After seven years with DDB Group, and three in the role of experiential creative director, Steve Kane has taken a role as "a senior, multi-faceted creative director" at Whybin\TBWA, where he will work under executive creative director Andy Blood.
Connan James departed the role of creative director to go freelance late last year (his creative partner Craig Farndale remains at the agency), but chief executive Dave Walden says Kane isn't a replacement.
He says the agency has always had a structure where senior creatives report to Blood, but Kane is "probably more senior than we've had before".
Walden, who announced he had begun the search for a successor last year, says Kane has "a touch of the quality of audacity" that he seeks in his staff and his wide ranging remit will be to work closely with the planning, creative and PR people to "ensure the integrated work we’re doing is the best it can possibly be".
"His arrival in early February bodes well for another strong year," he says.
Kane was appointed DDB’s (and New Zealand’s) first creative director, experiential, at the start of 2010 and his 20-year career has spanned public relations, advertising, suiting and journalism. During his time at DDB, he worked with all the big clients, including Cadbury, McDonald’s, New Zealand Lotteries and Air New Zealand. He was also a key figure in the success of ANZ's 'Welcome the World' campaign, and Walden says he will be reacquainting himself with that account at his new home, as well as working on Tourism New Zealand, 2degrees and its other clients.
"We deploy the talent across all our clients," he says.
Blood says Kane is widely acknowledged and acclaimed within the industry as a ‘contemporary creative’.
"He’s well versed in social media, art direction, copywriting, strategy, planning ... the list goes on. In fact, he’s even been a tech blogger,” says Blood. "He’s also a really good guy who is the epitome of Media Arts and comfortable and conversant with disruption and our whole ethos, so we’re thrilled to have him join our award-winning creative department, as I know our clients are too."
Kane, who has a deep and burning passion for dad jokes, believes the TBWA\ team have been responsible for some of the country's most successful and entertaining campaigns in recent times.
"The work is both memorable, different and makes people sit up and take notice. I’m looking forward to contributing to their impressive body of work,” he says.