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Marketing Featured East Asia

Essence elevates Kota Murakami to MD role for Japan

Tokyo, Japan – Global data and measurement-driven media agency Essence has elevated current associate vice president for client services for Japan Kota Murakami to the role of managing director for Essence in Japan.

He will be responsible for leading continued client-centric innovation in data, analytics and technology, as well as business growth and company culture for Essence in the market.

In his previous role as AVP for client services, he headed the agency’s client services and drove business growth for the agency in Japan, as well as overseeing key client services in Korea. Previously, he served as global account director at Tag in the United States, streamlining creative production processes for major brands and agencies through software as a service.

He will be reporting to T. Gangadhar, CEO for APAC at Essence as part of the agency’s APAC leadership team; and Michael Beecroft, CEO for Northeast Asia at GroupM as part of GroupM Japan’s executive committee.

“Kota has done an excellent job in spearheading, in collaboration with the leadership team, Essence’s growth and development in Japan over the past few years. In addition to global and local industry experience, he has a deep understanding of our business, product offering, clients, work, people and culture. I am excited about his vision for Essence in Japan and how he will take the agency to new heights,” Gangadhar said.

Meanwhile, Beecroft commented, “Kota’s contribution to Essence’s growth has been clear. With his appointment to GroupM Japan’s executive committee earlier this year, and now as the confirmed leader of Essence Japan, his impact on the Essence and overall GroupM business will only increase.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

GroupM, Twitch partnership to give advertisers access to APAC gamers

Singapore – As the gaming scene in the Asia-Pacific region continues to flourish, their activity gives marketers and advertisers the opportunity to expand their demographic base, evident with the latest partnership of media investment company GroupM and global interactive live streaming service Twitch, which aims to give advertisers access to the large gamer base in the region.

Through the partnership, GroupM’s clients will enjoy access to insights on Twitch audiences in a fragmented Asia-Pacific region that stream Alpha, Beta, and Early Access games, as well as access to Twitch CTV (connected TV) inventory.

Furthermore, it also gives GroupM’s clients access to Twitch’s innovative solutions, which offers a full suite of services from ideation to production, for bespoke ads and experiences. Additionally, GroupM and Twitch will co-author a playbook that is designed to help FMCG advertisers target gaming audiences across Asia-Pacific, to be launched this year.

As the platform provides content options beyond gaming, Twitch is at the forefront of live entertainment and features content that is relevant to audiences in this region, such as music and art, which allows GroupM not only with in-depth streaming knowledge and tools to help brands but will also enable a seamless experience working with Twitch as a platform to reach millions of gaming, music and art audiences.

“At GroupM, we are focused on building our gaming expertise. Asia-Pacific is made of vibrant communities – especially gaming communities, and Twitch continues to be the leading service that cultivates today’s most sought-after audiences. We’re excited to collaborate with Twitch, and we are committed to making smarter gaming decisions for our clients based on Twitch’s unique audience insights,” said John Miskelly, APAC investment director at GroupM.

Meanwhile, Sunil Yadav, head of agency development at Twitch, commented, “Twitch is excited to partner with institutions that create significant impact and GroupM’s razor focus on high-quality engagement for brands makes them an ideal partner for us.”

He added, “With Twitch’s unique advertising solutions to help brands build closer relationships with consumers and co-create shared live experiences, we are confident that GroupM will be able to deliver strong consumer experiences with our insights.”

GroupM had previously worked with a gaming-related partnership with Philippine-based esports talent agency Tier One in a bid to make advertising more inclusive in the esports community in the region, including opening it up to more mainstream brands.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

India’s influencer marketing scene on upward 25% CAGR trajectory by 2025

Mumbai, India – With India slowly opening to the the influencer marketing scene to allow brands to connect directly to consumers, the sector is expected to be valued at ₹2200 crores by 2025, or a 25% CAGR trajectory increase from 2021’s ₹900 crores, according to the latest report provided by INCA, the influencer and content marketing solution arm of GroupM, shows.

Part of the reason influencer marketing is thriving in the country is due to the higher preference of brands of utilizing influencers for the campaigns. According to the insights, 75% of influencer marketing campaigns feature influencers such as social media stars, while 25% only for conservative celebrity personalities.

“Social media has given normal people an opportunity to build their own brand, create communities via content. Standard influencers have more authenticity and are more relatable than traditional celebrities.Specialist and niche influencers command a high degree of authority on the topic and bring in more credibility in comparison to mass celebrities,” the company said in a press statement.

In terms of categories being most active in the sector, personal care campaigns garnered the highest percentage of particular brands tapping heavily on the type of marketing, with 25% of respondents saying. These are followed by food and beverage (20%), fashion and jewelry (15%), and mobile and electronics (10%). In sum, these industries contribute to 70% of the volume of influencer marketing in India.

“In the last two decades, digital advertising growth has accelerated and has become ubiquitous. It’s been gaining share in the marketing pie by transforming its presence at the back of advertising technology platforms such as search, commerce, social, and programmatic. Marketing technology platforms such as analytics, CRM, and CMS have also contributed to this growth journey by enabling brands to understand consumer behavior and their journey on and off the internet,” INCA said in a press statement.

The evident growth of the influencer marketing scene in India is best seen with the report’s data stating that 84% of brand marketers are leaning towards launching one influencer campaign this year, and around 81% of brands who have already launched influencer campaigns are satisfied with the ROI it brought to them.

In addition, around 75% of marketers say that influencer campaigns had a positive impact on the consideration and purchase stage of the sales funnel, and 89% of marketers said the ROI from influencer marketing was better or comparable to other channels.

For Prasanth Kumar, CEO at GroupM South Asia, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of influencer marketing by brands, as they are making it an integral part of the brand marketing strategy and is now an important part of the company’s media mix recommendation to brands.

“The key factor that has got brands interested is the bond of trust and authenticity that influencers share with their audiences, thus helping brands associate with an influencer to leverage the same. This report is our effort to help marketers understand various aspects of influencer marketing in the country. Consumer behavior is changing at a fast pace, and we want to empower marketers with the knowledge that can help them,” Kumar stated.

Meanwhile, Ashwin Padmanabhan, president for partnerships and trading at GroupM India, commented that the objective of their report was not only to quantify the industry but also attempted to define and standardize the various formats and industry terms. 

“Influencer marketing industry is at a point of inflection and can take off, subject to the industry initiating to measure, quantify and make investments in influencer marketing accountable. We hope this report will catalyze the industry and ensure the power of influencers is harnessed effectively,” Padmanabhan added.

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Technology Featured APAC

GroupM expands Arshan Saha’s role to APAC CEO for Xaxis & Specialty Businesses

Singapore – As part of the company’s stride to achieve full potential of digital media transformation, WPP’s media investment group GroupM has expanded the role of Arshan Saha, CEO for APAC at programmatic Xaxis, to the new role of APAC CEO for Xaxis & Specialty Businesses.

In his newest role, he will be handling as well the regional businesses of GroupM’s data-driven specialty businesses including programmatic offering Xaxis, influencer marketing service INCA, addressable TV offering Finecast, addressable out-of-home (OOH) offering Sightline, and data and technology consultancy practice Acceleration.

The consolidation of leadership for all data-driven specialty businesses for APAC will ensure GroupM’s continued future ready innovation and growth. Saha brings his experience in growing and scaling Xaxis across the region to further strengthen GroupM’s data and technology suite of products.

Furthermore, GroupM believes that the expanded role lines well with the current state of digital media, which at the moment is fast-evolving and adoption is accelerating, resulting in continued fragmentation across channels and audiences. They add that innovation is key to leveraging this opportunity, and this has taken the form of specialty businesses across various addressable channels.

“My journey at Xaxis has provided me with the perfect platform to succeed in this role. I am excited to embark on this new challenge, leading a high-growth portfolio of specialty businesses for GroupM in channels that are of high demand from our clients. This consolidation will empower our clients to make media work harder for them, while allowing them to easily access GroupM’s digital expertise as a single unit,” Saha said, regarding the expanded role.

Meanwhile, Ashutosh Srivastava, APAC CEO at GroupM, commented, “As part of GroupM’s overall global strategy for growth, we have been investing in launching and growing several data-driven specialty businesses in the region. Apart from Xaxis, we have fast-growing businesses in INCA and Finecast, and are on the verge of launching addressable OOH and Data & Tech consulting.” 

He added, “Arshan has shown great product and commercial acumen in growing Xaxis, and we are confident of his success in scaling our performance and digital product offerings across Asia-Pacific.”

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Marketing Featured ANZ

GroupM appoints Aimee Buchanan as CEO for ANZ

Sydney, Australia – GroupM, the media investment arm of WPP in ANZ, has recently appointed Aimee Buchanan as the company’s CEO for Australia and New Zealand, where she will lead the network of agencies under GroupM including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence, Neo and m/SIX and specialty media businesses including Finecast, Xaxis and Sightline.

Buchanan has been CEO of media communications agency OMD since 2016 and sits on both the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) and social purpose organization UnLtd boards. Her career spans more than 20 years in media agencies. In her time at OMD, the agency has grown to become a well known agency in Australia, hence Buchanan has been a leading voice shaping the Australian media landscape and driving progress around brand responsibility and diversity and inclusion.

Speaking about her appointment, she said, “I am excited to take on the new role at GroupM and believe they are uniquely placed to influence how media drives growth for clients’ businesses and shapes society. I look forward to working alongside the GroupM leadership and the broader team to set GroupM up for a bright future.”

She also mentioned that she has loved every step of the journey with the OMD team and that she is proud of what they have built and achieved together. 

“A big thank you to all of the OMDers across the nation, our clients and partners for all their support over the last 10 years,” Buchanan added.

Meanwhile, Ashutosh Srivastava, APAC CEO at GroupM and acting CEO at GroupM Australia, commented that Buchanan is ‘an exceptional agency leader with a phenomenal track record and an intimate knowledge of what clients need, and how agencies and their people thrive’. 

“She is a truly visionary leader, whose priorities and integrity align with ours. She is client-obsessed and always puts her people and culture first,” Srivastave stated.

He added, “GroupM’s purpose is to harness intelligence and imagination to create, integrate and scale breakthrough ideas that help businesses leap forward. Aimee is the perfect person to lead GroupM’s ambitious program of change, enable our agencies to succeed and enhance their capabilities to meet current and future client needs and drive faster growth in the business.”

Categories
Technology Featured East Asia

Xaxis appoints new GM for Japan

Tokyo, Japan – GroupM’s outcome media specialist company Xaxis has appointed Leanne Bowles as the new general manager for Xaxis Japan, where she will drive the growth of programmatic advertising in a highly-wired Japanese market while managing the agency’s relationship with its growing pool of clients.

She brings ten years of experience within the GroupM network, including over four years with Xaxis Asia Pacific before moving to Mindshare China where she held the position of partner for investment strategy for over three years, creating, delivering, and executing proprietary solutions to drive value for her clients.

Prior to her appointment, Bowles previously led the Mindshare Balance Champions initiative in China to raise awareness and support colleagues on their well-being journey. She will leverage her experience in Mindshare’s DEI (Diversion Equality Inclusion) Council to further drive Xaxis’ initiatives and instill a value-driven organization that celebrates diversity.

She will report to Arshan Saha, CEO for Xaxis Asia-Pacific and Michael Beecroft, CEO at Xaxis Northeast Asia.

“I’m incredibly excited to be returning to the Xaxis family, and am looking forward to working together with Arshan Saha and Michael Beecroft once again. . In an era where leaders need to take charge and foster a culture of work-life balance, diversity and inclusion. I’m honored to have the opportunity to drive this in my role in Japan,” Bowles said, regarding her appointment.

Saha, meanwhile, said that Leanne is incredibly talented and that they are thrilled to have her back at Xaxis. He added that Bowles’ experience in growing teams and delivering outcomes for clients, combined with Xaxis’ AI in programmatic and creativity, will bring incredible value to the company’s operations in Japan.

Beecroft added, “Leanne has proved herself as an invaluable member of the GroupM family, whether in Xaxis or Mindshare. Her knowledge and diverse experiences from across the GroupM network will empower her for this role as General Manager at Xaxis Japan. Importantly, Leanne is also extremely passionate about championing female leaders, and inspiring people like her will truly make a difference in our industry.”

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for June: A platform’s top Hari Raya ads list comes out on top

This month’s top stories which were sourced from Google Analytics from the 16th of May to the 15th of June were a combination of local and global stories.

First off, Malaysia is taking the spotlight where two come from the market – a leading agency unveiling new leadership appointments, and also a platform’s rundown of top Hari Raya ads in the country. 

Southeast Asia country Philippines also made it to the top with an esports company and a media giant partnering in the country to change the game in advertising in esports. 

Two global ad tech companies have also joined forces to provide marketers a new way to measure their campaigns, while a global communications agency has also announced new managing directors. 

Together with our exclusive interviews with the brand spokespeople, read on to find out which stories made noise this month.

Top 5: PH’s Tier One ties up with GroupM to open esports advertising to mainstream brands

Tier One and GroupM

Tier One Entertainment, the Philippines-born esports talent agency for Southeast Asia, has partnered with media and communications giant GroupM to achieve a common goal: to bring in more mainstream brands in the advertising landscape in esports.

Advertising in esports remains to be an exclusive arena for endemic brands, and Tier One, which has been in operations for four years now, has always eyed to be an agent in bridging the gap between gaming and mainstream.

In an exclusive conversation with Joanne Llavore, the CCO of Tier One, she shared that as the audience penetration in esports continues to grow, the company has always been cognizant that the time will come when the standardization of media advertising metrics will become a requisite among clients.

GroupM being the leader in the industry, it is but inherent to seek out and forge this partnership as we work together with them to bring esports and gaming in the forefront of media advertising.

Joanne Llavore, CCO, Tier One Entertainment

Llavore adds, “It’s a blue ocean of non-endemic brands out there. And we know the potential is really huge to be able to scale the business.”

Aside from its headquarters, Tier One currently has offices in Myanmar, Japan, and Vietnam and had just opened an office in Malaysia. 

Top 4: dentsu malaysia unveils three key senior hires

dentsu Malaysia

Media and communications network dentsu in Malaysia has announced new leaders within its Media division. Asha Nair will become the new managing director of media investment and platforms, Jing-Wen Foo has been appointed as the new e-commerce director, while Hemanth Jayaraman has been unveiled as the new partner and agency brand lead of DentsuX

Dheeraj Raina, CEO of Media at dentsu malaysia, said that the new hires go under dentsu’s continuous transformation journey which started last year when it was announced that dentsu will now be organized into three main business lines including Media. 

Raina, who himself, has also been recently appointed as the inaugural CEO of Media in January, said that it has been an “intense 6 months”, looking at simplifying internal structures and how they create solutions for clients. It has also been, Raina bared, quite a year of subsequent pitches. 

The new lineup that you’re seeing of the leaders [is] primarily [for] creating capability centers of excellence within the organization so that as the agency partners with our clients, we are in the best position of solving their marketing challenges.

Raina said in a MARKETECH APAC interview

Raina also shared that the division will be more product-focused as an agency, such as into its e-commerce practice, where the vision is to provide clients beyond the performance marketing aspect of it but to be an end-to-end e-commerce service that touches on strategic consulting as well as on-site and off-site optimization, among others. 

“Obviously, it’s been a very, very challenging one and a half year for everybody in terms of forecasting and looking at how the future will be, and therefore, [being] an agency partner for us [means] to be able to then deliver really integrated growth solutions for our clients [which] is going to be very, very critical; and for that, I think, we need to have a very strong product focus, and that’s where I think is we are going to be spending a lot of our time as an organization in the next coming few quarters,” said Raina. 

Raina also remarks, “And obviously, e-commerce is one of the key products that is no more [treated as a] luxury [for brands].”

Top 3: Global communications agency Redhill announces two new MDs

Redhill

Singapore-headquartered global communications agency Redhill has unveiled two new managing directors, Marienelle Castelino and Tavy Cussinel

Both Castelino and Cussinel have been homegrown executives of Redhill, being part of the company for a long time, even during the time it was operating out of its headquarters in Singapore, in an attic-like office with no windows, as CEO and founder Jacob Puthenparambil describes it. 

Puthenparambil, in a MARKETECH APAC interview, shared why it’s important to build and stick with its people for a long time. 

It’s extremely vital for our growth that we have people who stay with us for a very long time because it’s a people-based industry, especially PR. A lot of the company culture is based on the long-term people that we have. You can’t write those things down or learn from a textbook.

Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO and Founder, Redhill

Through their new roles, Marienelle will deepen her focus on brand leadership and corporate mandates in markets across Asia Pacific, specifically Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Cambodia, while Tavy will focus on growing the agency’s education, healthcare, luxury, and lifestyle portfolios.

The communications firm started in 2014 as a boutique agency and in the interview, Puthenparambil shared how at the beginning, they had always been firm in their goal that they wanted to grow into being more than that. 

“We knew from day one that we didn’t want to be a boutique agency. We’re going to fight the big boys,” he said. 

He shared that along the way, they found that a boutique agency’s lifeline is mostly dependent and stuck to how long its founder is active or relevant to the market and that in the end, said agencies aren’t able to hold on to the talent or to the clients. 

“So that’s what pushed us to establish this presence in all these countries, even if it’s one [to three] people; [we] just go plant the flag there and start doing work,” he said.

Redhill currently has a global presence in 17 markets. 

Top 2: InMobi partners with The Trade Desk for a new brand lift solution

InMobi and The Trade Desk

Global marketing cloud InMobi has announced a new partnership with global technology company The Trade Desk to integrate InMobi’s mobile-first consumer intelligence platform – InMobi Pulse – into the latter’s demand-side platform (DSP).

As more and more brands seek to find additional and effective ways to measure their brand campaigns across all digital media, the two ad tech platforms come together to offer in-app brand lift surveys to be delivered programmatically, enabling brands to measure metrics such as brand awareness, favorability, intent to purchase and other metrics that determine campaign effectiveness.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Vasuta Agarwal, managing director of InMobi for the Asia Pacific, said, “This partnership is a first of its kind between InMobi and The Trade Desk, and it provides brands and marketers the ability to deterministically measure the incremental brand impact of their campaigns across digital media by web, desktop, and in-app.” 

It allows them to deliver in-app surveys, both to an exposed group and a controlled group of users which are users who have seen the ad and have not seen the ad, and then measure the difference in the brand lift metrics between these two groups.

Agarwal explaining how the integration works

She adds that the metric is deterministic because brands can use mobile ad identifiers to identify the end-user who’s seen the ad or not seen the ad. 

Agarwal also shared another benefit, “And any advertiser using the [The Trade Desk’s DSP] while running their campaigns, can do a lot of [other] stuff like in-flight optimization, and change in brand messaging, [among others].”

Top 1: YouTube’s top 10 Hari Raya ads in Malaysia

YouTube Malaysia Top Hari Raya ads

Finally concluding the Hari Raya, or the celebration of the end of Ramadan in Malaysia, YouTube, through its ads leaderboard, has rounded up the top 10 ads on the platform that came in celebration of the festivity. This is MARKETECH APAC’s top story for June. 

The list included a mix of international and local brands in Malaysia. Some of the local names on the list are Tenaga Nasional, Petronas, and RHB Group. Meanwhile, Asia retailer Watsons also made it as a top ad, with leading e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee also entering YouTube’s picks. 

YouTube’s ads leaderboard is usually based on metrics such as organic and paid views, watch time, and audience retention, but we spoke with Lars Anthonisen, Google’s head of marketing for Malaysia, to give us an insider on what other factors said Malaysian brands were able to hit right to get into audiences’ radar. 

Anthonisen said there are three key themes: brands that stood out stayed in tune with the values of Hari Raya, showed empathy, and took a stand on societal norms. 

More Malaysians, unfortunately, are unable to celebrate with their loved ones. I think ads that stood out were from brands who leaned heavily to the core Hari Raya values [such as] family, compassion, and hope, providing Malaysians the Hari Raya spirit.

Anthonisen on brands showing the values of Hari Raya

With Empathy meanwhile, he said that brands are starting to recognize the importance of acknowledging the struggles people and communities are facing. 

“Brands have realized the need to engage the audience on a deeper level by leveraging real stories and also [to] add [the] human element and build this deeper connection,” he said.  

And finally, Anothisen’s insight on brands challenging societal norms: “It can be daunting, I know, for a lot of brands to take a difficult topic on and turn it into something of value, but I think brands who were there to do it really got the support and the engagement from audiences.” 

And of course, he himself has a favorite from the list, and this is what he had to say, “The one that stood out for me was the one from Petronas. First of all, they used animation to tell the story a bit differently, but I think also the whole campaign centered around how many Malaysians missed home during Hari Raya, and I think that was a really lovely story.”

Watch our live interviews with the newsmaker themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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Technology Featured Global

GroupM’s Xaxis marks 10th year with new global COO appointment

Singapore – GroupM’s outcome-driven media company Xaxis has recently appointed Silvia Sparry as the company’s newest chief operating officer, following the company’s celebration of 10 years in operation.

Prior to her new position, she has served as Xaxis’ vice president of global operations and platforms.

In her new role, Sparry will help translate how differentiating capabilities such as Xaxis’ proprietary AI platform Copilot or GroupM Choreograph can be consistently leveraged by clients to deliver better outcomes from their digital media investments.

In addition, Sparry will lead Xaxis’ global operations and will focus on accelerating Xaxis’ journey to become an artificial intelligence (AI) and data science first company. Responsible for technology platforms, partnerships, operations and process excellence, Sparry will work to maximise synergies across Xaxis’ 47 markets, as well as across the wider group, including GroupM and WPP.

“I’m excited to take on my new responsibilities at Xaxis at such a momentous time of change. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Nicolas and the talented Xaxis teams around the world to further transform the business into an AI and data first company, that equips its people with the capabilities and know-how to deliver the very best outcomes for our clients over the next decade and long into the future,” she said, regarding her appointment.

She will report to Nicolas Bidon, global CEO at Xaxis, who commented that Sparry has a proven track record of driving transformative initiatives, adding that they could not think of anyone better to help the company continue their 10-year journey of innovation and growth.

“As programmatic advertising continues to conquer new channels like audio, TV or out of home, marketers are looking for globally scaled specialists that can help them accelerate their own digital transformation and growth. To help our clients seize the opportunities presented by this ever changing and complex ecosystem, it is more important than ever for Xaxis to have a strong global operational leader who can drive operational excellence and innovation across the globe,” Bidon stated.

Xaxis’s presence in Asia has been evident, with the recent appointment of Aravind Menon as managing director of Xaxis in Malaysia, as well as working with Singapore-based proptech Really for programmatic advertising.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GroupM’s tie-up with PH’s Tier One to make advertising more inclusive in esports

Manila, Philippines – Tier One Entertainment, Philippine-headquartered esports talent agency for SEA, has landed a major partnership with media investment company GroupM with an aim to make advertising more inclusive in the esports industry, specifically to open up esports and gaming content to more mainstream brands. 

GroupM owns some of the top agencies internationally, such as Mindshare, Mediacom, and Essence, and holds global FMCG brand accounts like P&G, Unilever, Nestle, and Colgate-Palmolive, and Pepsico. Through this partnership, both GroupM and Tier One look to lead the way in extending advertising opportunities to more brands, and not just those that are esports-dedicated. 

Despite its rise as a phenomenon, esports and gaming largely remain an endemic sponsor-dominated industry, especially in Southeast Asia. Tier One hopes that with GroupM’s considerable network and resources, they can work to change this and bring more eyes to the industry and their talents.

Tier One is the first and only esports and gaming company GroupM has partnered with in the Philippines, and with this, the company will be onboarded into GroupM’s content platform INCA which streamlines the selling and buying of Tier One’s commercial inventory.

When Tier One launched in the country, one of its core goals is to bridge the gap between gaming and mainstream. The company said that GroupM is the perfect partner to enable them to pursue that goal more actively than ever. 

“It’s been a long-term goal of Tier One Entertainment to partner with GroupM. We are glad to have reached a point wherein our backend team can experience working with the best and brightest in the advertising industry. We look forward to a productive and meaningful working relationship as we bring esports and gaming to the forefront of mainstream advertising,” said Joanne Llavore, CCO of Tier One Entertainment

Meanwhile, Laurent Goirand, head of digital at GroupM, commented, “Seeing the growing interest for e-sports in the Philippines, it is naturally becoming a new venue for our clients to reach out to new customers. With our partnership with Tier One, we are able to have access to premium content and a team of experts, which will be highly beneficial to our overall proposition. We are already starting to offer this new content to all our clients through INCA, our Content Performance solution.”

Tier One shared that the partnership comes at an opportune time, as it looks to expand to more countries in 2021 and in the future. GroupM is believed to be instrumental in mirroring the model of success that Tier One pioneered in the Philippines to other countries across the region, with the partnership expected to allow Tier One to scale up at an unprecedented rate.

Tier One’s CEO Tryke Gutierrez said, “While we have made great strides towards bringing gaming and esports to more mainstream audiences, the fact that a company like GroupM chose us as a partner is a real game-changer. This shows that the advertising industry is finally confident and believes in the power of esports in Southeast Asia.”

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Aravind Menon takes helm of Xaxis, INCA MY as MD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Both the Malaysian arm of GroupM’s outcome media specialist Xaxis and its influencer marketing solution INCA are now under the same managing director, Aravind Menon, where he will lead Xaxis‘ and INCA Malaysia’s strategy and operations.

Menon will be responsible as well in spearheading future digital development as well as client transformational initiatives and mentoring new talent. In addition, he will leverage his experience at GroupM to further advance Xaxis’ innovative programmatic solutions, including digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising and proprietary Artificial Intelligence technology.

He has previously held the position of head of supply and product development in GroupM’s Trading Team, where he led the group’s digital investment strategy across key partners and created high value supply and trading strategies for clients. He also became the secretary of the Malaysian Digital Association, a council representing Malaysian corporations including digital publishers, platforms, advertising agencies, creative agencies, and digital service providers, back in 2020.

Reflecting on his appointment, Aravind said, “I am excited to grow Xaxis and INCA’s business in Malaysia. The agencies have been producing some of the most exciting programmatic and influencer marketing solutions for years now and there is clearly phenomenal room for growth in the Malaysian market. I look forward to building and scaling the agencies to even greater heights and delivering exception value for our clients.”

He will be reporting into both Arshan Saha, CEO at Xaxis Asia-Pacific, as well as Chanchal Chakrabarty, CEO at GroupM Malaysia.

Saha commented that Menon has a track record of fostering, collaborating, and championing their integrated approach in transforming digital media into business outcomes, which is a timely opportunity for the companies he will be directing, as the industry has seen unprecedented change since last year.

“His deep expertise combined with our cutting-edge AI in programmatic and creativity will bring incredible value to our operations in Malaysia. I am thrilled to welcome him into his new role in leading Xaxis and INCA for Malaysia,” Saha stated.

Meanwhile, Chakrabarty commented, “Xaxis represents the silver bullet in AI and programmatic, and the Malaysian market is ripe with opportunity to target audiences digitally. I have great confidence that Aravind’s leadership will further elevate our team towards our global goal of making advertising work better for people. His experience in developing and delivering innovative and scalable media partnerships will help us spearhead the advertising revolution and contribute to the overall growth and success of GroupM Malaysia.”