Art & Communication company SpecialGuest has further solidified its leadership team with the hiring of renowned Executive Producer Cedric Gairard as Head of Development.
Gairard arrives at SpecialGuest after spending the last decade at creative agencies and production companies such as W+K, 180, Pulse Films, and most recently, Johannes Leonardo, where he served as Head of Integrated Production.
What drew him to SpecialGuest were two fundamental elements: “chemistry and culture.” According to the newly minted Head of Development, “SpecialGuest draws people in, pulling from a wide creative horizon. I have known the team for years and I have always been impressed by the way they work together, harnessing their complementary talents and bouncing ideas off each other. Their passion drives new ways of thinking that have the power to bring something fresh to the industry. ”
During his career, Gairard not only worked on global campaigns for adidas, producing the apparel brand’s memorable “Impossible is Nothing” campaign, but also collaborated with top-tier clients such as Chipotle on “Back to Start” as well as Coca-Cola. With the move to SpecialGuest, Gairard relishes an opportunity to move beyond a prescriptive approach to advertising. He states, “In times of uncertainty, businesses tend toward caution and conservatism and the instinct is to rein everything in. I have felt it building for a while now – creativity gets stifled and makers feel frustrated and trapped. SpecialGuest has tapped into an approach that reinvigorates the creative process and it couldn’t come at a better time in a world that is increasingly focused on speed, agility and innovation.”
Gairard looks forward to being another alchemist within the SpecialGuest team, emphasizing the company’s “hybrid thinking, hyper making” mantra in his new Head of Development role. “Cedric has known us since SpecialGuest was in its fetal stage,” says Co-Founder/Executive Creative Director Aaron Duffy. “He gets us. We can finally go beyond admiring his work from afar to making work with him. Cedric’s unique experience combines brand building and both the conceptual and production development side. It’s a baller step for us. Welcome to the pirate ship, Cedric.”
Gairard’s arrival at SpecialGuest coincides with the company’s ambitious brand refresh that includes a new visual identity and site redesign that emphasizes its storytelling prowess. The new identity and online hub launches at “a momentous time” according to SpecialGuest and serves as a highly customizable and collaborative platform. “For the first time since we started SpecialGuest about a year and a half ago, we have a brand identity that embodies our experimental idea-making philosophy” says Duffy.
SpecialGuest is an art & communication company. We are grounded in a history of concepting, directing, experimenting and producing. Our work has been called some of the best of the past decade. Our distinguishing belief is the best ideas come from a tightly-knit collaboration between makers, strategic thinkers and clients. We strive to make the most inventive, creative and impactful work possible. We approach communications and media with our own set of rules rather than repeating old methods. At our core, we believe brands can best succeed by contributing to the culture they live in.