MRM Worldwide Adds Cheryl Van Ooyen as Group Creative Director
Copywriter Has Worked on Award-Winning Campaigns for Snapple, Ikea and Visa
NEW YORK—(June 8, 2009)—As part of a continuous effort to enhance its brand storytelling capabilities, MRM Worldwide has hired big-agency veteran Cheryl Van Ooyen in the New York office as Vice President, Group Creative Director, effective immediately.
Van Ooyen has won many industry awards (Cannes Lions, One Show, Clios, Addys) for her creative work on brands such as Snapple, Ikea, and Visa.
At MRM Worldwide, she is helping to develop marketing strategies and measurable brand experiences for the shop’s clients, which include Betty Crocker, Bertolli, MasterCard, Intel, and Diageo brands Crown Royal and Captain Morgan.
“Cheryl’s talent is self-evident,” said Michael Jacobs, EVP, Executive Creative Director of MRM in New York. “Having her here gives us another important level of creative leadership. We’re all excited about what she brings to the table.”
For the past three years, Van Ooyen has been and continues to be a contributor (content creation, writing, producing and directing) to MTV Networks/VH1 and NBC Universal. At the former, she created mobile and online series including, Celebhead, the most streamed show on any MTV network, and wrote, directed and produced a full-length pilot for VH1 entitled Star Stories – an adaptation of an award-winning British comedy. At NBC Universal, she created and wrote a half-hour comedy pilot called The Two Hottest Girls from Wisconsin.
In the advertising industry, Van Ooyen has held various senior creative roles at agencies such as, Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, Deutsch and BBDO.
At the New York office of Deutsch from 1997 to 2003, her work on Snapple’s “Little Fruit” campaign depicted fruit in offbeat, but humanized situations—“bad fruit” loitered on the street and smoked cigarettes and was therefore unacceptable for Snapple to use because as the tagline declared, “The best stuff is in here.”
Van Ooyen, who was SVP, Group Creative Director by the time she left Deutsch in 2003, was also a key leader in redefining the brand strategy and image of Swedish furniture chain Ikea, whose “Live better” campaign included TV spots in which Ikea furniture added some panache to recreated sets from The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, carrying the theme line, “If Ikea can update this classic, imagine the possibilities for your home.” She supervised the creative campaigns which included print, radio, online, and in-store and directed several of the commercials.
A guerilla campaign for Ikea had her creative teams placing the retailers’ chairs, sofas and cushions in public places such as bus stops and subways as a way to make them more comfortable and get people to directly experience the products.
“Joining MRM right now was an easy decision — and a great creative opportunity. They are completely committed to taking brands to the next level in the digital space. And using my experience to create content that’s relevant for those brands makes it a perfect fit.” Van Ooyen said of her position at MRM Worldwide.
In 2003, she joined BBDO Worldwide in New York as a Creative Director on the Visa account, supervising agency teams that worked on all of Visa’s platforms and partnerships including, the NFL, the Olympics, Disney, and all brand cards. Van Ooyen also worked on the Long John Silver and Pepsi accounts.
Early in her career, she was an Associate Creative Director at Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York and a senior writer at Elgyn-Syferd in Seattle.
Van Ooyen is the most recent of several upgrades that MRM Worldwide has made to its creative staff in New York.
In November, Sune Kaae transferred to New York from the network’s London office to become Technical Architect & Discipline Lead for Web Development. In that role, Kaae leads analysis, design and implementation of technical solutions.
In December, Ali Grayeli joined as a Vice President, Group Creative Director working on the Intel account. His agency experience extends to Organic, BBDO, Agency.com, Blast Radius, Crispin, Porter & Bogusky and Deutsch, and he has worked on campaigns for Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Microsoft, Nike and Sony.
In January, the New York agency recruited three creative directors based in Israel whose work has appeared across Europe (Farid Chaouki, Roy Eventov, and Raanan Gabriel) to form MRM Design, a digital branding practice. All three men are fluent in state-of-the-art creative tools and constantly refine their use of these tools in their design methodologies.
“We don’t stick to the safe path in digital branding,” said Chaouki. “We like to use the best technology tools and programmers for our designs to create unique solutions for clients.”