Hong Kong – Ogilvy Consulting, the strategic consultancy group of global creative network Ogilvy, has announced a new leadership structure in Asia as incumbent CEO Jerry Smith retires by the end of the year. Chris Brewer is named President of Business Transformation and Innovation, while Paolo Mercado is appointed as the new President of Brand Transformation and Innovation in Asia. Both appointments are senior elevations.

Brewer is former managing director of the region, while, Mercado is previously VP of the Behavioral Science practice. Ogilvy Consulting said the new dual leadership structure aims to bring focus to two large and vital practice areas that it is looking to accelerate in the coming months. 

As Smith steps down, he will continue to work for the company in an advisory capacity. 

“Jerry has been a true pillar and thought leader of Ogilvy in Asia for over two decades as well as a champion of helping create and lead the future. He leaves a lasting legacy and framework that will prevail as we see Chris and Paolo work together to ensure that there is a common and coordinated plan for Ogilvy Consulting in Asia as a whole,” said Kent Wertime, Co-CEO of Ogilvy Asia

The Global CEO of Ogilvy Consulting, Carla Hendra, also commented, “No one worked more closely with me than Jerry to develop the original concept of Ogilvy Consulting globally. He led so much innovation for Ogilvy Consulting and our clients – from our relationship with MIT and the Open Roads initiative to forging countless technology partnerships. I am excited to begin work with Chris and Paolo to continue Ogilvy Consulting’s strong growth in Asia, and in support of our global innovation solutions for brands and businesses.” 

Brewer, in his role as President of Business Transformation and Innovation, will be focusing on a number of areas of business transformation, inclusive of business audits, transformation strategies and roadmaps, as well as product/service/experience strategy and design, and marketing transformation. He will closely align consulting services to Ogilvy Experience and Verticurl for digital transformation where Ogilvy has been seeing enormous growth potential. 

Meanwhile, Mercado as President of Brand Transformation and Innovation will continue to develop Behavioral Science services, sustainability consulting, and various other areas of brand transformation and portfolio strategies for clients. 

Prior to joining Ogilvy, Mercado spent 12 years with Nestlé where he headed up marketing and communications for China, and then in the Philippines where he also led Innovation. Throughout his career, Mercado has managed complex marketing projects in all major geographies of Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. 

Meanwhile, Brewer as former MD led Ogilvy Consulting based out of Hong Kong, which he has called home for 15 years. He is responsible for advising C-Suites, boards, and business leaders on the creation of transformational growth strategies. This has included AXA, FWD Insurance, HSBC, Jardine Matheson, China Mobile, PVH, Marriott International, Huawei and Asia Miles to name notables – work which has resulted in both palpable business outcomes and award-winning impact. 

Commenting on the new leadership structure, Chris Reitermann, Co-CEO of Ogilvy Asia, said, “We are thrilled to make these key appointments to our leadership team at Ogilvy Consulting. Both Chris and Paolo have an acute understanding of our clients’ rapidly changing needs in Asia and will be instrumental in delivering cross-capability work that generates impact and positions us as the go-to growth partner in the region.”

Singapore – With more consumers in Asia seeking to make a positive impact through their consumption, Ogilvy Consulting, the global growth and innovation arm of advertising agency Ogilvy, has launched its sustainability practice in Asia to help brands shape sustainability priorities and solutions in the region.

Ogilvy’s new practice will focus on Asia’s myriad pressing environmental, social, and inclusion issues. This includes the continued fight against poverty, the balancing of a growing middle-class and urbanization with the environmental impact, the stress for companies to move faster to net-zero emissions, as well as the desire to transform to alternative energy, and the complex and diverse cultural context for equity and inclusion improvements. The agency said that while many of the topics are global in nature, clients will be seeking solutions tailored to Asia’s unique market situations and social issues.

Jerry Smith, Ogilvy Consulting’s CEO for Asia, said that sustainability has become a greater priority for businesses, brands, and people, and the urgency and importance of this topic mean they need to build a more structured solution for their clients. 

“Our work now needs to take the corporate strategy and mandate and create practical ways to activate that at a regional and local level,” said Smith.

The new practice will be headed by Andy Wilson, former head of strategy at advertising firm BBDO Singapore. He brings with him over 25 years of experience in innovation, brand building, and strategic communications planning.

Commenting on his new role as Ogilvy Consulting’s senior partner of sustainability for Asia, Wilson said that he is thrilled to be able to accelerate this positive transition and help the clients across the region grow profitably while solving sustainability issues.

“We are on the brink of a radical paradigm shift in how we manufacture, market, and consume products and services. We have a critical role to play in helping organizations and brands develop environmentally and socially sustainable solutions and practices,” noted Wilson.

Hong Kong – Ogilvy’s global growth and innovation arm, Ogilvy Consulting, has just launched a new practice called ‘Behavioral Science’ in Asia, which works to creatively apply the insights of contemporary behavioral science to diagnose, create, and validate ‘unseen opportunities’. 

The ‘Behavioral Science’ practice, which was first launched in North America in 2017, focuses on how audiences think, feel, and behave to improve marketing and communications effectiveness. By moving away from assumptions about consumers, the practice uses the latest insights from social psychology and behavioral economics, which in turn ensures creative solutions are touching the right nerves.

Following this endeavor, Ogilvy has also appointed Paolo Mercado as the new vice president of ‘Behavioral Science’. He will report directly to Jerry Smith, Ogilvy’s president of growth and innovation and Ogilvy Consulting’s CEO for Asia.

Mercado brings with him 12 years of experience working with Nestlé, where he headed up marketing and communications in China. He also led Nestlé’s Innovation in the Philippines. Throughout his career, Mercado has managed marketing projects in all major geographies of APAC, North America, and Latin America, as well as Europe, and the Middle East.

Besides his previous roles in Nestlé, Mercado is also the founding president of the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines, a think tank that advocates for the recognition of creative industries as the country’s next economic growth driver.

Mercado said that ‘Behavioral Science’ looks beyond demographics and what people say, to the inner workings of how people view the world and create their own identities. 

“Instead of targeting people, understanding them works better. And that’s at the heart of how ‘Behavioral Science’ helps us as marketers, by creating more effective ways to help brands achieve better outcomes,” said Mercado.

Meanwhile, Smith believes that ‘Behavioral Science’ is the key to unlocking that potential for organizational performance, product development, communications strategy, and service optimization.

“‘Behavioral Science’ will create a real edge for us in the marketplace, and Paolo’s diverse marketing and innovation experience, in addition to his background in psychology, makes him the perfect leader to help us transform the way we understand and move people on behalf of our clients,” said Smith.