Singapore has developed into the central hub for marketing in APAC, with many major brands now based in the city state. Add to this a government committed to a smart city mandate, and it is one of the most exciting places to be working in the industry today. The Drum takes a look at 20 of the most innovative agencies operating on the island, including APD.
Many agencies and holding groups are starting to work out how they shift the shape of their businesses to more quickly respond to clients. And while many are shaking up current models, culling business units or creating new ones, Asia Pacific Digital (APD) is coming at it from a different angle by combining seven leading digital shops from across the region into one.
And, as chief executive officer Tobias Wilson says, it is earning the agency a reputation as an underdog. Wilson’s own involvement in industry bodies, such as the IAB Singapore which he chairs, is also demonstrative of the open approach it’s taking.
“APD, while not a young business, is a young brand that has had to work a little harder than some of the more established brands in the market since pulling our seven business units together in April last year. So while we’re in a building phase, a lot of the time we’re seen as ‘the underdog’ and have adopted more of a challenger mindset,” he says.
“I actually think that it’s this challenger mentality that, by default, makes us look for different ways to solve our customers’ problems. That and the fact that our tech, creative, media, CRM and strategy teams sit together which allows them to collaborate, brainstorm and prototype much faster than if they were separate businesses which makes a huge difference,” he adds.
Client work that puts this into action includes an award-winning campaign for south-east Asia taxi app Grab. APD created the ‘fastest taxi app in Singapore’ by allowing people to book supercars via the app. According to Wilson, #GrabSpeed went from brief to multi-channel rollout in two weeks.
The next stage, according to Wilson, is to grow the team and technology. “Net net, we’re investing and we’re pretty excited about where APD and innovation in Singapore is heading,” he concludes.
This article was originally published in the Singapore supplement of The Drum and is available for free on The Drum app which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.