Saatchi & Saatchi NZ launches The Culture Studio and welcomes key senior hires

Following a period of continued growth, Saatchi & Saatchi is further adding to its strategic offering with the addition of new senior strategists, and the launch of ‘The Culture Studio’.

This growth includes becoming the lead brand and creative agency for Westpac New Zealand (part of the Publicis Groupe connected model).

Tim Cullinane will take on the newly created position of Head of Idea Design, Sarah Hodgetts joins as Strategy Director and Clinton Mellsop has been appointed to the role of Associate Strategy Director. 

Cullinane brings extensive brand and customer experience that has taken him all over the world including Asia, North America and Europe with companies such as BBH, Tribal, DDB and Critical Mass. His role will strategically help clients to create connected ideas across their brand eco systems, with depth. 

On his appointment, Cullinane said the way people experience brands is changing.

“Saatchi & Saatchi are famously woven into the cultural fabric of New Zealand, so I am excited to partner with the team and clients here to help build some of New Zealand’s most iconic and loved brands.”

Sarah Hodgetts, Strategy Director returns with 20+ years of experience in the industry between Clemenger, BBDO, Assignment, Culture and Theory, and originally, Saatchi & Saatchi. In that time, she has strategically and insightfully helped enable some of New Zealand’s most iconic and creatively revered ideas to flourish across the Defence Force Recruitment, Sanitarium, New World, Women’s Refuge and Coca-Cola brands. 

Clinton Mellsop, Associate Strategy Director has recently returned from Melbourne, where he worked for independent agencies TPF and Fenton Stephens over the past decade. Clinton brings extensive experience in brand strategy, account management, and communications planning to the role. Drawn to Saatchi & Saatchi by their dedication to unlock cultural creativity across branded ecosystems and the media landscape of New Zealand. 

Saatchi & Saatchi, Chief Strategy Officer, David McIndoe says: “The new strategy team brings such a great diversity of skills and perspectives. From culture to connectivity, rallying these different points of view around our work is not only opening up new paths and opportunities, it’s also great fun.”

In addition to the appointments, the agency has also launched ‘The Culture Studio’, a dedicated discipline focused on understanding, connecting with, and reflecting the many communities that make up New Zealand. 

Driven by Cultural Strategist Jonny Almario, the studio delivers cultural intelligence, insight and community perspectives through anthropology exploration, analysis and reporting into client business and creative opportunities. 

“The Culture Studio gives us a unique, and often challenging perspective on the challenges we’re trying to solve. Bringing a genuinely human point of view, it has already proven itself invaluable in our drive for ideas that connect with and contribute to New Zealand culture,” says McIndoe.

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