Google Creative Lab Gets ‘Old Spice’ Creative Director Iain Tait From Wieden + Kennedy

A big hire for Google announced today, and perhaps a sign of some sharper viral marketing coming out of the company going forward: the company is adding Iain Tait to the team at Google Creative Lab, the company’s in-house team that creates marketing campaigns for all things Google, covering products like Android, Chrome, Google+ and more.

Tait comes from ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, where he had most recently been executive creative director, credited with having a key role in such iconic campaigns as the hugely popular and award-winning Old Spice campaign of viral videos, as well as work for Levi’s, Coke and Nike.

Tait had been with the agency for two years, according to Creativity Online, becoming a partner just in December. Before moving to Wieden, Tait had founded a smaller London agency, Poke, which had created viral campaigns for the mobile operator Orange as well as an amazing little social media campaign for London artisan bakers Albion. Albion’s Baker Tweet used a special tweet box in the kitchen that let bakers tweet out to followers whatever was coming out of the oven.

Google has been criticized time and again for failing to “get” social media right but picking up a guy like Tait could be a back-door route to convincing the public otherwise.

“I’m fully aware of recent criticisms of Google, and I’m going into this with my eyes open. It’s not a startup anymore,” Tait wrote in a blog post. “Google is a large company with vast responsibilities, and those responsibilities are only likely to grow. So it has to hold itself to ruthless standards of impeccable behavior. I’m excited and motivated by that.”

Tait also explains a bit more about his motivation for leaving an agency that he credits with being “the best storytellers in the world.”:

“What I really want to do with my life it to get closer to the shaping of the connected world. For me that means getting deeper into the shaping of products and services, showing people the life-enhancing potential of technology, and helping to get those things into peoples’ hands. I believe that Google is in a unique position to make those things happen in the world.”

P.S. Looks like Google is looking for another hire for the Creative Lab, too.