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 TBWA.
For years, the TBWA global network has been striving to cement its reputation for being ‘the disruption agency’ and it’s a vision that is certainly beginning to bear fruit within its Singapore operation. The agency won the coveted Singapore Tourism account in the last year and has continued to work with major brands such as Singapore Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank, Apple, Airbnb and Nissan, to name but a few.
In Asia alone the network has 18 offices, and Singapore, which acts as a regional headquarters to support the others, has been named as one of TBWA’s ‘champions of disruption’ globally.
That commitment to innovation through disruption stems from global chairman Jean Marie Dru’s continued belief that this is what will drive success for brands.
Ara Hampartsoumian, the managing director of TBWA\Group Singapore, explains: “As part of our drive for creative excellence and to be a ‘maker’ of culture, we, as a collective, constantly push our thinking towards innovative ways to disrupt marketing conventions. And work for our clients is evidence of our success to innovate, keeping them competitive and leaders within their respective categories.”
Hampartsoumian goes on to highlight the inspiration of Dru in the innovative offerings unique to the business, such as in the number of tools and models with which it aims to help marketers achieve business objectives.
These include methodologies outlined in Dru’s book ‘Edges’ which provides 15 different processes for driving innovation around areas such as sustainability, data and crowdsourcing.
Also, through a series of ‘what if’ scenarios, the agency is capable of assessing the vision, purpose and potential of a brand that aims to follow new strategies and ideas.
“Singapore is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, so it’s only natural that Singapore is viewed as a pioneer in innovation and recognized for its innovative ways to improve the lives of its people,” he says.
“The late Lee Kuan Yew’s (the founding prime minister) vision for Singapore was always progressive – one that put innovation at its core.
“Everything Singapore does has a future-facing objective.”
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.