Opinion | Features
The week in review: Maybank Kim Eng pitch | New rules for India's skin whitening brands | 'Asia's creative leaders scammed their way to top' | Time Out closes print edition as Buzzfeed launches in India | Search firm folds | 3D selfie maker comes to Asia
In a week in which India’s ad watchdog released guidlines for advertisers of whitening products, Sir Martin Sorrell had a pop at Google and Publicis Groupe, Uber spread across India, Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore re-arranged the deck chairs as boss Paul Roebuck leaves for the US, Stuff Singapore took ladies off its front cover, and an American shopping mall produced possibly the worst ad ever made.
India is an increasingly popular destination for international agencies to set up shop these days, particularly with a new prime minister promising economic reform and easier access for foreigns firms. AKQA opened an office in Gurgaon in July and Razorfish launched following an acquisition by Publicis Groupe last year.
So what does it take to launch a successful agency in India? Mumbrella was in Mumbai to ask Subhash Kamath, CEO and managing partner of BBH India, which launched in India’s commercial capital five and a half years ago.
First, can you give us a bit of background about the history of BBH India?
Piyush Pandey on winning an election, exporting Indian ideas, the creatives he admires, his proudest moments, scam, and the future of advertising in the world's biggest democracy
Piyush Pandey worked as a tea taster before joining Ogilvy & Mather as a trainee account executive in 1982. Almost exactly thirty-two years later, he is the executive chairman and national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia, and has been named the most influential adman in the world’s largest democracy for eight consecutive years by The Economic Times.
In this interview with Mumbrella Asia’s editor Robin Hicks from Pandey’s home in the heart of Mumbai, the Jaipur-born winner of more than 600 creative awards talks about the role he played in getting India’s new prime minister elected, the creatives he most admires, his proudest moments, the biggest challenges facing India’s ad industry, whether Indian advertising can cross borders, scam, and an idea that came to him while riding on the back of a motorbike.
Corinna Choong is the senior director of marketing and communications at Singapore’s newest university, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, which was set up in collaboration with MIT in 2010.
In this Q&A with Mumbrella’s Asia editor Robin Hicks, the former SingTel and Procter & Gamble marketer, who judged at the APPIES last week, talks about what defines her as a marketer, the toughest thing about marketing in Singapore, and why she values creative above all other disciplines.
Tell us a bit about your background as a marketer.
No matter what the traditional perception of Asia as a connected economy is, the truth is that we have one of the lowest levels of digital investment on the planet.
On its own that’s an alarming fact to consider. But combine that with the fact that we have among the highest levels of social media adoption in the world and its becomes something of an oddity.
The week in review: 'Our ad ran once because Singapore is small' | Crocs eats APAC marketing | Buzzfeed launches in India | Twitter's video offering for brands | What makes a creative team work? | Make cupcakes not war
In a week in which plastic clogs brand Crocs restructured its APAC marketing operation, Buzzfeed launched in India, Twitter launched a video offering for brands, Strawberry frog lost the founding MD of its Singapore office and a bunch of expats press released their campaign to woo Singaporeans with cupcakes.
What’s the secret to a creative partnership that lasts? Andy Greenaway and Bruce Matchett, creative directors at Sapient Nitro, have known each other for almost 30 years. The duo nicknamed the “grumpy old men” talk about the secret to longevity in a creative team.
Greenaway (pictured, right) and Matchett first met at one of Neil French’s regional creative meetings when they were both working at Ogilvy & Mather (Greenaway in Singapore, Matchett in New Zealand). They struck up a friendship straight away. In 2009, Greenaway asked Matchett to join him at Saatchi & Saatchi as ECD for Singapore and Malaysia. They worked there together for three years. The old team was reunited in February at SapientNitro two months ago when Greenaway, who is APAC chief creative officer, appointed Matchett, who’d left Saatchi’s at the end of 2013, as regional creative director. In this interview, the duo talk about what makes a strong creative partnership, and how to hold it together.
Tell us about your first creative partnership.
PubMatic CEO Rajeev Goel on taking on Google, arbitrage and trading desks, and the future of programmatic in Asia
In this interview with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks, Goel talks about taking on Google, agency trading desks and arbitrage, and what the demise of Brandscreen said about the programmatic trading space in Asia.
You’re up against the might of Google. How do you compete?
Most of the time we like to write our resumes and Linked in profiles in ways that make it look like our lives have been a string of successes.
Well, maybe I’m just getting a little tired of it – for one thing, if all of us are so successful why is the economy still in the crapper and the world going to hell in a hand-basket?
The week in review: 'Burger King digitally raped my face' | Singapore agency co-founder jailed | Arcade sells to Publicis | BBH global boss exits | Puma launches massive APAC ad blitz | MAS rebrand would be 'superficial'
In a week in which a controversial Singapore-made ad for Burger King came back to haunt the brand five years after it almost broke the internet, the co-founder of a Singapore social media agency went to prison, M&C Saatchi extended its reach in India, Bite was swallowed by Text100 and Bite boss David Ketchum is to leave, BBH got a new global boss, and Puma launched a huge global campaign that featured footballing bad boy Mario Balotelli in a hot tub with bikinied women.
Andrew Au left Hong Kong creative agency Fluid earlier this year to join Imagination, an experiential marketing agency, where he is Southeast Asia managing director based in Singapore.
In this interview with Mumbrella’s Asia editor Robin Hicks, Au talks about why he joined the little-known agency, the job offers he considered before joining, and his ambitions for the year ahead.
Why Imagination? To be honest, I hadn’t heard of them before you joined.
In benchmarking the cost of an ad agency’s staff, you generally find that the rate a client pays is commensurate with the experience or seniority of the resource. But the question of value goes beyond just cost to determining the return on the investment. So in considering the value we need to balance the cost of the resource against how much they contribute to the ROI.
I’m usually a big fan of John Oliver. What’s not to like? The lefty credentials? The anti-Fox news stance? The fact that he’s from Birmingham?
But his latest piece vilifying native advertising leaves me a bit cold.
As a recruiter, I meet with clients and candidates from both agencies and corporate organisations a lot. There are long-term ‘agency people’ and those that have always worked in-house, and some have tried both sides of the fence to see where the grass is greener. Hence there is a long-running debate in the PR and communications industry: Who is better off – agency or in-house?
The week in review: UOB pitches in Singapore | Edelman China CEO goes missing | 'If you say 'Game changing' again I will slap you' | Hong Kong political site closes | Malaysia Airlines to rebrand | WSJ accused of plagiarism
In a week in which a feisty Chinese independent news outlet accused The Wall Street Journal of plagiarism, a debate ignited in India about the treatment of women in advertising, a former Cannes judge admit that if scam entries are innovative they “let is pass”, BBDO won global digital duties for Guinness along with Iris Worldwide, the Hong Kong edition of CosmoGIRL closed as did political news site House News, and news emerged that banking giant UOB is pitching its ad business in Singapore.
Hegarty: Asia will never be a dominant force in advertising if it doesn’t cut out scam
Advertising legend John Hegarty has hit out at the “endemic” level of scam advertising in Asia.
In an interview with Mumbrella at the Cannes Lions festival today, the Bartle Bogle Hegarty founder and creative chief said that there was no signs that scam – the practice of ad agencies creating work purely to win awards – was diminishing in the region.
“There have been no statements from agencies that they won’t do it,” he said.
Client are in on the act too, Hegarty said.
“They’re trying to beat each other in the rankings to take awards home. It’s a disgrace.”
“If you focus on scam – which a lot of agencies do in Asia – you’ll always lack proof that creative work actually works.”
“You can con yourself by calling it ‘proactive’ work. But that’s just another word for scam.”
“We’re proactive every day by trying to solve client’s problems, not pretending we can produce pretty ads that never run anywhere.”
“If Asia is to become dominant force in advertising, it must kick this habit,” said Hegarty.
Scam is not difficult to spot, he added.
“Just look out for the beautiful piece of art, with a tiny logo in the bottom corner.”
- William on WeChat launches iOS upgrade
- MIke on Animal welfare group’s shark-in-coffin art installation opposes China’s finning trade
- Whip boy on BBDO and Guinness: Limited spend and Singapore’s small size is why ad only ran once
- Sally on Animal welfare group’s shark-in-coffin art installation opposes China’s finning trade
- WHATISTHIS on Beating heart billboards promote Reckitt Benkiser vitamin supplement in Singapore
- Kimberly on BBH’s Subhash Kamath on how to set up an agency in India
- Jos Bakkenes on Animal welfare group’s shark-in-coffin art installation opposes China’s finning trade
- Jim on Shannon Cullum replaces Paul Roebuck as boss of Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore and Malaysia
- Change of guard at Ipsos Hong Kong
- StarHub launches mobile app for seniors
- Lowe Profero wins Wendy’s in Japa
- BBC sells content to Chinese broadcasters Shanghai Media Group ICS, CCTV, DOXTV and Wingsmedia
- Emen Chong appointed GM of Tribal Worldwide Shanghai
- Digi hires Havas for corporate branding brief
- Y&R Singapore appoints Wedad Sunny as client services director
- OMD appoints Digital News Asia’s Kelvin Lim as digital director
- BBDO and Guinness: Limited spend and Singapore's small size is why ad only ran once - 20 comments
- What makes a creative partnership work? - 18 comments
- Singapore-based creative hot shop Arcade sells equity stake to Publicis Worldwide - 15 comments
- Agency boss slams 'time wasting' self-promoters at industry events, 'If you say 'game changer' without justification, I will slap you' - 12 comments
- R/GA founder Bob Greenberg: Those who say digital agencies are bad storytellers are wrong - 6 comments
- 'Burger King digitally raped my face,' says model in controversial Singapore 'blow job ad' - 6 comments
- The Scam Lions? Count me out - 5 comments
- Which job in advertising gives the most ROI? - 4 comments