Creative agency partners with global heavyweight

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DDB Aotearoa and Whare Creative at Whakaue marae in Maketu, Bay of Plenty.

Leading advertising agency DDB Aotearoa and pioneering kaupapa Māori agency Whare Creative have today announced a unique partnership that will see them working together under a new brand, Takitoru.

Takitoru will provide a full communications suite from strategic consultation to ideation, design and execution. Importantly it will offer existing and new clients the powerful combination of two award-winning creative teams utilising te ao Māori frameworks with the tautoko (support) of a joint workforce of 240.

Bridgette Tapsell, founder of Mount Maunganui-based Whare Creative and Priya Patel, CEO of DDB Group Aotearoa, say the partnership is an exciting step forward for both agencies.  “We have worked together for the past 18 months and saw that by coming together we could offer more value to our clients and our people.”

Bridgette said the partnership demonstrates DDB Aotearoa’s commitment to being a tangata tiriti/genuine ally to Māori and shows Whare Creative’s promise to its kaupapa to offer the world an indigenous, creative solution to pressing issues around equity and diversity, climate change, affordable housing and, most importantly, the hauora of its people.

“This world view has resonated with many non-Māori clients and has widened our scope of mahi and impact. For us this next step makes perfect sense,” she said.

CEO of DDB Group Aotearoa, Priya Patel, said that the two agencies had taken time to get to know each other and work together with Whare Creative (formerly Whare PR) advising them in the cultural creative space for their clients.

“It has been a meeting of minds, hearts and wairua and we wanted to formalise our partnership.  This model sees us join together to create a third entity, which will give us and our clients unexpected opportunities,” Priya Patel said.

Bridgette Tapsell added that some of the DDB leadership team came to her marae last year.  “We had a wānanga about our joint intentions and aspirations for Aotearoa.  We all left excited and determined to move forward together,” she said.

Tapsell maintains mana motuhake/ownership of her agency, and will continue to service existing clients, but the holding company behind Takitoru will have respected kaiārahi Rangi Ahipene, who works at Whare Creative, join as an equal partner.

“Whakareia tō kura ahurea Māori hei tauira mō te ao. We are thrilled to be entering into this partnership brand, to continue our vision of sharing our culture and values with the world,” said Ahipene.

He explained that Takitoru is a Māori word (noun) which means a group of three; the three being created from the combination of Whare Creative and DDB Aotearoa, that when twisted together like two strands of flax fibre (muka), create a third, much stronger fibre.

“The third aspect has its own magic and special quality, creating new stories and relationships that are only possible through our shared thinking and knowledge,” he said.

Patel said the arrangement will also see DDB utilise Whare Creative’s cultural uplift services, where employees will have access to te reo Māori and tikanga courses, and cultural development related directly to the media industry.

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