Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Yves Briantais, Colgate-Palmolive

A marketer who seems to make a big impact wherever he goes, Briantais is now reinventing Colgate-Palmolive's marketing practice in APAC—with results to prove it.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Yves Briantais, Colgate-Palmolive
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Yves Briantais

Vice president of marketing, APAC
Hong Kong
New member

Yves Briantais has spent much of his career at Colgate-Palmolive in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the headquarters in New York. But relative ignorance about Asia hasn't stopped him from making a tangible impact here since arriving as APAC VP of marketing in mid-2019. 

In just under two years, Briantais has helped engineer a turnaround in China and stepped up the brand's marketing game around the region. In its most recent quarterly results, reported in April, APAC led the consumer giant's divisions with a net sales surge of 16.5%.

In the key China market, Briantais drove a thorough reinvention of the brand, rewriting Colgate's positioning, visual identity and communication strategy while also launching new products such as Colgate Miracle Repair and Colgate Enzyme. As a result, Colgate was the fastest-growing over-the-counter brand on Tmall in 2020.

Across Asia, Briantais is leading an effort to reinvent the brand's strategic framework, digitise the whole organisation, become more data- and optimisation-driven, deliver more innovation and embed design-thinking principles throughout the team.

Briantais also drove the development of a new brand-equity campaign, 'Smile strong', which debuted in 2020 in Thailand and Malaysia with some interesting work focusing on optimism. The Thailand campaign, for example, featured the stories of Auntie Jeab, a cancer survivor and longboarder; Yew, a nurse and influential blogger; and Bally, a queer teacher and anti-bullying activist. 'Smile strong' is being deployed around the world now and has driven the best ROI of any communication the brand has ever had, according to Briantais.

Global impact is nothing new for Briantais, who, while in New York as VP in charge of global design and packaging, led the development of the brand's now ubiquitous smile logo (recently augmented with a sonic identity). He also drove a relaunch of the company's pet-food brand, Hill's Science Diet. That division had the company's second-highest net sales increase in the most recent quarter. More recently, as VP of marketing in Europe, he helped halt a market share decline. In his one foray outside Colgate-Palmolive, at Lindt und Sprungli, in 2006 and 2007, he led the launch of a sea salt variety of dark chocolate that became a success first in France and then worldwide.

Publicly outspoken about DEI and a champion of his company's sustainability efforts, Briantais speaks frequently about topics such as brand purpose and total brand experience design at industry events including the recent Campaign 360. He is also a frequent jury member including for the 2021 Effie Awards and Festival of Media APAC.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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