The new Singapore-based agency will be called Adplanet Daiko, the two agencies announced at an event yesterday. Singapore is a showcase market and an important gateway to the region, the companies said. The joint venture will operate in three key areas: traditional and branding services; digital and social media; and activation.
The rationale for Daiko was to establish its presence in the high-growth region, driven in part by its clients in Japan seeking representation in ASEAN. “Daiko has been doing business in China and Vietnam for several years now,” said Hiroshi Ochiai, CEO of Daiko Advertising. “In recent years there have been intense requests from our clients back home to represent them in international markets.”
Over the past year, Daiko and Adplanet have had several lengthy discussions and audit rounds. According to Ochiai, the single most important point of consideration was that both agencies see the need to reinvent themselves to “catch the new growth curves”.
The Adplanet Group claims to be the largest independent local agency in Singapore with 110 above-the-line staff. CEO Adrian Tan said the agency was founded on the principle that local talents can be movers and shakers on the world stage. “In the early years, MNC agencies were very dominant, and rightly so, as local agencies were not strategic and creative," he said. "They got their business by selling cheap. We were obsessed with changing this bias."
Tan said the agency has encountered biases but remains determined to make a mark. “We were here to prove that locals are no pushovers and can stand toe-to-toe with the big MNCs.”
Adplanet’s local expertise was a big draw for Daiko. “We believe there is no one size fits all and firmly believe in the power of local knowledge,” said Ochiai.
Daiko was founded in 1893 and is Japan’s fourth largest agency. With 1,480 employees and 16 offices in Japan, its financial billings amounted to US$1.25 billion last year.