Special Group opens doors in the US following Uber Eats ‘Tonight I’ll be eating’ launch

Following the launch of the ‘Tonight I’ll be eating’ brand platform in the US, Special Group has opened its doors in LA.

The office will be led by chief creative officer, William Gelner, who has been working with Australian partners Cade Heyde, Tom Martin and Julian Schreiber on the ground during production of Uber Eats’ US campaigns starring Mark Hamill and Sir Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Van Ness with Simone Biles, and establishing the agency’s presence.

William Gelner will take the lead on the Special Group office in the US

“It is a massive privilege to be able to open doors in the US with Uber Eats as our founding client,” said founding partner, Heyde.

“It’s rare to have the opportunity to export Australian work to the rest of the world. The ongoing success of the creative platform is testament to the bravery and collaboration of a truly great partner.”

Special Group is a New Zealand-born agency which launched in Australia in 2014. The expansion into the US comes just months after the Australian team set up shop in Melbourne, with Paige Prettyman and Rebecca Stambanis at the helm. Special Group Australia has serviced the creative account for Uber since 2017.

CEO and founding partner, Lindsey Evans, said: “It’s been six years since our partners in New Zealand backed us to expand the Special Group brand and open our doors in Australia. To be able to do that all over again with them in the US is such a thrill.

“At Special Group we have an unfair share of worldly and world class talent, which creates the opportunity to further attract the best of the best and have everyone work together in a future fit offering for global brands. We are blessed to have William at the helm in the US. He is ridiculously talented with furiously high standards as well as being a stupidly good human being.”

Gelner has worked at some of the leading agencies in the US including BBH NY, 180 LA and most recently, Engine, servicing brands including UNICEF, Adidas, HBO, HP, Jagermeister, Boost Mobile, The University of Phoenix and Expedia.

Gelner said of leading the new office: “I’m absolutely thrilled to partner with Special Group and launch the US agency.

“Besides being genuinely the kindest and bravest humans, I’ve ever met in the industry, they have built a model around what brands want and need right now. The time is right for a self-backed, nimble and world class creative agency with a global footprint.”

Special Group’s founder, CEO, and CCO in New Zealand, Tony Bradbourne, reflected on the growth of his agency.

“It is an incredibly proud moment to see the business we started in an old cinema in Auckland 13 years ago open its fourth office, this time half-way across the globe,” he said.

“Our unique business offering that spans purpose-led design, strategy, digital, mobile, advertising and innovation has delivered a hugely successful year both as a business and for creativity, and we can’t wait to see this next chapter unfold under the brilliance and talent of William.”


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