Matthew Miller
Feb 22, 2017

Publicis Communications starts 'white-label' innovation effort with Singapore EDB

Agency hopes to move client conversations upstream through technology 'hub' effort centred in Nurun.

Nurun Singapore team members
Nurun Singapore team members

Hoping to hone its ability to deliver product and service innovations for clients, Publicis Commuications is tonight kicking off an initiative to boost its ability to deliver "tangible business solutions through human-centred design".

The aim of the effort, supported by Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB), is for the company to "transform its delivery model" over the next three years.

With the EDB's support, Nurun Singapore, Publicis' design and technology consulting arm, will invest in UX designers, augmented-reality developers, data strategists and data analysts, for example. In addition, Publicis will dedicate more than 300 external training days to strengthening digital and innovation capabilities among local employees. 

"We want to drive our value upstream, to help clients identify gaps in their experience design, identify growth opportunties that technology can address," Jonathan Ng, creative partner at Nurun, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. He cited apps, AI systems and retail-experience designs as examples of the innovations Nurun could spin out for clients.

In order to help clients with issues that marketing tactics alone can't solve, an agency needs to be able to work in areas beyond commuications tactics, and also to prove out innovations quickly and "at scale", Ng said.

The EDB's direct support will help Nurun do that not only by hiring talent, but also by opening doors in academia and industry to enable collaboration with a wide range of partners, he added.  

Publicis is kicking off the initiative tonight with an event called 'Hello Tomorrow', which features a panel discussion including Arrif Ziaudeen, the CEO of restaurant-reservations service Chope, plus an expert in intellectual-property protection.

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