DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- McKinney announced today that Walt Barron has been named SVP, head of Account Planning. He is returning to McKinney after serving briefly as director of Account Planning for Peter Mayer in New Orleans.
"It's great to have one of McKinney's favorite alums back home," said Jonathan Cude, chief creative officer of McKinney. "Just about everything he's touched has been honored by some of the industry's top award shows. He's a vocal proponent of account planning's role in guiding and inspiring talked-about work that makes a difference for our clients."
Barron first joined McKinney in 2005 from McGarrah Jessee in Austin where he won a 2004 Pick of the Litter Award at the 4A's Account Planning Conference. At McKinney, he helped develop Effie-Award-winning strategy for the Polaris Industries' Duel campaign that forced all ATV makers to either put up or shut up about who truly has the toughest ATVs. His insights also helped Sherwin-Williams earn two Effies for the Ask Sherwin-Williams campaign, which connected their painting expertise with a like-minded Do-It-Right group segment. He brought home more Effie metal for Lenovo's Boot or Bust digital campaign by recognizing that PC owners greatly exaggerate their computer's boot-up time. Earlier this month, that campaign was honored at the 2012 MIXX Awards sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau for creative excellence in digital advertising.
"The truth is that great creative always makes the strategy behind it look a whole lot better," said Barron. "Our job as planners is to give creatives — and therefore our clients — an unfair advantage by finding a more interesting way to look at the challenge at hand, the audience, and what our clients' brands, products and services have to offer that audience." Barron added that he hopes to bring account planning back to its origins of inspiring creativity. "As advertising has become more complex, account planning has morphed into a wide variety of offerings from digital strategy to media planning to research. The most valuable products agencies make are still great creative ideas, and planners should be upstream, inspiring creative teams to come up with those ideas. That's what Jonathan and I expect here at McKinney."
A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Barron earned a B.A. in history from Davidson College and later an M.S. in mass communications from the VCU Brandcenter.
McKinney was recently named the most effective independent advertising agency in the world by Effie Worldwide and Warc. The agency also took home Best in Show at this month's IAB MIXX Awards, which honor the best creative digital advertising in the world. Over the past year, McKinney has won 42 major industry awards, including five Effies, a Cannes Cyber Lion, six One Show Pencils, six IAB MIXX Awards and a Webby. Founded in 1969, Durham, NC-based McKinney is recognized for having one of the most innovative business models in the industry, focused on big ideas brought to life in powerful conversations between people and brands. McKinney has also been recognized as one of the best U.S. agencies, one of the Best Places to Work in Marketing & Media by Advertising Age, and one of a handful of agencies setting the standard for creativity by One Magazine. The agency's clients include Nationwide Insurance, Nationwide Financial, Travelocity, CenturyLink, Sherwin-Williams, Mizuno USA, Gold's Gym, Meijer, Ruby Tuesday, Big Boss Brewing and Urban Ministries of Durham.
McKinney is part of Cheil Worldwide, one of the world's leading marketing communications networks with 51 offices in 28 countries.