CREATIVE DESIGN INNOVATOR & LEADER
Uniquely versatile, multi-disciplinary creative design professional. Known for creating campaigns that merge technology, entertainment and culture. An industry proven creative doer and thinker who takes a positive approach in developing big ideas for clients and brands. Deep roots in popular culture, music, events, advertising, branding, digital media, video, animation and content creation. A weaver of words and images into powerful narratives that reach the right people. Fun fact: The term “Webisode” was coined to promote his cult web series The 7th Portal.
New York born, raised in London and Cape Town, Stagg began his career at Ogilvy Advertising South Africa. He made an immediate mark with innovative work for VW, Audi, Winston and Shell. Steeped in fundamental design disciplines and principles of color, composition and typography, he married these skills to his passion for emerging Hip Hop and House music. As an early cultural entrepreneur, he founded the UFO Collective and created large-scale, socially diverse, experiential music and art events. And founded the clubs Eden, Uforia and World Peace Party. His efforts and leadership laid the foundations for Hip Hop and Rave culture in South Africa. This movement has grown into an important cultural and economic force in Africa and worldwide.
Stagg set his sights on the U.S., landing as an Art Director and Department Head/Creative Services Manager for Turner Group, Disney Interactive, Viacom, and CBS/Infinity. He continued to kick ass in the States by forming and leading great teams to create successful integrated campaigns for national brands in digital, broadcast and print media. From the Big Idea to the small detail, Jesse is on point like a laser. His campaigns at Cartoon Network Studios established a design direction that helped define the look of the network. Giving rise to the Cartoon Cartoon! hit-factory, Stagg launched campaigns for Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken and other Emmy-winning shows, ushering in a new generation of animation superstars. Getting into movies as Creative Services Manager at Viacom/Paramount, Stagg developed a new global brand identity for the vast TV and Movie Star Trek universe and pioneered the first major franchise digital style guide, unifying its many parts. He managed creative for all licensed properties, including Top Gun, Twilight Zone, The Godfather & Hawaii 5-0.
As an early techno web-head, Stagg met the online revolution head on at Disney.com. Stagg worked on the home page and made killer album sites for Disney films – Lion King, Toy Story, Austen Powers, and a diverse group of Hollywood Records artists – Insane Clown Posse, Leeann Rhimes & Queen. Tapped as Department Head for radio powerhouse CBS/Infinity, Stagg spearheaded design of all major market websites KROQ, LIVE105, KCBS & many others. His compelling web portals and campaigns for The Howard Stern Show, Loveline with Dr. Drew, and the digital launch campaign for Coachella Festival, helped CBS stations achieve a weekly audience of eighty (80) million. For his innovative contributions to putting radio on the web, he received multiple awards & nominations, including the RTDNA Edward R Murrow Prize.
Fired up by the promise of VR, Stagg created the cartoon/cult web animated series The 7th Portal, produced by Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee. The show – about virtual reality super heroes called the Cybernauts – broke viewing records online and was the first Webisode series to be broadcast on TV internationally, reaching 65 million viewers via Fox Networks. It went on to become a successful motion VR ride at Paramount Parks and 40 other venues globally. The term “Webisode” was coined because of this show.
Stagg’s experience and innovations in media, art, music and culture, led to his position as Communications Chair for the Graphic Arts Council of LA County Museum of Art. During his tenure, excellent initiatives like Late Night at LACMA and Into the Pixel (the first video game art awards) were born. Membership tripled. High on art, Stagg was asked to be consultant to Banksy on his record-breaking Barely Legal Show. Recently, Stagg received a U.S. State Department grant and teamed with Shepard Fairey to produce the 10-storey-tall Nelson Mandela Mural in Johannesburg, commemorating the 20th anniversary of South African democracy.
As Media Arts Instructor Stagg has lectured at UCLA, CalState LA and AFDA and been interviewed by VICE, Tech TV and the Los Angeles Times and his projects covered by the Wall Street Journal, TIME, CNN, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
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US State Dept
Edward R Murrow
Award for Excellence
MEDIA & PRESS:
Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles Times