Nemorin Film & Video, the branded video agency owned by Argonon has appointed Darren Smith, the former Executive Director of Bridge Studios (News UK) and Global Creative & Programme Director at The Economist, as Chief Content Officer.

The newly created role follows the appointment of Sachini Imbuldeniya as Executive Creative Director in January and completes the new management team at Nemorin, supporting the Argonon branded content label’s mission to “supercharge the business and offer best-in-class campaign and brand strategy.” The role reports into Nemorin’s CEO Pete Fergusson and will see Smith, Imbuldeniya and Fergusson “develop ambitious strategic content campaigns and partnerships for brands.”

Smith has overseen branded content campaigns and strategies for companies including Red Bull Stratos, GE Look Ahead, Philips Healthcare, Kia Motors and The Movember Foundation. He joins following the UK launch of fintech company APLYiD, where he was Chief Brand and Marketing Officer. Prior to this role, he oversaw News UK’s content marketing agency and a team of 50 delivering over 400 content campaigns annually. Smith cut his teeth in the industry as an art director, editor and journalist at Haymarket, where his remit covered over 30 titles and where he co-launched its successful Branded Content Division.

The move to Nemorin reunites Smith with Executive Creative Director Sachini Imbuldeniya. Their previous creative partnership led to News UK’s content agency winning Campaign’s Content Studio of the Year Award in 2021 as well as over fifteen additional industry awards and nominations. They co-created a short film during the pandemic – You Clap For Me Now – which was officially selected as a key message of hope and solidarity by the United Nations and attracted over 308m views in 76 countries.

Smith and Imbuldeniya also partnered with NHS Nurse Angela Marston and Harper Collins to create Poems for the Pandemic, an anthology of poems by key workers during the pandemic, which reached #1 on the Amazon Bookseller list and raised thousands for NHS Charities Together.

Argonon CEO James Burstall commented: “The completion of a best-in-class management team at Nemorin underlines our ambition to create the world’s best branded content company. With the rise of brands as commissioners of content, aligned with the uniquely collaborative ecosystem at Argonon with award-winning producers across all genres, we see huge potential in the months and years ahead to offer exciting opportunities for brands, social media networks and broadcasters.”

Pete Fergusson, CEO of Nemorin, said: “Darren is an award-winning creative and strategist with a track record in delivering innovative, creative and ambitious campaigns that cut through to audiences. Along with the recent appointment of Sachini as Executive Creative Director, Darren will help take Nemorin’s brand offering to the next level. We believe the global demand for premium branded content will rise significantly in the years ahead and the creation of a new management team positions us to capitalise on unprecedented opportunities.”

Darren Smith said: “Authentic brand storytelling – through premium, long-form quality film and TV – has become an essential tool in helping brands to build a deeper and more meaningful relationships with audiences. I’m delighted to join Nemorin who, with the backing of Emmy and BAFTA award- winning production group Argonon, is perfectly placed to help clients navigate the world of film and TV and to forge closer connections between consumers and brands.”

Jon Creamer

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