Tokyo, Japan – To strengthen its creative power, marketing communications agency Geometry Ogilvy Japan has announced the promotion of Yasushi Arikawa as senior creative director and creative head of experience whilst adding Naoto Nishimura who assumes an executive creative director position.

The appointments are part of the agency’s efforts to support the growth of its client portfolio and as a whole agency.

Arikawa has been an integral part of the agency’s pioneering Shibuya metaverse work over the last several years. He will now oversee the work of KDDI’s new Web3 venture, Alpha-U which was launched last month.

Meanwhile, Nishimura previously worked at Beacon Communications in Tokyo where he built a strong creative portfolio. In his new role, he will work with Arikawa to strengthen the agency, bringing creative and social together to provide a more integrated offering.

Doug Schiff, chief creative officer at Ogilvy Japan, said that it’s good to recognise some of their best talents whilst bringing great leadership from the outside. Schiff also said that he looks forward to working with the team to collectively move forward and provide bigger integrated ideas for their clients.

Geometry Ogilvy Japan works with brands both in Japan and global countries to support their business ambitions and growth objectives.

Tokyo, Japan Japan’s leading telecommunications firm KDDI, in partnership with marketing communications agency Geometry Ogilvy Japan, creates a virtually produced film to showcase aU (Alpha–U), its new web3 metaverse platform brand.

In partnership with its parent company WPP, the agency crafts a 30-second clip which showcases four artistic illustrations made by GenZ artist Mayu Yukishita which were used as building blocks connected using AI midjourney and stable diffusion to generate interpolated animation of the platform brand.

The clip was also associated with visual effects to assemble the scenes, mixed with music and narration using japanese language.

Yasushi Arikawa, executive creative director of Geometry Ogilvy Japan, said that this AI-generated creative expression was inevitable for KDDI’s new brand αU that offers services that focus on Web3 and the metaverse.

“This film, in which AI and a virtual singer tell a story about the concept of “Already, one world” that blends the real and virtual worlds, takes us beyond the “uncanny valley” to an emotionally charged story,” Arikawa added.

Geometry Ogilvy supports all the creative direction for the new Alpha U collaboration, including all branding, communication design, events, and press conferences.

The launching was also done in partnership with Sydney-based production house Alt.vfx, and their subsidiary global creative studio T&DA, along with design agency New Holland Creative and THINKR.

Singapore – Former chief client officer for Merkle and dentsu CXM APAC Krishnan Menon has been named the new president of experience at Ogilvy Asia. In his new task, he is tasked to bring together Ogilvy’s capabilities across customer engagement, commerce, CRM and loyalty, new realities and digital innovation into an end-to-end experience offering.

He will be working closely with Genevieve Tan, general manager of Verticurl, Ogilvy’s marketing technology arm in APAC.

During his stint at Merkle and dentsu CXM, he was tasked with nurturing and growing client relationships with a focus on helping world-class brands deliver customer experiences. He also served as chief client and growth officer for Wunderman Thompson APAC. His first stint for Ogilvy was from 1997 until 2007 across various roles culminating as the head of Ogilvy Action in South India.

Speaking on his new role, he said, “I am really excited and happy to be back in Ogilvy. It is like homecoming for me. The incredible depth of talent and expertise stretching from advisory to delivery across gamut of CX services, paired with the indisputable creative and brand leadership at the core, makes Ogilvy’s Experience offering unique in the market. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Kent Wertime, CEO of Ogilvy Asia, said, “Crafting unforgettable physical and digital experiences has never been more critical than today, and we are thrilled to have someone of Krishnan’s caliber join us to help clients in this space. Having previously worked with us in India for close to a decade, Krishnan understands Ogilvy’s legacy of unmatched creativity, and the possibilities that it offers to unlock growth for clients across industries, at the intersection of data, culture and technology.”

Meanwhile, Ab Gaur, Global CEO of Verticurl, commented, “Consumer demand for personalized experiences that use deep, accurate insights and timing, powered by technology and data is at an all-time high. Having worked with Krishnan in his earlier roles within WPP, I believe he has the right combination of skills to propose the optimum solution mix to help brands take their experiences to the next level, engaging with their audience in a creative way and leveraging our clients’ existing technology investments.”

In addition to Menon’s new appointment, Sheilen Rathod, who previously headed Ogilvy’s experience arm in Asia since 2020, will transition into a new position as chief growth officer in Asia. In this newly created role, he will be focusing on strategic growth initiatives across the region and initially focus on several China-specific projects.

Bangkok, Thailand Ogilvy Thailand has elevated Jiravara Virayavardhana, formerly its managing director, to be its new chief executive. She will be overseeing all aspects of business performance, people management, and client relationships for the company, as well as implementing the strategic direction of creativity that will be powered by data and technology. 

Virayavardhana first joined Ogilvy Thailand in 1995 and has been promoted to various senior positions. She brings with her wide experience in handling various blue chip international and local clients across industries, from consumer goods, food and nutrition, retail, health, beauty, fashion, and technology, as well as cooperation with large government agencies and NGOs. 

Throughout the past 27 years that she’s been with Ogilvy, the agency said she has demonstrated a profound understanding of clients’ brands and businesses and has always been able to use creativity, data, and technology to turn challenges into achievements, enabling phenomenal success and impact on clients’ organisations, people, and society.

Commenting on her elevation, Virayavardhana said that she is very pleased and honoured to be at the helm of Ogilvy Thailand. She further shared that for her and all Ogilvy people, what makes them different is their unique ability to use creativity to solve their clients’ problems – from the way they discover insights to the way they produce their works.

She added, “What I aim to do under this new role is to spread this belief to our clients and partners. Faced with today’s challenges, we could not simply rely on the same strategies and tactics to help us get by. We need to differentiate ourselves through our work and transform the ways we do our business.” 

“To help our clients at a challenging time, we will focus on making works that create an impact in three, vital areas – Impact for People: showing how the products and services make people’s lives better and easier. Impact for Planet: demonstrating the brands’ contribution in improving our community, society, and the world we live in. Impact for Performance: while accelerating growth for brands and businesses sustainably. We will be the driver for positive change through this Impact Framework, and we will bring our people, our clients, and our industry forward with us,” said Virayavardhana.

Meanwhile, Nopadol Srikieatikajohn, chairman of Ogilvy Thailand, noted that throughout her time with Ogilvy, Virayavardhana has devoted herself to the growth of the company and their clients’ businesses, and she has fully immersed herself to the challenges and risen above all with effective and sustainable solutions. 

“The works under her supervision did not only shape people’s affections, but also their thoughts and behaviours, and went on to create ripple effects that transformed our society for the better. She is a true female icon who is loved and respected not just within the Ogilvy network, but by the wider communication community. I believe that, with her new, well-deserved role, Jiravara will continue to empower her people and bring our company forward with her unmatched business and emotional intelligence,” said Srikieatikajohn.

In September 2022, MARKETECH APAC interviewed Virayavardhana for theseries ‘Agency Leadership Decoded’, where industry leaders share how they are innovating their strategies to keep the morale and engagement of their teams in tip-top shape.

“Leaders must have the courage – to embrace the unexpected, to try the untested, and to charter the unknown territory – and they will surely conquer the furious tides of change,” she said in the interview.

Bangkok, Thailand – Ogilvy Thailand has elevated Gumpon Laksanajinda, its former executive creative director, to be its new chief creative officer, where he brings in craftsmanship and awards expertise.

Under the new role, Laksanajinda will be providing creative leadership, strengthening and diversifying Ogilvy’s creative capabilities, and empowering teams across all creative functions.

A true visionary who skillfully combined creativity, data, and technology to create breakthrough communication works, Laksanajinda is the creative force behind the company’s consistent wins at Cannes Lions and other prominent awards during the past few decades.

Laksanajinda noted that moving forward, he will focus on enhancing the agency’s creative capabilities in four key areas. 

“The first is Variety. Thanks to our comprehensive services that include Advertising, PR & Influence, Experience, Health, and Consulting, we are able to solve clients’ marketing problems creatively and innovatively. [The] second is Speed & Scale. We will utilise [the] latest technologies in Creative Cloud to make our creative process seamless and our creative works scalable in order to serve clients’ increasingly dynamic needs,” said Laksanajinda.

He added, “The third is Talent. We welcome fresh and seasoned talents from a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and interests, as long as they are passionate about using creativity to make big differences. The last area is Effective Impact. We are convinced that works with mere commercial results are not enough to grow and sustain brands in the long run. We will join hands with our clients to push forward projects that promote [a] positive impact for the people and the planet on top of business performance. We will make sure our clients walk with confidence toward the future with us by their side.”

Meanwhile, Nopadol Srikieatikajohn, chairman of Ogilvy Thailand, said, “It is about time that Gumpon uses his accumulated experiences and expertise to bring our company to a new era of success and to pass on our unique DNA to the next generation of creative talents.”

In August 2022, Ogilvy also appointed Chatree Chokmongkolsatian as its newest chief strategy officer in Thailand.

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.”

Australia – As part of the observance of the National Day of Action this September 8, the Australian non-profit suicide prevention organisation R U OK? has launched a new campaign to remind everyone that every day passing is a day for someone to check up on their loved ones, family, and friends regarding their mental state.

The ad, conceptualised by Ogilvy Australia, encourages Australians to do what it all takes to have these meaningful conversations and need to be having them with the people they care about every day – in the car, at the beach or around the BBQ. 

The organisation also encourages viewers that the ‘R U OK?’ idea is one that speaks to every Australian, giving them the confidence to ask the simple, but potentially life-changing question, ‘are you OK?’.

Katherine Newton, CEO of R U OK?, said “I think it’s a message everyone can relate to because we all think we’re experts in a range of things so why be reluctant when this is something we can actually do. By having regular, meaningful conversations, we can help the people we care about feel supported before they are in crisis and, if that conversation does get too big for us, we can guide them to seek professional help.”

Meanwhile, Toby Talbot, chief creative officer at Ogilvy AUNZ, commented, “I can’t think of a more important subject than mental health in Australia right now. And to have such an iconic Australian director as Justin Kurzel help us bring the idea to life has been huge for all of us. A special shout out to all our production partners who showed us how much they care with their time and effort.”

Malaysia – In celebration of Merdeka, the Independence Day of Malaysia, Mondelēz International’s chocolate brand Cadbury has launched a touching tribute to the founding of Malaysia. Called ‘Merdeka Unseen’, the campaign uses technology to take audiences on a sentimental journey through history.

Created in collaboration with creative agency Ogilvy Malaysia, the film features Johan, a gentleman that was present during that iconic Merdeka Day in 1957 and brought him back to the stadium to relive that experience. real-time, as he walked through the stadium, memories were projected onto the seats where those moments happened. 

Through Johan’s memories of Merdeka, the film serves as a reminder that generosity has always been at the heart of the Malaysian spirit and when people all take the time to look, they can find goodness everywhere around everyone.

Cadbury said that Merdeka is equivalent to ‘The Superbowl’ in Malaysia. Big and small brands all celebrate this momentous occasion with salutations and tributes. While it is a popular season, the sea of sameness has been prevalent: messages of unity, breaking down cultural barriers and differences, coming together, and resolving differences. But as a brand that has been in Malaysia for over 100 years, Cadbury wanted to show a side of Merdeka that’s never been seen before. 

For 65 years, the topic of Merdeka has centred around the iconic speech of Tunku Abdul Rahman. It’s been studied in schools and plastered across advertising campaigns nationwide. But Merdeka is more than just that speech. Through the use of technology, the film brought to life the many symbolic moments that happened that same day, defining the spirit of what it means to be Malaysian. Instead of centring the narrative around one man’s speech, Cadbury centred the campaign around the millions who watched that speech and more.

Nikhil Nicholas, SEA marketing lead for chocolates at Mondelēz International, said, “Cadbury Dairy Milk has always strived to shine a spotlight on the generous instinct that exists in all of us and found the perfect opportunity here to do just that this Merdeka, by recreating Johan’s memories of the everyday goodness that he witnessed all around him on that momentous day.” 

Meanwhile, Nizwani Shahar, Ogilvy’s chief executive for Malaysia, shared that Cadbury Dairy Milk is an iconic global brand, and they are proud to be part of a winning team that continues to drive brand impact and business growth in a modern landscape. 

“We hold the Cadbury flag high having worked on this business for so long and the ability to keep pushing out impactful, powerful work is a true testament to a solid partnership with clients who give us permission to play and push boundaries,” said Shahar.

Adrian Miller, Ogilvy’s chief creative officer for Malaysia, noted that the truth of today is that no one wants to spend any second of their day watching any form of advertising, especially during an occasion like Merdeka where the same stories have been rinsed and repeated. 

“But what people do want to watch is a powerful story that they haven’t seen before. A story that intrigues them and adds value to their day. That’s what we aspire to do with every piece of work and that’s a shared ambition we have with our partners at Mondelēz,” said Miller.

Singapore – Creative agency Ogilvy Asia has announced a new slew of hires to bolster its creative team in Singapore and Hong Kong, namely Nikhil Panjwani as regional executive director; Dan Parmenter as creative director; Hugo Suíssas as senior art director; and Tiago Silva as senior copywriter.

The new recruits will primarily work within OpenX – WPP’s bespoke team dedicated to The Coca-Cola Company and its portfolio of brands across Asia Pacific – whilst also supporting Ogilvy’s growing client demand in Asia for cross-capability ideas that generate impact across geographies and cultures.

They join an existing team of other hires including Regional Executive Creative Director for Ogilvy Asia Sarah-Leith Izzard and Associate Creative Directors at Ogilvy Hong Kong Stratos Efstathiou and Soenar.

Panjwani joins Ogilvy Asia as regional executive director, based in Singapore. He brings close to 20 years of creative experience, the last seven as creative director for BBH Singapore. Born and bred in Bombay, Nikhil has led teams across India and Southeast Asia to produce award-winning work for leading global brands.

Meanwhile, Parmenter most recently served as creative director for M&C Saatchi Abel in South Africa, steering the creative output of key accounts including Nando’s, Standard Bank and Lexus. A copywriter by trade, he brings strong strategic expertise in ideating and bringing big creative ideas to life, having previously worked as copywriter and creative group head at Ogilvy Johannesburg between 2008 and 2015.

Based in Singapore, Suíssas and Silva have met at Lisbon-based agency Brandia Central in 2013, and have worked together at agencies across Portugal, including excentricGrey, Young & Rubicam Group and O Escritório, serving clients in the auto, retail and banking sectors.

Reed Collins, chief creative officer for Ogilvy in APAC, commented, “We are blessed with such extraordinary creative talent across the region, with this team being specifically built as a microcosm of that around being the best creative partner for our clients’ growth ambitions globally. Our creative bench has never been stronger and ambition greater.”

Bangkok, Thailand – Ogilvy has recently appointed Chatree Chokmongkolsatian as its newest chief strategy officer in Thailand, where he brings in unrivalled expertise in modern marketing strategies to the local team.

Before joining Ogilvy, Chokmongkolsatian was previously the head of business and strategy group at Cheil Worldwide, specialising in digital and retail marketing – ranging from brand communications, media and data, experience, e-commerce, to new and emerging platform businesses. 

He has also been the vital force behind phenomenal successes of many leading brands in several industries namely Samsung, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Nestle, Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thaibev, Beiersdorf, among others.

Speaking on his new appointment, he said that he is confident that he will be able to leverage his extensive experiences to build on Ogilvy’s creative leadership and continue to generate more impact for their clients.

“To me, taking on the new role at Ogilvy Thailand is both an opportunity and a challenge. Ogilvy is undoubtedly an industry leader with groundbreaking creative innovations that constantly excite the industry and produce real business results. However, every marketer nowadays has been challenged head-on by the rapidly changing social conditions, media consumption behaviours, as well as the technology landscape.” 

He added, “The marketing solution that worked 3 months ago may not be so effective today, and Advertising may not be the only solution to clients’ problems. Building exceptional experiences for products or brands needs an omnichannel approach, as each method has different purpose and way of reaching customers, and as we are living in the age where people are willing to pay fees for ads-free viewing and are super strict with their personal data and privacy.”

Meanwhile, Nopadol Srikieatikajohn, chairman at Ogilvy Thailand, commented, ‘Chatree is a great example of the new generation of leaders who set new standards for every work that they do, with profound knowledge and experiences in the ever-changing modern marketing strategies and tactics, paired with deep understanding of clients’ businesses. All of this makes Chatree the perfect person to lead our strategy capability and pioneer new strategic offerings for our company and clients’ growth.”