Technicolor Creative Studios has hired Anna Watkins, former managing director of Verizon Media, as global vice-president of growth and brand partnerships.
Reporting to David Patton, president of brand experience and advertising at Technicolor Creative Studios since 2019, Watkins will be responsible for overseeing MPC and The Mill as the company expands its remit and creative offering globally.
This will involve creating more direct-to-brand partnerships and expanding the sector’s technology-driven creative solutions to include virtual productions, immersive AR and VR experiences, interactive products, 3D brand mascots and digital assets.
The production sector has seen major disruption and change since the pandemic, as advertisers and agencies switched from live shoots to animation and AR and editing remotely because of social distancing and travel restrictions.
“Anna will support the growth of MPC and The Mill’s direct-to-brand offering, in addition to identifying new growth opportunities across the Technicolor Creative Studios, brand experience and advertising division,” Patton, who was previously global president of Y&R and CEO of Grey Group, said.
“This is a pivotal hire as we look to focus on how we can faster evolve our offering to accommodate the massive growing demand for our services.”
Patton continued: “Our goal is to be the top provider of creative production to brands globally as they look to lean on new forms of creative technology to connect with their customer base in new and innovative ways.”
Watkins kicked off her career in advertising as an account director at M&C Saatchi in 1996 and worked as an international sales and sponsorship director for Prisa (based in Madrid) before joining TBWA in 2003 as a content director.
She was appointed CEO of digital and social media agency Fullsix UK in 2005, and in 2012 joined initiative in the role of managing director.
A year later, Watkins joined Guardian News & Media as the managing director of Guardian Labs – the news outlet’s creative wing – where she spent three years before being named global CEO of MoFilm, part of the You and Mr Jones brand tech group.
Watkins was marketing director of Verizon's Oath – formed from the merger of AOL and Yahoo's media assets and later renamed Verizon Media Group – from July 2018 where she oversaw growth at Yahoo, AOL, and HuffPost until last year.
Watkins said: “I am delighted to be joining Technicolor Creative Studios with its stellar creative heritage in visual effects, CG and groundbreaking innovative solutions in the world of creative technology.
“Both MPC and The Mill are seeing considerable opportunities to grow not only an end-to-end service for our clients from strategy through to production, but also through our ever-increasing creative production capabilities in immersive and interactive marketing across the globe.”
MPC rebranded in 2019 in a bid to highlight its expanded services, which include working directly with brands.