Indonesia – Starcom Indonesia, a media agency under Publicis Groupe, has announced its appointment as the media agency of record for BMW Group in 2024, joining its Starcom teams in China and Singapore that retained their media agency of record roles.

The Starcom teams will take the lead on strategic planning, media buying, and business transformation for all of BMW Group’s brands, including BMW and MINI, in their respective markets.

Working closely with the Singapore team, Starcom Indonesia’s data-driven pitch revolved around insights on the Next Gen customers and their understanding of the client’s brands and business. The media agency aimed to showcase their expertise in channel strategy, integrating physical and digital experiences throughout the purchase funnel.

Meanwhile, Starcom Singapore has also successfully extended its partnership with BMW Group for another five years. With this, the media agency will handle media planning and buying for the Group. Furthermore, the extended relationship also places emphasis on creating strategic synergies with Starcom Indonesia.

Since their initial collaboration in 2020, Starcom Singapore continues to deliver measurable business outcomes, gaining a competitive edge in the market with their digital-focused approach, such as utilising data signals to target and engage high-intent buyers.

The Singapore team has maintained a record for successfully converting leads into test drives and sales and optimising the return on investment for each media dollar.

Also retaining their partnership with BMW Group is Starcom China, which is currently taking the helm of all of BMW Group’s brands in the Chinese market, including BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce, and BMW Motorrad.

Since its appointment as media agency of record in 2015, Starcom China has since been deeply involved in BMW Group’s consumer operation ecosystem, providing holistic solutions that drive sustainable growth for the Group. The agency has also introduced One BMW, a bespoke business unit with data and technology at its core to power integrated media strategy across all media channels, including e-commerce, for the Group. 

Starcom’s wins follow a regional media review by BMW Group that began early this year. The media agency’s performance underscores their value of synergistic capabilities across markets and compelling strategies that integrate media, data, technology, and consumer-centric solutions to drive sustainable business growth for their long-time and new clients.

Commenting on the business wins, Jane Lin-Baden, CEO of Publicis Groupe APAC, said, “We have partnered with BMW Group in the region for eight amazing years. We are honoured to be given their vote of confidence in China, Singapore, and now Indonesia. We believe that sharing a mutual goal of delivering impactful business results and delighting their customers is key to the partnership’s success. It is incredibly rewarding to have the opportunity to work with world-class brands like BMW Group, and we look forward to continuing the journey to greater successes for both organizations.”

A senior representative from BMW Group Asia also shared, “We are excited to continue our partnership with Starcom in Singapore. Their performance has been instrumental in our growth. They are a strong partner that supports us in delivering on our business outcomes while creating excellence in the premium automotive industry. Broadening this partnership to include Starcom Indonesia is a strategic step and a testament to our confidence in their expertise.”

“We anticipate their unique insights and comprehensive understanding of the Indonesian market will bring new dimensions to how we reach out to our customers and fans. Together with Starcom, we are committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences for BMW customers and are excited about achieving even greater successes across the region,” the senior representative added.

Singapore – Initiative, an IPG Mediabrands media agency, has been named the media agency of record for Finnair, Finland’s full-service legacy airline. This appointment followed a competitive pitch review in September of the same year. 

The appointment of Initiative as Finnair’s official media agency is effective right away.

The assigned task for Initiative will be the management of media strategy, planning, and buying across all digital channels, and it will initially cover four Asia-Pacific markets Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong. 

Initiative’s strategic model, developed around growth markets and a profound understanding of performance, was cited by Finnair as a key differentiator. 

Speaking about the partnership, Lara Allan, team lead of growth marketing and technology at Finnair, said, “In our centenarian year, Finnair is thrilled to embark on a new chapter, sharing the rich story of our brand and exceptional product with travellers from APAC who aspire to explore Europe and beyond. We are proud to announce our strategic partnership with Initiative, whose strategic insights, local expertise, and expansive media network perfectly align with our vision.” 

She added, “As we look ahead to 2024, the future holds incredible promise, and we are eager to continue expanding our presence in Asia.” 

Meanwhile, James Smyllie, president of Initiative APAC, said, “We are very excited to add Finnair to our client roster. We see this new partnership as an opportunity to help Finnair build their brand Fame and delivering Flow-centric solutions that will elevate Finnair’s position as global trailblazer in aviation.” 

Singapore – UM, a global media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, announced it has been named global media agency of record to handle all media duties for global food company General Mills.

With the new appointment, UM will handle all strategy, planning, buying, analytics, performance, and commerce efforts across more than 35 markets for General Mills’ suite of brands, including Cheerios, Nature Valley, and Pillsbury.

UM’s appointment as new media AoR for the global consumer foods company follows several high-profile announcements from the agency. Recently, plant-based company Upfield also named UM as its media agency of record. It also launched the industry-first Shoptimizer tool by UM Commerce.

Andrea Suarez, global CEO at UM, said, “General Mills has consistently led the consumer foods category through bold brand building, relentless innovation, and a commitment to values, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the UM family.”

She added, “We look forward to a strong relationship that uncovers new opportunities, underpinned by our industry-leading data and commerce capabilities, to connect with consumers in meaningful ways while maximising business growth well into the future.” 

Speaking on the appointment, Jay Picconatto, vice president of advanced marketing solutions at General Mills, also shared, “We are looking forward to working with IPG’s UM as our global media agency, which includes the support of our customer marketing and retail media efforts. We’re confident that UM is the right partner to continue to build our iconic brands and deliver remarkable experiences for consumers.”

Manila, Philippines – Initiative, a media agency within IPG Mediabrands, has announced their appointment as the media agency of record for Philippine food and beverages company Monde Nissin through the launch of ‘Crave’, their dedicated team assigned exclusively to the company. 

Initiative’s appointment encompasses all media and buying duties for all brands across Monde Nissin and Monde M.Y. San. With resources and expertise from the IPG Mediabrands network, Crave is well-positioned to elevate the partnership.

Gen dela Peña, media communications head of Monde Nissin, said, “Initiative’s focus on business KPIs as the starting point for media decisions is exactly what we are looking for today. Given today’s complex media landscape, we are looking forward to how Initiative and Team Crave will guide us on how to plan media more efficiently and effectively, with a clear focus on achieving the right metric for success.”

Melody Laogan, managing partner, Initiative Philippines, added, “We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Monde Nissin and launch Team Crave. This marks the beginning of an exciting journey of pushing boundaries and changing the game together.”

Meanwhile, Paul Atienza, managing partner, Initiative Philippines, also commented, “This epic win is testament to Initiative’s modern and outcome-driven approach to integrated strategic planning. We cannot wait to join forces and craft unparalleled consumer experiences to grow Monde Nissin brands through our Fame and FlowTM model.”

Singapore – Initiative, a media agency within IPG Mediabrands, has announced their appointment as the media agency of record for global technology and manufacturing company 3M in the Asia-Pacific region

Initiative’s scope, which extends to 13 markets, will cover all media and buying duties for the portfolio of brands across 3M’s Consumer Business Group segment. The markets they will cover include South Korea, Japan, Australia, India, Singapore, and more.

“Marketing at 3M is on a transformation journey to enhance our digital footprint, accelerate our go-to-market execution, and optimize scale and efficiency. We are very pleased to have Initiative as our media partner, who bring strategic thinking, agility, and understanding of diverse consumer targets, making them a great fit for 3M Asia Pacific’s consumer business,” said Chitkala Nishandar, director, APAC marketing centre at 3M-CBG.

Commenting on the appointment, James Smyllie, president of Initiative APAC, said, “3M is a globally established company that is known for its extraordinary culture of innovation, one that has led to breakthrough solutions for consumers and businesses around the world. We are thrilled to partner with 3M on a strategically unified marketing approach using Initiative’s new Fame & Flow model.”

Initiative’s regional appointment to 3M is effective immediately.

Gurugram, India – Paradise Biryani, one of India’s most iconic biryani brands, has appointed Havas Media Group India, the media expertise arm of Havas India, as its media agency of record.

The integrated mandate comprising offline and digital media duties will be handled by the agency’s Gurugram office and will be led by Roopali Sharma, president-north, Havas Media India alongside Uday Mohan, managing director, Havas Media India.

 As part of the mandate, the agency will drive the brand’s media strategy across all offline and digital media channels, aiding the enhancement of the category leader’s presence and market penetration across the country. 

With the partnership, Paradise Biryani is seeking to further strengthen its positioning in key markets pan India by increasing visibility and reach among its target audience via strategic communication. Havas Media Group India will leverage its expertise to create a highly targeted strategy to resonate with Paradise Biryani’s constantly expanding audience base by amplifying the brand’s messaging.

Talking about the association, Gautam Gupta, managing director and CEO, Paradise Food Court Pvt. Ltd. said, “For a much-loved brand such as Paradise Biryani, the strategy has to be extremely well thought through to tap into the pulse of our target audience. Havas Media Group India with its proven track record, in-depth market knowledge and media expertise stood out for us as the perfect media agency partners.”

Gupta also shared that they are certain that the partnership will enable the brand to meet its future goals and desired outcomes in a manner that is “precise and strategic.”

“We are delighted to lend our expertise to Paradise Biryani, a brand that has been catering to India’s love for authentic biryani for six decades. The key focus will be to leverage our robust media proficiency, helping the brand connect better with evolved consumer tastes and thereby build an even stronger brand presence and loyal audience base,” said Mohit Joshi, CEO, Havas Media Group India.

Mohan likewise remarked that designing customized solutions that fit the stature of such a brand requires skilled new-age capabilities and market comprehension, which is the core competency of Havas’ team of professionals. 

“Havas Media takes pride in partnering with the brand to deliver groundbreaking strategies to further strengthen Paradise Biryani’s extend and positioning across newer markets as they expand their footprint,” Mohan added.

Recently, Havas Media Group India has also been appointed by sports brand PUMA in India as its media agency of record to oversee its entire offline and online media service suite.

Bengaluru, India – Sports brand PUMA in India has appointed Havas Media Group India as its new media agency of record. As part of the mandate, the agency will be overseeing the entire offline and online media service suite including Digital, TV, Print, Radio, OOH, and cinema mediums for PUMA. 

Under the partnership, Havas Media will be identifying, designing, and executing strategic media engagements for PUMA. Just recently, the agency has also extended its offline media services to PUMA for its campaign announcing Anushka Sharma as its brand ambassador.

Moreover, the account will be managed by the agency’s Bengaluru team, helmed by Saurabh Jain, president – south, Havas Media India. Meanwhile, Uday Mohan, managing director at Havas Media India, will support the team in devising the strategy and ensuring seamless operations.

Commenting on the occasion, Shreya Sachdev, head of marketing at PUMA India, said, “PUMA holds a leading position in sports and lifestyle segment in the country with state-of-the-art product innovations and influence on youth culture.”

Sachdev added, “As a brand, we keep a sharp focus on staying relevant and resonating with our audience across markets and platforms. With Havas Media Group India, we look forward to effectively connect with our consumers at scale.”

Mohit Joshi, CEO, Havas Media Group India, also commented, “PUMA as a brand is known for its strong voice and vibrant spirit. Havas Media Group India has been on an upward trajectory consistently; last year was a landmark year for us as we were recognized as a dominant agency by RECMA and secured second place among all media agencies in the country.”

On winning the mandate of PUMA, Joshi said, “At Havas Media, we focus on designing and delivering impactful media solutions and hence, resonate with PUMA’s efforts to leverage relevant consumer touch points, services and messages that hold immense credibility for its audience. We are excited to make a meaningful difference for Brand PUMA and look forward to a fruitful partnership.”

Recently, Havas Media has also bagged the account of international financial services firm Sun Life for its markets in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Melbourne, Australia Industry superannuation fund HESTA has named PHD Melbourne as its media agency of record following a competitive pitch. The remit will include media strategy, planning, investment, and optimisation across all channels.

“We’re excited to work with PHD to continue evolving our Super with impact positioning in market, to reach new members across Australia, and help them face their future with confidence,” said Hesta’s Chief Experience Officer Lisa Samuels.

Lizzy O’Connor, group business director at PHD Melbourne also commented, “We really enjoyed this pitch as we immediately developed a strong chemistry with the team at Hesta, being aligned on brand values and a desire to deliver great work.”

Meanwhile, PHD Melbourne’s Managing Director Simon Lawson likewise shared his excitement over the partnership and building a long-term partnership with HESTA based on the principles of ‘authenticity, transparency and mutual respect.’

HESTA’s media mandate was previously handled by full-service media agency Initiative.

Guangzhou, China – China-based automobile company GAC Motor has awarded its integrated media agency of record duties to full-service media agency Essence, led out of the agency’s Guangzhou office in China.

Essence China’s scope of work includes brand strategy, integrated media planning and activation, and creative development and production, covering all of GAC Motor’s sedans, sport utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles, and new energy electric vehicles across its international business, including in SEA, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Moreover, Essence and GAC Motor will be launching new car models such as GS4 and GS8 in the Middle East and Latin America, as well as establishing a global strategic partnership between GAC Motor and Chilean football club Colo-Colo, resulting in GAC Motor becoming the first Chinese car brand to make an appearance in the Copa Libertadores. In addition to developing new innovations in media and communications in the automobile industry, Essence will also be helping grow GAC Motor’s brand and business through multi-dimensional, cross-industry initiatives.

GAC Motor is devoted to the production and sales of world-class vehicles, engines, automobile components, and car accessories, as well as research and development of automobile engineering technology. Its overseas distribution spans 26 countries across five regions, and strategic plans are in place for further development globally.

Benjamin Wei, CEO of Essence China, noted that as a new generation full-service media agency with a pioneering use of analytics, technology and creativity, Essence is committed to helping companies in China accelerate their data-driven marketing transformation and business growth, both locally and globally.

“In the post-pandemic era, there is strong growth potential for GAC Motor’s outbound business in international markets. We are honoured to have the opportunity to partner with GAC Motor on its journey to further expand globally and help create its next generation of business to achieve its growth goals,” said Wei.

In May 2022, Essence has also been awarded digital media duties by automotive manufacturing company Chang’an Ford in China. Led from Essence’s Shanghai office, the agency’s remit includes media planning, media activation and content innovation for digital brand and performance marketing activities across Chang’an Ford’s automobile business, covering all its vehicles and dealers in the market.

Manila, Philippines — The Philippine pharmaceutical giant, Unilab, has appointed Omnicom Media Group (OMG) Philippines as their media agency of record. The selection process was led by Unilab’s internal media team and has challenged participating agencies to showcase their capabilities, tools, and strategic principles through several brand case presentations. The partnership will be effective from July 1, 2022.

OMG will be responsible for managing the pharmacy brand’s legacy media, strategy, planning, investment, media activation, digital performance, and data-led marketing intelligence and science. Leveraging on the agency’s propriety planning workflow – Omni, the team stood out from the competition with a structured omnichannel strategy that empowers the brand with data-driven solutions that cut across stages of the funnel.

Alex Panlilio, corporate VP of Unilab, Inc., commented, “Today’s dynamic consumer and market landscapes require businesses to have sharper insights, growth-driving strategies, and agile engagements with its stakeholders. We have seen the capability of OMG to enable us in these and we look forward to partnering with Mary and her team in accelerating data-driven and disruptive initiatives.”

Meanwhile, Mary Buenaventura, CEO of OMG Philippines, shared, “As we move forward in this endemic world, we are excited to kickstart this new journey with Unilab. With the combination of our unique expertise, market-leading capabilities, and strategic thinking through our people, we are confident to support Unilab in their growth ambitions.”

Commenting on the appointment, Joanna C. Mojica, division VP for consumer health management of Unilab, Inc, said, “As we face massive challenges in today’s business environment, OMG is able to demonstrate the breadth and depth of how we can partner together. We look forward to the fruition of a partnership that will enable our brands to deeply connect with our consumers.”