Two creative heavyweights join Special

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AUCKLAND, Thursday: Special has hired two senior creatives to further bolster their creative team. Matt Swinburne (group creative director) and David Shirley (creative director) will be joining the agency at the end of this month.

Matt Swinburne joins Special from London where he worked at AMV BBDO leading global work for Mars and Bacardi. He has also worked at Droga5 New York and Mother and Havas in London.

He created the standout Snickers Fix The World Super Bowl commercial in 2020, and the Design Museum Supermarket for Bombay Sapphire, where he turned a London art gallery into a supermarket so it could legally stay open during lockdown.

His portfolio is deep with award-winning work for Diageo, New York Lotto, Toyota, Snickers and Bacardi.

David Shirley joins Special after six years at FCB, he made a worldwide impact with his Swim Reaper campaign (17 awards since 2017).

His list of award-winning campaigns includes Department of Lost Nights to promote responsible drinking, the VR experience Escape my House for Fire Emergency NZ, and a WorkSafe campaign to encourage employees to ‘follow their gut’.


“Matt and David will be key figures in Special’s fast-growing creative department.”

Special Group founder/ceo/CCO Tony Bradbourne said: Matt and David will be key figures in Special’s fast-growing creative department.

“At Special, we are all about bringing the best minds together to help make the impossible happen.

“This focus on brave and incredibly effective work for our clients is what has put our name on the world stage and I’m delighted to have such strong talent join our team and continue this philosophy.”

Swinburne said: “I’ve been a huge fan of Special for a while. They’re a brilliant, world-class agency, and bunch of good buggers too. I couldn’t be more excited to be coming to join their incredibly talented and ambitious team.”

Shirley said: “Special has that all-important ‘Why don’t we?’ attitude.

“It’s an approach that has freed them to make brave, effective and groundbreaking work that has led to recognition and accolades the world over. If there’s one word to sum up Special, it’s ‘ambition’. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to be part of that?”

About Special
Special was founded in New Zealand in 2007 and now has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles & Wellington. Their unique agency model, founded to break down the silos between advertising and design, has expanded to include PR, media and production. They have been named Agency of the Year by Campaign UK, most effective agency in the Asia Pacific by the APAC Effies, and has won all three 2020 Agency of the Year awards from Campaign Brief, B&T and Campaign Asia.


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