Johnny Won, mobile and gaming platforms manager at Hill Holliday, is leaving the IPG unit to launch a startup focused on local mobile search with Zach Taylor, formerly a creative technologist at McGarryBowen.
Won, who wraps up this week at Hill Holliday, offered few details about his next venture, but suggested there's plenty of room for improvement in local search. “The core problem is people don't really know what's going on around them and everything already out there sucks,” he said. To address that issue, Won plans to build prototypes for a local mobile search service with Taylor to attract angel funding.
Under his leadership of the mobile and gaming practice at Hill Holliday, the agency this year won AdWeek's Media Plan of the Year for Branded Entertainment in connection with a promotion integrating Dunkin' Donuts with The Sims Social. Last year, it won AdWeek's Media Plan of the Year for Mobile for a separate gaming-focused Dunkin' Donuts campaign.
Nevertheless, Won felt underappreciated. “Despite winning a second Media Plan of the Year, I also couldn’t get promoted and I now realize that even if I did, it wouldn’t have changed anything. I wouldn’t be richer, or smarter or better off, I just would have continued the same course for another round,” he wrote in a post this week on his own Web site.
Now he has a bigger challenge: taking on Google.