Lyft Taps Virgin America's Jesse McMillin For Its First Creative Director

In the midst of expansion and regulator battles, Lyft recruits a big creative player to step up its branding game.

Jesse McMillinImage courtesy of Lyft

Amid a long-awaited but rough-start New York City launch, Lyft has just announced a big hire to further build the brand. Virgin America creative director Jesse McMillin will join the ridesharing service as Lyft's first creative director, to "lead the team in creating the magical and delightful moments in nearly every touchpoint of the Lyft experience and brand," according to Lyft representative Erin Simpson. The news comes a day after Virgin America filed for an IPO.

As Virgin America's creative director for seven years, McMillin was responsible for a number of recent successful initiatives to invigorate the brand, most notably last year's much-lauded new in-flight safety video that used music, dance, and high production values to get passengers' attention. Prior to Virgin America, McMillan was a senior designer at Nike, a graphic designer for Levi Strauss & Co., and art director at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West.

A big creative hire makes sense for Lyft, which has built its brand identity on friendly quirk, from the pink mustaches on every car, to the fist bump they recommend every driver give each passenger, to the corps of theme-happy drivers called "Lyft Creatives."

"Lyft is about technology and innovation, but it’s also about freedom and community," said McMillin in a statement about why he is joining the company. "Someday, Lyft is going to be one of the great global brands. To be a part of shaping the path for where such an exciting brand will go is not only a special opportunity, it’s the chance of a lifetime."

[Images courtesy of Lyft]

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