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Full name

Michelle Underwood

Title

Creative Director

Location

Chicago, IL

Biography

Michelle is a Creative Director with 10 years experience creating and managing integrated campaigns across digital, social, video and traditional and 30+ years experience telling people to pronounce her name like the Beatles song.

As Creative Director at Zócalo Group, the social arm of global digital agency Critical Mass, Michelle's work has been honored as the Social Media Campaign of the year by PR Daily and one of the Top 5 Social Campaigns of the year by Mashable. Before joining the Zokes, she spent time at Razorfish, Edelman, HYConnect, and Euro RSCG Chicago. At Euro, she relaunched the iconic brand Shake ‘N Bake and led the agency's first social media campaign for Kraft Foods.

Michelle was selected as one of 50 U.S. Ambassadors to One Young World, the first worldwide summit for millennials.

In her spare time, Michelle stays active in the Chicago theatre scene, combining her creative and tech passions as a projection designer. Recent favorite: KILL SHAKESPEARE, a graphic novel brought to life onstage with an immersive projections experience which was featured at the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo.

Highly skilled in Photoshop, Illustrator, In-Design. Not too shabby in After Effects, Keynote.
Strong knowledge of web standards and able communicator with development teams.
Can rattle off Social best practices like it's my job, which it is.
Dabble in voiceover acting when you need that killer case study video.

Experience

V.P. Creative Director

Zócalo Group, a Division of Critical Mass

Chicago, IL · 2016 – Present

As one of the first hires in Zócalo’s new creative department, I helped to establish our agency processes and hired an entire new team of top notch creatives. Now as a leader in our creative department, I create highly engaging social experiences and content for my clients. Alongside our Community Managers, Social Strategists and Research Experts, we tap into social insights and trends to make award-winning work.

CLIENTS: NISSAN, JOHNSON’S BABY, BERTOLLI, COFFEE-MATE, HORMEL CHILI, SKIPPY PB, ASICS, AVEDA, FRUIT SHOOT.

V.P., ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Zócalo Group

Chicago, IL · 2014 – 2016

Senior Art Director

Zócalo Group

Chicago, IL · 2012 – 2014

FREELANCE ART DIRECTOR

Razorfish, Edelman Digital, HYConnect, and more.

Chicago, IL · 2010 – 2012

I took the opportunity to freelance as an Art Director for a couple of years to expand my experiences in the industry and transition into digitally-focused creative work.

MARKETING DIRECTOR/PROJECTION DESIGNER

Mortar Theatre Company

· 2009 – 2013

As a founding member of Mortar Theatre Company, I produced four seasons. This gave me the chance to expand my skill set from just the creative side to managing the full marketing
process. I became very involved in the community and along with the League of Chicago Theatres organized the first Chicago Arts Marketing IdeaLab. As a designer, I tackled Theatrical Projection Design and have continued that work for many of Chicago’s theatres (Mary Arrchie, Strawdog Theatre, Emerald City Theatre).

ART DIRECTOR

Euro RSCG Chicago

· 2007 – 2010

Starting my career at an agency that had just been named Global Ad Agency of the Year, I seized the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of every facet of the industry—OOH, Print, In Store, Direct, Dimensional Mailers, Websites, Banners, Emails, Video. Then I led the creation of our agency’s first social campaign for Kraft Foods way back before brands had Facebook pages.
CLIENTS: KRAFT FOODS, EFFEN VODKA, SPRINT, SEARS, KMART.

Education

U.S. Ambassador

One Young World

London, UK ·

For my social media savvy and work in non profit theatre, I was one of less than 60 US delegates selected to attend the inaugural global millennial leadership summit.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Art/Graphic Design

University of Central Arkansas

·

Honors College
Summa Cum Laude
Thesis: “A Brief History of Typography”

Awards
2017 Best Physical & Digital Convergence — Finalist , Shorty Awards
Winners will be announced soon!
2016 Best Use of Social Media , PR Daily’s Content Marketing Awards
2015 Best Use of Social Media , PR Daily’s Content Marketing Awards
2014 Best Creative , Digiday Awards Finalist
2014 Best Social Engagement , Digiday Sammy Awards Finalist
2014 Best Social Media Campaign , Mashable Awards Finalist
2014 Gold Pixie Award , American Pixel Academy
2013 Honoree , Webby Awards
2013 Best Use of Social Media — Finalist, Auto Industry , Shorty Awards
2011 Crowd Favorite , Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers
2010 Featured Speaker, Distinguished Graduates Celebration , UCA College of Fine Arts & Communications
2009 1st Place , Euro’s Got Talent (silly agency contest)
Skills

Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Voiceover acting, Keynote, After Effects