DAN launches experience-focused media network

The new company, dentsu X, will build on the foundations of Dentsu Media, with plans to launch in Europe by the end of the year.

Takaki Hibino
Takaki Hibino

Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has launched dentsu X, an agency network that is an evolution of Dentsu Media and will help DAN expand its presence in Europe and the United States.

According to a statement from DAN, dentsu X will combine communication and media planning, content creation, technology, data and behavioural insights. It will aim to help brands create more personalised marketing solutions.

Singapore-based Takaki Hibino will serve as global brand president. Hibino is also CEO of Dentsu Brand Agencies (DBA) in Asia-Pacific. As a rebrand of Dentsu Media, dentsu X has a presence in 13 Asian markets, Canada and Russia, and will enter Europe by the end of 2017 and subsequently the US.

Hibino shared further details on the new company in an exclusive interview with Atifa Silk, Campaign Asia-Pacific’s brand director.

What does the rebranding of Dentsu Media to dentsu X mean for clients?

X stands for experience over exposure. The world in this digital age is rapidly shifting from advertising to a customer demand-led economy, where attention is a premium and information is a commodity, and decisions to buy or not are made based on a series of conscious or sub-conscious triggers. This shift requires marketing to be redefined. Marketing is now required to attract, acquire, convert, and crucially, retain customers; it should be seamless and efficient. And it means that holistic experience of marketing is critical for any brand to succeed. Under these circumstances clients demand integrated and addressable marketing solutions. There is no line between online and offline, no line between creative and media. We need to build that capability to guide clients in the way they interface with customers and prospects, making the vision of the seamless relevant and experience a reality.

Will you expand the dentsu X footprint through acquisition?

Dentsu Media started 18 years ago in 1999 in Taiwan. We are expanding our footprint to Europe and moving out of APAC for the first time. We are rolling out in EMEA; we want to become a truly global network. The route we take depends on the countries. In some we will acquire. In others we will build with our smaller brands. It’s important to note that this will be the first time that a media agency with the Dentsu name on it will launch in Europe.

How will dentsu X be structured?

At the core of dentsu X will be a ‘producer’, a type of person we call eigyo. This is a sort of account person, or client lead in English, but much more—a person who leads the brand’s evolution as an orchestrator to lead the team. Alongside will be an experience designer to plan what is the best experience along the customer journey and to optimise the best solution to the client, and working closely with the team members within dentsu X. These teams will work closely with other brands, whether it’s Isobar, iProspect, MKTG. This will enable us to convey the best solution to the client and to the customer.

How will Dentsu Brand Agencies and dentsu X collaborate?

Dentsu Brand Agencies has a longer history than Dentsu Media in APAC. It opened its first office in Taiwan in the 70s, so 40 years. It has been working closely with Japanese clients, like automobiles and fast moving goods. Following the Aegis acquisition, we have acquired good creative agencies and talent in the region. So these small dots have became a strong thick line now, under Ted Lim. Their challenge is to deliver better digital creative solutions in a mobile and programmatic era. We know the differentiator is creativity; that’s what makes communication design standout. Data, technology and creativity has to come together for the best solution for the client. Which is why I am in charge of Dentsu Media or dentsu X and also Dentsu Brand Agencies; there should not be silo. Clients want us to be an integrated seamless solution.

There are many other agency groups trying to reorganise the model, integrating multiple agency functions into one model, a single service units. What we are focusing on is delivering one-stop integrated services where the excellence of dentsu X and Dentsu Brand Agencies collaborate.

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