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Nerdcore rappers & K-pop: Le Pub’s new leaders views on Asia’s creative scene


By Danielle Long | Acting APAC Editor

March 9, 2023 | 6 min read

Le Pub's newly installed leadership team, general manager Hanh Kanssen and executive creative director Cyril Louis, talk to The Drum about Asia’s ever-evolving creative playground.


Le Pub APAC's new leadership team Hanh Kanssen, general manager and Cyril Louis, executive creative director.

Le Pub APAC, the Publicis-owned creative agency, has appointed leadership duo Hanh Kanssen, general manager and Cyril Louis, executive creative director.

The agency, which is positioned as the place "where brands meet culture" aims to tap into the unique and diverse APAC markets through collaborations and experiential approaches to marketing.

It's a broad brief but one that aims to provide the agency with a point of difference in the very crowded and complex markets which make up the Asia Pacific region.

Le Pub has already made its presence felt in the region, dropping a hefty Chinese New Year campaign for key client Tiger Beer. The campaign, which encouraged Asia's young people to stop chasing the next big win and celebrate the small wins, featured a major research project and a stunt in downtown Singapore.

The integrated elements of that campaign speak to the style and approach that Kanssen and Louis aim to bring to all the agency's work across the region.

“The energy and optimism here are infectious,” Louis tells The Drum. “There’s a huge appetite for anything new, whether tech or fashion or experiences and the rest of the world is increasingly looking to Asia for inspiration. We’re collaborating with games developers, nerdcore rappers, fashion designers, k-pop stars and many artists. It’s like a massive, ever-evolving playground – a creative’s dream. It’s incredible to be part of this energy."

However, it's unavoidable to acknowledge the new duo's appointment comes at an interesting time for the region as the uncertainty of the global slowdown continues to nip at APAC's doors. Perhaps, unsurprisingly the duo prefer to view these challenges as opportunities.

Kanssen says, "It’s more complicated and challenging since times and scenarios are uncertain, but this has pushed us to be more creative and effective. I love this challenge.

"Right now, we see opportunity for brands to be more experiential. We’re experimenting with product design, virtual fashion, music remixes and digital activations, all that to give brands and consumers, especially gen Z, a meaningful place to meet."

Louis adds, "The only way for brands to lead moving forward is to enrich people's lives so they decide they want us there. We enable brands to earn their seat at the table of culture by being relevant and topical."

Relevance remains one of the single most important factors for brands and marketers when it comes to engaging audiences across APAC, yet it's an element that is easy to mess up when brands take a blanket view of the diverse region.

Kanssen and Louis believe relevancy is one of the agency's strengths, crediting its ability to access and understand local market cultures and sub-cultures and overlay this with data and insights.

"We tap into our data & culture lab combined with a team of local ‘culture detectives’ in our key markets – they live and breathe their local cultural scene, which is the springboard for our creativity," says Kanssen.

Louis adds, "Le Pub has a systematic approach, enabled by data, innovation and cultural expertise to elevate brands into culture. At Le Pub, we believe that brands develop their greatest potential in culture when they occupy the sweet spot between brand DNA, product strength and cultural tension."

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