Former ECD Thailand and Asia Regional Creative Director Calls Austin Home Now
Joel Clement, who has worked as both an art director and copywriter in a career that has spanned half the globe, is calling Austin and McGarrah Jessee his new home, where he will focus primarily on writing.
Clement joins McGarrah Jessee after eight years with Saatchi & Saatchi in Bangkok, where he served as Executive Creative Director as well as Regional Creative Director for all of Saatchi & Saatchi Asia, which includes offices in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Singapore. While at Saatchi Joel worked on brands such as Guinness, Electrolux and Procter & Gamble.
Saatchi was not Clement's only stop in Asia. He also worked at TBWA/Thailand and in the Bangkok office of O&M, where in 2000 he won Asia's only Cannes Lion, one of eight he's helped land in his career. He also spent time at BBH in Singapore where he worked on Levis for the Japanese market.
Other stops in Joel’s career include two stints with San Francisco’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners, from 1997–2000 and again from 2002–2003, working on Nike and HP, for whom he won the $100,000 Athena Award and Campaign of the Year from Creativity. At Goodby, Clement also won the prestigious Marget Larsen Award for art direction in his first year at the agency.
Joel began his advertising career at DeVito/Verdi in New York after graduating from Keene State College in Massachusetts and the School of Visual Arts in New York. He also spent time in Minneapolis at both Carmichael Lynch and Fallon.
Before returning to the U.S., Joel considered a number of options. “Repatriating to the U.S., I had a pretty specific ideal in mind,” he said. “I wanted to be part of an independent shop for the creative license it would afford, and I wanted to be part of an agency with a strong positive culture. I found it all at McGarrah Jessee.”
Clement is no stranger to Austin. In 2010 he took time off from advertising to take an intensive course in architecture at the University of Texas. He then used what he’d learned as part of the team that oversaw the re-birth and design of the Saatchi & Saatchi office in Bangkok, creating a much talked-about and highly collaborative space. He’ll find that appreciation for architectural design welcome at McGarrah Jessee, which recently restored a 1950s bank building into their mid-century modern Austin headquarters.
Clement will also find a large group kindred spirits who have left noted agencies to come to McGarrah Jessee. Among the 110-strong staff at McJ are other alumni of Goodby and BBH, plus agencies such as Crispin, BBDO, DDB, Leo Burnett, The Martin Agency, Anomaly, Strawberry Frog and Austin neighbor GSD&M.
“We’re fortunate to find someone with the depth and breadth of experience and talent that Joel brings,” said agency co-founder Mark McGarrah. “We don’t care how far we have to go to find people like him.”