Cutting-edge agency Yell Bangkok continues to grow its international offerings at a rapid rate. The latest development to come from the Thai agency is news of a groundbreaking partnership with two trailblazing creative companies in Singapore and China, forming what is to be Thailand’s first network agency.
In September, the independent Bangkok-based agency announced an exciting new collaboration with Singapore's Bacon Creative and Shanghai’s Soundsplan Marketing & Planning, coordinated in order to enhance advertising and marketing abilities across the Asia-Pacific market.
In this joint interview, LBB learns how the expansion of Yell’s global reach is all part of CEO Dissara Udomdej’s ‘Effectively Creative’ strategy, hearing from Ivan Yeow, co-founder and managing partner at Bacon Creatives, and Tim Shi, CEO of SOUNDS Shanghai, about details of the recent creative collaboration.
LBB> Congratulations on the new partnership! Why was now the right time for Yell to team up with SOUNDS and BACON?
Dissara> We all have the same goal. As a group, we believe in developing the most effective communication solution for our clients, which we describe as ‘Effectively Creative.’
Ivan> It’s our pleasure to be part of the Yell network. Over the past year, we’ve spent time and resources on building positive momentum for the agency and have reaped the fruits in 2022. The Yell partnership came at the right time for us to amplify our growth with a regional partnership that allows us to build win-win arrangements for both our clients as well as the Bacon team.
Tim> As you know, the pandemic delayed a lot of international cooperation over the past few years. For us, it felt like the time to restart international cooperation, which is led by the general trend and our inevitable development direction. This partnership felt natural.
LBB> What excites you most about working together? What additional capabilities will you gain?
Dissara> Shanghai is the advertising hub of China so, working with SOUNDS means we will knock on the door of the Chinese market with a well-versed team of experienced professionals. Singapore is very important as an ASEAN gateway and Bacon works with regional ASEAN clients and reaches out to many local ASEAN brands.
Ivan> I’ve personally always been a fan of Thai creativity and for a long time have been using Thai ads as references to our clients in Singapore. Be it the panda that passive-aggressively wrecks his surroundings or the-over-the top celebration when a group of brothers finds a parking lot, having access to creativity that truly stays with the consumer excites me the most. I’m glad to have the opportunity to drive synergy with passionate creatives that simply keeps pushing boundaries of our collective work.
Tim> We are very happy to cooperate with an international advertising company like Yell, as it means more resource sharing and learning about localised modes of thinking when it comes to advertising, which is very important for our mutual growth.
LBB> Ivan and Tim, can you tell us what kind of projects you'll be collaborating with Yell on?
Ivan> We have started collaborating on a couple of leading clients with market presence in both Singapore and Thailand, with our sights set on these regions. Our teams have taken a synergistic approach to working together and we hope to adopt this for the wider region.
Tim> At the end of September, we received the SHIAF Silver Medal on behalf of Yell in Shanghai, which is a very good start. This month, we will send an employee to Thailand to explore the local market of Thailand together with Yell.
LBB> Yell is successfully growing into the first Thai agency with an international network. Why are you looking to expand your reach internationally at this point?
Dissara> I started my career as a creative. However, as a founder, I must transform myself into a creative entrepreneur because in order to compete on a global scale, not only my people, but many brands in this region, require more options.
LBB> I understand this is part of your 'Effectively Creative' working style. Can you tell us a bit more about what that means?
Dissara> It's simple: we use communication services to solve our clients' problems. We must create highly effective solutions to achieve exponential growth for our client. Don't bring up awards with me unless we first win business.
LBB> Ivan and Tim, what does 'Effectively Creative' mean to you?
Ivan> There are two parts to that tagline, and I’ll use a bacon analogy for you. There is the streaky meaty part of a piece of bacon which is supposed to bring a bite to your dish and a pleasant texture. That’s the substance that symbolises effectiveness. The work just has to, well, work. And then, there’s the fat. The part that gratifies your senses and elevates your dish to the next level. Without it, you’ll never get the “shiok” (a word that us Singaporeans use to describe a dish that simply hits the spot). To me that is what “Creativity” is. It’s never two separate flavours, but one tasty combination. That’s what “Effectively Creative” means to me – a unified approach between KPIs and the work.
Tim> To me, ‘Effectively Creative’ is the business principle of being responsible for the results and the advertisers. At present, the rapid development of domestic social marketing presents new requirements for the integration of advertising creative products. This is also our common challenge and vision. I think in the current domestic and international environment, being ‘Effectively Creative’ will result in more trust in the market by making customers' budgets more valuable.
LBB> Finally, what’s next for Yell? Are you looking to expand even further?
Dissara> Our only goal is to solve our clients' problems. If it advantages our client, then we will pursue it.