Chicago agency O’Keefe Reinhard and Paul will enter 2021 with a new leader of its creative department.
OKRP promoted Aubrey Walker to the new role of executive creative director, tasking him with leading the creative department. Walker succeeds Laura Fegley as the agency’s creative lead following her departure from the agency over the summer.
Fegley joined OKRP from Colle McVoy as CCO a little over a year ago, taking on a position previously held by agency founder Matt Reinhard as he stepped into a growth and innovation role. Following Fegley’s departure, Reinhard and OKRP founder/CEO Tom O’Keefe stepped in to lead creative, with help from Walker as he was transitioning into the new role.
“OKRP is an agency that embraces change and revolutionary thinking, creativity and strategy and those are most important things to me,” Walker said in a statement. “People who succeed here look at ideas through a lens of not just creating ads, but business ideas. There is an entrepreneurial spirit that enables you to give life to ideas beyond marketing, and that empowers me and others to want to do amazing work that can help change folk’s perspectives about what they think about our brands.”
Walker has quickly ascended to a role as a creative and cultural leader at the agency since his arrival earlier this year. He joined OKRP full-time as a group creative director in February, after previously working as a freelancer. A veteran copywriter and creative leader, Walker has worked with agencies including Burrell, Carol H. Williams, commonground, FCBX, Global Hue, MKTG and The TRUE Agency and started his own independent freelance consultancy called Teachers Never Liked Us. He has crafted campaigns for such high profile brands as Bacardi, Call of Duty, Coors Light, Gatorade, Jeep, Nike and Tide.
“I’ve always wanted to lead a record label like Duck Down, Loud Music and, most importantly, Def Jam. This role is like being given the keys to one of those record labels,” Walker said. “I am working with fantastic and innovative creatives and an executive leadership who is not conservative in solving business problems.”
Since his arrival as full-time creative, he has led recent work on the Illinois Lottery, including the holiday “Watch Claude” campaign featuring an online experience and film. He also spearheaded OKRP’s recent “Black Shop Friday” initiative supporting over 500 local Black-owned businesses in partnership with Chicago Urban League and the City of Chicago. Earlier this year, Walker also stepped up as a personal leader at the agency. Following the killing of George Floyd, he brought the agency together over video conference for eight minutes and forty six seconds of silence to signify the length of time Floyd was pinned under a police officer’s knee.
“Aubrey’s made a huge positive impact on our agency in a very short time. At our best, we’re about ‘feel’ in our work and culture, and Aubrey embodies this in everything he does,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “He’s exactly the leader this agency, and quite frankly, our city needs and I’m excited for our next era under his leadership.”