LOS ANGELES, USA // William Gelner is the Chief Creative Officer for the new model agency Engine, overseeing offices in NY and LA.
Previously he served as CCO and Managing Partner of 180LA, an agency he helped start up and build. While at 180LA, William led the shop to multiple Ad Age A-list nods, Creativity’s Innovator List and Cannes’ list of Top 20 Agencies in the World.
Throughout his career, William has worked to apply his passion of leveraging marketing for good to many of his campaigns.
He addressed voter suppression with "Boost Your Voice,” a grassroots effort that identified neighborhoods with low voter turnout and turned Boost stores into voting stations. It won a Titanium and two Grand Prix awards in Cannes, as well as 2017 Creativity's Campaign of the Year.
In 2016, William launched UNICEF’s animated campaign, "Unfairy Tales," calling attention to the Syrian refugee crisis and the toll it was taking on innocent children. Having touched hundreds of millions worldwide, this project went on to win Cannes’ Grand Prix for Good.
He relaunched Expedia with the "Find Yours" campaign, moving the brand from a rational and transactional place to a more emotional and transformational one. The "Find Your Understanding" film was recognized by TED as one of the Top 10 Ideas Worth Spreading, while other initiatives such as "Thrown Back Thursdays" and the "Dream Adventure" effort for their St. Judes partnership won numerous awards at Cannes, One Show, D&AD and more.
Prior to 180LA, William served as Group Creative Director at BBH NY. Here he most famously launched Axe, building the body spray brand into one of the most successful and famous in North America, as well as developing an award-winning Axe branded-content MTV TV series, GameKillers. BBH NY is also where Gelner launched the global “Striding Man” Keep Walking campaign for Johnnie Walker.
When not working, you can find William on the Pacific Coast Highway, sweating profusely as he pretends to be a triathlete who isn’t just moments away from a stroke.