When Singapore-based advertising trade publication AdAsia decided to move away from print production and go digital, it looked for a partner who could offer full agency services for advertisers via the internet.
The result was an agreement signed in January between AdAsia Media Pte Ltd. and Colombo-based Triadhot.com, a subsidiary of Triad, the largest local agency in Sri Lanka.
The link between the two companies came about at a press conference in Singapore’s famous Raffles Hotel. Publisher and Editor of AdAsia Allein Moore had for some time been planning to move away from a paper and ink production after 10 years of building up the magazine. He felt that the internet had changed communications and publishing forever and that, digitally, he could do a lot more.
Moore says that with the restriction on the number of pages due to print production costs and shipping expenses holding back a wider distribution, it seemed the digital route offered more opportunities to grow and increase the content.
“I met the team from Triadhot.com when they decided boldly to launch their digital agency in Singapore instead of on their home turf. I was impressed by their enthusiasm and the effort they had put into to develop new systems to make this idea work,” said Moore.
“Ï knew the reputation of Triad because of its creative wins in the Effies (effectiveness awards), the Singapore Outdoor Awards as well as the local Chillies show. Clients and brands operate in a multinational environment and I was impressed by the fact that Triad had not followed the traditional agency route of opening offices here, there and everywhere but adopted a business model more in tune with today’s world,” Moore added.
He went back and wrote up the story in his publication, but the Sri Lankan agency and its idea stuck in his mind. As he began to develop his new digital publication and consider the content, he remembered Triadhot.com and decided a “virtual” agency would be a valuable service to offer readers, many of whom are marketing directors in large and small companies.
“I floated the idea to the team in Sri Lanka and received an immediate positive response to their inclusion on the new site,” explained Moore. “We swiftly moved on from that point to sign this partnership agreement. A special page was developed in Sri Lanka and incorporated into the development of the new AdAsia home site.”
For its part, Triadhot.com saw this partnership as an opportunity to make a greater impact on the worldwide marketing community. Sarva Ameresekere, COO of Triadhot.com, said: “This partnership not only instantly widens our global footprint but also recognises our ability to compete in the global playing field as the only Sri Lankan multinational agency.”
Clients will, by next month and via the AdAsia site (www.adasiaonline.com), access a full service agency, brief the team and track the progress of the project from start to finish. Being a virtual agency, Triadhot.com is not restricted to its own creative and marketing experts but can call on the right people from markets around the world.
The fees will be appropriate to the job so even more modest companies can feel comfortable. The lack of offices and reduction in the need for travel also helps keep costs down.
“National borders are being swept away in the communications business and our move reflects this. A Sri Lankan agency and a Singapore publisher are now plugged in – connecting themselves and the global marketing community,” Moore pointed out.
AdAsia was established in 2000 and went on to win the Society of Publishers Award for Best Trade Publication. It was also voted in a Yahoo Poll of marketing executives as the ‘Must read’ publication for the industry, scoring over 80% of the votes.
AdAsia also organises the Singapore Outdoor Awards, the Asia Interactive Awards, the Phoenix Film Awards and the biannual Asia Travel & Tourism Creative Awards. The AdAsia Academy conducts courses in presentation skills, copywriting, advertising business and creativity.
AdAsia Digital will launch in February 2011 under its new positioning ‘Insights, Inspiration, Information,’ with articles from leading professionals, video interviews with the movers and shakers in the industry and pages on the latest market research data, plus a list of events and plenty of useful information for people working in the advertising and marketing industry.
Moore moved from London in 1979 to head up the creative team working on the Singapore Airlines account. He went on to become the Creative Director of Leo Burnett Singapore, Saatchi Compton and Chiat/Day/Mojo, winning many international and local awards. He retired to start AdAsia in 2000.
He continues to judge at regional advertising and publishing events and speaks at several conferences and seminars a year. He is currently the Secretary of the Media Owners Association Singapore.