Zulu Alpha Kilo stands out as a maverick global indie agency within the fiercely competitive advertising industry dominated by global holding companies.
Launched in 2008 by renowned Creative Director Zak Mroueh, the shop has built a reputation as an industry outlier and is one of the most respected independent agencies in the world. With 130 Zuligans in Toronto, New York and Vancouver, the shop is a magnet for top global talent.
Staff are called “Zuligans” and the agency’s unique culture is passionate, entrepreneurial and fearless in its pursuit of groundbreaking ideas. Zulu has won top honors from Ad Age, as Small Agency of the Year and International Agency of the Year on two occasions . The shop was also named one of Forbes Best Small Companies, a list launched from Bo Burlingham’s book, Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big. Most recently, Zulu was named Independent Agency of the Year by Campaign US and the Drum UK’s Agency of the Year.
The agency’s content and innovation studio, Zulubot, has also set the shop apart from traditional competitors. The creative production playground is comprised of 9 edit suites, and audio recording suite and photography space. Zulubot’s team of creators, editors, AR/VR developers and producers bring ideas to life at lightning speed for clients. Zulubut is also one of Snapchat’s official AR partners, creating innovatve work in the AR space.
Whether it’s building an entirely new brand platform, social content, advertising or an immersive digital experience, Zulu is a full service, next-generation agency with a track record of delivering breakthrough work and growth for brands. Over the past 14 years, Zulu has delivered impressive results for brands like Audi, Corona, Puma, Uber, Subaru, Harley-Davidson, Coca-Cola, Whirlpool and Tim Hortons to name a few.
Zulu Alpha Kilo bolsters strategic leadership in Vancouver with big hire out of New York
After an extensive North American search, independent creative shop Zulu Alpha Kilo has announced the addition of Erica Shalinsky as Executive Strategy Director of its Vancouver office.
She joins Zulu from BBDO New York where she served as VP, Strategy Director and helped steer Ford’s future technologies division globally, building new brand platforms and consumer experiences for electric and autonomous vehicles. In addition to her creative agency leadership, Erica brings a background of business transformation as a management consultant with Deloitte supporting strategy across public and private sector clients. Her experience extends to companies including Microsoft, Ford, Shell, T-Mobile, The Gap and Bank of America.
"I’ve had my eye on Zulu for some time now, so it was pretty incredible when I heard they were coming here to Vancouver,” says Shalinsky. “The team is super strong and it’s a thrill to join at a time when there’s so much momentum.”
The addition of Shalinsky brings Zulu’s headcount in Vancouver to 10 full-time staff who are backed by 140 Zuligans across Toronto and New York. She joins Managing Director, David Tremblay and Executive Creative Directors Dean Lee and Michael Mayes to form Zulu’s west coast leadership team. The agency’s western-based clients include a2 Milk, Destination BC, Save-On-Foods, Subaru Canada’s western dealers, ToursByLocals, and The Vancouver Island Ferry Company.
“Finding a talent like Erica with global experience to join our growing Vancouver team is beyond exciting. And the fact that she grew up in Vancouver is even better,” says President & CEO, Mike Sutton. “Erica has spent her career turning complex brand, creative and technology problems into transformational business opportunities for global brands and I can’t wait to see the impact she has for our clients.”
This latest announcement follows what has been a year of growth, expansion, and accolades for the independent Canadian shop. Aside from the Vancouver expansion, Zulu’s first international office opened under the leadership of former Droga5 creative leader Tim Gordon. In 2022, Zulu ranked amongst the top ten independent agencies at Cannes, One Show and D&AD. The shop was also awarded International Small Agency of the Year by AdAge and Campaign US Independent agency of the year. And for the fifth year running, Deloitte named Zulu one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.