‘Excited’: Māori creative agency partners with global advertising agency

A hui at a Maketu marae between kaupapa Māori creatives and the Aotearoa representatives of one of the world’s leading advertising agencies has helped seal an “exciting” new collaboration, says Whare Creative founder Bridgette Tapsell (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Raukawa).

Mount Maunganui-based Whare Creative, previously Whare PR, has teamed up with advertising agency DDB Aotearoa to work together under a new partnership brand, Takitoru (group of three).

Tapsell says some of the DDB Aotearoa leadership team came to her marae, Whakaue, in the Bay of Plenty last year and that set the partnership wheels in motion.

“We had a wānanga about our joint intentions and aspirations for Aotearoa. We all left excited and determined to move forward together.”

Takitoru will utilise te ao Māori frameworks to offer a full communications suite, from strategic consultation to ideation, design and execution, through the combination of the two creative teams and support from a joint workforce of 240.

The partnership demonstrates “DDB Aotearoa’s commitment to being a tangata tiriti/genuine ally to Māori,” says Tapsell.

The two agencies have worked together for the past 18 months, with Whare Creative advising DDB Aotearoa in the “cultural creative space” for their clients.

DDB Aotearoa CEO Priya Patel says they have both taken their time to get to know each other.

“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.”

The arrangement will also enable DDB Aotearoa to access te reo Māori and tikanga courses through Whare Creative’s “cultural uplift services”, as well as cultural development related directly to the media industry.