Backyard has bolstered its considerable comedy credentials with the addition of director Seth Townsend to the roster. Townsend comes with a diverse reel of impressive work, including a hilarious Axe spot starring a sweaty small town hero who keeps live fish under his armpits, a spot for Google Plus featuring a backyard pick-up game with running commentary from NBA talent, and a colorful Pringles spot depicting a supermarket-turned-funhouse.
“Our company has a long-standing track record for supporting directors doing strong comedic work,” said Backyard owner Blair Stribley. “Seth has a great reel with an eclectic mix of very funny spots. He’s a smart, down to earth guy who I know is going to be a great fit with our company. I’m excited to be working with Seth because of his fresh take on comedic advertising and I think he’s an excellent representative of the direction Backyard is headed.”
Townsend spent a number of years as the sole American member of the Swedish collective Traktor before becoming one half of the directing duo Seth&Bobby at Partizan. He went solo in early 2011. He is also an accomplished writer, having adapted several novels to screenplays.
The addition of Townsend comes at an exciting time of rapid growth for the company, which recently brought on long-time independent rep Chris Zander as a partner, and became bicoastal with the opening of a NYC office. “Seth’s work has the right balance of comedic performances and smart filmmaking to succeed in today’s advertising world,” explained Zander. “He brings such a confident point of view to his work, and he’s also a great guy who will fit in perfectly with the culture here. We are known for nurturing and developing successful comedy careers, and we can’t wait to help Seth reach his potential as a director.”
“When I went solo after being part of a directing team, I needed to prove that I could actually direct on my own,” said Townsend. “I hooked up with a small production company and spent the past year working really hard to do that. Fortunately I was able to keep busy with some great agencies and build a body of my own work. When I left that company, Backyard approached me about working with them. We had a number of meetings and a number of beers and a number of laughs and I found them to be a very likable bunch who are passionate about building on all the success they’ve had over the years. Blair has done a great job of populating the company from the top down with very creative and talented people who all seem excited to do what they do. They are the sort of people I’ll feel totally comfortable calling at three in the morning to bail me out of jail. The reps are all amazing, and Zander coming on board as a partner, as well as Backyard opening offices in New York, convinced me that they are serious and motivated to push the company in new directions. I like the new work being done by the other directors on the roster and hope to contribute to what they’ve been building. On top of all that, they’ve got a BBQ and a bar on a kickass rooftop patio in Venice. Lot’s of nude sunbathing going on up there. If you need me, that’s where I’ll be.”