Opinion | Features
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.
Sitha Nuon is the head of media at Riverorchid Cambodia. She is one of the country’s most senior Khmer media executives, having worked her way up from receptionist to department head in seven years with the IndoChina specialist agency.
In this interview, she tells the story of her journey from the Cambodian countryside to the offices of Riverorchid in Phnom Penh, how life in rural areas compares with the city, what ordinary Cambodians think about people who work in media, and why media owners need to adopt a more ‘can do’ attitude.
Give us a bit of background about your life and how you came about your current job at Riverorchid.
Steve Dahllof steps back after 26 years at Ogilvy PR
The regional boss of Ogilvy Public Relations is retiring.
Steve Dahllof, president and CEO of Ogilvy PR APAC, is stepping back after 26 years of service at the end of the year. He will stay on with the agency in an consultancy role.
He is being replaced by Scott Kronick, current president of Ogilvy PR North Asia, who also has 26 years of service to his name with Ogilvy. Kronick takes over on 1 January.
Dahllof commented: “I’ve held some of the best jobs in the business from creative director to head of the agency’s global Strategy+Planning unit and Managing Director of Ogilvy PR’s largest office, Washington, DC to lead of EAME, but there are none that I have enjoyed more than my time in Asia Pacific. It is the perfect position from which to retire and I move on knowing that I’ve left my role in the most capable of hands.”
Christopher Graves, global CEO of Ogilvy PR said: “Steve has been an agent of change throughout his long career with Ogilvy and his time as a leader in Asia is no exception. In the last four years he has done a brilliant job in continuing to grow Ogilvy PR into the largest, most successful public relations agency in Asia. He leaves us in a very strong position in the marketplace and for that we will be forever grateful. While we will miss having him in the office everyday we are very glad that he will stay engaged with the agency as a consultant.”
He added: “At the same time, we couldn’t be more fortunate than to have Scott Kronick step up to the regional leadership role. Over the past two decades Scott has built the strongest agency in China from the ground up, while also leading our PR operations in North Asia for the last four years. His skill with clients, ability to create and maintain a strong team around him, and most of all his passion for the business make him the clear and obvious choice.”
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