About arlansmith

Hello! Let me introduce myself. My name is Arlan Smith and I’m a client-facing, hands-on, Senior/Executive Creative Director specializing in brand and marketing creative for technology companies - B2C and B2B, with a particular focus in D2C and digital-first media. Most recently I was the Director of Creative Services for San Francisco based tech/media firm, Ellation (WarnerMedia). In that capacity, I was in charge of a portfolio of youth-oriented entertainment products. I know all the current digital marketing best practices, and I know how to build successful teams. In that capacity, I’ve directed the marketing and brand creative for an existing SVOD (Crunchyroll) and I launched a new SVOD (VRV) from the ground up. I’m a TV/Entertainment veteran. I’ve been working in TV for my entire career. I can leverage my legacy knowledge and fully augment it with my up-to-the-minute tactical marketing knowledge. I build high volume creative teams that produce top-tier creative products. I have years of experience building out robust processes, both on staff at major media companies, and as an entrepreneur. My teams are generally running thousands of assets at any given moment, so I know where and how to create automated or highly templatized systems, but also when to focus attention on priority initiatives. Here are some areas of professional focus: Brand: I’ve tackled existing brands, and I’ve built brands from the ground up. I know how to preserve what’s good in a brand, and extend it to new platforms. Brand-building is a deeply collaborative and cross-functional process, one that I’ve executed internally multiple times. Marketing: I work hand in hand with marketing teams. I know growth, acquisition, retention, lifecycle, performance, any and all social levers, integrated/360/omni-channel marketing, etc. I’m particularly interested in working with data to develop better, customized marketing tools. Innovation: I was a key part of a team that built a standalone D2C product (VRV) from the ground up. I directly developed the visual brand and voice while working with Product Design and our Engineering groups to ensure proper brand integration across platforms. Here are some case studies that document my most recent brand and marketing creative projects: http://www.arlansmith.com/case-study-vrv http://www.arlansmith.com/case-study-crunchyroll http://www.arlansmith.com/case-study-wgn-america http://www.arlansmith.com/ellation-corporate-id Here are a few other things you should know about me:
  • I value diversity very highly, it’s a core component of my hiring philosophy
  • I consider mentorship to be a vital component of leadership.
  • I’m a talent magnet. I attract top-quality personnel.
Thank you for your time! Best Regards, Arlan
  • Industry DigitalAdvertisingMarketingMediaTelevision
  • Sector Acquisition MarketingAudience DevelopmentBusiness DevelopmentConsumer MarketingCreative ServicesGrowth MarketingIntegrated MarketingPost ProductionProduct DevelopmentProduct MarketingSocial MediaArt Direction
  • Preferred Job Title Creative DirectorExecutive Creative Director
  • Companies Ellation, Crunchyroll, VRV, Otter Media, WarnerMedia, Epix, Tribune Media, AMC

Summary

Client-facing, hands-on, Senior/Executive Creative Director specializing in brand and marketing creative for technology companies – B2C and B2B, with a particular focus in D2C and digital-first media. Most recently, Director of Creative Services for San Francisco based tech/media firm, Ellation – home of the subscription video services Crunchyroll and VRV. Currently consulting, but open to appropriate staff opportunities.

Experience

  • 2019
    Freelance

    Consulting Creative Director, Brand & Marketing

    Client-facing, hands-on, Senior/Executive Creative Director specializing in brand and marketing creative for technology companies - B2C and B2B, with a particular focus in D2C and digital-first media. Able to direct the creative process for all media platforms - digital, video, print, OOH, events, and experiential, with a special emphasis on video and motion graphics. Work cross-functionally with internal stakeholders to build fully-optimized creative solutions - including growth marketing, performance marketing, and fully customized marketing tools. Extensive experience managing internal teams, external contractors and agency resources. Very able at creative team management - hiring, mentorship, development, goal-setting, and delivery. Diversity hiring is a specific area of management focus and a personal core value. Available for project-based or long-term engagements. Open to staff opportunities.

  • 2017 - 2019
    Ellation (WarnerMedia)

    Director of Creative Services

    I directed the creative for all visual design, branding, and, marketing initiatives at San Francisco based tech/media firm, Ellation (D2C SVOD services Crunchyroll and VRV). I oversaw the company’s creative output during a period in which our products grew over 200%, from 6ook paid subscribers and 15 million installed users to 2 million paid subs and 30 million installed users. I supervised the growth of an integrated creative team from 5-15 full-time employees - consisting of brand designers, marketing designers, video editors, animators, copywriters, production artists, a front-end developer, and a very deep network of contractors. We worked cross-functionally with all internal departments to ensure design and brand consistency in all company products. I implemented an enterprise project management platform and DAM across multiple teams - creating a fully-integrated marketing and creative workflow.

  • 2015 - 2017
    Ellation (WarnerMedia)

    Director of Marketing Design

    I directed creative for all visual design, branding, and, marketing initiatives at San Francisco based tech/media firm, Ellation. Specifically, Ellation\'s principal product, Crunchyroll and its new product, VRV. Crunchyroll is one of the largest VOD services in the world, with a paid subscriber base of 950k users, and an installed user base of 20 million users. Responsible for design and brand development of Ellation\'s new products - including logo design, brand design, and brand voice. Worked closely with all departments to ensure design and brand consistency in all company products. Built and managed a first-class creative team consisting of designers, animators, and video editors.

  • 2014 - 2015
    Epix

    Freelance Creative Director

    Designed and maintained the on-air identity of a multi-platform D2C offering. Worked with network executives to execute a wide variety of on-air branding and promotional initiatives.

  • 2013 - 2014
    Tribune Media

    Senior Design Director

    Designed and maintained branding for Tribune Media’s principal cable outlet, WGN America during its transition from a cable superstation into a general entertainment channel driven by premium original content. Heavily involved with the marketing development of WGNA’s original series offerings. Including the original dramas, Salem and Manhattan. Supervised a team of top-level designers and animators. Also responsible for contracting and managing freelance offsite designers and design teams. Managed and implemented an array of project workflow improvements.

Education

  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    BFA

    Majored in Time Arts: Film, Video, Sound, and CGI