Tribal promotes James Blair to managing director and Haydn Kerr to executive CD

Tribal promotes James Blair to managing director and Haydn Kerr to executive CD

Following significant momentum and growth over the past year, Tribal Aotearoa NZ (DDB Group’s digital experience agency) has made two significant promotions within its leadership team.


Managing partners James Blair (right) and Haydn Kerr (left) have been promoted to managing director and executive creative director respectively. These moves follow fellow Tribal managing partner Liz Knox’s (centre) promotion to managing director – production services, a role which oversees a team of 65 production and delivery specialists across the Tribal and DDB Group Aotearoa NZ businesses.

Says Priya Patel, CEO, DDB Group Aotearoa NZ: “In less than two years Tribal Aotearoa NZ has gone from a non-entity to a thriving agency with an incredible client portfolio and is one of the fastest growing arms of our business. I believe that sort of success has to be recognised.

“James and Haydn’s promotions give Tribal the chance to double down and focus on areas of potential new growth and new clients in the digital experience, build and utility space.”

Tribal Aotearoa NZ was established in 2019 and has grown by more than 300% over the past two years, following several business wins. These include international brands Volkswagen and Audi as well as local businesses Supacolour, Lumino and Ray Glass Boats, plus institutions like Jarden, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Plant & Food Research.

Blair says it’s an exciting time in the digital arena, as businesses are increasingly looking to their online offering in the wake of Covid-19 when online trade was crucial to their survival: “People have built relationships with brands online in everyday life, online shopping has become commonplace and big brands are reviewing how they’re able to interact with and offer their services to customers online.

“There are huge opportunities to unlock further growth for our current and future clients by providing specialist support to create digital experiences that drive an action or emotional response,” says James.

Kerr adds that brands are increasingly recognising the need to provide their customers with services that move seamlessly between digital and non-digital worlds: “Tribal’s success over the past two years, and particularly the past 12 months, can be attributed to the fact we are able to be the bridge between traditional brand thinking and cutting-edge digital technological expertise.

“Whether it’s social media and digital content creation, or grunty web-based projects, apps or product development, Tribal delivers unexpected digital experiences that have the potential to fundamentally change the way brands do business. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has in store.”

For more information about Tribal, its services and team,