ADNA snaps up design firm Zebra Design as clients ask for 'craft and creativity'

Creative agency Audience DNA (ADNA) has acquired design studio Zebra Design for an undisclosed amount. Post acquisition, Zebra Design will keep its name but will fall under the integrated group entity with ADNA.  Zebra Design, which has been in the Singapore market since 2008 works with clients such as American Express, DBS, Asia miles, Hildon Water, BJETS, Raffles institution, Clinique La Prairie, Revlon India, Android and GSK. The agency provides personalised design and branding service focusing on high end projects and also has a presence in Australia.

The acquisition sees all of Zebra's staff retained, ranking the headcount for the merged entity to 20. Following the acquisition, Zebra design co-founder Michelle Brouxhon (pictured below) will take up the role of design director in ADNA. Meanwhile, its other co-founder Martin Maher has left the company earlier in 2020. With the inclusion of Zebra Design, the ADNA billings will increase to over US$5 million.

michelle zebra design

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, David Mayo, COO at ADNA said one factor that resulted in the acquisition was that the agency has been putting a lot of work for its clients through Zebra in 2020, and realised that clients still look for quality in craft and creativity. Moreover, design is becoming a pivotal element of its businesses, with many clients asking for design as part of the agency's creative process.

CCO Matt Cullen added that almost every job in each of its offices included design inputs and most clients are looking for the design edge from packaging to online. "Zebra will continue to put us ahead," he added. 

The acquisition is also part of Zebra Design's next step of evolution for the studio. After working closely with agencies and consultants, the design studio sees finding an agency partner as "the logical way forward". Co-founder Brouxhon said: "Design is no longer an end in itself. Zebra works at the axis of experience and communications and having understood the contribution of quant data to the design process. ADNA will give us a much broader stage upon which to take this unique offer to the next level.”

ADNA has recently been building up its team which saw key hires such as Nishant Kaushal as CCO. Mayo also told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: "It has been a very busy start to our new year, but we have a very clear and differentiated positioning and a business plan to support the growth that will take us towards a business ramp up towards Q4 2021." He added, “ADNA's first order of business in 2021 is to make sure it can outperform for its existing clients to ensure that they maintain a business advantage coming into 2021.”

 “We have had strong growth coming into 2021” Mayo said, adding that the agency is already working with several clients in Singapore, Australia, South Africa and China and is on the right track. ADNA CEO Henry Gomez added: “Our disruptive business model is about affordable, fast and accurate data from our global panel of 320m data points in 100 countries around the world. When coupled with creative developers in all their forms, we have a unique combination that allows quality at speed.” 

ADNA opened its doors in July 2020 and currently has three offices in Singapore, Malaysia, and South Africa.

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