CB Exclusive: Host snares ex DDB Melbourne CCO Darren Spiller for chief creative officer role


Darren Spiller.jpgCB Exclusive – Campaign Brief can reveal that former DDB Group Melbourne chief creative officer Darren Spiller, who departed in November last year, has been appointed chief creative officer of Host, based in Sydney. This is the agency’s first chief creative officer.

Spiller joined DDB Melbourne in 2012 as ECD, replacing Grant Rutherford, and was promoted to CCO in February 2015, a move which saw a major creative restructure for the agency. During his time at DDB Melbourne, the agency enjoyed a creative resurgence, developing high-profile work for Westpac, Devondale and RSL amongst others.

Prior to joining DDB Melbourne, Spiller held the role of CCO at Fallon USA, moving to Minneapolis in June 2009. Before Fallon, he was regional creative director of Publicis Mojo Australia and New Zealand.

At Mojo Spiller was ECD on award winning campaigns includingTourism Victoria’s ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Run Rabbit Run’, Nestle PetersDrumstick campaign and ‘Nike’s ‘Stuff History’.

During a career of more than 20 years, Darren has produced award winning campaigns for clients including Nike, Nestle, Tourism Victoria, NBC, H&R Block and Lion to name but a few and has played a key role on the global creative boards at Publicis and DDB.

Says Anthony Freedman, founder and group CEO, Host: “I have known Darren for a long time and quietly always hoped we might work together one day. Firstly and most importantly, he is great guy who sees the world as we do, but he’s also one of Australia’s most experienced creative leaders with an impeccable track record and the best qualified person we could have brought into Host, to help us to develop the most exciting creative content in Australia.”

Says Spiller: “I was all set for another overseas adventure and had a number of conversations underway in Europe and the US. However after my chat with Anthony and Laura, it became clear that what I thought I would have to go half way around the world for was actually on offer in Sydney. Host is a home-grown success story that’s stayed the distance. They’re riding high at the moment and it seems the perfect time to pitch in and build on recent successes.”

Last year was a year of strong performance for Host, with the iTunes chart topping, Christmas campaign of 2016 – Air New Zealand’s “Summer Wonderland” – a long list of new business wins including XXXX Gold, James Boag, Tooheys Extra Dry, James Squire, Red Rooster, Oporto, Star Entertainment Group, Subaru and Visit California, and a number of notable hires including creative director, Chris Little, integrated production director, Michael Griffiths, and group account directors Brooke Chilcott and Gemma Cadwallader.

Host and sister agency, One Green Bean formed a partnership with Havas in 2011 and in conjunction with Universal Music Australia, also launched entertainment marketing agency Bring, in 2016.