Established in January 2000, Hakuhodo Percept, a 50:50 joint venture between Hakuhodo Inc. and Percept, was created to service the Japanese clients of Hakuhodo. After 10 years, the network agency wants to move away from the shadow of its Japanese agency by aggressively getting other business on board, an idea supported by Woon Siew Hoh, the newly promoted regional creative director of Hakuhodo Asia-Pacific.
Currently, 80 per cent of Hakuhodo Percept's clients are from the Japanese market, while 20 per cent are based in India.
Hoh, who has worked in developed countries where the choice of media is much more compared to the developing and undeveloped markets, believes that this experience will help in breaking the notion that Hakuhodo designs only print and television campaigns.
Says he, "Conventionally, Hakuhodo's presentation in India has always been about print and television campaigns. Moving forward, we would like to use various new media to talk to the consumers. Internationally, we are known for our work on the digital platform through social network sites, viral and other digital tools. We want to introduce fresh thinking using newer media."
Thailand, on the other hand, is very different. Although humour-driven, the people are very emotional and quite similar to Indians who want to laugh or cry at the end of a programme. The execution of a campaign is very similar in these two countries.
The agency is looking at recruiting new talent to create a strong regional team. However, for the time being, the concentration will be on retaining the present staff. Hoh explains, "Yes, we do plan to increase our team in India, but gradually. We will concentrate on nourishing and building the present talent through workshops and various talent programmes, rather than focus on recruitment."
For Hoh, this is just the beginning of a new journey and he feels that his international experience and the regional expertise of the network agency, clubbed together, will help in creating new milestones.