Backyard has signed comedy/performance director and former agency powerhouse Greg Bell for U.S. commercial representation. As a director, Bell infuses his work with an unexpected, intelligent brand of comedy that celebrates the humorous and peculiar side of humanity for a number of high level clients, including Google, Toyota, Kraft, Firstbank, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s and Old Navy. Bell comes to Backyard from Epoch Films, before which he was a partner at award-winning agency Venables Bell & Partners. He is currently embarking on a campaign for NYC-based DeVito Verdi.
Bell crafts humor grounded in unique performances, spot-on comedic timing, and artfully created three-dimensional characters. Greg is a strong creative collaborator, frequently teaming with agency creatives to help bring their work to life in a smarter and funnier creative place. He approaches each new project with the analytical, skillful eye he brought to his agency work. Notes Bell, “every board deserves to live up to its fullest creative potential. The magic is uncovering where it can make a human connection, and then running with it."
"We are so excited to have Greg join us," says Backyard partner Chris Zander. "It's a ridiculously crowded marketplace for comedy directors right now, but Greg's reel cuts through the clutter like a Hanzo Sword. You can feel smart ad-thinking in all of his work, and his reel is laugh-out-loud funny after hundreds of viewings. Backyard has been going through a creative renaissance recently, and Greg is already adding to the fun. He also happens to be a terrific guy who fits into our unique culture perfectly."
After graduating from the Advertising Program at the University of Texas, Bell landed his first job at Cliff Freeman & Partners, where he helped create seminal comedy campaigns for Little Caesars and Staples. Next, Bell moved to Goodby Silverstein & Partners, where he concepted breakthrough work for the Netflix, Got Milk, HP, Starbucks and Discover Card, among others. Bell then co-founded his own San Francisco-based agency, Venables Bell & Partners in 2001, and helped build it into one of the most respected creative shops in the business. He sold his ownership in the agency in 2010 to focus on his directing career.
"Backyard's got exactly what I need to keep the momentum going," says Bell. "World-class production chops and a sterling reputation out there in the ad community. The sky's the limit with this matchup."
Over the course of his fifteen-year agency career, Bell emerged as one of the most highly awarded creatives in advertising. His work has been recognized all over the world, and two of his campaigns have been included in USA Today’s Best of the Decade. His spots can also be found in the Clio Hall of Fame and in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.