When Hanko met Rico: .99 announces new creative director

DDB head of copy Paul Hankinson has been named creative director at .99 following the resignation of deputy creative director Craig Pethybridge in November last year.

Executive creative director and managing director Craig Whitehead says Pethybridge’s decision to leave the agency to pursue other opportunities was a blow given he was one of the original .99 staffers.

“Craig has played a massive role at the agency since day one and we wish him all the best with the next stage of his career. However, his pending departure did force us to rethink the make-up of our creative team and we are delighted to have someone of Paul’s calibre join us. Paul has a strong background in both brand and retail and has a number of award-winning campaigns from both camps under his belt. He will bring great conceptual thinking and writing skills to the agency and we can’t wait for him to get stuck in.”

Hankinson was promoted to head of copy at DDB in March last year and under his leadership as creative group head on McDonald’s, the company was won the supreme award at the NZ Marketing Awards in 2008 and, for the first time, began exporting creative work for use in the Australian market. He was also instrumental in DDB’s ANZ win, then as ANZ’s creative director coming up with the ‘Perfect World‘ concept.

Volkswagen’s ‘Finance Director‘ retail spot earned him a Bronze Lion at Cannes and his work for SKY TV includes the award-winning Aliens vs. Predator print campaign and last year’s Leafblower TVC. Prior to DDB, his body of work included campaigns for Hallensteins, Woolworths, Coca-Cola, Burger Rings and Beaurepaires.

“I’ve always held the view that a retail ad still has to be something of a brand ad. It’s blindingly obvious that Craig and Neil share that view, and this is borne out by the fact that brands such as Air New Zealand and New World are now looking to them for their brand communications as well as their retail offering. Craig and Neil have made it clear that they are keen to up the ante with the quality of the work, and I’m both thrilled and humbled that they’ve entrusted that to me.”

Pethybridge will be leaving the agency early March and Hankinson will start late March. Whitehead says he and Hankinson are in the process of interviewing for another senior creative and an appointment is imminent.

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