Casual Films co-founder, Barnaby Cook,  has joined creative agency Hell Yeah! as it rebrands under its sister agency, Studio Yes.

Cook joins the business as CEO and brings with him “plans for international growth, as well as a large cash investment.”

As part of Cook’s strategy, Hell Yeah! will rebrand and be brought under the banner of Studio Yes, “to achieve a strengthened and consolidated offering, encompassing TV commercials, branded content and brand films.”

A New York office, led by established comedy video producer Katelyn KaRese, will open next month.

Since it was founded in 2020, Hell Yeah! Has worked with household names from Oddbox to Belvoir Farm, “with a specialism in humorous, effective ads, and on taking brands onto TV for the first time.” Hell Yeah! will now operate under Studio Yes, with the team forming the creative arm of the business.

Cook co-founded his own production company Casual Films, eventually exiting after opening offices in New York, LA and Melbourne and helping guide the agency to multi-million pound success. With Studio Yes, Cook plans to take “an aggressive approach to overseas expansion,” with the creation of a New York office already underway.

Senior producer Katelyn Karese is the studio’s first international hire and, with “extensive experience and strong links to the comedy scene,” Karese will be key to Cook’s plans for growth in the US market.

Cook said: “Hell Yeah! has achieved a lot in just three years, with a strong point of difference through effective use of humour. I see lots of opportunities to leverage Hell Yeah’s quirky approach and export our unique British humour to the US (as well as work with US brands to translate their humour for a UK audience). I’m really looking forward to setting up and building another production company Stateside.”

Hell Yeah! and Studio Yes founders Sam Ojari and Dulcie Cowling will continue to lead the creative team at Studio Yes. Dulcie Cowling added: “We’ve built brands that are synonymous with making people laugh, either through our commercials, corporate films or our viral comedy sketches. Now with this new investment, and Barnaby’s vast knowledge and experience of the US film production market, we’re taking our ridiculously good offering over to New York and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”


Jon Creamer

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