New ECD for Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand

Auckland - Saatchi & Saatchi welcomes acclaimed international advertising creative, Antonio Navas, to the role of Executive Creative Director for its New Zealand agency.

Venezuelan-born, Navas joins Saatchi & Saatchi from his ECD role at Ogilvy and Mather New York where for the last four years he has worked with clients including Coca Cola, Stolichnaya, Kodak, Motorola, Dove and Puerto Rico Tourism. 

Prior to Ogilvy and Mather, he worked at Goodby Silverstein and Partners, Amster Yard, FCB in San Francisco and BBDO New York during the peak of their creative powers. His clients have included major global brands: HP, Haagen Daaz, Levis, Mazda, Pepsi Cola, Polaroid, Stella Artois, Bacardi and Sol Beer.

Antonio is renowned for his stunning work and extensive experience in multi-media collaborations. He has collected awards from Cannes, Art Directors Club, London International Awards, CA, AICP, AAF and CLIO.

Last year, Navas achieved global acclaim with the video of the theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Waka Waka: This Time for Africa, performed by Shakira. The video remains the third most viewed YouTube video of all time, with over 327,388,000 hits. 

Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand CEO, Nicky Bell, said Navas' appointment is the result of a lengthy national and international search to select the right person to fill the role.

"Antonio understands how creative thinking can change businesses and brands and has proven this across different cultures.  And he is a genuine catalyst in a creative environment.

"Having experienced this first hand while working together in New York, I really admire the way he does this. And, quite frankly, he's one of the good guys. I'm really excited he's bringing that talent to Saatchi & Saatchi and the New Zealand creative community," she said.

Industry heavyweight, Steve Simpson, Chief Creative Officer, North America at Ogilvy & Mather (Antonio's former creative partner at Goodby Silverstein & Partners), commented:  "Antonio is one of the wonderful talents of our business. He has an unerring eye (a good thing in an art director) and unfailing taste (a better thing in a creative director), and has produced some of the most memorable work for some of the world's most famous brands.  He has counted among his friends people like Richard Avedon, Elliott Erwitt, Nadav Kander and has worked with Andreas Gursky and Annie Liebowitz.

"He has been an outstanding mentor to up and coming talent. He loves his craft, knows brands and is able to carry art into commerce. He is also, quite possibly, the single most considerate person I have met in advertising."

Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, also commented: "Antonio is one of those rare talents who combines a superb sense of design with a strategic understanding of brands.  He brings out the best in everyone around him. During his time at Ogilvy, he improved everything he touched.  I can't wait to see what he does in New Zealand."

Commenting on joining Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, Navas said: "I have always admired the work that has come out of New Zealand.  It's often a little ‘out there' and feels like it could only come from people that live life with intense optimism and a fresh perspective. 

"I've particularly admired Saatchi & Saatchi's New Zealand creative reputation from afar, so I'm excited to be part of its next incarnation. I'm also happy to be reunited with Nicky as I think we created some incredible work together in New York.  The agency team I've met feels strong, healthy and dynamic.  We're going to have a lot of fun together."

Antonio starts in early May and will relocate to Auckland with his fiancée.

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