TBWAGroup Singapore’s executive creative director Gary Steele will be leaving the agency at the end of April to join DDB New Zealand. He will be taking on the role as executive creative director with DDB. He will be reporting to Damon Stapleton, DDB New Zealand’s chief creative officer.
Steele has been with TBWA since 2003, based in South Africa when he first joined. He moved to Singapore in 2008 and has since been the agency’s helmed the role as global creative director and ECD. He brings with him more than 19 years of creative experience.
Steele said that he has had his eyes on the work coming out of DDB New Zealand with interest over the last few years and joined the team when the opportunity arose.
“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. I can’t wait. 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,” he said.
DDB’s Stapleton said Steele’s appointment is “huge news” for the agency and demonstrates the pull of the New Zealand creative scene. “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 Steele’s joining the team as well – a world-class creative who was leading a highly awarded agency of 300+ people in Singapore,” Stapleton added.
Meanwhile, Ara Hampartsoumian, newly appointed chief executive officer of TBWAGroup Singapore said Steele has done an “incredible” job in his role as executive creative director and leaves at a time of positive momentum for the Singapore agency, and the entire collective.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure for me to partner Steele over the last five years and I thank him for his passion, dedication and loyalty to the agency. We wish Steele and his family all the very best with their move to New Zealand and Steele’s new role. The agency is currently in an incredibly strong place, with robust creative and brand teams across all our accounts,” he added.
TBWA recently had a lucrative win with Singapore Airlines, retaining the account having worked with the airline previously. PHD was also appointed for global media duties, following a six-month pitch process handled by R3. The appointment was said to take effect from 1 April 2019 and the contract will be for five years.