Initiative

The ‘laziness’ of media and advertising agencies could spell the industry’s downfall in the face of consumers’ changing brand expectations, the global CEO of Initiative has said.

Speaking at Mumbrella360 Asia on the role of culture in a consumer-centric world, Mat Baxter suggested that agencies that simply prioritise reach over relevance will be left competing for survival.

The annual Sydney NGEN Halloween party has been saved from the gallows this year by last minute contributions from media agencies Initiative and UM, as well as cinema & outdoor giant Val Morgan.

The NGEN Halloween Party is one of the industry’s most anticipated events and is usually supported financially by media owners, but this year the call for sponsors went unanswered.

NGEN e-mailed its 2,000 Sydney members in late September to announce the death (ironically) of their Halloween party.

Enter Initiative and UM.

A few calls later, the two Mediabrands agencies had teamed up with Val Morgan to raise the funds required, and the party is now back on for NGEN professionals at The Lair in Sydney’s Metro Theatre, on Thursday 26th of October.

Carlsberg Group has chosen IPG Mediabrands media shop Initiative to handle its global media planning and buying following a competitive pitch.

This is Initiative’s first global media win since it overhauled the business over the last year.

The Danish brewery group cited Initiative’s “excellent planning and buying expertise, unique proprietary tools, digital capabilities, transparency and the quality of their teams.”

Initiative’s formula for success

July 29, 2017 | Share this article

Media agency’s focus on cultural branding culminates in a sweep of MMA 2017.

TWO years ago, Initiative Malaysia was a lesser known media agency under the IPG Mediabrands network.

Today, helmed by managing director Kristine Ong, the agency has seen a rapid, strategic and determined transformation across the business, and handles some of Malaysia’s biggest brands – Maxis, Sime Darby and Maybank.

Last week, Initiative won the coveted Agency of the Year at the Malaysian Media Awards 2017 (MMA 2017), picking up seven gold, three silver, as well as the special Grand Prix award.

Sammartino joins Initiative from Dentsu Mitchell, where he was group client service director. He is a 17-year veteran of the Melbourne media market with extensive experience across the automotive, finance, FMCG and retail sectors.

Sammartino has recently led account management and strategy development on major accounts including Renault Australia, Home Hardware and Dr Oetker.

Sammartino’s key roles for Initiative Melbourne will be to help lead the connectivity between people and brands across the full communications ecosystem, thought leadership and new tools for channel planning, as well as developing up-to-date training for agency executives in channel planning fundamentals and their evolution.

Partnering Malaysia’s biggest content provider YouTube and five homegrown award-winning storytellers, we broadcasted Rojak360° films through YouTube’s 360° video-on-mobile platform. By moving their screens, viewers experienced being Malaysian, from different perspectives! For the launch, selected Maxis customers were transported into the stories through a 360° cinematic experience using VR headsets. In one story, but clearly in the cinema, viewers experienced pulling a cow into an elevator! Each story reminded Malaysians to stick together. With the 360° experience, viewers found themselves in the rainforest with a group of squabbling friends in ‘LostandFound’, and navigated their way out once they embraced each other’s differences. In ‘GadingMerah’, viewers fought alongside villagers who banded together to chase away a mythical creature causing chaos.

Initiative Media bagged nine Gold awards at the Malaysian Media Awards 2017 (MMA2017), including the special Grand Prix award and Agency of the Year award, today.

Other awards won by the agency included the Video (Television/ Cinema Screen/ Multiscreen), Digital (Online/ Interactive/ Mobile), Out of Home Media and Audio, among others.

A total of 17 awards were given out including Advertiser of the Year, which was won by Maxis Communications.

Meet the team: A new Initiative

July 17, 2017 | Share this article

Initiative has a new corporate identity, a new vision and a new leadership team. The ‘cultural branding’ agency says brand building has given way to short−term performance which is affecting business growth.

Two years after Mediabrands’ stablemate UM repositioned to become the ‘creative connections’ agency under fomer CEO Mat Baxter, Initiative has re−emerged as the ‘cultural branding’ agency.

Baxter is now global CEO of Initiative and the positioning has his fingerprints all over it, although this is a local articulation of a global play.

The idea is to help clients grow with a media strategy that balances short−term performance and longer−term brand building at culturally relevant moments.

It’s the latter part that makes this an intriguing proposition for a function often under pressure to deliver overnight success.

IPG Mediabrands had a tremendous showing at Cannes 2017, winning 20 LIONS (4 GOLD, 6 SILVER, 10 BRONZE) and earning an additional 21 SHORTLISTS across UM and Initiative.

“Lives” a series of campaigns by UM Philippines on behalf of Fully Booked was the network’s most successful campaign, collecting 3 GOLD for its excellence in Retail & Commerce.

Sony India has announced the appointment of Initiative Media as its media agency for the Indian market.

The appointment was made following a multi-agency pitch. Carat handled the media duties prior to this. The agency’s mandate includes media planning and buying. The agency will start working on the account from 1 June 2017 and the contract is for a period of two years.

Yuichi Hasegawa, head of marketing communication and Retail, Sony India, said, “Our decision to appoint Initiative Media is reflective of the agency’s capability of understanding brand Sony and providing a strategic approach to widen audience and strengthening the market position of our brand portfolio. We look forward to working with Initiative Media and have a strong belief that together we can create success and drive our premium brand story forward.” .

Shashi Sinha, CEO IPG Mediabrands India, said, “We are delighted that Sony, an extremely prestigious marketer and brand is back with Initiative. We would like to thank Sony India for reposing their faith in us. Initiative stands committed to delivering the very best for Sony’s success.”