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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TotallyAwesome Indonesia names Ridwan S Hidayat as new country manager

Indonesia – TotallyAwesome, the largest kids-safe digital advertising and content platform in the APAC region, has appointed Ridwan S Hidayat, former client services director at global data and measurement-driven media agency Essence, to be its new country manager in Indonesia.

Hidayat brings with him extensive experience from his previous senior media agency positions. Besides his former role in Essence, he has also worked as the senior media and production manager at Kraft Heinz‘s food and drink subsidiary Kraft Heinz ABC, the group head at media company Mindshare, and the senior media planner at marketing agency Armananta Group.

Commenting on his appointment, Hidayat said that he is very excited to be leading TotallyAwesome in the country and contributing to high-quality interaction between brands and young audiences.

“TotallyAwesome is a unique media business with a focus on helping kids and families connect with brands through safe and private interaction. Helping protect our youngest internet audiences and their families in the digital environment is a big focus for government and business,” said Hidayat.

Meanwhile, TotallyAwesome APAC’s CEO Will Anstee, commented that Hidayat’s credentials to lead TotallyAwesome have been shaped by his client service and planning experience.

“As the digital world evolves, there is a growing need for human assessment and guidance in how brands reach out to digital audiences, especially our Indonesia youth that make up over 30% of the population. We need to protect them and ensure brands are stepping up to play a more meaningful role in their lives. Ridwan will lead this for us in Indonesia. I’m excited and proud to have him join us on this journey,” said Anstee.

The digital platform provides a safe digital environment for children and their families to interact with child-focused products on the internet while acknowledging and supporting the world’s most advanced regulations protecting kids’ data privacy. In Indonesia, TotallyAwesome has been active since 2015 and has an audience of 35.2 million monthly active users.

Earlier this year, TotallyAwesome announced other new appointments, namely Mikio Kudo, the new country manager in Japan, and James Sawyer, the new managing director of AUNZ operations.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

India’s real estate firm Gulshan Group appoints iCubesWire as digital creative partner

India – Real estate company Gulshan Group in India has appointed digital marketing agency iCubesWire to be its digital creative partner.

Gulshan Group is an established real estate organization with vast business networks in the country. It has a presence in the infrastructure development, construction, and housing segment, as well as other business operations. 

As per the mandate, iCubesWire will be handling the digital creative duties of Gulshan’s residential and commercial projects, including Gulshan Dynasty and Gulshan one29, among others. The marketing agency will also be heading the brand’s communication and strategy across digital and offline media channels. 

Gulshan Group’s Vice President of Marketing Suneet Singh shared that iCubesWire owes its win to their expertise in marketing, especially for the real estate market.

“We at Gulshan Group believe building a better world takes time and years of experience. And since iCubesWire shares the same ideology and brings the perfect mix of creativity and strategy, we are glad to have them on board as the brand’s creative agency,” said Singh.

Meanwhile, Sahil Chopra, the CEO and founder of iCubesWire, commented that they are honored to be chosen as the creative agency for the Gulshan Group. 

“We hope to scale new heights for the brand through our innovative solutions and expertise in marketing. We are looking forward to growing the brand’s business exponentially,” said Chopra.

iCubesWire is a digital marketing agency in the country that offers 360° concepts to various clients across e-commerce, automobile, technology, and finance, as well as travel, and hospitality, among others.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Maserati India awards PR, digital duties to Alphabet Media

India – Global luxury vehicles company Maserati in India has awarded its public relations and digital mandate to communications agency Alphabet Media.

Maserati is an Italian manufacturer of luxury automobiles including a tradition of successful cars, namely the Quattroporte flagship, the Ghibli sports sedan, and the Levante.

As per the mandate, Alphabet Media will be responsible for Maserati’s strategic planning, media relations, digital campaigns, and providing integrated communication solutions in the country.

Bojan Jankulovski, the head of operations at Maserati India, shared that the brand is driven to challenge the status quo being innovative by nature, powered by passion, and unique by design.

“The partnership with Alphabet Media is the embodiment of all these values. We are pleased to onboard the agency as our communications partner in India and we look forward to a great working relationship with the team,” said Jankulovski.

Meanwhile, Alphabet Media’s Founder Tejal Daftary commented that they are delighted to get the opportunity to work for an iconic brand like Maserati in India. 

“We are committed to delivering Maserati customer experience through well-planned communications to further strengthen the brand’s presence in the country,” said Daftary.

Alphabet Media is a public relations and communications agency that provides strategic and integrated solutions. It also offers services across public relations, marketing communications, and digital communications.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

VMLY&R India names new chief creative officer

Mumbai, India – Global brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R in India has appointed Mukund Olety, former group creative director at advertising company BBDO Worldwide, to be its new chief creative officer. 

Olety brings with him two decades of career experience across India, China, and Southeast Asia. Aside from his previous role at BBDO, Olety has partnered with advertising agency Ogilvy in Beijing to create digital and integrated campaigns for Nestle and Audi. He has also had stints with various creative agencies such as Leo Burnett Malaysia, O&M India, JWT, and DDB Mudra, where he worked with brands such as Mercedes, McDonald’s, and Samsung, as well as Durex, and Unilever, among others.

In addition, Olety has also served on jury panels and partnered with One Club, a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire, encourage, and develop creative excellence in advertising and design, to mentor young creatives.

In his new role, Olety will be a part of VMLY&R India’s senior leadership council. He will be instrumental in developing and boosting the creative capabilities in India in tandem with VMLY&R’s positioning of creating connected brands that add value for clients by harnessing creativity, technology, and culture. His mandate will also include driving the agency’s creative vision and nurturing its creative talent.

Commenting on his appointment, Olety said that VMLY&R has this potent mix of creativity, technology, culture, and commerce, and the ambition that they have for the India office astounded him. 

“With industry legends like Tripti, Valerie, and Anil at the helm, there is not a better group of people I want to take this ride with. I am looking forward to creating connected, future-facing and awesome work for our key clients and brands,” said Olety.

Meanwhile, Anil Nair, the CEO at VMLY&R India, commented that he could not have thought of a better person to lead their creative team in these thought-provoking times. 

“Mukund has extensive experience working on both local and global brands and working at both Indian and international levels. This grasp of both, coupled with his passion for creativity, makes him an outstanding addition to the VMLY&R family,” said Nair.

Just recently, VMLY&R India also announced the appointment of Payal Vaidya as its new executive vice president of experience design. She will be leading the customer experience design vertical, and will be responsible for evangelizing design thinking and customer-first experiences within the agency and with clients.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Brand and experience agency VMLY&R in India names new EVP of experience design

Mumbai, India – Global brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R in India has recently appointed Payal Vaidya as its new executive vice president of experience design.

Vaidya brings with her 19 years of global experience in transforming brands and businesses through collaborative leadership and problem-solving skills across India, APAC, and the US markets. Prior to joining VMLY&R, she co-founded the management consulting firm The Thinking Hats Innovation in New York City, which focuses on launching, sustaining, and innovating with brands on their experiences, products, and services.

Furthermore, Vaidya has also worked with various marketing agencies and consultancies like Ogilvy, Grey, and Publicis. She has helped start-ups, not for profits, and Fortune 500 companies like P&G, L’Oréal, and Unilever, as well as Tata, and Lowe’s, among others.

In her new role at VMLY&R, Vaidya will be a part of the senior leadership council, leading the customer experience design vertical, and will be responsible for evangelizing design thinking and customer-first experiences within the agency and with clients.

Commenting on her appointment, Vaidya said that she is thrilled to join the agency and help transform brands and businesses to create phenomenal experiences through creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration. 

“It’s exciting to see the human-centered design approach permeate through agencies and brands alike, and I look forward to building on VMLY&R’s existing practice to allow us to truly put the customer at the center for every client,” said Vaidya.

Meanwhile, VMLY&R India’s CEO Anil Nair commented, “In our journey to becoming a complete marketing partner to our brands, we have been evolving our Customer Experience practice. For that precise reason, we are happy to have Payal on board to evangelize the importance of customer strategy and partner brands on the delivery of elevated experiences for their consumers.”

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Technology Featured South Asia

Essence elevates Sonali Malaviya as managing director of India unit

Delhi, India – Global data and measurement-driven media agency Essence in India has appointed Sonali Malaviya, former senior vice president of client services for Essence’s Google business in INSEA, to be its new managing director for the India team.

Malaviya brings with her 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Essence in 2018, she has previously worked as the chief operating officer at beauty company Colorbar Cosmetics and the country marketing lead at Twitter India. 

In addition, Malaviya has also held senior roles at various companies such as media companies Mindshare and PHD, market research firm Roy Morgan Research, and marketing agency MediaCom in India, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

In her new role, Malaviya will be responsible for leading Essence’s continued client-centric innovation in data, analytics, and technology, as well as business growth, and company culture for the agency in the market. She will be joining the agency’s APAC leadership team and GroupM India’s executive committee and will be reporting directly to Essence APAC’s CEO T. Gangadhar and GroupM South Asia’s CEO Prasanth Kumar

Commenting on her appointment, Malaviya said that she is truly honored to have the opportunity to lead Essence in India, as over the past three years, she has witnessed the growth of the agency, clients, and employees.

“I am looking forward to partnering with our highly talented teams and leveraging our industry-leading capabilities to help even more brands in India achieve data-driven growth and transformation, as well as valuable connections with consumers,” added Malaviya.

Meanwhile, Gangadhar said, “India continues to be a priority for Essence in APAC and globally, and with Sonali at the helm, I am very excited about our next phase of growth and development in the market.”

Kumar also commented that with Malaviya’s background and significant achievements, she will add to the capabilities of the agency and work with the teams to improve the client experience.

“As we continue to develop leaders internally, Sonali is also part of our growing pool of talent taking on various leadership roles across GroupM India. I look forward to working with Sonali and leveraging her expertise,” said Kumar.

Just recently, Essence has also announced the launch of its new pro bono initiative ‘Essence Impact’, which aims to aid non-profit organizations in their digital transformation.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

TBWA\ India launches new data practice, unveils new appointment

India – Advertising agency TBWA\ India has recently launched ‘Weapon’, a new data practice that aims to solve key growth problems and challenges faced by CEOs. 

‘Weapon’ is a mix of creativity and data that seeks to solve the growth, profitability, and efficiency challenges of today’s organization in an increasingly complex and ever-changing business landscape.

Following this endeavor, the agency has also appointed Vishwajit Vyas, former senior manager of software company Automation Anywhere, to be its new head of data practice, effective immediately. 

Vyas brings with him his broad experience at high-growth startups. He specializes in data analytics, leading large teams for clients across technology, banking, financial services, and healthcare, as well as retail, and consumer packaged goods. Vyas has also led the development of new products and services that met the analytic needs of Fortune 500 companies and has been on founder teams developing strategic initiatives for long-term business growth.

Aside from working previously at Automation Anywhere, Vyas has also spent five years working at India’s decision sciences firm Mu Sigma across many roles spanning delivery, product, and strategy, as well as the founder’s office.

In his new role, Vyas will be responsible for developing and delivering TBWA\ India’s data strategy, while working closely with the global collective, leveraging TBWA’s unique capabilities to implement intelligence, which will continue to shape its clients’ thinking and execution across the marketing and advertising value chain.

Commenting on his appointment, Vyas said that he is excited to join TBWA and help fuel the level of innovation and strategic thinking the agency can offer the brands, finding opportunities to unlock growth using the power of data.

“The CEO is faced with a multitude of factors that are affecting brand performance and growth. The ever-changing customer needs and behaviors across channels have necessitated the use of data in creative and meaningful ways. At the same time, the need for a nuanced understanding of the customer and the market is ever-present,” Vyas said.

He added, “‘Weapon’ is an opportunity to become a trusted partner of the CEO, helping them articulate the problem, define it with data, design a solution, and finally execute it efficiently at a tactical level.”

Meanwhile, TBWA\ India’s CEO Govind Pandey shared that TBWA is on a continuous journey to find new avenues through which they can deliver disruptive growth, and ‘Weapon’ is their way to be strategic partners to the clients throughout the value chain.

“Our deep consumer focus, cultural creative design – now combined with our expertise in data-led insights and execution – is critical in framing and answering the key growth questions that every CEO has,” said Pandey.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Yellophant Digital bags integrated digital mandate for Mezaya

Mumbai, India – Digital agency Yellophant Digital has won the integrated digital mandate for Mezaya, the authentic Turkish and Lebanese Baklava brand in Mumbai, India.

Mezaya deems to be the first among the few food brands in the country that provide freshly baked handcrafted traditional Mediterranean Baklavas that comes from the traditional recipes. It offers vegetarian desserts and uses ingredients directly sourced from the Mediterranean region.

The partnership will see Yellophant Digital managing and amplifying Mezaya’s 360-degree digital marketing duties, including creative strategy, SEO, and media spends, as well as website maintenance, and social media marketing across digital platforms, among others.

Shazia Ahmed Sheikh and Raies Sheikh, the co-founders of Mezaya, shared that after scouting across various agencies, they have now found the right ROI-driven agency that understands Mezaya’s long-term vision and can justify the spending meticulously.

“Baklavas are something that is new to the audience and we are thrilled to collaborate with Preksha and her team. Yellophant Digital has been brilliant in terms of providing solutions to brand challenges. Mezaya is really excited about this collaboration with Yellophant Digital and looks forward to seeing the brand’s overall performance and increasing ROI in the forthcoming days,“ the co-founders said.

Meanwhile, Yellophant Digital’s Co-Founder Preksha Seth commented that they are delighted to have Mezaya on board and they look forward to strategizing and managing the brand’s digital marketing duties and introducing this Mediterranean delight to the Indian audience on a creative platter.

“Our extensive experience of collaborating with F&B establishments comes in handy at this point. Being an ROI-driven agency, we plan to execute ideas that yield significant results in a brief time,” said Seth.

In April this year, Yellophant Digital has also nabbed the digital marketing mandate of ExpertMFD, India’s collaborative initiative to create financial entrepreneurs for the mutual fund industry. The agency was tasked to bolster the brand’s digital presence.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

iProspect India takes helm of AU Small Finance Bank’s digital business

India – Dentsu International’s digital-first end-to-end media agency iProspect in India has recently won the digital mandate for commercial banking company AU Small Finance Bank.

AU Small Finance Bank is an Indian scheduled commercial bank that offers banking services such as personal banking, online banking, internet banking, and business and corporate banking, as well as insurance, and loans, among others.

Through the partnership, iProspect will be responsible for handling the overall digital duties for AU Bank including performance and branding campaigns. The agency will also utilize its proprietary tools and solutions to help the brand achieve its digital marketing objectives through innovative digital campaigns.

Commenting on the new partnership, iProspect India’s CEO Rubeena Singh said that they are delighted that their in-depth domain experience of the BFSI sector won them the digital mandate. 

“We are excited to partner with AU Bank and work towards driving business growth and achieving their brand KPIs. We look forward to delivering our best services to the brand through the intersection of brand, tech, media, and communication,” added Singh.

Meanwhile, Uttam Tibrewal, the executive director of AU Small Finance Bank, shared that over the last few years there has undoubtedly been a fast-track shift towards digital adoption among customers. 

“As a tech-led Bank focused on offering customer-centric solutions, we are continuously working to optimize our customer engagement through digital media. The partnership with iProspect India is an important step in that direction which will strengthen our data-driven approach to digital marketing and media planning,” said Tibrewal.

In April this year, iProspect in the United States has also been selected as the global paid media partner of online employment platform LinkedIn. The partnership will see the agency managing the platform’s digital media strategy and buying across all of its business units.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Astral India awards digital marketing mandate to Chimp&z Inc

Mumbai, India – Plumbing and piping manufacturer Astral in India has awarded the digital marketing mandate of its expanded portfolios, namely Astral Pipes, Astral Foundation, and Astral Adhesives, to advertising agency Chimp&z Inc.

Astral is a manufacturer and provider of Chlorinated PolyVinyl Chloride (CPVC) piping, plumbing, and drainage systems in India. It offers piping technologies, quality products, and services to residentials and industrial customers in the country.

As per the mandate, Chimp&z Inc will be responsible for the social media management, SEO, paid media, and website maintenance of Astral’s brands. The agency will also be emphasizing the unique touch-points and employing innovative digital tools of the three Astral entities.

Commenting on the new partnership, Kairav Engineer, the vice president of business development at Astral, said that they look forward to enhancing the brand’s digital presence through the partnership.

“Astral enjoys a great deal of trust and sizable equity in the Indian market. Always a step ahead with innovative products and smart solutions, Astral brands have been trailblazers in their respective industries. Our aim now is to amplify our digital communication with social media strategizing, video marketing, influencer marketing, and all the other upgraded digital tools,” said Engineer.

Meanwhile, Chimp&z Inc’s Vice President of Growth and Operations Ashish Duggal shared, “We are thrilled to be associating with a group of brands that strive to set benchmarks with all their initiatives – the Astral Ltd. Chimp&z Inc’s integrated approach on the digital front clubbed with the brand’s efforts to serve consumers to the best of their abilities can be the inception of a strong alliance that delivers some remarkable work overtime.”

The accounts will be managed by the agency’s Mumbai office.

In April this year, Chimp&z Inc has also nabbed cookware manufacturer Vinod Cookware‘s digital communications duties and was tasked to lead the brand’s social media strategy, creatives, and digital PR, as well as performance marketing.