Snap taps Wieden + Kennedy vet as chief creative officer

    Dive Brief:

    • Snap Inc. has hired Colleen DeCourcy as chief creative officer with the goal of elevating its brand image and storytelling projects, per a news release emailed to Marketing Dive.
    • DeCourcy previously served at Wieden + Kennedy as chief creative officer and co-president. During a decade at the independent creative agency, she oversaw work for brands including Nike, McDonald’s, KFC and Anheuser-Busch before retiring from the business in December.
    • In her new role, DeCourcy will report directly to Snap Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Mitchell. The news adds to a hiring spree at the Snapchat owner related to safety and platform partnerships and arrives as its core ad business encounters headwinds.

    Dive Insight:

    Snap is placing a bet on agency creative know-how with DeCourcy, who firmed up a reputation through a decade of work at awards darling Wieden + Kennedy. Output spearheaded by the executive prior to her retirement included Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick and the athletic apparel brand’s pandemic-themed “You Can’t Stop Us,” both of which won Emmys. Leo Macias, who also has an agency background, served as Snap’s global head of creative through the end of last year before departing for Amazon.

    Over a decade at Wieden + Kennedy, DeCourcy worked with brands including Nike, McDonald’s and KFC.

    Permission granted by Snap, Inc.


    DeCourcy was already assisting Snap on some of its recent marketing initiatives. Working with the company’s internal creative team, she helped develop its first Oscars TV spot, which revolved around Best Picture winner “Coda.” The movie was the first to star a predominantly deaf cast in leading roles, and Snap’s campaign included a partnership with SignAll to develop Lenses that could help Snapchat users learn ASL.

    DeCourcy joins Snap in a more formal capacity as the company tries to navigate a comedown from earlier pandemic highs. Snapchat, like other social media apps, is contending with privacy changes implemented by Apple last year that have made targeting and measuring mobile campaigns more challenging. Snap saw revenue grow 38% year-over-year to hit $1.06 billion in the first quarter, results that disappointed Wall Street. The war in Ukraine and rising inflation have created additional pressures on advertiser demand.

    Still, the firm has remained busy adding to its executive roster. Along with DeCourcy, Snap recently brought on Jacqueline Beauchere, previously of Microsoft, as global head of platform safety; Anne Laurenson, from Google, as managing director of global carrier partnerships; Rajni Jacques as global head of fashion and beauty partnerships; and Konstantinos “KP” Papmilitiadis, formerly of Facebook, as vice president of platform partnerships. Mitchell, who DeCourcy will report to, signed on to Snap in 2019 as its first CMO. The appointment arrived as the tech firm began to ramp up consumer-facing efforts intended to grab new users.

    Bringing DeCourcy on could herald more substantial changes for Snapchat’s positioning in a crowded social landscape that’s been shaken up by relative newcomer TikTok. Snap has demonstrated a clear interest in building out its stake in the creator economy, including through a new partnership with video shout-out app Cameo. The Snap x Cameo Advertiser Program, revealed as part of Snap’s NewFronts presentation earlier in May, gives Snapchat advertisers access to a talent pool of over 45,000 Cameo personalities who can be deployed for custom video campaigns. Augmented reality, social commerce and short-form video features are other areas of focus for Snap.

    Tech companies continue to turn toward the agency space as they try to bring more experience to their marketing and media operations. Amazon Ads last month hired Amy Armstrong as director of global customer development. Armstrong was previously global CEO of IPG’s Intiative.


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