Gelner, one of the most respected and highly acclaimed creative leaders in the U.S has led the creative product and teams at BBH NY, 180LA and most recently, Engine. He has worked with premier brands including UNICEF, adidas, HBO, HP, Jägermeister, Boost Mobile, The University of Phoenix, Expedia as well as Mike Bloomberg's 2020 campaign.
He is currently working with The Lincoln Project and the League of Conservative Voters and is responsible for their recent high-profile political campaign.
The launch of the international office follows the profound success of Special Group’s global work for Uber Eats, including its launch of the globally recognized “Tonight I’ll Be Eating” brand platform into the U.S and Canada. The now viral campaign launched with an epic showdown between two movie icons, Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart. Following this, Uber Eats and Special Group featured the next iteration of unlikely duo’s just last week, starring gymnastics fan boy and Queer-Eye star Jonathan Van Ness and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.
Special Group, which was founded in New Zealand in 2007 and Australia in 2014, is the undisputed leading independent creative company across APAC. It has won accolades for innovation, creativity, design and effectiveness in every major award show internationally. The creative company’s “Good Morning World” campaign for Tourism New Zealand was recently named the most effective multi-region campaign in the world by the Global Effie Awards.
On being the founding partner of the U.S. business, William Gelner, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to partner with Special Group and launch the U.S. agency. Besides being genuinely the kindest and bravest humans I’ve ever met in the industry, they have built a model around what brands want and need right now. The time is right for a self-backed, nimble and world class creative agency with a global footprint.”
Founder of Special Group, CEO/CCO New Zealand, Tony Bradbourne, said: “It is an incredibly proud moment to see the business we started in an old cinema in Auckland 13 years ago open its fourth office, this time half-way across the globe. Our unique business offering that spans purpose-led design, strategy, digital, mobile, advertising and innovation has delivered a hugely successful year both as a business and for creativity, and we can’t wait to see this next chapter unfold under the brilliance and talent of William.”
, Founding Partner and CEO, Special Group Australia, added: “It is a massive privilege to have been entrusted by Uber Eats to launch ‘Tonight I’ll be Eating’ into the US and we are blessed to do so with William. William is a unicorn - ridiculously talented with furiously high standards as well as being a stupidly good human being.”