CAA Marketing Changes Name To Observatory, Shuffles Management Team

CAA Marketing, the majority of which was acquired last year by Mark Penn’s private equity fund Stagwell Media, is changing its name to Observatory Marketing.

Known for a portfolio of brand clients including AB/InBev, Burberry, Canada Goose, Chipotle and many others, Observatory will focus on the converging worlds of marketing, advertising, entertainment and consulting. The company is jointly backed by Stagwell and CAA.

The relaunch marks a new chapter in the firm’s evolution as it continues to work with longstanding clients and expands its roster with several new relationships. The new additions include Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League, fashion brand ESPRIT, recent Walmart acquisitions Bonobos and ModCloth.

“Over the last decade, CAA Marketing steadily moved from the outer edges of the marketing services ecosystem toward the center, growing with our brand clients as the roles of content and culture have become increasingly important to marketers,” said Observatory CEO Jae Goodman, CAA Marketing’s Co-Head and Chief Creative Officer since 2006. “Observatory now serves as a lead agency for long-established and next-generation brands, acting as a strategic consultant to define brand purpose, then developing content-led brand platforms and fully-integrated campaigns.”

As part of the agency relaunch, Observatory announced a new leadership team which, as a group, will drive agency management, culture and evolution, including:

  • Longtime CAA Marketing executive Amia Lazarus is now Head of Strategy & Entertainment Consulting
  • Content Manager Judy Kreiter is now the agency’s Head of Operations
  • Executive Content Manager Chris Totushek will become Head of Production & Development
  • Content Manager Carly Allen is now Senior Producer
  • Decade-long creative team and Executive Creative Directors Todd Hunter and Tony Fur will become Co-Chief Creative Officers
  • Brendan Shields-Shimizu is now Group Brand Director leading all LA brand teams
  • Erin Heyns-Stern is now Senior Brand Director and will lead the agency’s New York office
  • Andrew Kootman has joined as Director of Finance
  • Brian Dunbar has joined Observatory as President, having most recently been President of David&Goliath with past leadership roles including Goodby Silverstein and DDB

The LA group will move to new offices on Culver City’s bLAckwelder Creative Campus, and the New York team will move to new offices in One World Trade.

“A decade ago, when I was at eBay, we hired CAA Marketing to create compelling brand entertainment alongside our ad agency,” said Micky Onvural, Co-President and Chief Marketing Officer of ‎Bonobos. “Today, we work with Observatory as our lead creative agency. … We’re excited to continue our work together as they enter this next chapter.”

Mark Shambura, Executive Director of Marketing at Chipotle, spent eight years as a CAA Marketing exec before becoming a client. “Over the past seven years, our collaborative efforts for Chipotle have been not only some of the most awarded creative work in the world, but also the most rewarding of my career. From our music-driven animated shorts, live events, video games, digital experiences, iTunes mini-series to fully-integrated ad campaigns, the team at Observatory has pushed the boundaries of brand storytelling to create business and cultural impact for Chipotle. I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds.”

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