Renowned director and PRETTYBIRD co-founder Paul Hunter has a passion for never-before-told, yet relatable human stories. His work transcends mediums and genres such as music, advertising, comedy, sports, and drama.
Hunter, alongside Kerstin Emhoff, founded PRETTYBIRD in 2008 with a shared, distinct vision to connect the worlds of music and film with brands in creating cutting edge content. After graduating with a degree in Radio, TV & Film from California State University, Northridge, Hunter created spec commercials and videos before landing his first professional gig directing a music video. He quickly defined his distinct brand of visuals and made his mark on the commercial world with his iconic Nike “Freestyle” spot, which earned him numerous awards, including those from AICP, One Show, D&AD, and an Emmy nomination. Hunter continued this streak with Nike, taking home the prestigious Cannes Gold Lion for his landmark “Stickman” campaign. After numerous successful visual-based campaigns, he moved into the world of comedy, working on campaigns including Burger King “Tiny Hands” and the Kia campaign starring Blake Griffin, which blended his visual style with a smart, offbeat sense of humor.
Through his innovative artistic vision, Hunter has earned repeated commissions to create global campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands and directed award-winning spots for Beats, Samsung, Adidas, Apple, Audi, and Microsoft. In 2012, he earned a Bronze Lion for directing a four-spot campaign for Logitech that showcased the effect of music on groundbreaking moments in history, and soon after embarked on a campaign for Beats by Dre, both of which won CLIO Awards in 2014. Hunter’s T-Mobile spot, featuring Kim Kardashian aired during Super Bowl XLIX and was rated amongst the top ads of the game. Furthermore, Hunter spearheaded Ancestry’s first ever campaign — an innovative, patriotic ad highlighting the actual descendants of America’s founders as they read the lines from the Declaration of Independence.
Within the last year, Hunter teamed up with Pharrell Williams and Spotify for “Black History is Happening Now,” a powerful campaign celebrating African-Americans’ significant contributions to culture, and Adidas for the brand’s “Free to Harden” campaign, which promotes their collection inspired by NBA athlete James Harden.
Hunter has broken ground in new media with award-winning branded entertainment campaigns, such as the Adidas Brotherhood web-series starring NBA All-Stars Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, which he developed and directed, as well as executive producing a multi-platform project for Rihanna’s album Rated R.
Some of his most memorable projects include The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” (MTV Best Rap Video), D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel?” (MTV Best R&B Video) and Christina Aguilera’s “Lady Marmalade” (Video of the Year). Hunter has also worked with legendary artists including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, U2, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Manson, Lenny Kravitz and Jennifer Lopez. His music video for Pharrell’s “Freedom” was nominated for Best Music Video at the 58th annual Grammy Awards.