Born in Waiouru Army Camp to an arch-conservative officer and an anti-conservative nurse. It was like being tucked into bed at night by Patton and Fonda. Got a crew cut, packed my teddy, got posted to Malaysia while Dad flew a Cobra attack helicopter around Vietnam with the illustrious Black Horse Regiment. Won the Art and English prizes at school. Won a top-shelf balsa wood glider at the slug gun gallery at the Easter Show, but turned down a weapons-based tertiary education and opted for art school. Dad was gutted.
Graduated, rose rapidly through the ranks at Saatchi's Auckland working on some nice blue chips, then left for London. Tossed the reel, burnt the book, completed the rigorous D&AD Ad School, landed a job at Lowe Howard-Spink. Worked in the office next to celebrated CDs Hoggins and O'Shea and even got to talk to them once. Squeezed a Heineken poster out of them featuring Dali and a goldfish before joining Beber Silverstein McCabe in the sunnier and less bureaucratic climate of Miami. Promoted to partner the infamous Hall-of-Famer Ed McCabe until he tired of his Cigarette Boat and bailed with a bloody nice tan and all the good accounts. Woke up one morning, mumbled, "Oh no, not another fucking beautiful day," and moved to New York, Greys, where the briefs were shite but the pizza was super supreme.
Returned to Auckland as Joint CD at Walkers. Launched Vodafone, rewired Philips, picked up more finalists than any other agency. Didn't win a sausage. Took up a senior role at the legendary Colenso Wellington office and struck a gold mine. Picked up tons of metal, won a bunch of pitches, had two daughters (Dad was gutted), and after six years on government biz, needed a beer. Joined the Budweiser group at DDB Chicago as CD, developed the follow-ups to "Wassup?!", won the coveted Oscar Polls with The Jersey Guys, picked up golds and Best of One Show Interactive. The Twin Towers fell. Decided it was time to settle down in a country the terrorists hadn't heard of yet.
Made a groundbreaking 68-spot campaign at FCB Auckland to launch an Aussie instant coffee. Rove spent an entire opening monologue taking the piss out of it, made the company millions. Won a bunch of pitches, got a divorce (Mum was thrilled), then ruled benevolently over the Republik creative department for a couple of years. Left them a pretty nice reel and joined The Pond, working on local and offshore accounts. Picked up the National Party business and did my best not to scare the bloody horses. Creatively bland, but a strategic bulls-eye, won the largest popular vote in MMP history. The Greens got 6.7% and won the Effie. Go figure.
Joined Sugar, persuaded Honda to go on TV for the first time in a decade, sold more Insights than Australia (actual cars, not per capita) and won an Effie. Finally! Pitched the BNZ, won it, spit-roasted the adorable pigs, developed the BNZ stories and doubled its market share. National Party came back with a better brief, won the election with an even bigger margin, routing the opposition in their worst defeat in 92 years. Dad was thrilled. Mum, not so much.
Rejoined the Pond, writing and directing my own work. Been putting out fires my entire career. Now I want to start some. Let's talk.
I'm best known for...
In America: the “Wassup? Jersey Guys”, the first booze ad to play in the Oscar telecast after Chairwoman Kathy Bates laughed her ass off and relaxed the rules. In New Zealand: writing and CDing three successive landslide election victories. In Australia: the 6-week, 64-spot mini-mini-series for the Riva instant coffee launch — Rove spent an entire 5-minute monologue taking the piss out of it, made the company millions.
Industries I know well
Food & Beverage
Other creative fields
Writing screenplays & studying philosophy, particularly ethics.
Mediums I know well
Honours & awards
ONE SHOW (Golds & Best of Show) TV, Integrated Campaign & Interactive, for Budweiser
D&AD book & ADDY (Golds) for TV, “Geraldo Promo”
NY ADVERTISING FESTIVAL (Gold) Print for Masport
EFFIE (Gold) for Honda Insight
AXIS (Golds) TV Humour & Transport for Lynx Fast Ferry
AXIS (Gold) TV for Pioneer
AXIS (Gold) DM, self-promo that landed my first job at Saatchis without a book or reel