Toyota's ad agency hires new creative chief

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Saatchi & Saatchi L.A., the longtime advertising agency of record for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., has hired Jason Schragger, a former creative executive with Nissan’s global marketing team, as its new chief creative officer to oversee work for the Toyota brand.

Schragger, 40, is an industry veteran whose nearly 20-year career in advertising includes work for Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Mini and Mitsubishi, as well as nonautomotive brands such as Johnnie Walker, Adidas and HSBC. The Zimbabwe native was most recently global creative director for Nissan United, the Omnicom Group-led alliance that coordinates Nissan’s global branding, advertising, media buying and marketing.

Schragger’s appointment to a new post -- chief creative officer -- comes as Saatchi L.A. begins working under a new marketing and advertising structure for the Toyota brand, one that more closely integrates Saatchi L.A. with Toyota’s multicultural advertising agencies, and reorganizes marketing teams by vehicle line rather than by medium or function.

The new agency model, known as Total Toyota, or T2, places Saatchi L.A. in a creative alliance alongside Toyota’s African-American agency, Burrell Communications; Hispanic-market agency Conill; and InterTrend Communications, which handles Asian-American advertising.

The agencies will remain independent.

“We are ecstatic to have Jason Schragger join the team of incredibly talented professionals we have at Saatchi L.A. and to lead the T2 creative approach for Toyota,” Chuck Maguy, president of Saatchi L.A., said in a statement. “He is a tremendous communicator and listener who has gleaned a great deal of insight from leadership figures throughout the course of his career.”

Schragger’s arrival also comes as Toyota begins the multiyear process of moving most of its U.S. headquarters operations to Plano, Texas, from Torrance, Calif.

Saatchi hasn’t yet said whether it will follow Toyota to Texas, but in a statement, Maguy said the agency has been “engaged in regular discussions” with Toyota “to determine the best way to support their marketing efforts upon commencement of operations in Plano.”

You can reach Ryan Beene at rbeene@crain.com. -- Follow Ryan on Twitter


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