TBWA Singapore veteran Gary Steele leaves to join DDB NZ as executive creative director

Gary Steele has moved from TBWA Singapore to DDB New Zealand as executive creative director.

Steele has shifted after over 11 years with the agency. He had worked across several roles such as regional creative director  and most recently executive creative director.

Citing Steele’s past work at TBWA, a press release from DDB NZ said: “Recent career highlights include developing the ‘Passion Made Possible’ brand platform for the Singapore Tourism Board and a raft of award winning campaigns with Airbnb.”

He also worked extensively on Singapore Airlines – a brand that TBWA retained earlier this year, after a keenly contested pitch.

Previous to his move to Singapore in 2008, Steele worked at TBWA in South Africa

Speaking about Steele’s appointment DDB New Zealand chief creative officer Damon Stapleton said: “I think the global advertising industry is looking at New Zealand right now and wondering if there’s something special in the water down here.

“A few months ago we announced Chris Willingham joining us from W+K Portland and now Gary’s joining the team as well – a world-class creative who was leading a highly awarded agency of over 300 people in Singapore.

“We tell our clients ‘Our business is to grow yours’ and we’ve assembled a superstar team to do that. Bernbach said creativity is the last unfair advantage we’re allowed to take over our competitors, and I think between Gary and the incredible creative team we’ve developed internally over the last few years, we’re making sure our clients have every unfair advantage possible to grow their business.”

Speaking about the move, Steele added: “Watching DDB New Zealand from afar, I’ve seen some fantastic work that really caught my attention. Lotto’s succession of emotive TVC’s, the work on Speight’s, Re:scam – they’re the kind of projects you want to be a part of.

“Between the outstanding stable of brave clients DDB NZ is fortunate to have, and the exceptional creative team I’ll be working alongside, I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Steele will move from Singapore to Auckland and start his new assignment in May. Other recent exits from TBWA include Asia president Ian Pearman who left to join a consumer facing startup and global brand leader on Standard Chartered Bank Chris Galea who moved to McCann Worldgroup.

The agency recently promoted Ara Hampartsoumian as CEO of TBWA Group Singapore and Mandy Wong as managing partner.



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