Staff Reporters
Sep 14, 2023

Creative Minds: Tales from TBWA's tattooed creative

A bucket list that includes a cross-country adventure across America, a crazy romance move and surviving drive-by shootings while serving coffee, Shane Bradnick's journey is one wild story.

Creative Minds: Tales from TBWA's tattooed creative
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Shane Bradnick

Origin: Zimbabwe

Places lived/worked: South Africa, Australia, New Zealand

Preferred pronouns: Him


  • TBWA NZ, Auckland, New Zealand, chief creative officer, 2018-current
  •  DDB NZ, Auckland, New Zealand, executive creative director, 2013-2018
  •  BMF Australia, ECD, 2007-2012
  •  M&C Saatchi, Australia, creative group head/art director, 2003-2007
  •  TBWA South Africa, South Africa, art director, 1998-2001

1. How did you end up being a creative?

I studied teaching for a few years, and I stayed in halls where my roommate studied advertising. I spent more time doing his assignments than my own, and it blew my mind that there was a job where you got paid to make creative stuff. From there, I went to the Triple A School of Advertising to study art and design, which got me an internship at DDB South Africa, which became TBWA South Africa.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

One of my favourites is ‘Mr Humfreez’ because he’s a product that solves a real problem. A lot of New Zealand homes are too cold and damp, but the people living in them simply weren’t aware. Mr Hunfreez is a smart device in sheep's clothing—a little ram who is very high-tech but has no wires or electronics, his nose is painted in thermochromic ink, which goes blue when the temperature drops below 18 degrees, and he has hygroscopic horns that unfurl when the humidity levels exceed 65 degrees. 

I also love the 'Sky promotion Bring Down the King' because it tapped into a huge cultural moment. We found a way to channel the hatred people everywhere had for King Joffrey, the main evil character from the hugely popular Game of Thrones. We created a statue of him in an important public square, and you could pull the statue down with tweets—the more tweets that came through the closer the statue came to tumbling down. It leveraged a global trend to dethrone dictators at a time when statues were being pulled down worldwide.

3. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

Moved to another country for a girl.

4. What's on your bucket list?

 Drive across America.

 5, Who do you most admire?
 My dad. He has been a farmer for nearly 81 years and is still working. He taught me the value of family and friendship. He’s been a cowboy, a soldier and he still likes hugging.

6. Who was the most important person in your life that wasn’t your parent?
My elder sister who looked after me when we first went to boarding school. She can always make the right jokes at the right time to make everything alright; her resilience inspires me.

7. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.
Running and managing a service station in South Africa. I worked at a coffee shop in Hillbrow, the most dangerous place in Johannesburg, where frequently we used to have drive-by shootings, undercover sting operations, people shooting up in our bathrooms. But the cafe I worked at, 'Cafe Three Sisters', was wonderful with lovely and friendly owners.

8. Tell us about your tattoo(s).
I gave myself a couple of tattoos when I was 14 years old, they were home made tattoos—one was a heart and one was a scorpion, now they look like bad prison tattoos.

9.What app could you absolutely not live without?
WhatsApp because I use it to connect with all my family and friends.

10. What app do you wish you could delete?

11. Cats or dogs?
I have a dog named Kevin and a cat named Steve, on different days either of them could be my favourite.

Campaign Asia

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