One of our few Portland natives, Susan Hoffman started her career as an art director at Pihas, Schmidt, Westerdahl before moving to TBWA\Chiat\Day Seattle. Three years later she came to Wieden+Kennedy as employee No. 8 and has spent the last 35 years defining the agency’s culture and setting the bar for creative excellence.
Susan has a tendency to shake things up a bit. That’s probably because she finds the status quo boring. Case in point, the Dakota building in New York City inspired her choice of The Beatles song “Revolution” for the Nike spot of the same name. She’s injected her unique perspective into some of the most memorable ads W+K has produced for virtually every client we’ve ever had and is never satisfied unless the work feels fresh and interesting.
Since David Kennedy’s “retirement” in 1993, Susan has provided the visual yin to Dan Wieden’s storytelling yang and greatly contributed to the wider global W+K network. She’s worked as a creative director; opened our Amsterdam and London offices, serving both as executive creative director; as well as ECD gigs in New York and Delhi, bringing a truly unique and seasoned taste of the W+K culture to the global level. She ran Wieden+Kennedy 12, our experimental ad school. Along the way, she’s helped launch the careers of many of the most successful creative directors in the industry.
Under her leadership as executive creative director of the flagship office, W+K Portland rapidly grew to 600 people and earned a number of distinguished agency-of-the-year honours from several leading industry organizations and publications (most recently Creativity’s 2016 Agency of the Year honours as well as Fast Company’s 2017 Most Innovative).
Susan joined the agency’s global management team in 2017 as co-Chief Creative Officer, partnering with Colleen DeCourcy, and Neil Christie, Chief Operating Officer. Alongside her partners, Susan manages the core creative work from the global W+K network, nurtures talent within our walls, and pushes W+K to find new and different ways of working and thinking, which includes creative experimentation across technology, content publishing and design.
In 2017, W+K was awarded Global Agency of the Year by AdWeek, and included on Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies.