Andy Fackrell, Executive Creative Director, shines a light on the DDB kiwi spirit behind their honest and insightful ideas.


Issue 10: DDB New Zealand

Andy Fackrell

Andy is an English born, Australian raised and New Zealand schooled Art Director, and sometime Executive Creative Director. He has worked in agencies in four continents; only Africa and Antarctica have been spared.

He has been Executive Creative Director at DDB New Zealand for 18 months with his focus to establish big brand ideas across the agency roster of clients. Up to 2012, the last 9 years have been at 180 Amsterdam, where he oversaw much of that agencies output on the adidas business with highlights being Wake-Up Call, Kicking It with Jonny Wilkinson and David Beckham, and the +10 World Cup campaign. Before that he was a creative at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland and his work included the Cannes Grand Prix winning Nike Tag and Shaderunner spots as well as one of the first interactive campaigns for Before that he spent five productive years in Singapore working at Batey Ads, his favourite client and haunt being The Raffles Bar & Billiard Room.


Auckland, New Zealand is certainly a long way away from Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, hell even Sydney.  When you stand at the bottom of the South Island, looking south, you get the feeling that the Antarctic is just over the horizon.

That’s where my shot was taken, on location for the Father Time ad for SKY. Having said that, I’ve never felt disconnected from the ad world. DDB summits, Cannes, Creativity, Campaign Brief, Shots, Little Black Book, etc.  Ideas travel at warp speed. If not, well there’s something wrong with the idea.

New Zealanders have always been nimble on their feet, whether it’s from the base of the scrum or the summit of Everest. The same can be said for how they approach the ad landscape. The young teams are adept at finding ways to get the message seen. Everything is fair game, from old school film and print, to PR, stunts and Apps; my year has all been about the diversity of output.

And it showed at Cannes, with seven clients represented across 16 shortlists and nine Lions (including a Young Director Award).  As Amir has said, the convergence of technology and humanity is critical, and strongly at play in our work, particularly with the Hutchwilco Secret Fishing Spots App that did well at Cannes and D&AD.

The DDB truth that I adhere to most is that all of our work be based on a strong human insight, and not on a technique. That’s where we can come unstuck these days; when technique comes first, when an idea is subservient to style – or a shallow attempt at social connection, or is desperately holding onto a piece of technology for the sake of its newness. That’s when I get all ‘Bernbach.’

The fact that 1964’s VW Snow Plow can still make it onto the top ten lists of modern day Creative Directors – those even born in the 70’s, makes me like this network and what it stands for even more. Ideas. I have an amazing creative department here. They keep me honest, with what I drive, what I wear, and what I approve. Kudos to them.

– Andy Fackrell, ECD DDB Group New Zealand