Staff Reporters
Nov 20, 2023

40 Under 40 2023: Tommy Tan, Publicis Media

Tan’s career has been grounded in fundamentals but always open to innovation, contributing to business growth and transformation for his whole team.

40 Under 40 2023: Tommy Tan, Publicis Media
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise

Tommy Tan

Head of strategy (domestic)
Publicis Media

Starting his career in 2005 with an internship at Starcom, Tommy Tan has worked right to the top, now leading strategy at Publicis Media Singapore. Under his leadership, brands such as L’Oréal, BMW, and Visa have thrived, and his team have reshaped a number of Singapore Whole of Government (WOG) projects. 

Back in 2020, by introducing the ‘Passion Index’ to measure citizen sentiment and deployment of GovOS, Tan’s team elevated citizen interaction and operational finesse. Two years later, their efforts have helped retain the Singapore Whole of Government contract, which has bolstered Publicis Media's market share in the country, continuing to yield growth for the account even in 2023.

Tan’s forward-thinking approach to shifting to digital billing positioned Publicis Media as the industry frontrunner in Singapore. For example, his push to switch from analogue to digital OOH and location-based data for government campaigns translated to enhanced campaign results, and tangible business growth for the agency. 

As a strategic lead, he has also worked with clients like Haleon, the Singapore Police Force, and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), becoming a public industry subject matter expert. For a digital debut for SCDF, he capped off the campaign with an innovative click-to-save ad to address the challenge of the public's forgetfulness about non-emergency numbers. Meanwhile, the campaign united diverse teams to create an award-winning initiative featuring a rapping uniformed officer, sparking dialogue on responsible hotline use.

To improve the working efficiency of the whole team, Tan initiated ‘Atlas’, a localised knowledge repository for everything from tools to the competitive landscape to partner credentials, which has been transformed into a regional knowledge hub, like a Wikipedia for media planning. With more than 20 contributors ranging from directors to planners, it significantly cuts down planning time by 20% for the agency.

His stewardship has led Starcom Singapore to the Silver Award for Singapore Media Agency of the Year at Campaign Asia-Pacific's 2022 Agency of the Year. He’s also had an unwavering commitment to talent development, working closely with the chief business development officer to translate his wisdom and develop a media strategy playbook. Tan’s contributions have been innumerable and immeasurable, making him a truly valuable asset to Publicis and the wider industry.

Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise


Campaign Asia

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