Matt Chandler crowned a 40 under 40 on Campaign Asia’s annual list

Across Matt Chandler’s eight years at DDB Sydney, he’s ascended from copywriter to executive creative director by taking his time, waiting his turn, and stepping up when the time was right and he was ready.

Today, as ECD, he drives a department that wins awards, brings in high-quality talent, and finds time to give back—even during lockdowns and chaos.

In the past year alone, he has led the agency to win a slew of awards, including a Cannes Gold Lion and a Spikes Grand Prix. That recognition is largely off the back of Chandler’s leadership on—and protection of—ideas that have led the way both locally and globally across campaigns such as Volkswagen’s Golf Ad Break Championship and Road Horrors, McDonald’s Australia’s Macca’s Remixed, and April Fool Proof, Domain’s Win Saturday.

The Volkswagen Golf Ad Break campaign hijacked $2.7 million in media spend, and lifted sales by 55% in the campaign period—the most successful Golf launch ever. Chandler was also the creative lead behind Westpac’s rebrand campaign, which picked up two Effie Awards in 2022.

As a leader, Chandler is trusted and impactful. He has hired top-tier talent like Cam Hoelter and Jenny Mak, and works alongside new CCO Stephen de Wolf, and new CEO Sheryl Marjoram. He has contributed to key agency initiatives including DDB Away, giving people the chance to reconnect with family by working from anywhere in the world; and reforming core hours to 10am-3pm as an added flexibility measure.

Chandler is also committed to elevating others in the industry. In 2021, he was named the National co-head of Award School, the foremost course for the next generation of advertising creatives. His leadership role with the school is multi-faceted: defining the syllabus and the briefs; creating the recruitment campaign; recruiting a diverse group of industry professionals to lecture on the weekly subjects; then maintaining the smooth running of the course itself for the 12 weeks it runs. In 2022, Award School had more than 100 graduates across Australia, and opened up to prospective students from more diverse backgrounds.

Prior to joining DDB Sydney in 2014, Chandler worked at agencies including JWT & Saatchi’s in London. In his free time, he has pledged to learn Italian before his 40th birthday but he only has a little over 100 days to fulfill this ambition.

First published via Campaign Asia