Independent creative communications group Manifest has hired Kostas Karanikolas as its first global executive creative director.
Karanikolas joins from WPP, where he was a global ECD for two years, leading work by its bespoke GSK team. He has also served as a global creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi and Rapp, as well as stints at Crispin Porter & Bogusky and BBDO. He has developed campaigns for brands such as Gillette, Huawei, Tide and Guess.
Karanikolas will lead Manifest’s global creative and production teams as it attracts more international brands.
Manifest is one of the most awarded communications agencies in the UK in recent years, winning several Agency of the Year accolades from Campaign’s sister publication, PRWeek. It was also a finalist in this year's global Campaign Agency of the Year awards.
Manifest has offices in the UK, Sweden, Australia and the US. In the past year, the group grew revenues by more than 50% and global headcount by 52% in spite of the pandemic.
It works with tech giant Logitech, parenting pioneer Tommee Tippee and recipe box unicorn Gousto, among other brands.
Previously, Manifest won plaudits for its work with BrewDog, including campaigns such as "Make Earth great again" and "Bar on the edge", which took a dig at policies favoured by former US president Donald Trump – a relationship that soured after the partnership split over an IP rights dispute.
Karanikolas said he was joining “a star in the ascendant” and looked forward to working at a “nimble, original and unfiltered” independent agency.
“Manifest has already forged a global reputation from bold creative work that has redefined entire categories, let alone companies,” Karanikolas said.
“There is a collective focus here to do significant work and this is a team that not only understands how to come up with ‘the big idea’ but to deliver it with impact and efficacy too. It’s a compelling proposition for brands looking for an alternative to the same old global networks.”
Manifest founder and group CEO Alex Myers said: "Bringing someone of Kostas’ calibre on board is a statement of intent for us as we continue to expand our creative horizons across the group. He brings with him not just experience, but enthusiasm and passion for his work that has already inspired our creative teams. It’s a very exciting time for the agency.”