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Bates 141

Report by Tim Isaac (below) Chairman, Bates Ogilvy Group Asia Pacific

Tim Isaac

2010 was a year of changes in organization, strong financial results and deepening commitment to our ‘Change Agency’ promise.

In 2010, Bates 141 focused its resources on the growth markets of Asia Pacific; specifically on the two BRIC markets, China and India, and on the Next 11 markets of Southeast Asia (especially Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines). Our management organization was centered on these three clusters of offices. We put emphasis on getting the leadership working closer to the market opportunities.

2010 was also the year in which collaboration with Ogilvy & Mather on back-end support and financial management moved ahead with greater purpose and vigor. Following the example best set by Bates 141 Jakarta, those offices where the collaboration has been closest have benefited most in being able to concentrate their resources on productive front office services to clients. Client satisfaction and profitability have both been enhanced.

Largely due to these developments, the year’s advance in commercial performance was sustained with results coming in well ahead of the prior year and our own budget for the year.

 We continued to invest in thought leadership to provide substance and content to our ‘Change Agency’
positioning 

We continued to develop and promote our ‘Change Agency’ promise. We had one of our best years in terms of delivering on that promise with work for HSBC, Häagen Dazs, Sampoerna, Heineken, MTV and Virgin Mobile. Our work was recognized at Cannes, where we won a Bronze Lion for Virgin Mobile India; at Asia Pacific Spikes for our ‘Vote for Change’ campaign from the Philippines; and at the Effies for our work for F&N Dairies Malaysia. We were also named Creative Agency of the Year at the ROI awards Festival for Greater China, and in Taiwan we came top of the Campaign Brief rankings.

We achieved some notable new business success during the year: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in China; Proton cars in Indonesia; Johnnie Walker and Vietnam Post in Vietnam; Colgate and MTV in India; LG mobile in Taiwan; and Fuji Xerox in Hong Kong.

During 2010 we continued to invest in thought leadership to provide substance and content to our ‘Change Agency’ positioning. Key initiatives included 2010 Changes from the Streets of Asia, From Little Emperor to Bird’s Nest Generation – a paper on China’s youth – and Reverse Filial Piety – a paper on the Hong Kong silver market. Our regional planning director for Asia, Dheeraj Sinha, published a book on the changing Indian consumer, Consumer India.

Once again, our Change dictionary was well received and underscored our positioning in a populist way. We will continue to marshal our philosophy and operations around understanding, harnessing and creating ‘Change’ for our clients across Asia in 2011.

In closing, a final word on ‘Change for Good’ in the communities in which we work. In 2009 we launched ChangeRally as a Bates 141 activation tool to create positive change in society. In 2010 our most notable programs were ‘Vote for Change’ on behalf of the 100,000 street children of Manila; the Sunrise home for children film project in Cambodia; and the ‘Room to Read’ program in Singapore to promote literacy and gender equality in developing countries.