Los Angeles-based entertainment marketing agency Open Road is launching PopClutch, a new branding and design division, the agency said Monday. Under the new banner, PopClutch will take on branding, marketing, design, motion graphics, animation and live action, while Open Road continues to stick largely to editorially-driven projects.

PopClutch is being led by Paul Brodie, who’s been promoted to executive creative director and head of creative at PopClutch, and Sharre Jacoby, who’s been named executive producer and head of production at the agency.

“We believe that Paul and the design team have significantly enhanced our design, branding, live production and social capabilities over the last couple of years to the point where we are strongly competitive with the best design shops in town,” said Open Road co-founder and CEO Alan Baral. “With the recent addition of Sharre, however, we felt this was the best time to rebrand the team as PopClutch, and properly launch that new identity out to the world, distinct from the long established reputation of Open Road as an editorially-driven creative agency. And, further, there are many potential clients – both existing and new – that would be drawn to Paul, Sharre and the PopClutch team independently from the projects traditionally coming to Open Road.”

Open Road was acquired in 2016 by Baral and co-founder and head of broadcast Lon Moeller.

“Since 2016, our capabilities have expanded to include show opens and show packaging, conceptual launch pieces, the evolution of multiple entertainment brands and 360 marketing campaigns including talent shoots,” said Moeller in a statement. “PopClutch will be a dedicated creative force of branding, marketing and design, backed by the creative and editorial power for which Open Road has always been known.”

To launch the new division, PopClutch created the above logo sizzle, which animates the evolution of the Open Road logo into the PopClutch logo using several different styles.

“We always wanted to have a logo that sits well and plays nicely with the Open Road logo,” said Brodie. “We did a lot of different exercises and explorations into how they work together.”

In both logos, one letter fits neatly into the other, giving the two treatments a lot of synchronicity.

“All of the treatments start with the Open Road logo and end with the PopClutch logo,” said Brodie. “That was fun for our designers to do and really showed off our range of skills.”

Similarly, the new division’s name – PopClutch – emerged from the name of its parent company, Open Road.

“We did a proper naming project for ourselves with a lot of brainstorming and fundamentally we realized it needed to be a derivative name rather than something completely disconnected,” Brodie said. “PopClutch really works in a lot of different ways, such as ‘pop the clutch,’ as a play on ‘pop culture’ or we love the idea that we’re coming through in the clutch. It was one of those brainstorming things where we put two great words together and came up with something we thought was kind of fun.

“That’s the spirit we’re trying to infuse into the company – we’re fun and this is a fun place to be. We want that to come across on our website, in our name – it fits into a lot of different categories.”

While PopClutch is just officially getting off the ground, under the banner of Open Road the team has already completed several branding and design projects for clients, such as an open for Shudder original Horror Noire that was shown off at virtual Comic-Con and won a Promax Gold for design and animation; a new opening title for Law & Order: Organized Crime; and a 360-launch campaign for Facebook Watch series Cardi Tries, starring rapper Cardi B.

Brodie joined Open Road in March 2020, after having spent seven years at Troika. Prior to that, he was director of branding and design at Disney for nearly five years, senior art director at Showtime for a little more than three years and senior producer at Fox News from September 2002 to June 2005. He’s also worked as senior art director at ABC News and as senior designer at Sky Sports.

Brodie earned his degree in art and design from the U.K.’s University of Hertfordshire.

Jacoby joined Open Road and PopClutch from Known, which was previously Stun. She ran motion design at Stun for five years, and was promoted to overseeing production and operations for all of the agency’s entertainment marketing efforts in February 2020 when Stun merged with Schireson Associates and Blackbird to become Known. From 2015 to 2020, Jacoby ran Buster, Stun’s design division.

Prior to working at Stun, Jacoby spent 13 years at New Wave Entertainment before leaving to help New Wave’s creative director, Scott Williams, launch his own agency, Pembrook Productions.

Before that, she worked in London for directors as Terry Gilliam, William Friedkin, Robert Duvall, Joe Dante and Robert Rodriguez, among others. She also collaborated with such studios as Sony, Showtime, New Line and October Films. Jacoby graduated from UCLA.

Open Road also has hired Astra Reps’ Astra Dorf for sales support as it gets PopClutch up and running.

“For Open Road, this is a really big deal,” said Baral. “It’s the first time in the history of the company that we’ve felt strongly enough that it was important to launch a new brand name under the umbrella of what we already had. It was not just an opportunity to expand the business, but with Sharre, Paul and the team, we’ve been provided an extraordinary opportunity to take it to another level.”

Tags: open road popclutch

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