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Marketing Featured South Asia

Ex-Taproot Dentsu Titus Upputuru launches own advertising, film firm 

Gurugram, India – Titus Upputuru, former national creative director at Taproot Dentsu, has launched his own advertising and film agency called ‘The Titus Upputuru Company’, which will be creating content for brands and audiences across platforms.

As part of the launch, the company has released a set of short, intriguing films that establish the identity. Each film begins with the initials ‘TU’ and goes on to form a different face, that has correlation to the drama occurring in the video and audio.

Speaking on the occasion, he said “I have been in this industry for 25 years now. I thought a Silver Jubilee was the perfect time for me to launch this company. I thank God for every milestone, for every moment during this incredible journey. I am ever so grateful. It’s time now to look ahead and I am so excited about this brand new journey. In my career, I have always been interested in the craft of writing, art direction, design, and photography. 

He added, “Over the last decade or so, I have also had the opportunity to direct ad films and short films for brands. I wanted to combine these skill sets and offer the last mile in execution too, because execution is what the audience ultimately sees. We all know that video sits right on top of the marketing tools that marketers are using today across the world. So, along with brand strategy and static creative solutions across mediums and platforms, we will offer our expertise in Video too”.

Titus has written and directed numerous ad films and short films including the acclaimed HarperCollins India’s haunting murder mystery ‘Parcel’ and the 2022 DadaSaheb Phalke Award winning ‘Nip in the Bud’ short film for Times Internet.

“We are excited to tell stories using different mediums. The idea is to keep human at the heart of it and manifest empathy. People still choose brands that have a certain quality about them, that profess a certain human belief; brands that move people, that respect them. As a Creative led company, we will wish to partner such brands, while obsessing about craft,” Titus added.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

7-Eleven welcomes Pinoys back to work with quirky “7-Eleven Minutes Late” campaign

Manila, Philippines — Filipinos are notorious for one quirk; they are on time on their own time. The Filipino behaviour of being late is so famous that the term ‘Filipino Time’ has been coined to call the phenomenon. Due to this, 7-Eleven, the popular convenience store, has collaborated with advertising agency MullenLowe Treyna to highlight this lowlight in their stores.

7-Eleven’s latest campaign entitled ‘7-Eleven Minutes Late’ is a playful rejoinder to the concept of ‘Filipino Time,’ a cultural phenomenon of always arriving past the agreed meeting time. The series from MullenLowe Treyna features popular excuses—from traffic jams to train delays—often texted by those who are running late, yet still have the audacity to stop for an iced coffee anyway.

Placement is the series’ biggest irony. They are displayed in 7-Eleven—the country’s largest convenience store chain, and a favourite stopover for those who are running late for work.

One image shows, “MRT Na! Huhu,” from a texter presumably on the train. Another reads, “Huhu. EDSA Na!” from a texter stuck in traffic on EDSA. EDSA is the main thoroughfare, notorious for heavy traffic. The next one, “Lapit na” implies that they are close to the office, but could conceivably be anywhere, even getting a soda and a doughnut in 7-Eleven.

Whatever the excuse may be, 7-Eleven has enough of them hanging around their stores for Pinoys to pick from or for workmates to poke fun at when they see it.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Kanaporn Hutcheson, Thipayachand Hasdin elevated to leadership positions at GREYnJ United

Bangkok, Thailand — Advertising agency GREY has promoted Kanaporn Hutcheson to chairwoman and named Thipayachand Hasdin as the new CEO of GREYnJ United Bangkok, effective immediately.

The move will put more focus on the studio’s expanding best-in-class capabilities and drive strategic growth for clients and the studio.

Hutcheson, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry, has been the CEO at GREYnJ United since 2020. Among her other achievements, she played a vital role in successfully launching the brand consultancy unit, 4Colors and developing the studio’s e-commerce and other capabilities.

Meanwhile, Hasdin joined as COO in 2020. Leading the operations team, the studio has moved to greater efficiency, innovative solutions addressing changing consumer needs, record-breaking growth, and a headcount expansion of 30 per cent. She is also credited with adding a slew of clients namely FWD Thailand, Samsung, dtac, Singha Beer, and TikTok, to name a few.

Nirvik Singh, global COO and president international of GREY Group, said that Hutcheson and Hasdin have made a big contribution to making GREYnJ United the powerhouse it is today. Singh continued by saying that Hutcheson is an experienced and talented professional who has successfully led the growth of the studio and the business impact on clients.

Singh added, “Hasdin, an astute, collaborative leader, has been instrumental in expanding the studio’s client roster and in promoting a culture of progressiveness and teamwork. I am confident together they will take the studio to even greater heights.”

Meanwhile, Hutcheson commented on her and her colleague’s elevations, saying, “Hasdin is a talented CEO with a tremendous track record of success and deep knowledge and experience. In my new role as chairman, I look forward to supporting the team and driving growth for our clients.”

Hasdin shared, “Amid the changing environment, there are many challenges ahead -whether it’s consumer behaviour, the media landscape or digital transformation – I am ready and committed to bringing strong growth and our famously effective work to all our clients.”

In addition, Thor Santisiri, GREYnJ United‘s highly-respected leadership mentor and an integral influence on the Bangkok studio’s culture, has been conferred with the honorary title of chairman emeritus.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Astro MY tugs heartstrings with emotional CNY campaign

Malaysia — TV and radio operator Astro in Malaysia, in collaboration with advertising agency Naga DDB Tribal, has launched a festive campaign ahead of the Chinese New Year to raise awareness on the challenges of local Chinese performing artists amidst the pandemic.

Entitled ‘A Tiger’s Heart’, the film centres around the theme of finding hope and positivity amidst trying times. The film also featured one of the top Malaysian lion dance troupes to create a more realistic representation of the hardships performers endure during a time when the performing industry is struggling. The story starts with a lion dance troupe losing its heart during the pandemic before ultimately finding its footing through the sheer tenacity of one character.

Benedict Tan, Naga DDB tribal’s associate creative director, commented, “Society needs artists, just as it needs doctors, engineers, scientists, professionals, workers, fathers and mothers. We as a society owe it to these gifted and talented artistic individuals, as without the influence of performing arts and culture, one can only imagine what our world will be. And that became the inspiration and reason behind this film.”

Astro started the year with the UHuu Be Strong! campaign. Through the campaign, Astro assisted the local Chinese performing arts community with various initiatives. Aside from the film, Astro has also created a documentary entitled ‘Performers on AEC’, underscoring the journey of grit world-renowned Malaysian performers experienced. The agency also donated RM10,000 to support performing art associations.

Gavin Teoh, business director for Naga DDB Tribal, commented on the continuous support the agency is giving to Malaysian communities, saying that they will continue to use their platforms to open the minds of Malaysians — to raise awareness on cultural issues, challenge societal expectations and champion the right causes for the nation and its people.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

The Hallway launches new performance marketing division

Sydney, Australia – Independent advertising agency The Hallway has announced the launch of its newest performance marketing division called The Hallway Performance Digital (THPD). It will be focused on creative content optimized for direct response digital channels.

The new division will offer performance creative development, social content production, paid media strategy and buying as well as reporting frameworks.

THPD has developed a proprietary model that determines clients’ growth programs based on their level of investment. These programs are mapped out and tested models for ideal results, based on previous commercial success across customer bases. 

Speaking about the new division, Jules Hall, CEO at The Hallway, said that by launching the new division, they get to have the best of breed offerings, optimized to client’s unique context, as well as supported with the efficiency of a single back office infrastructure at the group level.

“The Hallway was an early mover in data-driven creative content. Having run major programs for the likes of ANZ, Google and Dexus we’ve built a really deep understanding of the best ways to create this type of work. It’s a rapid turnaround, highly automated creative process. This is very different to the strategically-led brand and advertising work we are creating,” Hall said.

To mark the new division, The Hallway has promoted Chris Murphy to the role of general manager of THPD, where he will manage the independent agency’s existing digital media clients as well as a soon to be announced payment platform and automotive brand.

Murphy has been with The Hallway for two years, holding senior leadership roles, managing and growing some of the agency’s largest clients.

“I am also delighted to be able to promote from within. Chris has consistently demonstrated strong leadership and is ideally placed to ensure THPD, and the clients we represent, will thrive,” Hall said about the new promotion.

Speaking about his promotion, Murphy said, “I’m delighted to have been entrusted to lead our team of digital-first thinkers. The proprietary and proven growth programs we have developed empower brands to see around corners and make more informed strategic marketing decisions. The outcome is high performance results, delivered with speed and efficiency.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Grey HK unveils four new leadership elevations

Hong Kong – Advertising and marketing agency Grey in Hong Kong has announced four new promotions across their local team namely (from left to right) Desmond Li as regional business partner, Duffy Lau as general manager, Winky To as regional business partner, and Owen Smith as chief strategy officer.

In his new elevated role, Li will continue to grow and expand Grey HK’s travel and hospitality sector across the APAC and Greater China regions. He joined the agency in 2017 as a senior account director working with the P&G Downy and Whisper team, and later transitioned to lead both the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Marriott International accounts of the agency. 

Meanwhile, Lau joined Grey in 2014 as an associate account director and has worked closely with multiple client brands and played an instrumental role in leading the business’ growth, especially in China.

“Duffy is a game-changer with entrepreneurial leadership skills and a vision for business growth both for our clients and for our studio. I have great confidence that along with our strong management team, we will reach even greater heights,” said Adam O’Conor, CEO at Grey Group Hong Kong and chief client officer at Grey Group AMEA.

Speaking about his appointment, Lau stated, “I am happy to take on this new challenge, especially at a place I call home (Grey HK). I truly believe in change and whenever there is a challenge, there is a new opportunity for us to grow better and stronger. Together with Adam and our leadership team, I am confident we can leverage on our talent and capabilities and take the studio to the next level.”

To joined GREY Shanghai in 2014 as business director working on the Volvo and HSBC accounts, before moving to Grey Hong Kong as business partner, leading the HSBC team. She has been credited with deepening the agency’s relationship from B2B to now include branding, insurance, and asset management.

Meanwhile, Smith joined Grey in 2017 as head of strategy and has since built up a team that has consistently driven famously effective work, brought thought leadership to Grey clients and raised the profile and the value of the group’s strategic capabilities. With his breadth of local and global responsibilities, he has provided valuable strategic contributions helping to fuel growth for Grey HK’s key clients such as HSBC, HKTB and P&G across the region.

“There is nothing more satisfying than promoting talent from within to key leadership roles. Personal growth should be as much a focus for an agency as commercial growth, and these four promotions underscore that loyalty, curiosity and a passion for our clients will always be the key to success for people of Grey,” O’Conor added.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

The Works names Katie Harper as new head of production

Sydney, Australia – Advertising agency The Works has named senior producer Katie Harper as the agency’s new head of production, where she brings in more than 20 years of production experience, including 16 years at BMF. 

She was most recently from Rumble Studios and held similar positions at agencies including M&C Saatchi and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Harper replaces Rachel Solomon, head of production who is returning to the UK, and Honae MacNeill, the interim head of production.

Through her new role, she will be leading the agency’s in-house production team of directors and editors, overseeing work for several key clients including Goodman Fielder, Aware Super, Masterpet, H&R Block and Subaru.

“I’m very happy to be joining an agency that is so well respected and has a great reputation for their culture and family focus. The Works has so much momentum right now, and is a purposeful brand on a mission to make an impact. I’m certainly looking forward to getting stuck in,” Harper said, regarding her appointment.

Meanwhile, Jasmine Lansdell, general manager for people and operations at The Works, commented, “We’re thrilled to bring Katie on board at such an exciting and pivotal time for the agency. As we have recently embarked on a new chapter under our new brand platform ‘Be Significant’. Katie brings with her great leadership and experience, and will play a key role for us to continue producing great work and grow our production team and capabilities.”

The Works had recently launched their new brand platform ‘Be Significant’ in a bid to create a conversation around the ‘meaninglessness’ that exists in the creative industry. In addition, The Works had also recently won the accounts of wellness company WW and electronics brand LG.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

BBDO Singapore clinches Audi SG’s account for 3-year remit

Singapore – The Singapore arm of advertising agency BBDO has announced that it has recently won the account of global automotive brand Audi in Singapore, with the remit to last for three years.

The pitch lasted for two rounds that consisted of multi-agency competitive and high-performance pitches. BBDO Singapore was named the winner after presenting its strategic solutions in the final round and was merited for aligning local work to the global strategy while remaining relevant to the local audience.

Rudi Venter, head of marketing at Audi Singapore commented, “We look forward to our new partnership with BBDO Singapore. The Audi brand is one of the leading premium car brands in the world. We have been making big progress in growing our stature here and along with BBDO we are convinced we have what it takes to accelerate our positive brand momentum in Singapore.”

BBDO Singapore has also won previously the account of cloud technology company Xtremax last April, where they vowed to help the company in its branding duties.

“Audi is one of the most desirable brands in Singapore and most certainly an account that agencies would be honored to work with. The BBDO Team can’t express how excited we are to be chosen by Audi to be their Advertising Agency of Record and we look forward to embarking on this journey with Audi for the next few years,” said Monica Hynds, general manager at BBDO Singapore.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

S4 Capital-owned digital firms MightyHive, MediaMonks merge VP, head of growth roles

Sydney, Australia – Digital media consultancy MightyHive and digital production company MediaMonks sees a new appointment for vice president and head of growth for ANZ as its mother company S4 Capital unveils Tom Braybrook to lead both roles.

Braybrook has previously worked with tech giant Google as head of agencies and partners in New Zealand, as well as with computer software company Adobe, where he served various roles such as APAC strategy and solutions lead and regional product manager for Adobe Analytics Cloud.

Speaking about his appointment he said, “As enterprises march forward with their digital transformation efforts, it’s no secret that the role of today’s marketer continues to broaden – whether it is making smarter use of data, rearchitecting the customer experience or finding new ways to tell brand stories in a digital world. 

He added, “In the midst of this evolution, MightyHive and MediaMonks represent an exciting new breed of marketing services partner who are not only enabling businesses to understand and adopt these technologies but are also supporting their transformation efforts in a much more agile and flexible way.”

Meanwhile, Kenny Griffiths, managing director for Asia Pacific at MightyHive, commented, “Tom’s extensive 15 years’ experience in digital marketing aligns perfectly to not only where we’re at as a business, but where we’re going. His experience from the Agency world, Adobe & most recently Google is unique as it hones in on our holy trinity – data, digital media and content- approach and will be critical in evolving how we go to market across the two countries.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

R/GA Tokyo names new managing director

Tokyo, Japan – Global advertising agency R/GA in Tokyo has appointed Kei Shimada, former associate partner and founding member and leader of the Digital Makers Lab at IBM Tokyo, to be its new managing director, effective this month. The appointment aims to expand R/GA’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Shimada will now be responsible for leading the Tokyo office to drive innovation, human-centric work for the company’s local and international clients. He will be tapping into the agency’s deep creativity, tech, and design experience expertise, and will work closely with other regional leads in support of helping clients create a more human future. 

Prior to his new role, Shimada has had a long-standing career of helping companies around the globe. He specializes in redefining existing product and service strategies, and enhancing existing revenue streams, or creating new ones from the ground up. At Digital Makers Lab, IBM Japan’s business-to-business (B2B) workshop, Shimada led the digital transformation of clients and spearheaded the creation of world-first, region-first, and industry-first focused solutions, and business models.

Furthermore, Shimada has worked as the global director of innovation and business development at Dentsu, where he focused on the build-out of dentsu Aegis’, now called as denstu international’s, group wide innovation initiative that created new solutions around wearables, neural technology, locational big data, and crisis management infrastructures. He has also fulfilled the role of chief lab officer of dXLab, dentsu media’s innovation lab spanning eight countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Commenting on his appointment, Shimada said that he is excited to be given the opportunity to join R/GA and lead the Tokyo office. He believes that having such an eclectic mix of people working together serving local and global clients is something very unique in Japan, and one gives them a strong competitive advantage.

“I’m looking forward to further shaping and growing the Tokyo office as we deliver transformative solutions for clients that play at the intersection of bold ambition, creativity, and human truths,” commented Shimada.

Meanwhile, Tuomas Peltoniemi, the EVP and managing director of R/GA APAC, shared, “It’s exciting to have a respected, inventive, and influential leader like Kei onboard. With an ambition to leverage new technologies to help clients create new solutions for a more human future, coupled with an incredible track record of commercial and creative success, there’s no one else better to be at the helm of R/GA Tokyo.”

Shimada’s appointment completes the newly-formed Tokyo leadership team that is poised to work with Japanese and global brands, enabling growth both locally and internationally.