| COPYWRITER + CREATIVE DIRECTOR

About

RYAN O’KEEFE

COPYWRITIN’ SONUVAGUN

 

Ryan writes and creative directs campaigns and commercials and tones of voice and web banners and social posts and billboards and posters and the occasional birthday card.


 
 
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Recognized By —

One Show
Webby
FWA
ADDY
Type Director’s Club
AICP
Comm Arts
+ more

Past Clients —

Apple
Volvo
Stella Artois
The Lincoln Motor Company
Absolut
Crown Royal
Cadillac
+ more

 
 

A FEW WORDS ABOUT ME BY ME…

My background is in car design. I studied industrial design at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies before working in the General Motors Design studios but the 2008 recession startled me from my childhood dream. Rather than wait it out, I took advantage of the opportunity to try something new. Glass half full and all that. And that’s how I stumbled into becoming a keyboard jockey and turned my insane automotive knowledge into words for Jalopnik dot com.

Somewhere around the holidays of oh nine, I was offered a job in New York as one of the first copywriters at a small digital agency. I hung up the phone and did the most reasonable thing I could think of: sold all of my belongings and hopped on the first flight out. During my time at Firstborn I helped pitch, win, and create award-winning digital experiences for an eclectic roster of clients including Starburst, Ford, SoBe, and even the R.M.S Titanic.

From there I joined the ranks at R/GA as a freelance junior writer. A few projects and promotions later, I became the lead senior writer of all digital platform and advertising for Verizon FiOS and Small Business. Sure, it wasn’t glamorous, but I cut my teeth and had a ton of fun along the way. Wyatt Neumann, my creative director at the time, had this to say:

Ryan was one of the best hires I ever made. He’s also a great guy to get a beer with, which is sometimes more important than the work.
— Wyatt Neumann, CD R/GA

A few years, two apartments and a move to Brooklyn later, I received an offer I could not refuse: to join an agency with no name and no office that would eventually own the byline for re-imagining Lincoln. Being one of the first creative hires on an incredibly small team, I helped create integrated campaigns for both the brand and new vehicle launches, and launched multiple digital and social platforms… all the while helping create the now globally-recognized Hudson Rouge from scratch.

I’ve since become a husband, father, owner of two Russian Blues, and wizard in the art of alternate-side parking, all while managing teams and creating award-winning integrated work at Grey, Sid Lee, Publicis, and Rokkan for clients that include Apple, Volvo, Stella Artois, Absolut, Cadillac, and Crown Royal, among others.

So, what can I help you make?

 
 

EXPERIENCE

PUBLICIS + ROKKAN / CREATIVE DIRECTOR / NYC
Joined Cadillac at Publicis where I managed teams and helped launch BOOK by Cadillac, Cadillac VR Showroom, and the new Cadillac.com. Was invited to move with Cadillac to Rokkan where I managed teams and created integrated and social campaigns for Cadillac and Cadillac Racing.

SID LEE / ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR / NYC
Managed teams as well as created integrated campaigns for Apple; digital and global experiential campaigns for Stella Artois; experiential campaigns for Absolut; and brand campaigns for Merrell Outdoor.

GREY / ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR / NYC
Managed a full team of writers, art directors, designers and freelancers across a variety of integrated, digital and direct campaigns for Volvo, including launching the new Volvo US website, and pre-launching the 2014 Volvo XC90. Also concepted and wrote the 2014 Crown Royal brand campaign.

HUDSON ROUGE / SENIOR COPYWRTER / NYC
Invited to join agency while it was still an experiment. Part of a small creative team to re-launch Lincoln as The Lincoln Motor Company; created the “Hello, Again” brand campaign; co-created Lincoln social channels and various digital platforms and launch websites; created 2014 Grammys brand campaign including a first-of-its-kind interactive music video. 

R/GA / SENIOR COPYWRITER / NYC
Started as freelance writer, hired as Junior Copywriter and promoted ultimately to the lead Senior Copywriter on Verizon FiOS and Verizon Small Business working closely with teams of art directors and designers across all of Verizon’s digital platforms and advertising.

FIRSTBORN / COPYWRITER / NYC
Part of a small team of writers who helped pitch, win and create digital experiences for a range of clients including Ford, Wrigley, SoBe, Premiere Exhibitions, among others. Work recognized by multiple FWA awards. 

JALOPNIK.COM / WRITER / DETROIT + NYC
Authored thousands of articles under the pseudonym The Auto Insider, covering everything from cultural and vehicle news in the U.S. to new vehicle launches in Shanghai. Ultimately helped turn the Gawker Media-owned website into one of the internet’s largest and most notorious automotive news sources.  

GENERAL MOTORS / INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER / DETROIT
Turned a childhood dream into reality. Participated in an array of future vehicle programs in the Component, Performance, Full-Size Truck and Premium/Lux design studios. Member of the hand picked “Design Swat Team” to kick-off advanced vehicle programs. Member of the Design Kitchen strategic initiative, created to monitor and track industry and societal trends.

 

RECOGNITION

One Show Bronze – Stella Artois, Le Savoir
One Show Merit x2 – Stella Artois, Le Savoir
Addy Gold – Absolut Elyx, Water Truck Boutique
Addy Excellence – Absolut Elyx, Water Truck Boutique
Type Director’s Club Winner – Absolut Elyx, Water Truck Boutique
Comm Arts Type Annual Feature – Lincoln, Hello Again
Comm Arts Creative Exhibit – Lincoln, Hello Again
Webby Nominee – Lincoln, Hello Again
AICP Shortlist – Lincoln Hello Again
FWA Site of the Day – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
Webby Nominee – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
Davey Award – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
Comm Arts Info Design – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
Telly Awards Silver – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
Communicator Excellence – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
OMMA Web Excellence – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
HOW Merit Winner – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
SXSW Classic Winner – Premiere Exhibitions, Expedition Titanic
FWA Site of the Day – Ford, MyFord Touch Experience
Webby Auto Honoree – Ford, MyFord Touch Experience
FWA Site of the Day – Sobe, ReSkin Yourself
FWA Mobile of the Day – Sobe, ReSkin Yourself
Hive Packaged Goods Winner – Sobe, ReSkin Yourself
Summit Creative Gold – Sobe, ReSkin Yourself
FWA Site of the Day – 5Gum, Sensory Experience
Webby Nominee – 5Gum, Sensory Experience
OMMA Web Excellence – 5Gum, Sensory Experience
HOW Merit Winner – 5Gum, Sensory Experience
HOW Consumer Web Winner – 5Gum, Sensory Experience
ADC Tomorrow Awards Shortlist – 5Gum, Sensory Experience
FWA Site of the Day – Firstborn, Dofl Ball
HOW Winner – Firstborn, Dofl Ball
Ad Age Coolest Apps 2010 – Firstborn, Dofl Ball

 

NOTEWORTHY

My apartment building caught fire during my first week in NYC.

Ryan Reynolds once guffawed at a headline I wrote for Deadpool.

Michael Shannon bummed a smoke from me on two separate occasions at LGA. I have since quit so he no longer asks.

 

PAST CLIENTS

Cadillac, Apple, Volvo, The Lincoln Motor Company, Stella Artois, Absolut, Absolut Elyx, Facebook, Samsung, Crown Royal, Merrell, Coca-Cola, Mello Yello, Monster Energy, Verizon, Verizon FiOS, Ford, Wrigley (Starburst, Skittles, 5Gum), Premiere Exhibitions, SoBe, Aflac