Newly formed Cavalry – the Chicago agency WPP Group recently formed to exclusively handle Coors beer brands – hired DDB SVP/group creative director Jim Larmon as its first chief creative officer.
Larmon is one of the top talents that beer business veteran Marty Stock, Cavalry’s inaugural CEO, is recruiting for Coors’ new agency. Some 40 full time employees are being hired, mostly from WPP agencies Y&R and JWT, branding firm VML, digital talent from digital agency Landor and others.
“It’s a unique opportunity to start something from scratch and I jumped at the chance. I’m excited to team up with Marty Stock and create breakthrough ideas for MillerCoors,” Larmon said in a statement.
At DDB since 2006, Larmon helped develop the award-winning “Dude” campaign for Bud Light, along with the Capital One campaign – Ad Age named the Alec Baldwin and the Visigoths spot one of its Top 10 Ad Icons of the Decade. A Beverly native and a 1993 University of Illinois graduate, Larmon started his career and association with beer brands at the Leap Partnership, which had a piece of the Anheuser Busch business.
In 1999 he joined O&M as a partner/senior art director working on Miller Lite and Pilsner Urquell business, along with American Express, Jaguar and Maxwell House coffee. He also created brand campaigns for Turner Classic Movies, The Discovery Channel and The Food Network.
He spent two years as senior art director at TAXI, New York before returning to Chicago and DDB in 2006.
Cavalry’s Marty Stock had managed MillerCoors’ business for 23 of the 30 years Coors had been a client of Draftfcb and predecessor agency Foote, Cone & Belding. Coors’ 2011 billings were $169 million (for best-seller Coors, Coors Light and Coors Banquet) traditional and digital advertising.
Cavalry is modeled after WPP’s Team Detroit, which was founded in 2008 to focus exclusively on Ford.
London-headquartered WPP is the world’s largest advertising holding company. Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and JWT are among its WPP nine ad agencies and public relations subsidiaries.
Cavalry’s offices are in the process of being built out at 233 N. Michigan where Y&R is located.