Seven of the country’s leading innovators and entrepreneurs, in fields ranging from biotechnology to the creative arts, were announced as category winners of the World Class New Zealand Awards. And Mark D’Arcy, president and chief creative officer of Time Warner Global Media Group, took the creative industries gong.
The annual awards, presented by Kea New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, are a celebration of successful New Zealanders who have made significant contributions to the country’s growth and development.
D’Arcy, who partners with industry-leading advertisers to create ideas that leverage the assets of Time Warner, lives with his wife and daughter in New York.
He was introduced to the advertising world after his father, who worked in the advertising department at the New Zealand Herald, arranged a work experience job for him that involved delivering corporate Christmas gifts to ad agencies across Auckland. And the glimpse of an industry that seemed glamorous and exciting sparked a career in advertising and media.
Prior to joining the Global Media Group, D’Arcy worked for more than 15 years as a writer and creative director in a number of advertising agencies worldwide, working for many top brands including Sony, Virgin Atlantic, Nissan, Qantas, M&Ms, Revlon, American Express and General Motors.
He has won numerous creative awards and accolades for his work in the US and internationally, with two of his commercials being named in Ad Week’s Top 50 commercials of the year in 2001 and 2002.
D’Arcy and his family moved to Waiheke Island in 2003 where he worked long distance for a year and wrote the children’s book Why the Chickens Crossed the Road, which has sold more than 50,000 copies in the US alone.
But, of course, it’s not all about advertising and media: he is also vice president of the US branch of Friends of AUT University, a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the City of New York, and is an active member of Kea North America.
The Supreme Award, which is selected from outside the list of seven category winners (see below) will be revealed at a gala dinner at The Langham Hotel in Auckland on March 24. Last year’s Supreme winner was multi-Oscar winner Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop.
The World Class New Zealand Awards have been running for seven years and are judged by a panel of six including Sir Stephen Tindall (Chair of judges), Jon Mayson, John Stace, Jane Hunter, Rod Drury and Professor Sir Peter Gluckman.
A rigorous selection process sees nominees evaluated against five main criteria, with a focus on promoting New Zealand internationally, building global connections and facilitating the exchange of information, knowledge and skills from and about the country.
Sir Stephen Tindall says the Awards dinner has become a highly anticipated event, often serving to promote the great achievements that are beyond the radar of many Kiwis.
“It’s important we recognise and celebrate successful New Zealanders,” he says. “What’s exciting is that every year the awards seem to grow and we’ve only touched on a few of the talented New Zealanders out there.”