Contagion has lured New Zealand-born creative talent Todd McCracken back home with a joint-executive creative director role.
McCracken has spent the last 15 years in Southeast Asia, working as the chief creative officer at Ogilvy & Mather Singapore between 2007 and 2010 before moving across to the Vietnam office for a five-year stint between 2010 and 2015.
More recently, he worked as the regional executive creative director at Commonwealth/McCann in Bangkok, Thailand.
In taking on the role at Contagion, he will work closely alongside joint-executive creative director Bridget Taylor, who is optimistic about the impact McCracken will have on the creative work coming out of the agency.
“If Steve Jobs and Neil French had a love child, Todd would be the result,” Taylor says. “He is an extraordinary mix of business smarts and creative brilliance. His portfolio is like a ‘Best of D&AD’ annual. Somehow he also found time to be the co-author of ‘The Deck of Brilliance’, an idea creation tool that has become renowned globally with marketers and creatives alike. Being a kiwi through and through, he’s incredibly humble, preferring to shine the light on his clients and staff, rather than himself.”
McCracken developed the Deck of Brilliance in 2016 with Ogilvy Shanghai ECD Juggi Ramakrishnan in a bid to assist creatives in coming up with ideas for clients. The tool has a series of 52 idea-generation guides that serve to inspire creatives to find a fresh angle or approach.
Contagion chief executive Dean Taylor says McCracken is an important addition to the team.
“We’ve been bolstering the agency over the last year with incredible talent in planning, media and account service,” he says. “Todd joining as creative partner is the last piece of a very robust puzzle. In a few short weeks, he’s already added enormous value to our clients.”
The arrival of McCracken follows the recent appointment of Emma Bolser, who joined the agency as managing partner of media in August.
Bolser’s appointment coincided with the departure of former head of media Suzie Thompson, who left the agency for Vizeum.