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.”

The announcement follows a series of key appointments by Initiative in the past six months, including Melissa Fein as CEO, John Dawson as communications design director, Tristan Burrell as national chief strategy officer, Michael Stanford as chief creative solutions officer, Ian Smith as head of partnerships, Sergio Brodsky as head of strategy for Melbourne, and David Lee as head of digital.

The appointment is the fourth ex-Ensemble employee to join Initiative since Fein moved across.

At Anisble Thomas was responsible for driving growth of mobile and media marketing solutions, while at Ensemble, she worked on formation, scope and effectiveness of brand partnerships, focusing on digital channels.

Shaun Briggs, Melbourne’s managing director said Thomas will be “effective” in he role role as the agency dives into its “cultural branding positioning”.

“She has a strong track record in business success in her previous roles and is a highly creative thinker in the rapidly growing brand and content space,” Briggs said.

Fein said Thomas’ new role will enhance the agency’s client and team leadership, and drive the new positioning.

“We have introduced new talents across all Initiative to help brands connect with people through cultural relevance,” said Fein. “Sian’s skills will help us considerably to ensure this positioning is both attractive and effective in the market,” Fein said.

Thomas joins Initiative on June 12 and will be part of the Melbourne leadership team.

Initiative Wins Pizza Hut Media Account

May 19, 2017 | Share this article

Pizza Hut has moved its media account from GroupM agency MediaCom to IPG Mediabrands shop Initiative.

The pizza chain has been reviewing its relationship with media and creative partners as the business looks to completely sever ties with agencies that partner its former parent company Yum!.

The brand appointed The Monkeys for creative and advertising work in March and added Magnum & Co for social media, influencer marketing and PR and The Wired Agency for SEO and SEM last month, while rumours swirled about the fate of the media account.

The agency shake-up follows its new owner Allegro Funds teaming up with the local Pizza Hut management team to buy the master franchise from US parent Yum! Brands. It also recently completed the acquisition of the Eagle Boys chain.

Initiative Perth has picked up two media accounts from the health sector, Cancer Council WA and the Heart Foundation’s LiveLighter campaign.

As part of the appointments, the agency will be responsible for media planning, buying, search marketing, activations, social media and content amplification, across both of the accounts.

The Heart Foundation’s LiveLighter, a public education campaign addressing weight issues, is developed and delivered in partnership with Cancer Council WA.

Cancer Council WA’s business development director Lillian Ryan said Initiative showed capabilities which would help the brand reach “diverse audiences.”

“We are looking forward to partnering with the agency to bring positive impact to people’s lives,” Ryan said.

Clive Bingwa, managing director of Initiative and Mediabrands Perth, said: “These public campaigns are critical in raising awareness and understanding within the community about reducing the incidence and impact of cancer and other serious health-related issues. We are starting work on the assignments immediately.”

The win follows Initiative Perth’s appointment to national media portfolio for Peet Limited.

Brodsky joins Initiative from Starcom Melbourne, where he worked as its strategy director. He has also previously worked as the worldwide strategist for WPP’s brand consultancy, Brand Union, in London.

Brodsky is also an internationally published author, columnist and speaker. He started his career as an intellectual property lawyer in his native Brazil, and holds an MBA in global brand strategy and innovation.

Tristan Burrell, chief strategy officer at Initiative Australia, said: “We’re focusing very strongly on the Melbourne market and looking forward to having Sergio’s creative and strategic thinking working with our clients and agency teams.

“He’s truly a first-class professional with broad experience in many aspects of media communications.”