Nikita Mishra
Jan 16, 2024

Mandai Wildlife Group hands creative AOR to TBWA Singapore

EXCLUSIVE: The new partnership which kicks off this month marks an end to a seven-year relationship between Mandai and The Secret Little Agency.

Mandai Wildlife Group hands creative AOR to TBWA Singapore

TBWA Singapore has confirmed its win of the creative remit for the Mandai Wildlife Group, overseeing the Mandai nature district.

Campaign has learned that the mandate was awarded after a multi-agency competitive pitch managed by R3, and led by the agency’s Singapore president Mandy Wong. Wong’s strategic acumen aligned with Mandai’s ambitious global vision as a biodiversity brand.

TBWA Singapore president Many Wong led the pitch process

TBWA’s responsibilities will include brand building efforts across the Group’s flagship zoological parks along with new green public spaces, and upcoming projects such as the Rainforest Wild, nature-based indoor attractions, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) facilities and an eco-friendly resort.

“Our ambition is to anchor our masterbrand Mandai as a global biodiversity brand, and grow recognition and affinity for the Mandai Wildlife Reserve at home and around the world. We aim to be a meaningful and much desired destination for local residents and global travellers seeking diverse experiences ranging from unique wildlife encounters, immersive dining experiences to inspiring digital engagement and much more”, said Belina Lee, deputy CEO, transformation and growth, Mandai Wildlife Group.

The appointment marks a significant change in creative allegiance for Mandai, putting an end to a seven-year creative collaboration with The Secret Little Agency (TSLA) that held the account since 2017. TSLA was the global creative lead and branding agency for Mandai. As part of the Mother family, the agency tapped into design, strategic and creative expertise from Mother’s London and New York offices to drive the integrated communication rollout of Mandai domestically, as well as globally.

TSLA was instrumental in integrating and positioning a consistent visual identity for Mandai’s various verticals such as the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Wonders, Bird Paradise, and Mandai Nature in line with Singapore’s wildlife heritage. As TBWA takes charge, Lee expressed gratitude to the incumbents for their role in establishing Mandai as a global wildlife conservation platform during their retainer of two-cycles.

“Together with Mandai, we created something special that all Singaporeans can be proud of globally, shifting Mandai from just a zoo brand, to a global platform for wildlife conservation and biodiversity. The entire team at Mandai have been fantastic collaborators,” added TSLA's group CEO Eunice Tan. 

A Mandai campaign by TSLA
A Mandai campaign by TSLA

TBWA Singapore's creative appointment builds on their travel and tourism industry expertise, exemplified by their work with flagship clients such as Singapore Airlines and Expedia in Japan. President Mandy Wong expressed immense pride in the agency's commitment to elevating Mandai as a biodiversity brand, describing it as a "treasure trove of endless wonder" and an inspiring canvas for meaningful creativity.

“This is a significant win for the agency and one I’m incredibly proud of. Our ambition as The Disruption Company is to build the world’s strongest brands, and to be given this opportunity to take Mandai to the next level is truly an honour. With Mandai as a biodiversity brand, it is a treasure trove of endless wonder, and an inspiring canvas for meaningful creativity. I congratulate the entire team who were nothing short of impressive with their synergy and big platform thinking,” she added.

The latest win offsets TBWA Singapore’s Ikea loss to TSLA in October 2023. Following a global decision, Ikea decetralised its business and went into a highly competitive closed-door pitch in Singapore and Malaysia. TBWA Singapore retained the account in Malaysia but lost the Singapore vertical to independent TSLA.

Under Wong’s leadership, TBWA had a solid run at Campaign’s Agency of the Year awards in December 2023 where it took home Gold for Singapore Creative Agency of the Year. Another feather in Wong’s hat is the addition of a key multinational telecom account in Singapore.

Campaign Asia

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