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Ari started his career in New York creating notable campaigns for Land Rover, Mobil Oil, and Mount Sinai Hospital while working for advertising legends, Roy Grace and Diane Rothschild.
In 1998, he moved on to Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami where he created some of the most talked about campaigns of the past five years. Ari launched the American Legacy Foundation?s 'truth' anti-tobacco campaign by dropping 1,200 body bags in front of the Phillip Morris building. He quickly rose to group creative director on the account.
Ari?s work was selected to launch the BMW Mini. The campaign included everything from traditional TV and newspaper to a series of highly unconventional magazine, outdoor and guerilla campaigns. In addition, he launched Ikea?s "unboring" campaign with a quirky Swede who called viewers "crazy" for feeling sorry for an old discarded lamp. The spot was awarded both the Grand Prix at Cannes and the Grand Clio.
In fact, Ari?s work has won Best of Show honors at virtually every major advertising show and awards competition including the Effie?s for advertising effectiveness and the prestigious One Show.
If you ask him what he?s most proud of producing, he?ll be happy to tell you: his daughter Sara and his two boys, Sam and Ben.
UPDATE AUG 2008
Ari began his career as a copywriter, creating award-winning campaigns for Land Rover, Mobil Oil, and Mount Sinai Hospital while working for advertising legends Roy Grace and Diane Rothschild.
In 1998, he moved to Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami where he helped create some of the most talked about and celebrated work in recent years.
He helped shape the highly applauded U.S. launch of the Mini Cooper, kicked off Ikea?s ?Unboring? campaign with a spot called ?Lamp,? which was later awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes as well as the Grand Clio, and wrote the ?Body Bag? campaign that launched the ?truth? anti-tobacco campaign nationwide.
His work has received Best of Show honors at virtually every major advertising award show and competition, including the EFFIEs for advertising effectiveness and the prestigious One Show. In 2003, Ari was probably the most award-winning advertising creative ever in a single year. Ari joined Fallon New York as executive creative director in the summer of 2003. Under his leadership, the agency became one of the top 10 most-awarded agencies in the world (creating highly effective work for Starbucks, Virgin Mobile, Brawny, Time, and SoBe).
In 2003, he was named one of the top ten ?Creatives to Watch? according to AdAge and Creativity magazines. His name was one of just two from that list to reappear in 2004 as one of the world?s ?Top 10 Creatives.? And again in 2005 as one of the top 10 most-awarded creative directors in the world.
Creativity Magazine reported that, ?Fallon New York under CD\ Ari Merkin has distinguished itself with one of the smartest, most engaging creative sensibilities around right now,? and went on to name Fallon New York their most notable runner-up for Agency of the Year in 2004.
Boards Magazine awarded Fallon ?Agency of the Year? in 2004 and named Ari one of the top 10 creative directors in 2005.
Ari is a father of four. He?s proud to say he?s producing his best work, appropriately, at home.
In October of 2005, Anne and Ari launched Toy and were quickly joined by partner David Dabill. Together, they set out to redefine our business for the next generation. Well, Anne says ?generation?. Ari prefers ?millennium?. When you see them, try not to bring it up.