Main Feature Marketing APAC

Empowered Women 2022 series: Gretchen Largoza, CEO at AdSpark Philippines

In a conversation with Gretchen Largoza, chief executive officer at AdSpark, she shares her marketing journey across different domains in Southeast Asia. She started her professional journey in direct marketing and swiftly transitioned to digital marketing. 

Gretchen boasts 15 years of experience in marketing communications. Of what made her decide to work on different market profiles, she shared, “From the very beginning, I always do something that’s different and unknown. I like to push myself I see venturing into new things. That’s a challenge. And that’s always what I’ve done.”

“Even when I was in college, I was enamoured by the idea of working with different cultures, and of course, different people,” Gretchen adds.

During the conversation with Gretchen, we asked about her motivation and her leadership, she shared, “Being outside of my comfort zone has broadened my professional knowledge and my personal perspective. When you’re on your own, you get to do things and experience things in your own right. So in there are new life skills, seeing new cultures, mentally, and really the approach to life, that I’ve become more independent, and it has helped me expand my worldview, that there’s always a solution to something, you just have to find it along together with your team.”

Gretchen emphasised, “That is what I truly value from the different experiences that I have had. And it taught me to be very nuanced. Because even if we’re all Southeast Asian, it is really different, the way we look at things and the way we do things. Sure, there are similarities, but there are also a lot of differences. So the idea is to be able to see how best to fit marketing.”

Listen to the full conversation of Gretchen over on YouTube, where she further elaborates on cultural differences and unique features between Southeast Asian countries as well as her advice for future marketers.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

AdSpark, Podcast Network Asia to fuel PH podcast industry with latest partnership

Manila, Philippines – Digital and mobile solution provider AdSpark and Philippine-based media and technology company Podcast Network Asia (PNA) have entered into a new partnership in a bid to improve and grow the existing podcast industry in the country, as more and more creators venture into the podcast scene, taking advantage of the growing surge of podcast listenership.

This newly minted partnership gives brands an exclusive access to branded podcast production services, and even advertising, to leverage on chart-topping Podcasts and locally-produced shows under PNA. Advertisers can also optimize this medium through its data analytics and ad marketplace platform Podmetrics, and develop based on data and insights. This is also a way for podcast creators to thrive and find value through in-depth listenership insights. 

Such partnership echoes the large listenership in the country, as the Philippines is ranked 6th in terms of fastest-growing country by podcast listening. This is at around 31M listeners in the Philippines alone, with the majority coming from a 23-34 age range. A key factor is, due to the pandemic, screen fatigue increased and consumers turned to on-demand audio for entertainment. Globally there is a 42% increase in podcast listening, and the Philippines is at a 100% increase.

For Ron Baetiong, CEO at the Podcast Network Asia, they aim to bring podcasting to the mainstream, evident to their status as a podcast network home to more than 130 shows with around 15M listens and 4,000 episodes.

“Our grand vision of turning the Filipino podcasting community into a thriving industry becomes one step closer to reality with this partnership between PNA and AdSpark. We believe that podcasts are a powerful medium that don’t just allow listener understanding and retention, but also great Ad ROI conversions. With AdSpark, we want to enable brands to leverage podcasts since the future of podcasting is very bright,” Baetiong stated.

As an advertising medium, ‘podvertising’ or the nature of advertising in podcast channels, allows brands to tap into various demographics, age ranges, and other factors through the different shows. The interest in and usage of podcasts as an advertising touchpoint is exponentially moving upward and more brands are being enabled to communicate and even create audiences.

“Part of the adtech play is to deliver the demand for audio content, along with the omnichannel experience we create for our clients. We want to be able to connect brands to their listeners through relevant audio content, and we are committed to rebuilding effective audio advertising on digital through Podcast Network Asia,” said Gretchen Largoza, CEO at AdSpark.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Globe’s AdSpark unveils SEA marketing veteran as new CEO

Manila, Philippines – Globe Telecom-owned digital marketing agency AdSpark has announced a new CEO and president, business leader and marketing veteran Gretchen Largoza

Largoza brings with her over 20 years of digital marketing expertise and diverse experiences from being ingrained in agency leadership roles across Southeast Asia. Largoza has helped grow leading agencies like OgilvyOne, GroupM, Netbooster, and ARC Worldwide, leaving her footprint in offices based in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. 

AdSpark is a full-service digital agency part of 917Ventures, a corporate incubator in the Philippines, wholly owned by Globe Telecom Inc. Largoza’s predecessor Onat Roldan has exited to take a break from the advertising media industry and pursue other, more personal creative opportunities. 

“For now, I’m looking forward to refocusing my priorities and rediscovering inspiration by working on passion projects,” commented Roldan. 

“I was hired to turn AdSpark around and drive growth, and in the last two and a half years we did just that. I’m proud of where AdSpark is today,” added Roldan. 

Over the last two years, AdSpark has received industry recognition with a haul of 11 local and international awards. 

Largoza will be moving the agency forward, bringing with her lessons and experiences from her leadership roles, which began with her role as an account director of Ogilvy One PH back in 2005. She then continued assuming managerial and directorial roles in marketing agencies Arc Worldwide and GroupM. In 2014, she became the managing director of OgilvyOne Indonesia. Successfully, her regional stint led to her third Ogilvy country as the managing director in Vietnam, as well as a regional business director for a top-tier client in Ogilvy Asia from 2017 to 2019.

As Largoza returns to the Philippines, she said, “It’s been a while since I worked here in the Philippines, and the move is really about coming home of sorts. Coming home to a company who wants to become a significant player in the industry, in the region, and hopefully the world.”

“What led me to this leadership role at AdSpark is the challenge that it presented and the fact that data is deeply entrenched within the company’s core services. Coming from a mixed background of creative and media agencies and a start-up, I like that AdSpark is evolving and innovating from building Filipino talent and attracting the right talent,” said Largoza.

Vince Yamat, 917Ventures’ managing director, said that Largoza’s appointment is a pivotal role in driving the incubator’s ad tech play. 

“Gretchen is exceptionally focused on the customer; her ability to foster a client-centric culture, develop and retain like-minded teams, and build lasting relationships with clients has time and time again spurred business growth at inspiring speed. She’s entrepreneurial, an agile and capable leader who is not afraid to take calculated risks,” said Yamat. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Globe-owned digital marketing agency extends ad inventory on top PH digital wallet GCash

Manila, Philippines – AdSpark, telecom Globe-owned digital marketing agency, extends its ad inventory for none other than, another Globe-owned platform, top digital wallet in the Philippines, GCash. 

For merchants, non-government organizations, and other partner brands on the financial app, AdSpark offers diversified ad opportunities ranging from targeted media channels in-app, to direct broadcast campaigns and blasts. 

“We are committed to assisting digital transformation of clients and partners especially at this time when enterprises are exploring more meaningful ways to interact with their consumers. GCash has empowered merchants through seamless transactions, and now we want to help brands create holistic experiences for their consumers,” said Onat Roldan, AdSpark CEO. 

AdSpark shared that one of its clients Codashop App, a gaming merchant, was able to increase its monthly game item purchases to 181% through its partnership with GCash. Coda communicated several monthly promo and game launches including Mobile Legends, MU Origins, and their latest product One Punch Man: The Strongest game, encouraging redemption of game credits and in-game items through the GCash usage.

Martha Sazon, president and CEO of GCash said, “Through strong brand partnerships as a payment channel, and a tool for sustainability and impactful advocacy on the app, GCash has established a way of life, driving the market closer towards financial inclusion. We believe that by making our platform accessible to brands, we will be able to bring businesses and customers together and help in the recovery of our economy.”