James is the third executive hire for Diva Agency in recent months, further strengthening the agency's position as the UK’s leading games specialist creative agency. James' appointment follows the hiring of Stuart O’Neill as Executive Creative Director (from Tribal DDB) and David Wall as Client Services Director (from Havas).
James brings 18 years of marketing communications experience gained working on integrated brand campaigns for clients such as Mondelez, Converse, Heineken, Expedia and Honda F1 Racing to Diva. He was recently the award-winning strategy partner at Digitas UK, picking up GOLD for best integrated campaign for OREO UK's Playful Network at the DMA Awards and was the planner responsible for the recent OREO Europe x THE BATMAN activation. Before this is clocked up successful stints in client engagement in-house and at 1000heads, before becoming Planning Partner at Ogilvy UK. James co-created DICE Charter initiative - a scored set of regulatory guidelines to ensure diversity and inclusion at conferences and events. His role will be based in London.
Suzy Barnes, CEO and founder said: “We’ve admired James’ work for a long time. Not only is he a well respected and authentic voice in games commentary, but his involvement in the founding of the Dice Charter resonates strongly with Diva’s values. James’ appointment means our executive leadership team is now complete and Diva is ready to build upon recent successes, as we become a key strategic partner for clients.”
An avid passionate gamer, Whatley added: “As a full-service agency of gaming natives, Diva is perfectly placed to not only help developers and publishers find new and exciting ways to reach ever-increasing audiences but also help brands navigate their way in what is one of the most compelling and culturally relevant opportunities of our time. It’s a complex space, but one that I am already fully immersed in. Diva is an agency with an outstanding gaming pedigree; I can’t wait to get started.”
Diva has 15 years of experience in the games sector and a client roster that reads like a who’s who of international games brands and aims to maintain its position as the top agency for games related marketing at a time when other agencies are all scrambling to bring an authentic games offering to market.
Diva CEO, Suzy Barnes added: “The games industry has always been a dynamic and innovative sector, sitting as it does at the intersection between cutting edge technology and consumer behaviour. James, Stuart and David have all joined Diva at an exciting time. The number of brands looking to navigate the gaming landscape, in part accelerated by the sector’s prominence during the pandemic, makes this a particularly interesting time to be the leading specialist agency in the games space.”