Damon Stapleton

Chief Creative Officer at DDB New Zealand
Location:New Zealand

Profile

Damon went to New Zealand to work with his old partner Shane Bradnick and make some secret creative sauce. Before that he was ECD at Saatchi and Saatchi Australia, before that, Group ECD of TBWA Hunt Lascaris and Global ECD of Standard Bank. He's the only ECD in Africa to win a D&AD Black Pencil and the annual Directory Big Won Rankings lists him as one of the most successful ECDs of 2016, based on international award wins...
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The rise of the internet class

Lately, I have been followed. The man who is following me has good hair and dead eyes. It would seem wherever I go on the internet, he pops up. He is young, very young, but is constantly telling me that he has the wisdom and the secret stuff that can help me...

By Damon Stapleton 26 Sep 2018

The tango of Donald Trump and Nike

Outrage. Hatred. These are not normally words you would say are the way forward for a brand. In the past, a brand has always tried to have a position that was not controversial. A position where you attacked your competitors and nobody else. You stayed in your lane. Stuck to your knitting...

By Damon Stapleton 12 Sep 2018

What do you want creativity to do?

"What can creativity do?" Last week, I was asked this simple question. I have been asked this four-word puzzle a few times in my career. It is a strange question...

By Damon Stapleton 22 Aug 2018

The love story of an engine and a compass

Years ago, I was lucky enough to work with two giants in the advertising industry. Out of respect, I am not going to name them because they would want it that way...

By Damon Stapleton 8 Aug 2018

Enough plankton, and you sir, have a whale

It has been a couple of weeks of belief and varying degrees of success...

By Damon Stapleton 18 Jul 2018

Stranger Things: The Cannes Edition

Damon Stapleton won 12 Cannes Lions this year. Of the overall experience, he says, "I was looking for a sign for a couple of days. And there it was..."

By Damon Stapleton 4 Jul 2018

Do you speak creativity?

"Doing stand-up in Poland." This is a phrase that we used to say at an agency I use to work at many years ago. It referred to a bad meeting with a client that involved a creative presentation...

By Damon Stapleton 13 Jun 2018

The illusion of control

Kintsugi: The Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold...

By Damon Stapleton 30 May 2018

What if you could change the world?

I will get to the accompanying picture a bit later. First, let me give you a scenario: Imagine there is a job you have dreamed of your whole life. It is all you have ever wanted to do. You spend every day trying to make it happen. You are passionate and diligent. You work hard. This job is all you care about...

By Damon Stapleton 16 May 2018

A priest and a psychic walk into a New York bar...

This is one of my favourite pictures of New York. It shows the density of the place. As I am taking a picture of the graffiti, in that split second of focusing, a yellow cab and a man on a motorised wheelchair drifted into frame...

By Damon Stapleton 9 May 2018

Two lessons from the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

Chicago. It's almost midnight and it's cold. But not too cold. It's the kind of cold that makes you alert. It gives the evening a crispness and makes the neon signs a little sharper...

By Damon Stapleton 25 Apr 2018

The worst laugh is at the back of the room

One of the most painful things you can ever see is a comic bombing. It is like watching somebody else being kicked in the balls but somehow you feel the pain. This was happening to me about a week ago...

By Damon Stapleton 11 Apr 2018

Be somewhere

I want you to imagine I am telling you the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. In your head, run it through. Picture all the details, the twists and turns and the big ending...

By Damon Stapleton 28 Mar 2018

Respect the pain

I would like to talk about a feeling. A very strange and specific feeling that you can get, being a creative in advertising. To explain it, I will take you back a few years, to a job interview I had in London...

By Damon Stapleton 7 Mar 2018

Advertising was never supposed to be a generic medicine

The first thing advertising has to do is be noticed. It would seem right now many are forgetting this. If an ad isn't noticed the rest doesn't matter, does it...

By Damon Stapleton 7 Feb 2018

Aloha, porn, missiles and the unchanging human race

So, it's a balmy morning on 13 January 2018 in Hawaii. You can smell the hibiscus and you can see the early morning light dancing off those over-sized waves only the Pacific Ocean can bring. Life is good. As you stroll along the beach your phone makes a strange noise. You look down and squint a little to read the screen. It says that there are incoming missiles about to hit and the alarm is not a drill...

By Damon Stapleton 31 Jan 2018

Maybe we should try 'fun' this year

Last year was a very serious year. People were very serious. They were serious about where advertising is going...

By Damon Stapleton 17 Jan 2018

The magic of Coltrane and the farm

In December 2017, our creative department got to visit Gibbs Farm. It is a sprawling Willy-Wonka type meadow filled with exotic animals and dotted with some of the most gigantic and beautiful sculptures the world has ever seen...

By Damon Stapleton 10 Jan 2018

"Like chicken soup for a dead man. It can't hurt"

I have been a creative for 25 years. It is all I have ever done to make a living. First as a photographer, and then as a creative in advertising. So, after a quarter of a century, I thought this would be a good time to write to my younger creative self about what I believe are the rules for successful creative living...

By Damon Stapleton 13 Dec 2017

Listen to the dead man talking

On 17 January 1977, Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad for two murders he committed in Utah. His final words: "Let's do it"...

By Damon Stapleton 8 Nov 2017

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