AdTech Singapore 2015

AdTech Singapore in my humble opinion is an absolute success story. The learnings I have taken away and the new friends I have made is enough to keep me happy for the next 6 months.

By means of my self-declared awesome eye-balling abilities, the event hosted a good 600++ delegates, many of whom flew in from all over the world. If there is any other event that can perform half as well as ATS and put all the major players across the industry in one room fuelled with engaging content, please let me know!

It is great to see Corporates taking the initiative to part take in discussions around programmatic, and exhibit a willingness to embrace change. I particularly liked the discussion around how clients could work at bringing/building an AdTech stack in-house. This is something that everyone should be clear about here. Clients are getting curious and investing in self-education. Hence, transparency does go a long way.

Overall, programmatic is the talk of the event. However, the subject of data took a deeper dive to show just how much importance it carries along with automation.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed. But the fact that AdTech has built a name for itself in the marketing ecosystem within a span of just 3 years (in Asia), I see a phenomenon of serious tunnel vision.

Technology seems to have taken over human touch. It has become so linear that binary and logic now seem to be the fundamentals of marketing.

I’ve always thought that AdTech is a subset of marketing, and eventually the collision between AdTech and Martech would take place. Great! More acronyms. How exciting! We haven’t heard much about the big boys like Oracle, IBM, Adobe. Guess what? We should start seeing a shift soon.

I’m glad this was discussed during ATS, as it makes total sense that silo players forge partnerships and make this eco-system a case of value giving, than monopoly.

After some intense jam packed content during ATS, I’ve finally been able to align my fragmented thoughts and put them in point form below.

Trends which May, Can or are Already happening 2015 – 2016

1) Lopsided effect (Demand vs Supply)

– New technology requires sales adoption. We have seen an influx of countless DSPs entering the market in hopes to grab a share of the pie. Internally, this means beefing up sales team, deploying them to approach ATDs and Direct Clients. Education of programmatic was rampant late 2014 – present. Traction across buy side gains momentum, but soon the realisation that the lack of supply could be a teething issue.

– This applies to organisations with fresh injection of funds that are looking to scale quick. Aggressive hiring of sales people, lack of vision that operations play an important role as well. 10 sales person to 1 campaign manager. Good luck.

2) Being Publisher centric 

– AdTech companies will evolve. DSP will not remain a DSP. Whichever way they wish to evolve, I’m seeing a shift in awareness for such platforms to get closer to the publishers. Self-serve platforms are already out there for Publishers.

3) Direct Deals

– Publishers and Brands are getting more educated and are investigating opportunities in PMP or Programmatic Direct. This pendulum effect where knowledge and activity shifts from agencies to in-house may happen very quickly.

4) Merger and Acquisitions

– We just got started. The $4.4billion deal between Verizon and AOL will trigger more to follow suit. Telecommunication companies are keeping their eyes wide open. There are already talks about AOL looking to acquire Millennial Media. Well, let’s see.

5) Branding could use Programmatic

– Programmatic is not all performance. For example, Cannes recently reported that Heineken is looking to use data to better understand its customers. Given that their business uses a three-tier system (Heineken sells to wholesalers, that sells to retailers and finally consumers), they aren’t exactly strong owners of first party data.

– However, working with data providers and AdTech vendors, they could essentially leverage on these data to better understand customers’ buying behaviour. Putting all these information together, generating a compelling creative and branding campaign could influence how well their brand awareness campaigns perform.

6) MarTech will emerge strong

– A one stop shop will present itself. A fully automated platform such as Adobe, Oracle, Marketo will continue to demonstrate capabilities in their technology, inching closer to clients.

As stated by Scott Brinker, president and CTO of ion interactive in his article on, the number of MarTech companies doubled to 2,000 in year 2015, from 947 in year 2014.

MarTech may form to be the foundation as a platform and allow AdTech players to integrate. With data being the core of it all, this brings us back to my first article about creating an Omni-Channel approach.

I don’t know about you, but i am still sticking to my earlier thoughts. Omni-channel. The market at present is going through a self-exploration stage. Eventually, data, programmatic, creative, out-of-home, tv, radio and every other channel we can think of will come together as one.

Seamlessly, creating great campaigns, paving the way for a better marketing ecosystem.

Signing off,


“Change is the only constant”

Alvin Lim is our Nakama Singapore Digital Media Consultant who specializes in talent management within the Programmatic Media and Performance Marketing space. 

He represents the major DSPs, SSPs, Trading Desk, Social Media Tech platforms and many other brands in the Advertising Technology space in hiring top tier talents in Singapore and across Asia. Alvin can be reached on +65 94501337 or


A sombre week for Singapore


Last week, Singapore mourned the loss of their founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In response to his passing, some of Singapore’s largest companies eradicated any colour in their branding and chose black and grey as a mark of respect.  In fact, most of the country’s websites, and signage stopped advertising and held off on pitching.

Not only was there a media black-out but some media and marketing agencies in Singapore gave their staff time off to pay their respects. Queues were seen for miles; people queuing for a staggering 8 hours in the sweltering heat waiting to pay tribute to the late Prime Minister.

Already tens of thousands of Instagram photos have been uploaded; from videos to old pictures, offering a heavily poignant and nostalgic view and feel on the loss of Lee Kuan Yew.  One digital marketing agency launched a campaign for the people of Singapore to offer and share their views, creating the hashtag #whatLKYdidforme.

Mumbrella article quoted Pat Law, Founder of the social agency GOODSTUPH who received almost 1,400 likes in six hours on a Facebook post.

Someone asked if there was free shuttle service from City Hall to Parliament House. Another replied “He gave his whole life to the country. You can walk for 10 minutes.” Best comment I’ve seen. #leekuanyew #lky.

Tribute websites have been created for people to leave their thoughts, comments and even poems.  Evidently, Lee Kuan Yew was a visionary leader whose legacy lives on, giving the people of Singapore a real sense of pride.

Charlotte van der Vorm is our Nakama Singapore Digital Strategy & Social Media Sr. Consultant. Charlotte can be reached at or +65 9176 2741.

Creative Recruitment: 3 ways to increase your business attractiveness


Attracting the best talent has always been the key to success for most businesses. Where organisations would usually rely on traditional factors such as, the culture, team structure or the office environment to sell themselves to candidates, they are not taking into consideration that each and every candidate out there is different.

Covering the Creative & Design space at NAKAMA in Hong Kong, I’ve found Creatives are looking at prospective companies differently. Too often, organisations neglect or miscommunicate their USP’s. So what are they, and how can your business be more attractive to potential hires?

I have listed below 3 factors you should be considering, each of which could help you change the way you are seen by Creative professionals and ultimately, improve your chances of attracting the best talent for your business.

  1. Help build your designer’s Portfolios

What really matters: While a company’s name or job responsibility has value, the design portfolio is what potential candidates are ultimately looking to build on. This is especially true when it comes to young talent trying to build a name for themselves. Most Creative talent, when considering whether or not to join your business, will ask themselves the following question: will this business allow me to build my Portfolio and to work with innovative, cool and creative international clients?  Gregory Moulinet, Creative Director at PLTFRM, a boutique design agency based in Shanghai, says: “ to attract young and ambitious Creatives, it is about the reputation of the company to win leading brands, that will be the 1st criteria (…) they want the opportunity to work on a large client to build their portfolio.”

  1. Have a Creative Leader

Most Creatives also want to learn and grow, particularly from an inspirational leader. They will be looking for a company where they can really be inspired from a leader, from someone who will understand and elevate them, creatively speaking. And this is when the notion of mentor comes in. Successful businesses willing to attract Creative talent will cultivate this notion of mentorship and build their recruitment strategy around it. Who is heading up your Creative team? This person will be key to attracting & retaining top talent, so make sure you have the right leader on board.

  1. Really care about Design

Ask yourself honestly…do you care about design? This question is crucial. Creatives want to be part of a business that values their design team and the work it produces. Yes it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many companies don’t! Budle Kim, Graphic Designer in Hong Kong comments: “ If a company only uses designers to execute orders of the marketing team, this is not a place I want to join”. This starts from the interview; the candidate needs to feel that the employer cares about creating thoughtful and interesting design. A previous candidate of mine, interviewing for a Design Director role, fed back to me after his interview “we didn’t speak about design, the company is interesting but I didn’t see how important design was to them”.

If you start by broadening your horizons, giving your designers the opportunity to work on high profile interesting projects, get an inspiring Creative leader on board and finally pay attention to Design itself, you will see that the Creative tide will progressively begin to turn in your favour.

Adrien is our Hong Kong Creative & Design Consultant. If you’re looking for a Creative role in Hong Kong, looking to resource your Creative/Design team, or just want to say hello, Adrien can be reached on or +852 6602 9341.

Innovative digital technology used to deliver powerful domestic violence campaign message

Image Credit: WCRS

The power of advertising, can you see the effect? The innovative campaign launched by WCRS and Ocean Outdoor for domestic violence charity Women’s Aid, saw the importance of not turning a blind eye to domestic violence but also how the power of advertising can make a difference by engagement.

The campaign coincided with International Women’s Day, a powerful launch date that aimed to strike hard encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women. WCRS used images of models that had been beaten and bruised on large digital outdoor screens; photographed by Ian Rankin these already shocking images are combined with a caption stating ‘Look at me’.

Do you look or do you turn a blind eye?

Women that have been affected by domestic violence usually try to hide their bruises and feel unable to tell anyone about their suffering, fearing that they won’t be believed or people won’t understand. The screens use digital facial recognition to detect passers-by, as long as people ignore the images the bruises do not go away and the posters remain the same. However, once people start to notice and recognise the issue the bruises begin to fade and the women’s faces become completely healed. A direct translation of how advertising can be measured, this campaign is the first instance in the UK where technology has been used in combination with outdoor screens to show the cause and effect.

Ross Neil, creative director at WCRS, added: “The simplicity of the advert’s wording and image implicates passers-by in their inactivity before the advanced technology demonstrates how they personally can make a change in the fight against domestic violence by engaging with it.”

To encourage interaction passers-by receive push notifications drawing their attention to the screen, offering more information and providing a link to a microsite where donations can be taken. This also allows for the campaigns effectiveness to be measured. Through the use of simple advertising and dynamic technology, WCRS have managed to deliver a campaign that illustrates an effective solution that encourages us to make a positive change. We can all make a tangible difference if we work together and this can be seen visually within this campaign; the more people that look at the posters the quicker the bruises fade and a change is made.

Taking notice is more powerful than turning a blind eye.

Sian recruits for temporary and permanent digital design and creative roles here at Nakama London. If you’d like to speak to Sian about a role email LinkedIn or Phone: 0203 588 4567