DDB's Chris Willingham takes CMO role at R.M.Williams

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 9 June 2021
Hugh Jackman

Chris Willingham, former managing director at DDB New Zealand, has joined R.M.Williams as chief marketing officer

Willingham, with 25 years of international brand experience, joins the R.M.Williams’ senior leadership team to help drive the next phase of growth for the 89-year-old South Australian-based company.

Before DDB, he was global director on Nike at Wieden + Kennedy, overseeing campaigns for the 2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup.

He also led BBDO’s Singaporean hub and spent nine years at Fallon in London where he was managing partner. Campaigns included Cadbury ‘Gorilla’, Sony ‘Balls’ and Sony ‘Paint’.

His seven-year stint at TBWA London running the pan-European PlayStation account was bookended by the award-winning ‘Double Life’ and ‘Fun, anyone?’ campaigns.

Willingham: “I’m incredibly excited to be given stewardship of such a famous, culturally important brand. I bought my first pair of Craftsman boots when I travelled through Sydney during the '90s and fell in love with R.M.Williams there and then.

"This is a unique, once-in-a-career opportunity and it’ll be an absolute privilege to work together with the R.M.Williams team to lead the brand through the next stage of its evolution.”

In 2020, Tattarang acquired 100% of R.M.Williams to bring the brand back into Australian hands for the first time since 2014.

Today the iconic Australian brand is sold in more than 15 countries with 74 stores and 784 stockists.

Tattarang chief investment officer John Hartman welcomed the appointment, saying  Willingham’s role will be critical in accelerating the brand’s new growth strategies across digital channels and international markets. 

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