Eric Cruz Joins DDB San Francisco as Executive Creative Director
Eric Cruz has joined DDB San Francisco as executive creative director, partnering with executive creative director Ben Wolan. The addition of Eric rounds out DDB SF’s suite of capabilities and propels the agency as an agile creative partner in the connected age.
John McCarthy, president of DDB SF said: “This is a big moment for us. Eric represents both the momentum of our growth to date, but also brings critical capabilities to launch us into the future. He will no doubt be a fantastic partner for Ben, and I am incredibly excited about what is to come for this dynamic team.”
Eric is a Filipino-American globalist, creative leader, designer, and educator, who brings over 23 years of industry experience. He is known for combining design, storytelling, experience and innovation to deliver the unexpected. Eric also brings broad international experience, having held various leadership positions at agencies worldwide at Sid Lee, AKQA, Leo Burnett, and Wieden+Kennedy, developing a model for the creative network of the future and exploring how creativity can help invent tomorrow, today.
Most recently as Sid Lee USA and Digital Kitchen’s executive creative director for innovation & design, Eric led the charge in exploring worlds beyond belief and pushing the boundaries of digital storytelling, products, platforms and experiences for clients including Facebook Reality Labs, Tubi, Journi, the LA Rams and Warner Brothers. Prior to that as AKQA Shanghai’s ECD, he led the Greater China team, helping to co-create the future through innovative brand storytelling for Nike, Jordan, Converse, Apple, Airbnb, NBA, Diageo, J&J, Gore-Tex, Lycra, The City of Shanghai and Hong Kong. During his tenure as Leo Burnett Malaysia’s creative leader, Eric helped evolve and grow a traditional agency of 90 into a forward-thinking agency of 320.
Ben Wolan said: “Eric is different from me in so many ways, and that is very intentional. I wanted a partner who has different skills and experiences than me, but shares the same passion for creativity as I do. Eric brings stellar design and experience skills and with his global lens he’ll help us craft more unexpected stories. I couldn’t be more excited to partner with him, expand our creativity, and grow the SF office.
Eric began his career at Wieden+Kennedy where he spent over 11 years in Portland, Tokyo and London. He was Co-Founder and Director of W+K Tokyo Lab, the agency’s creative think tank and experimental music label. He regularly lectures to inspire the next generation of talent and has taught Design, Advertising and Moving Media at the Center for Creative Studies Detroit, Temple University Tokyo, and The One Academy Kuala Lumpur. Eric was also a Founding Member of TEDx Shanghai, which aimed to ignite China’s innovation renaissance through creative dialogue, idea exchange, and transformative evolution.
Eric said: “The DDB network has a strong legacy and the vision of creating Unexpected Works is one I have strived to live by throughout my career. The opportunity to engage with New Economy brands and explore new ways of brand building in the digital age and Web 3.0 is super exciting. I’m anxious to shake things up with John, Ben, and the amazing team at DDB SF!”
Eric has been recognised by the Tokyo ADC, Cannes Lions, ADC New York, One Show, D&AD, Spikes Asia, AdFest, AdStars, The Webbys, The FWA, CSS Design Awards, and Japan Media Arts Festival.
Born in the Philippines and raised in the US and Spain, he is currently “back home” in Los Angeles after a 20-year backpack around the world.