fully integrated, in-house group that can impact the work end to end.
Coming to Verizon, [the challenge was how to] take some of the aspects of a fully immersive in-house agency like the one Apple’s created and balance that with the amazing external agencies and talent we have.
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