Still acquires DDMMYY to spark 100 Kiwi acquisitions

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AUCKLAND, Today: Family-owned New Zealand company Still has acquired creative agency DDMMYY as a part of its Still 100 programme, which will see Still acquire, start or support 100 local companies, projects or non-profit activities in NZ over the next decade.

DDMMYY is the newest business to join Still 100 foundational businesses Kings Plant Barn, Consult Recruitment, Shape, Hulbert House and Drive Electric.

Still founder/ceo Hideaki Fukutake said: “Our vision is to create new ways of seeing and being in the world.

“Grounded in Aotearoa New Zealand, we are interested in the human experience that exists centuries from now; investing in and nurturing brave projects to inform our future.

“To achieve this vision, we are actively acquiring local businesses that weave together abilities and resources to deliver these brave projects and make a long-term difference.”

Fukutake says he was interested in DDMMYY for the benefit of all Still businesses. “It’s a strategic creative agency, with a history of launching growing New Zealand businesses and a unique eye for mixing commerce, art and culture, will be hugely valuable as the programme evolves.”

DDMMYY was founded by Kelvin Soh in 1999 to create brands and help them find and tell their story through strategy, creativity and design with a focus on meaningful engagement and the creation of strong brand communities.

Fukutake: “DDMMYY is the agency behind many of New Zealand’s most memorable brands and packaging, with Boring Oat Milk, Stolen Rum, 42 Below, Deadly Ponies, Maggie Marilyn, Serious Popcorn, Charlies Juice and Sansceuticals all linking back to its creative director and founder, Kelvin Soh.

“Kelvin Soh stays on – as creative director of the Still group of companies, including DDMMYY.”

“Recent success at the Best Design Awards saw DDMMYY honoured with 12 awards in 12 different categories, including goldsin Small Brand Identity / Commercial; Packaging / FMCG; Colour Award Graphics and Packaging for clients Boring Milk, Klim, The Caker and Burly Gin.

“DDMMYY’s projects extend beyond New Zealand as well, with clients such as Hedera (a top 50 crypto project currently valued at $US1.3 billion), Bodewell skincare (acquired by Proctor & Gamble), The Gospel in Melbourne (Australia’s largest rye whiskey distillery) and American Apparel (USA).”

Kelvin Soh said: “The main drivers for selling DDMMYY was an alignment of values and the chance to work at an even greater scale, with more potency.

“Still is a unique business with an ambitious vision and an expressed desire to make a positive impact on New Zealand.

“The New Zealand-based Fukutake family’s business track record and the ongoing Naoshima Art Island project speaks volumes about their values.”

Soh stays on with the new-look company, with his role expanded to creative director of the Still group of companies including DDMMYY.

“On a long list of reasons why DDMMYY was the right creative agency for Still is the non-profit work that Kelvin has done with artists and writers.

“Among Kelvin’s portfolio of work, which has won DDMMYY over 40 industry awards worldwide, is Le Roy, a non-profit, independent art and culture magazine showcasing emerging talent, which was distributed in international art gallery bookshops such as the Tate Modern, London and MoMA, New York.

“Kelvin provided a platform for emerging talent which otherwise might have gone unseen. My family, for generations, have helped artists be seen and these are strong values carried on through Still.”

“On a long list of reasons why DDMMYY was the right creative agency for Still is the non-profit work that Kelvin has done with artists and writers.”

About Hideaki, CEO and Founder, STILL
Hideaki Fukutake moved to live in New Zealand with his family in 2009. He is director of Benesse Holdings and efu Investment, along with many of the STILL 100 companies. Benesse is well known as a leading company in education in Japan, and now is active in a wide range of business fields including, senior nursing care, childcare, and publishing.  Hideaki is also chairman of the Fukutake Foundation which operates Benesse Art Site Naoshima, and is an important contributor to the world-renowned Setouchi Triennale.  Benesse Art Site Naoshima aims to spearhead the Seto Inland Sea renaissance around Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima, focusing on art, nature, and architecture, and has succeeded in revitalising the areas.

About Kelvin Soh
With 20+ years of experience, Kelvin is the founder and creative director of DDMMYY studio and creative director at Still. Kelvin works at the intersection of art and visual culture, graphic design, brand ideation and brand strategy. Based in New Zealand, he has won 40+ industry awards for categories such as brand identity, consumer packaging, and visual communication.

Kelvin is also involved with non-profit and community focused activities, and is dedicated to the arts and entrepreneurship globally. He is the publisher of Le Roy, an independent art and culture magazine showcasing emerging talent, which was distributed in international art gallery bookshops, Tate Modern, London and MoMA, New York. He has been a judge for the NZ Best Design Awards and startup-related events for Soda Inc. Kelvin was recently recognised as a Fellow of The Designers Institute of NZ.

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