Tony Harradine
Oct 10, 2018

A future we can all look forward to

Given the unique size of online audiences in this part of the world, it is no wonder that digital innovation is accelerating at a much faster rate here than anywhere.

Tony Harradine is CEO of Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific.
Tony Harradine is CEO of Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific.

We asked four APAC-based agency-network heads to comment for our special 50th anniversary issue. See Agency voices: Regional leaders look forward.

When Omnicom Media Group launched its first operation in APAC twenty years ago, starting with OMD Hong Kong, the market dynamics were completely different, with the Western world setting the pace for innovation in traditional media and the agency model. Fast-forward two decades and everything has changed. As the power balance between the East and West shifts, the dramatic transformation in consumer behaviours over the years has also helped APAC take the lead for setting the pace for innovation.

Given the unique size of online audiences in this part of the world, it is no wonder that digital innovation is accelerating at a much faster rate here than anywhere, giving rise to phenomena like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and – all of whom are breaking global records for their growth rates and ecommerce activities. Last year’s Single’s Day shopping event is the perfect example of this, grossing over US$44 billion by Alibaba and alone, in contrast to the Black Friday event in the US, which achieved US$5.03 billion in online sales. There is no doubt the APAC markets are now a force to be reckoned with for global brands looking for growth.

As such, APAC is certainly commanding more attention in the global media business for brands and all the communications groups. At this year’s Campaign360, OMD’s global CEO, Florian Adamski, spoke about how there is no global RFP these days where APAC is not playing a crucial role. Additionally, the number of global pitches that are driven out of APAC is increasing. OMD’s extension of its relationship with Qantas in Australia into global markets is a testament to this, as is PHD’s recent appointment for HSBC’s global media business. 

The innovation taking place in APAC is also evidenced by the fact that OMD Singapore’s ‘Capacity Based McDelivery’ campaign for McDonald’s in 2017 swept awards shows across the world, making it the world’s most-awarded campaign in the 2018 Gunn Media 100. PHD Shanghai was also ranked the fourth most-awarded media agency in the world in the same report, reflecting APAC’s growing role in shaping Omnicom Media Group’s success.

To continue this spectacular momentum in APAC, we’ve been swift in the roll-out of our new people-based precision marketing and insights platform, Omni, which allows all of Omnicom’s agencies to gain a single view of a consumer and define personalised consumer experiences at scale. 

Furthermore, we recently appointed a Chief Product Officer in APAC to ensure the continued evolution of our agencies’ product offerings in line with industry transformation, and that we’re integrating our various disciplines to truly place data at the core of every solution we create for our clients in a digital-led marketplace.

By taking these steps today to progress our clients’ communications in line with APAC’s highly evolving media landscape, we can ensure our clients and stakeholders have a future worth looking forward to.

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