TBWA Worldwide taps Aussie Ben Williams for global creative role

Australian creative Ben Williams has joined TBWA Worldwide as global chief creative experience officer from from R/GA, where he was in the same role.

He fills the vacancy left with the exit of global chief creative officer Chris Garbutt in late 2020.

Williams will lead TBWA’s global creative core, a roundtable composed of chief creative officers from the collective’s top agencies, which also includes chief innovation officer Luke Eid, chief strategy officer Agathe Guerrier, global creative chair John Hunt and others.

Ben Williams

The addition of the word experience into William’s title, indicates TBWA is looking to more away from an ad-driven agency model towards more customer experiences for clients that want more than a 60-second spot or paid social campaign. He will begin in January 2022, initially based in New York, with a move to Los Angeles later in the year.

Prior to joining R/GA, Williams spent a number of years at both Publicis and AKQA. Before moving to the US, Williams partnered with agencies large and small before founding his own design studio that represented brands such as Ford, Yellow Pages, Toyota, Kraft, Subaru, Quiksilver, and Sneaker Freaker magazine. He also spent ten years leading the creative design and execution of digital platforms and experiences for the biggest touring
music festival in the world — Big Day Out.

An award-winning creative, Williams has led the creative output for digital product, service and experience initiatives for brands like Nike, Google, American Express, Samsung and Equinox. At R/GA  he led teams of strategists, designers, and writers to deliver world-class experience strategy, concept development, and creative execution for clients, continually honing ways of working conducive to innovative work that sets a new standard.

At TBWA he will be working with clients such as Adidas, Apple, McDonald’s, Nissan, PepsiCo and Philips.

TBWA\Worldwide CEO, Troy Ruhanen, said: “Ben’s ability to redefine categories, to innovate and create products that influence culture make him the right choice for our collective. His work sits at the nexus of advertising, experience design and innovation. He will set an inspiring vision, unifying the
breadth of creative skills within the collective, as well as attracting talent who are eager to create the new and invent ways for people to experience brands.”

Williams added: “Throughout my career, I’ve worked to disrupt the expected, the status quo, and do that through design, technology, experience, commerce and advertising. To be able to do those things within a company that sees Disruption as the antidote to incrementalism is exciting. We share a vision for the future of creativity and the scale and measurable impact our work can have in the world. I can’t wait to get started.”

Williams will partner with TBWA’s creative leaders around the world to set the vision for how Disruption is creatively expressed across every touchpoint of a brand, ranging from advertising to events, interactive commerce platforms to product design, physical stores to services, and everything in between.  He’ll also explore and build experiences across the 25 emerging spaces identified within TBWA’s global innovation platform Next.

Some of Williams’ most notable projects include the Nike+ FuelBand, the wearable that paved the way for the entire digital sport and fitness category; Nike+ Running, the app; A/R Jordan, which leveraged augmented reality to reimagine the sneaker drop, putting Air Jordan sneakers back to the top of people’s minds and creating the first way for people to purchase directly within Snapchat; an evolution of Oprah’s Book Club, where he and a team created a platform to bridge the physical and digital for a more connected reading experience; and a reinvention of that blurred the line between content and commerce.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.