AKQA has promoted Johnny Budden to executive creative director for the London and Sweden offices.
In his new role, he will work with Map and Universal Design Studios, the companies that AKQA acquired in 2018, and report to Ron Peterson, managing director of AKQA London, Gothenburg and Stockholm studios.
Budden, who is replacing the outgoing Masaya Nakade as London executive creative director, will have joint responsibility for London and Sweden, spending time to grow AKQA’s creative offering in both locations.
Having spent nearly a decade at the WPP digital agency, Budden was previously artistic director and later group creative director. He helped launched AKQA’s Paris studio in 2012, where he worked with clients including Red Bull, Nike and Chanel, and also previously led creative in AKQA New York for Nike, the NBA and Beats by Dre. In 2018, he opened AKQA’s Los Angeles studio with Beats as a founding client.
Some of Budden’s standout work include the launch of the Nike NBA connected jersey, which delivered a personalised digital experience for basketball fans, as well as spearheading the vision of Nike Direct, the sportswear giant’s direct-to-consumer business.
Budden said: "We have a civic responsibility to put some of the world's wrongs right. Together with AKQA partners, such as Map and Universal, we are able to amplify our clients’ purpose and have a positive impact on the environment and society in ways the world hasn't seen before."
Before going into advertising by joining Ogilvy & Mather (now Ogilvy) as a graphic designer in 2009, Budden was a professional athlete and "freerunner" who appeared in ad campaigns. He had sponsorships from Oakley and Nokia, and ran training workshops for the Royal Marines.